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Old 02-28-2016, 08:38 AM   #1
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2006 25' Safari
St. Augustine , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,473
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Modding your Safari- the Challenges and Benefits

It seems like a good idea to have a thread on modifications since our models are getting close to that double-digit age, most likely there are some changes, updates, upgrades that owners are doing and can share with others the good and the bad of the modifications. My changes pertain to the 25' Safari. SO, here goes:

on HVAC: One of the first issues I faced when camping was that the AC unit blew right on occupants in the beds at night by blowing only front or back. I retrofitted a new style roof ADB to gain the directional air control. I had to remove the heater element but I did not use it anyway. Instead I bought a Dyson Heater/Fan unit. Problem solved.
Due to the age of the AC unit I replaced the start capacitor with the new spec capacitor from Dometic. It is a bit more powerful but not too much so- as per dometic.
One note, our units are quieter than 2008-on Penguins due to the EPA/Dometic change on refrigerant and compressor. The newer model is described as being louder. Supposedly the new (late 2015) Blizzard model is the answer to the added noise. Penguin owners from 08'-on were getting some sort of rubber grommet kit to help with noise apparently not a part of their original OEM system (from RV forum posts).

on Wheels/Tires: When I bought my AS it had the original tires and they were excessively cracked and worn. I drove it to a tire place about 10 miles from the dealer and had new trailer tires put on. Then I heard about the constant blow outs and later upgraded to the 16" wheel/tires. I got the Eddie Bauer brochure and ordered the exact same wheels and tires in the pic. Sams at first refused to mount them then said they would do it without any warranty on their part. I showed them the picture but they did not change. The tires look much better than the OEM and I have added peace of mind.

On hitches: when I changed the wheel/tires on my tow vehicle I began to have excessive sway. I went on about it to my father who thought it could not be as bad as I said with just a tire change and then he rode with me. Then he said get a different hitch right away (no adjustment on the old hitch helped). I got the Pro Pride 3P and it is fantastic. If you want a hitch that makes the tow vehicle and trailer as one vehicle, that is the hitch to get. The installation was a challenge and I purchased nylon spacers to lift the LP tray up high enough to mount part of the hitch to the trailer A frame but it finally got done. Problem solved.

on LED lighting: I have noticed that some people have completely changed out their fixtures inside and out for LED lighting. I just purchased the lights that fit my fixtures on both inside and outside fittings. Job done.

on filiform corrosion and belt line: When I bought my trailer it was a filiform mess. I remember posting on this forum on the filiform thread about my challenge and others were telling me to get a small piece of sandpaper, etc. while I was talking power tools! They thought I was overkilling the situation until they saw the pictures and just commented "wow". I ended up using two small sanding wheels for a drill- one copper for rough spots and one out of a blue colored substance for moderate sanding. My worst filiform was around the belt line which I found is the reason for the belt line trim now added to all models. I sanded off the filiform, used two types of paint sealant over the area and added the belt line trim ordered from Airstream. The adhesive chrome strip for the inside of the trim is available from auto companies. The other bad spot was around the stove vent. I ended up adding a piece of Airstream aluminum and riveting it around the new stainless stove vent. Much better. What a difference it made! Problem solved.

on refrigerator: When I purchased the unit I smelled ammonia. I thought it was cleaner they had used to tidy up the unit before sale. LOL. Soon after I purchased a new fridge BUT Dometic recommends that a 3762 replace a 2662. When I got the fridge, I installed it finding that I could not open it! The handles on the older unit were on the top side of the unit. The new one "New Generations" were on the side of the doors and right where the oak trim was surrounding my fridge. I had to notch out the trim for the handles. Problem solved.

on toilets: the plastic Aquamagic toilet replacement is very simple. I did not have the clearance for a Dometic 320 elongated so I went with the 310 standard residential ceramic. It fit perfectly in my unit BUT the water line was an issue. The Airstream waterline comes straight up out of the floor. On the old toilet this worked as the connection was from the bottom but the Domestics are side connections. I ended up going to home depot, buying stainless water line for a sink (the same diameter) and using a PVC sprinkler adapter to make the connection. Problem solved.

on electronics: I wanted to update the system and called Airstream. They told me the best solution would be to treat the audio and TV system as separate items and I believe now that it was the best advice. I updated the radio and eliminated the TV playing through the 12V speakers. Then I purchased a 32" TV with wall mount and mounted it above the credenza. The Blue Ray player I installed in the credenza along with a phantom surround bar and sub. I also wanted to add a TV in the bedroom. This required HDMI wiring and an HDMI switch box. I put the switch box in the credenza and snaked the HDMI back from there to the left rear side of the bedroom wall where I mounted a second TV. The switcher duplicates the signal for watching movies in bed. There is a tray to snake wire underneath the floor about the point between the tires. I also added a Voyager wireless rear view camera. This was easy. I mounted it on the rear and got the power from the center light fixture. I used a rubber grommet to seal the drilled hole in the red lens. I also retrofitted the new RAZAR antenna to the batwing mount for HDTV signal improvement. I am happy with all these mods.

on WIFI: I added the WiFi Ranger system by installing the antenna on the TV antenna and running the wire down the fridge vent to the credenza where the router then broadcasts WIFI in the trailer. I am not sure still about this system. It sometimes works and not other times. Of course that too depends on the signal but...

on Solar: I have continued to change on this one. I have a single 150 watt panel on the roof on a left/right tilting mount, routed through the Airstream prewire. Several banter about how the wiring is not robust enough for solar but that is not what I read looking at the wire specs. I used it and mounted the controller behind the couch near the battery junction box. I also have two 100 watt suitcase panels each on their own controllers for a 350 watt system. This serves me well. As of now, I have not gotten to boon dock for lengths of time so solar is an extra for me. I have an LP generator so the solar is just waiting to be used (other than the one panel charging batts in storage) You do not have to drill holes in your roof to mount. Use the VHB 3M tape and SikaFLex 505 or 5 something- quite powerful.

on sofas: I have the midnight sun flex steel sofa that I like the looks of but not the sit. I just ordered a Villa International Classic '07 jackknife sofa. Pricy but the choices were Villa or Flexsteel. I did not want to give up the bed or under storage of the jackknife so I needed a comfortable sofa sleeper. I will let you know how this mod goes.

on flooring: after a long look at brands I am going with Invincible from Carpet One. It is known by three other names on the market but it has a PVC back with pvc/fiberglass core and 22 mil wear layer and waterproof click lock. I will share how it goes.

SO, there are many of my changes over the past four years. What changes have you made? What challenges did you encounter and solve?
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