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Old 09-22-2006, 05:05 PM   #1
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Classic vs. Safari

I am contemplating full time, year round living in an Airstream trailer.
I realise this may have been spoken about before but I am unsure how to proceed here.
Which of the two types of trailer would hold up best for full time, hosue type living?
Is one better than the other for say solar modification?
Has one a better, strong chassis than the other?
Would the fitments inside hold up better in one or the other?
Sorry to dig this up again but as we all see there is a vast difference in price and weight which will impact decision making.
Oh and by the way this forum is excellant and its is fantastic that people are prepared to share information I am very pleased to be part of the "family" even if the Airstream is still waiting for me somewhere!
Thanks in advance.
Howie.
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:58 PM   #2
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Hello Howie and welcome to the Forums -- a few months late I see. Will you be a "snowbird" (headed south) for the winter. This could be a tough proposition for the cold months of the year. See: http://www.airforums.com/forum...use-19328.html -- Heating demands, internal condensation, safety of water pipes in chilling cold are just some of the starting issues.

Frame & shell of Safari & Classic are the same. It's mostly a matter of internal finish. Classics have Corian countertops and hardwood cabinet faces.
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:50 PM   #3
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I love my Safari and it suits me and the family perfect but we only mostly travel during the winter from november to Febuary and some in the middle but it is only for a couple of nights.Personally I would have the classic if I were doing it full time with as many options I could get.I feel it would just be more of a at home feeling than the safari would.Then again we are fixing ours up here shortly to give it a homey feel.The classics are really nice though.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carefree
I am contemplating full time, year round living in an Airstream trailer.
I realise this may have been spoken about before but I am unsure how to proceed here.
Which of the two types of trailer would hold up best for full time, hosue type living?
Is one better than the other for say solar modification?
Has one a better, strong chassis than the other?
Would the fitments inside hold up better in one or the other?
Sorry to dig this up again but as we all see there is a vast difference in price and weight which will impact decision making.
Oh and by the way this forum is excellant and its is fantastic that people are prepared to share information I am very pleased to be part of the "family" even if the Airstream is still waiting for me somewhere!
Thanks in advance.
Howie.

I like the lighter interior of the Safari. I don’t like dark colors in small cabins in trailers or boats. I removed the dark Teak interior of my sailboat and installed a light cypress interior to get rid of the closed in feeling. Classics are very nice and I might grow into one.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:05 PM   #5
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Some people say the standard Safari windows do not open far enough for good air flow. The Safari Special Edition was developed to solve this. The Sarfari's require less tow vehcile giving better gas mileage. Classic do have more durable cabinets but you pay for them. All other things like water heaters and furnaces are the same.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:08 PM   #6
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We agonized over the same issue. We decided to go with the Safari for several reasons. We really like the look of the wrap around front and rear windows, but decided that the less glass, the better for a couple of reasons. We do a lot of camping in very hot weather, and less glass means better A/C performance. We also like to sleep in when camping; this is difficult with panoramic windows.

We also liked the Safari's interior appointments. It is not quite as frilly, and we think it will wear better. We opted instead to get every available option in the Safari. Two options that you really want are the electric heat pump (I'm sitting at a campground in Bar Harbor tonight and it's really nice to have) and the sewer tank flusher.

The lesser cost was very nice also.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:51 PM   #7
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My wife is a curtain closing freak of sorts. So sleeping in is not so big an issue and we have the Safari Special Edition full opening windows with panoramics at front and back. We have a few months of significant warmth in the upper tier states but really do not use our A/C very much. It is nice having the full opening windows -- after towing on a hot day the interior of the Airstream will circulate fresh air pretty fast. The standard Safari Hehr windows have very limited opening surface at about the bottom 6 inches and I have spoken with non-Special Edition Safari owners complain about that.

One issue with cold weather is that there is no thermal break between the outer & inner shells. The ribs are metal. The insulation space is only 2" or so. Internal volume is definitely not huge, so a furnace or air conditioner can work to provide some comfort. But a 25' trailer really underperforms with the 11,000BTU A/C, barely can make it with the 13,500BTU A/C in American Southwest conditions, and the 15,000BTU A/C is vastly preferred in really hot conditions -- well, it just tells you what you're up against. The opposite challenge of heating in very cold weather would be just as daunting (I'm talking about anything below 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 Centigrade)). Search the forums on the term 'wintering' -- one of the earlier and better threads was authored by member Rubyslipper. You have to have a large propane tank (more than the 2 30-pounders) and would want to be prepared with an air compressor and RV antifreeze to emergency winterize the unit.
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:59 AM   #8
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One advantage the Classic has over the Safari is the solid wood cabinets. They are going to hold up longer and look better with constant use than the laminates in the Safari. The new Clasiic interiors are much nicer compared to the materials Airstream was using in the 90's and early 2000's. The colors are lighter which gives a more open feeling.Except for the Safari Special Edition the entire window in the Classics opens instead of just a portion, as in the Safari. I think that you'll have to look at both models carefully and decide how important these features and differences are to you. If you are going full-time and using your Airstream as you home ,I would think that you would want to have as as many of the features of a well appointed home as possiable in the small space of an Airstream.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:17 AM   #9
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One other thought regarding selection - does a slide-out interest you? These certainly provide more comfort and living space (it may actually be more feeling than actuality). I suspect the Safari does not have a slide-out option - not sure. We have a slide-out on our A/S, and had the same A/S previously without, and I can tell you it makes a nice difference (yes, it also made a big difference in cost). Just another in a long list of considerations.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:49 PM   #10
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Put the horses before the trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carefree
......I am contemplating full time, year round living in an Airstream trailer.......
Howie.
First things first.
Size matters Howie. How big do you want it? Most full timers want 30' and 34' is preferred. Can you tow a rascal that big? Do you have the truck? Classic is heavier than Safari. Older tend to be lighter than new.
Have you asked yourself what you can spend? Have you checked prices?
Do you want to fix up an older unit?
If married, did you ask the boss?
When those questions are answered Classic vs Safari will be easy.
Good luck,
R
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:24 PM   #11
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Sorry I have not replied sooner. Been away from the office.
Thanks for all your replies they certain have given me food for thought. The condensation thing is a bit worrying though. I would have thought A/S might have solved this by now.
Again, thanks a bunch.
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carefree
The condensation thing is a bit worrying though. I would have thought A/S might have solved this by now.
We do plenty of cool weather and frosty camping. I am willing to leave a window or vent ajar to circulate more outside air and still run the furnace for warmth while sleeping. Even a box trailer will face the same issue. The internal volume of either type trailer is small compared to a house. It's not the trailer's fault -- it's the number of people that sleep inside, exhaling large volumes of moistened air all night long. I recall a family posting about condensation inside -- there were six of them! Search the Forums on condensation and you will see other references to a product called DampRid -- some people swear by it.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:11 PM   #13
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There is a slide option on the Safari 28. It will add tongue weight but will also add to feeling of space.
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:00 AM   #14
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We have been basically full timing for a year now with the exception of a few 2 week trips home and we love our Classic! We traveled in a 25' Caravanner when we first started out and the Classic's extra 6' with a queen island bed and a dinette was like moving on up to the eastside! That may have a little to do with our satisfaction now. There isn't one thing we would change about it.

Everyone has their own ideas of what is important to them and what makes their AS a "home way from home". Whatever you decide, you will be very happy with, after all, it will be an Airstream! With either choice, don't plan on getting a good night's sleep between when you make the selection and when you pick it up!
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