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Old 09-20-2010, 11:59 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
Shelter Island , New York
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1965 Safari love affair

We just bought a 1965 Safari. The registration says '66, but as I decipher the serial number I get 1965: JO C22 5 253
I think she's got a real clean body. A little dull but really no to bad for 45 years. Almost no body damage or dings except a couple of tiny vertical tears low down on the street side and a crease in the same area. Unfortunately, I will be doing some belly pan work - the front half is gone and the banana wrap on the curb side front corner has a dent - like it hit a rock or stump or something that only dented the front but really tore up the belly. The frame is solid, just cosmetic.

Our plan is, once we get it home, to set it up as a guest cottage, although we have had some notion to travel with it as well. I think I'd love to do a cross-country trip once the trailer is ready for it.

We aren't purists and are definately looking to modernize, but anything we remove will go to a good home. I'm thinking about laminate or cork - any opinions?

I don't really like the bathroom. That bench seat toilet just looks too much like a latrine! The shower is rediculous. My six foot frame hardly fits in the space. If there were a shower curtain strung and a I were actually trying to get all of me washed, it'd be a disaster. I want a vanity and a modern porcelain throne. We'll see about the shower as we go along. Maybe if I relocate the services in the bath closet, the closets could go and there'd actually be room for a functional shower - maybe a wet bath. Anyone have a nice bath enclosure they'd part with?

As a cottage, we won't need more than a coffee pot, but I'm thinking about a microwave and a single burner. I think as long as the bathroom sink is a nice size, we can dispense with a kitchen sink - or maybe we should reverse that.

Anyway here's some pics for y'all.

Here she is:
She could use a good cleaning (have the cushions, but they need to be replaced)
Holy Cow! look at that awning - nearly perfect, just a little cleaning
Getting her moving for the first time:
Almost on the road:
Actually on the road - headed to Camper's Barn in Kingston, NY for some new tires and bearing grease. Actually made it the whole twenty-two miles without any trouble.
I bought a vintage license plate off ebay and I'll register her with that. I do have the trunk cover, just need to change the lock so I can secure it in place - for now it rides inside. I'll need to get a dead bolt - the original doorknob is there (the inside half is a bit bent but it all works. The part of the deadbolt that goes into the door is even still there, but no cylinder or cover. Anyone know which is the correct replacement part?

Dave the Rave!
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:45 AM   #2
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1973 23' Safari
Bethlehem , Pennsylvania
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Very nice Dave!

Ellen
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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1965 22' Safari
Salt Lake City , Utah
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Looks like you found a great trailer.
Good luck with her.
BWH
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:23 PM   #4
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1965 22' Safari
Vassar , Michigan
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65 Safari is our favorite!

You found a real gem. Take your time and do it right. Should last another 45 Years.....Tim
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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1965 22' Safari
Shelter Island , New York
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Serenity, now

Some the second phase of this magical journey of airstream love happened over the past weekend. I tried to work the angles on having the trailer towed the 200 miles from Kingston, NY to Shelter Island, NY. The results, in short, were disappointing.

Horizon refused to tow her with magnetic trailer lights and no brakes (even though she's a just flighty 3300lbs). The Camper Barn wanted about $1700 bucks plus tax to get her ready to pass inspection, meaning working lights and brakes (labor at $99 an hour at a number of hours set by a book). Then Horizon still wanted about $400 for the tow. Spending $2100 to move a trailer I just bought for $3600 seemed nuts, especially paying so dearly for repairs that I could make myself for about $50 once I got her home

I asked about Horizon flatbedding her. $850 plus about $100 or more in tolls. That still seemed nuts since that's a grand out the door with nothing to show for it and I had a suspicion that getting it on and off the trailer would proof to be a bear. No way that giant trailer was going to wind up getting the airstream in my driveway, unless the Army Corp of Engineers did some major modifications.

So, having used U-haul to get her from the previous owner's yard on the side of a mountain need Woodstock to the Camper's Barn RV shop, I repeated the process on a grander scale. I had rented a Ford F-150 at $29 +.59 per mile for the first trip and wound up with a 14 foot van for this more ambitious outing. U-haul was great. They had no problem renting me a truck to pull my private trailer. They even checked to make sure the umbilical connection was working and measured the hitch height for me.

I towed 200 miles, from Upstate New York, through Westchester and over the Tappan Zee bridge, across the Bronx and over the Throgs Neck Bridge (where do they get these bridge names?). Then down the Long Island Expressway, through the Hamptons and across the South Ferry onto Shelter Island. There was a moment or two but it really went very well and now our new-old Safari is sitting in the driveway awaiting some TLC.
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I was amazed at how much improvement came from vacumming the mouse poop and throwing out the dear bird carcass. She smells much better now!

After a quick rinse with dish soap, water and some shop rags, she looks a thousand percent improved. I'm actually thinking about waxing her up before the renovations begin:

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The best news it how functional she is. I pulled out the 30 amp cord, hooked up a 15 amp adapter and lit her up. I do mean lit her up:
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I was astonished at what good shape her systems were in. When I bought the Safari there was no way to test anything and the previous owner had no idea about anything - her ex had bought the airstream and left her with shattered air-dreams. I made the assumption that nothing worked - it was 45 years old and everything looked original and unrepaired - anything that did work would be gravy. So I was shocked to find all the DC lighting works, even the porch light (although that lens is looking a bit melted - someone must have used bulbs with too much wattage). They I turned on the original vent fan and that spun to life, healthily. I flicked the water pump switch and that kicked on (although without any water in the tank I don't know if it may need some attention yet). In a stupor I slid the A/C thermostat down and nearly feinted as the compressor and the fan fired up. I couldn't believe a moment later when I touched the chilly coils!! The fan is sorta lurching along and either needs some lubrication or a replacement, but that's OK.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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1965 22' Safari
Shelter Island , New York
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Thanks for the positive feedback, all!
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:04 PM   #7
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1972 29' Ambassador
Fayetteville , West Virginia
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That is so wonderful! I just made a similar purchase, and am moving her this week, and i hope I have as much good fortune as you have had.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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Irving , Texas
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Great 65

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkasten View Post
You found a real gem. Take your time and do it right. Should last another 45 Years.....Tim
Got a nice one!Long live 65s After polishing a 28 ft., a Safari will be my next venture.Checkout Tim's interior.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #9
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Wow. Looks like a good score. Thanks for the info about towing with U-haul vehicles. That increases options for far-away trailer recoveries.

Tom
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:21 PM   #10
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1965 22' Safari
Shelter Island , New York
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So after about a month of life coming between me and the 'stream, I finally got to work. I'm about a third of the way (I hope) through stripping her down. The three gauchos are out as well as a few wood partitions, the fresh water tank and all the floor tiles. I got that all done in one night last weekend. After spending the day painting a bedroom and cooking dinner, I was finally free to go at it. So I started around 8pm and kept going till about 3am. I didn't stop because I was tired (I was so jazzed I could have worked for hours) - instead I ran out of brain power to figure out where all those damn screws were hidden.

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I learned all the 110 outlets are disconnected, the line cut just outside the fuse box. Don't know why. I learned that in 1965 airstream had a strange mix of phillips and flat head screws, often on he same piece of the interior. I learned that 45 year old screws strip really easily. I learned that you can safely sawzall with just illumination from a head mounted led lamp.

I also discovered I don't have the magic trailer. Despite reading and hearing that all vintage airstreams have floor damage, I was certain mine didn't. I simply hadn't found any. But then I pulled the side gaucho and there, back in the corner, near the water heater, I found some crappy floor.
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I haven't assessed the extent of the problem, since the water heater compartment is the one spot I haven't gotten inside yet. I'll know more when I get the rest of the cabinetry out this weekend. I'm surprised that the only access to that spot seems to be from the outside and requires removing a ton of screws. Does anyone have any tips for getting those rear corner cabs out?

I'm thrilled that the rest of the floor is solid as a rock. I'm also thrilled that the worst of that smell is gone since I took out that cushion that had a rat nest inside.

I look forward to testing the propane systems before I pull them out. Is my 1525 series furance deadly? It looks to be in very clean condition. I've read some posts that the older furnaces are dangerous. I'm hoping the fridge will work and the propane lamp. I expect to replace the water heater.

The best news? I found the original owner's manual!

Dag
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:24 PM   #11
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The San Juan Islands , Washington
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What a good looking Safari. You said you were planning on modernizing it are you going to keep the original cabinetry or build your own? Looks like a lot of fun.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:11 PM   #12
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Thanks NicheVintage.

I really don't know yet how I'll wind up re-doing it. Lots of ideas spinning around in my head. At the moment my thought is that we really don't need much cabinetry at all, but I'll keep it all for now, if only for templates.

I'm expecting that she'll get used mostly as a guest cottage and maybe a once a year trip to camp on the beach at Montauk for a week. I want it to be really cozy when used as a guest house. So I don't think I need much storage. I really want to reconfigure the bathroom, I just hate the original layout.

Some of the other ideas I'm toying with are a pair of comfy chairs and a nearly queen-size bed, maybe select-a-number since I've heard they do custom rv work. Maybe a catalytic furnace and I'm wondering if a water heater is really necessary. I certainly want to keep the 110/propane fridge, one sink and maybe put in a 2 burner cooktop along with a microwave. I'd really like to combine the fridge, microwave, sink and cooktop into a really compact space while freeing up as much living space as possible.

I am open to all suggestions - But first, lots of cleaning.

Dave the Rave!
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:14 AM   #13
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Hey Dave,

You really have found a very clean Safari. Your pics indicate that it is in very good shape. If you are going to restore/update the original floor plan then I have pics of mine to share. As far as the soft floor spot by the storage door my guess is that the door seal was leaking. Not uncommon problem. I changed out all of the door seals on mine and no more leaks. We love our 65. Good luck with your project which every way you go....Tim
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:56 PM   #14
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Thanks, Tim

You did an incredible job. I'd love to see more pics. I can't find the story of your restoration - have you written it up?

What did you use for your floor? What did you paint the walls with?

Dave The Rave!
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