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Old 03-02-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 29
1970 Safari 23'

Hello all. First post here and I was just basically given a '70 Safari. Its not in horriblw condition but it def. needs some lovin'. My first questions will be simple, I know nothing about this thing as I just pulled it in the driveway. So here it goes, does it have brakes? batteries?
Also, its has the 7 blade hookup for brake lights etc. and my vehicle has the 4 hole, what can I do about that?
I was looking around it when I parked it looking for the power hookup and found it in the rear end but, some fool had cut the line so I have nothing to plug in to. How big of a fix is that? Thanks, hope to get some good info!
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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1970 Safari 23'

Greetings brownd355!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
Hello all. First post here and I was just basically given a '70 Safari. Its not in horriblw condition but it def. needs some lovin'. My first questions will be simple, I know nothing about this thing as I just pulled it in the driveway. So here it goes, does it have brakes? batteries?
You have acquired what many consider to be a very desirable 1970s Airstream. For its era, it was the shortest Airstream with tandem axles. It was equipped with drum-type electric trailer brakes on both axles. It also has a house battery that supplied 12-volt electric to all lights and appliances as well as the Breakaway Switch and electric tongue jack if so equipped.

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Also, its has the 7 blade hookup for brake lights etc. and my vehicle has the 4 hole, what can I do about that?
Yes, the 1970 Safari would have had a 7-pin heavy duty Bargman connector from the factory that may have been replaced along the line with a 7-blade Bargman/Polak connector. This connector provides for a 12-volt-charge-line, left-turn/stop light, right-turn/stop light, running lights, electric trailer brakes, back-up lights and ground. You will need an electric trailer brake controller for your truck, a charge line run from under the hood, and an appropriate 7-pole trailer connector on the tow vehicle. I have attached a pdf of the wiring diageram that Airstream followed in 1970 when your Safari was built . . . it may help you in identifying what each wire does as the 1970 Airstream functional color coding is not consistent with the current industry standard.

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Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
I was looking around it when I parked it looking for the power hookup and found it in the rear end but, some fool had cut the line so I have nothing to plug in to. How big of a fix is that? Thanks, hope to get some good info!
I suspect that you coach's prior owner may have been the victim of a "copper thief" as we have had that problem near where I live. This might be a good time to convert to a Marinco connector that allows the power cord to be removed and safely stored in a locked storage location. Installing a Marinco type connector will be a little more work than just installing another power cable, but only minimally more. Basically, a cable is run from the trailer's circuit breaker box to the Marinco connector that is mounted in the coach's wall. A cord resembling an extension cord then pugs into the Marinco connector and attaches to the shore power source. I understand that this is the setup utilized in new Airstreams. I have this setup on my '64 Overlander.

You will also likely find your city water connection on the streetside rear bumper support. It doesn't resemble the connectors utilized on other RVs, it resembles a hose end more than anything typically with a white plastic valve inserted to keep the connection clean and prevent drips.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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Thanks for the info.. I have another question regarding the plumbing of my AS. I just briefly looked under the sink and saw all the plumbing and everything but dont really know what everything is and how it works. It looks like my water comes in on the side there just under the windows where the sink is. Under the sink there is what looks like a small pump in the back, a radiator looking device on the right I believe, a tank on the left and the water line thats comes from the inlet goes down under the floor to somewhere and theres a valve down there. Its a mix of copper and pvc as well.
Can anyone give me a basic rundown of how that all works? I also dont have power installed to the camper yet.
What should my first step be when I get the new 30amp inlet installed that was cut off? Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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I also didnt see the water inlet on the back bumper. It looks to be on the side but that might be something esle I dont know but the hose fit right in there it just doesnt have any threads or anything like a hose does.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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It might be useful for you to order the owners manual for your year of trailer from Airstream. It will explain the operation of all the systems for your unit. Another great resource is other airstreamers near you. You might find someone who'd be willing to stop by and show you how everything works. Alternatively, visit a rally! You'll find all kinds of people willing to show you how it all works. Don't get discouraged, once you get it all figured out it really isn't too mysterious.

https://store.airstream.com/product_...roducts_id=384
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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1970 Safari 23'

Greetings brownd355!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
I also didnt see the water inlet on the back bumper. It looks to be on the side but that might be something esle I dont know but the hose fit right in there it just doesnt have any threads or anything like a hose does.
It sounds like you may have found the fresh water (potable) tank fill device. The fresh water tank fill is typically about waist high or a little lower on the street side or sometimes on the front of the coach belwo the front window and toward the streetside (placement varies by year and model).

A typical city water inlet in pictured below . . . usually found on the streetside bumper support beam . . . . .



A typical Airstream fresh water tank fill door is shown in the photo below. The door pictured is on an Argosy, but the same basic water fill door was utilized by Airstream through much of the 1970s.



Since neither of my coaches are closely related to yours, I hesitate to say too much about what plumbing is found below your kitchen sink. Typically, there is often a fresh water filter (sometimes supplying a separate faucet on the kitchen sink), the typical PVC drain pipes, water pipes (typically following a walll coming up from the rear of the coach . . . but if your coach has a below floor water tank, the supply pipe routing may be different. In some coaches, you may also find the furnace and/or water pump below the kitchen sink . . . exactly what components are located below the kitchen sink vary by model and year (and by modifications made by prior owners).

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:36 PM   #7
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1970 23' Safari
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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Hi, Well, I might be able to help. I also have a 1970 23' Safari Twin. Looking under my sink you will find the potable water pipe that runs from the street side fill location to the potable water tank. That's just for when you don't have a city water connection. The potable water pump is there also. To the right is a Suburban NT16 16000 BTU furnace. To the left is a Bowen or Atwood hot water heater. There are also 2 brass hand valves that are used to drain the hot water tank and the cold water piping. The PVC valve should be the drain line for the potable water tank.

After you get a new 30A cord, you should charge your batteries and start checking all your systems.
-Does the plumbing leak when you pressurize it?
-Do all the 12v systems work?
-Does the battery charge?
-Do the gas powered appliances work? Do they leak?

Try to find an original manual. It has a wiring diagram and instructions on all the systems. I have one and could copy some pages, but it's in my trailer and not nearby.

Mike
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:05 AM   #8
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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Thanks for the info.
Mike, so I should also have a city water connection on the rear bumper? Because if I am mine is gone...
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Not necessarily on the rear bumper. It might be closer to your water heater. You should see a threaded connection that would accept a garden hose.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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1970 23' Safari
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Well, mine is on the street side rear bumper just as overlander64 says.

If yours isn't there, then you might have to trace the pipes back from the water heater.

Also look Inside the rear door where the batteries are. The water pipe from the curb should lead there first. You should find a water pressure regulator inside the rear door and the inlet to the pressure regulator should lead to the city water pipe outside the trailer.

Just to qualify that last statement, I'm assuming that you have the small street side bathroom model as I have, and not the full rear bathroom. Mine is the Safari Twin Special Land Yacht. If you have the full bathroom, then the batteries and all that stuff might be somewhere else.

Mike
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #11
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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well, i did find where the water intake is, or atleast where it was. there is just a stubbed out piece of copper sticking down a few inches so I will have to hook up a new connection. I really dont understand why someone would take that and cut the power connecter off but ohwell, those shouldnt be bad to fix.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:18 PM   #12
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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Ok, so i got my shore power hooked up and everything seems to run ok. I even checked the ac and it has power but i didnt keep it on long enough to see if it blows cold. My oldschool univolt isnt working however. It gives off a low humming sound and i tested the hot wire that runs to it but it doesnt charge the battery. I guess i should change out the fuses and try again. Anyone have any tips about my setup?
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #13
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1970 23' Safari
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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Do you have a multimeter?

I don't have a univolt. The PO swapped mine out for some other charger.

But if you take a close up picture of the Univolt I might be able to give you some suggestions.

Mike
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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We have a problem...

Ok, I fixed the plumbing that was all butchered up and hooked the city water to it and got great pressure to the sink and shower. When I try tp go on tank water I get nothing. I know my pump works because it pumps water out when I flip it on. (It goes out through the city inlet btw and that seems weird) so what could be the problem?

Now for the real fun. I was messing around the drains near the bumper and I felt like I was gettin shocked slightly when I touched the rivots underside. So I put my volt check up the the skin of the camper and it went off so my whole damn camper is conducting...Im no electrician but i dont think my AS should be shocking me lol. Any info would be great.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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1970 Safari 23'

Greetings brownd355!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
Ok, I fixed the plumbing that was all butchered up and hooked the city water to it and got great pressure to the sink and shower. When I try tp go on tank water I get nothing. I know my pump works because it pumps water out when I flip it on. (It goes out through the city inlet btw and that seems weird) so what could be the problem?
It sounds like you may have a problem that I encountered with my Minuet. There is a "one-way" valve that is plumbed into the system very near where the city water supply enters the coach, and if this unit fails or becomes partially clogged with grit or hard water deposits, it won't automatically close when the city water is disconnected and will allow water to flow freely out the city water connection whenever the pump runs. Replacement of that check-valve will cure the problem, but a temporary fix would be to purchase a white plastic plug the screws into the city water supply fixture (these are typically available in a well-stocked RV parts house).

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
Now for the real fun. I was messing around the drains near the bumper and I felt like I was gettin shocked slightly when I touched the rivots underside. So I put my volt check up the the skin of the camper and it went off so my whole damn camper is conducting...Im no electrician but i dont think my AS should be shocking me lol. Any info would be great.
I am not particularly good with electrical systems, but what you describe sounds like a condition referred to as reversed polarity (there is a small light typically found in the streetside rear corner that will illuminate if this condition exists). You can perform a Forums search for reversed polarity to find a number of discussions of this problem.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin
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AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:32 PM   #16
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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Ok. That water fix makes sense. I guess i will have to remove my quick connect on the water inlet. Do you use anything special to make it easier screwin in your hose for the city water?
Also when i am off city and using the tank will the pump run pretty much the whole time? And will it come on automatically or do i have to manually hit it?
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:16 PM   #17
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1970 Safari 23'

Greetings brownd355!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
Ok. That water fix makes sense. I guess i will have to remove my quick connect on the water inlet. Do you use anything special to make it easier screwin in your hose for the city water?
Also when i am off city and using the tank will the pump run pretty much the whole time? And will it come on automatically or do i have to manually hit it?
As the word "Demand" in Demand Water System suggests, your pump should only run when a faucet is actually open, and possibly for a second or two after a faucet is closed. When the pump is on and there isn't any water "demanded" for a number of hours, the pump may cycle briefly to keep a constant pressure, but this cycling should not be frequent. If the pump cycles frequently, this suggests that there is a leak somewhere in the system or a low point drain may be open or partially open.

As an insurance policy against draining the fresh water tank, most owners will shut the pump off when there is going to be an extended time with no water use . . . . or if they are going to be away from the coach for a significant amount of time.

Good luck with your Safari!

Kevin
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AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #18
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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thanks for the great info. I think I will put in a check valve to be on the safe side. Anyway, my list of questions continues, I think if I ever get to camp in this thing it will make it seem so much sweeter after I get done with it.
But anway, I attached a couple pics of an elbow I have a question about. That bottom drain looking part will leak when I fill the tank. What is the purpose of that part of the 90 and should I plug it or replace that 90? I just dont know if that is there for a reason.....
Thanks
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:57 PM   #19
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1970 23' Safari
portsmouth , Ohio
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Scouter Mike-I have a question for you since we both have the same rig. How exactly does the drains and black tank work on this thing.
Does all the gray water drain out in the same place as the waste? I also see some wires hooked up to the black tank and was wondering what that was for? Thanks
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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1970 Safari 23'

Greetings brownd355!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownd355 View Post
Does all the gray water drain out in the same place as the waste? I also see some wires hooked up to the black tank and was wondering what that was for? Thanks
Airstream followed the same general practice in regard to waste plumbing up through the time that the dual waste tanks were made standard. There is a Thetford Gate Valve at (or very near) the black tank -- then there is section of pipe between that and the Thetford Terminator cap. The gray water drains empty into the pipe between the terminator cap and gate valve. The plumbing was configured in that manner while it was considered acceptable practice to drain gray water on the ground -- the solid Thetford terminator cap could be replaced with another version with a hose fitting so that the gray water could be directed to the point where the camper wished it to empty. Today, the hose adapter cap can be utilized to use a green garden hose to direct gray water to the campground waste receptacle or a blue-boy tote tank to comply with modern regulations.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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