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Old 06-13-2013, 01:34 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1966 22' Safari
Ellicott City , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13
Modified Floor Plan: Advice/Opinions welcomed!

Straight away, I want to say that I'm going to express my opinion on a few things; it isn't meant to offend anyone. I don't wish to upset anyone, nor do I want to throw stones at the purists. Take it all with a bucket of salt, and feel free to share your objections!

I think I spent more than a few hours in my 66 Safari project....pacing the floor, pulling measurements, and scratching my head. I know the mantra "make only improvements", so I knew I shouldn't be making any changes to the original floor plan unless I considered it a genuine 'improvement'.

Before I continue, I want to say I like this model in stock form, but I don't LOVE it. If I'm gonna spend months of filthy labor, and thousands of dollars, by gosh I better love it! To love it means I need to make a few improvements. To find out what should be modified (and what should be left alone), I made a list of what I liked, and what I didn't. It went something like this:

-I like the size. It's the Goldilocks thing- not too big, not too small, but just right. The overall dimensions seem pleasing to me. The height:length ratio is what I consider an archetypical Airstream.

-I like the curbside kitchen. When I step up in a vintage Airstream, I like looking at a lounge area; it seems like an invite of sorts. When I look directly at cabinets, it's mildly standoffish in terms of architecture. Likewise, when you walk into a residential dwelling, you almost always see a living/lounging area first. It should feel open and inviting, and offer an immediate place to sit.

-I like the grouping, which is to say I like how there are definable "living, food prep, washroom" areas.

Here's what I don't like:

-The shower. I'm not a fan of the fiberglass molded washrooms. Perhaps it's psychological, but I feel cramped when trying to shower in a rounded corner. I don't like the look of it, either. I'm sure it looked sweet at one time, but I'm just not a fan overall. Furthermore, I don't see anyone in my family taking an actual bath in there, so why not just have a shower pan (?).

-The washroom sink. I hate it. It's too low, and awkwardly placed. It seems like a design afterthought.

-The fridge location. I think it should be with the other kitchen components. The fridge interrupts the lounging areas, too. It just seems "off" the designers just stuck it there because they couldn't shoehorn it in anywhere else.


I'm gutting this girl down to the ribs, and all the systems in it are toast. This is liberating, because I can do it any way I like. The troubling part is I didn't want to stray too far from what makes it a Safari. I wanted to keep the kitchen where it was, and keep a rear bath...but make improvements to those areas.

I don't need some of the appointments that came stock with this model, so that was the best place to create some "wiggle room" for the things I really wanted. For example, I don't need a four-burner range, or a double sink. I don't want a black tank, either (it's a composting toilet all the way for me); I'd rather have larger grey/fresh tanks in its place. In the end, those few little things seem to be about the only things I'm giving up. When I look at a lot of the newer models, I see smaller kitchen sinks, and the lack of an oven as a common trend. With that in mind, I don't think I'm ruining anything for someone who might own this in the future.

Lastly, I wanted to cram as much seating into the front as I could. I see a lot of card playing, board game trash talking, big meal feasting going on in here.

With all this in mind, here's a picture of the original floor plan of the 66 safari:

Here's an image of the original compared to my proposed layout:

By relocating the fridge (now next to sink), I was able to slide the location of the pull out lounge closer to the front. This gives me the room to put a normal shower pan in the rear washroom. Everything just slides up the wall. I have bunk bed attachments that can be relocated along with the pull out lounge (directly above it).

The main lounge arrangement is modified, too (I've seen a similar set-up on other Airstream models, but can't remember what they are). The table is also larger, and folds up into a shallow storage cabinet along the street side wall (just under the window). Again, this is a common Airstream theme; I know I've seen it before.

The washroom gets a completely new look, but is the same footprint as the original. The only exception is the shower, which bumps a portion out about a foot or so (behind a proposed shelved wall). The sink has open access and is at a normal countertop height- complete with a little custom medicine cabinet above it. The rear window is open and free from obstructions- making the layout seem sunnier and larger than what it is.

The cost of all this is realized in the kitchen area, which is a mild set of compromises. The sink size is reduced, and gone is the range- replaced by a smart little Gaggenau two burner LP cooktop (already in my possession). Counter space isn't radically different from the original, but to increase it somewhat I'll fabricate a cutting board for the sink.

So, what do you experts think? Did I butcher it, or make improvements? Does anyone see major flaws with this design? Tell me now before I spend the blood and cash on it!

Travis....AKA: Midcenturyhillbilly.

My blog: LINK.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:04 PM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,375
The main consideration is you have to make it work for you, which is exactly how we approached our redesign of our trailer. It doesn't look like you've drastically altered the weight distribution from one side to the other, or from front to back. So, if you're happy with it, go for it!


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Old 06-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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1976 Argosy 22
Pasadena , California
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I dig it. I like all the seating area next to each other at the front. I also dig the new shower. That is one of my pet peaves with my layout in my 1976 Argosy 22'. It has a corner shower that feels cramped. Good luck with the renovation!
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
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1976 23' Safari
1962 22' Safari
1961 16' Bambi
Philly burbs , PA
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 181
I changed my layout as well. The interior was shot and I wanted to be able to enjoy the view out the back window so I came up with this:
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,639
If you're totally remodeling the trailer, do what you want. I think your biggest challenge is that you'll need to move the frig vent and patch the other side. You'll also need to relocate the furnace, or put a catalytic heater on the side of the counter immediately next to the door.

Otherwise, that big lounge area looks great. Best of luck.

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:22 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 143
Images: 12
I like the new plan and you've obviously put a lot of thought into it. Note that toilet location could be problematic if using while standing, if you plan on using it that way.

The most important thing is that the layout works for you.
Lou Axt, Jr.
1966 Tradewind
1969 Chevy C10

Phillipians 4:13
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
1969 27' Overlander
St. Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 74
the only thing I'm wondering is if your shower seat is far enough back to miss the wheel well, if not may have to make your linen closet smaller
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #8
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1966 22' Safari
Ellicott City , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13
Hey, thanks for the feedback!

- No problem standing at the toilet; it's the same headroom as in the original layout....but it's no matter...I've been told a man needs to sit down to go #1 on a composting toilet.

- The shower misses the wheel well. *NOTE- The external "trunk door" access was once under the old pull out lounge. Now, it's EXACTLY where the seat in the shower is so I can still use it for storage!

- Now with regard to relocating the fridge/vent, that will take some doing. I have no idea what I'm getting in to, but I'm ready for the challenge. The roof patch isn't much of a concern for me because I have solar panels planned for the future, and perhaps one will obscure the repair. The old furnace was long gone when I got her, and the PO put in a nice little propane Glo-warm heater (which I plan to repurpose) right in the exact spot you suggested.

I have a concern- will the old fridge vent require patching the wall on the inside skin??
Travis....AKA: Midcenturyhillbilly.

My blog: LINK.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
Birdie Momma
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1957 26' Overlander
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Vintage Kin Owner
Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 904
travis, my only thought on your layout is to consider perhaps a wet bath, or trying to use the shower in multiple ways. you only use that space 5 minutes per day. in small spaces like an airstream, space is valuable; maybe consider a wet bath? (forgot, composting toilet :/) or putting the bathroom sink in the shower, instead of a seat?

also i realize the drawing isn't to scale, but you might find the amount of space dedicated to the shower is too small and might need to come into the cabin more. I have a similar plan for our 57 (mid bath), and there is simply no way to get the shower to NOT obstruct the rear window light of sight at least a bit. i want to say (going from memory) the space from sidewall to edge of rear window is 22" for our 57.
'57 Overlander | '56 Flying Cloud | '51 Spartanette
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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2012 27' FB International
Ft Myers , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 99
Good for you 6ixty6ix. We gutted our '77 and replaced the rear bath with a queen size bed. We never stay where there aren't full-size bath and toilet facilities and we didn't look forward to people peeing threefeet from our heads in the middle of the night. We also replaced the front gaucho with a four-seat dinette, The table drops down to make a double size bed. Still have full kitchen w/ 2 sinks, 4 burner stove-top, micro/convection oven and refrig. Gained lots of flexible storage.

Mike & Laurel
Ft. Myers, FL
2012 27FB Int'l Serenity
2016 RAM 2500
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