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Old 01-03-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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1954 Safari



Finally got my hands on the old family trailer. A 1955 Safari. The trailer came with a small campground my grandparents had purchased in the early 80's in Western New York. The best decision they have ever made. A couple years in my Stepfather (Mike) bought the trailer and still owned it when he had first met my mother and I was just a little Jonny Five. Not sure I ever actually slept in the trailer, I always had to bring a tent, but always loved that thing.

Time went on, Mike upgraded his trailer a couple times (I remained in a tent). The trailer was passed between some aunts/uncles/cousins for years, and was then left to sit for 12 years! I grew up, camp closed down to the public, but I finally talked my hesitant cousin into letting it go for a bottle of Blackberry Brandy (I waited until he had plenty in him) and a Polish T-shirt. This all happened couple hundred feet from where the trailer at a campfire at Mike site, who started with the Silver Bullet and has since upgraded to a two story cabin and became a complete camp junky, as we all had.

I was finally in.... and have developed a slight obsession with it. Looking forward to the restoration process, and as you can see, she was in pretty rough shape.

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Old 01-03-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
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I was thinking that 1955 was the first year for window cranks, I see you have sliders. It may be a '54 that sold a year later, of course I'm sure a real expert will chime in on that.

It looks like you have the basis for a nice trailer!
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:00 PM   #3
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1964 22' Safari
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Welcome!
What a awesome score, a 55 Safari. You definitely have your work cut out for you.
This is the place to get started. There are so many people here who are willing to share knowledge and ideas, plus tons of past posts on so many subjects, it is incredible and invaluable. Keep us posted on the work.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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You have what appears to be a "Front Kitchen" model. Really cool trailer (have one myself). Shari Davis did a great write-up and restore of the one she has of which you can find under the Safari area on the forums under the year 1956 if memory is correct.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:04 PM   #5
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1991 34' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair View Post
You have what appears to be a "Front Kitchen" model. Really cool trailer (have one myself). Shari Davis did a great write-up and restore of the one she has of which you can find under the Safari area on the forums under the year 1956 if memory is correct.

Enjoy,
Does your '55 have window cranks?
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:39 PM   #6
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I have an 1956 and yes, it has window cranks. If memory is correct, the Front Kitchens were only made in the years of 1954, 1955 and 1956.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:46 AM   #7
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Gulfport , Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
I was thinking that 1955 was the first year for window cranks, I see you have sliders. It may be a '54 that sold a year later, of course I'm sure a real expert will chime in on that.

It looks like you have the basis for a nice trailer!
According to vintageairstream.com's website, the VIN shows it to be 1954. Here's the link.

1954 Safari 22' - Vintage Airstream

What a great Airstream with rich family history! Good luck on your project.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:37 AM   #8
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What fun!!!! It's a keeper!
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:38 PM   #9
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Wow.... Looks like your right! I was told it was a 54 but unofficial paperwork said 55
Thanks for the link and info. I wonder if I can move this thread
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
Join Date: May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair View Post
You have what appears to be a "Front Kitchen" model. Really cool trailer (have one myself). Shari Davis did a great write-up and restore of the one she has of which you can find under the Safari area on the forums under the year 1956 if memory is correct.

Enjoy,
Yes. The "It's a Girl" Thread. That was one of the first threads I went through. They did amazing work. I've got a lot of work to do if I want to compete with some of the work I've seen on here.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:12 PM   #11
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1963 26' Overlander
Hollis , New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonn Five View Post
Wow.... Looks like your right! I was told it was a 54 but unofficial paperwork said 55
Thanks for the link and info. I wonder if I can move this thread
I'll move it to the 1954 safari forum and change the first threads title so it can be found by the search function.

Nice trailer! Good luck
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:37 PM   #12
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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So I had the summer to make some progress on it. Unfortunately its 1.5 hours away, so I only get the weekends to work on it, and heavy snow causes an issue getting there in the winter.

The interior was pretty much shot with water damage and plenty of critter crud. I gave the paint a quick scrap and gutted the interior. Pretty nasty job, but didn't take too long. I saved most of the pieces for templates in the future. Not sure I'm going to use the old appliances, but the fridge still cranks pretty well. I am not very comfortable with the old gas equipment, but I'm sure they work fine as well.

The floor was pretty much rotted out completely, which actually helped a lot. I do not envy the person who has to tear out a solid floor with those elevator bolts! The frame was in pretty good shape, but need a little reinforcement by the door. The wheel wells were pretty much rotted out and had to be rebuilt. Everything was sealed with aluminum... No more critters gettin in there!

I would have loved to lift the shell and do it right, but don't really have the appropriate resources. I decided to slid the new deck (3/4 PT) under the walls. This went very smoothly and tightened up nice. Its not actually fastened to the C-channel underneath the wall, but nothing budges. I don't plan on towing it anywhere. It hasn't moved in 25 years, and I'm hoping it'll be there for another 25! I was pretty excited to get the floor in, so me and Dakota slept in it that night on some cardboard. I have since upgraded to an air mattress.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:52 PM   #13
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Posts: 12
The next step was dealing with the paint. There was 2 layers of latex over the zolatone. I started with stripping it with Citistrip, but proved to be to much for me. I ended up sanding and chipping the loose paint of with scuff pad on a grinder and a drill. It has an imperfect smooth texture to it, but I was pretty happy with the results. I bought a Graco Airless Sprayer so I could spray the interior. A great investment and not too expensive. Very easy cleanup and high quality. I only got to spray the primer before winter hit, and this is where I am at now until the snow stops and temps warm up. I used etching primer on the bare aluminum. I missed a couple spots and it started to peel off the aluminum...one of many lessons I will learn I'm sure.

Thank you to everyone for the information and help. The site has been a great resource since I joined is going to be a great benefit in the future. Can't wait to get back to it!
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:00 PM   #14
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinergirl View Post
I'll move it to the 1954 safari forum and change the first threads title so it can be found by the search function.

Nice trailer! Good luck
Thank you! Much appreciated. That was easier than I thought! Everyone is so helpful.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:06 PM   #15
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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A cool little model I seen at the hobby store. I love those white walls!
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:54 PM   #16
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Update (1 year later)

Been a while since my last update. The winter was rough and I couldn't make it down to the property until Spring. I was excited to see how my paint job held up.... the end result was not so good. I was forced to scrape and sand down all the walls again! The price I pay for rushing the job and trying to beat the clock. It did however it make all the weak spots stand out where moisture was getting in and I was able to seal them up. This time around I went with an etching primer on the first coat followed by regular primer out of a spray gun, although I believe the main cause of peeling paint was due to very cold weather and not cleaning the surface well enough (lesson well learned).

I was tired of sleeping on the floor so I figured I'd start with the bed once the paint dried up. I thought about many different flooring options and had a hard time deciding what to do. It's very moist where it sits and it sees some harsh winters and hot summers. I went with a sheet of laminate for under the bed. Cheap, easy and no seams for moisture to drop in.

The framing was fairly simple and I had saved the previous curved patterns. Luckily an old double mattress I had fit pretty snug against the curved wall where the curved mattress used to be. The small gap is going to be filled in with a shelf. It's nice to finally get a nice nights sleep in this thing.

I am in the process of finishing up the rest of the floor with a Pergo-like plank flooring. I was very hesitant to do the laminate, as it does not do well with water, but I can keep everything but air moisture out at this point. I already got a few scratches in the new flooring with stones stuck on my boots, but I may enforce a no shoe policy. Worst case scenario it was cheap and will be easy to tear up if the time comes. For now, I couldn't be happier with the result. I'll post some final flooring photos when its done.

Anyway... some photos below for those who are interested.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:59 PM   #17
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1955 22' Safari
Cheektowaga , New York
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Exterior Progress

In addition to working on the interior, I have to keep up with the campsite as well! Gotta have a nice area for happy hour!
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:32 PM   #18
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Looking great!
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