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Old 11-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
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Rebuilding 1966 Safari: Seeking Advice

Hi everyone, this is my first post, my first airstream and the beginning of a life long dream to rebuild a vintage airstream into a mobile studio and living space!

I was able to get a 1966 22 Safari Double in pretty rough condition for only $500! It's completely gutted and some of the panels are pretty dinged up. I'll be posting questions here and hoping that as I learn maybe I can give back in some way to the amazing airstream community here.

My first question is if anyone knows the approximate GVWR for this model airstream. The literature only lists a trailer weight (3300lbs).

My second question would be, does anyone know how much one of these trailers might weigh once all the appliances, shelves and interior parts are removed (Since this is completely empty I'm trying to get an idea of how much the furnishings/shelves I put in should weigh).

Thanks everyone for a great resource!
-J
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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This is definitely not a dumb question. Unfortunately, most of us are bozos and we don't think far enough ahead to get weights when the shell is gutted. All I can tell you is that my empty weight with all the new cabinets and appliances is pretty close to the original empty weight, maybe +200 or so pounds. You can find the original axle bearing capacity stamped on the axle, which will give you an idea of GVW. I'd add 200-300 to that and you'll be OK for the new GVW 95% of the time.

You are getting a new axle, right? If so, you can wait and weigh the refurbished trailer, then order an axle to match the new weight. Don't forget to subtract the axle and wheel weights (they aren't sprung) and add all the provisions.

BTW, welcome. You have a real task ahead of you.

Zep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becomeuseful View Post
Hi everyone, this is my first post, my first airstream and the beginning of a life long dream to rebuild a vintage airstream into a mobile studio and living space!

I was able to get a 1966 22 Safari Double in pretty rough condition for only $500! It's completely gutted and some of the panels are pretty dinged up. I'll be posting questions here and hoping that as I learn maybe I can give back in some way to the amazing airstream community here.

My first question is if anyone knows the approximate GVWR for this model airstream. The literature only lists a trailer weight (3300lbs).

My second question would be, does anyone know how much one of these trailers might weigh once all the appliances, shelves and interior parts are removed (Since this is completely empty I'm trying to get an idea of how much the furnishings/shelves I put in should weigh).

Thanks everyone for a great resource!
-J
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #3
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Welcome!

Hi J, Welcome to the forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becomeuseful View Post
My first question is if anyone knows the approximate GVWR for this model airstream. The literature only lists a trailer weight (3300lbs).
GVWR is probably 3300. My 67 is 3420 with a tongue weight of 398. Your 66 will be very close to this. Take a look here. http://vintageairstream.com/archives...ari/index.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becomeuseful View Post
My second question would be, does anyone know how much one of these trailers might weigh once all the appliances, shelves and interior parts are removed (Since this is completely empty I'm trying to get an idea of how much the furnishings/shelves I put in should weigh).
About 3400 lbs with dry tanks. Update: 1966 SAFARI 22 TWIN GVRW 3360 Tongue weight 377 hitch ball hght 20.5
1966 SAFARI 22 DOUBLE GVRW 3360 Tongue weight 377 hitch ball hght 20.5
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becomeuseful View Post
Hi everyone, this is my first post, my first airstream and the beginning of a life long dream to rebuild a vintage airstream into a mobile studio and living space!

I was able to get a 1966 22 Safari Double in pretty rough condition for only $500! It's completely gutted and some of the panels are pretty dinged up. I'll be posting questions here and hoping that as I learn maybe I can give back in some way to the amazing airstream community here.

My first question is if anyone knows the approximate GVWR for this model airstream. The literature only lists a trailer weight (3300lbs).

My second question would be, does anyone know how much one of these trailers might weigh once all the appliances, shelves and interior parts are removed (Since this is completely empty I'm trying to get an idea of how much the furnishings/shelves I put in should weigh).

Thanks everyone for a great resource!
-J
The original axle rating for a 1966 22 foot Airstream is 5000 pounds.

DO NOT, under any circumstances increase that rating.

You must decide, before you spend another penny, what you want the trailer to do for you.

Make a list of all the things that must be included, according to your list, and then fill in the costs, from A to Z.

You can then make a decent game plan along with the demands on your bank account.

From that, you can decide to continue, or sell it without making any other investments, other than the purchase price.

Guessing as you go along, will cause you to waste time, and more than likely, money too.

Andy
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
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Your axle is shot
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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Thanks Zeppelinium for the response!
I hadn't even considered getting a new axel!
Any idea how much it might cost or where to go to find out?
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
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GVWR - one more question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverleeper View Post
Hi J, Welcome to the forums.

GVWR is probably 3300. My 67 is 3420 with a tongue weight of 398. Your 66 will be very close to this. Take a look here. 66Safari

About 3400 lbs with dry tanks. Update: 1966 SAFARI 22 TWIN GVRW 3360 Tongue weight 377 hitch ball hght 20.5
1966 SAFARI 22 DOUBLE GVRW 3360 Tongue weight 377 hitch ball hght 20.5
Thanks again for the reply! Everyone has been extremely helpful. I suspected that the GVWR was around 3400 as the literature lists the vehicle weight at about 3400. If this is the case I'm still trying to figure out how much it weighs without anything so I can be conscious of the weight of what I add to it.

Basically I want to know how much weight I have to play with as I begin replacing the interior shelves, appliances and furnishings.

Any tips on weight distribution would be helpful too. Thanks again!
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
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Axel Question

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Originally Posted by Alumanutz View Post
Your axle is shot
Would you mind elaborating a bit.
Is the axle shot because of the model, the year, the age or do you have insider info on my exact airstream and a plot to take it out Mafia style.

I'm hoping to prioritize my repairs so I:

1) Address structural stability
2) Weather proof and insulate
3) Replace core systems (electrical, heat, plumbing).

Thanks again!
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #9
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Overall Goals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The original axle rating for a 1966 22 foot Airstream is 5000 pounds.

DO NOT, under any circumstances increase that rating.

You must decide, before you spend another penny, what you want the trailer to do for you.

Guessing as you go along, will cause you to waste time, and more than likely, money too.

Andy
Andy, this was a great post and I couldn't agree more.
Maybe if I list some of my overall goals it will help get some advice/support from those who have done similar.

1) My wife & I work in Photo & Video and often have to travel, as we would like to travel full time this will be a simple living space (we're very used to small spaces so no problem there) and a working space in which we can edit, and do post production work (mostly on laptops. We also hope that the interior will be designed in such a way where clients and collaborators can sit down comfortably to talk or review work. So think of a comfortable office/workspace that acts as a sleeping space after hours.

2) Interior as simple as possible, easy to maintain, easy to repair: Right now I have a surplus of very strong metro shelving in our studio. This is a bit heavier than what was in it before, but I'm considering using it to rebuild the shelfs and counters. I even have a design for a dinnette that turns into a sleeping space (we've tested it out using a memory foam bed topper and it's pretty comfortable).

3) Style: A cute and cozy submarine: this is the look I'm going for. Very sparse, very practical, not a lot to distract us when we're working, but still cozy enough to relax.

4) A relatively secure and waterproof area to store our cameras and laptop when we are out of the unit.

5) Utilities: As we do work in odd locations I want to add extra battery capacity and possibly a solar power system. The more easily this can go off grid the better. I've even considered doing without the black tank and using a chemical or composting toilet to simplify the plumbing (any opinions on this would be great). I'm interested in installing a marine wood-burning stove to assist with the heat. All the lighting will be LED and our laptops actually don't use much juice so I'm also hoping to keep our power consumption needs as low as possible.

Any advice or leads would be great.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becomeuseful View Post
Would you mind elaborating a bit.
Is the axle shot because of the model, the year, the age or do you have insider info on my exact airstream and a plot to take it out Mafia style.

I'm hoping to prioritize my repairs so I:

1) Address structural stability
2) Weather proof and insulate
3) Replace core systems (electrical, heat, plumbing).

Thanks again!

1974 and older Airstream original axles, will all fail. The composition of the rubber rods, it was learned, was incorrect.

Additionally, parking any trailer that is equipped with "torsion axles" regardless of brand, for an extended period of time, will also cause the rubber rods to fail.

Rubber, must be exercised in order to stay alive. A few miles each year seems to be adequate.

However, if the trailer will not move for a log period of time, removing the weight off the axles, will preserve their life.

You can learn more, if you wish, by visiting the Airstream Central articles.

Andy
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:42 AM   #11
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You should do the following in order:

1. Buy your axle from Andy at Inland RV. He and his folks will get you through this step.

2. Order replacement rubber seals for the doors and windows (Andy carries those as well).

3. While waiting for the axle and seals to arrive, seal up all the seams on the trailer well.

4. Determine if you need to replace the floor or not. There are lots of helpful posts her on the forums regarding that subject.

5. Be aware that your trailer has aluminum wiring. Not a problem. You just need to be aware of what you are working with.

6. What shape is the plumbing system in? Do you have original copper plumbing? Might be a good time to upgrade. My '66 still had the original working water pump in it when I bought it.

7. I have taken my '66 out and worked from it (I office at home) and the front dinette worked well as an office.

Congratulations on your purchase of a '66 Safari. They are sweet units and just the right size. Not too big and not too small. Goldilocks would have loved one
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #12
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You should do the following in order:


3. While waiting for the axle and seals to arrive, seal up all the seams on the trailer well.

Congratulations on your purchase of a '66 Safari. They are sweet units and just the right size. Not too big and not too small. Goldilocks would have loved one
Make sure you use the correct exterior sealers.

Vulkem is great for large seams, and Parbond is equally as good, for the small seams.

DO NOT use any silicone sealers on the exterior.

ANDY
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:14 PM   #13
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Axle failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
1974 and older Airstream original axles, will all fail. The composition of the rubber rods, it was learned, was incorrect.

Additionally, parking any trailer that is equipped with "torsion axles" regardless of brand, for an extended period of time, will also cause the rubber rods to fail.

Rubber, must be exercised in order to stay alive. A few miles each year seems to be adequate.

However, if the trailer will not move for a log period of time, removing the weight off the axles, will preserve their life.

You can learn more, if you wish, by visiting the Airstream Central articles.

Andy
Does this mean my 73 Argosy needs replacement?
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:30 PM   #14
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Does this mean my 73 Argosy needs replacement?
Hi Nick, Odds are it's replacement time. Take a look at these articles here. http://service.airstream.com/files/l...22708290a0.pdf and The Dura-Torque Axle. There is a lot to learn on axles so please take your time and read through this section. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437/. It will take some time but it could save you a buck or two.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #15
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So this is the same issue for Argosy? We recently went from MI to FL (2400 mi round trip). Somewhere in TN we got a flat in the middle of the night; we discovered it after stopping for fuel. We could have ridden +/- 100 miles on three tires.

Also, we bought this used from an Argosy dealer in NC. They were great and had sold and serviced this unit previously. They assured me that the axles and bearings were in good condition. In fact, the service manager said the axles were the best on the road. (He even commented that you could get a flat without noticing it!)

My point being that this doesn't sound like bad axles. I'm willing to do the diligence and appreciate the link. Was there a particular thread in that info Lee?

Nick
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:05 PM   #16
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You may be in luck. Do the tests to check the angles and if your happy with the results then nothing more needs to be done. The axles could have been replaced at sometime or some how they are still good. Anything is possible.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:03 PM   #17
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Lee.

There are several errors in this link, which can be very misleading, especially to a newbie.

Airstream will be pulling it, to correct the errors.

The worst error, that they own up to, is the last paragraph.

Andy
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:43 PM   #18
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Does this mean my 73 Argosy needs replacement?
Read the article about torsion axles in the Airstream Central site.

That will help you answer your question.

It does not have the errors that the article in Airstream's site has.

Andy
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Lee.

There are several errors in this link, which can be very misleading, especially to a newbie.

Airstream will be pulling it, to correct the errors.

The worst error, that they own up to, is the last paragraph.

Andy
Andy, Thanks for your concern on this matter. You keep stating that this post from Airstream.com on axles is misleading and will be pulled. What are the errors and if it is wrong why hasn't Airstream.com corrected or pulled this from the site? You realize that if Airstream.com corrects the errors that the link I posted will be good and if Airstream.com removes the link it will no linger be valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The worst error, that they own up to, is the last paragraph.

Andy
Andy, I see know evidence of Airstream.com owning up to the last paragraph. Please help me by backing up this statement. Sorry Andy there is only one place in my life where I have blind faith.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:23 AM   #20
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It would seem logical to me that jacking up a trailer is not the same as no load. But what do I know; I'm a newbie who's really confused and concerned right now...
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