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Old 03-14-2021, 12:52 PM   #1
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 37
1971 Safari 23D Twin Axle Rebuild

Hi folks,
We have been waiting for this day!!!!

About five years ago my wife and I came across this two owner (1 family) gem of a camper. We jumped on it (literally - the bumper was solid) and bought it immediately. Though it had been run down and used consistently (it was used as a weekend getaway, parked permanently under a cover at a lake) for the last five years before we acquired it, prior to that it sat parked for decades. As far as we could tell everything in the camper except the carpet was 1971 vintage. A few minor things like some decent tires, etc and it was home the next week. We knew however that the circumstances at the time would not allow for a proper rebuilding, and so, it is now five years later.

My wife, Melissa has named the TT “Bernice” and so it is. Since we got her I have been spending a fair amount reading up on other rebuild threads and cannot thank enough those of you who have posted their successes and not so successful processes and methods of work. Undoubtedly, my work will be easier and hopefully less time consuming because of the wealth of information y’all have shared!

In the middle of last year, partly due to the Covid crisis I was able to shorten the home project list to a manageable single page, we realized it was time to start on Bernice. We began to earnestly remodel an existing 100 year old barn on the property to house her during the rebuild and also for future storage when not in use. We have finally completed that remodel and yesterday we parked Bernice in her new home! I’ll be posting photos.

We are truly looking forward to the next year as we apply ourselves to the project. I am quite handy and enjoy learning how to do things, and my DW is beginning to get her ‘handy’ hands! We have lots of questions and we know that we will find those answers here. The first photo is Bernice in the remodeled barn, the second after her first bath in five years, the third of the barn before remodel and the forth is on the day we first brought her home. Not sure if that is the original awning or not, but it just might be.

Melissa and I are in agreement the we will be completing a shell off rebuild as there are some rotten floor parts and we have to get rid of the antique aromas that have permeated everything. We are hoping to keep the floor plan as original as possible, with two exceptions: the front gaucho will be changed to a dinette table and the ‘double’ bed area will be changed to two twins. We contemplated moving the rear bath forward and the bed to the rear, but until we get everything out and see what we have to work with we will not know he final design. We will be updating all the systems but hope to keep the original feel of the camper.

We ran her over the CAT scales yesterday in order to establish some base lines to work from and back to as the project progresses. I’ll be posting that info with some questions in the next couple of days.

Melissa and Ted
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Old 03-14-2021, 01:17 PM   #2
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
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Congratulations on the 71. I’ve always thought the Safaris were pretty well laid out. You’ll enjoy the rework and ensure many more years of safe and enjoyable travels. Good choice on the shell off. That gives you the opportunity to know the entire trailer well and feel safer. Be sure and ask any questions during the rework. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:06 PM   #3
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 37
Thanks Bubba!

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading your thread on the 55. You have done a beautiful job on your project! Your install of a mini split has inspired me to work out how we’ll get one installed. I located a 110v unit with fairly small footprints for both parts of the unit. I was thinking I might try to install the inside head in the front end cap, in place of the small storage area that is there. I’ll have to see if there is enough support for the weight of the unit once I get the interior skins out.
Ted
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:12 PM   #4
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTDSilver71 View Post
Thanks Bubba!

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading your thread on the 55. You have done a beautiful job on your project! Your install of a mini split has inspired me to work out how we’ll get one installed. I located a 110v unit with fairly small footprints for both parts of the unit. I was thinking I might try to install the inside head in the front end cap, in place of the small storage area that is there. I’ll have to see if there is enough support for the weight of the unit once I get the interior skins out.
Ted
There were a few trials and errors in installing the mini, but well worth it. I didn’t go into great detail in the thread. When you get into the planning and layout stage, PM me and I can send you my phone number if you have design questions. The way you’re going to go about it, I would think ducting would be a pretty easy task. Good luck
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:17 PM   #5
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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Will do! Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 03-14-2021, 03:21 PM   #6
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 37
CAT scale numbers and TV specs

I wanted to get some baseline numbers before I started the rebuild. TT was dry and no gear or supplies. Propane probably empty and the axles are shot. TV had full tank of gas and the two of us but no other gear or equipment.

Lots of information here, I’ll try to keep it order.

TV: 2016 F250 SRW 6.7L Diesel

GVWR: 10000lbs
Front GAWR: 5940 @ 65psi
Rear GAWR: 6100 @ 65psi
Weight of occupants and cargo: 1948

TT:
GVWR: 5800lbs
GAWR: 5200
Front and rear axles both 2600

GCWR: 23500lbs
Can tow up to 13500

The TT came with what I think is a Reese WD hitch. I set this at six links on the chain. Wasn’t difficult to engage but everything looked fairly level. We drove about 20 miles to the scales and it tracked and rode great. I did not feel much sway or push from the passing semi’s going the other way. While at the scales I decided to see what would happen if I increased the WD 1 link.

1st pass on scale was TV + TT with WD engaged 6 links
2nd pass on scale was TV + TT with no WD
3rd pass on scale was TV + TT with WD engaged 5 links
4th pass on scales was TV solo

I’ve attached four photos of the CAT scale passes.

The third pass with one less link engaged brought the TT high in the front making me think that I’ll need a receiver that is a few inches lower than current - except I plan to add the 3” lift from Dexter on the new axles so that might mitigate that issue.

This is what I figured from the passes:

TT weight 4400lbs dry and unloaded. All the interior is still intact.
10-15% for tongue weight should be 440-660 lbs

Subtracting the TT Axle weights from each of the first three passes from the total TT weight is as follows:
1st =740lbs
2nd =760lbs
3rd = 640lbs

Looks like the third pass with the five links engaged gets me closest to the 15% number that we are looking for and also the front axle weight seems to be closest to the truck normal stance by itself.

I know these numbers are skewed due to the different hitch and receiver heights and the fact that there is no cargo or full tanks.

That being said:
1) have I used the correct weight readings to come up with my conclusions or am I off base?
2) will the new axles ( I am thinking of 3000lb GAWR axles) change the dynamics of the tongue weight dramatically?
3) If my tongue calculations are correct than I should be able to have an additional 1200lbs of cargo if needed. (My wife and I were in the truck for all weighs)
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Old 03-14-2021, 03:25 PM   #7
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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Forgot the pics

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Old 03-14-2021, 05:30 PM   #8
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
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Awesome project,
The Safari is a great size trailer.

Your awning looks identical to the one on my ‘77 Safari which is the original awning.

Ours is the centre twin and we find it to be an excellent layout.

Looking forward to following your progress.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:04 PM   #9
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 37
Thanks AldeanFan for confirming are thoughts on the awning. It’s in virtually perfect condition. We thought it probably hadn’t been unrolled in 35-40 years.

Has your awning held up well being this old?
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:19 PM   #10
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1977 23' Safari
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1971 Safari 23D Twin Axle Rebuild

Our awning is in pretty great shape,
We are the 3rd owner, the second owner who we bought her from said they rarely used the awning.

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Old 03-15-2021, 01:19 PM   #11
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1967 22' Safari
West Fork , Arkansas
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Ted & Melissa,
Bernice has a rather nice body for a 50 year old and it sounds like you realize the scope of restoration necessary. Keep us posted with photos as you move forward. I learned a bunch from what others have experienced too so don't hesitate to ask for ideas and suggestions.
Welcome!
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:22 PM   #12
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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Thanks! Her exterior is in great shape - a few minor dents on the forward banana wraps that I will likely hammer out. The windows are in need of new seals on the glass and the door was damaged during a break in that the PO suffered. There was also a blowout at one time on the street side and I’ll have to repair or replace the ill fitting patches. But those are all minor damages easily worked on. When we saw the quality of the exterior we knew this would be a good fit for my skill level.
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:28 PM   #13
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You’ll want to look for a rock guard or something to protect those front windows from rocks kicked up by your tow vehicle tires.

A broken window would sure ruin a trip and I understand replacements are expensive.
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:44 PM   #14
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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Thumbs up

For sure! There was one at one time and we asked the PO if she had it to a avail. The clips are still there but likely will need replacement. I’ll probably be adding something to the truck also - wouldn’t hurt to ‘layer’ the protection.
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:44 PM   #15
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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That should have read ‘to no avail’
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Old 03-15-2021, 04:16 PM   #16
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTDSilver71 View Post
For sure! There was one at one time and we asked the PO if she had it to a avail. The clips are still there but likely will need replacement. I’ll probably be adding something to the truck also - wouldn’t hurt to ‘layer’ the protection.
We just added WeatherTech mudflats to our 2020 F150. Easy installation and sure helps to keep the rock slinging down. I’m sure they have them for your 250.
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Old 03-15-2021, 04:22 PM   #17
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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I’ll take a look at those mudflats online. Are they permanently attached or only when you need them?
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Old 03-15-2021, 04:36 PM   #18
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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They’re easy enough to install, so I guess easy enough to remove. Though I wouldn’t want to keep removing and installing. They are specific to your model and come in different widths and lengths. I used Rock Tamers, but they were cumbersome. But they are wider and give more protection. And they’re removable. Just a couple of thoughts.
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:49 PM   #19
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
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We located the original 1971 owners manual!

Was reading it today and WOW! Fifty years have sure changed a lot.

I was thinking of reverting to the ‘Thermasan’ system pictured below. Sure would make dumping easier.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:14 PM   #20
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1968 17' Caravel
1967 22' Safari
Leawood , Kansas
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Looks like a very worthy trailer for your future efforts. I'll be following. Jerry
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