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Old 04-03-2012, 06:12 PM   #1
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Mercer Island , Washington
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Newbie looking for advice

Just bought a 25' 2006 FB twin. I've towed it home, and somehow was able to back it up my street. Que the circus music.


My wife and I love the unit, and it's obvious the PO took good care of it. He said the unit is pretty stock (same tires, batteries, etc), so I'm looking for advice on what i should consider checking / replacing on a 6 year old rig (or anything that's been specifically problematic in this model):
  • Batteries
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Bearings
  • Converter (I notice the O/H lights hum when using shore power)
  • Roof seal (is that a maintenance item?)
  • Other?
Thanks in advance for your guidance.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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An Order to the Work

You're on the right track. Step back a bit more, and:

The first list is on road performance. Literal "safety". Tires, brakes, bearings, exterior lamps, breakaway switch, safety chains, etc, all deserve your time in searches of threads around here on those specific items. Plenty of depth. Same for a weight distributing hitch and how to set it up (as an estimated 80-90% are not done properly). Wheel chocks, etc. None of this is difficult, the searches or the work, it is mainly a matter of setting up some lists to tackle. Work order. Verification.

Second is the safe operation of appliances, propane and electrical. Not so much performance (my fridge ain't cooling) but that the energy source is being delivered to the appliance in a safe manner (no propane leaks, no electrical hot spots). Sewer hoses, fresh water hoses, etc.

Third is the performance of same. This entails becoming familiar with the manner in which things work. Reading manuals. Camping in the driveway is a time-honored tradition. Locating reliable RV parts stores another. This third item is also the place to search for evidence of leaks, past or present (garden hose brigade: the first wash). This is closer to your present questions.

You can trust that your specific searches on subjects here at AIR will answer most things, and bring to light yet others not considered.

Congrats on the new trailer, and on the successful parking job.

.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Howdy and to Airforums.com, btowntincan!

Rednax has you squared away for getting the key things done to make sure you and your family get the most out of your trailer, while staying safe. So...

When you run out of stuff to do from his list, download and print out Janet's wonderful trailer inspection checklist and go all over and around the trailer once more, this time making your own list.

There's always something to do with a new-to-you Airstream. You need to get to know it intimately!

But first: take some photos of the inside and exterior and show us what your beauty looks like, won't you?
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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As always, there is someone better organized. The master list can be subdivided by theme.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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Welcome and your looking in the right direction.. Rednax covered it but wish to add that the better you understand your machine,, and its operation the easier it is to deal with a minor problem on the road or at the camp site.. Can make the difference of a good time or a bad one..

Take it one step at a time and don't look at the whole list as one job.. Break it up into smaller bits so it does not swamp you.. My "to do list" was over 200 man hours long when I got done with my first inspection once home.. But my AS is 40 years old this month so it had more things needing looked at.. A few hours here and there I was able to cross off my check list and its just about done... ( finial polish yet to do) UGH!

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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Final polish, now that's a task in itself...
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

"Batteries
Tires
Brakes
Bearings
Converter (I notice the O/H lights hum when using shore power)
Roof seal (is that a maintenance item?)
Other?
Thanks in advance for your guidance."

tincan,

Your off to a great start...safety and function first.

Studying all the op manuals will get you up to speed on the workings of all the trailer stuff.

Have fun and keep posting...

Bob
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:08 PM   #8
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Mercer Island , Washington
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Thanks for all the advice, it makes sense. I'll focus on learning about the rig and safety first. Learning how to tow it will also take some trial and error (I'd recommend you all stay away from roads in the Seattle area for the next couple months).

On the plus side, i do think it's watertight. We've been getting all the rain you guys have been missing for the past few months.

I'll post more as the process continues, and will post pics. So far, we've just been cleaning and learning what's where. Next stop is checking the moving parts (tires, brakes and bearings), then the batteries. 6 years old on those things, even if lightly used, is probably on the high side (and definitely for a novice tower).

Chris
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #9
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There are several things I've done to my '06 Safari FB LE you might want to consider. First off, I put a wider base on the twin beds to keep the mattresses in place. I reversed the door on the closet next to the shower and had the dinette table cut down an inch on each side. Also had the edging on the table replaced with vinyl slot edging. Also replaced the edging on the back splash.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Welcome

BTown,

We purchased our 2006 25FB used from a guy in Boise. He used it very little and, as I assumed, had it plugged in most of the time at his home. Here is what I had to do to mine in short order.

The tires looked good treadwise but one had a slight bulge on the sidewall. I went a year and then replaced them with Maxiis for peace of mind if nothing else.

The batteries were original and did not hold a charge. The original converter was actually overcharging them. I replaced them with a couple of deep cycle batteries I had laying around and noticed that these were discharging a little too soon. I had the converter checked and replaced that and all is good now. Look into a good converter with a three stage charger.

If your tires and batteries are original to the coach I would think that you need to replace these sooner than later. I have started in on the re-caulking of seams both on the roof and the end caps. This will be part of your regular maintenance and should not be ignored.

Other than that, we have really enjoyed the Safari and have been out on a couple of long road trips. We went to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival last year and had a blast. I highly recommend it.

Best Wishes.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Mercer Island , Washington
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Thanks for the replies

Aftermath, I think my PO left it plugged in most of the time too. How did you check the converter?

Been out 3 times in it so far, and it gets better and more fun with each use. Still cannot back it up the street at my house without my wife filing for divorce each time, but am improving in that area. Took a lot of advice from the forums here:
  • New tires (went with Les Schwab, as they are good service and are all over the Northwest). Got Towmax ST, which i subsequently learned may not have been a good choice - but so far so good. They also checked brakes and repacked bearings
  • New batteries. The old ones were shot.
  • Did flip the closet door, great idea Denis, it's much more useful this way.
  • Removed the 10 CD changer (long term upgrade of sound system in progress)
  • Changed out the old TV to a 21" HD unit, works great, picks up good digital at home
  • Figured out the Equalizer WD hitch and how to maintain it properly
Other than that, just still figuring out what works best where.

Did tow it up over Snoqualmie pass last weekend (Salmon la Sac is fantastic). Really happy with the way the F150 pulled it, so i dont have to replace that.

The marker lights seem to leak (fillup with Water). Thinking of changing to LCD and also doing some work to seal them appropriatly - apparently they are supposed to leak a bit (into the lens - not into the trailer).

The roof is a project i have yet to tackle. I did straighten the awning (amazing how useful it is when it's easy to put up and down), and in the process cleaned the roof a bit, but i think the heavy cleaning / recaulking will have to wait.

Thanks again everyone for the great advice. I'm diggin the airstream lifestyle.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:28 PM   #12
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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I took mine into the local Airstream dealer and they checked it. I noticed that the DC output voltage did not change when the batteries were low. I put a little inexpensive DC meter into one of the 12V sockets and knew something was up with the converter.

I also had read on the forum that the original 2006 converter wasn't the best so I had them install an IOTA DLS 55 with a three stage charger. I didn't want it to boil my batteries if I were to leave it plugged in.

You will be fine with the tires you purchased but make sure you check them before each trip and air them up to the max listed on the sidewalls.

We also put in a new HD tv and it works great. I was ready to dump the radio but finally figured out how to use it so I still have it. We don't really listen to it much nor do we look at many DVDs.

I really like my Equalizer and it did take a bit of adjusting to get it to where I feel comfortable. Keep at it.

I don't get the switching the closet door thing. The big one is my wife's while I use the little one to the right of the bed. She is not complaining so I am not going to mess with it.

We also have spent time at Salmon La Sac and we really like it there too. There are many places in Washington to go and see. I still want to get back to the HOH rain forest. Last time we were in a tent and boy, did it rain!

Enjoy your trailer and keep going with the "chores."
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:47 PM   #13
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Backing up

btown:

the backing up will get better. After our 6th trip or so, i pulled into the storage yard, took off the sway bar and backed the Airstream squarely beween the posts in one smooth shot. Not sure I've seen a bigger smile on wife's face since we got married 38 years ago. She seemed really relieved that I wasn't scratching up "her" AS.

so it does get better

Dana
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:11 PM   #14
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #15
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Is the RC Cola bottle what you used to make the line? Or did you drink the bottle and then make the line?
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #16
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very funny, Hibby! Actually, a pretty good idea. I use a roll of cheap masking tape to mark out a line on my asphalt driveway when parking. Peel it up when done. Will have to try the "water line" trick!

btown, congrats on the trailer and the progress you are making. Enjoy!

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