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Old 05-02-2014, 12:38 AM   #1
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1971 23' Safari
Anthem , Arizona
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Hope's Log - '71 23' Safari Twin Renovation Journal

Hope’s Log - Day 1: 05/01/14: Today is our first official day as “Vintage Airstream Owners”! Yesterday, my wife Michelle and I purchased a 1971 23’ Airstream Safari Twin!

Having moved from the “Ocean State” to the land-locked “Grand Canyon State” 10 years ago, we sold our beloved sailboat, but now we are the proud owners of a Land Yacht! Our intent is to pay homage to our birthplace by affectionately naming her, “Hope”, which is Rhode Island’s state motto, that was allegedly inspired by the biblical phrase "hope we have as an anchor of the soul." The state motto appears on the great seal of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (Interesting note: Longest state name, smallest state!) and on the state flag with an anchor and the word "Hope" above it.

Rather than restoring to “Like New” we intend to renovate Hope with a nautical “Luxurious Yacht” theme with teakwood trim and… (TBD, stay tuned ). Since many of the interior components are in good condition, we also intend to remove them with care and offer them to our fellow Land Yachters to help others find that vintage piece they’ve been search for to complete their remodel and hopefully to help us counter our renovation costs.

Having been inspired and impressed by Pams72’s documented progress and other fellow Airstreamers candid and constructive feedback, Michelle and I would like to record our adventure in this forum, so that we can learn from you and hopefully inspire others to save a vintage airstream. (Interesting note: I heard a statistic that 60% of all Airstream’s ever produced are still around, but unfortunately, that means 40% have met their end).

As an IT Project/Program Manager (PM), I’m used to creating a plan and budget to monitor and control an engagement, so I intend to present my plan and budget to my readers, so that you will be part of the project team to give feedback on the logical way to progress and what to buy (and not to buy).

This ends day 1. Let the adventure begin!

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Old 05-02-2014, 02:01 AM   #2
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Hope's First Picts

First picts from Day 1...
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:09 AM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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Welcome aboard and good luck. She's a pretty one for sure. Post some more pix when you can. Are you planning on taking a good look at the underside to see how the frame is holding up? Hopefully if that trailer has lived its life in the sunny southwest, you won't have any issues with rust, but its always good to be sure the structure is intact before you go hog wild on the inside. And if the axles are original, then you should budget for a new pair as well.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
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Inside or Underside...that is the question!

"Welcome aboard and good luck. She's a pretty one for sure. Post some more pix when you can. Are you planning on taking a good look at the underside to see how the frame is holding up? Hopefully if that trailer has lived its life in the sunny southwest, you won't have any issues with rust, but its always good to be sure the structure is intact before you go hog wild on the inside. And if the axles are original, then you should budget for a new pair as well. "

Hope's Log - Day 2: 05/02/14, Thank you, aquinob! This weekend, I'm going to do a thorough assessment of the underside to determine if I need to address the brakes and axles first. I have two questions that I need answered before I do anything:

1) If I have to remove the axles, where do I place the jack stands to ensure it is properly secure front and back?

2) After reading your blog on the fresh water fill (Very informative, thanks!), I'm trying to figure out the best sequence of events for restoring Hope. If I need to repair or replace the sewer holding tank, the clean water tank, pipes, electrical, etc. is it better to perform the tasks by removing the subfloor and working from the inside, or remove the underside? (Not certain what the configuration is between the bottom pan, cross members and subfloor).

Greatly appreciate your feedback!
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #5
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1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
1959 28' Ambassador
1949 24' Limited
Peru , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei View Post
"Welcome aboard and good luck. She's a pretty one for sure. Post some more pix when you can. Are you planning on taking a good look at the underside to see how the frame is holding up? Hopefully if that trailer has lived its life in the sunny southwest, you won't have any issues with rust, but its always good to be sure the structure is intact before you go hog wild on the inside. And if the axles are original, then you should budget for a new pair as well. "

Hope's Log - Day 2: 05/02/14, Thank you, aquinob! This weekend, I'm going to do a thorough assessment of the underside to determine if I need to address the brakes and axles first. I have two questions that I need answered before I do anything:

1) If I have to remove the axles, where do I place the jack stands to ensure it is properly secure front and back?
2) After reading your blog on the fresh water fill (Very informative, thanks!), I'm trying to figure out the best sequence of events for restoring Hope. If I need to repair or replace the sewer holding tank, the clean water tank, pipes, electrical, etc. is it better to perform the tasks by removing the subfloor and working from the inside, or remove the underside? (Not certain what the configuration is between the bottom pan, cross members and subfloor).

Greatly appreciate your feedback!
1) The Main frame rails are visible in the wheel well. They continue rearward & out the rear end, supporting the bumper. You can place blocks of wood on the top of your jack stands to minimize marring, & position them just aft of the wheel well opening up against the bellypan where the frame rail is just above. The positioning of the jack stands is critical so take care & make sure it is supporting the frame & not just up against the bellypan.

2) There is no fresh water plumbing piping below the floor, however the grey & black dump valve assembly is. All of your electrical & fresh plumbing work will be done from above the floor. There are many threads out there describing the method of repairing floor sections & complete floors. You will need to assess the overall condition of the floor & frame before creating a game plan, as it will likely change dramatically. If you're looking for more info, just check out The Vintage Airstream Podcast | Vintage Trailer Restoration .
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:59 PM   #6
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1971 23' Safari
Marietta , Georgia
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Congrats on your '71 tandem Safari. I look forward to seeing your renovations and customization on your AS.

The axles aren't a big deal if you're handy with tools. There are many excellent threads on replacing your axles. Here's my thread on replacing the axles on my Safari. Colin will treat you right if you need to replace your axles.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ent-83997.html

Good luck and enjoy the journey with your Safari.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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First thing you might want to do is grab the inspection checklist from the Portal home page, and thoroughly check your trailer over. If you don't intend to be camping in the trailer any time soon, you don't need to worry about tires and axles just yet (in fact maybe not for a year or more).

70's trailers are notorious for rotting floors and rear end separation. You should evaluate that situation first. If you find that your rear end is separating, and you have rotten floors front, back and side to side, Then the next step will be to drop the bellypan and evaluate the frame. If the frame is requiring a bunch of repair, then my recommendation would be to bite the bullet and start building the gantry frames to do a shell-off.

Everything else you do is going to hinge on the condition of your floor, frame, and rear-end. If all is in good shape, then you can ponder whether to install grey tanks, whether you even need to open up your bellypan, etc. Your shell looks nice and shiny, so maybe the previous owner took good care of the trailer and already did some of the upgrades.

good luck!
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Portsmouth , Virginia
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One of the reasons I asked if this is an Arizona or southwest trailer is that the minimal humidity would mean that the frame and flooring is probably in good shape. A 23 foot trailer is going to have much fewer problems with the rear end sag as well because there is just less rear end past the wheels.

Since this is the beginning of the camping season I would be more apt to fix what needs to be fixed and get some use out of it. Poke around as much as you can underneath the beds and all the cabinetry and look for any discolored plywood, that is the telltale sign of water. Especially look all the way in the back where you can, that is where the water likes to collect.

On the exterior, look for loose rivets and check the window frames for adequate caulking as well as any parts that are attached to the skin. Start making a list of what needs to be fixed and what you can live with. And post some pix, especially of the inside and anything you have questions about.
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
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1972 23' Safari
Camas , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei View Post

Having been inspired and impressed by Pams72’s documented progress and other fellow Airstreamers candid and constructive feedback, Michelle and I would like to record our adventure in this forum, so that we can learn from you and hopefully inspire others to save a vintage airstream. (Interesting note: I heard a statistic that 60% of all Airstream’s ever produced are still around, but unfortunately, that means 40% have met their end).

As an IT Project/Program Manager (PM), I’m used to creating a plan and budget to monitor and control an engagement, so I intend to present my plan and budget to my readers, so that you will be part of the project team to give feedback on the logical way to progress and what to buy (and not to buy).

This ends day 1. Let the adventure begin!

Wow! Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad we have inspired. Our plan from the start was to just end up with a camping rig, we are not the best restorers by any means. We run into hurdles almost every day we work on Olney. One thing for me, when I reach the point of frustration, I walk away for the day. A day away to think things out do some research helps, I come back with a better attitude and outlook. We never be where we are today without this forum. I would like to thank all the gurus here who have paved the road.

We figured at the start we would put about $5000 into the repairs not including tools and time. We just figured our time spent would be like a hobby. Not sure where we will end up total at the end with all the runs to hardware store.

Have fun I look forward to your renovation.

thanks again,
Pam and David
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:25 AM   #10
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1976 25' Tradewind
, Florida
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Welcome to the forums, our family just purchased a 1976 Tradewind and are just beginning the shell off process as our frame is in pretty bad shape. Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:40 PM   #11
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Hope
 
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Anthem , Arizona
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Rotten floor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
First thing you might want to do is grab the inspection checklist from the Portal home page, and thoroughly check your trailer over. If you don't intend to be camping in the trailer any time soon, you don't need to worry about tires and axles just yet (in fact maybe not for a year or more).

70's trailers are notorious for rotting floors and rear end separation. You should evaluate that situation first. If you find that your rear end is separating, and you have rotten floors front, back and side to side, Then the next step will be to drop the bellypan and evaluate the frame. If the frame is requiring a bunch of repair, then my recommendation would be to bite the bullet and start building the gantry frames to do a shell-off.

Everything else you do is going to hinge on the condition of your floor, frame, and rear-end. If all is in good shape, then you can ponder whether to install grey tanks, whether you even need to open up your bellypan, etc. Your shell looks nice and shiny, so maybe the previous owner took good care of the trailer and already did some of the upgrades.

good luck!
Thank you for the information. I will check out the inspection checklist from the Portal home page and provide an update in my next log entry!
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Hope's Log - Day 3: 05/03/14, Removing the Kitchen Area

I woke up on Saturday excited to get started carefully removing the interior, so if our fellow '71 23' Safari Airstreamers need a part, I can sell them for reasonable prices to help defer our renovation costs.

(Question: Does anyone know what years & models this interior can fit, so I can properly advertise the parts on the Air Forums parts blog). I have meticulously taken pictures of each component as it was removed and added the hardware/screws to individually labeled plastic bags. I hope to put the inventory on the forum within the next day or two, but if anyone is looking for a specific part, just reply and I will set it aside.

Plan for removing interior:
1. Front gaucho bed.
2. Table assembly.
3. Shelf below front window.
4. Front curtain rails.
5. Refrigerator & cabinet.
6. Stove, sink & cabinet.
7. Linoleum floor.

Worked from 7:30AM - 9:30PM with a 2 hours break in the afternoon to take pictures of our daughter and boyfriend for their Junior Prom. It was good progress and took extra time to ensure all parts were removed with care and labeled properly.

Day 3 Ends. Day 4 will be devoted to storing all the removed parts in my side yard until I learn whether or not there is any interest in them or if I need to toss them out.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #13
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Keep up the good work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pams72 View Post
Wow! Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad we have inspired. Our plan from the start was to just end up with a camping rig, we are not the best restorers by any means. We run into hurdles almost every day we work on Olney. One thing for me, when I reach the point of frustration, I walk away for the day. A day away to think things out do some research helps, I come back with a better attitude and outlook. We never be where we are today without this forum. I would like to thank all the gurus here who have paved the road.

We figured at the start we would put about $5000 into the repairs not including tools and time. We just figured our time spent would be like a hobby. Not sure where we will end up total at the end with all the runs to hardware store.

Have fun I look forward to your renovation.

thanks again,
Pam and David
Thank you Pam and David. I am looking forward to the renovation journey, and will continue to watch your progress while learning lessons from you before I encounter them!
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:22 PM   #14
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Hope's Log: Day 4 - 05/04/14

Put all the parts on the side of the house to avoid having the HOA send me nasty letters about leaving parts on the sidewalk over the weekend.

It's now too hot to work outside any more (100 degrees in Phoenix), so I have a good excuse to go inside to watch the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild hockey playoffs while posting the following inventory of parts that I removed yesterday.

I will post pictures on the parts forum and can send specific pictures to individuals upon request.

After the hockey game, I need to move Hope from our cul-de-sac to the place I'm storing her before the HOA police send me a fine for lowering the value of my neighborhood . I'm going to miss her until next weekend when I can work on Saturday and rest on Mother's day...

Have a great week everyone!
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