Today we’re going to start getting to know our girl, Aurora.
Aurora is a 1970 Airstream Overlander, built in November of 1969 in Cerritos, California. Based on her serial number she is the 155th of her model made. Her original layout was a rear bathroom double bed (International Land Yacht). This model is 27 feet long including the tongue, with an original weight of 4575 pounds.
You can view the original brochure with floor plans for all of the 1970 model year Airstreams below.
When we found Aurora she was in Mesilla, New Mexico, and had been used as a clothing boutique. This meant she had already been stripped of her interior at least once, and was outfitted with shelves and clothing racks, a homemade sales counter, and a dressing room in the back. The bathroom had been removed, as had all original interior finishings. The interior skins appeared to be all original, albeit repaired in places.
Several other repairs had been done including some window replacements with plexiglass, floor replacements, and partial subfloor replacements with new insulation beneath. We were concerned about the integrity of the trailer, so several replacement parts will be ordered to restore her exterior and structure to their former glory.
Our major considerations when looking at a trailer were that the shell was in reasonably good shape (a few dents and dings, no major crumples or creases) and that the visible areas of the frame had minimal rusting and galvanic corrosion. While we were able to look at the frame in the back near the rear compartment and near the door and wheel wells, the rest of the frame was going to be a surprise, either good or bad, once we pulled the shell off and removed the subfloor. What we could see were minor areas of rust, but knowing what we know about these trailers when they are reaching 50 years old, some of the frames have to be almost completely rebuilt to be functional and safe.
As we are doing a complete shell-off renovation/restoration we are going to strip her down to the frame to ensure structural integrity. This girl is going to be our home and we want to make sure she’s sturdy and road-worthy so we don’t have any dangerous surprises down the road.
Feel free to explore our purchase photos of Aurora below and stay tuned because we have a lot of work ahead!