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Old 07-09-2016, 08:22 AM   #1
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Red Wing , Minnesota
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Restore 22ft Safari?

New to the forum and to the Airstream community. Looking at a 1968 Airstream 22ft Safari for restoration with an asking price of $3500. Have not seen it yet, but the owner description is that the interior has been removed and flooring replaced except for bathroom. Frame is solid and very clean. Plexiglass in place for a few windows but has glass replacements. What should I look for in terms of problems and issues that would make for a difficult restoration? I have zero experience in Airstream restoration but have done home remodeling, vehicle maintenance and repair, have a large heated shop with attached woodshop and I'm retired. End game is having a custom unique camper for the wife and I to use. Looking for thoughts, concerns, advice and if this is a project worth the undertaking. Looking forward to reading the posts.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:43 AM   #2
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Price sound OK. The big question for me is when you say the flooring has been replaced is this the subfloor or just the surface. I would be suspicious of new flooring applied over a bad subfloor to hide a problem to get a sale. Does the PO have photos of the old floor?
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #3
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Your background sounds like ours. We have restored cars and houses - many of them. We enjoy it as a hobby. My husbands family traveled in an RV when he was young and he has some good memories. I'm retired and he will follow in that in about 3 years. So we started talking about a camper and since we enjoy vintage vehicles we landed on an AS. We were pretty uninformed when we went to check one out locally. But we made a lowball offer and after a couple days he accepted it. Though the price was decent we've found through the renovation process that we really didn't know what we were in for. We planned a moderate cosmetic refurb and some mechanical upgrades like axles, ac, etc. but as we got into it we found the floor damage in the rear more serious than we thought so now it's gutted and the floor section replaced. We are dealing with new toilets, new ac, and the list goes on. My husband said that when we restore cars most replacement parts are available even if they are aftermarket. But with the vintage trailers so much isn't even available so you have to modify, remake, rebuild etc. Very challenging. He also noted that we've used almost every tool and every skill we have and have definitely developed a few new ones like riveting. I'm really happy and excited that we are making progress but if I had known then what I know now we probably would have spent a bit more and found one that did not require so much work. We've had ours for several years. We started out quickly but got overwhelmed and happily sidetracked with other projects. Sorry for the long post. Hoping our experience will help you be a little more informed in your decision. Best of luck. Valarie
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Old 07-19-2016, 04:35 PM   #4
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Waited too long and safari was sold. Which in hindsight it was a good thing. Have done a fair amount of research since then including reading Tim Shephard's book and have a better idea what to look for in relation to condition and length. The hunt goes on. Still open to any advice on what to look for. Seems like the longer trailers are cheaper than the shorter one. I think this is an accurate observation.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:03 PM   #5
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Yes, shorter are generally thought of as more desirable. Do google searches on airstream restore and you'll get more info then searching the forum, because the search feature here is pretty bad. Good to fair priced airstreams sell really fast. Maybe not always necessary but older Airstreams that I've seen almost always need the full Monty. ( full frame off restoration) Good luck on your search, your skills will make you a expert restorer quick as long as you enjoy that stuff... Go for it.
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