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Old 11-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,014
You posed an interesting question and I am sure you will get a zillion different issues.

I purchased my '06 in '09 and it was only slightly used. My ONLY complaint with Airstream was the converter they installed. It was a single stage POS in my opinion and completely toasted the on board batteries. I can't speak for the new units but anything prior to 2006 should be looked at.

As far as filling the shell with cheap appliances, I do not agree at all with your take. Mine came with sturdy drawer slides and cabinet locks and Moen faucets and fixtures throughout. There were no plastic sinks in my trailer.

I am not unhappy with the bed either and if I do anything in that area it will probably be only to add a memory foam topper. I agree with those who question the use of carpeting in a camper. I suppose if your park it at a permanent upscale RV park the carpet wouldn't be a problem. In a few more years I plan to replace the carpet and the vinyl flooring with something better, cork perhaps.

OH, the wheels and tires. There is an ongoing discussion/debate over LT or ST tires and 15 vs 16 inch wheels. You might want to look into that.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #16
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2007 28' International CCD
Springfield , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 962
1.Upgrade tires and wheels to 16' w/Michelin lts and T.P.M.S system

2.Throw away factory cheaply built cracking skylites that leak and install Maxim skylights then reseal all roof items windows and doors properly.Then re caulk shower inclosure the right way.

3.Replace unreliable water heater circuit board with Dinosaur brand board that wont quit on you when you need it the most.

4.Replace $50 mattress with Tempurpedic mattress.

5.Replace worthless dribbling shower head with Oxygenics showerhead.

6.Replace faded non matching exterior water heater door and furnace door with stainless steel doors with bug screens that should have been on the unit when built.

7.Replace converter with 3 stage unit from Best Converters that does not boil the batteries dry when traveling to your destination.

8.Replace wet cell anemic group 24 batteries with Lifeline batteries.

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
7.Replace converter with 3 stage unit from Best Converters that does not boil the batteries dry when traveling to your destination.
So do you use a long extension cord or a generator to keep your converter charging the batteries while you're traveling to your destination?
Oh maybe an inverter to supply 120V to the converter, I did suggest that in another thread.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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I replaced original carpet with high grade berber a few yrs. ago will need cleaning this spring not filthy, [will rent cleaner from home depot] we use AS every where not only on paved spots never take shoes off when entering unless muddy have vinyl runner down middle, small piece of berber at door my opinion fake wood floors looks cheap some vinyl is not bad but is not for me
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:49 PM   #19
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
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Here's what I did to my 71:
1Reflective roof coating
2.Removable shelves in wardrobe and bathroom closet.
3.Change out the old lights for LEDs
4.Add insulation
5.New furnace and water heater
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #20
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Another vote for try it out and make your own judgments.. after a few dozen nights and a few miles of travel.. As example, we replaced old carpet with new carpet, and folks without pets and who don't camp a lot at beach or boondocks can do very well with carpeted interiors, using an outdoor large fabric mat and inner mat inside door.. Some people actually cook meals with microwave ovens, others like to bake and broil. We use stovetop burners and they're fine. We replaced old humming power supply (from 1980's) with 3 stage unit after buying first set of new battteries, so that's a good one. We put 2" memory foam topper onto mattress, and figured we'll get another 6 or 8 years out of that. Replacing things like control boards or thermostats are either basic maintenance or uniquely personal items. A quick look at any gathering of Airstreams should convince you that no two trailerites are the same, and you should pursue a plan to make your Airstream as close to perfect as you can get it for your needs...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:14 PM   #21
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2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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An interesting thread. Based on what I've read on these Forums since I joined up, I was able to isolate the kind of trailer I wanted to order along with the options. THEN, once it was delivered, I began to make modifications IN MY OWN PRIORITY ranking. First and foremost was safety....that meant a ProPride 3P hitch and (I wish I'd known this beforehand), replacing the "marginal" 15" wheels/tires with 16" wheels and Michelin LTs. Then I did stuff like the Iota converter/charger (which goes into float and desulphates your battery), then I replaced the transfer switch...a few days ago I installed the expansion tank for my water system. Mattress was solved with a tempurpedic topper -- which works just fine. So, if I were king, I'd go first with anything related to the margin of safety -- even though I know my trailer is "safe" as it was delivered to me, "safer" sounds even better. Then I'd do those things that build reliability, and last comfort. I did install two Maxim skylights because I'd seen them in someone else's trailer and they were not only beautiful, but also provided insulation. I added Maxx fans because they have a great remote control and you can leave them wide open in a rainstorm. OK, I have spent a fair amount of $ on all this stuff....and while it wasn't mandatory, it was my choice.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:59 PM   #22
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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The very first - and to me, mandatory - upgrade was replacing a non-powered rear roof vent with a Fantastic Fan. (What wasn't mandatory was the upgrade to remote fantastic fans - I like having 14 speeds, which you get with the remote, instead of the 3 you get otherwise.)

Second most essential - LED lighting. It lets us comfortably use the trailer for boondocking trips without worrying about battery capacity. (Solar comes this year.)

Then there was:
- A new "smart" water pump, which is quieter
- An upgraded 3-mode converter
- Dumping the 14" GYM tires for 15" Nokian commercial van tires and new wheels
- A Trimetric battery monitor
- IKEA foam mattress, trimmed to fit with an electric carving knife

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:35 PM   #23
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2011 28' International
Aldie , Virginia
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Coming back to this thread two years later, I am looking at some upgrades from my original list on my now, owned, and used for a year 28W. If I do not install a solar upgrade system this spring (talking it out with Lew now via email,) the Parallax upgraded 3-mode converter board from bestconverters will see me through this year -- I've boiled away my Interstate Group-24s.
o Last year I took care of the mattress with a topper and the shower with an oxygenetics and pleased there.
o The stove-top may be in the cards as the current one with its quarter-turn flame control is insane to cook accurately with in my opinion.
o The previous owner put in bright-white LEDs -- they have to go -- warm white I think is the way to go; that or to see if I can swap the switches with dimmers without replacing the LEDs/pucks they are in.
o My electrical jack has failed. It will wind down fine via the switch, but wont wind up. I gotta open it up and check the gears first, but so far, jacking manually hasn't been an issue, so not sure I am going to bother with it yet. The fuse is ok, but I haven't switched out my Interstate Group24s yet and wonder what level of impact that is having (even when hooked up.)
o Not on my original list -- vent covers for the fantastic fans. I am thinking a white one in the lounge and a black one in the bedroom - to allow/deny ambient light appropriately. I disliked waking up to dew turning opening and closing the shutters, and much preferred ventilation during rain if possible as well.
o Electrics, I am going to de-install the bedroom TV - have yet to switch it on. It would see better use in my home office during Washington Capitals season. I _do_ need to find a Sony system upgrade that remains compatible with the main area TV, but adds Sirius and USB music support.

MUTCTH -- what water pump did you go with? while I don't mind the noise of my current one, its operation runs pressure much like a heartbeat -- a sine wave of acceptable pressure. I want to look at options to upgrade either to a better pump, or a combination of a pump and (is it an expansion tank I seek?) to enable a more steady flow.
2011 Airstream International Serenity 28'
2016 Ford F250 Crew 4x4 KR Diesel
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:07 PM   #24
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2015 16' Sport
Oakville , Ontario
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My wishlist:

1) LED Lights
2) AGM Glassmat Batteries
3) Inverter/Solar Cells and Charge Controller
4) Undercounter Microwave if not Present (seems like a quick way to heat if i can't be bothered with the stove)
5) Stainless Ext., Hitchcam on TV, Fan Upgrades?
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:31 PM   #25
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2013 30' Flying Cloud
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 138
Replace - Upgrade

Replace -
- shower door, which seems to be a piece of junk.

Upgrade -
- stainless steel
Speed is Life . . . guidance is optional . . .
The Traveling Circus: 2013 Flying Cloud 30A; 2006 Chevy Duramax Crew/LWB
Air #42313 TAC VA-7 WBCCI #1290
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:35 PM   #26
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
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Posts: 92
I'm planning to buy soon and found this thread very interesting. As a long time boater, I've learned the mattress is key. Probably the first thing I'll swap.

I'm very interested in learning about the wheels and tires. Keep reading about these being something to upgrade.
2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 30' Recliner: Base weight 6422, GVWR 8800
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:32 PM   #27
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Originally Posted by IanPoulin View Post
MUTCTH -- what water pump did you go with? while I don't mind the noise of my current one, its operation runs pressure much like a heartbeat -- a sine wave of acceptable pressure. I want to look at options to upgrade either to a better pump, or a combination of a pump and (is it an expansion tank I seek?) to enable a more steady flow.
Ack. I wish I could say that I remember, but I don't, and the trailer is off in StorageLand.

It wasn't the greatest update, but that's not necessarily the pump's fault. If I run lots of water through the system and get all the air out of the lines, then the pump is superquiet. But I seldom get it to that state, since I often drain the fresh water tank between trips. Plus, the PEX lines wind up banging into stuff under the bathroom sink...

EDIT: I looked it up in the PM's, remembering that I had asked forum member lewster for advice: it's a Sureflo SmartSensor 4.0.

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:02 PM   #28

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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JMO...before 'ya'all start thinking about 'upgrades'...just make sure the dealer does a proper PDI and orientation.


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