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Old 09-22-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
Salt Lake City , Utah
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'65 Safari Major Renovation

The Project: 1965 Safari Double

Pretty much in original condition; exterior pretty good, interior pretty rough.
The shell is really in great shape, not perfect, but no big dents, holes, or leaks in the main shell. The biggest issue is a leak where the shell meets the door along the top of the bumper that accesses the blackwater drain valve and sewer hose. This leak resulted in 8” to 10” of the plywood subfloor across the very back to be rotted away, the rest of the floor is solid no soft spots. The black-water tank is cracked and will need to be replaced. I also plan to replace all of the appliances (furnace, hot-water heater, stove and refrigerator).

The basic plan is to gut the front end (every thing in front of the bathroom), saving and reusing whatever I can. The original zolatone paint is getting a very thorough scrubbing. Unfortunately, the walls will need what I am hoping will be a very thin coat of paint to even out dirty areas (that just will not come clean with out scrubbing off the original paint) and some areas where the original paint is flaked/chipped off or already scrubbed thin. I hope to maintain the original texture of the zolotone and hopefully some of the color variation. The original 9” by 9” asbestos floor tiles (most of which were removed by the previous owner) will be replaced with new ones as close to original as possible.
Then I will start to refinish, rebuild or make new cabinets and put the trailer back together with all new appliances.

Me thinks it would have been easier to have just purchased a new trailer.
Problem is we really like the looks of the 60’s vintage models, and this way we get the exact floor-plan we want.

Me wonders if I am in over my head.
What the hell that’s never stopped me before.

BWH
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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1965 22' Safari
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A Gem

You have found one of the gems. I'm a bit partial to a 65 Safari. We found ours a year ago this past May. It did take most of the year to restore/update the entire trailer. We had the same rear end leak you mentioned. That is called "rear end separation". Much is written about this in the forums. After fixing the leaks we added an eve over the trunk door which sheds water. Got it from Vintage Trailer Supply. We replaced everything including the axle which really made a huge improvement in the ride. Many, many, many hours of work but is a labor of love. We invested a bit over $12,000.00 (not counting purchase price) to get it to it's current condition. The new awnings cost a bunch but we really like them. We would not sell her for double what we have in it. Go slow and do it right (right means what you like) and you will have a beauty....Tim
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:10 PM   #3
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Me thinks it would have been easier to have just purchased a new trailer...

Me wonders if I am in over my head.
You may wish you had before its over...But let me be the first to say "Thanks" for making an effort to keep another vintage rig from facing anonymity.

Best of Luck,

Kevin
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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1965 22' Safari
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You have found one of the gems.
Go slow and do it right (right means what you like) and you will have a beauty....Tim
Tim, you have done a gorgeous job on your Safari. I will hold it as a goal.
I do plan to go slow to both "do it right", but also to enjoy the project.

Here are some pictures of where I am starting.
As you can see I have a way to go, but I don't see any insurmountable problems.
BWH
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:03 PM   #5
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BWH - You've got a real gem. I mean it is in really good shape. I used Watco Red Mahagany oil and restained the wood work (4 coates). Airstream only used red mahagony for a couple of years. Yours should clean up wonderfully. Thanks for the pics. I show off mine as often as I can before the polish dulls and it will so next spring out comes the Cyclo and Nuvite. This is the only pic I have ours when we first got it home. Enjoy your project....Tim
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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Great trailer!

BWH-

You have found a great trailer in above-average condition. Congratulations!

Please avoid some of the mistakes I made with my '65 Caravel -- shorter trailer, but with many of your issues.

(1) Don't even think about polishing yet
(2) Make sure your underbody structure is solid
(3) Plan your grey and black tank plumbing well.
(4) Review and repeat.
(5) Consider professional help with the substructure and plumbing.
(6) Take your time, enjoy your classic trailer and do it right.

I will try to find a thread on this forum about sealing the rear plywood. It's a design problem that is not hard to fix.

In the meantime, hopefully this thread will help. Our trailer was a wreck, so hopefully it will cover or link to some of the issues you have:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f145...vel-45046.html

For the light at the end of the tunnel, here's the first 15K miles of our travels:
65tumbleweed.tumbr.com

I'll try to keep an eye on your resto thread and jump in if I can be of help.

Final thought: learn how to use the search engine engine here, in conjunction with Google. There are golden nuggets of advice here, mixed in with quite a bit of prose.

I wish I saw this 3 weeks ago when we were in Salt Lake! It would have been good to meet.

John
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:44 PM   #7
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Hey BWH,

We're SLC Airstreamers too. We just sold our 1965 Caravel - still crying about it actually. She just left for her new home on Monday... We spent Monday night removing the inner skins and insulation from 'Zephyr,' a 1949 Trailwind and the reason we sold the Caravel. We completely gutted the Caravel and replaced the floor and the street side skin. We've done a lot of the other things too, like replace the vent with a fantastic fan, new axle (there's a local distributor of Dexters here), re-insulated, ran all new electrical, had custom black tank made AND started polishing (when I was waiting for parts to arrive and couldn't do anything else). We'd be happy to give you some tips/moral support if you'd like. We have to do even more on the Trailwind since we're rebuilding the frame as well. PM me and I'll send you my number. Good to know there's another poor soul with aluminitis nearby

Kelly
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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Good news

BWH-

You are so lucky to have Kelly nearby.

Having an experienced airstreamer nearby will be worth its weight in gold.

John
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:17 AM   #9
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1965 22' Safari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkasten View Post
BWH - You've got a real gem. I mean it is in really good shape. I used Watco Red Mahagany oil and restained the wood work (4 coates). Airstream only used red mahagony for a couple of years. Yours should clean up wonderfully. Thanks for the pics. I show off mine as often as I can before the polish dulls and it will so next spring out comes the Cyclo and Nuvite. This is the only pic I have ours when we first got it home. Enjoy your project....Tim
Hi, Tim

Thanks for sharing the mahogany advice. I found the WATCO red mahogany danish oil on Amazon. Can you elaborate a little on your process? Did you use a cleaner before starting with the oil? Did you finish with a sealer or wax?

Dave the Rave!
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #10
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1965 22' Safari
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You may wish you had [bought a new one] before its over...But let me be the first to say "Thanks" for making an effort to keep another vintage rig from facing anonymity.
Best of Luck, Kevin
I totally agree that these vintage trailers deserve to be treasured.
I read somewhere on the forums that these rigs will last more than a lifetime, generations in-fact, if well maintained.
That being the case, are we not more care-takers that owners.

Anyway, I plan to restore (return to original) as much as possible and renovate (make new) only when needed. The only real change I am planning is to put a small side dinette in-place of the street-side gaucho.
BWH
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #11
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Hi, Tim

Thanks for sharing the mahogany advice. I found the WATCO red mahogany danish oil on Amazon. Can you elaborate a little on your process? Did you use a cleaner before starting with the oil? Did you finish with a sealer or wax?

Dave the Rave!

We cleaned all wood work with Pine Sol and toweled dried. We then lightly sanded eveything - wiped off the dust and then applied the first coat of Watco. We used a brush the first time making sure nothing spilled. We were lucky that the PO did not varnish. The wood really soaked up the oil. After about an hour we wipped off and let dry over night with a fan running. We lightly sanded all wood a second time and then applied more oil. The third and 4th coats were done with rag and then buffed with clean cloth. We did not apply any wax or anything else. The rubbed finish that the Watco provides is all that's needed. We plan to re-oil each spring. A tip - All of the hardware (hinges, knobs, handles) came off before oiling. Then each was hand scrubbed with comet cleanser which brought back the stainless steel shine. Hope this helps....Tim
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #12
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Gutted

The photos in post #4 are actually a year or so old but I figured I start at the beginning. My goal is to document the whole process from start to finish.
Here is what she looks like today, gutted except for the rear bathroom.

I am resisting gutting the bathroom, but expect that my resistance will fail and logic will prevail and it will all be out soon.
I do have to replace the plywood floor across the very back, and removing the bath appears to be a prerequisite to replacing the floor.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:01 PM   #13
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A lot of progress for one weekend ;-)

The exterior looks nice and smooth. Everything inside looks so white, did you paint yet or just clean? You've really done a nice job of clearing her out - how hard was the work and did everything come out intact?

My floor tiles are pretty much coming up on their own - I'd be happy to box 'em up for you! Seriously though, I hope to do some upgrading and I'll be posting any vintage parts here first.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:33 AM   #14
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yup I just finished the removal of the bathroom in order to replace the floor, the lower two interior skins will need to be removed as well, and if yours is like mine you will have a million wires penetrating the streetside skin...Lots of fun
But at least you've got a beautiful coach to work with
Kevin
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