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Old 12-31-2006, 06:59 PM   #1
Sid
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2005 22' Safari
Comanche , Texas
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First Time Owners---Excited about being Airstreamers!

My wife and I have never owned an RV of any kind---until last week. We just bought our first, a brand new 2005 model Safari 22.

Back in 1963, we looked at Scotties at a Connecticut dealership but couldn't afford the $998 price tag for a cute little trailer that you couldn't even stand up in (graduate students and their spouses ran close to the bone on discretionary spending, even in those days.)

We have a ton of stuff to learn about how to operate everything---especially how to best manage upkeep of the black holding tank and freeze protection of various plumbing features.

One really big question on our minds is: Since we live ten miles from town on a ranch, we have to drive over about four miles of dirt road which has some sections that are washboarded, others have lots of potholes. So far, I've pulled the Safari over that road twice, very slowly. And, each time, I hold my breath that I'm not doing any damage to the Safari (you know, new parent.) I've kept the speed between ten and twenty miles per hour---mostly around fifteen. What do you experienced folks think about pulling over roads like that? Are there any special considerations and things to look for? Do these rigs hold up well to "bounce and grind" conditions?

We were surprised at the many minor defects we quickly discovered in our brand new, dealer-purchased, Airstream. The dealer has been very understanding (Bayer RV, in Dublin, TX) and is working with us to fix all discrepancies. Those include a twisted screen door frame (they are replacing the entire assembly.) That goes for the closet door, too, even though the only defect there is the magnetic latches' screws pulled out of the door. I suggested they simply epoxy them back in, but, no, they insisted on replacing the whole door. What more can you ask for in service, huh?

Another weirdness was, the plastic roof vent over the bed blew off the first night we had the thing home---and, it wasn't exceedingly windy that night. I had opened it for ventilation after we got it home.

Oh, and another thing---the 'mushroom' shaped 'foot' for the jack sticks on and is all but impossible to get off the jack tube when hooking up for travel. Any quick fixes there?

Anyway, my wife, Peg, and I feel fortunate to be in your midst as Airstream owners and look forward to meeting some of you fine people as we stream along.

Sid
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:11 PM   #2
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Hi, does your road look like this? If so, have no fear:
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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Hi Sid,
Glad to see you on the forum. I understand your concern over washboard dirt roads because I have had to travel about 1.5 miles down the same type of road to get to where I camp for deer hunting. I found that on my '77 Excella 500 the washboard would shake my stove exhaust fan switch to the on position. Obviously, anything not in a solid place in the camper is jostled around. This has not happened with my '86 Sovereign. I have picked up numerous small dents in the front lower panels even with mudflaps on my truck and larger flaps behind the truck. I plan on adding stainless protectors from Airstream ^$500 next year and if you don't have them then I would recommend them highly. Fine silt also seems to find it's way into the battery box and the lock so both have to be flushed out with appropriate cleaners.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
Sid
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Terry, the pic on the right is an extreme version of our four miles. It's reassuring to have you say "no prob". Thanx for responding.

What does a 'redesigner' redesign? I'm a retired industrial designer and engineer. Was engineering manager of Bausch & Lomb's Bushnell Sports Optic Division for eight years.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
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welcome to the forums. Be sure you have good mud flaps on your tow vehichle. You are likely to kick stones and debris up onto your trailer and while it may not do more than cosmetic damage, you should try to avoid ...

we have some really big removable mud flaps for towing - called enkay rock tamers.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:38 PM   #6
Sid
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Quote:
Fine silt also seems to find it's way into the battery box and the lock so both have to be flushed out with appropriate cleaners.
David, thanx for replying to my post.

Do you have a recommendation regarding a good spray (can) product for flushing the locks? For that matter, do you have a recommendation for a good internet source for general rv products?

Sid
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:58 PM   #7
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid
Do you have a recommendation regarding a good spray (can) product for flushing the locks? For that matter, do you have a recommendation for a good internet source for general rv products?
Sid
I have sometimes flushed the tumblers out with brake cleaner, let it dry then use a product that enters the lock as a liquid and then dries with a coating of graphite. I have also used a Remington Arms spray product called Rem-DriLube which is used for the inside of bolt action rifles/triggers in extreme cold because it does not freeze. It leaves a dry Teflon coating. I haven't experienced problems with the Brake cleaner spray but I would make sure you protect the finish of the battery door while spraying it.

There are so many dealers of RV products that it is hard to post them all here. There is a poll asking where the forum buys their products/supplies so you might do a forum search for Poll: Supplies. I buy from Camping World either in Nashville, TN. or from them on the internet. Also check the forum section for commercial vendors for products they sell. Surf the internet for RV Supplies and you will find all kinds of places. I added two sites just today to my favorites. Don't forget Walmart for some items you might need quickly.
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:06 PM   #8
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Sid, welcome to the word of Airstreaming. We are practically neighbors. My brother lives near Comanche. We live in Hamilton. There are several of us Airstreamers here in Hamilton and several more in Stephenville.

There is a big rally at Haven's Landing RV Resort scheduled for Jan. 31 - Feb. 4th in Montgomery Texas. Between 100 and 130 Airstreams and their owners are expected to attend. There will be a great number of vintage Airstreams in attendance going all the way back to the 1940's and perhaps beyond. Those trailers will be open for viewing by the public. The neat thing about this rally is that you don't have to be a member of the Airstream club or anything else to attend this rally and you may attend all or any part of it and charged according to the number of days you are in attendance.

We'd would like to meet you perhaps over supper some Friday night at the City Cafe in Gustine whether or not you attend this rally, but we'd really like to get you to consider becoming an active participant in all that Airstreams and Airstreamers have to offer by attendance at this rally. You'll only have to ask for people to take you under their wings and offer you all kinds of help and advice as a new owner. You'll have the opportuniy to make many new aquaintances and hopefully cultivate a few close friends. This year there are eight seminars scheduled ranging on topics from trailer brakes by David Tidmore, to Fred of "Phred Says", to "Great Ideas" by Pahaska, and "Maintenance" by Les Dodgen. All these seminars are to be conducted by published experts in their respective fields. For a schedule of events, click on this link; http://www.wbregion9.org/Vintage%20Sched.pdf. For additional information and a registration coupon click this link: Texas Vintage Rally, 2007 You'll be treated so many different ways that you are bound to like one of them. Again, welcome.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid
Terry, the pic on the right is an extreme version of our four miles. It's reassuring to have you say "no prob". Thanx for responding.

What does a 'redesigner' redesign? I'm a retired industrial designer and engineer. Was engineering manager of Bausch & Lomb's Bushnell Sports Optic Division for eight years.
The road to the storage area for our Argosy was somewhere between the two photos, condition-wise. I had to pick up some things I didn't properly secure on occasion, but no problems with structural elements. Of course, you don't want to travel at the harmonic that makes the vibration worse, but I know you know that.
I spent some time with Ford, fixing things that needed to be revisited, design-wise. There are always some things that need to be taken care of, especially with a new model on the road, sometimes we had to get very creative to solve problems within the constraints of time, budget, and space.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:12 PM   #10
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Welcome!

Almost neighbors. Looking forward to some visits. Be sure your ready for the Spring weather (hail) around Comanche.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:56 AM   #11
Sid
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2005 22' Safari
Comanche , Texas
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Be sure you have good mud flaps on your tow vehichle.

Thanx, Janet. We had the dealer install Airstream flaps the day we bought our trailer. So far, they have worked perfectly. We had some rain a few days ago, and, I drove in to town. When I returned, the flaps had about two inches of mud caked up on them. Whew, that would have been all over the Airstream had I not had them and had been towing it. Uck!
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:35 AM   #12
Sid
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2005 22' Safari
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Quote:
Be sure your ready for the Spring weather (hail) around Comanche.
Thanx for the warning. We're planning on putting in a carport just for that purpose.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:37 AM   #13
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2004 25' Safari
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Some of the more basic things to do would be to wash and walbernize the Airstream a few times a year....do a forum search under washing.

Additionally, make sure you have weight bars, sway control and the proper tow vehicle.

Now, get out and have some fun!
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:18 AM   #14
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Selecting the 22' airstream

Hi Sid,
I am in the selection process right now and I wondered how you came to choose the 22 foot model....We are vasilating on the 22 or 25 safari ss...It's a darn hard choice. It's only me and the mrs. and the lab, Ricky.....I just am concerned about buying an AS and finding out that I should have bought a biger [roomy] trailer...Your comments are appreciated..

Chris
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clinck
Hi Sid,
I am in the selection process right now and I wondered how you came to choose the 22 foot model....We are vasilating on the 22 or 25 safari ss...It's a darn hard choice. It's only me and the mrs. and the lab, Ricky.....I just am concerned about buying an AS and finding out that I should have bought a biger [roomy] trailer...Your comments are appreciated..

Chris
Chris what tow vehicle do you plan on using?
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:36 AM   #16
Sid
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Chris, I suppose a major factor was that our existing tow vehicle would be our '97 Silverado 1500 with the 350 V8 and factory tow package. Another consideration was that we figured the smaller trailer would be easier to handle. And, now that I'm thinking about it, I guess the price differential between the 22 and larger models could have been a factor.

But, psychologically, we have always equated camping with compactness and, ever since we looked at the tiny Scottie forty-seven years ago, we've longed for the day when we could get a really deluxe, stand up, version in the form of a classic Airstream.

We have two small dogs that will travel with us and see no problem. A Lab would need more room. Be sure to consider how much room he/she needs just to turn around. FYI, our trailer's 'hall' width is 24". Might be a real squeeze for your pooch.

EDIT: I would add that the size also would depend on how you want to use it. We plan to use ours more or less as a base and don't plan to spend huge amounts of time lounging around inside. If in doubt, I would think you might want to go one size larger than what you think might minimally meet your needs.
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clinck
Hi Sid,
I am in the selection process right now and I wondered how you came to choose the 22 foot model....We are vasilating on the 22 or 25 safari ss...It's a darn hard choice. It's only me and the mrs. and the lab, Ricky.....I just am concerned about buying an AS and finding out that I should have bought a biger [roomy] trailer...Your comments are appreciated..

Chris
Chris ~ Welcome to the forums. It great to have another member from the valley. If you are still looking next month, why not make a day trip to the 4CU rally in Cottonwood. We will have trailers of all sizes. It would give you the oppertunity to talk with the owners about sizes and floor plans. If you get your Airstream before the rally, join us!
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:42 PM   #18
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Thanks for the posts..By the way, Richard..I, too, like to fly fish and that's another reason to by a trailer for me...I have a low mile 2003 Sliverado HD2500 diesel as a TV. Plenty of truck with the correct anti swat hitch. I am looking at Hensley's ofcourse but would appreciate any other feedback on hitches too. The last thing I want is trouble on the road because I spared expense on the hitch device. Penny wise and pound foolish as they saying goes....
I don't plan on buying for a few months or so. Maybe spring time if I can settle with 2006 taxes and a refinance on our home that has a nasty 7.5 percent ARM..We will refi this month which means that I need to show a healthy cash position to achieve the best rate.
I am trying to decide what trailer is best but I am leaning towards the 25 Safari ss SE/LE. Carolyn doesn't care for the floor plan on the 25 FB. She thinks that there's more useable space in the SS model.

Our only local dealer choice is in Mesa Arizona which is an hour away from our home in North Scottsdale. Dillon RV. I have been out there twice and have not been overly impressed with their facility or the sales crew. I have not gone to view their service area yet but that's scheduled in the near future.
One things' for sure. I am not rushing the decision because we're looking at something over 50 Large on this purchase and I want to be sure that we are selecting the right AS for us. I am not very handy..or a mister Fix it so new gives me a better chance of solving start up problems with dealer help.

Our dog, Ricky is a 90 lb Lab. and he's happy to be wherever we are...especially in our bed.....

Cottonwood sounds like a good experince for us. I will make that trip to see what others have chosen..

Thanks again,

Chris Linck
Scottsdale, AZ
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:01 PM   #19
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Checking out the 4CU rally would be well worth it, and maybe one of the best things you can do before making a size/model decision. We changed our mind 3 times after being so sure the 1st time!
It was a matter of not knowing about all the newer configurations out there, and even more importantly for me, not knowing how they would feel/look once they were packed up, decorated, etc. It was a huge bonus to be able to visit a rally and see how many different living plans there are, and how many different ways there are to use the same space. It was very different from going in and out of trailers on a lot. And you'll find fellow Airstreamers to be as forthcoming and helpful in real life as they are on the forums. Nothing like seeing a brilliant storage idea being put to use!
We love our final choice, especially since we feel like it's a very informed one. There are definitely some other plans and models I would have liked too, but this one suits the majority of our needs as a couple who travels with a pooch or three.
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:54 AM   #20
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Sid,
Welcome and best wishes with your selection process. You are in the right place to gather a tremendous amount of good information for your decision.

Mac and Linda
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