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Old 07-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
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1971 23' Safari
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Day 3 looking and smelling better

Pulled out all the carpeting and curtains today, which got rid of a lot more of the smelly stuff. Also temporarily patched some screen holes with a 3" by 3" patch kit I found at our local True Value hardware. Thanks to Vintage Airstream's quick service, I was also able to replace all 3 of the original 4 bulb ceiling fixtures that were discolored and had unwanted extra holes. Tomorrow, Amazon delivers LED bulbs for them, to be sure the new ones never overheat.

As already noted in an update on my Day 2 post, the rear window is now closed and taped in place until its hinge can be reattached and reinstalled.

Here's a picture of the interior front now. Notice the absence of the front couches I mentioned removing yesterday. The wooden box bases they sat on, however, are still present. So now I'm wondering how to remove the bases, in order to have more room for a couple of chairs or a small sofa. Has anyone else removed those couch bases?

Tomorrow morning, the trailer has an appointment at a local locksmith's, to see if they can somehow make working keys for it. Somehow, the part of our equalizer hitch that attaches to the tow vehicle has disappeared, possibly collected by one of the recycler trucks that regularly cruise our neighborhood. Fortunately, I have another non-equalizer hitch I can hopefully use for the short local drive, but I'm sure the missing parts will have to be replaced before our first real trip. Oh well, now I know to be more careful, and will be especially glad to have a working lock on the trailer.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
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Salvage yards

If you have a local salvage yard I would go by and visit and alert them. Maybe they will spot it. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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1971 23' Safari
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Update: New keys required only taking the trailer to Active Lock & Key (activelockand key.com) for a couple of hours. Total cost, $150, including 6 new keys and fixing a bad repair attempt by the PO.

Surprisingly, on local flat low speed roads, the trailer handled better (particularly more quietly) with an ordinary hitch than the fancy equalizer hitch I just lost. I'm sure the equalizer is better in tough situations, but it will be months before I expect to move the trailer again.

The LED bulbs I'd ordered arrived today, so all the interior lights are now LEDs. I particularly like the warm white color and bright omnidirectional light of the ones I settled on (Brightech LED BA15s - Warm White Color- Bayonet Base 36LEDs SMD Bulb - 2nd Generation with 36 LEDs, $12 ea from Amazon) after testing one against another cooler white version.

Found more mouse droppings behind the refrigerator and inside the TV antenna rotator today. As I clean, the smell is improving, but I'm sure we'll never find everything. Our next fix will be to shock the trailer with Ozone, said to handle this and many other bad odors after just a few hours. A side benefit is that it supposedly drives out or kills anything alive in the trailer, for which reason it can only be used with no one inside.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:53 PM   #4
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1971 23' Safari
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Update2: Just got the trailer back after letting our Airstream dealer reinstall the rear window, remove the front couch bases, reattach a bed frame that had come loose in a way I couldn't fix, and install our new Fantastic fan from Vintage Airstream Supply so I don't have to risk denting the roof or my head trying to install it.

One good thing about losing the equalizer hitch is that it was likely the wrong size for us any way. We replaced a 10K model with a 6K model, since our Pilot is only rated to tow 4.5K anyway, and the trailer handled a lot better today than with the 10K version last month.

This model lacks a grey water tank. Took our dealer a bit to realize that's why it "leaks" immediately whenever sink water drains. On the bright side, he cleaned out a lot more mouse droppings while looking for the leak, so the trailer is smelling a lot better now. We shocked it with ozone for a second time tonight, just to be sure.

Next up: installing the 4' interlocking vinyl laminate flooring we just bought. Looks to be a lot easier than the last time I installed a 12' roll of vinyl flooring, 35 years ago.

We've tested our new mattresses successfully, and look forward to replacing the now-gone front couches with 2 Ikea Poang rocking chairs sharing an ottoman and the original dining table.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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Update3: We're done with what we expect to do initially, and have taken our first overnight in "The Bean." That went well except that the water pump turned out not to actually work. (It made noise but created no suction. Can't imagine how our dealer failed to notice that while testing everything.) Fortunately, a Camping World we passed on the way home had another Sureflow pump in stock, I was able to install it, and the new one both works well and is a lot quieter than the old one.

The new floor is great. The Idea chairs fit well in place of the original front couches. We decided not to reinstall the front table yet - too large for the available space. We're using a smaller wooden TV table instead for now.

Our WBCCI numbers are installed (8575), and we are still green as grass but good to go. Haven't tried the propane gear yet, but aren't sure we care. We may end up sticking with all electric for the places we expect to use it (no boondocking.) We did need more hose and a longer electric cord, so have both of those now.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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1971 23' Safari
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Update 4: "The Bean" survived its first cross-country trip in fine shape. Our new drapes from JPA Drapes (Drapes For Airstream and Argosy Trailers) were waiting for us at the end of the trip. They turned out to be very well made, of very good fabric, and easy to install.

All along the way we looked into places and people skilled enough and interested in doing the final touches of restoration we can't. Lots of folks turned out to be able to handle the usual appliances, but not in fixing anything unusual. However, one of them did know of one nearby place that does: C & G Trailer & Repair (Airstream Trailer and Motorhome Service Center - Bellflower, CA), so that's where the bean is now, getting its last fixes.

I was very impressed to see so many Airstreams together in one place, and even more impressed to find someone (Rod) who not only knew about every part I mentioned that needs attention, but also whether anything can be done, and if so, what.

One of our big changes is to minimize our use of propane, as we don't plan to boondock, and almost always expect to have at least electricity wherever we stay with the trailer. This decision was eased by all our existing propane appliances being 42 years old and rusted and dirty enough for us not to trust continuing to use them.

Our PO had already replaced the original propane refrigerator with an electric-only one, to which we've now added a small Panasonic induction microwave oven, and a single burner induction cooktop, a small Crockpot, and a small Foreman grill, all of which are more our style of cooking than a gas oven or cooktop.

I'll update again in a couple of months when we and the bean are together again. By then it should be ready for final pictures, but already looks and works vastly better than when we first saw it in June.
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