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Old 01-03-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
Join Date: May 2013
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1954 Safari



Finally got my hands on the old family trailer. A 1955 Safari. The trailer came with a small campground my grandparents had purchased in the early 80's in Western New York. The best decision they have ever made. A couple years in my Stepfather (Mike) bought the trailer and still owned it when he had first met my mother and I was just a little Jonny Five. Not sure I ever actually slept in the trailer, I always had to bring a tent, but always loved that thing.

Time went on, Mike upgraded his trailer a couple times (I remained in a tent). The trailer was passed between some aunts/uncles/cousins for years, and was then left to sit for 12 years! I grew up, camp closed down to the public, but I finally talked my hesitant cousin into letting it go for a bottle of Blackberry Brandy (I waited until he had plenty in him) and a Polish T-shirt. This all happened couple hundred feet from where the trailer at a campfire at Mike site, who started with the Silver Bullet and has since upgraded to a two story cabin and became a complete camp junky, as we all had.

I was finally in.... and have developed a slight obsession with it. Looking forward to the restoration process, and as you can see, she was in pretty rough shape.

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Old 01-03-2014, 06:55 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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I was thinking that 1955 was the first year for window cranks, I see you have sliders. It may be a '54 that sold a year later, of course I'm sure a real expert will chime in on that.

It looks like you have the basis for a nice trailer!
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:00 PM   #3
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1964 22' Safari
modesto , California
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Welcome!
What a awesome score, a 55 Safari. You definitely have your work cut out for you.
This is the place to get started. There are so many people here who are willing to share knowledge and ideas, plus tons of past posts on so many subjects, it is incredible and invaluable. Keep us posted on the work.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:43 PM   #4
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You have what appears to be a "Front Kitchen" model. Really cool trailer (have one myself). Shari Davis did a great write-up and restore of the one she has of which you can find under the Safari area on the forums under the year 1956 if memory is correct.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:04 PM   #5
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair View Post
You have what appears to be a "Front Kitchen" model. Really cool trailer (have one myself). Shari Davis did a great write-up and restore of the one she has of which you can find under the Safari area on the forums under the year 1956 if memory is correct.

Enjoy,
Does your '55 have window cranks?
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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I have an 1956 and yes, it has window cranks. If memory is correct, the Front Kitchens were only made in the years of 1954, 1955 and 1956.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:46 AM   #7
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1961 26' Overlander
1963 19' Globetrotter
1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1975 20' Argosy 20
Gulfport , Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
I was thinking that 1955 was the first year for window cranks, I see you have sliders. It may be a '54 that sold a year later, of course I'm sure a real expert will chime in on that.

It looks like you have the basis for a nice trailer!
According to vintageairstream.com's website, the VIN shows it to be 1954. Here's the link.

1954 Safari 22' - Vintage Airstream

What a great Airstream with rich family history! Good luck on your project.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:37 AM   #8
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What fun!!!! It's a keeper!
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:38 PM   #9
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Wow.... Looks like your right! I was told it was a 54 but unofficial paperwork said 55
Thanks for the link and info. I wonder if I can move this thread
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair View Post
You have what appears to be a "Front Kitchen" model. Really cool trailer (have one myself). Shari Davis did a great write-up and restore of the one she has of which you can find under the Safari area on the forums under the year 1956 if memory is correct.

Enjoy,
Yes. The "It's a Girl" Thread. That was one of the first threads I went through. They did amazing work. I've got a lot of work to do if I want to compete with some of the work I've seen on here.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:12 PM   #11
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1963 26' Overlander
Hollis , New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by Jonn Five View Post
Wow.... Looks like your right! I was told it was a 54 but unofficial paperwork said 55
Thanks for the link and info. I wonder if I can move this thread
I'll move it to the 1954 safari forum and change the first threads title so it can be found by the search function.

Nice trailer! Good luck
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:37 PM   #12
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 10
So I had the summer to make some progress on it. Unfortunately its 1.5 hours away, so I only get the weekends to work on it, and heavy snow causes an issue getting there in the winter.

The interior was pretty much shot with water damage and plenty of critter crud. I gave the paint a quick scrap and gutted the interior. Pretty nasty job, but didn't take too long. I saved most of the pieces for templates in the future. Not sure I'm going to use the old appliances, but the fridge still cranks pretty well. I am not very comfortable with the old gas equipment, but I'm sure they work fine as well.

The floor was pretty much rotted out completely, which actually helped a lot. I do not envy the person who has to tear out a solid floor with those elevator bolts! The frame was in pretty good shape, but need a little reinforcement by the door. The wheel wells were pretty much rotted out and had to be rebuilt. Everything was sealed with aluminum... No more critters gettin in there!

I would have loved to lift the shell and do it right, but don't really have the appropriate resources. I decided to slid the new deck (3/4 PT) under the walls. This went very smoothly and tightened up nice. Its not actually fastened to the C-channel underneath the wall, but nothing budges. I don't plan on towing it anywhere. It hasn't moved in 25 years, and I'm hoping it'll be there for another 25! I was pretty excited to get the floor in, so me and Dakota slept in it that night on some cardboard. I have since upgraded to an air mattress.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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The next step was dealing with the paint. There was 2 layers of latex over the zolatone. I started with stripping it with Citistrip, but proved to be to much for me. I ended up sanding and chipping the loose paint of with scuff pad on a grinder and a drill. It has an imperfect smooth texture to it, but I was pretty happy with the results. I bought a Graco Airless Sprayer so I could spray the interior. A great investment and not too expensive. Very easy cleanup and high quality. I only got to spray the primer before winter hit, and this is where I am at now until the snow stops and temps warm up. I used etching primer on the bare aluminum. I missed a couple spots and it started to peel off the aluminum...one of many lessons I will learn I'm sure.

Thank you to everyone for the information and help. The site has been a great resource since I joined is going to be a great benefit in the future. Can't wait to get back to it!
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:00 PM   #14
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinergirl View Post
I'll move it to the 1954 safari forum and change the first threads title so it can be found by the search function.

Nice trailer! Good luck
Thank you! Much appreciated. That was easier than I thought! Everyone is so helpful.
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