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Old 06-04-2007, 07:24 AM   #1
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2008 20' Safari SE
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New Safari Advice

Hello,

I'm closing in on my first Airstream purchase. My local dealer has 3x 2007 23' Safari SE in stock and my wife and I are leaning toward purchasing one. The price is around 40k, lower than most dealers I've found on the internet.

I'll be living full time in this trailer for about 9 months while atteding school in Texas. Because I wont be able to spend much time in it here before I move it to Texas I'm a bit concerned about all the problems I've read in the forums with new purchases.

My tow vehicle is a 2007 Toyota Tundra, regular cab, 4.7 V8, 126" wheelbase to which I'm planning on adding an Equalizer hitch.

What advice can you offer to someone on a new purchase AND looking to downsize his current living arangements to live full time in an AS?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mffjm8509

What advice can you offer to someone on a new purchase AND looking to downsize his current living arangements to live full time in an AS?

Thanks,
Mike
Mike, as someone that is currently downsizing to fulltime, I can help you there:
Have a BIG yard sale.
Also, do a very thorough walk-through of you trailer. Make sure every drawer and door opens and latches, and that the dealer shows you how to do everything. Take pictures of them performing these tasks so you will have a visual reference, and ask if they have a spot you can spend the night (or two) in it at the dealership. If you explain to them that you are going to be living in it, and want to be as sure as you can that you know how everything works, they will likely do their best to help you.
For leaks, ask if they can have someone thoroughly wet down the outside of the trailer while you are inside, and watch carefully for any water on the inside.
After you take delivery, any Airstream authorized dealer/service center can perform warranty repairs for you, not just where you bought it.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums, Mike. We're glad to have you with us.

I would also highly suggest that you spend several hours going through you new Airstream several days prior to taking delivery. Open, close, and closely inspection everything. Run all systems at that time. That way, if there are any problems, they can be corrected prior to taking delivery.

Your Tundra should be OK for the 23 footer, but you will probably be very near the limit for that TV. The 23 is right at the 1/2-3/4 TV threshold.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:44 AM   #4
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I'm sure that you've checked the various temperature changes in Texas. Hot summers (humid in some areas) and cold in others. Make sure that AC is working to your satisfaction.

On your truck, you'll be ok. I would put on a Air induction system if you haven't already done so. It'll let the truck get enough air to keep the engine cool for that size trailer.

In some cases the "water pump" can be a bit loud. If you haven't located it yourself ask where's it's at. Turn it on and listen. If too loud they might be able to do something to reduce the noise.

Enjoy

R/
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags

Your Tundra should be OK for the 23 footer, but you will probably be very near the limit for that TV. The 23 is right at the 1/2-3/4 TV threshold.
This has been a bit of a concern for me as I was initially looking at the 25 foot models. The standard model Tundra comes with the 4.7, not 5.8 advertised as the "new Tundra". Mine is a 4x4 SR5 which limits the tow weight to 6700, which could be close once the trailer is fully loaded. My calculations with fuel, and passangers reduces it even further to an estimated 6300lbs. GVWR on the 23' is 5600 so I thought I was still in the range of my TV.

I've also looked at 19', 20', and 22' models but havent found one that I think will meet my needs (storage, wardrobe, ect). I'm in the Army and have quite a bit of uniform accessories that I'll have to keep with me while there. After this little 9 month course I'm taking in Texas, my wife and I would like to travel quite a bit with it. Also the 23' model is a bit less expensive right now than any of the others I've seen.

Am I over estimating my Tundra?

Mike
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:39 PM   #6
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Mike,

Those of us who bought Safari 23 late last year were given stickers upping the GVWR to 6000 lbs. I noticed on the Airstream site that it is now listed at 5600 lbs. as you reported in this thread. Nevertheless, I also think you will be stressing your truck pulling a 23.

I was told to select a trailer that's in the 60% - 70% range of the truck for the best experience. My 1/2 ton is rated at 9000 lbs., so the 23 fits in there well.

Aside from that, if it's just the two of you, you should be very comfortable with the 23, even for an extended period. We find it has plenty of room for the things we like to do and rainy days don't have us getting cabin fever.

Welcome to the forums. I'm sure you will find the information you need here. Good luck with your Army training, and stay safe.

Randy
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:34 PM   #7
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Live in the unit on his lot before you take it home. That way questions and problems can be addressed on site rather than by phone. Most dealers are more than ok with this.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:43 PM   #8
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Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari-Rick
I'm sure that you've checked the various temperature changes in Texas. Hot summers (humid in some areas) and cold in others. Make sure that AC is working to your satisfaction.
I've been reading some of the posts on AC here in the forums and wonder how well the AC works in various sized models. Those I'm looking at have upgraded from 11,000 BTU to 13,500 BTU AC units. What opinons do any of you have on the performance of this in high heat? I'll be spending the summer in El Paso, very hot.

Based on the advice of many here I'm now looking at 20' models as opposed to the 23'. Think the 13,500 upgrade is sufficient to cool a 20 footer in the desert?

Mike
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:16 PM   #9
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See if they will throw in awnings all around, both sides and back. This will help a lot in the heat.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:01 PM   #10
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Re: AC in hot temps. I have 25' Safari with 11,000 BTU. I have used it in temperatures up to 115 degrees F.

AC capacity in these trailers is a huge compromise. Too big and they cycle frequently with blasts of cold air. Too small and you spend hot days with 85 degree interior temperatures.

The 11,000 BTU is inadequate for temps over 105 degrees parked in full sun for my trailer. I can maintain interior temps in the low 80's with some tricks however. Because of the breeze created by the fan, it remains comfortable.
1. Reflectors on the outside of the windows. I use windshield reflectors.
2. Insulating pads stuffed in roof vents.
3. Close skylight, preferably cover the dome on the roof with some kind of insulating material.
4. In the early summer try to orient east/west so the sun tends to hit the smaller ends, rather than the big sides.

If I was doing a lot of camping in full sun 105+ weather, I'd want the 15K BTU.

But then night rolls around with 30% compressor duty time, and you're back to the blasts of cold air, followed by warmups, even in 90 degree weather.

My best suggestion for your El Paso campground, whether 11K, 13.5K or 15K BTU AC units...SHADE. Find a shady spot! This will make more difference than any differences of AC capacity.
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