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Old 05-15-2006, 08:43 PM   #1
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1969 23' Safari
Tucson , Arizona
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This is totally new for me... But I can't wait.

OK, here's what I found: it's a 1969 Safari in Tucson, AZ for $2500. Is this a steal, or a rip-off? What do I look for in terms of repairs down the road? How do I know it's road-worthy? Do they leak? Could I tow it behind a Lexus RX300 SUV from AZ to Austin? How do you make the aluminum shiny again? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:56 PM   #2
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Hey Benjamin ~

Welcome to the forums and vintage owenrship. Judging by your profile, looks like you bought this unit? The price sounds really good depending on the condition of your trailer. You have one of the best Airstream shops right in town there with Oasis RV. If you're wanting an expert opinion, take it to them and have them look it over. It will cost you some but they will give you an honest assessment of the trailer's condition and roadworthiness. I would think it would provide peace of mind for an Airstream Virgin such as yourself. If it needs repairs, they can do that too. Let us know how things go.

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Old 05-16-2006, 07:10 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums. Flyfshr gave you good advice. We did the same with our first trailer. The mechanic did a great job checking things out plus taught me a lot about my "new" trailer. I was happy to pay the bill. Over the years and by reading these forums you will gain more knowledge. Soon you will be answering the questions. As to the Lexus better check with your dealer if they would suggest towing with it or not. I seem to remember reading in another posting that they had a fairly light chassis.
Good luck to you.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:51 AM   #4
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1958 30' Sovereign of the Road
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To answer your question

First, they all leak, just some leaks you can see, and some you can't! Ha! On mine, the previous owner thought the floor was solid, but I knew better, but it still was a deal for $3500. You stole it for $2500 if it is in any kind of fair condition in my mind, and that there are no major dents in it. Go to www.theVAP.com and listen to the shows (there are 18 of them) and you will learn alot - at least we hope you will. Also, post some pictures....I like the 69s, as that was the year I was born, and have the cool square window in the rear, and curved ones everywhere else. Good luck.

Rob
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:57 AM   #5
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Welcome to the forums and on your new airstream (I'm guessing you bought it)! Sounds like you got a good deal, post some pics for us. I have a '68 Trade Wind, that I got last fall. It was in farily good condition, having said that, it still requires A LOT of work to make it right. For example, I am now pondering a complete replacement of all the water lines from stem to stern. It needs work on the awning, it needs..... well you get the idea. Then there is the work you will want to do just to make it "yours"; in my case part of this is wood laminate flooring in the front, new drapes and recovering the gaucho (those are the folding couch/beds). You don't even want to know what custom replacement drapes for those cost. The long and the short of it is that vintage units, even the good ones, will claim a lot of your time and treasure. Wether this is worth it depends on you. I paid $3K for mine and I now have an addtional $3K in axles, rubber, refer, water heater, furnace and what not, I figure I am another $3K from having it just the way I want it. So.... for $9Kish I will have a 40 year old camper the way I want it, and I am sure it will need more major work in another 30 years. My advice is get it in safe towing condition and usable, then start using it. Most work can be done with the trailer in use, no need to defer the dream. I think you will know in the first season if you want to go the rest the distance.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:17 AM   #6
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Welcome ~

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminA
This is totally new for me... But I can't wait.

OK, here's what I found: it's a 1969 Safari in Tucson, AZ for $2500. Is this a steal, or a rip-off? What do I look for in terms of repairs down the road? How do I know it's road-worthy? Do they leak? Could I tow it behind a Lexus RX300 SUV from AZ to Austin? How do you make the aluminum shiny again? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks!!
Ben,
Welcome to the forum..
You've come to the right place for pertain info for now and later on down the road~!
You didn't say just how big your 69 is?? Ops, I see it now on your profile..
A 23ft'er might just make it..It really depends on the setup and, the weight of your 23 ft..ok?
As to he Lexus RX300, we need to know what yr it is and, what size motor you have in it. My guess is, without knowing the rest, it'll make a great trade-in for the proper towing vehicle. That depends on your traveling plans as well. Full timer or just out a few weekends each yr..So, now you can see that you need to provide a few detailed info before a decent recommendation can be given..We have alot of knowledgeable folks here, so take advantage of that~!
ciao
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:20 PM   #7
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Lexus - a thing of beauty BUT...

I've got a 1999 Lexus RX...

It's capable of towing a jet ski.

It's a station wagon built on a Camry frame. "SUV" stands for stupid useless vehicle. Actually I love mine and have kept it, but I got a 3/4 ton Suburban for towing. You'll never regret having a robust tow vehicle.

Paula Ford
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:10 PM   #8
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Benjamin -- Welcome to the challenge and growth of getting to know your new acquisition.

Can you tow it with the RX300? Debatable... I've got a friend with the similar Toyota Highlander. He tows a larger Coleman (now Fleetwood) popup camper and feels absolutely maxxed out! A 25' Safari is at least double the size and weight. We could split hairs trying to at least let you get it home, but it's just a woefully undersized tow vehicle for a very nice but too-large trailer. Beyond adding huge wear to your RX300, what would you have to do if your Lexus broke down on the way home? You'd have to get resourceful, that's what. So I would suggest talking to any buddy with a 1/2-ton truck and see if they want to go on a road trip with you.

You need to make sure the trailer is towable in the first place. While you solidify your towing plans, I'd let Oasis check it out for axles, wheel bearings, brakes, and make sure your battery/breakaway switch system works correctly (as required by law). Do the tires hold air? Make an appointment with them -- it might take a few weeks for them to get it in. They might even have a person who'd spare you the trip by getting the Safari over to their dealership for some moderate fee. Oasis rates very highly in comments in these forums.

That's a 2 5/16" ball on a 2" hitch. Does the trailer have weight distribution gear installed and ready to go?
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:11 PM   #9
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1966 24' Tradewind
Albuquerque , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr
Hey Benjamin ~

You have one of the best Airstream shops right in town there with Oasis RV. If you're wanting an expert opinion, take it to them and have them look it over. It will cost you some but they will give you an honest assessment of the trailer's condition and roadworthiness.
FF
Flyshr has given you some great advice. You can count on Jay Breshars at Oasis to be thorough and brutally honest, which is exactly what you need at this point. Don't get hurt feelings. Find out what it will take to make it roadworthy first, then comfortable and fully functioning, then esthetically pleasing. Then decide where budget and fantasy intersect and plan you project accordingly.

Remember, roadworthy comes first. Few will argue with this, though many will say esthetics are more important than comfort and fully functioning systems.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-16-2006, 06:48 PM   #10
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
That's a 1 5/16" ball on a 2" hitch.
Ahem! That should read 2 5/16 ball. You need the 10,000 pound rated ball -- the shank will be an inch or more in diameter. You've really got to gear up to play in the big leagues...

Best wishes and let us know how it goes.
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