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Old 02-24-2011, 01:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I think more than the reconfiguration to the rear to get some sort of a door, you'd have to build an entire custom heavy-duty frame to be able to support that kind of weight. You're talking about carrying a vehicle that weighs close to 50% of the rated max gross weight of the trailer you propose to modify, and probably only about 1000 lb. of that original rated gross was intended to be cargo and water.
The jeep weighs less than 2,000Lbs - and I will be removing the entire kitchen and rear bedroom - or rather the front lounge, and moving the bedroom to the front - so, out with the fridge, stove, oven, microwave(?), cabinets, and a couch, in with the Jeep. I think it's probably a pretty even swap...
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
I don't understand why you would have to disconnect the drive with front up towing. Please explain?
Below is a link with lots of up to date info.
http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/ima...yGuide2010.pdf

Dave
The link talks alot about towing with a tow-ar (4-down).
The Jeep can disengage the 4WD - put the transfer case in neutral, and has a mechanical internal diff lube pump that keeps the diffs lubed while being towed.
However - if the front wheels are up, the mechanical lube pump won't work, and you blow out the transfer case.
That's what the Jeep dealer in Lisle, IL told me. He went and checked the specs to be sure - and said 4-down is fine - 2-Up needs a drive shaft disconnect.
My Audi V8 - whenever towed - MUST(!!!) be 4-UP - no wheels rolling -even in neutral! You burn (literally) up the torsen differential if you pull it for any distance other than, say, pushing it off the road, or to the gas station across the street when you run dry... Not - that this has ever happened to ME, of course...
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:23 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by audiv8q View Post
So - here's our scenario:

We're buying a 345, and had at first been planning to tow the Jeep Wrangler TJ on a tow bar that's already mounted to the Jeep now. The Jeep sits higher than many "cars", but after reading that, I am worried about the "lifting off the ground" part. Any comments?

Now - I said "had at first been"' - my new scheme is to find a 31' - 34' Airstream Trailer that is in need of restoration, and convert it to a "toy hauler", by putting a divider wall in front of the wheel wells, build a bedroom in the front, and move the bathroom, eliminating the kitchen which we don't need to duplicate (since we have one in the 345), and driving the Jeep in from the back of the trailer, and parking it between the wheel wells over the axles.

Yes, I know I'll have to do some major reconfiguring to the rear. I plan to cut the rear off the trailer where it begins to round - then cut the rear shell in half, and somehow hinge the 2 pieces to make a "barn-door" style opening to drive the Jeep into. The only thing that will give away the modification is the missing rear window - or possibly the presence of 2 small rear windows instead of the one big one.

So my further question is this: With the "big overhang" of the 345, how will it handle pulling a 32' Airstream trailer? Will I run into similar problems?

Thanks for your help - we're "not yet brand new Airstreamers", so any help is appreciated.

Oh - by the way - I also need to locate a replacement spare tire cover for the 345. It's in really good shape, with the exception of 3 items:
Spare tire cover door is missing, shroud for the rear AC is missing, and the backup monitor is missing.
If you are concerned about lifting a tow bar because of excessive overhang multiply that several times to imagine what the rear of a 30' trailer will do. Like others have said you will also need massive reinforcement to the Airstream trailer frame to carry the Jeep. Then think about the weight distribution problem with the Jeep in the rear of the trailer. It would look neat going down the highway but probably not a very good idea.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
If you are concerned about lifting a tow bar because of excessive overhang multiply that several times to imagine what the rear of a 30' trailer will do. Like others have said you will also need massive reinforcement to the Airstream trailer frame to carry the Jeep. Then think about the weight distribution problem with the Jeep in the rear of the trailer. It would look neat going down the highway but probably not a very good idea.

Cheers, Dan
I wasn't concerned about lifting, until I saw the original post about that here.

Also, I was not planning to carry the Jeep "in the rear" of the trailer - rather over the axles. I looked up the curb weight on the 1998 TJ, and I was wrong aout "just shy of 2,000Lbs" - Stock, it weighs 3,229, and mine only has minor mods; stainless nerf running boards / side steps, slightly larger tires (31x10.5x15, instead of 235x75x15), and a stainless tube rear bumper. No which or other heavy steel hop-ups, so I am guessing it's under 3,500Lbs.

So my plan has been to remove all the "'furniture" and appliances from the rear of the trailer, and add either aluminum ramps or 2x6 lumber as a floor to drive in on, and set the Jeep directly over the axles - section off the "garage" area with a dividing wall, and having only bunk beds, a desk, a few small closets/dresser-type drawers, and the bathroom in the front. I would not move the fresh/grey/black tanks, which I do believe are at the axles, or very near there.

As far as I can imagine, I am removing substantial weight from the trailer by removing the stock furniture/woodwork/appliances, but adding the weight of 2x6 or aluminum ramps, and the Jeep.

I assume the Airstream trailers have electric brakes?

Why would this plan not be structurally sound? Are the Airstream trailers built so poorly that they can't support this weight, when distributed on either ramps or re-enforced flooring?

And yes, I am imagining how "cool" this rig is going to look, going down the highway...
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:23 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by audiv8q View Post
I wasn't concerned about lifting, until I saw the original post about that here.

Also, I was not planning to carry the Jeep "in the rear" of the trailer - rather over the axles. I looked up the curb weight on the 1998 TJ, and I was wrong aout "just shy of 2,000Lbs" - Stock, it weighs 3,229, and mine only has minor mods; stainless nerf running boards / side steps, slightly larger tires (31x10.5x15, instead of 235x75x15), and a stainless tube rear bumper. No which or other heavy steel hop-ups, so I am guessing it's under 3,500Lbs.

So my plan has been to remove all the "'furniture" and appliances from the rear of the trailer, and add either aluminum ramps or 2x6 lumber as a floor to drive in on, and set the Jeep directly over the axles - section off the "garage" area with a dividing wall, and having only bunk beds, a desk, a few small closets/dresser-type drawers, and the bathroom in the front. I would not move the fresh/grey/black tanks, which I do believe are at the axles, or very near there.

As far as I can imagine, I am removing substantial weight from the trailer by removing the stock furniture/woodwork/appliances, but adding the weight of 2x6 or aluminum ramps, and the Jeep.

I assume the Airstream trailers have electric brakes?

Why would this plan not be structurally sound? Are the Airstream trailers built so poorly that they can't support this weight, when distributed on either ramps or re-enforced flooring?

And yes, I am imagining how "cool" this rig is going to look, going down the highway...
The Airstreams are structurally sound as travel trailers but not as car haulers. The frames are very light weight and the shell is designed as part of that structure. The longer trailers will actually sag and separate in the rear with rusty weakened frames and abuse. They recommend not even something like a bike rack on the rear bumper.

The furnishings are not heavy and I think your Jeep will weigh a lot more then the furnishings you remove. Also the structure you build to hold the rear end together and be open-able will all be weight added in the wrong area. When you move the Jeep forward over the axles you will have a large wasted open area in the rear unless you add fold down bunks or storage which again adds weight.

The point of lifting because of motorhome rear overhang will drive the rear overhang of the trailer into the pavement. This is really a problem going in and out of driveways and will put tremendous loads on the trailer frame.

I have often thought it would be great to tow a car hauler Airstream behind my motorhome but I would start with maybe a 16' or 18' shell and build a custom frame to hold the shell and car. Possibly a longer shell and cut it down to a size just large enough for the car. The long overhangs and Airstream frame designs are the real problems that I see.

Again an Airstream motorhome towing an Airstream trailer/car hauler would be a sight to see.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:22 PM   #20
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Hmmm...

The point of using a 31' or longer would be to have not only the "garage" area, but also the "spare bedroom" in the front of the trailer for the boys. That way, when we aren't actively traveling, they can sleep in the trailer on bunk beds, with their own bathroom, and my wife and I can have the privacy of the 345 bedroom in the back, and not worry about "certain noise levels" that one would not want to expose the kiddies to in the night...

(sigh)

"In and out of driveways," huh...

How about if I didn't' use the 345 to back the trailer in - but hooked it to the Jeep - ONLY for the "placing" of the trailer. I am sure the Jeep would handle that work...

Should I then still e worried about the "lifting" while driving down the highway? I should hope not - especially on interstates - but how about on "byways" - NOT divided highways - say, for example, back roads in AZ...? On "normal" roads - even in hilly terrain (and I am not talking about 2-tracks, or even single lane roads that one really should not be taking the 345 onto even by itself), is the overhang and lifting, and subsequent dipping of the rear of the trailer still a concern?

As for the"wasted space" in the rear of the trailer - I was planning to build (very lightweight) storage and/or pegboard-type hanging space for tools, fuel cans, extra LP gas tanks, etc. - And maybe shelves for linens and extra fabric (my wife sews) - perhaps a couple of tarps to make the space etween the 2 awnings covered, and maybe even be able to create an "outdoor hallway/living space" next to the rig - so not planning to entirely "waste" the space - but surely not have anything there that is going to have significant enough weight to it that it would cause the frame to buckle. I'll keep the heavier items (spare fuel and propane tanks) closer to the axles, and the lighter stuff further to the rear.

I wish there were someone with knowledge of the structure, or someone with engineering knowledge, and specific Airstream knowledge, that could help me through these potential pitfalls before I end up doing something I'll be sorry about.

The alternative to using the trailer is simply towing the Jeep on a tow-bar behind the 345, but that would end up just a little on the cramped side for long-term living, with the 3 boys (12, 10, and 4).
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:57 PM   #21
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Hmmm...

The point of using a 31' or longer would be to have not only the "garage" area, but also the "spare bedroom" in the front of the trailer for the boys. That way, when we aren't actively traveling, they can sleep in the trailer on bunk beds, with their own bathroom, and my wife and I can have the privacy of the 345 bedroom in the back, and not worry about "certain noise levels" that one would not want to expose the kiddies to in the night...

(sigh)

"In and out of driveways," huh...

How about if I didn't' use the 345 to back the trailer in - but hooked it to the Jeep - ONLY for the "placing" of the trailer. I am sure the Jeep would handle that work...

Should I then still e worried about the "lifting" while driving down the highway? I should hope not - especially on interstates - but how about on "byways" - NOT divided highways - say, for example, back roads in AZ...? On "normal" roads - even in hilly terrain (and I am not talking about 2-tracks, or even single lane roads that one really should not be taking the 345 onto even by itself), is the overhang and lifting, and subsequent dipping of the rear of the trailer still a concern?

As for the"wasted space" in the rear of the trailer - I was planning to build (very lightweight) storage and/or pegboard-type hanging space for tools, fuel cans, extra LP gas tanks, etc. - And maybe shelves for linens and extra fabric (my wife sews) - perhaps a couple of tarps to make the space etween the 2 awnings covered, and maybe even be able to create an "outdoor hallway/living space" next to the rig - so not planning to entirely "waste" the space - but surely not have anything there that is going to have significant enough weight to it that it would cause the frame to buckle. I'll keep the heavier items (spare fuel and propane tanks) closer to the axles, and the lighter stuff further to the rear.

I wish there were someone with knowledge of the structure, or someone with engineering knowledge, and specific Airstream knowledge, that could help me through these potential pitfalls before I end up doing something I'll be sorry about.

The alternative to using the trailer is simply towing the Jeep on a tow-bar behind the 345, but that would end up just a little on the cramped side for long-term living, with the 3 boys (12, 10, and 4).
I understand what you are trying to do. I'm just trying to point out some problems with the idea. Going down the highway is not the problem other than proper tongue weight and weight distribution in the trailer. The driveways are at fuel stops, supermarkets, food stops, Walmarts or any place you may stop if only to stretch your legs. You just don't think about that overhang until you actually take a trip. Those driveways/high crown roads are everywhere.

The light weight storage in the back is another problem. Gas cans, propane tanks and tools are very heavy and that weight adds up quickly. With your Jeep over the axles that storage is weight where you don't want it. Many people on this site won't even fill their water tanks until they reach their destination to save weight. There are many discussions on this site about rear end separation and frame problems. You can even have problems just jacking the trailer up without twisting the frame and doing damage to the trailer. There are also many more discussions about the damage caused by towing with too stiff of a suspension on the tow vehicle or too heavy weight distribution bars on the hitch.

Making a toy hauler out of an Airstream would be a cool set up but it just won't happen on the Airstream frame. Build a proper frame and drop the shell on it. The overhang on the motorhome is something you just learn to deal with. Adding that long of a trailer with that much more dipping and swinging will really restrict where you can go.

I don't know your RV experience but I would suggest getting the motorhome, a tow bar for the Jeep and a tent for the kids. Take a few trips, go camping and then think about building your toy hauler.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:02 PM   #22
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Agreed, best way to do this would be to buy the A/S trailer of your size and choice, and buy/build a car trailer frame. Marry the two.
Most vintage trailer would need a body off, so that is not the issue. Its a huge undertaking tho.
Yes, I want to see a Airstream M/H towing a Airstream Trailer... Both Polished!

If you want inspiration... look here!
Airstream4U Verkauf -Vermietung | sale- rent | vente - location | Promotionfahrzeuge | Eventmobile | Foodmobile | 4you 4me 4all - made in Germany !
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