RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-04-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
bennyg's Avatar
1973 23' Safari
New Albany , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 43
Newbie just purchased '73 Land Yacht Safari-Gutting ?'s

Hi all I just purchased a 73 Safari and would like some guidance as to where to begin. The outside is in great condition and the inside is littered bad with mice droppings, as I have read is an issue with a lot of AS that sit for long periods. There are 2 noticeable small areas of floor rot. I want to totally renovate and modernize to my taste. So if anyone near Indiana wants a 73 safari interior let me know, IE cabinets, stove, fridge, etc. I am handy with plumbing, electricity, and carpentry. I just need to know where to begin. I want to gut completely. Install new floor, rewire, new insulation. I also want to do something with the interior skins, they are yellowed and moldy. The skins at each end are different looking than the rest of the AS interior skins. I guess my main 2 questions are: do i remove belly pan 1st? or do I remove all interior components and skin 1st? Also is the skin material in my AS zolatone or vinyl over clad? i have also read about compromising structural integrity by removing interior skin? but i have seen numerous pictures of gutted interiors with the shell on! When removing interior skin, I am assuming I need to photograph or video and number each piece to reinstall correctly? Also I would like to how to remove the interior skins. I am assuming again, although I shouldnt assume, that I just drill the rivets out. What size drill bit? I apologize for such a long post, but I have barely scratched surface. I hope someday soon I will be able to offer sound advice to other Airstreamers.

Thanks, Ben
bennyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,601
Ben The side belly wraps are attached to the shell so they must come off first if you intend to remove the shell. I have a 73 which I'm in the middle of a shell off restoration. My suggestion is to drop the belly pan and side wraps first while the weather is still good. That way you can inspect the frame for rust damage and the floor totally for rot. My floor looked not too bad from inside but once I dropped the pan I realized how bad it was. It will rot right where the shell attaches to the floor.

Then gut the interior after you determine if the shell must come off to replace/repair the frame and the floor.
The interior skins(panels) are vinyl clad aluminium and can be painted if you prep them properly first. You will not comprimise the integrity by removing the panels unless you want to travel without them. The shell will not fold in without them.
Yes to remove them just drill out the rivets with a 1/8" bit. Mark the back of each panel for location and direction. It helps to draw out a map of the trailer with locations of each panel.
The skins that you refer to at each end are known as the interior end caps and are made of plastic. They are quite heavy and awkward to handle once removed and are even harder to put back. Several hands make the job easier.
In brief make sure your frame/floor is sound. Then weatherproof the shell. Seal all openings like windows, door, compartment doors, roof vents, stink pipe vent covers, TV antenna and air conditioning.
Once the chassis is sound and the shell is water tight then you can do your renovations to the interior. Oh yeah make sure all your plumbing systems and propane systems are repaired and in good working order while you have the pan/ floor open. It's much easier to do before everything is closed in.
wasagachris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
Rivet Master
moparjohn's Avatar
1973 25' Tradewind
Bloomsbury , New Jersey
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 696
Images: 2
Welcome to the forums!! I might need some interior bits if you are going to gut and replace your Safari interior. Could you post some pics of the interior? Thanks and enjoy the site. MPJ
moparjohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Tom Nugler's Avatar

1972 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
McHenry County , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,171
Images: 5
Welcome to the Forum.
All good advice. Pay particular attention the rear floor and frame. They are prone to collecting water on the bumper covers, which runs inside wrecking the frame and floor.
Mine already had frame, and apparent, shell repairs but was still getting wet. There are threads about this problem and the fix.
Good luck. Enjoy the new project,

AirForums # 2806
WBCCI / VAC # 6411

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.
Avid supporter of trailing edge technology.
Tom Nugler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
Rivet Master
TouringDan's Avatar
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,809

We were all newbies once. Welcome to the forum. We are all here to help.

TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
bertro's Avatar
1971 23' Safari
Groveport , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 279
Images: 29
Hi Ben
Welcome to the forum and a fellow safari owner. Any help I can offer PM me.
bertro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 05:30 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
Rawfoodgirl3's Avatar

1973 23' Safari
Bethlehem , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 82
Images: 16
Hi Ben,

Welcome to the forum! Interested in tambour and a sink cover if you are willing to ship to PA.

Rawfoodgirl3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 06:02 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Excella 500
Spring Green , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 265
Hi Ben,

Welcome to the forums. We have a '73 that we are just starting to renovate as well, but we are going to stay pretty much with the original.

If your range is in reasonable condition we would definitely be interested. Also some tambour. Most of all, though we are looking for parts for the table.

I'll send you a PM to give you my contact information.
Lew TAC #WI-6
Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.
driftless is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1968 Safari 22' :: 1968 Airstream Safari Darrengj Airstream Registry Discussions 1 02-09-2020 08:28 AM
Our '56 Safari (aka Our Retirement Home) SafariSteve 1956 Safari 41 09-04-2013 06:55 PM
New owners of a 2008 Safari Sport 22' nesvt Member Introductions 7 10-03-2011 12:35 PM
Safari :: 2006 Airstream Safari SE Mrs Silverback Airstream Registry Discussions 0 08-19-2011 09:31 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.