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Old 10-30-2012, 01:34 AM   #1
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TOY HAULER CONVERSION for 93 34'

I'm the new proud owner of a 93 34' Excella 1000. Triple Axel. This is my first trailer & Airstream. Honestly this is much more of a trailer I was lookin for but I got a steal of a deal for her. I'm a photographer and am looking to take a year+ tour around the US. starting next summer. My exterior is in great shape but the interior was VERY rough So I just gutted the interior to start new. Planning on redo'ing electrical, insulation, flooring etc etc etc. awesome.

MY IDEA was since I'm single and will just have a buddy joining me every once in a while, I could convert the back into a TOY HAULER for so I could take my Motorcycle with attached Side Car with me. This is a huge trailer and honestly don't need all of it for me. Would also be a great place to store my TON of gear.

Do you think the frame could handle the weight without being modified? 740lbs

Ever heard of any kind of conversion like?

I really appreciate it.

Brian Braun

You can keep up with my restoration process here.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Airforums!

There was a similar thread not long ago, and the overwhelming response was, it's not a good idea.

Your conversion plan will run into a few problems:
1 - Cutting the frame to make a door big enough to get the toys in and out;
2 - Floor loading. Airstreams are designed for about a 50 psf (pounds per square foot) residential loading; the concentrated load of your motorcycle will require substantial reinforcement of not only the frame but also the floor itself. You also have to design for uplift forces on your motorcycle tie-downs that keep it from shifting;
3 - Weight distribution. The original trailer is probably balanced to keep the trailer tongue weight close to 10% of the total trailer weight. Whatever configuration you end up with would have to keep the weight distribution about the same;
4 - Suspension. Just because you've got three axles doesn't mean you've got a lot of reserve load capacity. I don't know what factor of safety the original suspension was designed for, but if you make the trailer any heavier than it originally was, you may need to beef up the springs. Maybe the axles, too. Definitely the brakes.

These problems CAN be solved, but it may take more time, more effort, and more money, than the end product is worth.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #3
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You could do it but you would have to beef up the frame enough so it could take the full load. To open the back you would have to all but disconnect the shell from the frame. There was a guy on here that put his Airstream on a flatbed and had a platform in the front for his toys. It looked kinda goofy but I guess it worked. The empty wheel wells did not look right to me. Get you a short trailer and a long flatbed.

Alternatively, you could get a big pickup truck and put your bike in the bed.


Perry
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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Taking along a motorcycle

We had one unit member that was full timing with a Fat Boy Harley. He put the bike in the back of the truck under a high cap and had a fold down tailgate. It worked for him. It would be easier than doing all the conversions and reengineering.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
You could do it but you would have to beef up the frame enough so it could take the full load. To open the back you would have to all but disconnect the shell from the frame. There was a guy on here that put his Airstream on a flatbed and had a platform in the front for his toys. It looked kinda goofy but I guess it worked. The empty wheel wells did not look right to me. Get you a short trailer and a long flatbed.

Alternatively, you could get a big pickup truck and put your bike in the bed.


Perry
You pointed out a problem with my post. When I said, "Cutting the frame to make a door…" I meant, "cutting the shell to make a door…"

Mea maxima culpa.

You might have to ditch the sidecar to cary the bike in the pickup. Bummer. Sidecars are cool.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #6
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Brian, you raise an interesting question since Airstream has produced a toy hauler in a 34' size. Colonial Airstream - Airstream 2010 PanAmerica 34' Toy Hauler Travel Trailer RV NJ

One of the things you can do is possible call customer service at Jackson Center and see if you can get someone to talk to who is familiar with the Panamerica model who might be able to discuss the similarities and differences between your trailer and that model. Obviously this doesn't even address how you get the motor cycle in and out but at least might give you a definitive answer. As with any trailer the issue becomes where your 700+ lbs of stuff is placed. The Panamerica model left the rear end of the trailer empty which probably balanced out the weight of the toys which were stored in the rear.

Jack
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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Brian

Welcome to the Airstream family. Your life will be forever changed.

I recommend leaving your 34' stock for all the renovation work you are planning. This will be enough of a task for you to accomplish within 7 months especially since you have no previous experience working on Airstreams.

Making a 34' into a toy hauler has some major engineering hurdles that very few folks could solve.

I recommend you buy a one ton truck with a full 8 ft bed and carry your motorcycle (not sidecar rig) in the bed. This may mean getting a smaller motorcycle than you use for your sidecar rig. I carry my Ducati 750ss in the bed of my Tundra (6.5 ft bed). My Airstream is fairly light weight at only 4,700 lbs fully loaded. My Ducati only weighs 420 lbs.

Good luck, Dan
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