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Old 12-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1971 27' Overlander
Jackson , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 166
1971 Overlander overhaul - questions

The past couple of weeks I've been tearing into the interior, removing all of the bath and twin beds. The rear 8" or so of flooring is mostly gone from typical leaking where the bumper trunk "deck" enters at the floor. Next step is to remove the bath area flooring completely and see what else I find. So far, all the frame I've been able to probe in this area has been solid with surface rust only.
Any ideas why there is a hole next to the water heater, with a hole in the belly pan beneath? The photo shows the wads of steel wool I pulled out and the metal slide-over cover for the hole. (Note: all wiring is disconnected, so don't worry about those bare wires flapping in the breeze.)
Also, the street side rear light cluster frame is unattached to the skin (!) and there is no sign of old gasket, screws, rivets, etc. The curbside frame has rivets through the blue "trough" area. What is the best way to attach and seal this thing? And the lights are just pressed into place with water seeping behind (visible in pic). Is that stock? Please help.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:11 AM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,733
Hey TennTex,

The hole next to the water heaters used to be for a "fart fan" - a small fan that exhausted bathroom fumes to the outside under the trailer. I think most folks eliminate the fan as part of a remodel if they are still there.

The tail light housings were originally riveted to the outside skin from the inside. Replacing the rivets properly requires access to the inside of the skin. If memory serves, there are 6 rivets total - 3 across the top and 3 across the bottom. Although there might only be 4 rivets, one in each corner. If the other side has already been riveted back in place from the outside, you might as well match it on this side. A good bead of vulkum behind the housing will help ensure it doesn't leak.

The lights you have are aftermarket ones. The original lights were a metal can, often called a tuna can due to it's size and shape, with a automotive bayonet style bulb. It was riveted to the back of the housing, and a gasket seal under the lens kept water out. The bulbs were single filament for the backup lights and dual filaments for the stop/turn signal lights. I replaced our tail lights and backup lights with something that certainly looks the same as what you have from the backside. I vulkumed them in place to prevent leaks and to ensure they never fell out while traveling.

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Old 12-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
1971 27' Overlander
Jackson , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 166
Very helpful, Chris. I'll keep at this thing, with more questions to come, no doubt. Many thanks,

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