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Old 08-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
Altoona , Pennsylvania
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Design issues

While I'm not able to get much work done, I'm at least thinking about the Overlander. On plumbing, I think a graywater tank is a must, but I'm not sure about the size, design or location. On electrical, pulling the aluminum wiring is a must. This may be just a strong personal preference thing, but I'm a fan of copper plant. We have the floor plan with the double bed on the port side. Having a comfortable place for my wife and I to sleep (together) is a huge design priority. There may be enough room to convert the front gaucho into a decent bed. I'm not sure if we can make the "double bed" work. Adding AC is a must. The rooftop stuff is not great for the "lines," but is seems the most efficient place for placement. We're leaning towards reducing the cooktop to two burners and having a bit more counter space. My wife still loves the retro tropical blue range, but we've also talked about a "pullman car" interior with darker colors and deeper woods. If we went "pullman," the interior appliances would be stainless or stainless with wood covers. The existing design seems to create a ton of storage space. The bathroom design seems pretty efficient, although the fiberglass needs some help. I'm just trying to think aloud about design. Eventually, we get to a point where we can tackle the structural stuff (perhaps via a third-party). Of course, there are some issues like tank placement that require thought early in the process. Well, if you have any design tips or innovations, please let us know.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:03 PM   #2
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On the bed thought. One thing I really liked about an 83 Avion we had for a while was the couch design in the front. It had a platform that pulled out. the seat back dropped down in the space created and made a bed that was comfortable for my wife and I to sleep on. It also used high density foam cushions instead of the usually uncomfortable spring arrangements found in modern rv couches. It may not have worked quite as slick as a gaucho, but it was roomier and much easier on the back and ribs.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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Try to put the grey tank over the axels or as close as you can.... I am going to use my old fresh water tank. after i get the holes re-welded by a company that welds plastic. It's a 30 gallon tank.. my black is about 15-18 gallons... my new fresh water I'm not sure about yet... 30-40 gallons...
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
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sounds like your making some good plans. I don't know how chasing copper wires will be, but I spent a 30 years fighting fires and aluminum wires in mobile homes was a sure fire starter.
Take care and let us hear from you.
Jerry
ps. take care of that small town and they will take care of you
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:12 AM   #5
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I'd like to look at some couch/bed designs. The previous owners installed a double bed and just left it set up. This would make accessing the starboard storage a bit difficult and getting to the bathroom and back would be harder.

I'm with you on aluminum wiring. I just don't like the stuff based on my experience as a DIY electrician. I figure that eventually the inner skins come out and the whole thing gets new copper from stem to stern.

As for the town, I love the work. In another few years, however, our youngest daughter graduates. We plan to take some time "on the road" in the Overlander. When our savings run down, I'll start looking for work. My wife is a teacher so she's fairly mobile. Ideally, I'd like to be closer to my parents and brothers in Montana. Of course, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:28 AM   #6
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Some good advice given to me by Frank (Overlander62) was to take the rig out camping-- several times if possible-- before making plans to change anything. I know you're already deep into some major work, but if possible, try to take the Overlander out and use it, to see what works and what does not, before spending any major time or money on a renovation.

I did this a week ago and I found that some things that I had THOUGHT would need re-design actually worked okay for me, while some things that I had NOT thought of, are going to need my attention. The next time I take it out I will learn even more, I have no doubt.

I'm a rookie as well, so I don't have vast knowledge, but I think that a 2-burner cooktop which allows for more counter space is probably a good idea. Even when cooking at home, I seldom use more than 2 burners at once, and when camping, I do the majority of my cooking outside. But counter-space in your AS is at a premium, so anything you can do to maximize that will probably be a very good thing.

As for the beds, I think that's one of those things where taking the rig out and using it will be beneficial, so you can see what really does and does not work for you. Currently, my plan is to leave the twins in place amidships, and to remove the gaucho in the front lounge and build a custom dinette that will make into a near-queen-sized bed. That's the long-term plan, but for now my wife and I are sleeping on the twins and putting the baby's pack'n'play up in the front lounge.

Anyway, keep on thinking outside the box, and good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
....Of course, there are some issues like tank placement that require thought early in the process. Well, if you have any design tips or innovations, please let us know.
Gray water fills up MUCH quicker than black - One of the first things I would do if replacing the gray water tank (other than making it as large as possible) would be to add a secondary 3/4" or 1/2" outlet with a ball valve (not tied into the combined gray/black dump valves) so that IF I were at a place that would allow it I could drain off a bit of the gray water load. Such an arrangement (small, separate, controllable valve) would also allow for easier filling of a portable (wheeled) tank to haul to the dump station.

One of the things we like about both the 345 and the Sovereign is the rear bed - the bed STAYS a bed, and it does not have to be "made up" when you are ready to use it. Could a "Murphy bed" be utilized amidships? - fold it up during the day and have a bunch of walk/interior space, and fold it down for sleeping, utilizing the entire width of the trailer for an east-west bed.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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I agree with all the suggestions. Unfortunately, we can't do much camping until the tin girl is roadworthy... and that's going to take some time and it means making some design decisions early on. One of the ideas I have (which is from another expert) is to create a small pump and line to transfer gray water to the black water tank. For most folks, I think the gray water fills up much faster. A transfer pump (with check valve) would allow "redistribution." The alternative drain valve is another interesting idea.

As for sleeping, we're going to need to work on some designs. I expect we'll "mock up" different things and test them for comfort before we choose a final design. There are times when my wife will want to "stretch out" while I'm busy doing something else so keeping the double bed amidships usable is important. I'm also legendary for my ability to nap on a couch... so having the front gaucho accomodate a nap or conversion to a near queen would be ideal.

Hey, any thoughts on cork flooring?
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
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LOTS of folks have installed cork flooring, I'd imagine there are several threads on it in the interior sub-forum.

Overall, I believe it is receiving good reviews.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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Did't the DIY airstream series use cork floors? You can see that on U tube. Put in Airstream and the DIY episodes will be listed (not in any special order)
Take care
Jerry
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:36 PM   #11
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Thanks. I've heard some good things about the cork. We're pretty much hardwood in the house (with a bit of carpet in bedrooms). I'm all about low maintenance when it comes to floors.

The biggest design issue is the "primary" bed. My wife likes the idea of a sofa bed, but I've never found one that wasn't crippling to sleep on. Besides, everything has to fit in the door. We have a great mattress at home (though it cost way too much for my tastes). We' can always order something custom to fit a space, but there's also the issue of take down, set up.
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