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Old 09-06-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
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1963 22' Safari
Corning , California
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New member with 2 family airstreams.

Hi everyone,

My name is Lisa and I have my grandparents' 1972 22' Safari. I am going to pick of their 1963 22" safari next week.

The '63 has been gutted including the subfloor. I used to have this one also until it went to a different family member. It was gutted recently so now I need to put it back together. I am hoping it can be towed without a subfloor. It towed fine when I had it. As far as I know, it has not been towed since I dropped it off.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:42 PM   #2
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Hi

Towing without a sub floor is not recommended. How far do you have to pull it?

Bob
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Airstream trailers are "semi-monocoque" construction similar to an old aircraft. There are three main components that give the trailer strength; the body, the subfloor, and the frame. All three need to be in place for necessary strength.

If the subfloor is missing, that means the body is no longer attached to the frame. Towing it this way would likely result in damage to the body or frame.

As Uncle Bob was saying, if you are towing it around the block very slowly, then okay.

My trailer is an example of what happens when the subfloor is missing, just missing in the rear 9" of the trailer due to floor rot. The rear of the body is no longer attached to the frame. The frame members flop up and down like a politicians jaw and can buckle. It can result in expensive repairs.

Rent a big flat bed trailer. Winch the Airstream up onto the flatbed, tie it down and tow the thing that way like a disabled vehicle.

Other Airstreamers may have other experiences to share with you.

David
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:41 PM   #4
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1963 22' Safari
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This is very good info. I will have my aunt send me some pictures. Thank you so much.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
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It Depends

If they removed the sub-floor in it's entirety, you should not attempt to tow it.
But...
I imagine your destructive family members were not that thorough or fastidious. If they are like some of my family members,they just cut out the main portion of the floor with a saws all. this would be good news.
If they left what remains of the sub-floor all the way around the perimeter, sandwiched between the frame below and the C-channel above, and if the C-channel is still attached to the frame all the way around the perimeter, you can probably tow it.
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
If they left what remains of the sub-floor all the way around the perimeter, sandwiched between the frame below and the C-channel above, and if the C-channel is still attached to the frame all the way around the perimeter, you can probably tow it.
In this case, and perhaps with an excess of caution, I would brace the remaining floor with scrap plywood or lumber. You could cut a piece of plywood into 4 inch by 8 foot pieces and screw each one down to the ragged ends of the old subfloor, and perhaps tie it to a frame cross member.
Go slowly and have a spotter car following the Airstream to watch for anything untoward happening.
Good fortune getting it home.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:13 PM   #7
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Concur With Foiled Again

I would brace it, in at least two places, side-to-side across the width of the trailer.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:55 PM   #8
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1963 22' Safari
Corning , California
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Hi everyone. It looks just the bathroom subfloor in the rear of the trailer is out. I will check to see the screws on the perimeter are in place and brace where the subfloor is missing. Thank you for the reply’s.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:27 PM   #9
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You are most welcome. Please know that the rear-bath floor on almost every non-restored, 1972 Safari is probably rotted out. You will also find that the floor at the entry door and beneath the water heater also needs replacement.
But it's worth doing.
Happy Trails
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:18 PM   #10
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1963 22' Safari
Corning , California
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Hi Ken and everyone else that replied,

Thank you,
When I get my '63 home, I will have to make a plan of attack to repair it and put it back together. I am naively excited. When it is done, (and I have learned many lessons along the way), I will start on the '72. I need to read and hear opinions of removing the whole shell. It sounds intimidating, but a strong frame and axle are really important to me.

We mostly use the trailer for hunting and fishing trips, so I need to keep one operable to keep hubby supporting my Airstream habit.
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