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Old 06-04-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
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'05 Safari - 1 Year Assessment

This is our one year assessment of Lucy, our 2005 Safari 25’ FB LS w/queen bed.

We took delivery of her on June 1, 2006, at Sanders Airstream in Alachua, Florida.

Lucy was produced in March of 2005 with the suicide door. She had sat on the dealer’s lot for 15 months when bought her.

One year later, we have spent 121 nights in Lucy, and have towed her 16,000 miles.

When we got Lucy, we had only tent camped. The whole RV thing was new to us. We learned to operate Lucy’s systems without too much difficulty, and we were out camping immediately.

As far as fit and finish goes, we found most areas adequate, but there were some minor problems. The fold-out TV table in the bedroom was warped. It was replaced by the dealer with a new unit from Airstream. The large wardrobe door was also warped. The dealer got me a new one from Airstream, and we installed ourselves.

We have found that most minor adjustments and fixes are better done by us than the dealer. He tries, but the workmanship is just not as good as ours. Plus our dealer, Sanders Airstream, is also the closest Airstream dealer to us, and he is over 300 miles away.

Lucy is a 2005 model that had sat on the dealer’s lot for 15 months before we took her home. She was dry inside and had sat out through two hurricanes. We figured that if she hadn’t leaked by then, she wasn’t going to, and she hasn't.

We had a minor problem with the inside panel that monitors the holding tanks and batteries. The gray water indicator did not work. This did cause a couple of shower pan overflows, but we learned to deal with it. This item was fixed by the dealer when we brought Lucy in for her 10,000 mile wheel hub service.

Lucy’s operating systems (water, electric, and gas) have all operated very well. We have not experienced any problems in these areas.

As we gained experience camping in Lucy, we made a number of personal upgrades to suit our style of camping.

The dinette is our “living room”, and we found that the material covering the seats was not conducive to sliding in and out of the dinette seat. After some use, the material was twisting on the foam pad. SuEllyn went out and bought some black vinyl material and recovered the seats right over the cloth material. This has worked great.

We found out quickly that we didn’t like the amount of light that was coming in through the Fantastic Fan cover in the dinette, and we absolutely hated the amount of light that came through the ceiling vent in the bedroom. We bought a couple of vent insulators from the J.C. Whitney Catalog. There are made of that bubble insulation material with a silver coating. It is the same material that is used on many of the windshield sun deflectors. We covered the ceiling insulators with a black felt material so that they would look better when in place. They work so well for both light and insulation that we leave them in place almost all the time. We also put a piece of this material up in the skylight as insulation.

This worked so well that we went out and bought several of the large bubble type windshield sun deflectors for Class A mohos. We cut the material to fit each of Lucy’s windows. We use these when Lucy is in storage, but also use them when camped to keep out the cold or heat. We think that using these has been instrumental in making our furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner work very well in extreme conditions. We have done quite a bit of below freezing and above 90 degree camping.

Lucy came with the audio/video upgrade package from the factory. At first we thought that the 15” Sharp flat screen TV was going to be too small. After using the TV quite extensively, we find that it is more than adequate. The one thing that we don’t really care for is that when you play a DVD, it uses the stereo speakers instead of the ones in the TV. The CD player/changer works great. We went out and bought a pair of cheap speakers ($15) to plug into the outside receptacle. That works great also.

Neither of us being cooks, we really needed a microwave. We went out to Wal-Mart and purchased a small microwave ($47) that is silver in color and matches the range hood. We attached the microwave the burner cover with little TV tie-down straps that we found at Camping World. This system works really well for us. The microwave is easily removable when we want to use the stove burners. On the occasions, we put the microwave on a cutting board on the couch under the TV, and it is usable there.

The original bathroom sink faucet was a double handle type which we didn’t care for. We replaced it ourselves with a single handle Delta faucet that has a greater spout reach into the sink. This was a major improvement for us and only cost about $80 at Home Depot. We also added an additional towel bar and towel ring in the bath. We also added a toilet paper holder which Lucy did not come with.

We found a major improvement for showering at Wal-Mart. It is a metal towel rack ($20) that hangs over the shower door. It holds both of our bath towels and allows them to dry. It easily switches to either side of the shower door for showering or storage.

When the cold weather first came, we noticed drafts around the bed. We insulated all of the cracks around the bed board with various types of weather strip. We took pieces of the foam flooring material that is used on children’s playroom floors. We interlocked pieces of this material and made a section the exact size of the bed board, and put it under the mattress. We also took a piece of this material and glued it to the inside of the door of Lucy’s outside storage compartment, which is under our bed. This has helped eliminate drafts. We figure that this will also help in the hot weather.

The original bed spread that came with Lucy was way too heavy and difficult to deal with. We found a really nice matching comforter at Wal-Mart, and put the original in a closet at home.

We have found garden hose quick connects to be very useful when hooking up and unhooking at a campground, especially in the dark and in the cold. These make plumbing connections a lot easier than screwing on hose fittings. We also use a duplex hose connector to have both a city water supply hose and a utility hose available at the same time.

One of our handiest tools has turned out to be our DeWalt 18 volt cordless drill. It makes short work of lowering and raising Lucy’s stabilizers. We also use it to set and release the tension bard on our Hensley hitch.


We have been very satisfied with Lucy and her performance, and are always trying to improve her. We search the Forums looking for ideas. We’ll get this camping thing down, eventually.

Here are some photos of our “improvements”.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:35 AM   #2
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Thanks for the summary. Our 2005 also sat on the dealer lot for over a year, and came with a battery that wouldn't hold a charge. The dealer eventually replaced it. It also came with scratches and dog hair - I suspect caused by the dealer's junk-yard-dog.

We've also used the metalic insulating material, but in our case I bought a roll of it from Home Depot and cut our own quite cheaply, and the material seemed thicker. Found Velco works poorly to hold it in place, the stick-um comes loose; better just to shape them slightly oversized and stuff them in the vent holes. Haven't thought about insulating the underside compartment doors.

Did the vinyl covers for the cushions take away that strange sinking feeling you get as one cheek settles lower than the other??

We did have one of the awning retaining wheels unscrew and disappear on the road, which made me fear what would happen if both worked loose. I replaced it, of course, and now travel with a Velcro strap looped around the awning poles, for added security.

Speaking of the awning, one end had the holes that hold the retaining pins slightly out of place. It took us many trips to realize this was a defect and not just our skill level. ZipDee replaced the pole at their cost, but I had to pay to ship the old one to them.

All in all, a lot better than our old pop-up, and it is nice having something that doesn't look like all the other RVs in the camp.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:57 AM   #3
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Question about the plumbing quick connections...

...What are they?
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebfa
...What are they?
The quick connects are male and female bayonet type connectors for garden hoses and their attachments. They srew on the hose and fittings and, once installed, they pop in and pop out without having to screw the fittings on and off. They are made for garden applications, but work great for RV applications.
You can by them at Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, or about any hardware store.

Here's a photo of what they look like.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
The quick connects are male and female bayonet type connectors for garden hoses and their attachments. They srew on the hose and fittings and, once installed, they pop in and pop out without having to screw the fittings on and off. They are made for garden applications, but work great for RV applications.
You can by them at Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, or about any hardware store.

Here's a photo of what they look like.
that is so kewl! no wonder they work well in the dark!
thanks for the explanation!
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:43 PM   #6
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The quick connects are a great idea, and after seeing Brian's at the Florida Rally - I switched to it myself. One word of caution, I have a complete set at the house for every outside hose bib and hose (20+) that I have purchased over the past 10 years. Never thought to use them on the AS. The newer ones I bought (brass - same construction) don't seem to work with the older models. Buy what you need up front from one place. Nothing is more frustrating than to have a hose connector that won't connect.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:24 PM   #7
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Brian,

Do you leave the quick connects attached all the time? How do you keep dirt from getting in when on the road? One of your photos looks like you have a pressure regulator in-line before the y-connector. When I put one in my water line, I got very little pressure from the city water system. I later read in my manuals that Airstream builds a pressure regulator into the trailers city water system, so I removed it and got good pressure as expected.

This is all great information as you usually provide, but aren't you supposed to be on vacation?

Randy
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rgodfrey
Brian,

Do you leave the quick connects attached all the time? How do you keep dirt from getting in when on the road? One of your photos looks like you have a pressure regulator in-line before the y-connector. When I put one in my water line, I got very little pressure from the city water system. I later read in my manuals that Airstream builds a pressure regulator into the trailers city water system, so I removed it and got good pressure as expected.

This is all great information as you usually provide, but aren't you supposed to be on vacation?

Randy
Randy-

I leave them connected to everything all the time. For the male ends connectied to the city water and the black tank flush, I found caps at home depot that fit them perfectly. They are actually supposed id caps for a piece of pipe.

Yes, I do use an extenal pressure regulator. It seems to work for me, and I am gun shy about high pressure popping an internal water line. That's the reason that I have the "Y" connector. It makes it easy to turn off the water when leaving for the day.

-Brian
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:02 PM   #9
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We haven't noticed the "sinking feeling" in the dinette cushions. yet.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:51 PM   #10
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Hi, moosetags. I like your story and improvements on your trailer. My Safari is also a 2005 model, but ours was fresh off the press when we bought it. I like the bathroom faucet with the single handle and plan to change mine too some day. Although your queen bed is on the opposite end of mine, the set up looks much the same. I found that mine, queen bed and night stand had about an 1 1/2" space between them. Right side [front of trailer] between the bed and night stand. I could see the back of the water heater through that gap. I filled that area with 1"X3" oak boards cut to fit. On our trailer we have the stove top and oven set up next to the door and a microwave, mounted in the wall, just to the right of the double kitchen sink. I was surprised to find out that the FB models came with either an oven or a microwave, but not both. You found a good solution for that. I like that we have both, but admitt we have not used the oven, even once yet. We bought our own 15" television and the size is perfect for us; and it stores in one of our overhead cabinets just fine when on the road. My wife and I enjoyed reading about your trip and your pictures too. Thank You for shareing.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:24 AM   #11
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We wish that we had the installed microwave instead of the oven. We use the oven to store our toaster oven. We have used the gas oven only once or twice to make sure that it worked.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:29 AM   #12
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Brian,

Looking at you setup with the oven, you might take it by a cabinetry shop and have them quote you to remove the stove/oven combo and add just the 3 burner stove top and frame the oven space for a microwave. I'm certain they can matech materials close enough to make it look nice. Wouldn't be all that much $$$. Done right it can be reversable for resale as a slip in box and top.

Juat a thought.

BTW - I follow the travel blog and look for every new post.

Mike
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:01 AM   #13
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Brian,

That was a very nice assessment of your first year. I especially like the improvements and modifications. You gave me some good ideas about what to do about that draft coming from under the bed. My warranty expires in 5 days, and my 05 is at the dealership now getting some attention. As soon as I get it back... let the modifications begin!
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
Brian,

Looking at you setup with the oven, you might take it by a cabinetry shop and have them quote you to remove the stove/oven combo and add just the 3 burner stove top and frame the oven space for a microwave. I'm certain they can matech materials close enough to make it look nice. Wouldn't be all that much $$$. Done right it can be reversable for resale as a slip in box and top.

Juat a thought.

BTW - I follow the travel blog and look for every new post.

Mike
Thanx for the input, Mike. We've been considering several options for the microwave.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:50 PM   #15
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Hi there, I'm wondering if you still have Lucy. We just purchased our first AS. Same year and model.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:52 PM   #16
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We no longer have Old Lucy
( 2005 Safari ). We kept her for eight years. We spent almost 1,400 nights in her and towed her 120,000 miles. We now have a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB just like her.

Brian
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