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Old 10-09-2012, 06:41 AM   #1
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
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Smile The Chronicle of My New-To-Me 2008 25' Safari SE FB!

I'm starting a thread to keep track of all the personalizing that I will be doing to my new-to-me Dream Airstream, a 2008 25' Safari SE FB Queen.

I bought it on September 24, 2012 and towed it home from Missouri. It had only been used a handful of times by both the previous owners. I paid $38,500 for it and had to add about $2,500 in taxes, fees and plate transfers when I got it home to Ohio.

This trailer had been stored in a cave in Missouri whenever it wasn't being camped in - hence, due to climate control in caves, it had never been winterized, never seen the sun and, except for a doink by the first owner who let the awning arm swing and crash into the trailer to the left of the door, is pristine!

The inside looks like it was never use. The stove and oven have never been cooked in/on, the shower is perfect - everything is just what I was hoping for when I was looking for this particular model of Airstream. I love the double sink in the kitchen!

So, all that being said, I'm embarking on a journey to 'make it mine'.
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:56 AM   #2
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Give the Queen Bed A King-Feel

My first project was to enlarge the bed as much as possible to give the queen bed a king-feel. I did not want to lose the little night table so I left the bed at the head alone.

I felt the space between the forward side of the bed and the wall with the Panoramic windows was a waste - who can walk in there anyway? I decided to fill that in and move the mattress down about 5" to make it a standard length.

I constructed a platform to hold the extension and then added plywood to the edge of the lifting deck. I made the foot of the bed strong enough to 'take a knee' as Brian will be getting in and out of bed via the foot of the bed because he got the inside spot on the bed.

I filled in the space at the head of the bed and the side with 6" (the thickness of the mattress) firm foam. I purchased a slightly used memory foam 2 1/2" topper from someone and cut it to fit (around the night table and a bit off the side). This made the transition from the mattress to the added foam undetectable.

Additionally, I had read some threads about moisture under the mattress being a problem due to heat/cold (from the outside storage bin) so I pieced a sheet of 1/2" styro-board insulation between the deck and mattress. I cut the insulation at the 'break' where the hinge is and put some duct tape over the cut so it opens without disrupting everything.

I topped the topper with a dual control heated mattress pad, another plain mattress pad and then the sheets and cotton blanket. Lastly is our wonderful down blanket.

I also took some advice from another 'streamer' and added a webbing loop at the foot of the bed to aid with lifting and lowering the deck with mattress, etc. This was a brilliant idea and works like a charm!

So, below are my pictures....the job came out excellent! I have yet to sleep on it but that day is coming very soon! I've been told that it has the feel (to the hand) of a water bed.

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Liz, Brian and 3 Yorkies

The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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Wink Where To Put The Kleenex Box?

My second project involves the Kleenex boxes - I use a ton of Kleenex in the kitchen for wiping up little spills, etc. As well, I couldn't find a spot in the bedroom to put one, other than the head of the bed which wasn't acceptable.

My solution was to go to Hobby Lobby and for $5 purchase an unfinished wooden Kleenex box holder with a sliding wood bottom. I modified this a bit by gluing a rectangle of plywood a bit thicker than the space from the sliding bottom to where it sits on the table and then I spray painted it silver. I screwed the bottom to 1. under the kitchen cabinet and 2. on the side of the wardrobe in the bedroom.

The bedroom one is awesome because I solved another problem - that being where did I put my tea cup in the morning while I was laying like a slug looking out my awesome panoramic windows? On top of the Kleenex holder now!

There was one glitch with the design - the Kleenex boxes are a bit too tall - no problem - I cut the bottom 1/2" or so of the box off and it worked great.

To refill, just slide the box part off the attached bottom and re-load. Easy Breezy!

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Liz, Brian and 3 Yorkies

The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
Hensley Swift-Arrow Hitch
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:12 AM   #4
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The Bathroom Kleenex Box and Another Mirror

I was trying to figure out where to put the Kleenex in the bathroom and discovered that a box 'jams' into the shelf above the sink quite nicely!

As well, I wanted another mirror in the bathroom because that slanted one on the door of the cabinet give me a somewhat 'distorted' look. I solved this by purchasing a Mirror Placemat at the Goodwill for $4. I mounted it against the wall with the doorway and used 3 mirror holders (1/8"). Now I have a nice beveled edge mirror in the bathroom!

You will see from the picture that I have added a toothbrush cup and towel ring. Soon to come will be a single handle faucet.
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:21 AM   #5
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Cracked Fantastic Fan Trim Ring and NO Reverse Feature

I noticed that the inside trim ring on the Fantastic Fan in the bedroom was all cracked. Also, I don't find any switch that will reverse the action of the blades (I've had Fantastic Fans in the past and they had this feature).

I called the Fantastic Fan Co. and spoke with a very, very nice man, Bob, who said that the company would replace the trim ring - pre-2009 would have to pay shipping. He asked what trailer I had and I said Airstream - he said that would require the curved trim ring - WHAT? Both my fans have straight trims - I could see some fiberglass hanging out of the edge on one of them.....He said no problem - he is sending me two new trim rings for the cost of shipping.

When I asked about the reverse option, he gave me the number of a place where I can buy a pre-wired switch to change out the 'off/on' one that is there. I ordered two for $25 each - Bob said to call him when I get them and he would talk me through how to put them on.

Wonderful! I will post about it when those come!
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
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Regarding Towing With Air Suspension

I tow my trailer with a 2006 Lincoln Navigator. The car has air suspension. When we took possession of the trailer in Missouri, it was from the previous owner. My car has a trailer brake controller on it already. I though we could hook up and go.

It seemed like we could. We put the trailer on the car (Equalizer Hitch) and it appeared level. We took off down the road and it only took a few dozen miles to realize that something was wrong. The car was being thrown all over the road...it was scarey!

Fortunately, we had passed the very dealership that this trailer had originally been purchased from - Bill Thomas Airstreams in St. Louis. We called there and they were more than willing to help - unfortunately, we had to drive about 150 miles to get there and they would be closed when we arrived - no problem - they have full hook-up pads - first come, first served. We made it and got the last spot!

In the morning, we got out the owners manual for the car and referred to the towing section. A detailed proceedure was in there for setting up a load-distributing hitch. We followed this - which included taking measurements front and rear, switching off the air suspension, etc. It turned out that the hitch was not properly set for my car - the service manager came out and got us all set up - No Charge!

We took off down the road with a much better handling car - the ride home was not white-knuckle like the day before - easy breezy! God is Good!

And you've got to love those McKesh Towing Mirrors!
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:20 AM   #7
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Unhappy Leaky Window and Seal Tech Test

While driving the new trailer home we had dry weather - until we hit Ohio. While in a rest area, I went in to check the dry-ness of the trailer - UH OH! - Water at the back window - both sides of the middle one in the Panoramic.

First order of business when I got home was to look up online who does the Seal Tech test in NE Ohio. I made an appointment with All Seasons RV in Streetsboro, OH.

The test took about an hour - consisted of hooking a big hose to the inside of the fantastic fan vent. A big fan then sucks air into the trailer. With it all closed up, the tech goes around with a yard-type sprayer filled with very soapy water and starts spraying on all seams, lights, windows - where it bubbles, there is a leak. The tech has a diagram of the trailer and circles where he finds leaks.

On my trailer, there were 2 or 3 minor leaks near the bottom and BOTH opening panoramic windows leaked - it seems they are not touching the gaskets! (as I suspected). The roof was A-ok.

I'm going to try to tighten up the window latches and get those suckers to seal up. I'll apply some silicone to the gasket and see if that helps. They are not sealing properly from about 1/2 way up, all the way to the hinge. I think the latches are too loose and am hoping that will do it. It appears to be an easy fix.

I'll report back after I make this repair.
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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Angry Why Ever Did They Put The Water Pump There????

As I mentioned, this trailer has never been winterized. Otherwise, the placement of the water pump (by the factory) would have been addressed before now.

What the heck was Airstream thinking about when they put that pump in? And the filter???!!! Who, but someone with 4' long arms, could reach that filter and clean it? Horrible design!

I want to put a winterizing kit on the pump but I can't begin to work on it because: 1. It is too far back in the cupboard under the wardrobe, 2. it is installed sideways and I can't see the back valve, 3. the cupboard door is too small to get both arms/hands in to work......dreadful design!

I have an appointment with Airstream at Jackson Center on October 29 to have the water pump moved to a more user-friendly position and to have a winterizing kit installed - as well, I think I will have the Shurflo Accumulator Tank installed at the same time to eliminate some of the surge.

On the good side, we'll take the Factory tour and enjoy that while they are fixing this blunder. I'm planning on scavenging a few rivets from the floor as we go around on the tour to replace any that pop out inside my camper (there are 3 now).
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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Congratulations on your AS. I also have a 25 footer (after camping in a 31 footer for 2 years). I love our newer AS, but storage is a challenge for me. I am getting used to it though. I am really loving your posts, especially about your add-ons. Keep those good ideas coming!
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:08 PM   #10
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be careful with the tension on those windows. if they're too tight they can pop when the trailer flexes.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #11
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I have an appointment with Airstream at Jackson Center on October 29 to have the water pump moved to a more user-friendly position and to have a winterizing kit installed - as well, I think I will have the Shurflo Accumulator Tank installed at the same time to eliminate some of the surge.

If you have the variable speed water pump a Shurflo Accumulator is not recommended. If you need an accumulator I have a new one for sale. I purchased it then found out I can't use it.

On winterizing, you may want to look at the owners manual and see what Airstream had in mind. Some trailers just drain well with a compressor, they don't need anti-freeze pumped in. Just a spash in the drains.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:39 PM   #12
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:40 AM   #13
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The Fantastic Fans Close In The Rain And The Trailer Gets Hot

I found that the Fantastic Fans with the rain sensors work very well! When it rains, they close (turning off in the process). After a while, they re-open and start running again.

Problem: We travel with 3 Yorkies and if we leave them in the trailer with the fans providing air circulation and coolness and it would rain, it would be a problem for their well-being because the trailer could get hot.

Solution: Yesterday we went to Camping World and had the (new?) Maxxair II Vent Covers installed on both roof vents. Now, if it rains, they will stay open (unless it rains sideways!), the dogs will be comfortable and so will we if it rains while we're in there!

No-air-flow = bad, air-flow-even-if-raining = good!

This particular model offers twice as much vent area and has hinged brackets for easy opening and cleaning. I got them on sale at $43 each with $12 for installation. Plus I got an extra discount for my Good Sam Membership!

MaxxAir II Vent Covers - Product - Camping World
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:31 AM   #14
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Where To Put Wet Towels?

Problem: Where do you put wet towels after showering? And, where do you put the dry one you will want after you finish your shower?

Solution: Camping World comes to the rescue again - clear lucite hooks - single or double - inexpensive and effective! I put two singles to hang on the inside of the shower door to hang the wet towels on after we're done showering and one double on the outside to hold the 'waiting dry towel' for the person showering! (and temporarily hold the wet towel of the person who is done) These hang over the top of the shower door!

Over-the-Door Hooks - Product - Camping World
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2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:41 AM   #15
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Where Do You Put Your Shower Stuff?

Problem: My shampoo bottles, soaps, scrubber, etc. fly all over the shower when we are traveling.

Solution: Walmart comes to the rescue with a corner suction cup basket that sticks like glue to the smooth surface of my shower - very effective fix and inexpensive at around $7. I don't have to drill any holes either!

Mainstays Suction Corner Basket, Chrome: Furniture : Walmart.com

And while we're on the subject, Walmart has an assortment of baskets that hang with big suction cups - these work really well on the aluminum inside skin of the trailer - no holes needed:

I have this one in my kitchen to hold my dish soap, etc. and the same one in our bedroom to hold our books (for reading in bed)!

Mainstays Suction Basket, Satin Nickel: Furniture : Walmart.com
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmtreegirl
I tow my trailer with a 2006 Lincoln Navigator. The car has air suspension. ...
I tow our 27FB with an Expedition that has the rear air suspension also. It makes the initial setup of the hitch a real challenge as it works against what you are trying to accomplish with the WD bars. The correct way is to turn off the system. The switch for mine is somewhat hidden. Your Navigator's owners manual should show where it is. Mine is located in the corner below and behind the glove compartment at the right where the carpet, right side plastic kick panel and the firewall all intersect. I can see it with a flashlight if kneeling outside of the car and looking in almost at floor level. Once found, I can operate it by feel sitting in the passenger seat. Some believe it is best to tow with it off. I've had very satisfactory results by doing the hitch setup adjustments with it off and remembering which chain link to use on the bars and then I leave the air suspension on full time after that.

It sounds like you're having fun personalizing your new Airstream. The pics are great and you seem to be having a good time with your new find.

RE: The non-reversing "feature" of the factory installed Fantastic fans was decided by someone who believes that a fan in proximity to the tank vent on the roof may draw in unpleasant odors. I guess that person never flushed the pot with the fans on exhaust and got a whiff in that enclosed space! Most of the aftermarket Fantastic fans have the reversing switch as standard. I've done the switch mod on my fans and appreciate having the choice as to which way the fans blow. Setting one on in and the other on out guarantees good airflow if you need to keep the windows closed.

RE: Shower stuff. I found a 3-product wall mount pump dispenser at Lowe's for the body wash, shampoo, etc. it mounts to the shower wall with silicone adhesive, no drilling or screws required. The DW keeps all her stuff in a small plastic basket that sits on the seat in the shower and we move it to the shower floor along with the shower head for travel.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:11 AM   #17
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Fantastic Fans and Pantry Shelves

Yesterday I installed the reverse switches on the two fantastic fans. The nice man from the Fantastic Fan Co. helped me over the phone. He talked me through the first one and I handled the second after that. Two words:
Easy Breezy!

I also installed the special curved trim rings that are specially made for Airstreams. They look so much nicer than the straight ones that the installer tried to make look curved (which is why one broke). I would recommend both these upgrades to anyone with a Fantastic Fan in an Airstream. (If you read earlier - Fantastic Fan Co. will send the replacement trim ring for just the cost of shipping for years 2008 and earlier and Free to 2009 and later.

Now that I have the MaxxAir2 hoods, reverse switches and trim rings, my roof vent fans are all done!

The other thing that I wanted was more shelves in the rolling pantry. Airstream gives you 3 - the pantry needed more. The AS Factory sells these for $27.06 each plus shipping. I was searching around the Forum yesterday and found that someone had found them somewhere else and much cheaper!
This is what you're looking for:
Pantry Roll-Out Storage Baskets | Pull-Out Baskets |
At $16.99 plus some shipping and no tax, I ordered two! I had an email that they are already shipped out via FedEx....I should have them tomorrow! Yay!
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:53 AM   #18
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Stainless Steel Vent Cover and Furnace and Water Heater Doors

Ok folks, I searched and hunted and found what I was looking for:

I want the stainless steel covers for the range exhaust, furnace door and water heater door. At the AS store, these are $129, $104 and $104. I found (thanks to another Airstreamer's thread) these products for $25 each!

I just placed my order and they will be sending them via UPS.

If you are interested, call this number and ask for Ken Maynard in the parts dept: 1-817-596-0050. That's $75 for all three pieces in Stainless Steel - the shipping is around $10.

Cha-ching! Deal of the day! I just love to save money!

I will report on the installation of these when they arrive (with pictures).
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

2008 25' Safari FB SE Queen converted to King
2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
McKesh towing mirrors
Centramatic Balancers
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:19 AM   #19
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Love the detailed updates. Keep them coming. I would like to see photos of your new stainless steel covers when you get them installed.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:35 AM   #20
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Update on the Pantry Baskets

The Pantry Baskets that I ordered on Wednesday arrived on Thursday!

They are an exact match for the ones provided by Airstream. I'll post a picture later.

I highly recommend the company they came from!
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The Silver Pearl & The Black Pearl

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2014 Ford Expedition EXP Limited 4x4 V-8
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