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Old 01-06-2017, 10:10 PM   #1
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1974 27' Overlander
Salt Spring Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
1974 Overlander full rebuild

Hi all,

I've lurked on the Airforum site for months now but the time has come for me to get of the bench and say hi because I've just purchased a 1974 Overlander.

This is my first Airstream and I'm gunning for a full custom interior so I suspect I will be regularly relying on the collective airforums wisdom in the months to come!

The caravan is in decent shape--I think. No dents, no obvious leaks. The most recent owner had it parked on a driveway for 20 years. Known issues include one broken front window, a broken vent cover and extensive moisture damage to the interior. There is mildew, mold and mouse damage throughout. As far as I can tell, the frame is solid and I might even get away without doing a full frame-off restoration and replacing the sub-floor. Fingers crossed. Photos below.

I wanted to post this because I've just gutted it and wont be reusing anything. Does anyone want fixtures from the interior? I deconstructed it with a moderate degree of care so lights, latches, drawers, covers, aluminum brackets, rails, etc are mostly intact. I'd rather see them reused than sent to the dump/scrap so make me an offer if you think I've got a part you need for your restoration project. I'm reusing all of the shell (interior aluminum shell paneling, windows, doors, screens, hatches) but everything else is up for grabs. Shoot me a private message or leave a comment below.

Cheers,

Stuart

PS: Instagram account is silverliningairstream, if that's your jam.

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Old 01-07-2017, 12:59 AM   #2
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1976 25' Tradewind
, Florida
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 353
Great opportunity to get parts from a 70s trailer here. I gutted mine as well and regret not offering up the parts. Thanks for sharing your parts, keep this post going I would enjoy watching your progress! If you get time check out my post on my restoration of my 76 Tradewind called ''millertimss re bathroom rot".


Hope you don't need a shell off like I did 😂.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:20 AM   #3
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 991
Hi. Welcome. If you have the space to hang on to parts from the interior until you're done, you might be surprised at what you end up reusing. I know I could have saved myself a good bit of money by saving some of the interior walls and aluminum extrusions. Good luck on your remodel.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:50 AM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
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We re-used our aluminum wall extrusions when we rebuilt our '72. Many things were not re-usable on ours. What was, we offered to anyone who wanted it for free, you pay shipping. People were very happy to do this, and we were happy to get rid of usable things. Like the interior shelves of the refrigerator (went to CA), shower door, bins under beds, etc.
We hung on to many things until we were far enough in our rebuild to know whether we needed them or not.
We also bought and rebought some things when we couldn't find the original bought items (we did this more than once). I'd suggest keeping a running list of what you buy for the trailer, so a year down the road you're not saying "didn't I buy that already?". (I just found the original bought curtain hangers, 6 years later!). Usually it was small things, not water heaters, etc.
Good luck! Keep in mind that you probably only want to do this once, so, if in doubt, replace or repair now (I'm thinking floor, frame, etc), while it's open.
You might find a replacement window at Colaws Salvage, or in the classified section of the forums if someone's parting out a damaged trailer.
Our renovation is titled "Little Girl Refurb" and is one of many on the forums. We found others very helpful as we redid ours.

Kay
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:49 AM   #5
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1971 27' Overlander
Jackson , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 166
Agreeing with the above comments, there is something satisfying about being able to send a fellow restorer something they really wanted to replace but couldn't just order somewhere. If you have a little extra storage space, try to hang on to some of the bits known as "unobtainium". You will be surprised how often a request shows up on the forums for these things that are no longer available.

Re the frame on these trailers: all bets are off till as long as the belly pan's on...

Have fun and keep posting,

Alan
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:29 PM   #6
Iron tepee #35
 
1993 34' Excella
andalusia , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 64
One more reason to hold on to your parts and pieces; many items would be very useful as a template, or size reference during your rebuild.
Best of luck!
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:54 PM   #7
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1974 27' Overlander
Salt Spring Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Hi all, thanks for the replies and the encouragement!

I'm not in a rush to get rid of the interior so I'll hang onto it for now. Good to hear some of it is reusable. I can't see myself reinstalling the plastic bins and original light fixtures though. Just not quite to my taste...

Anyone know if there's interest out there for the original Univolt, furnace, stove, fridge or hot water heater? I think mine still work, but I'm going to upgrade these appliances to something a bit more modern--and a little less heavy/bulky! Are these only worth their weight as scrap?

Cheers,

Stuart
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:59 PM   #8
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1974 27' Overlander
Salt Spring Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Thanks Alan,

Had a busy couple days and am down to the sub-floor now. I've had a few peeks at the frame and so far so good...

More posts and photos to come!
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:54 AM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Oh good! We like pictures, you know. Our renovation, while taking us a few years, was totally worth it to us. In fact, we are still working on the "punch list" as able. I'd bet we'll never be totally done ...
We didn't reuse any of the appliances - never even figured out if they worked or not. New refrigerators have more usable space inside and better insulation anyway. We ended up with the same basic layout the trailer originally had with some tweaks like double bed instead of bunks, different layout for bathroom but still in same place, etc. We replaced pretty much everything including cabinets, plumbing, electrical, subfloor, bellypan, tanks, etc. I'd suggest time with mockup cabinets made out of cardboard and painters tape before you start rebuilding. It definitely helped us figure out what we wanted and where we could put it. What looks good on paper doesn't always work in real life, especially with a narrower trailer and curved walls. I found our bedroom area layout in the vintage section looking at '70s trailer layouts.
I wish you the best of luck and fun as you redo your trailer. It's a lot of work, but we had a blast! (And still are.)

Kay
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:02 AM   #10
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2016
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The univolt is scrap. The furnace is probably scrap as well, since it can be a CO hazard if not in good condition. If you are able to verify that the fridge cools, someone might want it or parts of it, but nobody wanted mine. I couldn't find a home for my stove, but yours is probably restorable, and the grates and knobs might be helpful to someone who is missing theirs. Water heater is probably worth offering as well if it's not broken. Mine was busted in half from PO's failure to winterize.

Things to save... Bunk bed hardware, gaucho parts, table hardware, plastic latches from cabinets, any tambo in good condition, aluminum extrusions holding the walls to the skins, interior walls for templates, upper cabinets for templates. In general, save anything you can until you've reinstalled its replacement.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:23 PM   #11
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1974 27' Overlander
Salt Spring Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Thanks TheGreatleys. Good to know. Unfortunately almost all the tambo doors had swollen and cracked with the moisture. I guess those are the prized salvage item. I've got the plastic tracks though. Maybe someone's interested in them. I'll list them in the appropriate forum when I've got time to put up some ads.

Good idea with the cardboard mock-ups, Minno. I'll do that for sure. It's a lot easier trying to imagine how things will fit now that I've got the interior gutted.

I'm leaning towards putting the bed in the back, bath on the side. I like the idea of creating a cozy sleeping nook in the back, and moving the weight of the bath above the axles. I'll be full-timing in it too, so having the bed set up permanently is a priority. As I've got the floor up anyway, moving tanks and plumbing doesn't seem too outrageous... (famous last words).

Anyone have strong arguments against this arrangement; putting a bed in the back and bath across from the kitchen?

Just put a few more photos on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/silverliningairstream/). It's a bit behind though. Here's a sneak peak of the interior as of yesterday. So much mold on the walls behind the cabinets and fridge! Folks with the original interiors should probably look away...
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:24 AM   #12
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1976 27' Overlander
Delta , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 57
Hey,

Good looking project. Good luck with it. We have a 76 Overlander and live in Delta, only thing I really would like is a new door, but pretty sure you'd never part with that.

Keep the pictures coming.

Kristien
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:14 AM   #13
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Our original plan was also to move the bedroom to the back, but I wanted to be able to walk around it, and we didn't want twin beds. It was doable, but when we mocked it up, we found that our already minimal exterior hatch storage disappeared almost completely. That storage would have shrunk down to only the rear hatch, the others would have been cancelled. Every trailer is a little different, so yours may not be that way.
We also found that hubby couldn't walk upright around the side of the bed: he's 5'9". ( I didn't have a problem at 4'10" ). If you're turning your bed sideways, it wouldn't matter.
We ended up keeping the bathroom in the rear, and rearranging it. Bed went in the center on curbside with cabinets built across from it. It lifts up so lots of storage. We were able to expand our curbside outside hatch storage to under the bed and added another hatch there.
There's just the two of us now, with kids grown and having their own camping set ups, so we didn't need to think about adding more sleeping arrangements.
You can do lots of things, so do what is most comfortable and makes the most sense for you. Try to keep things in balance side to side, though. It will make towing better.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you do!

Kay
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