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Old 02-01-2020, 07:05 AM   #1
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Apopka , Florida
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Looking to find our first airstream overlander and Reno project

First time poster and complete newbie to the travel trailer world. Any tips on what to look out for so when we find the one we would like purchase? We’re looking to buy one that we can renovate and fix up. Put the wrong model in the heading but we’re looking at the overlander
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:31 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,856
Welcome to the Forums!

There is tons of information here on the Forums. Many people like you are looking for a vintage trailer and have asked your same question. Try doing a search for terms like "what to look for vintage" and you should get many hits.

On the Portal tab of these forums, you can find The Trailer Inspector's Checklist. This will walk you through practically all the things to check when buying a trailer. Fact is, though, that if you are looking for a trailer to rennovate, then it will probably fail most of the checks on the checklist.

To get calibrated as to how much of a project you are willing to take on, read some of the "full monty" rennovations. Search terms would be "full monty" and "full monte."

Finally, get hold of the early episodes of The Vintage Airstream Podcast (The VAP). You can listen to the episodes on your daily commute and absorb a lot of information about finding, recovering, and restoring a vintage trailer.

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:34 AM   #3
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1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
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Since you are looking to renovate a trailer, it all depends on how much work you are willing to do yourself or pay to have done.

In general, trailers that require extensive work, especially to the frame, subfloor, and running gear can be had relatively cheap; those that only need cosmetic refreshes but are in otherwise good shape will command higher prices.

Your best option is to take advantage of forum members here who have experience in inspecting used trailers. If you go to the "portal" section of the website, on the right hand side you can input your state and the type of inspector you seek and see a list of people with such experience. There are many in Florida.

I have seen "field-find" vintage trailers that were little more than corroded shells be restored to stunning show-stoppers (after many years and lots of $$$ and hard work) so anything is possible, it all depends on the depth of your wallet and the willingness to do the hard work.

The forums are filled with threads of uncounted trailers and their owners in epic rebuilds, the challenges they faced, the solutions they implemented, and the proud results they achieved, along with sharing all their despair, pleas for help, and joyous triumphs (not to mention fascinating and informative pictures!). For virtually any scenarios you might face, it has probably been done before, several times in several different ways; everything you need to know, how to do it, why or why it may not be a good idea, the choices pro and con...all that is here.

But now a word of caution; the classified ads here are filled with aborted refurbishments; owners who started with the best of intentions, gutted their trailer, then decided they did not have the space, the expertise, the money, the time, whatever to finish. "Vintage trailer already gutted and ready for your dreams..."

Likewise, there are threads where the owners swear they only intended to fix a crack here, paint a little there, only to end up doing a complete "shell-off" restoration.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:24 AM   #4
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1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Also, formulate an idea of the size you want regarding interior size, but also think about the length for towing, what size Tow Vehicle will be needed.

Hope you find the one that fits your desires. Keep us posted with lots of photos.
Harold & Rebecca

Our thread:
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:09 AM   #5
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1972 27' Overlander
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 1
I'm actually on here to help a friend sell their 1970s Overlander. It was in top shape, when they purchased it. However, they rented it to someone and they took all kinds of stuff out and in the end, it's nearly gutted. I believe the toilet is still there, but unusable and pretty much a lot of the bathroom is still intact. The kitchen has a few cabinets. It's definitely something to be fixed up. The plumbing and wiring need to be completely done. We are near the Fort Worth, Texas area. Let me know, if you're interested and I'll get some pictures together for you
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