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Old 12-09-2007, 05:04 PM   #1
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The start of '73 Overlander restoration

Hi everybody:

I am going to try to attach a few pictures of my Overlander restoration project. So far it has been going well because I have been reading and taking notes from this forum. I have removed the bumper skin and the aft part of the belly pan by cutting it off because it was in very bad shape. I removed the bumper and took out the hot water heater. I have gutted the bathroom and did all of this on a Saturday and half a sunday. The only serious rot is in the aft part of the trailer starting on the left side of the toilet. it continues all the way out the back on the right side of the trailer. I ripped up the rest of the carpeting and found to small rotten spots about 4 inches in diameter, but everything else looks good. I am going to assess the damage and decide what course of action to take.

I am not going to do the full monte because I am working a full time job teaching and I am back in school working on a higher degree. I plan on reading all these forums and looking at what my options will be. I may even consider hiring somebody to replace the wood in the toilet area and finish the rest by my self. My goal is to have this ready to camp by the end of Christmas vacation.

Check out the pics and tell me what you think.

SIU Bound
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Well, you've got a good start, just keep moving while you've got a good head of steam.

End of Christmas vacation may be a bit optimistic, but we'll see.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:48 PM   #3
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Anything's possible! I remodeled my 72 Overlander while living in it, on the weekends. First weekend was a dilly--took out the twin beds, cut the tub in half, moved the bedroom wall aft 18", installed a double bed with storage underneath. Improvised a seal between the new shower (on half a tub) and wall which hasn't failed in 5 years.

The rest of the work was slower, but making the tub shorter (and thus moving the bed aft) and rotating the sink 90 degrees opened up a lot of countertop space in the kitchen.

One thing's for sure about camping--if the sink, toilet, fridge, and bed are functional, you can camp. It doesn't have to be pretty (unless you're married, then you only have to promise it will be pretty).

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Old 12-15-2007, 12:51 PM   #4
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73 overlander blackwater tank is out

I have pulled the black water tank and assessed the corrosion. It really does not look that bad. Every thing is pretty close to the back. I will rent a sand blaster tomorrow and blast all the metal. I do have some weak spots by the back which will need reinforcement. The floor is only rotten in the back by the back door away from the bathtub and in the right corner.. Everything else looks exceptionally good. I really do not think I am going to take out the whole floor. I am looking at small localized area.

SIU Bound
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:15 PM   #5
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It is perfectly fine to replace just parts of the floor. Even the Airstream manual on my '73 listed techniques for that. Basically what you need to do is cut out the bad part and splice in a new piece. Add a strip of plywood below the joint between the new and old perhaps 4" wide and attach with screws and glue.

Malcolm
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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keep the momentum up - once some thing stalls you make a note and skip on to next detail; its the minutiae & small hassles that use up the fun quotient...

Welcome to the IRC gallery :: Airstream-I <--- My '73 project
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIU Bound
Hi everybody:

I am going to try to attach a few pictures of my Overlander restoration project. So far it has been going well because I have been reading and taking notes from this forum. I have removed the bumper skin and the aft part of the belly pan by cutting it off because it was in very bad shape. I removed the bumper and took out the hot water heater. I have gutted the bathroom and did all of this on a Saturday and half a sunday. The only serious rot is in the aft part of the trailer starting on the left side of the toilet. it continues all the way out the back on the right side of the trailer. I ripped up the rest of the carpeting and found to small rotten spots about 4 inches in diameter, but everything else looks good. I am going to assess the damage and decide what course of action to take.

I am not going to do the full monte because I am working a full time job teaching and I am back in school working on a higher degree. I plan on reading all these forums and looking at what my options will be. I may even consider hiring somebody to replace the wood in the toilet area and finish the rest by my self. My goal is to have this ready to camp by the end of Christmas vacation.

Check out the pics and tell me what you think.

SIU Bound
It appears from your one photo of the exterior shell, that your axles may be bad.

If that's the case, at some point you should include that in your budget.

Andy
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Old 12-23-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
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Progress being made on 73 Overlander

I got the floor out by using a grinder with a cutting disk. I cut all the bolts and took out all those hidden phillip head screws. I set my saw blade 1" on my saw and cut out parts of the floor to save as a template. I started to use a grinder and a wire wheel on the frame. I have to buy metal for the box to hold the black tank and have the 1/8" angle iron installed to hold the tank. I am not a welder so I have not decided how to accomplish this future task. I am going to post some pics for you to look at. I will have to say my trailer looks a bit on the cluttered side.

SIU Bound
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:31 PM   #9
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Looking good, just take 'er step by step and you'll be fine. You can have your local hvac shop make you up a new galvanized pan for the black tank, and just get some angle-iron to hold the pan. No need for any welding, just drill and bolt (or rivet) the angle to the existing rails (if it's like my '72). You might find it easier to just replace the whole rear sheet of plywood, not sure how much you've gutted out. But don't rush it, or cut corners- you'd be sorry later. And Have fun!-tim
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:42 PM   #10
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I cut out the plywood to the middle of the first stringer. The rest of the plywood is good except one small spot in the front of the trailer. I really do not see a need to take out the partitions when that wood is in good shape. I will use self taping screws and to put the new into the stringer. I will also use cleats for extra reinforcement. Well I was only going to take out a small corner section of plywood then I removed the whole back part. I am taking your advice and going one step at a time. Who knows I may take out the whole section out.

SIU Bound
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:45 PM   #11
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The metal where the brackets that hold the angle iron in place is very thin. I know I am going to have fix that area. I have a welding buddy coming over to look at it.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:13 AM   #12
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plywood size and Por

I have read many threads about plywood size. I used a ruler on the part I cut out and the ruler read 3/4". That is what I am going to buy. I was wondering why some people talk about 5/8" for plywood sizes for their different types of airstream? Is 3/4 inch plywood the standard size used for 73 overlanders?

Is there a store like home depot, lowes, or ace that sell Por stop rust? I want to get it locally.

SIU bound
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:47 AM   #13
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Plywood

In our '74, the plywood floors are 3/4" thick all through the trailer. One of the many challenges in replacing the floor is that the original floor is a full 3/4" thick, while most plywood sold today is a little thinner because one face is sanded. The grade stamp on the plywood I bought said 23/32", but it measured more like 11/16".

If you can work it so that the transition from the old to new floor is under a wall or tub or something, that will make putting in a new floor covering easier. Be sure you don't get pressure treated plywood because the new chemical treatments can cause corrosion when in contact with steel. Look for an exterior grade plywood and consider putting a primer on both sides and all edges. The original plywood was untreated, but I would think a little primer is an inexpensive safety measure.

I bought a small POR kit from Vintage Trailer Supply since it is unavailable locally. Good luck with the rest of the project.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:02 PM   #14
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Larger communities that have a paint supply house that provides paint to autobody shops will carry POR-15.

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Old 01-05-2008, 02:51 PM   #15
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Update of 73 Overlander restoration

I put por-15 on the frame, but I need to get some welding and reinforcement completed to the frame. That has been put on hold because my welding buddy has a bad back. I did get my stove top powder coated which came out looking awesome. My wife made drapries for the bedroom and bathroom (they look great). I put Abatron liquid wood restoration on some small dry rot spots and I will finish with Abatron epoxy later.

I tried to get some pics of the frame with por-15 but I can't get the camera to focus. I took about 7 pics today and only was able to get a couple to come out. I am doing something wrong with that camera. I will post my two good pics. One of the powder coated stove top and the drapes.

SIU Bound

Brian
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIU Bound
I have read many threads about plywood size. I used a ruler on the part I cut out and the ruler read 3/4". That is what I am going to buy. I was wondering why some people talk about 5/8" for plywood sizes for their different types of airstream? Is 3/4 inch plywood the standard size used for 73 overlanders?
SIU bound
The plywood in my 1973 was also 3/4". From what I have read some of the older units used 5/8" plywood. If you find that you can not get plywood that is exactly 3/4" you could consider using some sort of shim under the plywood if matching the height to the remaining plywood seems to be an issue. One material that comes to mind is plastic counter top laminate. Of course you might not want to have to buy a whole sheet so it would depend on what you might have around or if you can find some scraps somewhere.

Malcolm
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:44 AM   #17
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I used Advantec (sp?) in my Overlander and while it wasn't exactly the same thickness as the original, it was very close. By replacing the entire width (up to the bathroom/bedroom partition) the difference wasn't noticeable because it was covered by a transition strip (carpet to linoleum).

I used standard 3/4" plywood in the Sovereign but I think if I had it to do over again, I'd use the Advantec because it is probably less likely to absorb moisture, given all the glue contained in it.

If you replace right up to the partition, you'll never notice the slight difference in thickness.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:52 PM   #18
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Converter upgrade

I took the old univolt fuse panel and with the help of a friend I had the new parallax 3230 attached to the old fuse panel.

SIU Bound
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:45 PM   #19
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I don't think I'll be replacing my floor yet, but I've used some epoxy plywood which is designed as "fire resistant" for construction. I've put it through horrible conditions, even having left some exposed on the ground just to see how it holds up. Stuff does not seem to delaminate easily. It is a bit heavier...but thinking of a rot resitant floor...might be a good way to go. Cost more, but how many time would we want to replace the floor...once would do for me Just a thought.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:28 PM   #20
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New Box to Hold Black Tank

I bought the exact sheet metal the orginal Box was made of and I and some friends built a new metal box. I have been very blessed to work at a career technical center where I can seek advice and help who are experts and my friends. The fellows helping me are instructors who teach auto body repair.

We measured the old box and included the length of the bent lip in our measurements. Then we cut the sheet metal to size. We drew squares on the four corners and cut one of the lines of the squares so we could bend and wrap the metal around to make the corners.

After we bent the metal using angle iron for the crease we riveted the corners together with 1/8" rivets. Check out the pics. I will send pics in next reply. Computer freezing

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Brian
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