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Old 02-16-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1965 22' Safari
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 19
I'm a newbie!

Hello! My name is Patti and I live the ATL area. My husband and I have recently acquired a 1965 Safari. Its condition is pretty much original and rough.... in desperate need of some love. We don't have any idea what we are in for-- YES, we are making all the rookie mistakes. But, I love the camper and I'm excited to be a part of the Airstream nation. Goal #1 is to shore it up and get it safe to tow. Next we will assess what needs to be done to make it livable. I pray that it will not need a shell-off restoration. We do not have the facilities, the expertise or the resources for that. I would like to find someone to rehab the plumbing, electrical, and the skin which is what I have earmarked the largest part of the budget for. The inside intimidates me less. With a good cleaning, new flooring, and new cushions, I can make do. Doing this, (I think!) will preserve our right to a more comprehensive interior restoration down the road.

I have read enough to know that we are in way over our heads. Does anyone have anything encouraging to say? Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-16-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
Figment of My Imagination
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2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9,085
Welcome to the AirForums!

If you want some encouragement, just remember that we learn by doing. Making rookie mistakes is one of the best ways to quit being a rookie.

Your priorities seem to be in the right place.
1 - Make it safe.
2 - Make it comfortable.
3 - Make it uniquely yours.
In that order.

And considering how you're already mentioning a shell-off, it sounds like you do have an idea what you're in for, at least for the worst case. Which means that it will either be easier than you think to fix'er up, or it will be just as bad as you fear, but won't be worse.

I have known people who stripped out everything as the first step to renovation (after the axles and brakes were taken care of, of course), and used their empty Airstream shell as an aluminum tent while taking advantage of campground bathhouses, just so they could be using their Airstream while work was in progress. I attended three rallies with them over the space of two years, and it was interesting to see the progress of their renovation each time, starting from the new (and at that time bare) floor.

WBCCI #1105

Engineering: Finding complex solutions to simple problems you didn't even know you had.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:01 PM   #3
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2016 28' Pendleton
Currently Looking...
Scottsdale , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 781
Images: 2
Hi from AZ. . . (former Atlantan). . .It's an adventure, that's for sure, but the end result will be worth it (IMO), with an RV you're proud of, happy with, & enjoy. . . and p.s., we've all made rookie mistakes. . . just part of the fun, welcome to the clan,. . . .enjoy, Craig
WBCCI 2851,4CU
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:19 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
Images: 2
Read... before you begin.

If you need to move the trailer, have it flat bedded to the location.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:58 AM   #5
3 Rivet Member
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Southaven , Mississippi
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 176
Welcome to the forums.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:36 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
1965 22' Safari
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 19
Reading is why i'm here! The trailer is currently located on a farm that adjoins our property- will only be moved a short distance. Still need to trailer it?
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:47 AM   #7
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1992 29' Excella
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,304
Hi pamu,

Welcome to Air Forums. There are lots of Airstreamers in the Atlanta area - some with vintage, some with newer models.

Consider joining Airstreamers and other cools RVs at Springstream in Hiawassee, GA in April. Here's a link to the thread.

Even if you can't bring the trailer bring yourself. Come up for the day, or stay the weekend in a tent or a nearby hotel. Lots of people attending Springstream have fixed up their campers and one or two of the folks attending are in the business of restoring RVs. So you'll be in good company.
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:57 PM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,134
Welcome to all things Airstream. This really is an incredible group of folks willing to help you in any way.
The 60's Airstreams are the best ones to have. I look at it this way. If you renovate it the right way you could have an Airstream that will last you all your camping years.
We have a 66 Tradewind that we bought about 5 years ago. It was in pretty good shape when we bought it and we have camped in it while making improvements the whole time. It is a work in progress.
The plumbing and electrical work are really pretty simple unless you need to spend long periods of time off the grid. For example we don't have solar as we can easily go 4-5 days on the batteries as we have two golf cart batteries and we don't use much power.
A 65 Safari is a great trailer to have. Some photos would be nice.

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Old 02-17-2016, 07:51 PM   #9
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,522
I pamu, nice to meet you. I bet you can pull your vintage Airstream that short distance between farms without too much problem. Just take it real slow. I couldn't recommend pulling it above 25 mph.

Indeed the 65 Safari is a nice Airstream. Yours is the last year of the flat glass windows which are easier to fix. And you don't have aluminum wiring. Depending on the trim level, you might have some very nice cabinetry inside. Maybe it is no longer there. Look up some photos of the 65s and study what they looked like.

Chances are your trailer has some significant moisture damage since you live in the lush southeast. Repairing the subfloor and frame can be done, and you have read about it here on the Forums. So when you get possession, start inspecting from the ground up and see where the thing needs fixing. Then develop you plan of attack. Don't be discouraged and just figure on taking it slow.

A lot of the fun of a vintage Airstream are the many improvement projects. It is easy to get lots and lots of hours in to your trailer, and yes, lots of dollars too. My guess sight unseen is 1200 hours and $15,000 in parts and subcontracted repairs (frame welding). But it does not all flow at once. This might be a 5 year project.

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Old 02-17-2016, 08:07 PM   #10
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2006 19' International CCD
Denville , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,003
Images: 2
Welcome, what a fun project to tAke on, you will be so happy when you r done!
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:06 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 20
Fellow ATLer

Hey Patti!

Me and my wife took the same plunge about a month ago. We also live in ATL between Midtown and Buckhead I purchased new tires and wheels from Discount Tire and have been very happy with their customer service. They did no interest financing for us, which helped ease the cost of phase 1. I made the maiden voyage with our '71 31" sovereign weekend before last and lost the battery compartment hatch at some point during the trip from KY. That said, I'd recommend bringing some extra bungie cables or aluminum tape and securing all those hatches and the door ahead of time, so you don't end up scouring the interwebs for a vintage airstream hatch.

Things I brought with me to pick up (and make drivable) our airstream:
  • F250 Diesel Truck
  • Brake Controller (if the truck doesn't have a stock one)
  • 7-way connector to connect airstream to truck
  • some new bulbs for taillights (auto section of Wal-Mart)
  • (2) 4" red lenses for brakes and (2) 4" white lenses (Pilot Station sells for $3 each)
  • (5) tires mounted on new wheels (alternatively, you could tow it a short distance to a tire shop for them to swap on current wheels, but you should definitely order tires ahead of time, as they will most likely not have stock of this size)
  • Jack to lift the trailer and tire iron/lug wrench to swap them out if you plan to DIY.
  • Voltmeter to troubleshoot any electrical issues if the tail lights don't work.
  • Weight Distro Hitch/Sway Control from Camping World up in Woodstock, along with a power drill to install it.

I hope this helps! Would love to hear progress updates from a fellow ATLer, we're in the same boat of not really knowing what we're in for, but these forums are immensely helpful.

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Old 02-18-2016, 06:50 AM   #12

1968 20' Globetrotter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 315
Get ready for some real fun.

I was on the Airstream Website looking at the 2016 “Twenty Footers”. They start at $65,000, so you've got some wiggle room to get yours up to snuff, There isn't anything about a new one that is better than what you can make of your Safari. The new ones are limited to one design with a choice of fabric color. You on the other hand, are limited only by your imagination, and the skills you choose to learn..

The late sixties (excluding the '69 which is a '70s style), are a comparatively easy restoration. Not as modern looking, but an easier fix. Parts are plentiful, and reasonably priced. There is a clarity and simplicity to the structure, and real wood to work with…. Your Safari is sized to be a go anywhere, be everything trailer. You already know this!

There's a comfort being inside an Airstream whether you're camping or just sitting on your “contemplation bucket” imagining, figuring, planning... It'll teach you to relax and enjoy the “process”. Take your time, and be smart about it. It'll all come true, as it has for many...

Don't fret if you don't have an owner's manual, Air Forums is your "Owner's Manual".

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