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Old 01-05-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Coeur d'Alene , Idaho
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Home Sweet Airstream! 1966 26’ Overlander

* Greetings Airstream community!

My wife and I recently purchased our first Airstream a 1966 26’ Overlander. The trailer appears to be in good shape but I am prepared for the worst.

We looked a quite a few trailers and this one was by far in the best shape for the price.

We have big plans for our little trailer…

Over the next 10 months we are going to remodel the Land Yacht, sell the majority of our possessions and move in. While there are many reasons for this transition the main two are a simple lifestyle and better stewardship (time, talents & treasure) for God.

While I am pretty handy and love DIY projects, I am a completely green when it comes to large travel trailers. Last summer I took on a homebuilt 4’x8’ teardrop trailer and attempted to finish it in 2 weeks. In the end it took a bit longer than 2 weeks and because I was so ambitious I did not take the time to learn from others and ask questions. This became a nightmare as I battled leaks!

I hope to forego some unneeded headaches by gaining some knowledge and feedback from this community. I have spent lots of time lurking through these forums and have learned a lot. As I embark on this adventure I am looking forward to sharing my progress and learning from all of you!

Before I get into demolition here is our Land Yacht’s before pictures (and a few pictures of our Teardrop Trailer)


More posts & questions to come...I only have 10 months!









My beautiful wife showing off the sweet decor that came with the trailer.
























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Old 01-05-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by livinlightly View Post
Greetings Airstream community!

My wife and I recently purchased our first Airstream a 1966 26’ Overlander. The trailer appears to be in good shape but I am prepared for the worst.

We looked a quite a few trailers and this one was by far in the best shape for the price.

We have big plans for our little trailer…

Over the next 10 months we are going to remodel the Land Yacht, sell the majority of our possessions and move in. While there are many reasons for this transition the main two are a simple lifestyle and better stewardship (time, talents & treasure) for God.

While I am pretty handy and love DIY projects, I am a completely green when it comes to large travel trailers. Last summer I took on a homebuilt 4’x8’ teardrop trailer and attempted to finish it in 2 weeks. In the end it took a bit longer than 2 weeks and because I was so ambitious I did not take the time to learn from others and ask questions. This became a nightmare as I battled leaks!

I hope to forego some unneeded headaches by gaining some knowledge and feedback from this community. I have spent lots of time lurking through these forums and have learned a lot. As I embark on this adventure I am looking forward to sharing my progress and learning from all of you!

Before I get into demolition here is our Land Yacht’s before pictures (and a few pictures of our Teardrop Trailer)


More posts & questions to come...I only have 10 months!
Someone has changed out the AC.

There has been some metal replaced at the bootom of the door and forward of that.

You should check the axles out as the rubber rods look like they may have given out.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Check all the exterior gaskets. If they are original, they will all be hardened as sort of useless.

The beginning of your overhaul, would be to make the trailer totally waterproofed

Andy
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Welcome

Good luck to you and yours. This is a great place to find everything you will need to complete your AS.
Take care Jim
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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Congrats!!

Congrats! You picked a very good year for Airstream trailers, I should know, I have three 1966 Airstreams (Globetrotter, Safari, Overlander). 1966 was the first year for the “frameless” window which gives the trailer a great streamlined look though much caution must be taken with them for that very reason. Never ever leave the windows up on a windy day if you plan to leave the trailer for a long time. You may come back to broken glass. The main problem I’ve seen in the 1966’s is the floor around the toilet area seams to rot on all of them unless you got a mid-west trailer where it’s dry most of the time.

Andy’s right, fix the leaks first! I would not be to fast to tear the whole thing apart. That trailer is a very livable trailer the way it was designed as long as everything works. You will find you can leave the bed out in the back and still have plenty of room to get by, get in the closet, cabinets, etc… in the rear except for the three cabinets under the bed (of which one of those you can get to from the outside if you need too). The original frig was gas/elec (110v) Dometic M52 series and the heating system (looks to be original) had a cold air return system built in. You will need new axle’s which can be done in one day for about 1,500 bucks. I suggest going with the “original” axle pitch 22.5 degree’s with 7.00x15 bias-ply tires. There was a repair done on the front passenger side (again no big deal). You don’t show a picture of the street side to know if you still have the original Bowen hot water heater. If you do great, if you decide to replace (I’m interested in the complete outside cover if you change it out). Many folks will say, “Replace it now before it breaks at a bad time”. I personally have never heard of anything breaking at a good time! If it works, use it. If it does not, replace/repair it.

Many folks will say the original toilet can not be fixed, though many have been fixed by people willing to think outside the box, make parts, etc… Again, it’s a great design (I personally hate looking at a toilet) don’t fix something if it works! To save on water, use the spray (the toilet bowl water supply can be turned off from the back hatch)

Make sure the vent caps on top (3 of them) have not dry rotted and allowing water to go down the side of the pipe rotting the floor below as well as the refrigerator vent.

I think it’s possible the cushions could be original based on the one picture that shows a small piece of white cloth on the left side (I bet it has a snap that holds it in place) if so, I don’t think many would put that back when the recover which makes it a good chance it’s original. I’ll have to look at my sales info to see if it has a picture like it. The curtains are not. If you want to know how the originals were made let me know.

Again, the 1966 Overlander was one of the best trailers made for looks, usefulness, and being tough. No need to reinvent the wheel with this one!

Oh, grey tanks. You can get by without them. If you want a trick in making one I’ll tell you an idea that will work great.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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OK Paul, what is the grey tank trick?
Enquiring minds and people with '66 Globetrotters want to know-
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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A small temp. custom gray tank can be placed in the bumper compartment area for over nighting (dishes/teeth/etc..) or Shacksman uses 3 inch PVC pipe connected together in a grid system mounted under the trailer. Each can hold a couple of gallons. If you PM Shacksman, he may have a picture of his system. I'm currently working on building mine.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:43 AM   #7
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1968 26' Overlander
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If you do a complete remodel I might/would be interested in any/all of the interior. Good luck on your project it can't go wrong if God is leading it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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1966 26' Overlander
Coeur d'Alene , Idaho
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Thanks Andy!

Ive got my eye on new axles.

Yes I have a fair amount of weatherproofing to do...any suggestions on sealing products and their applications would be helpful.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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1966 26' Overlander
Coeur d'Alene , Idaho
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Paul,

I am amazed at your insight with looking a just a few pictures! I appreciate the feedback! I may have some questions with my black water tank & toilet setup...I think mine will need some repair.

I love the grey water tank idea! Take pictures when you get yours done (or better yet as you install it!)

-NICK
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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1966 26' Overlander
Coeur d'Alene , Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corbin1 View Post
If you do a complete remodel I might/would be interested in any/all of the interior. Good luck on your project it can't go wrong if God is leading it.
We are going to make a few changes to the interior...lengthen the kitchen side counter and replace the guacho with a dinette. Ill be in touch as I progress to let you know what I no longer need.

Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:37 PM   #11
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Nick - good purchase and in good shape as well. I have exact same unit and layout although mine is an international with a little more sidetrim. Although mine was a time capsule with no alterations, it was also a basket case needing lots of man hours. Working part time, and doing a stem to stern took me 3 years, so be prudent on just what to tackle with your 10 month timeframe. I would prioritize items such as waterproofing, axles, brakes, toilet and black water tank, plumbing, electrical, and heat. Then if you really get enthusiastic try polishing - mine took 300 hours. If you need advice or pictures I got lots. Best of luck - James
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:26 AM   #12
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Nick,

If possible, try and replace the front couch with an original dinette out of a Safari, Globetrotter though this will make it hard to extend the counter. Everything will fit,be a simple swap (no moving of water tank/lines/etc..) and gives you two twin beds up front. I almost did it on mine but bought a Safari instead.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #13
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1966 26' Overlander
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Ok Priority number 1 – Weather Proofing…

The leaks I know about are:

1. Main Door (Seals are basically gone)
2. Just forward of main door. (Looks like its coming behind the wall. Maybe from the porch light or window?)
3. Plumbing Vents
4. Refrigerator Vent
5. Front Gas Access Door (The one behind the fridge)
6. Rear Bumper (Address this when I get to the interior.)

I am getting ready to place my first order for supplies and I want to make sure I am not missing products or methods of sealing.

Here is what’s on my shopping list:

1. ABS Vents Covers from VTS. Are these any good?
2. Window Gasket from VTS.
3. Replacement Exterior Light covers all-around.
4. Tempro 635 – to seal vent covers & light covers.
5. Alcoa Gutter Seal – for good measure.

I am having trouble finding a door seal. Any suggestions?

Any suggestions or feedback would be appreciated!
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:43 PM   #14
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Nick

66 is a great year. I also recommend not making any interior layout changes until you do some camping in it first. This would be way down on my priority list.
I have switched all my lights to LED's so I can help you in this area if you decide to do this. They use only about 10% of the energy that the original lights do and give off only 10% of the heat in the summer.

Dan
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:49 PM   #15
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Looks like you need a new fridge. Buy a new gas/electric model so you can keep it working when you are not hooked up to power. There is a good mail order dealer in Texas- I forget their name.

Dan
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:17 PM   #16
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1966 26' Overlander
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Quick update on progress...

I got my order from VTS of trailer lights, POR15, window gaskets & sealants and I am waiting to start the sealing process. We have had a super mild winter here up until a few weeks ago...now I have the trailer covered with tarps and waiting more favorable weather to being the sealing process.

Meanwhile I have been busy with demolition. Upon further inspection the rear bathroom floor was in pretty bad shape. The majority of the wood around the commode was rotted away. So everything has been taken out!

I was amazed at the PO shabby repairs...I found tons of shattered copper pipe that was, "repaired" will gobs of silicone, JB weld and crappy soldering. The hotwater heater had several Duct tape repairs and a rusted rats nest in the pilot compartment. I am going to replace the tank with a tank-less on-demand unit and all the plumbing with PEX!

After removing the bathroom floor I found a bit of frame rot on the drivers side. The out riggers and the other side look pretty good. I am going to POR15 this rear section then I had a piece of steel bent into a "U" that I am going to weld into the frame to reinforce it.

The black water tank box was rusted through so I had a new one made. Trying to decide if my black water tank is salvageable? My flange is partially broken and is pretty rusted. Plus one of the gate valve mounting holes on the tank is cracked. The only OEM tank I can find is from Inland priced at $520. Anyone know of other (cheaper) solutions?

More to come...



Sweet silicone repair...



JB weld repair...



Probably about 5 different blowout sections in the water lines...



Frame rot. Other side & outriggers look good.



Old black water box...



Trailer gutted. New black water box with old tank inside.



Black water tank flange cracked & rusted. (Toilet looks pretty good!)



Gate valve mounting holes cracked...



Some floor rot & leak at the front door. Anyone know a source for door gaskets?
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:17 AM   #17
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1966 26' Overlander
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Quick update...our rehab is still alive and well! Planning on updating this thread soon and updates are regularly posted on our blog: livinlightly.com.

Meanwhile here are our update videos:





Would love to hear thoughts and feedback!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:13 AM   #18
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LL

Just viewed your Utube video's. Looks like you are doing a great job. I did not have to do any floor repair in my Tradewind or any frame repair either. Of course I have not had the belly pan cover off yet. I am not sure I even want to go there. I do have a small leak in my drain system, so I will at least have to remove some of the belly ban to repair it. I hope my black tank is ok. I just installed a new cork floor, and I sure don't want to bother it. Any tank repair will need to be made from the bottom.

Anyhow your videos really help me a lot as they show the entire frame and all the other stuff below the floor. As yours is a 66 Overlander and mine is a 66 TW they should be the same except for the length.

Glad that your toilet is ok. Mine is not working properly and I am going to replace it with a composting toilet, so my black tank will become my gray tank.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #19
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1966 26' Overlander
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Hey Dan!

Thanks for the reply and glad the videos were helpful to you. More to come...I am getting ready to replace the axles, and the bathroom window then on to refacing the shower/tub, plumbing and...

We were hoping to have the trailer liveable at this point but some things took longer than expected (wiring, tearing into to the front floor). Our lease it up the end of this month so we are racing to get the Land Yacht roadworthy so we can drag it to the mid-west where we will finish it.

We were kicking around cork for the floor...curious what you think of it (look, durability, installation, cost)?

Cheers!

-NICK
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:22 AM   #20
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Nick

I just finished installing the cork floor about a month ago, so no word on durability. It does seem to be a very "warm" floor. We went camping last weekend when it dipped into the low 30's and I did not even put on my slipppers when I had to get up at 3 in the morning briefly.

It cost about $3.00/sq ft. I bought 4 boxes, 88 sq ft, so about $300 material cost. I have about half a box left over to cover repairs if/whenever needed.

Take a look at posts 3-7 of the following link for installation details and lots of photos:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f116...nts-94152.html

Dan
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