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Old 09-20-2020, 01:20 PM   #1
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Guidance With Purchasing 23' Airstream Safari

Hi All!

My husband and I have been purusing this beautiful forum for years waiting for the right time to become Airstream owners ourselves. We have an opportunity to view a 2007 23' Airstream Safari (SE, I believe). We have some questions and would love guidance, especially as newbies.

What should we look for, ask about, test, or keep in mind?
How do you determine a fair price for the unit? NADA is much lower than the asking price of this particular Airstream.
How do you know if it is an SE model or not?
Is this one possible to be able to retrofit to do any boondocking?
What are the downsides to this model or year as well as positives?

Any and all feedback is very much appreciated! Thanks
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:29 PM   #2
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In my experience, NADA price for Airstream trailers is nowhere near what they are really selling for.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:52 PM   #3
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2006 23' Safari SE
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Welcome to the forum, greetings from central Kentucky.

We have a 2006 23' Safari SE. We bought ours in 2014 and I can tell you some things to look for. Yours should have an SE emblem by the door. 2006 and 2007 were anniversary years for AS.

Tires- how old are they? Trailer tires that are 6 years old, particularly Goodyear Marathons, are at end of life. Ours were 3 years old. Check the spare too. Ours was original, so 8 years old when we took possession.

Batteries - how old are the batteries? If they are Lifeline, Trojan or other similar AGMs then they should be no more than maybe 4 years old.

HVAC - Make sure the A/C, furnace and heat pump are all working.

Floor - Are there any soft spots in the floor, particularly up front?

Lights - Do all of the lights work, inside and exterior running lights? Check the Fantastic fan (if you have one) in the ceiling.

Outside steps - Have the outside steps been damaged and straightened? We didn't notice this right away. It's on the repair list.

Stabilizers - How good are they? Easy to lower and raise? Rusty? I'm refinishing ours now, it's a dirty, tough job.

Plumbing - Do all the faucets work on both city connection and pump from the fresh water tank? Drains working, including the gray and black tank pull valves?

Converter - This is the electrical device that provides 12 volt DC power inside the AS and also charges your batteries when on shore power. I had to replace ours within the first 1.5 years.

Inverter - This is the electrical device that converts 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC. You will have only a few plugs that are powered by the inverter and you would use it only when boondocking. The inverter will run down the batteries fairly quickly.

Antenna - Does it have the old style crank up antenna? Make sure it is easy to raise and lower. This needs to be lubed at the outside area, see owners manual.

Fridge - Make sure the fridge cools. They are ammonia absorption fridges and will take a long time to cool down, but you should be able to feel the walls getting cold in about an hour.

Rivets - Look for any obviously popped rivets or other skin damage.

Windows - Make sure you can open and close all the windows, including the emergency exit in the rear.

Others will probably add to this list, but it's a place to start.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:54 PM   #4
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Thank you so much, Rich! My husband and I are very appreciate of all the time you took to share your experiences and expertise. We looked it over today and we're on the fence about it. After reading through your list, we clearly have more to check out if we continue moving forward with this. We did discover that the user manual is a 2008 and there is no SE emblem by the door. Thank you for pointing this out, which confirmed my suspicion that it's not the SE.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamer22 View Post
Thank you so much, Rich! My husband and I are very appreciate of all the time you took to share your experiences and expertise. We looked it over today and we're on the fence about it. After reading through your list, we clearly have more to check out if we continue moving forward with this. We did discover that the user manual is a 2008 and there is no SE emblem by the door. Thank you for pointing this out, which confirmed my suspicion that it's not the SE.
Very sorry, I was thinking SE, but it's actually LS. The original price sticker for mine says it's an SE but the outside tag says LS. It might say "Special Edition" on that 75th anniversary badge. I'm not sure what the differences are. I have my AS in storage and that's where all the papers are too. If I go out there soon I'll pick up the bag of information and send you a copy if you're still interested. Here are 2007 manuals and a pic of my badges.
2007safari-owners-manual.pdf

2007 Safari-Bambi Parts.pdf

Click image for larger version

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Most of us don't know exactly what we want, but we're pretty sure we don't have it. -Alfred E. Neuman
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:50 PM   #6
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Very sorry, I was thinking SE, but it's actually LS. The original price sticker for mine says it's an SE but the outside tag says LS. It might say "Special Edition" on that 75th anniversary badge. I'm not sure what the differences are. I have my AS in storage and that's where all the papers are too. If I go out there soon I'll pick up the bag of information and send you a copy if you're still interested. Here are 2007 manuals and a pic of my badges.

Hi Rich and Austin friends. We live in the Dallas Fort Worth area and just purchased a 2007 Safari 23 SE in Tyler, TX. The previous owners stored it in a climate controlled barn and claim to have only used it 3 times. We are storing it in our back yard and having a carport installed to protect it from the Texas elements. Getting ready for our maiden voyage to Tennessee this week. Just had a Fiamma bike rack installed, been decorating and learning to pack this beauty. So good to see other similar rigs to compare notes and share good times. We will post some photos soon.

Ken and Sandy
2007 Safari 23 SE
Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:44 PM   #7
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Use the windows and inner skin to truely differentiate a Safari SE from an LS and don't rely on a badge that could have been put on in error.

A Safari SE will have the aluminum framed full opening glass windows like the Internationals and Classics. A Safari LS will have the black framed partially opening windows.

Also a Safari SE will have an exposed aluminum inner skin, while a Safari LS will have a padded ceiling and fuzzy walls.
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeninTexas View Post
Very sorry, I was thinking SE, but it's actually LS. The original price sticker for mine says it's an SE but the outside tag says LS. It might say "Special Edition" on that 75th anniversary badge. I'm not sure what the differences are. I have my AS in storage and that's where all the papers are too. If I go out there soon I'll pick up the bag of information and send you a copy if you're still interested. Here are 2007 manuals and a pic of my badges.

Hi Rich and Austin friends. We live in the Dallas Fort Worth area and just purchased a 2007 Safari 23 SE in Tyler, TX. The previous owners stored it in a climate controlled barn and claim to have only used it 3 times. We are storing it in our back yard and having a carport installed to protect it from the Texas elements. Getting ready for our maiden voyage to Tennessee this week. Just had a Fiamma bike rack installed, been decorating and learning to pack this beauty. So good to see other similar rigs to compare notes and share good times. We will post some photos soon.

Ken and Sandy
2007 Safari 23 SE
Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel
Hi Ken and Sandy, greetings from central Kentucky and welcome to the forum. This is our first AS and we enjoy it, but I wish we could travel more. It's just the right size for us and our 4Runner. You were lucky to find a 2007 is such great condition. Congratulations.
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Most of us don't know exactly what we want, but we're pretty sure we don't have it. -Alfred E. Neuman
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
Use the windows and inner skin to truely differentiate a Safari SE from an LS and don't rely on a badge that could have been put on in error.

A Safari SE will have the aluminum framed full opening glass windows like the Internationals and Classics. A Safari LS will have the black framed partially opening windows.

Also a Safari SE will have an exposed aluminum inner skin, while a Safari LS will have a padded ceiling and fuzzy walls.
We have the padded walls and uh, wait... padded ceiling and mouse fur. Yep, that's our Dora.
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2006 Safari SE -Dora-
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Most of us don't know exactly what we want, but we're pretty sure we don't have it. -Alfred E. Neuman
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
In my experience, NADA price for Airstream trailers is nowhere near what they are really selling for.
NADA exists as a guide for banks to establish an amount that they will loan a dealership to fund a trade in. It has very little to do with the actual retail value of a vehicle.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:13 PM   #11
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We had a 2007 23' Safari SE and loved everything about it except the corner bed and small bathroom. If you are getting up to go to the bathroom you have to craw over each other. Just make sure that is not a problem for you. Now we are really loving our twins beds
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:53 PM   #12
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Hi - Rich has some very good advice above. I have a 2008 Safari SE although it is a bigger trailer, there are some common things that I would recommend you really focus on when looking at a used unit in this age range.

Probably the most serious concern would be a trailer that had a leak that went unaddressed. Replacing or repairing a floor can get really really expensive very fast. If you get serious about this trailer I would tell you to take an ice pick or sharp probe of some sort and poke at the edges of the floor. Especially at the front and rear of the trailer and right around the door sill. If the floor feels mushy or soft, stop and get an honest to goodness third party inspector to look at it. I'm not saying it is a deal breaker for sure but you really need to know what you are getting in to.

A fridge issue is the next on my list. These fridges are expensive to replace and while they can last a long time, they don't always last forever and there isn't much of an option to "repair" It is almost always "replace". As Rich suggested, check the function on electrical power and/or propane if possible. Given the choice, check it on gas for sure as there are a few serviceable parts there that could be repaired if not functioning properly. The plate in the back of the freezer area should be the first place you feel "cold".

Lastly - a good eye on the overall condition of the trailer. Especially areas that you can't readily see is a good idea. Poke around. Look in / behind / under everything you can access. Is stuff all rusty/dirty/messy? Maybe spend more time looking. Neat as a pin in places no one would ever look? Probably means it is well maintained and taken care of...

Good luck though. There are a lot of really good used units out there so don't panic or feel too pressured to make a snap decision.

And as noted above, the NADA book value is not really worth much. Look at the classifieds here and elsewhere to establish a rough idea of the current market value. Check the used inventory (or recent selling prices) from dealers as well.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:32 AM   #13
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Go to NRVIA.org and look for an RV inspector in your area. Get whatever unit you want to purchase inspected before you finalize your sale. Best money you can spend, especially if you haven’t owned TT’s for many years and “don’t know what you don’t know”. An inspection report will give you a wealth of information and allow you to negotiate or walk away if any large problems surface. We have both bought and sold from 2500 miles apart and a certified inspector made the transitions easy.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:31 AM   #14
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Thank you, so much! All such great points.
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Old 10-04-2020, 08:55 AM   #15
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Hi Ken and Sandy, greetings from central Kentucky and welcome to the forum. This is our first AS and we enjoy it, but I wish we could travel more. It's just the right size for us and our 4Runner. You were lucky to find a 2007 is such great condition. Congratulations.


Any updates on considerations or the purchase?
Airstreams typically sell fast and sellers can get top dollar by selling private on the RV sites such as RV Trader or Airstream Classifieds. There were some wise considerations shared on this thread on things to look out for. We are finding things are typical with age and use and are needing to replace batteries, the forward vent cover, the carbon monoxide alarm and have concerns with a linoleum stain that may be related to a former leak in an isolated area inside the L couch storage door. On the bright side, this little gem was great on our maiden voyage covering 1600 miles to Tennessee, back to visit in Arkansas and then home in the Dallas Fort Worth area. We tried to keep it at 65 or under and average 15.2 with the RAM 1500 Eco-diesel. That is 2-3 more mpg that we got with our Lance 1685 that was 600 pounds lighter. Just had a 12x25 metal carport installed to protect it from hail, the sun and heavy rains we get in Texas.

Ken and Sandy
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Old 10-04-2020, 09:08 AM   #16
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As owners of a new 23 FB, I can tell you that this is a wonderful size for a trailer. In my opinion, it’s the sweet spot in the lineup. It’s not so small that you are always bumping into each other, but it’s small enough for easy towing, and it fits easily in state and national parks that have limits on the length of your trailer/tow vehicle combination.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeninTexas View Post
Hi Ken and Sandy, greetings from central Kentucky and welcome to the forum. This is our first AS and we enjoy it, but I wish we could travel more. It's just the right size for us and our 4Runner. You were lucky to find a 2007 is such great condition. Congratulations.


Any updates on considerations or the purchase?
.

Ken and Sandy
Hi, you're quoting my post but I'm not the one looking for an AS. I think you're confusing me with the original poster. Scroll up to post #1 and pose the question to them.
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