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Old 08-25-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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Bent frame?

I am currently considering a 1966 Overlander and I have been told that I need to look out for the chance that the frame could be bent due to the head being located in the back of the trailer and the extra weight of holding tanks bending the frame over time. Is this a real concern and if so, how do you check for it?
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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Is it a real issue? Yes and no. The older Airstreams (before 1985) did indeed have shallow height frames. However, it was generally only a problem in the ones that are about 28' or longer. Really, the 31 footers are the ones that really a bad way.

I should know this but do an Overlander a shorter one? I thought they were like 23' or so. If that's the case, then you've probably got no worries.

But, beware of a 31 footer older than 1985. My '77 had the Sag and the Separation, mainly because the frame was too shallow and flexed too much.

best of luck,
- Jim
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Check the forums for "rear end separation", there are tons of posts on what it is, and what it takes to fix it. Most trailers of that era have some problems with the floor in the rear (my 68 Trade Wind was terrible). Water is the cause but there are several ways things get wet back there. All can be addressed but do be aware that if you do find separation and or a soft or rotted bathroom floor you are looking at major work. All of this is covered many times over in the forums so I won't get into detail other than to say it is a lot of work so don't underestimate the time/money involved to fix it.

Good luck. The Overlander is a great trailer.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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It's 26'. So do you think I have an issue here? I'm so new to all of this that I don't really know what I could be getting myself into. Or how to evaluate the potential of a problem.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:35 PM   #5
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Bent frame?

Greetings c.zellermaye!

Welcome to the Forums!

Originally Posted by c.zellermaye View Post
It's 26'. So do you think I have an issue here? I'm so new to all of this that I don't really know what I could be getting myself into. Or how to evaluate the potential of a problem.
Of the two possible problems, frame sag is unlikely in a 1966 Overlander -- not impossible but unlikely. Frame sag can be identified by a bulge in the side skin behind the wheel wells or sometimes over the wheel wells. In serious cases, you can even see a crack in the frame in the vicinity of the axle mounting plate. There is a factory repair kit for this problem, and it is a somewhat expensive repair.

Rear end separation, however, is quite possible. With rear end separation, the body structure has become separated from the frame allowing the body and frame to move independently of one another. This condition can be idnetified by bumper movement away from the body under pressure -- example have a partner sit or stand on the rear bumper and observe for an opening that may develop between the frame extension to which the bumper is attached and the body. If a gap develops, there is at least some rear end separation present -- and in most cases some rot in the rear floor area -- usually near the perimeter of the one-stop-service-compartment (rear trunk).

I had rear end separation repaired in my Overlander nearly a decade ago, and even then it was nearly $2,000 for the repair itself and the patching of the floor in a small spot where rot was discovered.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:36 PM   #6
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Improper maintennance, (sealing at the rear end) allows water to migrate to the plywood, dry rot, impacting the rear skid bars, wheel balance, all are cummulative to the degrading of the rear shell to frame attachments.

I've not seen an Overlander with a bent frame, have run into 3 Globetrotters mid 60's with cracked frames at the axle mounting locations.
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