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Old 09-30-2006, 12:57 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
'65 Overlander partial recondition log, Mendocino, CA

Hello all

We bought a 65 Overlander via craigslist for $1000. Our purpose is to have an office and a place to camp on our property as we build a house this fall. We are going custom rather than original. Eventually we'd like to fully restore and then travel, but just don't have the time or resources right now---too busy building a house!

Our new rig had several issues:

- blown tire, and the rest were crackly
- floor in rear rotted and partly missing
- black tank compromised
- belly pan compromised & partly missing in rear
- very odd, pervasive smell
- many years of tobacco and grime
- many years of innovative wiring & plumbing decisions by POs
- door frame compromised, held together by skins
- some banana wrap damage left rear from a blowout
- most windows glued shut with silicone glue
- a few dents & dings

In other words, your standard $1000 trailer! But it's our canvas now.

Step one was to get the trailer home, which involved new tires and a prodigious job tying up the loose bellypan in the rear. Some of it I just tore off like paper and chucked.

Next step was to get rid of the smell. We removed all of the furniture and plumbing, including the dead black tank---the trailer now has no plumbing at all. I took out a 4' x 4' section of floor in the back, including along the u-channel where the plywood was delaminated. Also removed dead insulation and bellypan back to the axles, and found a critter carcass (rat) as well as evidence of others. Removed the vinyl floor as well, so we are down to subfloor and dirty walls. Also removed the "alternative" wiring system, so now just original wiring remains, including Univolt in unknown condition.

Some of the smell still remains, so I think I'm going to have to remove the rest of the belly pan and insulation. The front half of the pan is reusable, but I will have to patch the rest due to the water damage and subsequent corrosion. Will also obviously need to replace the section of floor that was rotted. Luckily there is only some light surface rust on the frame, nothing a wire brush and some POR can't handle. Other than a dent or two, the rest of the shell and frame are very solid.

Next steps are:

- clean the existing walls thoroughly with Krud Kutter and bleach
- replace missing sections of subfloor & look for more rot
- pull the rest of the belly pan, get rid of stinky insulation & critters
- replace belly pan & banana, add new insulation underneath
- seal/patch all unused openings, waterproof/rodentproof exterior
- paint interior surfaces with a sealing primer
- fix door
- build a few bed frames & cabinets, fairly minimal, and install floor
- install dorm fridge that came with the trailer & hot plate
- add minimal plumbing, just kitchen sink & exterior drain (no tank)

May also decide to:

- interior skins out, replace insulation & wiring
- restore windows, at least get rid of glue residue everywhere

The "someday" full monte, after the house and barn are built:

- interior skins out, replace insulation & wiring
- fully restore windows
- polish
- fully assess & service wheels, axles, brakes, bearings
- add a black tank & toilet for travel
- possibly add a fresh water tank
- possibly add 12V lighting system
- wood-paneled interior

I'll check back in and post pics as we progress!
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:01 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
OlyPen , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,431
Images: 90
Congratulations on your new purchase - I think) My back aches for you already! But the work is half the fun and the end result will be worth while.

Chin up!
1964 Overlander | 2020 Mercedes GLE
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

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