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Old 11-30-2013, 08:29 AM   #1
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1st Time Buyer = HELP! What's the story regarding the 2005 Safari 22' vs 25'?

I've read hours of forum threads, but my basic questions on these two models (is the 2005 Safari 22' a decent model or not? Is the 2005 Safari 25' better or worse? Do either have major problems I should know about?), have not been answered.

All the complaints about models made between 2006 to 2009 with rotted floorboards have me avoiding those model years completely. Anything newer is beyond my price range (under $30K.) And anything older than 2000 scares me.

I know Airstream has got to be the best brand, but all the complaints and reports of poor quality and craftsmanship have me shaking in my boots!

Can anyone enlighten me? Or suggest another model in my price range I should buy when one becomes available? I'm not leaving for 6 months, so I can wait if need be. THANKS!!
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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The 22' Airstreams in the early 2000's had a problem with the frame cracking/braking just behind the axles, I'm not sure which years though. Here is a thread on it.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...nal-48105.html

The other problems aren't as bad as you think though. Remember most people that have problems find a place to complain and get help fixing the problem, many without problems don't know there is an Airstream forum.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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Pre-2000 shouldn't be "Scary"... Just be choosy.. There are a lot of wide-bodied Airstreams from mid to late '90's that are in great condition.. Some have been garaged, many have been updated with new refrigerators or water heaters, flooring, etc. The older Excella's had a more durable interior (real wooden cabinets instead of synthetic in early Safari's...) and might actually make better bargains.. You may need to widen search and just be more particular about staying away from "rough" or "Fixer-uppers" trailers.. You probably also will need to accept that a significant percentage of sellers think that a rough and ratty trailer is "in excellent condition" and you are going to waste some time talking to them.. It is part of the Quest...

As for 22 v. 25, it is as much about floor plan that works for you.. The 25's with double axles have very sturdy frames, and a tire failure is not a huge deal when moving with double axles..
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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Trailer purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvermom View Post
I've read hours of forum threads, but my basic questions on these two models (is the 2005 Safari 22' a decent model or not? Is the 2005 Safari 25' better or worse? Do either have major problems I should know about?), have not been answered.

All the complaints about models made between 2006 to 2009 with rotted floorboards have me avoiding those model years completely. Anything newer is beyond my price range (under $30K.) And anything older than 2000 scares me.

I know Airstream has got to be the best brand, but all the complaints and reports of poor quality and craftsmanship have me shaking in my boots!

Can anyone enlighten me? Or suggest another model in my price range I should buy when one becomes available? I'm not leaving for 6 months, so I can wait if need be. THANKS!!
Purchase a 25 foot Artic Fox. You will find the all weather construction pleasing. No one has the airstream retro feel. Box trailers do not tow as well as airstreams. You will be more comfortable year round in a Artic Fox. If you move every two weeks or so, the airstream might be a better choice. You will have higher maintenance costs with a airstream. If you do not maintain the exterior at least three times a year with high quality waxes/ finishes, you will be disappointed in appearance. Also, after inspecting units for sale near ocean, you might need to clean and wax more frequently if you chose to stay near maritime environments .The airstreams have a special feel about them with special leak, corrosion, electrical shortcomings, such as poor charging systems. Function ,over looks, should be considered. However,if you are patient, willing to overcome shortcomings,anything is possible. Happy rving.
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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The stories found certainly make the worst of it.

We all need a place to complain and find support. That is what happens here.

The models/years you mention staying away from are no worse than any other.

The simple fact is brands have issues and all brands require care and maintenance.

Spending some time and effort looking for the right trailer, then using the information found here to know what issues to look for when inspecting a potential purchase will make you a happy camper.

When you find the right trailer, spending a little time caring for it, other than simply remove the dirty clothes and leftovers after a trip, will keep it in fine shape for years.

Parking it in the backyard or storage lot then forgetting about until the next trip will yield issues with any brand or year model.


Toyota has recalled 10s of thousands of cars over the last few years.

People keep buying them. Not me, but people.

Educate yourself about how to inspect a trailer, look at all the trailers you can find.

The right one will turn up.

Regards,


JD
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvermom View Post
I've read hours of forum threads, but my basic questions on these two models (is the 2005 Safari 22' a decent model or not? Is the 2005 Safari 25' better or worse? Do either have major problems I should know about?), have not been answered.

All the complaints about models made between 2006 to 2009 with rotted floorboards have me avoiding those model years completely. Anything newer is beyond my price range (under $30K.) And anything older than 2000 scares me.

I know Airstream has got to be the best brand, but all the complaints and reports of poor quality and craftsmanship have me shaking in my boots!

Can anyone enlighten me? Or suggest another model in my price range I should buy when one becomes available? I'm not leaving for 6 months, so I can wait if need be. THANKS!!
An hour's reading will yield mostly bitching and a few minutes of useful inspection, repair, and maintenance information. Read the useful part and you'll be less likely to be part of the other.

The major problems with Airstreams are unrepaired leaks causing floor rot, and untreated metal exteriors exposed to corrosive environments. We tend to blame design and quality but it's up to us as owners to inspect and maintain them regularly, or have someone who knows Airstreams do it for us.

A well-maintained Airstream is a joy forever. - Keats
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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Good luck!

Meet up with a local Airstream inspector. Get to know him/her. Tell them your concerns. Then show them the list of your choices.

To me, shorter is easier to tow/stow. How will you use it? Occasionally ? How much room do you need for "comfort"? I only "need" a tent... My lovely bride needs a little more...so we compromised with a 34', 1999 Excella. See, I am a reasonable guy!

So, find what "works" for you. Then figure out if it is road/camping worthy.

FYI. There are some parks which exclude "over 10 yr old RVS"....so your age of AS may be a concern... We stayed in a similar park this past week which excludes based upon condition...that is reasonable as some long-term/full-timers can "get their money" worth out of a RV by using it until no good for a junk heap and say "good condition".

Also, how far are you willing to travel to purchase? Instate deals ease paperwork but limit choices.

Lots to consider... Welcome aboard!
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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P.S. If buying "along the coast" or rust-belt up above freeze line, take serious heed to corrosion issues. If well kept, no worries...but if towed around in snow/ice weather, even a Central Texas unit would be worthy of close attention.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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A few bits and pieces from nearly five years (!) of Airstreamness, both researching and owning:

- Probably the only trailers built in the last 10 years or so that have proven inherently problematic are the 2002-2006 22' models - the frames are underbuilt (a factory outrigger reinforcement helps, leaks often damage the OSB floors).

- Some 25FB and 27FB owners report issues with rear floor damage because AS didn't do a good job of sealing along the back of the floor. AS added a gasket to 2012 and later models. The prevalence of this problem seems significantly less than the rate of problems with the 22' model.

It's important to note that there are owners of these trailers who have had few or no problems. Maintenance plays a big role - it is an uphill battle fighting against a trailer whose design has 100s of holes in the roof and sides.

Older trailers shouldn't scare you. Crappy trailers should scare you. There are pre-2000 trailers that are immaculate, and there are 5-year old ones that have been neglected. Individual condition matters here - a lot. Learning how to tell the difference between a "good" trailer and a "bad" trailer is key. (And even then, you can find some surprises - like the cracked fresh water tank in my otherwise immaculate trailer.)

There are other differences between the models. Safaris lack the fully-opening windows of the Safari SE, Classic, Excella and International models. Later trailers (CCD and Safari SE in particular) have aluminum-sheet interior walls instead of a fabric coating.

A well-cared for Safari 25 offers a lot of value. Your budget would just get a 23' trailer like mine (2006-2007), but you'd be out of money for the inevitable repairs and upgrades. Finally, if you just want a quality-built camper with minimal hassle, I'd probably take the $30k and find a used Bigfoot 25' fiberglass trailer. Won't tow quite as well, lacks the style of the Airstream, but few people seem to complain about them.

Tom
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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Man, there is some awesome advice here! Loved what one poster wrote about the complaints. If I had gone by what some people post in here, I never would have bought my Airstream.

We (wife and I) started camping in the early eighties in tents. Bought a 1964 pop-up fifteen years ago. Traded that for a 1983 Winne class A (awesome motor home. Loved it) sold it and bought a square box two years later, sold that and bought this old Airstream, which is what we wanted all along.

All that to say, every thing I have ever camped in had it's issues, but with proper maintenance, they are all manageable. Every problem in the LoveStream can be traced to improper/no maintenance. Find one that someone has maintained properly, have it inspected by a knowledgeable inspector, and you should be fine.

Good luck with your search!

-Red
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