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Old 10-28-2014, 07:30 AM   #1
New Member
1966 26' Overlander
Berkeley , California
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1
Seeking opinions on '66 seams / repairs from pics

Hi all,

Thank you so much in advance for your expertise. I'd love any and all comments / ideas for repairs I might need to make to this '66 Overlander, based on the photos. Many of them click to link to larger photos to show detail.

I just bought this and the interior has largely been redone, and I just learned about all the exterior care needs. Just replaced window gaskets too.

Re shining this baby up: I was reading about whether this year has a coating or not. Do you know if it does or if this is one of the easier models to get shined?

THANKS so much.

PIC 1 - roof

PIC 2 - best way to fix?

PIC 3 - comments?

PIC 4 - how do seams etc. look?

PIC 5 - comment?

PIC 6 - comment?

PIC 7 - how does seam look?

PIC 8 - seam?

PIC 9 - comments?

Pic 10 - Should a metal door cover this?

PIC 11 - The light isn't attached at the edge, meaning I can pull it forward. How do I attach it? It doesn't appear to have a place to screw.

PIC 12 - Seam comments, etc?

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Old 11-13-2014, 08:30 AM   #2
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
She look pretty good for her age. The area around the step is steel so I would recommend stripping off any loose paint with a wire wheel and use a good quality primer to seal it well, then top coat with a colour of your choice. I just did mine with aluminium paint
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:55 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,863
Welcome to the Forums!

At a glance, I would say that your trailer has some clear coat on it. This is based on the fact that the roof looks rather dull (ie., clear coat is all gone, and you are seeing oxidized aluminum), but the sides look rather shiny, with hints of filiform corrosion at the edges (a sign that there is still clear coat there). To know for sure, find one of those suspiciously shiny areas and put a dab of conventional "pasty" white toothpaste on your finger and rub on it vigorously. IF the paste turns black, then you are rubbing on bare metal, if it doesn't change color, then you are rubbing on clear coat.

Your trailer was made of 2024 T3 AlClad, so it should shine up real nice. If you have clear coat on it, it isn't a major step to strip it first. As to the condition of the seams, before polishing, you will want to take a plastic or wooden pic and dig into all of those seams to get as much of the crud and old sealant out that you can. You will then do your polishing, and after that you will reseal the seams.

Pic 2--I'd make a patch with a small piece of aluminum and some pop rivets. Pic 6 looks like you are missing a piece of trim. You will want to tidy up some of those popped rivets around your stairs as well. Pic 11--that housing is pop riveted to the shell from the inside. You might be able to get/create access to it from in there--only way to know is to look.

good luck!
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #4
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Here are some pics of my door area. As you can see I have just redone my floor up front. The new stainless bolts have not been replaced in the threshold yet. The white you see in the center of the holes the bolt goes through is the floor, so I have discovered that those bolt holes could be a great source of water leaks if not properly cared for and that could cause major floor rotting by the door. I will add some sitkaflex to the bolt holes and threads of the bolt when I install to waterproof the area. At the edge of the door where the exterior aluminium sheets meet the cast aluminium door frame I sealed that small gap with aluminium tinted gutterseal that I purchased from vintage trailer supply. It skins over really fast so there is really not working time to go over it and smooth it with a finger. It's great stuff for thin joints and overlaps but use care and caution applying. I have not finished putting the gutter seal on the lower area of the door yet as my belly pan is still dropped. For the rivets and the seal around the windows that were shrinking back and allowing water in I used captain Tolley's creeping crack cure. Purchased at West Marine. Its a thin product like water, apply it in multiple thin coats until the area you are sealing drinks no more, clean up excess drips with a damp cloth immediately. Larger gaps like around window gutters, window frames, awning brackets, access panels and all the roof vents and covers I used grey Sitkaflex that I purchased locally. After the belly pan is back up I will use the Sitkaflex around the trim that goes on that area. One main thing to mention is that if you intend to polish I would wait to do most of the sealing as the rotating polishers could be rough on your sealants. You could use the captain Tolley's now on your rivets and overlaps and the window seals but do the rest of the stuff after the polishing. Re apply another round after polishing to catch any rivets that may have been loosened up in the polishing process. It probably would be recommended to remove all old sealants before polishing so that would mean you would need a dry area to park her for a while. I do not intend to polish this one so someone else may be better to give advice here.
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:32 AM   #5
Rivet Master
dbj216's Avatar

1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,697
Images: 1
By the way, welcome to Air Forums. It looks like you are getting some good advice from experienced members.

I have a 66 Trade Wind, which is one size smaller than your Overlander. I see yours in the fancy International trim level, meaning you have better interior finishing and several options that the base model like mine didn't have. For example, those fancy tail light housings where mine are simple round ones. Our trailers are 48 years old and have lots of patina. I have holes, dents and patches too.

You will want to use a chemical paint stripper on your trailer to melt off the remaining clear coat before the polish job begins. Polishing old trailers is time consuming as there is lots of aluminum corrosion to get through. Read about the different techniques others have used that might save you some time, like wet sanding with 1200 grit autobody sand paper. Feels more like smooth paper than sand paper, but it works.

I plan on "picking while grinning" all of the exterior seams on my trailer. Leaks are so damaging to Airstreams, and most Airstreams leak sometime in their lives. I recommend resealing with Acyrl R. It's a wicking sealant that Airstream uses. It's gray in color and leaves a nice, small bead. You will have to pick off all the old silicone and caulk others have applied in an effort to stop leaks.

Here is a photo of Aircraft Stripper in action on the old clear coat on my trailer. I brushed stripper on the entire trailer, a section at a time. The areas where it isn't bubbled up are areas where the clear coat was worn off.

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