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Old 11-08-2014, 06:15 PM   #1
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Brookwood , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
1968 Overlander International, Our First AS

My boyfriend and I have been looking at and researching Airstreams for a little over a year now and finally bought one in October. We found a 1968 Overlander that was partially gutted and brought her home October 1st, 2014.

The front and back glass was gone, one curved side glass also. The interior was partially gutted as well.

Once we started doing the tear out we found the rear bath had leaked and the frame was pretty well shot underneath. We ended up jacking the shell up and taking the shell off. Very glad we decided to attempt this and it wasn't that hard to do.

Once the shell was off we stripped the frame (it had spray foam liberally applied), then took it for sand blasting.

Since the frame was pretty well rusted through towards the rear we ended up welding and fixing the outriggers that essentially rotted off. Still have a few more spots to weld and then it will be coated one more time with POR-15

1 Oct 2014, finally got her home




5 Oct 2014, interior as it looked when we bought it




rear bath


26 Oct 2014, inner skins pulled and insulation gutted...man, that was some stinking stuff, looks like a rodent ant farm behind the panel at one point



29 Oct 2014, shell off




rusted frame...


8 Nov 2014, frame welded & partially painted. Waiting on a couple more welds tomorrow and then we'll apply the final coat of POR-15


So far its going good, we are waiting for the rest of the marine plywood to come in then we are going to build some gantrys to lower the shell back on, we think the gantry system will make it much easier than trying to line things up via the jacks.

I'll try to update as much as possible as the project continues!
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:34 AM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hello and welcome. Yahoo! You folks have a major project there. The 68 Overlander International is one of my favorites. They were well built and and the last year of the old body style. The 69s are much different.

It appears you have done your research and are rebuilding the frame and subfloor the way it should be done. Axles and brakes are likely needed.

With the interior skins off, you can address the aluminum wiring and seam leaks. You'll have to rebuild the windows, but the curved glass is available through VTS. And you are likely going to want to rebuild the interior cabinets.

Get ready, you and your partner are likely going to spend years rebuilding this old lady. It will be worth it in the end.

David
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:06 PM   #3
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Brookwood , Alabama
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Hey David

Thanks for the comments! My name is Shannon, btw and my boyfriend is Mark. We've had the bug for a while, fortunately Mark is very handy and has been doing the work for the restore. I am in consulting (self-employed) and he's retired so we have the benefit of time to work on the old girl. Tentatively we're calling this our Beach Rocket, its our way to get back to the coast after living in Central Alabama.

So as it stands now we're waiting on the marine plywood and new black tank, we'll be ordering new axles at the end of the month as well. I know those are going to take 4-6 weeks or so to arrive. The plan is to just keep plugging away at what we can.

Curved glass is already ordered from VTS! We'll be adding Fan-tastic Vents, a new Astradome, new wiring, and two new flat glass windows as well.

We were tossing around the idea of a center bathroom but we're not 100% on it, we think a double bed to the side like the original configuration will be adequate.

Some things we're considering - pre-wiring for solar panels, tankless water heater, bamboo flooring and interior cabinets are going to be rebuilt. phew! we definitely have our work cut out for us.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:06 AM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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I now understand the logic in taking on this old Overlander. Two capable people with the desire to travel to the coast! It will take lots of time and money, but the goal makes it worth it.

Check out the Overlander category in Airstream Knowledge Base toward the bottom of the home page. Click on Overlander. There you will find all kinds of folks who have done what you are doing. Reading some of the threads will keep you up at night. They are very interesting. And this is an excellent category to "ask the experts" as you can get answers to specific questions you may have.

The Air Forums term for a total rebuild is "full monte". It is not very many Airstreamers, including me, that have lifted the shell from the frame and made the necessary refurbishments. You folks are well on your way. You might want to start a thread in the Overlander category to post pictures and describe your project's trials and tribulations. There will be some.

I've been working on this old Trade Wind. I have more to do. It is one size smaller than your Overlander at 24 feet. It is a twin bed model, and not the fancy International trim level. I have enjoyed learning about this old trailer and rebuilding the bath and installing new appliances.

David
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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1960 26' Overlander
Wervicq-Sud , FRANCE
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Hi !

Good project ! And good luck for the restoration

I follow you on this thread...

a++
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:46 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
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A 68 overlander is one of the best airstreams period. It looks like you know what you are doing. Keep up the good work.
I have a 66 tradewind that I really love.

Dan
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
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If you look at the Overlanders of that era compared to a newer Airstream, the shape is so much better. The rounded narrower shell look awesome.
I am always pleased to see my 66 in the driveway.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:27 AM   #8
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Some folks call the sixties trailers the "twinkies" due to there shape. They have 5 segment end caps and the body is narrower at the top than the bottom. In 69 the body shaped changed to "loaf" shape with the more rounded 3 segment end caps and round corner windows. These bodies are wider in the middle creating more interior volume.

The difference is evident in the Air Forums "header" photo at the top of the page. The last trailer in line is a sixties type, and the other trailers are the newer body style.

I like them both.

David
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Some folks call the sixties trailers the "twinkies" due to there shape. They have 5 segment end caps and the body is narrower at the top than the bottom.
David
Good note there...I really never noticed the details of the picture in the header...guess I have been on here way too long..
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:17 PM   #10
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AlanSD, you're a charter member of Air Forums for sure! Thanks for all you contributed through the years.

David
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:59 AM   #11
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Yep was one of the founding alumaniacs. Back then we had like 8 or 10 people on here.
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:58 PM   #12
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Brookwood , Alabama
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Thanks for all the replies! As for doing it right this forum has been a wealth of information and has really helped with our research. I think nearly every hurdle we've come across has been guided by you guys.

The cold weather has set us back a bit, too windy to weld and too cold to paint! So we're hunkered inside with the two dogs until some reasonable temperatures present themselves.

For now we are waiting on the black tank to be drop shipped, our fans, replacement glass and plywood are also on the way. Once we get the black tank in and the trailer re-decked we'll put the shell back up and button her back up!

I'll be sure to add more pics when the weather allows
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:11 AM   #13
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1986 34' Limited
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You weather report sounds like you're from Minnesota. Too cold and windy to work outside. Our Airstream projects get slowed considerably in the winter months.

Give us an update when it warms up a bit.

David
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:52 PM   #14
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No kidding, it was really bad these past few days. Nothing like "up north" but 18F is too cold for me!

Today the weather returned to reasonable temps and we started wiring the trailer, getting the last of the minor welds done and even started the decking process with marine grade plywood.



My boyfriend, Mark, even fixed up the old step and fabbed some new parts where it was needed

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Old 11-20-2014, 06:10 PM   #15
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Geez, you better hang on to that Mark fella. He does good work! I'll bet he works cheap like me!

Be sure to seal up the sawed edges on that new plywood. It absorbs water like a sponge otherwise. I understand marine grade wood doesn't mean waterproof.

David
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:28 PM   #16
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I am definitely hanging onto Mark, he's just OCD enough for this sort of project

Thanks for the tip on the plywood!
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:26 PM   #17
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It's been a busy couple of weeks for us and the weather finally allowed for some work on the AS. Here's the latest pics

I love this old central control panel, any suggestions on how to restore this panel?


2014 Nov 24, trailer deck, dry fitted and half coated with POR-15


2014 Dec 2, new wheel wells...we ended up taking these to a local shop just to save the time, two new wheel wells & the new black tank pan for $400.00, I am happy with that


2014 Dec 2, new black tank pan


2014 Dec 5, trailer completely re-decked and done
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:38 PM   #18
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Happy weekend to you folks! Nothing like some progress on the Overlander. I paid about the same for my waste water tank cover. I covered both my new gray and black tanks. In fact, I am working on the dump valve cover today.

Your new subfloor looks very solid. You mentioned you painted it with POR-15. Nah, I bet not. POR 15 is expensive stuff for rusty metals, not new woods.

Here's my waste water tank cover, pan, box or whatever folks call them. I insulated it and ran a heat duct to it to keep my dirty water nice and warm before I drain it out. Silly things we do in Minnesota.

David
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:24 AM   #19
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1964 22' Safari
1968 26' Overlander
Beaver County , Pennsylvania
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Great work! It becomes a bit addictive...
We appreciate the updates and photos. We're about to start on our 68 Overlander as well. Delayed a little while we finish a couple of upgrades to our 64 Safari. (New door and new television mounting). We're hoping we won't need to lift the body on the 68, but until you really start digging, you don't know.

We'll be following your work with keen interest. Enjoy the process.

Roy and Marie
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Your new subfloor looks very solid. You mentioned you painted it with POR-15. Nah, I bet not. POR 15 is expensive stuff for rusty metals, not new woods.
For the benefit of others coming into the thread later on I thought I should explain our rationale for using POR-15 on the plywood/trailer deck.

It really was a "kill two birds" situation - we had some POR-15 leftover and instead of letting the can sit around for years or potentially go bad we decided to use it & our plywood needed waterproofing. Are there cheaper ways to go about it? sure there are but it's what we had leftover and on hand. It's probably not a route everyone will take especially given the expense.

Before applying we did a test piece - a scrap of marine plywood fully painted with POR-15 (top, bottom, sides) then submerged in water for 48 hrs. Not only did the water bead off the top of the board but when cut in half there was zero water absorption.

Per their own website, POR-15 can be used for "to waterproof insulation or wood"
POR-15 Technical Information
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