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Old 09-05-2006, 08:27 PM   #15
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Very funny Doorgunner - Ultradog - what brought this on...?
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:08 PM   #16
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The 4" deep frame section WAS a mistake in the long trailers. Airstream recognized this and corrected it in 1985ish with a 5" frame. If you run the moment of inertia calc, you see that a 5" frame has twice the stiffness of a 4" one, and then the sag and separation problems basically end.

You can go to an 8" frame (as I plan to do) and add about 200lbs total to the weight of the trailer. 200lbs in an 8500lb gross weight rig is nothing, and it will make the strength about 7 times what it was originally. If you want to hang a motorcycle off the back bumper, go for it. Just add some weight to the tongue to compensate for towing stability.

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Old 09-06-2006, 12:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin
Ultradog - what brought this on...?
Well...
I don't wish to cast stones or aspersions toward any one in particular. I mean, well you know, our Airstreams may be built of aluminum but they do have Glass windows... And I know we all have our moments. Be they inspired ones or inertia calculations.
I just don't see the value of putting a big heavy patch on a lightweight frame.
I can't see why someone would use 2X4s anywhere in an AS though I've seen them in various pictures. Or using 3/8" thick aluminum diamond plate on top of 3/4" plywood for a floor. Sometimes I wonder if we try too hard to make our rigs heavy duty with heavier springs and axles and such. I don't haul my trailer around the country and I haven't done much restoring on it. But I think if I ever did I would focus my talents on removing a pound here and 15 lbs there if possible. And be able to haul more beer with a smaller, more efficiant TV
You know, like the picture of the guy pulling the trailer with his bicycle.

Because, as I mentioned, I'm a remodeler and am sometimes asked to critique someone's handywork and I cringe as I gaze upon a job that I find "practically cobbled in every way" yet must offer kudos to the proud owner.
I see so many of these fine old trailers in the hands of people who wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't remodel their kitchen.
And I wonder if all these fine old Airstreams will ever be brought back to their original integrity. That is, after folks have taken them apart and put them back together. I don't begrudge them their dreams or their hobby. But myself I'd want a Virgin trailer which is becoming harder to find.
Maybe, just maybe it comes from a lifetime of working with my hands. In steel and stone and concrete, in wood and wire and plumbing. I know each of us hasour special talents. And I know I shouldn't attempt to be a CPA or a Surgeon or a Pilot like some of you are.
I know that I know what the TAO of a bathroom is. That it takes more than an understanding of materials and aesthetics and color and texture and dimensions and light to make a good product. It also means that you have an inkling for those who come after you and a thought to how much is enough or too much or too little. I think our builders had some of that inkling. Especially for the 50s and 60s rigs. I know there are those of you who could do a better job of restoring, refurbishing, remodeling than I ever could.
But sometimes I fret about the future of these trailers. So many of them are being Used Up in the hands of one generation. Patched and cobbled.
I know that they are just inanimate things. To many, just another commodity to be traded. I don't begrudge them their trading. Though I do hope they are as good and earnest about it as you are as Electricians or Nurses or Engineers or Laborers.
Dunno why I fret about overkill. Maybe it's because I think we all recognize some thing in them which is greater than the sum of their parts. Something in their iconic, Taoist, attractive, marvelous, cool, retro, functional, lightweight, lasting, restful, gorgeous, bulbous, spartan, American, attainable, fashionable, fun, moveable mistique that shouldn't be overkilled by cobbling hands.
I didn't expect to write this long. Sorry, but it wasn't something I could say in a sentence.
Jerry
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:46 AM   #18
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Hi, Wow, I think we went pretty deep on this subject; But simply put, It's the American way. If one nail is good, then two or three nails must be really good. And as for feeling sorry for Andy and Lew, No way. They are proffesionals and should know how to charge accordingly. If not shame on them. Anyone reading this who is not guilty of the American way? You never took an extra aspirin? Never super sized your lunch? Never added another 5 lbs torque? Etc. Think really hard, I believe we all are guilty of this, including me.

Bob
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:09 AM   #19
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Extra aspirin? Yes. Extra nails or glue? No. But then again, I'm a timber framer by trade, not a doctor. You build strong where you need to; you build light everywhere else.

My "overkill" rant would be about devoting my life to mirror polishes.
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:31 AM   #20
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It'd have been really cool if they'd built the frames out of aluminum way back. Light and strong.

I hear you on the cobbling, and agree. If you're gonna fix something, fix it right.

I do home inspections on the side. I've seen quite the bit of "handy man" work. Sometimes pretty scary!
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
The 4" deep frame section WAS a mistake in the long trailers. Airstream recognized this and corrected it in 1985ish with a 5" frame.
My 1973 trailer has 5" frame members.
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Anyone reading this who is not guilty of the American way? You never took an extra aspirin? Never super sized your lunch? Never added another 5 lbs torque? Etc. Think really hard, I believe we all are guilty of this, including me.

Bob
Oh gosh yes, how many times have I broke something because I wanted to get it just a bit tighter - until I bought a torque wrench! I agree, 'more is better' is the American way!

I also agree with Summerkid's polishing comments. That can get really out of hand. And the worst part is it's SO HARD not to join that crowd!
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:44 PM   #23
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Some of us have no choice on the polish thing. When I get the "new back section spliced in I will have a trailer with a poor polish job on the front and a failing original clear coat on the rear.... But I will save the questions for another thread. Steph, I know what you mean about over tightining till I got a torque wrench. WOW what a difference.
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:04 PM   #24
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Thanks for the Reply Ultradog

Enjoyed you long reply - thanks.

We are 2 months and 3 days into our 71 Overlander. I think everyone should make their own decisions. I'm just into the original aspect of the unit however. Maybe that's just from the fact that the original owner (before leaving it to his grandson) apparently felt the same way. So we were able to see the pleated drapes in the original tracks - the bunk wall pads covered with matching material and something as silly as the little spray nozzle on the original galley faucet.

Spent a lot of time at the unit this weekend and decided that we are going to stay as original as possible - there is just a feeling about that for us at least - others may like something else and that's OK too.

Original thought was to tile the bathroom floor and then thought again about the weight in rear bath (not to mention the work cutting it). Decided on place and press tiles after looking at the original owners manual. Figure those tiles in the bath to the galley will cut 50 pounds off the weight compared to the carpet/pad in it now.

Took the LPG tanks off this weekend to have them filled and replace the OPD valve in one - was amazed how light they were in comparison to even the smaller steel tanks on my grill.

With that said, enjoyed your "rant" and you have an original supporter here. Think about it this way -the more other units "get cobbled" the more yours will increase in value to Airstream purists.

Gary
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:15 AM   #25
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5" frames

Last night I had a thought, two brain cells must have bumped and I'll try to not let that happen again but for now-
I wonder if the 4" and 5" frame rails have anything to do with the trim package? My '77 29' rear bath DOES have 5" frame rails and is ALSO an International package. There seems to be a scattering of 5"ers in the middle of the 4" wasteland of the mid '70's. Anyone else see the same thing?
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:26 AM   #26
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Maybe they had different frame suppliers who used different depth sections?

Now this would be totally counterintuitive to any kind of engineer, but would they use the 4" section on the longer frames to keep the weight down? As in, a 31' 4" frame weighs about the same as a 27' 5" frame?

The frames needed to be deeper, not necessarily thicker. Depth gets you stiffness at a faster rate than the weight goes up. Like an airplane wing, the deeper you can make the spars, generally the lighter you can make the wing for a given strength.

Ever see an "Award" brand travel trailer? Their frame has holes punched in the web with embossments for stiffness. A good design, but not cheap to make.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:42 AM   #27
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Historically, the International coaches had heavier-duty frames than the non-International units. The reasoning behind this was a trailer outfitted with an International package may be taken to some god-forsaken part of the world where a road was a pair of ruts in the mud.
That doesn't mean all International coaches had the 5" frame, and that doesn't mean all non-International ones had the 4" frame, but that was the original intention.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:46 AM   #28
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yes but to each their own.I don't pity Andy Or you the fact is you make more money fixing some one elses mistake.you look the job over then charge accordingly. most people fix their own because it costs more to have a pro do it. I understand where you are comming from I had the same problem in my moho.
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