Tuesday, July 28, 2009

These are some of the beautiful Airstreams that were attending the Four Corners Units Vintage Restoration Rally in Albuquerque New Mexico in April.

I'm partial to the whale tails.

Look at all those shiny panels!

This one looks kind of nondescript.

I took this picture because it was also a 1964 model.

Then I found out it belongs to non-other than Fred Coldwell, our esteemed Airstream historian.

I learned a lot from Fred both in the seminar he presented to us and just sitting and chatting with him. He's a very generous guy with his time and information. If you ever run into him you will find out what I mean.

This one has a really cool spare tire cover, though it's a bit banged up. This is the first one like it I've seen.

There were some really interesting interiors also but I was too busy visiting to take pictures. One of the seminar presenters is also a cabinet maker and he has a beautiful hickorywood interior with a custom layout.

We attended seminars on Zolatone application, riveting, solar power, exterior panel replacement, cabinetmaking, air-conditioner replacement, polishing, axles and suspension, refrigerators and the difference between the trailers made in Ohio as opposed to California. The last was presented by Fred Coldwell and was based on a report made in the mid sixties by Airstream. This was the most interesting part for me because it was done at the same time they were building my safari. We saw the different layouts and how they reflected which factory built them, and learned that the wheel well cutouts were at different heights from each factory, which makes old the idea that you can tell the condition of the axles on an Airstream by how much tire is showing.

Now, on to uglier things:

I took pictures at every step of the dismantleing of the safari but I won't bore you with all 350 of them. This is the back after removal of the cabinets. I've exposed the vent pipe for the black tank and the water heater, along with the whole electrical mess in the back corner.

This is what the ceiling looks like from above. It was a real pain to remove this piece. It's two large pieces buck riveted together. It measures about seven by twelve feet. I ended up having to drill out the bucked rivets to get this out of the trailer. I was told later that these probably came in through the front window. There's no way this came in through the door.

Miles of pink insulation. This part was in the best shape of all of it. Hardly any mouse trails.

This was also my first look at the wiring.

It looks great! There was only one place that I found a problem. The guy who drilled for the interior panel rivets hit a 110volt line at the back, but he was lucky in that it never arced across the wires. The drill had stripped through both insulated wires and marked the ground wire too.

Here's a look at the inside of the shell just after stripping out the insulation.

Wires, wires everywhere.

I got a wiring diagram with my safari so I pulled it out and went through the whole thing at this point. It was a perfect match, which suprised me. I thought it was strange that there was any diagram at all for something like this, much less one that was correct. I even found the coil of wire in the ceiling for the air-conditioner option, which I don't have.

Now this was a real b!t3h to remove. The rivets were numerous, and some had been replaced with stainless or something like it. I broke two drill bits just on this one piece. After drilling for an hour or so, I couldn't find anymore rivets, and it wasn't budging so I grabbed hold of the top center edge and pulled down with almost all of my weight. It finally popped loose. Then I had to take a break and let the fiberglass dust settle. Good time for a Black Dragon Stout, from our local brewery. We get it by the growler, which is just right for two, unless there only happens to be one person around. Then it's perfect for one!

Here's the obligatory shot of the stanky mess under my floor, and yours, if you haven't cleaned up down there recently.

This is a shot looking forward. You can see the "A" frame and crossmembers. The umbilical cord connections are in the section where I pulled out some of the insulation on the right. There was a good coating of protective RUST over the whole frame.

The insulation was so deteriorated that I was able to vacuum it up with a shop vac.

Here's another shot looking towards the rear. You can see in this one how I cut the floor into pieces and pulled them up one at a time. Then I pryed up the strips that were left and broke or cut them out. next came the bolt cutters to remove the old floor bolts. Then a good cleaning.

You can see the one intact piece of insulation in this picture. I don't know why this one held up when the rest of it went to crap.

And yes, that is a chicken strutting by the back hatch.

This last picture is where I was at about two weeks ago. I wire brushed the frame, used a jasco rust convertor, and then primed and painted it with fire engine red rustoleum. I really like a red frame. It looks fast just sitting there.

This is the first piece of flooring going back in. I used 5/8" smooth-faced siding with rabbeted edges. This comes in 48-1/2" widths, so you can keep the seams on center with the existing bolt holes in the frame. I glued all of the seams when I installed each piece, with titebond III exterior wood glue. The panels were cut to size and shape, then sealed with water-based floor finish. Then I primed the edges with Kilz primer and painted them with some old exterior latex paint I had on hand. That's why the lovely lavender color!

I had to lift the shell a little bit to get the floor under it . That's why the jack is there. I put another 2 x 4 horizontally at the top of the one in the picture that spans the frame members of the shell. This made it easy to lift as needed. I did the same thing at the back when I installed the last piece of the floor last weekend.

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the work presented here. I have a short-term goal of taking this to Burningman in four weeks, so I am on a fast track towards having it usable. I'm working on the shell insulation now, and getting the additional wires into place for some things I want to add in the future like speakers and a drop down tv. I also have a new Progressive Dynamics convertor/ panel/ charge wizard in hand. I can't wait to get to that part of this project.

Good day to you all.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Been way too long....

Hello fellow bloggers and others,

It has been sooo long since my last posting I feel like a virgin again.

Life has been keeping me busy and lots has happened with the Safari. After my last post I got myself into high gear and cleaned everything inside and out and got ready for a first voyage. I planned a trip to Big Sur over the New Years holiday. My dear wife, Britt helped pack and get everything ready while I made certain that the Safari was going to be comfortable for us. I didn't want to use the furnace due to several cautions from experienced friends (thanks!) so I packed a small 110v oil filled room heater into the streetside closet, along with a couple of folding wooden chairs and a small table about 24" by 36" with folding legs, that I made from an old ping pong table. I got all of the curtains back up. When I bought the Safari the curtains were in tatters and it was not clear to anyone where they all went, so I sorted that out finally and made note of the sizes and locations of all of them for future replacement. I have hemp and silk fabric to make new ones from, eventually (thanks, Britt). So for now I just hung the tatters up again for some privacy and warmth. I bought a greywater tote and a shower curtain, a carpet runner to keep the toes warm, a couple of stainless martini "glasses" from Anymountain, and numerous other things to pamper us for a few days.

I made reservations at http://www.fernwoodbigsur.com/ Fernwood Resort, which is a small campground in the Los Padres National Forest. Their claim to fame is an albino redwood tree (not impressed). I chose them because they were close to Carmel and have a central location to access mountain trails and beaches and they are close to a few local restaurants. I don't remember how much they took us for, but I sometimes block unpleasant memories like that. I faintly remember opening my wallet and turning to look the other way...

I guess nobody goes to Big Sur to save money, though.

I had been trying to track down a leak that was showing up as a puddle on the floor just at the front of the jalousie windows, by the door. The subfloor was rotten there from a persistent leak, so I got on the ladder and taped all of the seams above the window with masking tape and then I filled all of them with a good amount of vulkem. I hit a few rivets that looked questionable too, just to be sure I got the leak sealed. I also found a very small stress fracture in the skin right at the top front corner of the same windows. It was an obvious leak, so I tried using Vulkem on it but it just wouldn't seal well and I suspect the flexing of travel would open it up again anyway. I ended up putting a temporary patch of aluminum tape over the crack. This will have to be dealt with again later. I put some water on the repair and it didn't leak, so I figured it was good to go. WRONG!

It rained the next evening so I went out to double check the repair, and there it was again, the damn puddle. It had rained pretty hard, which is saying a lot if you know Boulder Creek. I found water coming out at the top corner of the upper jalousie window inside. It was a steady drip even after the rain had stopped for a while, not a good sign. I went up top again and resealed everything I did before and then some. I went all the way to the top seam on the roof and I sealed the rail for the awning. I also sealed all of the way around the windows. If I couldn't find this leak I was going to seal it by chance! This was the day before we left and I knew I wouldn't have another chance to get to it until we returned. The weather forecast was favorable.

When we picked up the Airstream from the previous owner(Hi Todd!) we didn't take the time to stop and check out the rigging with the WD hitch on a known flat surface, so this time we made note to do so before going far.

We set off at about nine in the morning. The first challenge was getting out of our driveway. There's a picture of it in my first post. check it out, and you'll see why. It took a very long time to get it into the driveway when we first brought it home and I was anticipating the same or similar this time. At least I have gravity working for me this time. I pulled it down the driveway forwards and then backed it it down the 11 foot wide curving lane in the left of that photo, which is about three hundred feet long and has a hillside on the side you can't see at all, and a row of redwood logs on the side you can see. It was intimidating, to say the least. I backed down about 75' and got discombobulated and had to pull forward to realign everything. The second try was like a dream; it was as though the Airstream knew where it was going and pulled me along with it. I rolled right down the center of that narrow lane and it felt like I had room to spare. Whew!

Going down the rest of our street isn't much better, but at least I was going forward now. We got to the bottom of our road without any further issues and made our way to highway 9, which is a two lane road. We proceeded to the next town, Ben Lomond, and pulled over and adjusted the bars on the hitch which needed to be pulled up one additional link on each side to level it out. It seemed fine before that, but after the adjustment it was great. It felt solid and tracked right behind our Tacoma. It was like it wasn't even there. I found that I can leave the front and rear curtains open and i'm able to see right through to whoever is following behind. Very cool!

So we cruised down highway 9 to highway 1 South and went straight through to the campground. Not a long drive by any means, but enough to get some valuable towing experience. The entrance to the campground was a sharp left turn across highway 1 and it went down so immediatly that I couldn't see if there was a road there or not, but there was a sign so I went for it. It was a narrow one lane road, just like home. It goes down steeply for about a tenth of a mile to the tiny old schoolhouse that they use for a park headquarters. We were fortunate to get a spot close to the entrance, because if we had to go back into the park further it was a really sketchy road and I didn't want to drag my ass over one of their potholes. I hate leaving parts behind me on the road. I've had old Volkswagens before, and I don't want to go there again.

The park was okay after getting to know it a little. There is a general store, a restaurant and a tavern that has live music on occasion. We spent New Years Eve watching some local talent and drinking Cazadores Margaritas until we could just barely stumble back to the Safari. It was a kind of good time, down-home New Years. We met a lot of local color there also. Very nice folks.

The day we were leaving it started to rain a little early in the morning and I noticed the dreaded drip had returned and soaked the back corner of the mattress. We made it through without getting wet though, so I considered it a sign of things to come. This Airstream is going to be taken apart and fixed!

The trip home was uneventful, as was the second try at backing the Safari up into our driveway. It took me just one try this time, and I didn't even have to unhitch and turn around like I did the first time. My neighbors were out watching, and I think I really blew their minds. It took me an hour and a half the first time, and five minutes this time!

Shortly after we got home I started photographing everything in or on the Safari as documentation to rebuild from. Then I started taking it apart one thing at a time, taking pictures as I went. It took me one full day and a couple of evenings to remove the bulk of the interior woodwork and refer, oven, water tank and gauchos. The bathroom took me two days or so. That plumbing was a pain in the ass. I finally took a hacksaw to some of it because I couldn't get to a fitting under the sink. It's all going to be replaced with Pex anyway. It took another full day to remove the interior aluminum panels. The front fiberglass endcap took an evening to drill out and remove, and the rear one took about the same. This is all with only myself for company. Carrying out the bath tub and the endcaps was interesting! My garage is only three feet from the door of the Airstream and I had to walk out with each piece held over my head, and turn and twist them as I went through the doorway. I cornered my 23 year old son one day and he helped me get the refer out and into our carport.

I have gotten farther than this but can't update all at once. I'll try to keep it more regular, if possible. The next post will cover the removal of the rest of the interior and my trip to New Mexico to the Four Corners Unit of the WBCCI's Vintage Restoration Rally!(Hi Tim!)

I hope you enjoy!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Systems check continued

The next thing on my list was the refer. It worked on 110v ac, but it was untried on propane. I tried lighting it without any luck at all. It seemed that the lighter was frozen. This refer came with a built-in lighter which was probably state-of the -art for the time. It was a long tube with a rod in it. the rod was atteched to a flint at one end and a knob at the other. when you would spin the knob it would make the flint spark and , hopefully, light the gas at the burner. The flint was rusted solid and the knob would not turn at all. I took it apart, a common statement in airstream parlance, and I cleaned and lubricated it , and I put a new flint and spring in it, scavanged from a bic lighter. I put it all back together and tried it again and it spun and sparked great. I put the lighter back into the holder under the refer and turned the gas on. When I held the button down and tried to light the pilot nothing happened at all. I pulled the burner out to inspect it, and it looked good. Then I realized that it had no visible hole in the orifice. I took my air compressor and blew the orifice out really well. Then, when I checked it again, It had a small visible hole in the orifice. I put it back in and did a leak check. No problems, so I turned the gas on to the refer, and waited about twenty seconds, like it says in the book. Then I gave the lighter a spin, and it fired right up!
I let it run until the burner kicked up and then shut it down. It was looking very good. The burner sounded like a jet. The thermostat checked out good also!
I decided to try the stove next. It looks pretty good in the picture but there are some problems. The tubes that go from the burners to the pilot light are not all in place. I found two of them rolling around in the stove. The other two were still in place, so at least I have all of them. The pilot had been turned down all of the way so that was the first thing to go through. stoves are the easiest of all the rv propane appliances. They have no safety valve for the pilot light so it's really easy to check them out and light them. Just turn the gas on and light the part that hisses. Well, The pilot just needed a couple of turns of the adjusting screw to get it to light, then a little fine tuning to get it just right. Then I tried lighting a burner from the pilot, like they are supposed to work, right! The first one lit up just fine, the second was weak, but it lit also. the other two, I had to put the pilot tubes back in place first, so I got that handled and tried the other two burners. One worked great and the other wouldn't light from the pilot no matter what I tried. I could light it from a match or a lighter, no problem, but from the pilot, no way. I tried cleaning it really well and I used a pipe cleaner on all of the orifices, but still it won't work. I will console myself with the idea that I probably wouldn't ever need all four burners anyway. I guess I could light it by hand when nobody is looking.... They'll never know.....
Oh well! onward. The oven pilot worked flawlessly as did the burner. This is so clean inside, it must have never been used.
The vent hood has a switch on the right side for the fan, and it works fine. It is loud as hell though. same with the ceiling vent fan. It's so loud I can't really use it until I fix it.
The plumbing was not really tested before I got it home, and I expected to be replacing most or all of the system anyway. I filled up the fresh water tank and turned the switch over to battery, then I went inside and turned the waterpump switch on and it made the usual rattling, crashing sounds until it got some water in it. Then it smoothed right out and sounded fine. I had not checked the faucets, and the one for the bathtub was opened a little so it ran some water out with a good amount of pressure before I turned it off. The pump shut off after a few seconds, like it's supposed to. This all made me very happy. There was no water leaking from anywhere and the pump worked fine. So I decided to try it on shore power. I should have left well enough alone. When I switched over to shore power and turned the waterpump switch on it made a bad sound, like a wild animal trapped in a box. A very frantic, urgent sound. I turned it off quickly.
I knew that this was an aftermarket pump. There was a picture of the original pump type in the owners manual. I went to the forums to find out what I could about '64 safaris and aftermarket waterpumps. It did'nt take long to find a post about this very issue. I never would have guessed it, but the converter used in 1964 was a 110vac to 19vac converter. Why not use a converter made for 12vdc output? ? ? ? I have a electrical schematic for my trailer, and it says right on it 12vdc/ 19vac for a single circuit! When on battery, it is 12vdc, and when on shore power, it's 19vac. Apparently the 19vac would work just the same as 12vdc on the lights and fan motors, and the water pump. The problem was with the new water pump. For some reason the original pump would work fine on 19vac, while the new one would not. It has something to do with the way the motor is wired. I scratched my head alot over this.
The solution is to get a converter that puts out 12vdc, or get a pump that works on 19vac. Try getting a pump from the guy at your local rv supply place; Yeah, Hello? I need a pump that's made for 12vdc, but also works on 19vac. Can ya help me? That'll get you some interesting answers! So far I have just avoided the need for running the pump when on shore power. usually I have shore water if I have shore power anyway. I do foresee a new power converter in my future, though.
The last thing on my list is the holding tanks. I already tested the fresh tank and it checks out fine. The early Airstreams had no grey water holding tanks. So there was nothing to look for in that department. Tha black tank is directly under the toilet in this model, so if you really want to, you can just hold the flush pedal down and look right into it.I tested the toilet water inlet and the flush pedal, and they were both fine. Next I filled the black tank with water and let it sit for about an hour or so. The level didn't go down at all so I can assume there are no leaks there, thank goodness!
So of all the things that were un-tested on my safari when I got it only the right rear burner on the cooktop was not in working condition, although I have learned since then that the furnace is a "must go" item. I'm very happy with the condition of the remaining appliances. Some will need additional repairs to get them working at their best but most of them will get to be reused in the New Safari. Now I just have to find a good air conditioner.....

Monday, February 2, 2009


When I first went to look at this trailer, in discussing the Safari's systems with the previous owner he mentioned that he had never tried to start the furnace or the water heater in the whole time he had owned it.
I thought that was kind of strange. I'm way too curious to leave these things alone. The refrigerator had only been run on 110vac and it worked fine on that source, so I knew the cooling system was working at least. So, the only gas appliance that had been used in the recorded (or remembered) history of the trailer was the cook top. The oven looked new inside, so I assume it was never used either. I mean there's not a speck of anything on the inside of that oven!
I read through the owners manual, to get familiar with the appliance operations and setup, then I went to work.
The furnace was first. It was not bad looking considering its age. I turned on the power and set it to run on 110vac. It made a loud buzzing sound, like it was gonna go off like a bomb, so I shut it off quickly, then I remembered that I had not even turned the gas valve on at the tanks yet, much less the furnace. So, with no gas to blow me to kingdom come I felt pretty safe, and I threw the switch again. The same loud, buzzing, really irritating sound came out of it again. So I looked into the mouth of the beast so to speak, and stuck my hands right in there, to see what I could feel. The transformer was vibrating like crazy so I got my handy voltmeter out and checked the power to and from it, and it checked out okay. I threw the switch on and off a few times and noticed the sound changed with each throw, sometimes loud and sometimes quieter, and no changes in voltage. I next checked the thermostat on the opposite side of the aisle, above the side gaucho, and it was not hooked up at all. I found the right wires for it and got them connected to the terminals on the back, then replaced the cover on it. On to the fun part... I turned the gas on at the tanks and then at the furnace, and checked for leaks with soapy water in a spray bottle. Nothing leaked, whew! I threw the switch a few times, until the buzzing was not too bad, and I was ready for ignition. I put a wooden match in the match holder and propped the pilot light access door opened. I put my propane nose on and checked for any odor. There was none at all, so I lit the match and stuck it in the pilot door. I turned pilot to start, and pushed the safety button down to start the fuel flowing. The pilot lit almost right away but it was weak and would not stay lit so I adjusted the pilot light fuel adjustment screw and tried again. This time it fired right up and looked stronger than before. In about 30 seconds I let go of the safety button and the pilot stayed on really well, so I turned the dial to the on position and took a few steps back, toward the door( and the fire extinguisher). It took about a minute and a half to warm up and then I heard the fan start up like a rusty old bike wheel, squeal, squeal, squeal. Shut down everything, oil the fan bearings, spin by hand a bit to circulate the new oil, re-start everything again. This time it worked like a charm, a too loud, buzzing, squeaking charm, and it made good heat!
Now that I had a warm place to work it was much better. I went after the water heater next.
The exterior shroud was full of pine needles and leaves, so I opened it and cleaned it out really well. then I looked into the burner opening and pulled out the mouse mummy and pine needles. Next I turned the gas on and did a leak check, which was not showing any leaks at all. I did the standard start up procedure and I once again couldn't get the pilot to stay lit. So I adjusted it and got it lit again. It was looking really good there, with a nice strong pilot going, so I released the safety button and reached for the dial to turn it to the on position. There was a foof! and the flame was suddenly in the wrong place! I had not even turned the dial yet so needless to say, I was a bit surprised. The flame had jumped from the pilot light to the safety button, which now needed a new name. It wasn't going well, suddenly, and I think the seven unspeakable words all went through my mind at once. I slapped my hand on the side of the control housing where the safety is located and the flame went out, thank goodness.
I shut off the pilot light and checked the safety for a leak, which was obviously there, though I hadn't found it the first time. I sprayed the safety button and the whole controller with the soap solution and viola! no leak! What the h--l! Then, after thinking about it for a while, I realized that the only thing that had changed from the time it caught fire til now, was that the safty was pushed in to start the pilot light. So I got the soap again and I sprayed the heck out of the safety button, then I pushed it in and immediatly there were bubbles coming out of the area around the button. When it was pushed all the way in the bubbles stopped. Then, when I released the button again the bubbles came out faster, and I noticed the button was coming out very slowly from the depressed position. It took about five to seven seconds for the button to top out, and the whole time it was spewing gas out. Then, when it topped out, the bubbles stopped. I was ready to junk the water heater!
I thought about it for some time, and then I realized that the button must have a seal of some kind below it. In paint sprayers and similar things, there are gaskets made of plastic, leather, or rubber for the same kind of connections and when they get dried out they don't seal well. So, back to the Safari... I got my fine tipped oiler out and went to the task of getting oil into the back of the button, which is mounted on a brass post, and is the part that needs to seal. It took alot of trying, but eventually I was able to get some oil into the works, and the button started moving much more freely. I cleaned up all of the excess oil that had run out of the button and did the leak test again. This time it worked like it was supposed to, no leaks at all, and the button wasn't sticking anymore. YES!
I lighted the pilot and turned the dial on, and the burner kicked on right away! And it sounded like a frieght train!
I was two for two.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The first time I ever hooked up a trailer was the day I bought My Safari. It wasn't hard to do with the guidance of the P.O. I had only seen the load-leveling hitches before, I had never used one. The hard part came when I had to watch my wife drive off with it in tow. We had taken seperate cars to the sellers house and she was the one with the truck. So I watched as she drove around the corner, good so far, and then around another corner, alright, looking good. Then she turned again, the wrong way! We were headed away from the freeway entrance, and it was getting dark. She proceeded a few blocks, not knowing she was headed in the wrong direction, so I called her phone to let her know to turn around when she could. We were able to turn around at a shopping center and we headed back towards the freeway again. By this time I was also frazzled, and instead of turning right, towards the entrance ramp, I turned left and found a whole new part of town I'd never seen before. There were no places to turn around for many blocks, and by the time I found one I was so far from the freeway I had been aiming for that I decided to just proceed to the next main road to take me back towards home. What a fiasco. What should have been three minutes getting to the freeway became thirty minutes, lost, with a trailer we were not used to pulling, in the dark.

Eventually, we found ourselves, and our way home. By the time we arrived in our neighborhood it was quite dark, and not wanting to try going up our one lane road in the dark with our new-to-us trailer, we decided to leave it at the store at the bottom of our hill. I checked with the owner and he said that it wouldn't be a problem to leave it there, so we unhitched it and checked all of the locks and went home to sleep on it.

The next day was a work day, so I wasn't able to get home until about 5pm to finish moving our Safari into the driveway. I had not driven yet with the trailer attached so I took my time getting it hooked up and checked everything three times before pulling out on the road. The road to my house is very narrow and steep, so I took it slowly, up to the house across from ours, and then got out to survey the rest of the move. I would have to turn the whole rig around to get it up to my driveway and have it facing the right way. I pulled up past our neighbor's driveway, and then backed down into it as far as I could go. I couldn't make the front of the truck turn sharply enough to make the turn without unhitching, so I disconnected the truck and turned it around by itself, then hitched up again, and backed the trailer up the last part of the road to our house. It still wasn't in the driveway, but I was so tired I decided to finish the last part of the move the next day. It had taken 1-1/2 hours to move from the store to our house, about 1/2 mile. The following day I hitched the truck up again, and proceeded to back the trailer up into our driveway at last!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Preview

Prior to Burningman 2007 I was looking for a travel trailer for use at the festival. I never liked the typical white box type of trailer and I am into "nostalgia-americana" so I naturally found myself looking at Airstream trailers. Not the dull, new ones, but the shiny old ones. After searching for about three months without any luck, I decided to give up on the idea, at least for the time being, and I rented a motorhome from a friend instead. Well, I met up with some very good friends at the Burn and having the motorhome was really a bonus for us all, as it gave us a place to sleep during the day and to stay out of the numerous dust storms. We also had several members of our group that got ill at the event and were able to sleep it off in the rv. After returning, I decided that I was still in the market for a trailer, so I perused Craigslist like an aluminum junkie, looking for a big fixx.

In early October I found a '64 Safari on Craigslist for $6,450.00, which was a bit more than I could afford to spend. My criteria for a trailer was pretty basic, really: I wanted a small (less than 24" long) trailer with air conditioning, a bed and a refrigerator. The driveway to my house was the deciding factor as far as the length. We have a steep and winding one lane road for the last 1/4 mile to our house in Boulder Creek, California. I really didn't think I would be able to get a 22" rig up there without leaving some new trenches in the road. The air conditioning would be necessary for us to survive the next Burn, and the refrigerator is a requirement for keeping the drinks cold, of course, and The bed is just for fun.

I decided to have a look at the Safari, even though the price was out of my range, and it didn't have an air conditioner. I was hoping to use it as a learning experience, to do a thorough inspection and evaluation procedure on it, and hone my knowledge a bit. I met with the owner, I'll call him "Fred Flintstone", and looked at the trailer with him. We discussed the work he had done on the Safari since he bought it: a new axle and tires were the main high points, and we discussed the price a little. I told him I was looking at no more than $5000.00 and he told me he would not go below $5,900.oo, which is about what I expected it to be worth. I was very happy with the experience of meeting and looking over the trailer. I expected that it would sell soon for about $6,000.00 or so, and I told him so, and wished him luck with his sale.

About a week later I got a call from "Fred" saying that he had not sold the Safari yet, and was I still interested? After a couple of more calls we agreed on a price of $5,200.00, as long as my wife, Britt would agree with the value of the trailer. So, the next evening, Monday October 27th, my wife and I went to look at the Safari together. All day I was thinking "I should call Fred and ask him to clean up the inside a little bit and cover the hole where there were some tiles missing from, etc, etc. But I also thought "I should just let this thing happen, or not." so I left it to fate. That evening, when we arrived I noticed that the inside was cleaned up and there was a door mat over the spot where the tiles were missing from. Fred even put some cardboard down for us to cross his wet lawn to the trailer door. Well, when I saw how nice it all looked I knew that we would be bringing it home with us, and I was right! Britt was pleased with the whole package, as was I. We made our exchange and hitched up to our 2006 Toyota Tacoma, and off we went with our new baby!