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Old 04-02-2024, 06:16 PM   #1
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1969 23' Safari
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 10
1969 Safari Twin Dinette question

We recently purchased a 1969 Safari Twin. It's in good original condition, with all of the original utilities and finishes. No soft spots, and no sag. The stove and oven work, the refrigerator works. It came with the original 55 year old owner's manual, the optional TV and radio antennas. It has a water leak somewhere at the front (low). It has new tires and wheels (not yet mounted).

We are going through the utilities to discover what doesn't work, try to repair, do a mild restoration, find and fix the leak and use it on the Pacific beach campgrounds.

One of the issues that has me confused is the configuration of the dinette. The extension on the twin beds can't slide out if the table isn't raised, which seems to defeat the purpose. Also, after raising the table, I discovered this small upholstered original cushion (see photo).

Can anyone tell me where it is supposed to be used, and what I'm missing on the sliding question?

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:12 PM   #2
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1969 23' Safari
Spokane , Washington
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I discovered what the small cushion is for (see photos).

I'm guessing someone out there already knows this, and if I read the original owner's manual more closely, it might tell me.
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Old 04-10-2024, 06:34 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
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1969 21' Globetrotter
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Welcome CCC: Nice looking 69 Safari. I have a 69 Globetrotter 21' with the same dinette "twin bed" layout. It also had a twin bed "gaucho" pull out bed in the rear across from the corner wet bath. 1969 was the first year of the new body style and I felt the cabinetry was well made, but we just didn't like the floor layout much. So we built a "U" shaped dinette with a pedestal support for the table which will drop down and support the bigger cushions and thus makes into a big double bed. We think it made a more comfortable trailer and the U shaped dinette sits 7. See photos.

Enjoy your Safari. It is a desirable vintage Airstream.

David
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Old 04-11-2024, 12:44 AM   #4
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1969 23' Safari
Spokane , Washington
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David, Thanks for the welcome note!

We're thinking about making a modification like yours. We would have preferred a double bed version rather than the twin, but there aren't many time capsules like this around anymore, so we bought this one. After some cleaning and a few repairs we'll use it this way this summer and maybe plan some modifications for the winter. My wife and I both grew up in families with travel trailers and campers, so we're looking forward to some time travel. I just retired; she has another year.

I have an appointment with the local Airstream dealer in a few weeks to look at the bearings and brakes. The previous owner had bearings packed and brakes inspected when he bought it from his sister in the fall of 2020 and didn't use it after that. I towed it from west of Seattle 350 miles over Snoqualmie pass 10 days ago with no problems, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Any advice on how to tell if I will need an axle? I read somewhere that as long as I can jack 2-3" before the tire comes off the ground, its ok. (I had 2-1/2" when I mounted the new tires and wheels). But, this axle may be 55 years old. I'm sure the service advisor (who also likes 69s) will have an opinion.

Thanks for sending the pictures, that's a nice looking modification. I like the idea of the U shape and pedestal rather than the usual table configuration. Does the Globetrotter have the water tank in the front like the Safari? The U shape is a good way to deal with that.

I agree about the cabinetry. Even though it was the first year of the new body style, I read that it was the last year that real wood veneer plywood was used. Ours is still in good shape.

We're looking forward to some Pacific beach trips, but I have some work to do first. Air Forums is a great resource, I'll keep asking questions.

Thanks again,

Craig
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Old 04-11-2024, 06:36 PM   #5
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Me again: Generally speaking the Dexter Flex Torque axle lasts about 30 years, not to bad. And I assess the condition of the axle by looking at the "starting angle". When the trailer sits the rubber rods in the axle tend to take a set and get rather hard. So here is a photo of my 75 Overlander 27' axle. Just jack up the trailer on one side, remove the wheel, and look at the swing arm. The factory starting angle is 22 degrees down. My axle displayed an almost horizonal swing arm. Not good. See photo.

A new axle assembly installed is about $2000. Airstream dealers do it all the time. Same with other trailer maintenance shops. But getting the Dexter axle order form exactly correct takes some Airstream experience. Actually, I think Jackson Center can accurately spec a new axle. Things like hub face to hub face, distance between mounting brackets, weight rating, starting angle, etc are all important.

David
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Old 04-12-2024, 08:58 AM   #6
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1969 23' Safari
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axle diagnosis

Thanks, this is great information, and explains why I had a problem getting tires off and back on after removing them a few days ago. The previous owner had purchased new tires and had them mounted on the old wheels about 3 1/2 years ago. He bought new wheels and included them in the sale. I raised the trailer, removed the tires and wheels and had the tires placed on the new wheels.

The swing arms were almost horizontal, certainly not 22 degrees down. I had a problem getting the tires off between the body and the hub, but gravity helped. Lifting the tires and wheels back up was more of a problem. On the curb side, I had to use a long pry bar between the swing arm end and rear shock mount to get the swing arm to come down a bit to get the tires back on. The road side wasn't as much of a problem, but it was still tight.

Will each end of the axle take a different set?

This is probably what the local Airstream service manager meant when he warned me that "one thing usually leads to another" on old Airstreams when I was making the appointment to look at bearings and brakes.
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:46 AM   #7
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1969 23' Safari
Westwood , California
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Donít neglect to check your furnace. The originals were all recalled because of a dangerous flaw. Some did not get the memo.(mine didnít.)
Notice that the table can be moved from left to right. this gives you a little more room when using only the street side bed.
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:40 PM   #8
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1969 23' Safari
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I didn't know that about the table, I'll try it in the morning.

Regarding the furnace, is there a way to tell if it has been replaced? And, did you replace yours?

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 04-17-2024, 11:10 AM   #9
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I love to see and read about these beautiful classic time capsules! We have a 1969 Caravel 18, restored in 2016. About to put it up for sale due to 'the usual'...our ages/health. Hope it goes to someone equally appreciative of such a quality item!
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Old 04-18-2024, 04:48 PM   #10
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1969 18' Caravel
Vista , California
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Hi CCC,
We have a 69 18' Caravel and love it. My dinette/bed configuration is different. The table is on a pedestle and goes down to fit between the seats. The two back cushions fill in on top of the table to make the bed. Regarding the water leak. Make sure the outside water filling head/cap is sealed where it attaches to the front of the aluminum. Mine was leaking there and had to take it off and reseal it. enjoy!
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Old 04-19-2024, 08:19 AM   #11
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1969 23' Safari
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Epsudduth, great looking Caravel. May we see some interior photos?

Vista Nic, Thanks for the advice. That's where I think ours was leaking over time, and especially during heavy rain on the tow home. Most of the water damage is in the left front corner floor below the fill head. The water pump still works, but I can tell the wood floor under it, and probably across the front, is bad. The fabric at the front of the road side seat cushion is damaged. The floor on the curb side front shows some water damage, and I suspect it was wet under the water tank. Any advice on removing the water tank, and that portion of the floor will be appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2024, 06:22 PM   #12
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The above floor fresh water tank removal is straight forward. You have to disconnect the fill pipe, and the water pump suction line, and the tank drain line. Then remove the holding straps. The dinette comes out first of course. I took the tank out of my 66 Trade Wind 24'.

David
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Old 04-20-2024, 07:13 AM   #13
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1965 22' Safari
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Looks like a well kept rig, and a good project! Our 65 has a similar layout with the twins in front. We wanted a queen bed instead of twins, and had no interest in the dinette, but we liked the storage under the gauchos. So we built a frame that rests on top of the gauchos and a lift on the bed frame so we had easy access. Not destructive to the original layout (we kept the table in case we change our minds) and way more functional for us.

http://shinyhappytravelers.com/queen...terior-update/
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Old 04-20-2024, 05:24 PM   #14
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CCC69Safari, sure , like sharing pictures. Our 1969 Caravel 18:
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