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Old 03-05-2021, 11:00 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1962 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5
1962 26' Overlander Neubie seeking guidance on beginning a full restoration

Hello fellow Airstream Creators! I purchased a gutted Overlander and have pinned a million pictures and been dreaming of her transformation and now I am ready to get started. However, I don't want to start tearing into her without a solid Phased out plan. I understand from talking to people it is best to work in phases and would love your advice on best areas to start and in what order. Also, any advice on who to contact to make sure the trailer and axels and such are in good working order or if any of that will need to be replaced? I want to redo all flooring, insulation, bathroom, kitchen, plumbing, electrical etc. Is it best to work on trailer and flooring and then do walls and electrical and insulation? Any recommendations would be much appreciated. I also would like to make it light enough that I can pull it or can have it relaxing on land to rent it out for Air bnb. Thank you all in advance!
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:59 AM   #2
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,881
Welcome to the Airstream way of life. An Overlander is a popular sized trailer. And being a 62 makes it even better. There a some knowledgeable Airstream owners who have renovated their trailer and live in and around Austin. You may consider reaching out to one of those to take a look at your trailer and give you some guidance on where to start. On the left side of the top menu bar you will see “Portal”. You can hit that and select our state on the menu bar under “Inspectors”. I don’t know what shape the trailer is in. Pictures would be great. Also, if the axles are original, they are shot. This sounds like a total full Monty. If you want to discuss, PM me. Good luck
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:38 PM   #3
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Belegedhel's Avatar
 
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,854
Welcome to the Forums!

Check out this thread, post #11:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post1631603

Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:05 AM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
1962 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5
Yes, I will be doing the full monty


Thank you Belegedhel & Bubba! I know it will be a process and want to do shell off just trying to figure out bet steps and then how to keep it protected during the process. I will look and see who I can find in Austin, thank you for letting me know where to look.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:20 AM   #5
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1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 632
Images: 22
I understand your concerns, been there. A few suggestions, assuming you plan on a shell off renovation.

What type of layout will you use? What do you plan to do for plumbing (fresh water, grey water, black water). Location of sinks, tub/shower, toilet will affect where to place tanks. Good chance you may have to move crossmembers to fit tanks if mounted below the floor.

What is ultimate goal for electrical? Even if you don't do it all up front, some 'rough in' wiring/wire size is easier to do initially during the build (solar, A/C, Battery Storage).

Trying to have vintage appliances or new? Revising vintage can be accomplished, but since you're starting empty, it would be more difficult/time consuming.

Having an initial plan will help minimize on the fly modifications (there will be some regardless).

Having dimensions of mechanicals will help your design process (furnace, water heater, batteries,etc).

Here's an electrical list/plan I put together (the mechanical system that worried me the most) so I felt 'organized'. Still ended up with minor changes, but I had a comfort level throughout.

ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS.pdf

You'll get there, just one bite at a time.

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Our thread:
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:38 AM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
mikextr's Avatar

 
1967 26' Overlander
Bugtussle , Oklahoma
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlGeorge22 View Post
I want to redo all flooring, insulation, bathroom, kitchen, plumbing, electrical etc. Is it best to work on trailer and flooring and then do walls and electrical and insulation? Any recommendations would be much appreciated. I also would like to make it light enough that I can pull it or can have it relaxing on land to rent it out for Air bnb. Thank you all in advance!
Here is the order of operations that has worked well for me:
*Make sure the title is clear and in your name
*Document and photograph everything as you go
*Completely gut the trailer starting at the front and working your way back
*Document and photograph the original plumbing layout
*Remove interior skins and insulation
documenting and photographing the original
electrical runs as you go
*Decide to work with the shell on or shell off
*Find and fix all leaks if working outside with shell on
*Remove subfloor
*Shovel out belly pan insulation and 60 years of filth.
*Drop belly pan
*Inspect frame
*Repair frame
*Install subfloor
*Reattach shell
*Repair shell and fix leaks again
*Get all outside road safety lights replaced, rewired, and functioning
*New tongue Jack
*New axles, brakes, and tires
*Install a functional 12 volt system and 7 pin umbilical for the tongue jack, brakes, and trailering lights
*Get new tag
*Install a new air conditioner and wire it temporarily so you can run it from a 12 gauge extension cord. And...
**VOILA***
The hard part is over and you now have a road worthy, air conditioned, aluminum tent for camping. Now...
*Insulate
*Install new 12v and 120v electrical system and wiring
*Reinstall endcaps and interior skins
*Install black tank and toilet
*Install grey tanks and drain lines
*Fresh water tank
*Hot and cold water lines and water pump
*Hot water heater
*Propane lines and tanks
**ALMOST DONE**
This is the easy part...
*Finish out the interior and decorate
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:02 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
Eric 26 Argo's Avatar
 
Airstream - Other
Knoxville , TN
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 183
I am close to finishing my 26' Argosy and I would say Belegedhel has a pretty good operation of order. You need to understand that unless you are doing it the restoration full time in a sheltered environment it is a three or four year project for an ambitious person. If you are doing it full time in a sheltered environment then I hate you. There are a couple of periods that seem to be the tipping point form many, once the trailer is gutted and they see the amount of work and when the floor is done and they see the amount of work remaining.

Know that getting the floor redone and the shell back on is not half way. So brace yourself for the amount of work you will encounter, none of it beyond the normal persons abilities if they have the patience and perseverance.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:43 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
1962 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikextr View Post
Here is the order of operations that has worked well for me:
*Make sure the title is clear and in your name
*Document and photograph everything as you go
*Completely gut the trailer starting at the front and working your way back
*Document and photograph the original plumbing layout
*Remove interior skins and insulation
documenting and photographing the original
electrical runs as you go
*Decide to work with the shell on or shell off
*Find and fix all leaks if working outside with shell on
*Remove subfloor
*Shovel out belly pan insulation and 60 years of filth.
*Drop belly pan
*Inspect frame
*Repair frame
*Install subfloor
*Reattach shell
*Repair shell and fix leaks again
*Get all outside road safety lights replaced, rewired, and functioning
*New tongue Jack
*New axles, brakes, and tires
*Install a functional 12 volt system and 7 pin umbilical for the tongue jack, brakes, and trailering lights
*Get new tag
*Install a new air conditioner and wire it temporarily so you can run it from a 12 gauge extension cord. And...
**VOILA***
The hard part is over and you now have a road worthy, air conditioned, aluminum tent for camping. Now...
*Insulate
*Install new 12v and 120v electrical system and wiring
*Reinstall endcaps and interior skins
*Install black tank and toilet
*Install grey tanks and drain lines
*Fresh water tank
*Hot and cold water lines and water pump
*Hot water heater
*Propane lines and tanks
**ALMOST DONE**
This is the easy part...
*Finish out the interior and decorate
Thank you MikeEXTR!!! Wow this is a great list and I am so excited to map out my process. I purchased it gutted but he left the plumbing and electrical all in place so I could map/document where it was. Is there a book I can get or manual somewhere to gain a baseline understanding of the old Overlanders? Also, in order to do a shell off restoration, does it need to be indoors in a warehouse? My airstream is on land and not covered. I appreciate all of your advice!
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:47 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
1962 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric 26 Argo View Post
I am close to finishing my 26' Argosy and I would say Belegedhel has a pretty good operation of order. You need to understand that unless you are doing it the restoration full time in a sheltered environment it is a three or four year project for an ambitious person. If you are doing it full time in a sheltered environment then I hate you. There are a couple of periods that seem to be the tipping point form many, once the trailer is gutted and they see the amount of work and when the floor is done and they see the amount of work remaining.

Know that getting the floor redone and the shell back on is not half way. So brace yourself for the amount of work you will encounter, none of it beyond the normal persons abilities if they have the patience and perseverance.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Thank you Eric 26 Argosy! I appreciate your reply and heads up on timeline. I purchased it knowing it would take me a while and am hoping to find someone locally that will come inspect mine and give me some ideas of what I am looking at needing to replace deeper than what I already know I will need to. I currently do not have it in an enclosed place but have been looking into possibilities of locations I may be able to do it in so praying I find someone with a place I can do it in. =o)
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:49 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
1962 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
I understand your concerns, been there. A few suggestions, assuming you plan on a shell off renovation.

What type of layout will you use? What do you plan to do for plumbing (fresh water, grey water, black water). Location of sinks, tub/shower, toilet will affect where to place tanks. Good chance you may have to move crossmembers to fit tanks if mounted below the floor.

What is ultimate goal for electrical? Even if you don't do it all up front, some 'rough in' wiring/wire size is easier to do initially during the build (solar, A/C, Battery Storage).

Trying to have vintage appliances or new? Revising vintage can be accomplished, but since you're starting empty, it would be more difficult/time consuming.

Having an initial plan will help minimize on the fly modifications (there will be some regardless).

Having dimensions of mechanicals will help your design process (furnace, water heater, batteries,etc).

Here's an electrical list/plan I put together (the mechanical system that worried me the most) so I felt 'organized'. Still ended up with minor changes, but I had a comfort level throughout.

Attachment 390025

You'll get there, just one bite at a time.

Attachment 390028

Attachment 390027

Attachment 390026
Thank you 57 Vintage!! Wow what a great list of extensive advice! I appreciate all of the information and heads up. I will check out your renovation and read through your posts as well. I am realizing I have a lot more research I need to do before digging in. I greatly appreciate all advice offered.
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