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Old 08-29-2007, 07:50 PM   #1
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Safari Sport 17 first road trip

We drove from Louisiana to Orlando, checked into the Portofino Bay hotel; the next day, Monday a week ago, we drove over to Bates RV to take delivery of our first Airstream, the new model Safari Sport 17. The two-hour setup took about four hours due to a wiring problem with our tow vehicle, a 2004 F-150. While waiting we looked at a zillion airstreams on the lot. Late in the afternoon we took the Sport 17 back to Orlando and parked it in employee parking at the hotel for the duration of my conference there. Three days later we hitched up and headed back to Louisiana. We decided to stay off the interstate so at Ocala we headed toward the Gulf and cruised up around and over toward St. George Island where we spent our first night in the new Sport 17. There were very few persons at the beach and only 9 of the 62 rv sites had vehicles that Thursday night. Weather was great, beach was beautiful, life is good. The next morning we headed out and continued our journey on Rt 98 the coast road, driving through every beach resort town in Florida, it seems. Just before Pensacola we turned northward, through Milton and on the Mystic Springs for our second night. The next day, Saturday we left late morning for Natchitoches Louisiana, arriving about 7 PM. In the next post I will try to upload a few pictures, tell you about the campsites, and of course have some comments about the new Safari Sport 17.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:10 PM   #2
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JD,

Sounds like life is GOOD!!!!

I'm breathless with anuie (sp?) waiting for the photos..........................
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:34 PM   #3
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Can't wait to hear everything...don't tease us!

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Old 08-29-2007, 09:15 PM   #4
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The day we drove to Bates was VERY hot. But the staff was waiting for us and took the truck into the installation bay to add the Equalizer hitch and brake controller. We spent the first hour going through the checklist with one of the employees. Everybody was friendly and helpful even though we were there for over three hours while the controller install was taking place. That gave us time to tour the other airstreams on the lot. We left mid-afternoon and had the Safari Sport back at the Portofino Hotel Orlando an hour or so later.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:34 PM   #5
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Not that it's as critical with a single axle trailer, but it looks a little nose-high. I would be a little concerned, since you have no bumper to drag if the back contacts a steep driveway or hump in the road.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:24 PM   #6
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C'mon now, I'm old and anticipation is bad for my heart. Tell us your impressions and thoughts about the trailer. I've loved this Sport concept since I heard about it.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:34 PM   #7
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....Not that it's as critical with a single axle trailer, but it looks a little nose-high......You are absolutely right, it was nose-high, by about 1 1/2 inches. I decided to leave it alone until we returned home, but that adjustment has been made and it is now level. Regarding the towing impressions, this trailer weighs about 3000 lbs, so think of towing a small cargo trailer, empty. That's about it. The truck just doesn't know it is back there. The Sport is narrow enough that I could see adequately with the regular door mirrors, I got 14.8 mpg driving over to get it, and 14.4 mpg driving home with the trailer behind me. There isn't much clearance underneath though, and the hitch w/d bars are also pretty low. I need to study on that some, I would prefer more clearance under the frame. If the pictures upload ok you will see the sport parked at the hotel and our campsite at st georges island.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:37 PM   #8
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OK, I'll try to get the St. George's Island campsite this time.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:19 PM   #9
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Congrats! It is sweet! You're gonna have a blast with it... Looks just like the one we saw at our dealer yesterday...

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Old 08-31-2007, 05:11 AM   #10
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Our trip home started out in Orlando during morning rush hour traffic. I had no problems changing lanes, speeding up, slowing down, etc. I DID notice that more than once cars seemed to scoot up and then block the lane I wanted to move into. Orlando drivers couldn't be that rude? My wife figured out that the other drivers were just coming up to look at this odd little short squatty airstream. No rudeness intended. Later that day, out in the country, I tried a reverse Y turn (backing into a driveway and reversing direction of travel) from a two-lane road, and even that wasn't too hard. Did I mention how much we enjoyed staying our first night at St. George's Island? Remember we had just spent four nights at the Orlando Portofino Bay hotel, saw lots of noisy kids and young parents, so I was in overload. The beach, on the other hand, was almost empty. I think that my wife and I made up 50 percent of the beach crowd. A wonderful way to decompress.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:55 PM   #11
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Last Friday we left St. George's Island after another walk on the beach and our first cooked breakfast in the little airstream. The propane cooktop has a nice cover as does the sink, but the really nice kitchen item is the convection microwave. The refrig also seems adequate, but that crazy cooling fan drove me nuts! No on/off switch and it ran constantly. We drove all day on Route 98, taking it easy, stopping to sightsee at numerous places, and made it to mystic springs just about sunset. As I said in an earlier post, the trailer is almost "not there" as far a towing is concerned.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:16 PM   #12
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I have been interested in the Sport series. It looks like a nice product. Have Fun.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for the pics... You have definitely stepped off on the right foot with your new toy...enjoying it right from the get-go... Betcha can't wait to get out there again with it!

Congratulations!

Silver Trails...
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:39 AM   #14
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Some additional thoughts now that we are back home. A trailer this size seems about perfect for certain lifestyles. Veteran owners already know that this is not a fulltime rig, but better suited for short trips. My wife and I are both 5ft 10in and enjoy outdoor activities, mountain biking, jogging, things like that. This is NOT a trailer for persons that spend lots of time inside. When my wife was trying out the kitchen I had to sit myself on the front couch and stay put. I also can't see how two adults could manage bringing children along, unless there was another place to sleep for someone (tv or tent). Airstream claims to market this to younger couples just starting out in RV experience. We are both in our mid-fifties, but as I said, have always been very active in outdoor activities, so this is just the ticket for us. For now. I must admit some of those 25 ft A/S at Bates looked pretty nice! Next project...build a shed-roof behind my workshop for this little fellow.
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