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Old 04-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
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1975 23' Safari
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I'm paraphrasing some of this from an earlier post. Sorry about the repetition.

About a month a ago I moved from the vast green valley of Missoula, Montana, to the many green valleys of the Umpqua, in Southern Oregon. In doing so, I moved from an 1100 square foot shanty that I shared with two friends, girlfriends, couch friends, cats and dogs, to a 1975 Safari Land Yacht, 23 foot, double configuration, solo, full-time, and in a beautiful campground on the banks of a river so magnificent that Zane Grey, despite fishing it for decades, would not write its name.

I wish I'd done this years ago. I love the everyday calculation of space versus practicality, and the immediate importance of efficiency. I love the clever engineering, and the quirky little devices. I imagine jet planes and submarines employ similar design techniques. Self righteously, I wish everyone could have so little, and know how much fun it is. It's easy to get carried away with this tube living.

I am a bachelor, which simplifies things, and I don't as yet have a dog. And I'm new in the wine industry, further contributing to my highly mobile status. My benchmark for "The Right Woman" might well be "Can she hack it in an airstream?" The situation has yet to arise directly, but I think the lime green Masonite kitchen will sell itself.

If you read my other post, just like this one, you saw that I think these bachelor pad airstreams should come with a complementary mutt and a plant, like an aloe or a spider, that even a single dude can keep alive.

I have two big questions for all of you highly experienced people. First, I want to replace the old brown carpet with the knock-together Pergo-type flooring, and could use some advice before I start. I have installed this stuff before, but I would appreciate anything Airstream specific. Any hidden traps I should be aware of?

Secondly, are these Triton on-demand water heaters as nice as they seem? I love my vintage trailer dearly, but I take quick Navy showers and still never have enough hot water. These things look too good to be true. I'd like to hear some opinions.

Thanks to everybody who read this. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions in the future
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
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One thing to try before you spend a lot of money on a demand water heater is an Oxygenics showerhead. I have always done the navy-shower type thing (growing up in an old farmhouse such things become habit.) Still, even when taking relatively-luxurious showers with full hookups and not worrying about filling my tiny gray tank I have never emptied the water heater.

Another thing to check is the condition of the water heater. They can develop a lot of scale inside if they haven't been flushed regularly. That reduces overall capacity and can also reduce efficiency (depending on where the scale has built up.) You can attack scale just like a coffee maker, with a solution of white vinegar and water. Just be sure to flush well afterward. You'll likely still get a bit of vinegar smell for a while but there's not much pipe in that Safari, it'll clear pretty quickly.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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I put one of these on my boat and it works well. I have a 3000 watt gen-set to power it and it takes about a half hour to make a tank of water. If you have good power it is a good option. You can get lager units, and better prices if you search. Check eBay. Mine was labeled Bosch.

Point Of Use - Water Heaters - Plumbing*at The Home Depot

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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I second the Oxygenics shower head - uses a lot less water and has a shut off on it. We boondock, so resources are scarce, but we're fine with the Oxygenics. As a boondocker I would not go with an on-demand water heater; first there is the cost, and then the fact that you don't always have electricity to run it. The 6-gal Atwood water heater provides plenty of hot water. One thing we did was to add an accumulator tank in the water line. This smooths out the flow of water from the taps when pumping water.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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No real trick to doing the floor. You might have some areas in the subfloor that need attention if it has leaked. I put the thinnest floating floor over the white foam and it seems to be working well. The hard part is putting base trim or quarter round. I would try to work out some way to fit it without the trim if possible. I used an air trim nailer and stuck the trim to the floor but it was not a nice job and I would prefer some other look.

We have the standard 6 gal propane electric WH and have no problem with not having enough HW. Is yours working properly? Is it hot enough? I replaced our 24 year old WH with a direct ignition gas-electric and love it. Can leave it on electric and still have the gas avaliable for fast re-reheat. I am not a fan of the on demand WH's. A new gas-electric Atwood is about $450 delivered and it is easy to install if you are replacing one. What does the wiring for the OD heater cost?

Do your fish?
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice. First if all, I do fish, but mostly for trout. These steelhead and salmon are going to be all sorts of exciting. As to the flooring, I was planning to do it without trim anyway, so it's nice to hear that my plan isn't fundamentally flawed from the get-go. And regarding the WH, it looks like, between a new shower head and a little cleaning, I'll be fine with what I've got.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:31 PM   #7
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Welcome. There is much to enjoy about a TT of this type, and from many different directions.

But don't leave road performance /safety issues till last. An aluminum garden shed is not much help if one needs to boogie and cash is low. Can happen to any of us.

Upgrade exterior signal/clearance lamps to LED as a nice first step and go over safety chains, breakaway switch, 7-way harness, etc as good basics to have covered. Tires, wheels, axles, brakes, bearings and alignment are more $, but tremendously satisfying as to "efficiency" and other terms/concepts you've cited. Make them new, IMO.

.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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slowmover is spot on! When I bought my Excella, I had the PO put new rubber on it as the rubber was 5 years old. Then I drove over to Jackson Center and had them go over it and fix whatever needed to be done. Within 6 months I changed all the lighting over to LED's - inside and out. I now follow a routine of going over to JC to have my bearings repacked and running gear checked. I do about 15,000 miles a year with my trailer in tow, and the last thing I want is to have a breakdown.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Let me re-emphasize

and the last thing I want is to have a breakdown

. . when I am between jobs, low on savings, and otherwise ill-prepared to pay the VERY high costs associated with an on-road breakdown. It isn't just the repairs that one should be mindful of in this regard as towing, motels, meals and potential damage to the tow vehicle

that should keep "road performance / safety" at the beginning of lists.

FWIW, I have no hot water heater at present (old one in place but doesn't run well), but you can bet tires/brakes/bearings and clearance/signal lamps have priority with hurricane season on the way. If I have to skedaddle out of here . . . .

.
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