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Old 09-15-2002, 05:46 PM   #1
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2003 Safari 25'

Buying a new one, International is too small and the Classic is too heavy. Anything I should watch out for or add? Pulling with a 2002 Dodge Quad Cab 1/2 ton w/ small V8. Rated at 6300# so the Safari at 6300#GVW should be ok. Any hints, tips would be greatly appreciated as this is my first adventure with a Trailer.
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Old 09-15-2002, 07:24 PM   #2
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Re: 2003 Safari 25

Quote:
Originally posted by Melvin P. Thorpe
Anything I should watch out for or add?
Melvin,

I'm not up on the Safari 2003 standard features or options but consider having one or two Fantastic Fans. I have two. Having a spare tire and carrier would be a plus. Power hitch jack is also something I would not be without.

In the catagory of things we didn't add on, I think my wife might say that she wishes that we had taken the microwave/convection oven option and the CD player option.

Instead of taking a trailer off the dealer lot, I had one built with the options in the first paragraph. I would rather have the factory build the options at assembly time than having the dealer tear things apart to add the fans and spare tire assembly (since this requires cutting on the underbelly).

I know in 2002 they added a custom trim level which packages the power jack and one Fantastic Fan. I think that same trim level adds Corian counter tops. Caution on this because you are picking up some extra weight on that one item.

Jack
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Old 09-15-2002, 11:03 PM   #3
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Question Small v8?

I question pulling that trailer with the small V8. I pulled my previous, much lighter, trailer with a Dakota with the 5.2, the forerunner of the current 4.7. I am quite sure that it would be a dud pulling my International at just under 5000#. My 5.3 Vortec Silverado just adequately does the job.

IMHO, pulling the rated tow limitis a guaranteed disappointment. The usual rule of thumb is to limit to 75% of the rated tow limit of the truck.
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Old 09-16-2002, 08:46 AM   #4
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Melvin,
Your tow vehicle may not be alright as the gross towing weight for the truck (6300#) does not include passengers, cargo and wet weights (gas, etc.) in the tow vehicle. I prefer having at least 1500# over the gross trailer weight as an extra safety cushion.

Seldom do I tow my 1999 Safari 25C at it's gross weight, but you are going to be pushing the limits of your truck and it will wear prematurely. I used to tow mine with a 1998 Land Rover until I blew the engine in 2001. I use a Yukon now.

With my 25C the one thing that is really getting to me is the corner bed. It is a pain in the a.. to make up and just a wee bit tooo small for my wife and me. Otherwise, we have been happy with ours and will definitely buy another Airstream after my kids have finished destroying this one.

I agree with Jack's comments on the fan, jack, tire, etc.

Good luck.
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:09 AM   #5
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corner bed

Hate to go to a twin but it is a few inches wider and longer and I'm getting old enough that I want to sleep occasionally. I have the Dodge on lease so if it turns out to be a dog pulling the 25 I'll just HAVE TO get a new truck. Does anyone have the twin beds and the dinette option instead of the couch? What are the merits of both? I appreciate all your help, as you know this is not a cheap date so I would like to cover as many bases as possible before plunking down the moolah.

One other item, is the Hensley overkill on a 25? Is the Dual-Cam adequate?
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:53 AM   #6
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Thumbs down Hensley

I don't think it warrents a Hensley. Truck weight will nearly equal gross trailer weight. Twin-Cam should be plenty.

Fellow at a rally complained at having to hitch up with the Hensley when not on perfect, flat site. He and wife were over there struggling while I hooked up alone and was gone.
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Old 09-16-2002, 11:31 AM   #7
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I like having dual Fantastic vents... you can really cool the trailer without having the windows open (for privacy or security) by having one flowing in and one flowing out.

On the twin beds, make SURE 78" is enough length. There's a wall at each end of the bed. At least with the short queen, you can let your feet hang off the end if it isn't long enough. I'd agree the 52" bed in the 6-sleeper wouldn't be wide enough for comfortable sleeping, yet would be too wide to make up in a corner.

I wouldn't give up the couch for a dinette. You can sit 3 for dining at the foldout table, 2 on the couch and one in a folding chair (the credenza in the 25' blocks the 4th position). The 27' will sit four.

The shower entrance in a 25' is a bit tight for me. The 27' is better. The 27' gives up the tall pantry, but has more counter space, and a huge pantry on the other side, where it makes room for a 4th diner. It also has twice the wardrobe space.

I know the 27' is 700 lbs heavier, but I think you're going to wind up getting a bigger truck with a 25' so you might want to consider not limiting the trailer to a truck you may have to replace anyway.

When I was young and quick, I never had any problems getting to the brake controller to stop a swaying trailer. But now I'm old and slow, so the Hensley is worth every penny to me, especially on a 34', but I'd have one even with a 25'. You can adjust the angle of the Hensley to the truck with the spring bars, and even tilt it for uneven ground by tighting them asymmetrically. Add a tongue twister to tweak final line-up and it shouldn't be any harder than any other hitch.

Just my perspective.
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Old 09-16-2002, 11:33 AM   #8
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Oh yeah... I meant to add... I'd rather have the gas oven than the microwave/convection for times when 120V power isn't available. But that depends entirely on how you cook.
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Old 09-16-2002, 12:06 PM   #9
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Melvin, I have the 25' B model. It has a walk-around queen bed and a full bath. The downside is you give up the dinnette but we usually dine outside and when that is not possible we use the fold out table in the living room. If you get the model with the large (5' high) pantry BEWARE! Mine came open while travelling and made quite a mess. Ask Airstream to add a second latch to the door so it can't come open. I sometimes wish I had the 27'. The two extra feet would be nice but then there are times when I couldn't get a longer trailer into my favorite spaces.
Good luck with whatever you decide on. I'm sure you will enjoy it.
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Old 09-16-2002, 12:35 PM   #10
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Can you work the best "deal" by ordering from the factory or by buying one in stock? With no holding costs or flooring I would expect that ordering one is best. Any ideas on the dealers with the sharpest pencil?
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Old 09-16-2002, 01:13 PM   #11
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Oven

I use the oven only for pot-lucks at rallys. I bought mine off the lot with oven, but I would choose only the cooktop if I ordered one from the factory. I do carry a microwave.

I have friends who, for years, have never even used their oven except for storage. I may start doing that myself with plenty of padding. I think it would hold a Dutch oven in the foam packing material.
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Old 09-16-2002, 01:13 PM   #12
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I ordered mine at the LA RV show. The next one is in October. I was able to get a little off the list price and I got Airstream to through in an electric tongue jack.
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Old 09-16-2002, 02:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Melvin P. Thorpe
Can you work the best "deal" by ordering from the factory or by buying one in stock? With no holding costs or flooring I would expect that ordering one is best. Any ideas on the dealers with the sharpest pencil?
You have to buy from a dealer. A/S will not sell direct. One of the reasons I ordered mine rather than buying from dealer stock was the fact that the 2001 unit on the local dealer's lot was built in July 2000 and at the time I was looking it was March 2001. Interestingly enough there was at least one change during the model year. The unit at the dealer had two front lights to each side of the front window. My new built didn't have those. The other issue was I didn't want to retrofit the fans and the spare tire mount.

From a deal standpoint the dealer is probably paying interest on the financing for stock that is sitting on his lot. It behooves him to minimize the time spent there. I probably might have gotten a better deal to take the trailer on the lot. Especially having the dealer retrofit the fans and spare tire carrier in his maintenance shop.

I shopped via the Internet for price quotes. My local dealer was about $200 higher than the best deal I had found. I bought from him since the difference in price wasn't worth the travel and my time, and I felt that if I had issues during warranty with Airstream, I'd like to have the local dealer support me.

Keep in mind that a Safari has a lower mark up than a Classic line. You should be able to get at least 18% off retail for Safari's although most rule of thumb is 25% for most SOB travel trailers and probaby for the Classic line also. Another thing to remember is that the Safari is Airstream's best selling trailer. You may not get as good a deal due to demand.

Keep in mind I have no inside information so my percentages were based on my own research. Your mileage may differ...

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:29 AM   #14
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Melvin,
I have a 2002-25' Safari "B" Model(rear qn. bed/front sofa). I pull it with a 2002 Ford SuperCrew P/U. It has the 5.4 V-8 with 3.55 rear end, 4wd, auto trans. Much the same as your truck, except I may have a larger engine. The max tow weight on my truck is 7100#'s. I had my trailer weighed in my travel configuration(10 gal. water, empty holding tanks, food items, tools and clothing for a 30 day trip), it came in at 5360#'s.
I just completed a 6000 mi trip from Memphis, TN to Glacier NP, via Colorado Springs, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and on return the Black Hills. I encountered interstate, city, 2-lane roads and mountains on the way. The highest pass I exprienced was 9640 ft. entering Grand Teton from the East. I had absolutely no difficulty with any of the trip. I use a dual-cam hitch, with Reese friction sway bar. All winds and 18 wheelers passing, I still had a stable platform.
I have the convection/mw oven. I have never used the conv. oven,but use the m/w often. This was the only way we could get a m/w in this unit that would be considered built in. I also have the c/d changer. It is a great addition, however, I dislike the speaker arrangement. I plan to modify that as soon as I can figure what I want to do. I did insist on and received a spare tire bracket and tire. I had the dealer install a Fantastic Fan. That is the one option I would consider to be a must. Get the model with rain sensor, reversable, and thermostat. You will not regret it!
I love this set-up. The unit may not have the fancy wood cabinets or counter tops, but it is very funtional and a true joy to travel with.
Good Luck with your purchase, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

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Old 09-23-2002, 05:33 PM   #15
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Thanks for the imput about travel weight. I have always considered that GVW was the max and few really loaded it at max. How has the queen bed been, would you still get that configuration?
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Old 09-23-2002, 05:43 PM   #16
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Interestingly enough I just browsed the A/S website and found that for 2003, the Safari will only be produced in one length, 25'. Looks like they also have changed the cabinet finishes and handles...possibly a counter top color also.

Sort of a shame since the 27' model, while not having the dinnette feature, did provide additional storage space in the form of an extra center closet and pantry next to the refrigerator.

If the 27' Safari wasn't available I wouldn't have an A/S today. Especially in light of the only alternative (new build) is a 28' Classic which weighs another 1,500 lbs. and carrys a list price almost 20K higher than the Safari.

For those of you on the fence for a new 27' Safari, you better get one of the 2002's before the're gone.

Jack
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Old 09-30-2002, 03:15 PM   #17
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Just saw a new 2003 25C. Really nice, really expensive. Why does it always work out that way!! Is the Dual Cam good enough or should I get the Hensley? The Dodge QuadCab has a pretty long wheelbase and I just ordered new high end 17" tires and Air Lift load levelers. A bit too much trailer for the Truck since it comes in at the GVWR that my truck is rated for but I'll have to live with it 'till the lease is up.
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Old 09-30-2002, 03:35 PM   #18
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Melvin,
The dual cam is an excellent setup and should suffice. If you have the $$ you can consider the Hensley. I'm using the dual cam and I'm very happy with the performance. I'm towing with a Chevy Express passenger van, and like your truck, it has a pretty big wheelbase.

The biggest issue with the dual cam is the mounting of some brackets which for some, hits in the area of the gas bottle shelf.

Jack
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Old 09-30-2002, 04:48 PM   #19
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Melvin,

I am not sure of what your wheel base is, but to give you an idea mine is 139". I use the dual cam WDH/Sway and it performs famously. Jack has a point about mounting the spring bar brackets. I think maybe Airstream must have measured everything out before buiding the 25 ft'r. My brackets attach exactly behind the LP bottles bracket so that the spring bars ride right in the cam where they were designed.

Have fun,
Brian
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:59 AM   #20
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High-performance Dual-Cam

I just installed the HP Dual-Cam on my 25' Classic yesterday. I haven't towed with it yet; in fact, I haven't made the final adjustment because the storage yard was so busy yesterday that I would have had trouble circulating. I would have asked someone to move had I been going on a trip, but I simply wanted to circle the yard and park in the middle where I would have been in everyone's way while I tightened down the bars. I'll do the final adjustment bit tomorrow.

Some comments:[list=1][*]The HP Dual-Cam is beautiful. All cast and/or machined bronze and hell-built for stout. Compared with a friction bar at $100+, the HO at $145 is a bargain. Even the plates for the chain attachments are impressive.[*]Be real careful drilling for the screws. I pulled some big sparks from a wire in the frame that I never expected to be there.[*]I was going to use my old friction bar, but my new 1000# bars had the integrated cam, so I said, "What the heck" and splurged for the HP.[*]The trailer pulled perfectly well with the friction bar for the 400 miles I have oput on so far. [/list=1]
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