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Old 01-05-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1963 22' Safari
West Palm Beach , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 15
Replacement Bumper for 1963 22' Safari

I really appreciate all of the knowledge on this forum, thank you for sharing!

I am doing a complete renovation to my first Airstream, a 1963 22' Safari. I am just about finished with frame repair, and I am at the point where I need to acquire a replacement rear bumper.

I've searched the web and came across this option: https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-833.htm

I have a few questions:
  • Will this bumper work for my Airstream?
  • I see it is only available in aluminum. Is an aluminum bumper a good idea, or is steel preferable?
  • What's the process for welding an aluminum bumper to a steel frame?
  • Is anyone aware of better or less expensive options?

Thank you in advance to all those who help me out with these questions!

Best regards,
Justin
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:47 PM   #2
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1964 17' Bambi II
1961 24' Tradewind
Strasburg , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 687
Justin-


Welcome to the forums and congrats on your '63. That was a great year for Airstream!


The bumper option you mention can likely be made to work. You cannot weld steel to aluminum, so bolting would be required. As per which is better-steel or aluminum-in the case of this highly contoured shape, both are probably about as stout.


You can get a much stronger, cheaper, and yet still vintage look by having your local fabrication shop make some rectangular steel tube (2" x 4" tube) into a bumper. Ends "bend" in at a 20 degree angle. Mine was done at the local tech school after we slightly lengthened the chassis rails and had an aluminum box made to hold sewer hoses.


Total cost was no where near what VTS is charging for their pre-fab bumper and we could do some customization for our needs.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:58 PM   #3
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
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Posts: 4,361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinep View Post
I really appreciate all of the knowledge on this forum, thank you for sharing!

I am doing a complete renovation to my first Airstream, a 1963 22' Safari. I am just about finished with frame repair, and I am at the point where I need to acquire a replacement rear bumper.

I've searched the web and came across this option: https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-833.htm

I have a few questions:
  • Will this bumper work for my Airstream?
  • I see it is only available in aluminum. Is an aluminum bumper a good idea, or is steel preferable?
  • What's the process for welding an aluminum bumper to a steel frame?
  • Is anyone aware of better or less expensive options?

Thank you in advance to all those who help me out with these questions!

Best regards,
Justin
There are some photos here that show the original bumpers. The one from VTS looks similar to me, but definitely there is a difference.
http://vintageairstream.com/photo-ar...962-safari-22/
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:04 PM   #4
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1964 17' Bambi II
1961 24' Tradewind
Strasburg , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 687
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA BAMBI II View Post
Justin-
You can get a much stronger, cheaper, and yet still vintage look by having your local fabrication shop make some rectangular steel tube (2" x 4" tube) into a bumper. Ends "bend" in at a 20 degree angle. Mine was done at the local tech school after we slightly lengthened the chassis rails and had an aluminum box made to hold sewer hoses.

Some more recent pictures. We love the storage box! The early Airstreams are long on character, but short on storage.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:55 PM   #5
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1960 33' Custom
Athens , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I think if you check neither steel nor aluminum is actually available. I ended buying an original used bumper from a forum member which saved me from having to get something fabricated. I searched high and low for a new part even from Gruman Olsen but there was nothing at all.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:53 PM   #6
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1964 26' Overlander
Rancho Palos Verdes , California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 82
It might be worth a call to Inland RV, https://inlandrv.com

They have a fair stockpile of vintage Airstream parts and might have what you're looking for. I could have sworn someone mentioned a similar outfit closer to the east coast, but don't remember the name. If you use advanced search and look for "vintage parts" something might pop up.

Posting a 'Wanted' ad in the Airstream classified's is free. someone might have one sitting in their side yard that needs to find a home.
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