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Old 06-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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2nd Opinion(s) on '73 Safari

Today I looked at a 23' 73 AS Safari, see photo's here:

73 Airstream Safari - a set on Flickr

While the exterior/windows didn't appear in all too bad a condition, I did find some wood rot in the rear edge behind the shower and a few rusted areas on the bottom rear.

I'd like to get some second opinions based on the photos whether this is the typical "as found" condition of Vintage AS's. The owner is asking $6500, but my initial reaction is that its worth more like $2000 based on needing to gut the interior, repair the rear floor and axles/tires of unknown condition.

Should I run the other way or am I being too harsh and should give this more consideration?
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
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no expert, but here's what I think

A Safari, being the shortest, somehow is the most sought after (for some people) and therefore carries a supply/demand price tag. I bought a 25' Tradewind last August, IMO in better shape for 5,000. The trailer looks good, the rusty colored paint , is not original (I don't think) and can be redone. The body looks good, the pic of the underside with a hole is (I belive) a vent for the sink/blacktank (someone chime in here) and not a rust hole, it should have a grate on it to keep things/critters out. The interior is mostly original. The fridge looks like an electric only replacement, a dual unit is much better and will be something you will need to buy (lowers asking price) The upper cabinets seem to have been converted to true wood upswinging doors rather than the original tambours (you decide on how that suits you). Tires are almost always a buy new ones. It looks like it has an awning and rockguard. Overall I like it, but would only go $5k. Again just my opinion, my trailer cleaned up really nice, has some floor rot to fix, and some appliances were newer I think I got a good deal. MPJ
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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Personal opioion ONLY
But knock off 1500 fer axles ,400 fer tires, I dont know about the floor repair,Im sure some has done one and can tell ya but the asking price is to high.What kind of awnings does it have WHAT kind of shape are there in. Im thinkin you are gitten warm on the price. Max I would offer would be 2K.
You didnt indicate if the appliances work or have been replaced. All this must be considered.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparjohn View Post
the pic of the underside with a hole is (I belive) a vent for the sink/blacktank (someone chime in here) and not a rust hole, it should have a grate on it to keep things/critters out.

I think that is the exhaust fan exit for the bathroom.

Overall, looks pretty nice! $2k sounds low. 3,500 - 5,000 sounds more reasonable as long as the plumbing is not all blown out and the electrical and propane systems are fine. Good luck...
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:07 PM   #5
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The appliances and A/C worked. I forgot to extend the awning while I was there. It had definitely been used by heavy smokers, which is the other major negative factor. It was so bad, I wished I had brought a change of clothes with me for the hour ride home. I've read some of the various responses on how to remove the odor from smoking, but I'm not yet convinced it can be eliminated.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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The Carefree awning looks like it's broken, the a/c shroud is broken, it needs axles and tires, the LP tanks will have to be stripped, refitted with OPD valves if it hasn't been done, and the tongue jack is probably on its last leg. It needs new stabilizer jacks and a new stove (unless that rust will come right off). There's other stuff I see, but it's already been covered by others.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #7
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As has already been mentioned, it needs a new refrigerator if you ever plan to use it without shore power. A new 2-way RV fridge (or a 12V Danfoss unit) will run you in the neighborhood of 1500.

What condition were the window, door and locker seals in? The proper seals don't seem expensive until you add up how many linear feet of material you actually need to redo everything.

The smoke smell is an issue. I passed on an otherwise good deal on an F150 because it smelled like smoke, and I wouldn't have to sleep and cook in that. Figure on removing all the textiles and foam to really make that go away... curtains, carpet, upholstery, etc.

I'm not as certain as some seem to be that the axles are completely done, there's quite a bit of tire showing. You'd need to test and make sure the axles still have a good range of motion in addiiton to the ride height they're currently providing to be 100% certain.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:36 PM   #8
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My3sonsdad,
You are the guy writing the check. There is a difference between value and purchase price. What ever you agree to pay for this trailer is it's purchase price. You'd have to have an appraiser to determine it's value. From what I can see/tell, it looks closer to a $2,500-$3,500 trailer. If you could hook up and tow anywhere with a trailer and know that you have good axles, tires, brakes, appliances, water tank, black and gray tanks, propane and electrical systems I'd say it would be worth $6,000. I paid too much for the trailer I bought last November. See the thread in my signature to see how it turned out in the end. Good luck to you!
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:38 PM   #9
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I'd pass on it and keep looking.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I'm not as certain as some seem to be that the axles are completely done, there's quite a bit of tire showing. You'd need to test and make sure the axles still have a good range of motion in addiiton to the ride height they're currently providing to be 100% certain.
1973 was the last year Henschen used that type of rubber in the axles, and it is prone to failure. There are two types of axles in that vintage, those that have failed, and those that will fail.
Here's a photo of what can happen with those axles (yes, the thing fell apart!)
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:10 AM   #11
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yeah, I'd say "a bit less". hard to say how much.

I paid 6 for mine, many years ago now, but it was camp-ready, everything worked. The folks I bought it from had been using it regularly. They had put a new rv fridge in it, it had working ac, and 3 awnings, all functioning, and has the best looking original clear-coat that I've ever seen on an early 70's trailer. (it was either re-done at some point, or it lived in a barn for many years...or both? )
The bathroom is faded/yellow, but at least its mostly uniform. doesn't look nearly as bad as that pic.
There is floor rot in the back, though...and of course, worse than I thought. (same ol' song). I was able to patch it, and get several more years out of it, but I've decided now that Its time to pull out the bathroom and re-do. I don't think you'll ever find one that doesn't have this problem, unless it lived its whole life in the desert southwest.

(fwiw, that hole in the aft curb-side corner is the outlet for the bathroom exhaust fan.)
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:29 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the advice....i offered $2000 and as my wise mother says, "for whatever reason, it was not meant to be."
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:53 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the advice....i offered $2000 and as my wise mother says, "for whatever reason, it was not meant to be."
I've run into that before. No matter how bad it is, the person selling it thinks he has the keys to Fort Knox sitting in his driveway (or back yard). The right one will come along, either you will find it, or it will find you.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #14
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I'd pass on it and keep looking.
We have the same year/model. I would definitely pass on this one.
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