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Old 09-22-2004, 08:25 AM   #15
Rivet Master
1973 31' Sovereign
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,245
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Weight might be OK...

I have been thinking some about this idea. It occurred to me that the way an AS is balanced that most of the weight is carried by the axles. This being the case it might be just fine to use the entire front end suspension, steering and etc. from some donor vehicle like an early model Toronado. My thinking is that the amount of the original trailer weight that would end up being supported by the front suspension would be something in the range of the tounge weight of the AS before modifications. The main amount of weight that the front suspension would have to support would actually be the new stuff being added such as the engine and transmission. I think the tounge weight on my 31' is in the general range of 700 lbs which is only 10% of the total GVW of 7100 lbs. What would an engine and transmission weigh? Would it be as much as 1000 lbs? This strikes me as being within the general range of what a Toronado front end would have been designed to handle. What I don't know is if a Toronado front end is wide enough to place the wheels in a good position. Some compensation could be made using deep dish wheels I suppose.

Probably the biggest challenge would be to get the frame rails from the Toronado to attach to the frame rails of the AS. My AS frame rails measure 61.5 inches to the outside of the c-channel. I am guessing that the frame rails of a Toronado would be narrower but I don't know. Does anyone reading this have access to an older Toronado or something similar that they could slap a tape measure on?


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Old 09-25-2004, 03:48 PM   #16
1981 28' excella motorhom
IPM's Avatar
Blue Springs , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 172
There was a trailor/motorhome conversion on ebay less than two years ago. It used an airstream trailor and a Toronado front wheel drive train. The ad also said oem panels and windshield, etc., were used to build it. Pictures looked much like an OEM motorhome. Opening bid was $5000 and it did not sell.

Question is: Would it still be an airstream after so much modification?

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Old 02-21-2006, 01:23 AM   #17
1 Rivet Member
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
malden , Massachusetts
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Malconium took words right out of my mouth. I was driving north from Florida in the 80's and came up on a house trailer and something looked strange nothing pulling I came up beside it there up front was someone in a strange position driving and the FRONT END of an old olds toronado was sticking out from under the ront of the unit......... and strangley with some metal fab work it could have looked real good.... it certainly looked unique...Rod

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