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Old 08-04-2003, 06:31 PM   #1
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I hope that the subject doesn't arouse a ton of hate mail given the wonderful vintage Airstream subject matter

We have a '67 Overlander that probably would be considered in very good original condition - however, I have developed a degenerative spinal condition and can no longer comfortably manage the eccentricities of a 1967 vehicle.

Is it possible to modernize the mechanisms/appliances, etc to add greater reliability and ease of operation? By this I'm thinking of (from bow to stern): easy jack operation, new range, fridge, oven, hot water heater, and most of all toilet (to gain a storage tank and dual fixtures for grey and black water - that doesn't leak!).

Acute readers have probably already correctly assumed that they are dealing with a well-intentioned but severely mechanically challenged dunce. They are correct, but I would very much appreciate your input regarding the feasibility of such an upgrading. We love our trailer and would much rather put another couple of thousand dollars in it than sell/trade for a modern unit without the beauty of the Airstream.


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Old 08-04-2003, 06:39 PM   #2
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You can certainly go about making your '67 less mechanically challenging. Modern water heaters light with the press of a switch inside the trailer, likewise the new refrigerators are electronically controlled and operate at the touch of a button. The stoves have not evolved much since '67. Gone are stove top standing pilots, replaced with piezo igniters, but the oven pilot still is in place. Power front jacks are easy retrofits and you can install electric stabilizer jacks like used on the Classic Limiteds. Thetford makes a electronically controlled, push button china toilet but holding tanks are holding tanks. If they leak, you probably are going to have to replace them. You can replace the hand operated dump valves with electrically operated ones. Rather than that old 3" slinky sewer hose, look into the $99 sewer solution. This is a water operated macerating device that discharges thru a 3/4" hose. It will pump waste upto 60' and is much easy to handle and cleaner to boot.
david & bret
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:46 PM   #3
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thank you so much for your generous and very hopeful reply. I am really happy that there's a possibility of keeping the 'Stream.


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Old 08-04-2003, 07:23 PM   #4
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Hi, David!

I concur that the updates you're considering are (except for installing a gray water tank) actually quite easy for the most part. The gray water tank may be an issue for you though.

I'd suggest you make a list of the things you think you'd like to upgrade, and then take it to an Airstream dealer for a cost estimate. If it's more than you think you want to spend on your Overlander, you might consider replacing the '67 with a later model Airstream that has the amenities that you want.

Good luck!

AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:45 PM   #5
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Greetings David!

Over the years, I have had many of the modifications that you propose completed on my '64 Overlander at Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, Iowa. These have included an new 6 gallon Atwood water heater, new Dometic 3-Way RV Refrigerator with top mounted controls (resulted in loss of one drawer due to approximate 3" increase in height, but width was nearly identical to the original Dometic), new Suburban automatic ignition furnace (probably my second favorite modification as I hate to deal with pilot lights), new thermostatic control Fantastic Vent fans with rain sensor (two), new Coleman Mach 3 Air Conditioner, new Peters and Russell water pump, new acrylic water tank, new heavy duty electric tongue jack, and twin 40 pound Worthington aluminum propane cylinders. Only a true afficianado would recognize these changes from stock as the interior does appear stock for all intents and purposes. I haven't had any black water tank modification nor have I had a gray water tank added - - the gray water tank is something that I would like to add, but after having rear end seapartion corrected I am not anxious to add any more weight aft of the rear axle.

Good luck with your modifications!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:09 PM   #6
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thanks Roger and Kevin, you guys are great. I'll be calling the Airstream dealer tomorrow.

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