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Old 07-25-2009, 06:24 PM   #1
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Opinions, please. Thinking of buying

I found my dream. A 1970 Overlander International, made one month before I was born (if it would have been the same month, I would consider it fate and just buy it). But I need some help with questions, and also some guidance on cost.

-If the wheels are original, should I assume they are split and budget accordingly?

-The axles aren't seized, but the arms have 0 down angle. Is this a 'must do' right now? (I am budgeting for axles regardless). When (not if) I go Dexter, how much should I assume?

-Is dent removal even possible? There are a couple of zingers.

-It has the double bed, but I wanted twins. Has anyone done a conversion? Seems simple enough.

-Everything works (but again, I am budgeting for total appliance replacement), is anything dangerous to use in the meantime? I have heard of furnaces being a death sentence.

-Not having a grey tank will be an adjustment. Anyone know the black capacity?

-What should I look for? Anything specific to this model/year?

-I forgot to check, would an original fridge work on electric as well as gas?

-Dumb question time-----The spec sheet says the hitch ball height is 19". I forgot to bring a tape. Does that mean 19" to the inside-top of the coupler? If so, Progress is going to get a piece of my mind on what they charge for hitch shanks.

-Floor rot - What would be a rough time estimate and procedure on replacing the subfloor under the front goucho?

There is lots of (but not exclusively) plexiglass in the exterior windows. Was any standard? What is a good estimate for time and materials to do window seals?

I am sure I will have more questions later, this is just all I can think of at the moment. I did what I think is a pretty thorough inspection, and will feel pretty good about what to offer after I can put a number on a few obvious repairs/replacements.

In advance-
Thank you all for taking the time to help a greenhorn. It is very much appreciated.

Best Regards All,
Signed,
"He just doesn't want to make a huge mistake"; AKA - Wuttevr
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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Lots of questions...

Wheels - Take a look at them and see if they are split rims. I bought 1 steel rim for a spare for around $40. Many 70's trailers had aluminum wheels, which are keepers.

If the axles are 0 degrees and have movement, you should be able to get some more miles out of them. Axle replacement is your choose each brand has it's advantages.

Dent removal is possible, it depends on the dent and it's location. Replacement panels can still be purchased.

I prefer the double bed setup in my Trade Wind. You will loose a lot of storage space if you convert. Just something to think about...

The black tank should be around 12 gallons

The fridge should work on both gas and electric

The 19" hitch height was when the trailer and axles were new. The trailer has dropped an inch or two over the years. Level the trailer and measure. Then guess how much the TV will drop when attached.

The windows were all glass originally. Plexiglas was used by someone to repair a broken window.

I hope these answers help, I am sure others will add to the list.
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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Lot's of questions, but just consider that whatever you budget you will most likely exceed it. Stuff just shows up while you are working on something else.

Time to fix the floor really depends on several variables such as size of rot, severity of rot ( can it be fixed with Rot Doctor), your skill with metal and wood working. I have just finished the rear floor in my Trade Wind and it took 3 times longer than I had planned, so don't underestimate time to do things. You will be surprised in how much time projects can take, I was. It is fun and very rewarding.

Windows, again depends. I had one I replaced with glass in about an hour, I had another that took nearly all day due to the sealer and goop the PO had put around and on the window to try and stop leaks.



Good luck, sound like you have found a pretty good A/S.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:21 PM   #4
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Our window (curb side) busted out a while back due to a rock from a weed eater....It cost us 400.00 to buy new from inland, but we did the right thing by sticking to the rules of restoration and stayed original. Our Airstream is very solid and has been well taken care of by the PO s....and the other fellow was right about loosing storage for the sake of one bed. Theres lots of space under those twins!
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumpster View Post
I found my dream. A 1970 Overlander International, made one month before I was born (if it would have been the same month, I would consider it fate and just buy it). But I need some help with questions, and also some guidance on cost.

-If the wheels are original, should I assume they are split and budget accordingly?

-The axles aren't seized, but the arms have 0 down angle. Is this a 'must do' right now? (I am budgeting for axles regardless). When (not if) I go Dexter, how much should I assume?

-Is dent removal even possible? There are a couple of zingers.

-It has the double bed, but I wanted twins. Has anyone done a conversion? Seems simple enough.

-Everything works (but again, I am budgeting for total appliance replacement), is anything dangerous to use in the meantime? I have heard of furnaces being a death sentence.

-Not having a grey tank will be an adjustment. Anyone know the black capacity?

-What should I look for? Anything specific to this model/year?

-I forgot to check, would an original fridge work on electric as well as gas?

-Dumb question time-----The spec sheet says the hitch ball height is 19". I forgot to bring a tape. Does that mean 19" to the inside-top of the coupler? If so, Progress is going to get a piece of my mind on what they charge for hitch shanks.

-Floor rot - What would be a rough time estimate and procedure on replacing the subfloor under the front goucho?

There is lots of (but not exclusively) plexiglass in the exterior windows. Was any standard? What is a good estimate for time and materials to do window seals?

I am sure I will have more questions later, this is just all I can think of at the moment. I did what I think is a pretty thorough inspection, and will feel pretty good about what to offer after I can put a number on a few obvious repairs/replacements.

In advance-
Thank you all for taking the time to help a greenhorn. It is very much appreciated.

Best Regards All,
Signed,
"He just doesn't want to make a huge mistake"; AKA - Wuttevr
The ball height of 19 inches, is correct when the axles are good. As the axles deteriorate, the ball height goes down.

The correct way to judge the axle condition, is when the trailer is "loaded" for travel. At that point, the trailing arms should not be worse than parallel to the chassis. The second test is how much does the tire drop, when it's lifted off the ground. About 3 inches is what your looking for. Be aware, that all Henschen axles used from prior to 1974, have rubber rods that have an incorrect composition of rubber, therefore they will fail, unforunately.

Window gasket replacement take about 45 minutes per.

Rear end separation is common in the 1970 models.

All the windows for a 70, are still available.

The brakes should be upgraded, since some of the parts for the round type magnet brakes, are no longer available.

Make sure you check the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets, as they only last 2 to 3 years.

Check the frame for possible cracks, in the area of the axle mounting plates.

Check the front end, for missing or loose rivets in the hold down plate.

Some owners are upgrading the exterior light with LED's, as the tail lights are no longer available, and usually have a bad case of rust.

Andy
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:10 AM   #6
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My answers, bear in mine I'm kinda weird (my wife keeps telling me that.....) My reference is my 1970 safari

-If the wheels are original, should I assume they are split and budget accordingly? -------Mine were just ugly, not split rims

-The axles aren't seized, but the arms have 0 down angle. Is this a 'must do' right now? (I am budgeting for axles regardless). When (not if) I go Dexter, how much should I assume? ------- I camped 2 seasons and a lot of miles on a bad axle. Not good, but not necessarily unsafe (warning, can-o-worms alert) I did my replacement for less than $300.

-Is dent removal even possible? There are a couple of zingers. ------- See my "days of destruction" thread and many others.

-It has the double bed, but I wanted twins. Has anyone done a conversion? Seems simple enough. ------- Yep, do you not have a spouse?

-Everything works (but again, I am budgeting for total appliance replacement), is anything dangerous to use in the meantime? I have heard of furnaces being a death sentence. ------- "everything works" - really? I want this trailer! Be careful with 40 year old propane burners. It only took about a month for my eyebrows to grow back. My furnace was way rotten. I shouldn't have even tried to fix it.

-Not having a gray tank will be an adjustment. Anyone know the black capacity? ------- Nope, sorry.

-What should I look for? Anything specific to this model/year? ------- Taillight deterioration. I completely rebuilt mine with LEDs after trying to stay original. Bad idea. LEDs perform much better, are more reliable and brighter.

-I forgot to check, would an original fridge work on electric as well as gas? ------- yes, see warning above re: propane.

-Dumb question time-----The spec sheet says the hitch ball height is 19". I forgot to bring a tape. Does that mean 19" to the inside-top of the coupler? If so, Progress is going to get a piece of my mind on what they charge for hitch shanks. ------- ?

-Floor rot - What would be a rough time estimate and procedure on replacing the subfloor under the front goucho? ------- 10 hours tear-out, 8-16 hours replacement depending on tools and ability, 10 hours put back together. This will vary depending on how many interior skins you need to pull to gain access to the bottom track containing fasteners. Then of couse you will need to repair the rusty rotted out frame sections you didn't know about. Add 1 week.

There is lots of (but not exclusively) plexiglass in the exterior windows. Was any standard? What is a good estimate for time and materials to do window seals? ------- thats on my "to do" list.

----------------
Let me add my "how I would do it again" advice....

1. Make it safe to use. This means safe to tow, and safe to sleep in. Make sure nothing is going to fall off the trailer. This includes bellypan, bumper, storage doors, AC covers, awning. Make sure you hitch is working correctly. Replace the safety chains. REPLACE THE BRAKES. Get the taillights working, Rig temporary ones if you have to.

Safe to sleep means don't light that furnace to use at night unless you know that it won't kill you. Same goes for electric heaters. Don't run a high amp heater on 40 year old wiring without checking it out first.

2. Get it as watertight as you reasonably can. This will suspend the decay.

3. Get it clean. This just makes it nicer to use.

4. After you've camped a few times, figure out what priority the repairs should be. Personally, I would hold off on the floor and dent repairs until I figure out if I really want a gray tank, or to relocate the beds, or other major changes. Things will just flow better once you have time to develop a plan. Plus, it really helps to use stuff first then learn what you want.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:19 AM   #7
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You guys do realize he already bought this trailer several months ago, and is rehabbing it?
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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We have one like yours...it's going to be your favorite hobby- taking on projects that you feel you can afford, and do it gradually and enjoy yourself. You and your Airstream are going to be together for a loooooong time.
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