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Old 12-01-2015, 08:38 AM   #1
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Menlo Park , California
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New Owner With Repair Questions


I just bought my first and probably last Airstream,. It is a 1973 23 foot Safari with some condition issues so I have some general questions about repair. The interior was painted including the fiberglass end caps but the paint is pealing from the end caps, does anyone know the best way to remove the paint? Next to the vents in the ceiling there are round holes and wires, does anyone know what these would be used for and/or the best way to fill them if they are not needed. I added a picture of one of the holes. The exterior is in good shape except it looks sort of stained (see picture), does anyone know how to clean this off or is this due to the clear coat being ruined? Finally there is this plastic thing attached to the underside of the overhead cabinet over the refrigerator but there is noting inside of it. I've seen these in pictures but don't know what they are supposed to do, can anyone tell their function.Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Old 12-01-2015, 09:01 AM   #2
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
1964 17' Bambi II
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
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Citristrip should remove the paint.
Are you planning to polish the shell?
Are the wires live?
Heavy or light gauge?
Controlled by a switch?
Possible uses for wire:

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Old 12-01-2015, 09:04 AM   #3
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Congratulations on your First Airstream and weclome!

The Safari is a great trailer, but I'm biased as the proud owner of a '77 23' Safari. Is yours a single or double axle?

For the outside, start with a good washing, I use car soap and a car washing brush, it's amazing what I was able to wash off of my trailer. If your trailer has any of the original clear left your best bet is to strip and polish, it's not the worst job and the final product is amazing. I've been slowly polishing for 2 years, may never actually finish.

The hole in the ceiling may be for a handle to crank up the vent or may be for wiring, my trailer has light fixtures that cover the roof vents on the ceiling.

The white plastic box once held a 12v outlet.

Post more pics please, we love pics of Airstreams!

Before you get too far, stick your head in the cabinet under the bathroom sink and look for floor rot. my trailer had a very little bit but it needs to be taken car of before you do much traveling.
1977 Safari Land Yacht
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:05 AM   #4
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Last picture looks like a 12 volt plug. Can't really tell the size.
1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:25 AM   #5
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1969 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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We brought our '69 Safari to Colorado from New Mexico 2 years ago. It had been stored and unused for 30+ years in the New Mexican dry climate. But it had been stored covered most of that time and was regularly maintained on the exterior with Walbernize. I made three lists: 1) Safety & Towing Integrity (tires, axles, lights & signals, brakes, hitch etc.), LP system check including furnace & stove, electric system check 2) Living & comfort i.e.: refrigerator works, water heater, furnace, interior lighting, plumbing check, black tank & valve check, shower / bath & toilet, A/C, 3) cosmetic items such as interior stains or panel issues (none), exterior dents, discoloration, etc.. List 1 had to be done before we could camp in it. List 2 worked itself out over time - yes we had water leaks that were on-going but finally fixed it by replacing copper with pec. New water heater, new A/C, new furnace, new elec converter, new battery, on and on but it's been worth every penny and we love that we can have the 69 back out getting used and being enjoyed again! Cosmetic items I do myself for the most part and they are also working themselves out. The AS is / was built to last basically forever and pretty much everything can be repaired or replaced.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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1966 20' Globetrotter
2008 23' International
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Denver , Iowa
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The plastic "thing" is a 12-volt power plug and the two small holes next to it allow you to plug in an antenna wire, assuming you can find the appropriate plug which allows you to attach the two leads from a flat antenna wire.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:23 PM   #7
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
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The holes next to the roof vents were for wires to the light fixtures that came mounted over the vents. The end caps are probably ABS plastic not fiberglass so you need a stripper that won't melt the plastic, or paint over it all with the Krylon paint that sticks to plastic. The outside stains look like somebody left soap to dry while abandoning a wash job! Or might be mineral deposits from trying to cool the trailer with a sprinkler on a hot day? I don't know what to try for that, sorry. Good luck and welcome to the forum! Leland
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:46 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the information and suggestions. I can't believe how quickly you reply. Ours is a single axel and I did check under the cabinet in the bathroom for rot before we bought it. The good news is there isn't any that I can see but the bathroom is not in great condition so it will coming out next year. the previous owner did a lot of plumbing and electrical work to it. he was just getting to the good stuff but had to sell it because he bought a townhouse and had storage issues.

The wires near the holes look to wires for a 12 volt system so the concept that they were lights sounds about right. I will check photos on line to see if there are any pictures of the ceiling lighting. I may try to put a fan in one of the vents and use the power for that. I was under the impression that the end caps were fiberglass from other things that I have read on line, does anyone know if they are fiberglass or ABS or some other form of plastic? Also does anyone know if an orange based paint stripper will harm what ever material they are made from?

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