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Old 08-11-2016, 06:01 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1972 23' Safari
Sierra Vista , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89
72 Safari for us

Hi, I'm back. My wife is retiring soon, and said she wants to go see the we decided it would be fun to do it the challenging way. I happened to stop by Oasis RV in Tucson last week, and they had a "needs work" 72 Safari in back, for two grand. It's from the northeast, so the underside has issues, but the interior isn't as bad as they usually are around here in Arizona. (exception, the plastic in the bathroom is getting crispy). I got my 57 Suburban on the road a few years ago, and have towed my "race car" 62 Chevy II to the midwest with it a couple times, so it should be able to deal with the trailer. I towed it home yesterday, aside from a few things flying off, it went ok. The brakes work, none of the tires went flat, etc.

I have yet to sort out the stuff inside. The fridge and cupboard for it seem to be missing, and I don't know if all the bed stuff is there. New range and microwave included, along with a sink from something else. More pictures as I get into it further.

My plan right now is to do as much repair work as it needs, to get it back to useable condition. Then try it out, and see how we like it. Then decide what to spend money on next. Fortunately, we have money to spend fixing it, and I can do a lot of work myself, such as welding, basic carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc.

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Old 08-11-2016, 06:12 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,793
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72 Safari for us

The way the coach is sitting I would say you need new axles.
You do realize that this coach has no grey water tank unless it has been modified.
If it has the original converter. It's time for an upgrade. A Progressive Dynamics 9245 will do nicely.
Looks like a good project.
Great looking TV.
Good Luck

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Old 08-11-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
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1972 23' Safari
Sierra Vista , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89

I expect you're right about the axles, they are pointing up a little and are rusty enough to be original, as well as the brakes. No gray tank, and the black is probably getting tired, being 44 year old plastic. The power converter/charger has been upgraded, the water heater looks like it's not real old, but the old Suburban furnace looks original. It'll keep us busy, I'm sure!

There is another galley cabinet, including top and sink, it looks like the same size/shape, but a different finish, and square corners instead of rounded. It's also mostly in pieces.

The front bed assembly has been modified or replaced? I still haven't figured out which pieces fit where.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:38 PM   #4
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1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
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Very nice Suburban.

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Old 08-12-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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We all need tow vehicles like that.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:45 AM   #6
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1972 23' Safari
Arlington , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 42
Images: 7
Very nice. Love the Suburban. We renovated a '72 Safari a couple of years ago and took it cross country and around the West Coast. Tows great and very comfortable. You'll find lots of good information here. You'll probably have some rot in the bathroom floor, water leaks from the bumper storage. maybe in front from windows. We got along without grey water for a year and finally broke down and also replaced the original black water tank last summer. PO did some pretty weird things that we had to fix. We pretty much tore out the inside, just kept the upper and sink cabinets. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:39 PM   #7
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 486
Wow! Great find. If you're a carpenter, you should probably just throw away the insides and start over. The good thing about doing that is you can re-insulate and turn that bad boy into a rolling YETI cooler! Even though it seems counter-intuitive, Airstreams get really hot on the inside. Down here in S. Fla, mine routinely gets well over 100 degrees on the inside if left in the sun with no A/C.

As a fellow Sunbelter, I recommend you should look into all the fine info here on Air Forums regarding the subject, as well as start looking in the corners of the couch for spare change to get a full set of awnings, ceramic paint for the roof, and the biggest A/C you can find!
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:16 PM   #8
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1972 23' Safari
Sierra Vista , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89

I expect we'll make some shade to park it under in the summer, and travel to the mountains, seeking cool air (although we're half way to the mountains, the elevation here in Sierra Vista is 4500 feet). I am not too interested in putting in AC, and also not too interested in completely redesigning the interior. The more I learn about it, it looks like we can live with the basic layout...I think that getting the front gaucho back to working condition, and getting/making a folding table, will be fine for us. There is plenty of work to do just to get the chassis right, get the windows sealed, bathroom remodel, fridge cabinet, etc. And the plumbing, which will probably all need to be redone. The bedroom cabinets and such are in pretty good shape. The galley cabinet needs work, including a new countertop. We may remove the furnace and use portable heat, or a radiant heater.

Looking at the bathroom, I wonder if we could raise the floor maybe 4 inches, install a single larger flat black tank, and have everything drain into it, and still have enough height at the bottom for a convenient dump valve? I might do away with the bathroom sink, I was talking with a friend about it, he says he and his wife do fine with only a galley sink.

Lots to think about.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:23 PM   #9
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1972 23' Safari
Sierra Vista , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89
A few more pictures

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Old 08-13-2016, 05:11 PM   #10
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1972 23' Safari
Sierra Vista , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89
Won't be much progress this coming week...I'm heading to California in the Edsel, for the LeMons Rally. Be back around the 22nd. Then we'll see what happens.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:59 AM   #11
1972 23' Safari
AKRON , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3
Hi,I recently purchased a 23 ' 1972 Safari Land Yacht about an hour south of where I live (Akron,Oh). The interior is very clean and original.The middle section has the twin beds option .I am looking to swap out the one road side bed & cabinets for cabinets only.I also have the other twin bed and front gaucho( all with drawers and in great shape )that I may be willing to part with.It looks like the identical unit except for the mid section.My dog,Timber and I are planning on heading west next Spring for good and live in the Airstream for awhile.Thanks,Chris
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:54 AM   #12
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1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
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what a great find , and only 2K ?? maybe if the floor has rot, then that's the going price these days. I paid $6 for my '72 Sovereign, but flooring was 95% good as lived in So Cal desert it's entire life ... bathroom plastics brittle for sure, but the tub is sturdy and can take full weight. It's the trim that seems to go funny. My cabinets are in near perfect condition too. But needed new curtains, gaucho, beds, fabrics as all very old and smelly. Who wants to sleep on a 40yr old mattress anyways? yuck . I invested in new rolling stock, just feel better about towing with new axles & brakes. an on-demand water heater was a nice addition too Good luck, keep the pics coming !
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:32 PM   #13
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1971 23' Safari
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22
We have owned a 1972 23' twin for 19 years and recently had it professionally restored. Part of the restoration was polishing, 2 new axles, bath floor repair and adding a grey water tank. Those major changes along with many small repairs and adjustments have made this a great investment for us. Glad to share pictures and info if you're interested...just send me an email. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-13-2016, 10:01 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
1972 23' Safari
Sierra Vista , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89
Hi folks, I finally got done with a bunch of other stuff...moved some cars around...removed the TV antenna from the Safari...and managed to squeeze it into my shop a couple days ago. Now I'm taking stuff apart, assessing what work needs to be done, and getting started on the design for the remodeling.

The rear floor has a little bit of rot, which I already knew. I guess I need to remove the lower inner panels, and see if I can sneak a new piece of wood in.

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