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Old 05-28-2016, 05:46 AM   #1
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1975 27' Overlander
Spring Lake , Michigan
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Proud New Owner!

Hey all, I recently acquired a 1975 27' overlander and I am so excited to get started on the renovations! It is going to be a complete gut job (fingers crossed no major trailer damage, the thought of having to detach the shell terrifies me), and will be renovating it to feel more like a "tiny house" rather than restoring it to it's 1970's charm. How many of you have renovated vs. restored? I would love to see some before and after pictures and would like to know more about all of you!
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:20 AM   #2
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Welcome, Ray. I'm doing the same with my 74. Lots of pictures on the blog thegreatleys.com
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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1975 27' Overlander
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Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Welcome, Ray. I'm doing the same with my 74. Lots of pictures on the blog thegreatleys.com
Your blog is amazing! It it looks like we have practically the same airstream and I will be doing almost exactly the same type of reno as you! I was hoping to not have to lift the shell to fix the frame, but it's looking like that's what's going to be needed, how long did yours take and how expensive was it (if you don't mind sharing).
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:26 PM   #4
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1974 27' Overlander
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The dates on the blog are accurate. We bought it July of last year, I've been working on it every weekend and spare moment, and it's not done. We paid $5k for the coach, but that's really just the "downpayment." There were some available for less, but the ones we found were in really poor shape, and we needed to get started if we were going to have any hope of having a workable trailer in time.

I am purposely avoiding adding up the receipts for the reno ... it's a lot more than I had hoped. But my fiance constantly reminds me that I'm building a house for us to live in full-time, so it makes sense to get exactly what we want. Since there's so little space, all the little things make a lot bigger difference. If you hit "parts" in the top right corner, you can see all the major things I bought and how much they cost.

The shell-off is really not as big of a deal as it looks. Fact is, anyone who can get away with replacing sections of the floor without taking the shell off is doing it the hard way. The downside isn't that it's harder, it's that the more you disassemble, the more problems you'll find and want to fix. For my project, I'd rather know every little thing that's wrong so I have a shot at fixing it. It's going to be my house, so I don't want any nasty hidden surprises that'll make me rip things out that I just installed. Lots of people get away with doing less than I've done, but most of those people are using their trailers for vacations, not for full-timing.

Anyway, good luck with your project. We do have almost identical trailers, so let me know if I can help in any way. Chances are if you're trying to do something, I just did exactly that thing less than a year before.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:36 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums:

Just a thought, are you planning on travelling with this trailer after renovating it or will you be parking it forever?

If you plan on parking it forever, renovate away and make it into whatever tiny home you want. You don't have to worry about weight or weigh distribution.

If however you're planning on travelling with your trailer, you will need to consider many things differently. Renovating a trailer is more science than design, as where and how much weight is put into a trailer will directly affect how it will tow. I would first weigh your trailer, and tonque weight empty and then full of what you would take camping. These weights, empty, full and tonque weights will give you a reference point.

I'm glad you got a trailer with a complete interior as you will need to section off the trailer into four sections (two ahead of axles and two behind) and weigh whatever comes out of those sections. This will give you a guide to how much weight you can replace and where. As you renovate you will need to consider storage and how that weight will affect your total, so also keep tabs on what items you added for camping and what section they came out of. You can play around with this to a certain point but staying within the stock parameters will allow you to tow it safely after the reno.

To a great many people this turns out to be a bigger project than they expected and one that will test you ingenuity. For example I built new cabinets for my Airstream that have no bottoms, no backs, no tops, except for the counter top and very little in the way of gables (just enough to mount drawer slides). It took me far longer to build these cabinets than it would have a traditional cabinet structure, but I needed to save weight. If you add weigh somewhere, you need to take weight out somewhere else.

Now you know why all the exotic super lightweight super cars like the Porsche GT series, super light Ferrari's and Lambo's cost far more than their ordinary models; even though they has far less in them.

Cheers
Tony
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