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Old 02-15-2009, 01:08 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Pensacola , Florida
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'66 Safari or '66 Overlander Pros and Cons

We looked at a 31' Sovereign this weekend with the bunkbeds. It was overall a great trailer and priced right. It didn't smell good at all however and it did need some work before we could take it on the road. We feel that at this point we're more comfortable with a smaller trailer.

We're looking at two great 1966 trailers for our upcoming road trip (see my previous post asking for advice). One is a 22' Safari and the other a 26' Overlander. We'll have to do some considerable driving to see either one, but it would be doable to look at both in the same trip. The Safari is priced a bit higher and is completely reconditioned and ready to go camping. The Overlander is also in great shape but will need some minor stuff done to it. The asking prices reflect the difference, about $1300 more for the Safari.

Any advice on the advantages of one model over the other and on what to look for?

TIA,

Lisa in Pensacola FL
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:13 PM   #2
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1966 26' Overlander
Pensacola , Florida
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I goofed and put this in the wrong subforum. What would be the best place for this post.

TIA,

Lisa
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:35 PM   #3
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1982 24' Airstream 240
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A thought

Hello, good luck on your search. Do I remember correctly that you have 3 children? If so, the 22' will be quite tight.....the reason some shorter trailers are priced higher is that they are in more demand...they are cuter.....but cute gets old if the trailer is too small. Regarding the "smell". I found that many older trailers have a smell and one of the reasons is that the floor could be rotted. It is likely that all of the 60's trailers that you will find will have some issues with a rotted subfloor unless it has been replaced.....can be from windows, old gaskets on the roof, in our case it was a leaking water heater.......etc......others can add to this list. The sub floor needs to be in good condition because it is an integral part of the whole trailer structure.

When you say the 22' is reconditioned, does that include a new sub-floor? What exactly was reconditioned? I suggest that you inlist the help of some inspectors that are members of this forum and have volunteered to help inspect the trailers.......we didn't do that in purchasing our first "Vintage" (69 Overlander) and it was not wise. We didn't know enough to know what to really look for even after reading a lot of information on this forum.....many of us have learned this lesson the hard way.....

The 66, 67 and 68 trailers share the same windows and shape.....we have a 68 and like that shape very much.......and yes, our 68 Ambassador had a rotted subfloor..but we knew about it (which meant, in our case, that everything had to come out of the trailer to replace the floor)...wishing you the best in picking the one that is right for you. pj
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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1967 22' Safari
Deer Park , Washington
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I love my 22' safari and would not trade it for anything. It's great for two people but if you have 3 children you will want something bigger I would think. Yes, check for a spungy floor. Big areas are the rear and by the door.
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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I love my 1966 Safari and have slept six in it. It was cozy with that many and usually it's 2-4 of us. The drawback is no bedroom. The benefit is no bedroom....same difference for me. The dining area and sofa (gaucho) both make out into sleeping accomodations easily.

It is lighter weight and easy to tow. Fits in the side driveway easily. I am glad I ended up with this size trailer.

Good luck with whatever you buy and welcome!!
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:37 PM   #6
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Safaris are great

Of course Safaris are wonderful trailers and yes, you might sleep 6 but I thought Yankeemomto3 is interested in fulltiming with 3 children....perhaps I am wrong.....pj
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:04 PM   #7
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I own both

I own both a 1966 Safari and a 1966 Overlander. My wife and I have a child (total three of us). We first started using the Overlander (about 3-4 years) then switched to the Safari the past 2-3 years. Both have pros/cons. I understand from other posts, you have three children, with that, I'd go for the Overlander and maybe bunks. I know the Safari gets tight come night-time even for the three of us or on rainy days.


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Old 02-16-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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1966 26' Overlander
Pensacola , Florida
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Thanks again, the combined wisdom on this forum is so helpful. Yes, we do have 3 children. We are planning to take a road trip for 2 months and then afterward use the trailer for weekends or short road trips.

We realize it will be a tight squeeze, we plan to be outdoors a lot

The Safari has an awning with screens that go to the ground so it serves as a screen porch (a nice feature!). We're also going to bring our tent. I grew up tent camping so the trailer seems like luxury living to me.

Probably the best thing is for us to go see both trailers in person. I like the Overlander a lot because of the layout but hubby likes the Safari. Bot are really nice trailers.

Someone mentioned bunks. We've been wondering how hard it would be to build a narrow bunk over one of the twin beds in the Overlander. Has anyone done this or seen it done? Our six year old son/(a.k.a. "monkey boy")would be able to sleep comfortably in such a bunk we think. Luckily none of us is carrying around any extra weight, lol, plus, I'm quite petite. My 6'1" husband will feel the squeeze the most.

Did I mention that our family motto is "We do everything the hard way".

Thanks again. Wish there were a rally nearby, I think we just missed on actually. I'd like to get inside a bunch of trailers, and "meet" them in person.

Lisa in Pensacola (Retired Navy wife and homeschooling mom to 3 amazing kids)
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Hi Lisa,

Welcome to the Forums, you've come to the right place for all of your Airstream (and general RV) questions. My sister lived in Pensacola for about 10 years and I really love the area.

Be sure to inspect the floors of any vintage trailer for damage. As Rob on the Vintage Airstream Podcast says, "they all leak" which implies floor damage over time. Unless the floors have been replaced recently, then chances are there will be some damage to just about any vintage unit. The extent of that damage will likely determine whether you buy the unit or not. I'm not trying to be a doom and gloom guy, and it's possible that one or both of these trailers have solid floors, but you definitely need to do your research regarding "floor replacement" to see what to look for, and what you will be getting into. Also, where there is floor damage from water, there is also often frame damage (rusted-through frame members). I ecountered this on my unit, but I knew it before-hand and knew what to expect, so there have been no surprises there.

Sounds like Paul Waddel (riedair) is THE person to talk to about these two units, since he already owns one of each!

Regarding bunks, over the decades the factory installed a couple of different kinds, and there are also members on this Forum who have developed their own solutions. You can be creative here, just remember that the "bulkhead" walls on Airstreams are generally made from thin plywood stock (usually 1/2" or less), so you need to be careful about attaching anything load-bearing to the walls. Here are some ideas:

This first one is from Rob Baker's blog (Rob is also one of the panel pros from The VAP) about his '58 Sovereign of The Road, it had these bunks, and up through '58 or '59 I believe, the factory was still curving the outside of them.








Another factory option used aluminum frames for the bunks, and you can sometimes find people selling these at Rally Swap-Meets, here on the Forums, or on Ebay (they tend to be really pricey on Ebay). On these I know that the outside is attached by chains that hook into special fixtures on the ceiling, and I'm not sure about the other side, maybe it attaches to the Airsteam wall?







And then some forum members have developed solutions of their own. Here, forums member Sequoiacoast made her own solution on this thread (read through the thread linked below for the entire sequence of pictures) :

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f116...-26932-13.html



And forums member Pizzachop assembled bunks to house his nice, big family:




More pictures can be found in Pizzachop's photo gallery here: http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...00&userid=4331

Good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:16 AM   #10
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1966 26' Overlander
Pensacola , Florida
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Thanks!!!

Thanks Marcus!

The bunk photos are incredibly helpful. The '69 Sovereign we looked at last weekend had the aluminum/canvas type in it so we've seen those. The guy said they are pretty hard to find.

We'll be sure to check out the floors carefully when we look in person.

I really appreciate the friendly reception and helpful advice I'm receiving on this forum!!!

Lisa
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:21 AM   #11
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We own a '67 Overlander and specifically wanted this size of coach. We have three girls, but they are older... one out of college, one in college, one still in high school. The Overlander was our choice for a "two-person, near full-time" coach. It was also a trailer we could tow very comfortably with our Nissan Titan.

If we were turning back the clock to the point where all three girls were at home... I can't imagine wanting anything smaller than the Overlander.
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