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Old 07-30-2021, 08:33 PM   #1
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Safari Trek Pathmaker Rebuild

I am in the process of buying an RV that has some water damage. It is a Trek Safari Pathmaker 2830. The guy had a new ac unit installed and it wasn't sealed properly and it also looks like the front part of the roof needs resealed. I will definitely have to rebuild the front cabinets and replace the roof up front. I am assuming the ceiling is plywood covered in carpet. Any tips and tricks would be great. My name is Casey and we live near Shreveport, La.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:55 PM   #2
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Here are a few pictures of the Safari.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:16 AM   #3
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I don’t have experience with that model but as a home rehabber, I can tell you to plan on way more damage than meets your eye. Thus if you proceed with your purchase expect extensive repairs and adjust your purchase price accordingly.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:22 PM   #4
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The price is low enough, if I had to part it out I would make more money than I am paying for it. The damage will take time to fix, but I think it will still be cheaper than building a schoolie like we were thinking about building.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:47 PM   #5
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Looks like the seam between the front cap and the roof has also failed judging from the photo - not uncommon failure point on Safaris. When the time comes, remove the old sealer along the seam and seal it with Eternabond tape. I'm pretty sure Safari used aluminum for the coach framing so hopefully the basic structure is still sound. Be prepared to gut it further back than you expect. I purchased a older class C years ago that had some water damage up front and when I started to open it up the project got bigger and bigger. My wife came home from work on the first day and saw the pile of rotten material outside the RV and silently walked by without looking inside. She said went inside the house and wanted to cry. It all turned out in the long run, and I got the front rebuilt including having to make a new roof rafter and slipping it in place without removing the roofing skin which was surprisingly still ok. It turned out very nicely. It all depends on your timeline, budget, skill level and what monster lies in wait behind the panels and carpet.

The next unknown will be the condition of the running gear and from the looks of it you'll need all new tires and fluids.

Good luck with your rebuild. Your ceiling skin is probably 1/8" plywood (doorskin) Above that should be styrofoam insulation. The framing around the air conditioner will be wood.

I suggest you look and see if you can join a Trek Forum as other owners might be more familiar with the specifics of your model. There's the safarifriends.org site that may be of some help too.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:48 PM   #6
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It will be a much bigger job than you think. Based on personal experience. BUT: if you have the patience and the time, it could be a good project. Just don’t plan on driving it in the near future. (I am involved in an RV rehab project myself)
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:42 PM   #7
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Me and a few of my buddies are going to be redoing it soon. The running gear looks to be good, it does run i know that much. I plan to pick it up one day this week. I am keeping it a secret from my wife for now and storing it at work and working on it there. I feel pretty confident we should have it going by next summer.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:46 AM   #8
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Good luck on the project. One thing I like about doing things like that is the personal satisfaction of making something nice with my own hands. Building and fixing things has been a lifelong hobby of mine. There were times before retiring I wondered about restoring old trailers and selling them as a retirement hobby. Instead we retired, sold the house (and shop) and are full timing. I can certainly see where your project could be fun as long as there's no big surprises, and rewarding in the end. Enjoy your project and please share the progress and the results.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:25 PM   #9
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I will definitely update as the project starts and continues. It looks like I may pick it up tomorrow. I know it runs and drives, I started it the other day and moved it. I think either the alternator is out or there is corrosion on the wires. I'll get it checked out and fixed for sure. I've been a mechanic for almost 20 years on diesel trucks and heavy equipment, and in my spare time I enjoy welding/ fabrication and woodworking. I started going to college last year to get a degree in mechanical engineering, I am very mechanically inclined. Now I just need a little time and money to get it going.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:52 PM   #10
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If memory serves me correctly, the Trek came with either a GM 454, or a small Isuzu turbo diesel. While not a powerhouse the little diesel had a reputation for running forever. We had one in a delivery truck at work and that engine took a beating and kept on ticking. Have fun!
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:19 PM   #11
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This one has the 454 engine. When I started it, it did not smoke and idled pretty good. You could tell it needs fresh gas and a tune up.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:28 PM   #12
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I think's it on the P chassis then. One week point with that chassis is the bell cranks. They are sleeved, and wear out quickly, especially the driver's side which resulting in wandering and sloppy feeling steering. It's easy to check by having a helper rock the steering wheel back and forth while you watch the left bell crank. If it's worn you'll see it wobble in the housing. Here's a place that sells upgraded replacements: https://supersteerparts.com/chevy-wo...0%2F32+Chassis They're pricey but are much superior to regular replacements which will still be sleeved.

Be aware that on motorhomes the 454 can be prone to cracking exhaust manifolds and it's also good at cooking spark plug wires. Adding some heat shield sleeves on the wires will help. I'm not sure about the Treks, but on a lot of P chassis motorhomes, the passenger side exhaust manifold can get too hot due to air not being directed past that side of the engine. It's too open to the side and adding a sheet metal baffle that keeps the airflow going back past the manifold can help. I messed up and cracked mine by climbing a steep mountain pass, then pulling over and shutting the engine down at the top of the grade. I knew better but wasn't thinking. Replaced my cracked manifold with Doug Thorley Tri-Y headers. I noticed better low end torque after installing them. It's been a few years now, but when I did mine I had to take care to get the one's made for motorhomes as there's another one listed for trucks with 454. From what I understand, the one's for the motorhomes use thicker tubing to hold up to the higher temps because of the added load of the heavier RV.

I'm sure your first step will be repairing the water damage but I'd thought I'd toss out a few P-Chassis motorhome tips just in case. I stumbled on this forum which may be of help because it's Trek specific: https://www.trektraxs.com/
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Old 08-03-2021, 09:13 PM   #13
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Thank you! Every little bit of advice helps. My main focus right now is getting it to the shop I work at and getting the roof fixed. I stopped by today and let the rig run for awhile. The generator works, but I'm not getting power to some components. The main component is the bed. I've never owned an rv, so I'm sure there is something I'm not doing. I went ahead and told my wife about it and she seems to be on board with the project. Once the roof is fixed I'll bring it home and fix the interior. I plan on ripping out the ceiling and putting upEucalyptus White Hardboard from Home Depot. We will more than likely lay down some kind of tile on the floor. My goal is to have it going for a trip to Florida in summer of 2023. Im sure if it gets done before then we'll take some weekend trips to Arkansas or Oklahoma, we live in Louisiana.
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