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Old 06-28-2018, 01:16 PM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 5
New 1971 Overlander Owner!

Hi All,

We recently purchased/acquired a 1971 Overlander about 2 weeks ago. Love it! It appears to be in good original condition. So far, we have removed the carpet, pad and tack strips, cleaned the interior. The subfloor seems to be solid from stem to stern! The only discoloration was from the tack strips, which I believe may be the cause of floor rot in trailers from other regions. I am thankful our trailer is from the west coast and lived mostly in AZ. We found a lot dust and sand, but no mold or stank!
We need an Air Conditioner! The original had been removed years ago and the PO had installed a window unit at the front window. So, I also need a front window, frame and a rock guard, eventually. It looks like the A/C bracket is still on top of the trailer. The Armstrong interior panel is still in place.
Which A/C should I get and how hard is it to install?

R
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:48 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
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I have a 28ft argosy and went with a 15k heat pump. Air conditioners are not hard to install. The hardest part is getting it on the roof. Use a new foam gasket and step on the rivet seams. I've been on mine dozens of times.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:08 PM   #3
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1971 27' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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A/C install

Thanks for the reply. What brand did you get? How much did it cost? Did you need anything to connect the condensation drain lines?

R
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:47 PM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hello from Colorado: Welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. You are right, the southwest trailers are generally in better shape than in moist climates for sure. I purchased a 75 Overlander from the southeast last fall. It had some moisture damage, but generally it too was in pretty good shape. Hey, the air conditioner works but no furnace in my Overlander.

I installed a new AC on our 86 Limited some years ago. I purchased a Coleman unit, but Dometic and others make them too. Airstream usually installs a condensate drain tube when they build the trailers with or without air conditioners. Look under your trailer in front of the wheels and see if you find a "mystery" tube exiting the belly pan. There are also drains for the fridge condensate and the fresh water tank drain. I'd get a 15,000 BTU unit for that hot Arizona sun.

I'm renovating my trailer with better waste water tanks, refreshed bath, and some new appliances. I enjoy working on these vintage Airstream trailers.

David
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:08 PM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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David, is your right photo from the 1986 AS? It looks very similar to our 1985 25' -- love all the tambour "doors" .

Welcome to the forum, R stream!

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Old 06-29-2018, 08:35 AM   #6
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
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I have a 27' Overlander and went with a Coleman Mach 8 Cub, the 9200 BTU model. It was harder to remove the original AC than to install the new one. Lots of detail about the process on our blog.

I like the drain arrangement on the Coleman better than Dometic because the Coleman uses a pump with a tube running through the return air, while the Dometic uses gravity with a tube running under the gasket. Just a personal preference, but I think the Coleman method is less prone to failure, and easier to repair if it would fail.

We went with the 9200 BTU model because we wanted something low profile that we could run on a household outlet and a honda 2000 generator. We never ended up buying a generator, but we do spend a lot of time moochdocking in driveways where there are no RV outlets, so we're running an extension cord to a 15 or 20A outlet.

Our AC works great for us. We did some insulation upgrades, and we have no trouble up to 100 degrees in the sun, which is the hottest weather we've experienced in the Airstream so far. We are nomads, so we can avoid weather extremes to some extent. Some folks swear you need large or even two ACs, and I just don't think I'd want to camp anywhere that was necessary, since we wouldn't be able to go outside.

If you wanted a bigger AC to run on a small generator or household outlet, adding the micro air easy start is a great option. There's a coupon code on the forum somewhere, but I think it's "airstream."

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Old 06-29-2018, 10:39 AM   #7
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
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I'd go with the biggest, baddest unit that will fit up there! Seeing as how you're from AZ, you can probably relate to the musings of a Floridian. You will have to get creative, and build some sort of gantry to get it up there. This will be inversely proportionate to the amount of help that you can muster up: no help= huge gantry with lots of parts, or lots of help= "hold my beer and grab the other end while we toss it up to the guys on top".

There is a problem with trying to support yourself while on the roof, as it doesn't really have much strength except at the ribs. Also trying to get up on it in the first place, as it's, you know, curving away from you. I would up using a 10' folding ladder on either side, and putting 2X8s clamped between them. A couple of additional 2X8s served as a ramp up to the top. One guy belayed/hauled from the other side as another guy shoved it up the ramp. Additional guys would have been helpful/safer/drank more beer.

There should be a solid connection between the outer and inner skin, like with 2X2s to make it solid. While you're up there, it's a good time to seal off the top with some sort of space-age ceramic paint to reflect the heat. Speaking of which, you can give yourself nasty burns if you try to work on the roof in the direct sunlight.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:32 PM   #8
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
1971 27' Overlander
1973 31' Sovereign
Griffin , Georgia
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New 1971 overlander owner

Miss Dixie is a 1971 overlander that has been completely renovated
I installed a Dometic 15000 btw ac with heat strip.
It works, but just barely cools enough to make a difference
Go as big as you can.
www.adventurerv.net
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:43 PM   #9
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi OTRA15: Yes, our Limited is a 1986. Airstream shead many tambor doors in our trailer in favor of wood doors with lift struts. We have tambor doors for under bed storage and front and rear end caps.

But the 75 Overlander is full of tambor doors. I have one big one in the galley I have to replace. I hope I can find matching material somewhere. Tambor is lightweight and works pretty good if the tracks are kept clean and lubricated with silicone or the like.

The 66 Trade Wind did not have any tambor doors. Thin plywood door all the way.

David
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:38 AM   #10
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1971 27' Overlander
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A/C install

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Do I need to remove this to install new A/C?
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:00 PM   #11
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Springville , Alabama
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New 1971 Overlander Owner!

Yes. Remove all old sealant. Use new ac foam gasket. The hole should be 14x14
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:31 PM   #12
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1971 27' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Do I need to remove this to install new A/C?
This seems like a solid bracket up there with 2 long L-brackets to mount the a/c. Are you sure it's not needed? I'm a little leary to pull it off to find out what is under there.
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:07 PM   #13
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On mine, the rear part of the a/c was on a rib. Which offers plenty of support. It how the original was installed. When I installed my new one the front never flexed. I was going to add support but it didn't need it.
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