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Originally Posted by TGK
Are their any areas of concern to keep in mind if looking to purchase a 1971 Safari? Pros or Cons peculiar to that year?
There haven't been any particular issues reported pertaining to the '71 Safari 23' (at least to my knowledge). The normal areas of concern for virtually any Vintage Airstream coach would apply to the '71 in question:
1.) Is the floor solid, paying particular attention to the perimeter. Typical areas where rot may be most often found would include in the vicinity of the bathroom, near the water tank, around the battery box, below the front windos, near the door and behind the refrigerator (there should be a square or rectangular through-the-floor vent behind the refrigerator).
2.) Condition of the major appliances (replacement costs can range from $200 (water pump) to $1,200 (refrigerator)depending upon appliance). The two most expensive appliances are the absorbtion refrigerator and air conditioner ($700 to $1,200 each). The water heater and furnace would be among the next most expensive ($400 to $700 each). The third price level would be the Univolt power Converter and water pump ($200 to $400 each). Please note that the "ballpark" figures that I am citing include professional installation based on similar projects on one of my coaches.
3.) Condition of axle(s) is always a concern with a Vintage Airstream or Argosy coach. I had the Henschen axle replaced on my Minuet prior to the beginning of last season, and will need to have both axles replaced on my Overlander in the very near future. See: Anatomy of a Henschen Axle
Beyond the three major areas it becomes a question of the cosmetic condition of the interior and exterior. On an unrestored coach, you will almost certainly see some splotchiness on the finish as the Plasticoat is likely in the process of failing; but you will want to avoid major damage that would require panel replacement unless the price reflects the cost of having the work done. You might find the Price vs. Condition
discussion on R J Dial's website to be of help in establishing some parameters for your evaluation.
If you haven't already checked out the Airstream Weights and Measures
, you might want to check there for the pertinent towing information for the Safari. The one thing to keep in mind is that the weights indicated are empty weight without options, fluids (water, LP, etc.), or personal possessions - - to be on the safe side, I would suggest allowing for an additional 1,000 to 1,200 pounds for the options, fluids, and personal possessions that will normally be in the coach.
Good luck with your investigation!