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Old 06-17-2014, 05:52 PM   #1
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Value of a 1966 Safari... thoughts?

Hi All,

I am very interested in purchasing a vintage Airstream to camp in. I'd like to buy one that's ready to camp - don't have time to do a restoration and I'd rather leave that to the experts, but know there will be maintenance over time.

I found a listing for this 1966 Safari 22' that I think has a lot of potential as a previously restored trailer. I don't really know what a good price for a restored trailer is for Safari. I was close to buying a '66 Caravel not that long ago, but was warned that the guy seemed like a flipper. I've sent a note to the seller, but thought I'd see if anything stands out to anyone here and how big of a deal the air conditioner fix might be. (sounds minor)

Anyway, here's the listing:
1966 Airstream Safari 22 for sale in Arlington Heights, Illinois

Thanks for any and all input!
Mike
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:25 PM   #2
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Not all restorations are equal. Get a list of everything that has been done, with pics if possible. It is easy to do superficial sprucing up without addressing serious issues.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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Oh, and welcome to the Forums!

To expand on my comment above, there are many trailers out there that claim to be fully renovated, "restored to original," etc.. You really don't know what they are worth until you get inside, inspect them thoroughly, and ask a lot of questions. If the restorer has documented their efforts with blogs, pictures, receipts, etc., so much the better.

For the asking price of this Safari, I would expect the axle to have been replaced, all appliances to be working, no rotten subfloor, all obvious leaks addressed, functioning awning--as you say, "ready to camp." It would be bonus if the trailer has had grey water tanks retrofit, but might dictate a higher price.

It looks like it has a new-ish air conditioner, so at least you don't have some ancient wreck riveted to the roof. This is not to say that it might not require replacement, though. It would be nice if the seller figured out what the problem is rather than just reporting that there seems to be a problem. Between the AC and the missing furnace, there is probably some negotiating room.

At a glance, the awning arms look wonky--not a brand I recognize. Its worth asking some questions about and requesting a demonstration.

At the end of the day, you ought to be able to buy a "ready to camp" vintage trailer for the price being asked--its up to you to ensure you aren't buying a trailer full of problems that have simply been covered up with new flooring and other superficial touch-ups.

good luck!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for the comments. I sent a message to the seller with a variety of questions and also reached out to an inspector that's close by to see what it would cost for them to do an inspection as well, since I could look for things that stand out to me, but I might not know to look at others.

Can I bother you with a few more questions:

Furnace removed... How big of a deal
Is this if a space heater does the job, or should I look at putting a furnace back in (and by me, I mean a dealer/service shop)?

Grey water tanks... What's the deal with having a grey tank? Did this vintage only have a blank tank and everything drained into it? Is this much of an issue if a camp ground has full hookups?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #5
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If you intend to always camp with full hookups, then the grey water tanks and heating won't make much difference. Airstream didn't start putting grey tanks in the smaller trailers until the mid-to late seventies. Before then, the grey water would either go straight out of the trailer and into the sewer hookup, or if there was no hookup, then it went out on the ground. You can't just dump grey water on the ground anymore.

You want a propane fired furnace if you intend to camp when it is cold, and especially if you intend to camp where you don't have an electrical hookup. A new propane furnace will cost you somewhere around $500, plus labor for installation. Your typical electrical space heater will put out a trickle of heat compared to a 20-30k btu forced air propane furnace. There are plenty of Airstreamers that swear by non-furnace heating schemes--it is just a matter of how cold you intend to camp.

good luck!
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #6
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Hello Vintagecamp:

Wow! - Those are photos of a beautiful '66 Safari - They look like they could have been used in the original factory brochure.

I have a '67 Safari 22' which I purchased in 1977. I bought it because the wife wanted "that one"! It had many deep dents and not many things really worked. I paid $5,500.00 for it and everyone including Airstream dealers gleefully told me I had paid twice what it was worth.

I have used that trailer since 1977, and have more than $20,00.00 invested in non-cosmetic repairs. I love my well used, very functional '67 Safari. I frequently get stopped when on the highway because some other old coot wants to ask questions (usually starts with "what year is that?"). If you purchase an Airstream restored to the degree of perfection as that you depict, be prepared for lots of lookers.

My advise is not to sweat the small stuff like that non-existence furnace. Chances are that it was the suburban furnace everyone needed to pull out because they weren't safe. You could install a catalitic heater if your not planning on camping in the snow.

Should you wish to be legal in all states, you will need a grey water tank, (Airstream didn't put one in originally). I intended to do it my self, but Rod at C & G Airstream trailer service told me he would install one for $500.00. That was cheaper and better than I could do it for, so he got that job. Rod and his father before him have given me lots of good advise over the years.

My Airstream originally came with the old split-rims. Never a tire problem. Now I am told it's illegal and I had to switch to ST tires. Many problems, including torn-up wheel wells + a tear in the adjacent exterior panel. Many folks here have gone back to LT tires, but I have been told that violates your insurance. Hard to win when the government tells us we must buy tires made in China.

My suggestions would be:

1. Be certain this is the trailer you and your family want.

2. Look at the trailer or have your designated agent look at it for you.

3. Make an offer because this old man thinks the price is too high. It's higher than the price was when it was new.

4. Still want it? - then make the purchase and start the fun.

No matter what you pay, you will be the one to make it all worthwhile.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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Thanks so much helmsman! I appreciate the feedback.

How maneuverable do you find your 1967 22' Safari? I'd really like to store it in a building I own but I'm concerned it won't fit in the way I want it to. The building sits along an alley that's probably 18' wide, and has a 10' x 12' overhead door. The building is 22' wide, but I'm thinking I should be able to use a hand-truck to roll the camper into/out of the building. Maybe I'm dreaming. The building itself is 23' x 100' and would give me space during the winter months to tinker, update as needed.

Have you ever tried to move your camper not on a hitch, but rather on a wheeled jack? Something like this:
Trailer Valet Swivel Jack and Trailer Mover - Topwind - 15" Lift - 500 lbs Trailer Valet Trailer Jack STC-V211

Just curious... need to do some more digging.
Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagecamp View Post
Thanks so much helmsman! I appreciate the feedback.

How maneuverable do you find your 1967 22' Safari? I'd really like to store it in a building I own but I'm concerned it won't fit in the way I want it to. The building sits along an alley that's probably 18' wide, and has a 10' x 12' overhead door. The building is 22' wide, but I'm thinking I should be able to use a hand-truck to roll the camper into/out of the building. Maybe I'm dreaming. The building itself is 23' x 100' and would give me space during the winter months to tinker, update as needed.

Have you ever tried to move your camper not on a hitch, but rather on a wheeled jack? Something like this:
Trailer Valet Swivel Jack and Trailer Mover - Topwind - 15" Lift - 500 lbs Trailer Valet Trailer Jack STC-V211

Just curious... need to do some more digging.
Thanks!
There are some more heavy-duty powered systems that perform similar tasks, too. If the path into/out of the building is fairly smooth and level it may be workable, but if there are big dips, gravel, etc. it can be challenging.

If there's room to maneuver inside the building and you can use the full 18' width of the alley, a trailer-mover might get a 22' trailer in and out through a 10' door.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helmsman View Post
Should you wish to be legal in all states, you will need a grey water tank, (Airstream didn't put one in originally).

My Airstream originally came with the old split-rims. Never a tire problem. Now I am told it's illegal and I had to switch to ST tires. Many problems, including torn-up wheel wells + a tear in the adjacent exterior panel. Many folks here have gone back to LT tires, but I have been told that violates your insurance. Hard to win when the government tells us we must buy tires made in China.
There is nothing illegal about not having a gray water tank. You just cannot dump gray water on the ground in many areas anymore. A blue boy tank works well if you need one.

Split rims are also not illegal, but it is hard to find a shop which will mount or dismount tires on them. It is a safety issue for them.

Airstream supplies LT tires as original equipment on the EB series, they are not illegal at all, nor do they violate any insurance. The government is not telling you you must buy tires made in China.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #10
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Any thoughts besides an inspection?

Response from the seller:

Sorry for the delayed response, I'm out of town. I've had a fair amount of interest in the trailer and many want more pics. It'll be a week before I can make that happen. The axle while looking rusty seems to be solid. I have had toe dealers do work on the trailer and neither said any thing abut the axle being a concern. We're in a Chicago suburb and have taken the trailer to the southern tip of Illinois as well as to Peoria on IIl's western boarder. I thought leaks we're a thing of the past but after a very heavy rain there was a small amount of water on the floor near the table and on the table. I've been in the trailer during rain storms and haven't seen any leaks. There were soft spots on the floor, The wood in those areas has been replaced. I pulled out the furnace and we've used a potable heater in it's place. It did a great job as long as you've got 110. Tires are about 10 years old, look good, and have very few miles. I've owned the trailer about 10 years. There's no dents on the road side. I did lose an access panel and have put a piece of aluminum sheet metal in it's place. Bathroom is original and functional. Also included is a sway control package.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #11
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Axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagecamp View Post
Any thoughts besides an inspection?

Response from the seller:

Sorry for the delayed response, I'm out of town. I've had a fair amount of interest in the trailer and many want more pics. It'll be a week before I can make that happen. The axle while looking rusty seems to be solid. I have had toe dealers do work on the trailer and neither said any thing abut the axle being a concern. We're in a Chicago suburb and have taken the trailer to the southern tip of Illinois as well as to Peoria on IIl's western boarder. I thought leaks we're a thing of the past but after a very heavy rain there was a small amount of water on the floor near the table and on the table. I've been in the trailer during rain storms and haven't seen any leaks. There were soft spots on the floor, The wood in those areas has been replaced. I pulled out the furnace and we've used a potable heater in it's place. It did a great job as long as you've got 110. Tires are about 10 years old, look good, and have very few miles. I've owned the trailer about 10 years. There's no dents on the road side. I did lose an access panel and have put a piece of aluminum sheet metal in it's place. Bathroom is original and functional. Also included is a sway control package.
The seller will always say they have had a lot of inquiries! That is a sales tool to get you to make a hurry up decision to buy. Soft spots are always a sign of previous or continuing leak issues. The loss of an access door is no big deal VintageTrailerSupply.com and OutofDoorsMart.com both sell replacements now. You need a propane furnace in the trailer to keep the black water tank from freezing in cold weather. The ducting does not work with any other substitute heater. Sure you can use a electric or other area heater to warm the cabin but a furnace is a furnace not a heater! Sway control package is nice but should not add to the asking price...(what will they do with it if they keep it after the trailer is sold)? The AXLE IS LIKELY BAD AND WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED!!!! Even if it has spent a lot of time on the roads if it is rusty or has sat for any amount of time the axle contains rubber rods that will have taken a set and will no longer cushion the ride of the coach like it should! The axle suspension if bad will tear the trailer apart over time. Tires more than 5 years old are in need of replacement so tires 10 years old are a blowout waiting to happen! I think all these things are cause for a good price negotiation. Before you buy and tow it, at least to get it up to Waterloo I would have the wheel bearings repacked and new LT tires installed. The A/C not working may be a repair or replace issue so keep that in mind. Awnings are great but not a must have. Be sure it is operable and in good repair or lower your offer. With any 45+ year old trailer, looks can be deceiving, However this trailer appears to be in reasonable condition but I would say to offer less and see if they will take a lower price due to the issues described in your post and anything more you find on seeing the trailer in person. Ed
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:47 PM   #12
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Hello again Vintagecamp:

You asked about how maneuverable my '67 airstream 22' is. I have a driveway alongside my home (fence on the opposite side) that I must back into. I have clearance of 3" on each side of the trailer. I have a home made powered dolly that I purchased from a former Airstream owner that does the job for me. When I bought my trailer, I don't believe there was anything mass produced for the market like there is now.

I only have a single axle and I can spin the trailer in place. Naturally I take it real slow and check each side of the trailer after backing a foot or so. With a trailer like you displayed, you can put that trailer anywhere you want.

It sounds to me that you have thought things out pretty well. Now, you only need to decide whether this trailer is for you.

Idroba mentioned not having a grey water tank wasn't illegal. He is absolutely correct. Because I can get along fine for a week or more with my black water tank and I can fill a grey water tank in a day, (gotta have a daily shower). I opted to add the grey water tank because as your prospective trailer is now, grey water goes on the ground (illegal some places). I do use a blue boy for the grey water just not hooked up all the time. I opted for a smaller Blue Boy (smaller than my grey water tank) because I walk it to a disposal site daily - more trips but not so heavy. I also must fill the fresh water tank from a bucket. I make several trips daily because a shower a day for each person requires lots of water.

Maybe it's only here in California but every tire dealer refuses to sell me anything but ST tires. I purchased two just this year and was told again when I asked about LT tires, that it's illegal to put anything but ST tires on a trailer. I have also been told that presently all ST tires are made in China.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:10 PM   #13
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Maybe it's only here in California but every tire dealer refuses to sell me anything but ST tires. I purchased two just this year and was told again when I asked about LT tires, that it's illegal to put anything but ST tires on a trailer. I have also been told that presently all ST tires are made in China.
Must be the dealers in your area. Even fussy Costco here will be glad to put LT tires on a trailer, and as I mentioned Airstream equips the new EB series with LT tires (Michelin) from the factory. A lot of us have converted to 16" rims and LT tires. A lot of threads on the subject here on the Forum.
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