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Old 07-02-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
Arlington , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Newbe with '72 Twin Safari

Just completed the purchase of the ebay 72 Safari mentioned in a previous post. I have been lurking on these forums for a couple of years so I hope I'm going in with some knowledge. Looks like it's in pretty good shape, as advertised. Previous owner has done some good repairs and appears that most of the systems are working. My goal is to be able to take it on a cross country trip a year from Sept. I'm not concerned about pretty, just function and safety. (Although the skin is gorgeous.) First stop will be the local AS dealer to check out the systems, breaks and axel. Also want them to add AC What advise do you experienced owners have to give me in terms of priorities? How much do you think the AC will cost? any thoughts/experience with adding solar?
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Concentrate on safe and functional. Ask your dealer to check it out in depth, then brace yourself! Axles, frame, brakes, floor, propane and electrical systems--all very important for safety. Cost of a new AC will depend largely upon the unit you choose. If you go even sort of "high end," you will pay min $1000 for the unit, and around half that or more for the install. Make sure the condensate is plumbed to run between the skin, not just dripped down the exterior.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
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I have some wiring, plumbing and carpentry skills/tools. Wondering what you would consider the "esay" repairs that I could do myself vs. those that are best left to the pros.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:49 AM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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You will develop a greater sense of comfort with what you can do as you go along. None of this is rocket science, but it can get pretty labor intensive. Some of the easy repairs that may seem dramatic at first glance include: repair of leaking propane lines, repair of leaking plumbing, replacement of window seals, replacement of axles (they just bolt on with a couple bolts to a side), replacement of appliances.

I hadn't planned to do a restoration that included any sheet metal work, but I am currently in the middle of a curved panel replacement, and now it doesn't even phase me. You probably have the skills to install an air conditioner on the roof, but it is involved, with a fair amount of risk (risk of denting your roof, of cutting the hole in the wrong place, of dropping the new AC, of falling and getting injured, etc.). There are several threads on these forums describing the installation. I intend to do one myself in the next month or two, but then, I already have a scaffold built over the trailer, and have already removed the old AC and prepped the roof.

If you discover that your subfloor is rotten, that your rear-end is separating, and that your frame is disintegrating, you have now moved into the realm of "heavy lifting." Again, you probably have the technical skills to do a shell-off restoration, it is just a question of whether you have the time, the will, and the space to do the job. Hiring it out is darned pricey though.

Good luck!
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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1971 23' Safari
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Your Airstream dealer will be happy to do an extensive inspection, the same one they do for pre-delivery of one they sell, and then you can decide which of the resulting tasks you want to do yourself, and which you want to leave to them.

That's happening now to our "new to us" '71 Safari Twin, and quickly led to new tires, rims, axles, brakes, and hitch, plus replacing a bunch of light bulbs on the outside. (And that's on a unit the dealer considers in really good shape.)

After a bit of reflection, I also asked them to remove the old TV antenna, and ensure the vents on the roof are well sealed, as I don't want to stupidly dent the roof, nor risk my aging bones.

We had a local upholsterer replace the foam and fabric of the twin beds, and are removing the front couches, in favor of furniture we already have at home. We plan to redo the old carpet with new wood-look vinyl flooring ourselves, though have a friend in that business if we run into trouble. Apart from that, our immediate plans for our own efforts are to do tons of cleaning.

No keys with the unit, so we've ordered blanks, and will ask a locksmith to make working keys.

Beyond that, we want to see how much we use it and how well we like what it already includes before we go all out on such things as upgrading appliances from using pilot lights to electronic ignition. (Why bother, if we don't end up wanting to use some of them anyway?)

Welcome aboard, and good luck with your "new" Safari Twin.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Welcome!

My suggestion is both before and after the inspection at the dealer... re-inspect everything yourself so you can prioritize the needs and think about costs. Then take her out camping (not too far from home) and give all the stuff a try! After that post pictures, ask questions and with all the information you can likely make the best choices and get the most bang for your buck.
Good luck!
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