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Old 05-03-2006, 09:35 PM   #1
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Towing Weight Loss, Any Ideas?

Our 25' Tradewind is too heavy and costs too much to tow.
As we contemplate the trailer's restoration I think; How Light can we go?
The La Fumas are excellent lounge chairs and light, I ripped out the sofa but love the mattress..
We have a plastic table with removable legs and maple side chairs but no flamingos yet..
The twin beds will go for a queen size mattress in the back.
We love muffins and baked chicken so the oven stays but the pilot light goes..
The rear bath will be a center bath like the 22'CCDs.
Any ideas?
The Armstrong a/c is heavy but bullet proof and probably going to be rebuilt.
We have aluminum propane tanks and a flimsy frame.
Thought about an aluminum frame.
Any ideas?
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:49 PM   #2
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Leave it as it is, get full inflation in radial tires, and slow down 5mph on the flats, and 10mph on hills. Drive with the water tank 1/4 full only. Remove unneeded seasonal items like blankets and jackets that you will not need. Bring less "stuff". Instant 2mpg.....
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:29 PM   #3
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Buy Scotch

It's much lighter than beer
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:28 AM   #4
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With a queen-sized bed, you might want to consider the Select Comfort air mattress system. That might save a few pounds.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:15 AM   #5
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Gas is STILL cheaper

Fastrob -

Gas is STILL cheaper ( even at the gouging levels seen these days!) than all the other things you are considering doing. Especially when you consider having to sell it someday.... Your grandkids maybe!?

Seriously. Gas/ diesel is still cheap - even over many years - when compared to all the time, thought, and $'s you are considering in possible changes.

Then again, it IS YOUR AirStream and you can do as you like....

Peace

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Old 05-04-2006, 08:48 AM   #6
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Ideas Wanted

Good thoughts,
Yes, Axel gas is still "cheap." So am I.
When in the USAF as an enlisted man, I liked flying for free.
Uwe is right on, and yes, Scotch is lighter than beer and a light mattress would help.
In addition:
I was thinking about a light frame under the bed. Or re-using the twins framing to make the queen frame. Airstreams are well thought out after all.
An aluminum floor instead of plywood? With cork or vinyl flooring over the aluminum? Or textured epoxy paint over the plywood?
A Shaker style Airstream, simple, lighter and very functionally efficient.

Uwe has an on board a/c that reduces drag.
How is that working out for you Uwe?

R
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:59 AM   #7
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How Light can we go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastrob
Our 25' Tradewind is too heavy and costs too much to tow.
As we contemplate the trailer's restoration I think; How Light can we go?
Any ideas?
If you have a conventional vacuum tube TV on board, you might swap it out for a light weight LCD flat panel TV.
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:14 AM   #8
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As Airstream25 says, there are ways to reduce weight with more modern electronics. You could, for example, get a Mac laptop and have a TV, DVD, music, internet, email, phone, and videochat all in one. That's what we do (all except TV because while travelling we like not having TV).

The flat-panel TVs are heavy and limited in functionality.

For more info, you might want to start with http://digitalrv.net/blog/.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:13 PM   #9
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Water weighs approximately 8lb/gallon. 30 gallons of water weighs 240lbs. I doubt that their is much else you can do to dump 240 lbs of excess weight any easier. You'll save a few pounds here and there with other 'stuff', but nothing like what merely emptying your tanks will do.

Talking about the cost of towing... it's literally insignificant compared to the number of miles you drive not towing. If you tow 2,000 miles a year and you get 5 mpg less towing than you get unladen... and your figures are 15 mpg and 10 mpg, you will use 67 more gallons of gas over that 2000 miles for a total of $186 at $2.79/gallon during the towing season. That translates to less than a tank and a half if you have a 40 gallon tank over your entire 2,000 mile towing summer. If the rest of the year you drive your tow vehicle an additional 12,000 miles at 15mpg at $2.79 a gallon, your unladen commuter miles will cost $2232. The extra $186 is pretty insignificant in the big picture of the cost of ownership of an Airstream.

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Old 05-04-2006, 05:52 PM   #10
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While I can appreciate the desire to lighten the load, you are likely to be disappointed in the results if your primary concern is fuel economy. There have been many posts on these forums by people who have gone from a 19' to a 22' to a 30' and been amazed to discover their mpg remained virtually the same. This should not really be surprising, however, if you recognize that the biggest force at work (once at speed) is wind resistance.

You may find a lighter load easier on your tow vehicle, and towing generally may be more pleasant, but unless you do all your towing in the mountains you will see only a small change in fuel consumption.

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Old 05-04-2006, 07:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
There have been many posts on these forums by people who have gone from a 19' to a 22' to a 30' and been amazed to discover their mpg remained virtually the same.
I get 1/2 or maybe 1 more mpg when towing my 27' Overlander compared to my 18' Caravel!! The Overlander is 50% heavier, but it has what is known as a better "slenderness ratio" and therefore less drag (which is the only explanation I can come up with). Go figure. Maybe the AC isn't as big a relatvie bump on top, or something. I know the brakes aren't on--after 10 hours at 65 they aren't on fire or even very warm (on either trailer).

Maybe the F250 diesel is too dumb to know the difference... sorry, baby.
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #12
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If you ditch the Univolt, and install an Intellipower (or equivalent), if you haven't done so, you can save another 25 or more pounds.
And if you feel like getting silly, you could inflate the air mattress with Helium...
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastrob
Uwe has an on board a/c that reduces drag.
How is that working out for you Uwe?

R
Haven't a clue if it helps with drag, if so, then it's probably marginal. It does tow nice with a low center of gravity, that I do know.
As far as the A/C's performance; hard to tell, it's been cool in California, have not needed it this year.
When I used it pre-interior build-out, it was very efficient at 90F. This summer will be the proof of the pudding, as they say, when I'm going to Austin Tx in July for business with the Airstream in shlep.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:25 AM   #14
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Going Smaller?

Boy you guys are good.

The thought is to go from, currently, a V8 pickup with 6,000lbs tow capacity to a V6 with a 5-6,000 tow capacity.
The dry weight is 4,110, tongue is 610 lbs. GMVW or GVMW is 5,800 I believe. If we put in 1,000 lbs personal stuff the unit is good to go with the P/U at 80% of tow capacity.
Thinking that a little weight mismanagement would help stay with-in the load limits of a V6 is the ultimate goal.
But whatever is done a plow must hang from the front of the tow vehicle to clean the 1/4 mile driveway.
Huh?

R
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