Sunday, March 16, 2014

Airstream Safari 1967

Well, and then there were two!! Our driveway is getting a little bit congested.

So, on the left is our new (well old) Airstream Safari. It is a 1967 and is 22 feet long. Minus the hitch of course which makes the cabin 19 feet. Moving from the 18 foot Caravel to the 22 foot safari is a four foot increase in size. You wouldn't think that four feet of interior space would make that big of a difference but it sure does. If you are new to Airstreams, I should note that most trailers give you the size of the actual box but in Airstream lingo, they give you the size from the tow hitch ball all the way to the end of the box. This means that you must deduct three feet from the measurement to get the actual cabin size. This means that a 22 ft Airstream has a cabin size of 19 ft and a 18 ft Airstream has a cabin size of 15 feet.
On the right is the rear end of the 1969 Caravel which we have sold. You can see it's transformation in previous blogs. The outsides look very different because the Caravel has been painted silver by a PO (previous owner) . The Safari just has the regular oxidized finish on it. That is 45 years of oxidation !

Here are the rear ends of both of them. The PO built the box behind the Safari to hold the black water tank hose. It is coming off.

The original layout of our model looks like this:

This is what ours looked like when we bought her. Warning this is not for the faint of heart!

This is the front end. When you walk into the trailer it is on your right.

 This is the refrigerator.

 Where the gaucho used to be there is a dinette. A gaucho is similar to a futon. It is a couch by day and it folds out to become a bed by night.
 Here is the lovely bathroom. For some reason someone had taken out the tub and installed some shelving instead.
 Here is the other side of the bathroom. There is a closet and a sink.
 Full view of the interior to the left of the door,

 The heater.

As we started this journey, our plan was to "fix up" the inside. But as with all good plans circumstances changed all of that pretty quickly.

Mark, my Superman hubby, took a closer look at the floor, which according to the PO was "solid". But, we don't really blame him because he probably didn't know about the damage and besides many old trailers have water leak issues and we should have known better. But, here it was-floor rot.

 So, this picture was taken of the front of the trailer- underneath the long bench-where the fresh water tank sat. Nasty business.

And of course under the toilet and shower there was rot as well.

We were lucky in that our trailer didn't need a new subfloor because we would not have been able to take the shell off.  But we did gut the entire trailer, not the interior walls, but everything else.

While doing research on the net and of course the Airstream Forum, we soon learned that we probably needed a new axle. There is a picture on the net of a guy driving down the road, happy as can be, when suddenly his axle snapped in two in the middle and the tires were pushed into the sides of the trailer. What a horror! Anyhow, we contacted Andy at Inland RV in Southern California and ordered a new one-stat ! Probably a good decision since the old one looked like this:

So, the new one looks a little bit better!

At this point we realized that we needed a grey water tank. Newer trailers come with both a grey water tank and a black water tank. The black water tank is for the toilet water and the grey water tank is for all the other kinds of water you will use. Back in the days when these trailers were made they didn't have grey water tanks. People just let their grey water drain out at their campsites. Of course, that is no longer acceptable and in fact, there are some campsites that require you to have a grey water tank. So, we ordered a new grey water tank and while we were at it we bought a new black water tank as well.

Off we go back to the inside. After having attended several Airstream rallies and having seen lots of other Airstream interiors we learned that it is not mandatory to stay original. Of course, there are some folks who strongly believe that, like a vintage car, all old Airstreams should remain as true to their original interiors as possible. But, there are many Airstreamers who just do whatever they want on the inside. After much thinking, we concluded that we belong to the latter group.

It was very important to me to have a permanent bed. Our model did not have a permanent bed. The front area was a dinette that converted to a bed and the side area was a gaucho. When the gaucho was a couch, all was well, but if you pulled it down to be a bed it used up much of the interior walking space. I just felt that if I was tired, it would be so nice to just plop down on a nice comfy mattress, without having to set it up first.

At first, our thoughts were to place the bed in the back of the trailer. This would have required us to build a toilet room in the middle, on the side of the trailer, and a shower room on the opposite side or next to the toilet room.  After having read or heard somewhere, that one of the nice design features of Airstreams is that the center interior is left open to give  the illusion of  more space, we decided to stick with their plan and keep the bathroom in the back. Had we purchased a larger trailer, this might not have been such an issue but since ours is only 22ft minus 3ft for the hitch, the cabin is little at only 19ft. So, the roomier we could make it feel the better.

The interior of the trailer had been painted a peachy color. So, it was time to strip that off.


This was a total waist of time. Because, after many hours of sanding-the wife (that would be me) said
 "Honey, wouldn't it be cool if the interior walls were all wood ?? " To which the husband said "what a brilliant and smart and beautiful woman you are-what a great idea!!" Ok, I lie. It went more like "what the $%%#**  ??" "Couldn't you have come up with that idea before I started sanding??" Ain't love grand ?
So, the front window area went from this:

 to this:

Of course, the trim isn't in yet in this picture.

We decided to put the permanent bed in the front. So, it was time to frame that in.

And a little nightstand.

Even though the old fridge was working, it was big and heavy and not very energy efficient so we bought a new one.

Here is the new one, without the front panel on it, in it's new cabinet.

The dinette area will be where the gaucho was and where the PO had also put a dinette area. Here are the seats being framed in.

 And a peek looking toward the back.

A shot of the new galley being built.

We also found a bathtub from a similar model Airstream. Of course it's a little bit dirty but we will paint it.

Ok, made a bit more progress. Here are some pics-haven't "staged" anything yet, will get to that later on. Here is the front bedroom with nightstand. The platform has hydraulic lifts so we can access the fresh water tank and storage area.

The little radio is pretty cool because it has a USB port so we can listen to the iPod on it-how vintage is that ??

Here is the dinette-again this is where the gaucho should be.

We had the cushion made by an upholster. They are a leather type heavy duty vinyl. I bought the microwave at Amazon for $ 80.00. It's so cute!

We realized that we were never going to hang ball gowns in the closet so we put drawers in instead.

A shot of the galley!

The bathroom.

I found the handles on Ebay-they were old "new" stock. That means they were made years ago but never used. The red parts are bakelite.

 Here are some more pics of the galley.

A nice deep sink was important so we aren't splashing water all over the place!

Cut a piece of Corian to fit over the stove to create an extra cutting surface.

And we did some polishing:

Check out the bumper-It's from a 1948 Cadillac!!

And of course, you're not glamping without the chandeliers!!!!

I found some vintage crochet pattern on line and made these pillows to go in the trailer.

We will take some more pics when we get a few more things done. If you have any ideas or suggestions please let us know!!

1 comment:

  1. so glad that you found that floor rot. It has saved you so much future trouble. I know you are going to have wonderful times in this caravan.