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Old 12-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
1977 31' Sovereign
seattle , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 108
Buying 1969 23' safari

all,

finally found a nice original 1969 23' safari owned by the same older couple for the past 40 years. they bought it in 1972.

only issues i can find is one soft spot in the floor by the door about 12"x12" and there is a dent at the top rear corner hardly visible from a tree branch.

has a brand new 3 way refer, new water heater and everything works except the holding tank meters.

axles look good and bearing were re-packed last year.

i pick the trailer up next week and will take lots of photos.

i will have a mouthful of questions but really happy to finally find a 23' as they are hard to find.

happy holidays from seattle.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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1968 26' Overlander
1977 31' Sovereign
seattle , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 108
The dent i speak of in the upper rear of the trailer is not very visible from the ground but it is a dent about 12" round and i would like to repair or at least try and work it out if possible.

On the inside of the trailer where the dent is located, the rear bath plastic molding is mounted in this area - it looks as though there is a horizontal seam which seperates this bath panel in 1/2 - is this so?

are there any photos of the top portion of this surround being removed for access to this panel area?

Or is it easier/best to de-rivet the outer skin so that the skin can be removed for an easier job instead of tearing out from inside?
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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2008 16' Safari
Destrehan , Louisiana
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Posts: 395
We had one of these for a few years. We loved it until it was broken into and totaly trashed. Here's a list of what I repaired or replaced:
Curtains and upholstery
Removed carpet and put in tile
Repaired soft spots on floor
Replaced univolt and fuse panel
Replaced heater (required some duct work)
Replaced plywood under fresh water tank (VERY important ..check yours)
Repaired water and gas pipes
Replaced water pump
Fix body leaks (only a few, these were very well made)
Repaired stove vent fan
Repaired toilet
Repaired holding tank
We did all this over a period of 4 years so don't feal like you've got to do it all at once. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:24 AM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groovzilla View Post
...
On the inside of the trailer where the dent is located, the rear bath plastic molding is mounted in this area - it looks as though there is a horizontal seam which seperates this bath panel in 1/2 - is this so?
...
Or is it easier/best to de-rivet the outer skin so that the skin can be removed for an easier job instead of tearing out from inside?
If I understand your question about the rear dome, it's not really a upper and lower half molding. The upper dome is plastic (maybe fiberglass in your year) and the lower "half" is aluminum skin. At least that's the way it is in my '72 Safari. Yes, you can take out the pop rivets and move it out of the way, sorta. I don't know how you will get it through the bath door. You might be able to just rotate it down onto the toilet and sink while you fix the dent.

DO NOT de-rivet the outer skin, except as a last resort or if you are an expert aircraft mechanic. You'll need to jack the frame at several points to make sure the shell isn't twisted or stressed, or you'll never get the panel back in. Just my opinion, of course.

For your info, there is no attachment between the plastic dome and the shell, except at its edges. You'd think there would be some kind of bracing between the inner plastic dome and the outer shell, but there isn't.

Taking out the dome will appear to you to be a bigger job than it really is (not that it's not a big job). Taking out the closet wall, for example, only takes a few minutes of drilling out the pop rivets--the problem is that Airstream almost always cleverly hides a few rivets under other skin/partitions and it takes some time to figure out that you haven't really got all the rivets out.

I'm up in Seattle every year with one or another of my Airstreams. If you make good progress, I'd like to come by and take a look. These are the recently active AirForums members in WA:

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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I forgot to say, that when you are fixing the dent, roll it out. DO NOT hammer it. The dome is made of particularly soft aluminum and it will thin and spread if you hammer it; you will never get the original shape back.

If you don't have a roller, get one.

BTW, if you're big into fixing up your Airstream, look into attending the Restoration Rally in Albuquerque in June.

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Old 12-24-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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1968 26' Overlander
1977 31' Sovereign
seattle , Washington
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i really appreciate all the great information - i am very new to the airstream world and looking forward to picking up the airstream next week.

happy holidays to everyone!
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