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Old 03-17-2002, 02:26 PM   #1
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Question Safari VS. Classic Questions

Airstream Safari VS. Classic Questions

1. Is the Classic 25 ($45,997 7,300# GVWR) worth the increased price of a Safari 25 with Upgrade Pkg ($34,734 plus $2,942 6,300# GVWR)?
2. Where is spare tire bracket located on Safari 25 and Classic 25? Under chassis?
3. Can you get the Writing Table & Zip Dee Chairs installed, and at what cost, on Safari 25?
4. Without the Writing Table, where can you store (2) Zip Dee Chairs on a Safari?
5. Can you exchange the Safari 25 steel step with the Classic 25 Aluminum Extended step and at what cost?
6. Can a 116 WB (Denali, Tahoe, Yukon, Cadillac Escalade) safely tow a 26 Safari or Classic? Is a 130 WB (Suburban, Yukon XL, Denali XL) required? Assume each vehicle is equipped with proper engine, axle ratio, and trailer pkg. Also, assume a Hensley Hitch will be used.

Thank you for any replies and help. I know this is a lot of questions, but I'm seriously considering an Airstream.
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Old 03-17-2002, 11:32 PM   #2
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kkrogh,

1. Tough to answer when its someone elses money but my opinion is the Classic is a better trailer, however the 2002 Classic floorplan I have says the upgrade is not available on the 25 or 28 models. But you can always add on the upgrades later saving money upfront and find a better price later.

2. According to the 2002 features the spare tire bracket on the Classic 25-34' is standard and the tire is extra, but its not available on the Safari. This can be added to almost any later model/year trailer.

3&4. The Safari floor plans for 2002 do not show the same credenza as previous years where the chairs would be stored, and I think the chairs came with Safari's previously as I remember when looking at the 1999/2000 Safari's. I think they would be able to install the table w/storage at additional cost.

5. I dont know why they went to a steel step on the Safari except to keep costs down but it kind of cheapens the Safari as well as some other things have changed, manual tongue jack for example. Again, the factory can likely replace it unless the mounting setup is different.

6. The longer the wheelbase the better you will feel towing and the trailer will tow better but it wont hurt with a shorter wb. I tow a 27' with an Expedition which is a short wb to me and wish I had a longer wb.

The factory can basically install/remove/change whatever the customer wants and it will cost you to have it done but the peace of mind is the factory did it and it was done professionally not by someone "who always wanted to work on an Airstream".

Last but not least, as for considering buying an Airstream, they are the best built trailers, over 60% of them are still on the road, they have a higher & longer resale value, owners are the nicest people you will ever meet, they are not cheap to buy because they are not built cheap, that is something to consider when comparing. I could come up with other reasons but its getting too late to think right now. Also consider a used one, they are just as much fun. Keep us posted on your consideration and just ask if you need us to twist your arm some we'd love to have you in the family.

John
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Old 03-18-2002, 08:38 AM   #3
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Cool

Thanks for your reply, John. Yes, from want I've read, you Airstream folks are all nice people. But years ago when we had a Starcraft popup with our kids, I always found all campers to be just great.

John, do you know where the spare tire bracket is located? Underneath chassis? On back? It is included in the Safari Upgrade Pkg.

BTW, the Safari steel step is only 2 steps and the Classic alum. is 3 steps. The alum is really nicer. I'm sure the alum costs more, but I bet it is not any heavier. While taking the Airstream plant tour, the guide said he did not know if the alum could be added to the Safari.

Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:07 AM   #4
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The spare bracket is 'Y' shape and mounts the to right side A frame and the tire sits underneath the front of the trailer flush with the bottom. You want to be sure the area around the tire gets resealed to kepp out the weather and other stuff.

John
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Old 03-19-2002, 01:58 PM   #5
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1. The two coaches were designed with different goals in mind. The Classic is for the traditional buyer with all the luxury features were weight and cost are not the primary focus. The Safari series were designed to weigh less and provide simpler features resulting in a more affordable coach while retaining the classic shape and towing features.
2. The spare tire mounts in the same location on both coaches. You would want to verify the bracket is present on a Safari.
3. The writing table can be added. The chairs are available seperately from either Zip Dee or a Zip Dee dealer. The chairs are 77 to 83.
4. Without the writing table the chairs can be stored in the closet or the back of the tow vehicle.
5. No the step cannot be changed. The underbelly design is not the same on the Safari.
6. Any of the vehicles you listed can be used to tow. You will need to verify with the manufacturer what motor, axle ratio combination they recommend to tow the weight of you trailer. You might also consider the Equal-i-zer hitch for a stable towing hitch.

Charlie
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Old 03-19-2002, 04:23 PM   #6
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Hi Charlie,
Welcome and nice to have you aboard, hope you will stay and share your knowledge and experience with us, this is on its way to being a really great place for Airstreamers. I am looking at getting the Equal-I-zer hitch myself and I know you have towed with it and had positive things to say last year, have you towed any more with it and any added comments on it performance?

John
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Old 03-19-2002, 07:25 PM   #7
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Charlie, thank you for replying. Good anwsers to my questions. I too am interested in your experiences with the Equal-i-zer hitch. I know it is much less expensive than the Hensley-Arrow. But does the Equal-i-zer still help prevent sway as well as the Hensley?
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Old 03-19-2002, 11:16 PM   #8
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One thing I've noticed about the Safari / Bambi vs the Classic is the windows. The classic model have the full windows like the older units. Lot of people run their air all the time so it is not an issue for them. We love to have those windows open wide on many summer evenings.

A longer wheelbase is nicer, but not required. You will get a smoother ride. I've towed my '27 airstream with a 1999 Yukon for three years. It worked fine. The lease was up last January, so I replaced it with the Yukon XL. If you have not purchased the tow vehicle, consider a longer wheelbase.

I've used the original reese combined sway weight distribution spring bars since I purchased my TT. As long as the hitch height is correct and the bars are properly adjusted, the trailer tows well. I'd consider a better hitch arrangement if I towed frequently.

Jim
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Old 03-23-2002, 06:34 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

I guess three questions to ask. First can you afford the more expensive Classic and will your tow vehicle handle the additional weight, and if not can you afford to upgrade your tow vehicle? In my case the the answer was no to these three questions.

I'm at least 10-14 years from retirement so my travel is limited to one long vacation a year and weekend trips between the months of April through October. I think the Classic line interiors will hold up better if you are a frequent user.

My complaints about my Safari are minimal. The single door step is inadequate and I carry a folding step to allow easier entry and exit. The Safari's of 1999, 2000, and 2001 vintage use pop up camper stabilizers. The 2002 models use the same stabilizers as the Classic line trailers. I had my trailer upgraded to these when I was up at Jackson Center this last summer. The furnace thermostat is cheap and has no adjustable anticipator. It has a wide temperature swing. I plan to replace mine with a digital unit this spring. I wish the Safari had been equipped with a gas/electric water heater.

Rather than take mine from dealer stock, I ordered a new built unit. I asked for the spare tire carrier, a factory installed power hitch jack, and two Fantastic Fans. None of these were official options in 2001 (they are now though).

I looked closely at the 25' Safari and really liked the dinette but decided upon the 27' based on the additional storage space. We were a little leary of the folding table but have found it works great. We also carry a canvas deck chair so we can eat facing each other. We also use that chair as extra seating if either my wife or I want to stretch out on the sofa. When we travel we fold it flat on the floor. There is ample room in the 27 to have the chair open all the time.

This is our first A/S and we have been pleased with fit and finish, and it tows like a dream.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 03-23-2002, 08:55 PM   #10
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Good helpful comments, Jack. Thank you. Didn't realize that the Safari did not have both the elec & gas water heater. Portable step - good idea.

Yes, the price is high for the Classic. $$$$ and another 1000 lbs. No wonder the Safari is their best selling model.

Kent
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Old 03-24-2002, 08:42 AM   #11
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Kent,
If the water heater is a big issue, you might just request that if you place an order for a new build trailer. I didn't check this out otherwise I would have made this request when I placed my order. My SOB trailer had an Atwood Gas/Electric unit and we normally ran electric only, except at shower time. It made a significant difference in gas usage and minimized hot water recovery time.

While a dealer can do many of the upgrades to a trailer on the lot, some things are just done better if they are done at build time at the factory. Note that A/S only builds about 15 trailers or so a week. I ordered in mid March of last year and my trailer was delivered end of April. Everything built at the factory has been ordered so there is no inventory sitting out on the factory premises. Model change over comes early in the summer so trailers ordered today will probably be the last of the 2002 units going out.

Camping World sells a nice step (not cheap $75) that folds and can be kept in its box in the rear storage compartment above the rear bumper. I have met a few Safari owners on the road and we all carry our step.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 04-12-2002, 03:02 PM   #12
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Kent - Take a good look at the Safari model. I think A/S did an excelent job meeting a market need. I never saw a direct answer to your question, but the (optional) spare tire is located under the very front of the camper. I also took J. Canavera's advise and had the electric jack installed, and went to Camping World for the folding step, which makes entry/exit to the Safari a breeze. Personally, I like the fact that my 27' Safari is so much lighter, pulling is just not a problem. I do suggest you think long & hard as to what you are going to pull with vs. your day-to-day needs. I have a very small country place & thus needed a pickup. Need for the pickup plus need to pull the Safari, for me, meant going to the Ford F250 PSD. But lots of folks don't need that many horses or pickup (turning radius is LARGE). But boy is it nice when pulling, almost like she isn't even there.

Take the plunge Kent. You'll love your traveling in your Airstream or just periodic campouts. And the A/S community is the best.
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Old 04-12-2002, 03:25 PM   #13
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Hi Jim,
You found me!

Jack
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Old 04-12-2002, 03:32 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reply, Jim. I haven't taken the plunge yet. But I'm still considering. I do like the lesser weight of the Safari, and with the options, you can get some of the Classic's great features.

I sure like the wood in the Classic, but there is quite a premium to pay for it over the Safari's price.
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