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Old 04-13-2019, 08:34 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Adding a slide out

Has anyone added a slide out to their vintage airstream? We have a 76 sovereign and my hubby wants to add a slide out to the living area. Any and all comments are welcome.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:26 AM   #2
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Just not something I would be interested in doing. Not sure I would even buy the new models with the slide already in them. Adding 800 lbs to that older frame does not appeal to me either.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:50 AM   #3
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There have been very few problems reported with the Airstream slideouts. The frame, however, was beefed up and the original frame may have been stronger than the frames on the older trailers to begin with. Airstream says to not put out the slide without first putting down the stabilizers to avoid twisting the frame.

There are a lot of issues in the design. The slideout has to be sealed against leaks when it is in and when it is out. There are mechanical locks to keep the slide from moving around while going down the road. Before undertaking such an effort it would be wise to take a careful look at the design of one to know what you are up against.

As a final consideration, it might seriously impact the resale value of an older trailer like your Sovereign.

Al
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:44 AM   #4
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If you really want a trailer with a slide out.......buy a trailer with a slide out.

The cost of engineering, fabricating, and buying hardware to put a slide out in your trailer, would be far more expensive, with no guarantees it's going to work, than buying a slide out Airstream.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS You're not kidding anyone; it's you that wants the slide out. Your husband is the one saying "you must be joking right?"
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
There have been very few problems reported with the Airstream slideouts. The frame, however, was beefed up and the original frame may have been stronger than the frames on the older trailers to begin with. Airstream says to not put out the slide without first putting down the stabilizers to avoid twisting the frame.

There are a lot of issues in the design. The slideout has to be sealed against leaks when it is in and when it is out. There are mechanical locks to keep the slide from moving around while going down the road. Before undertaking such an effort it would be wise to take a careful look at the design of one to know what you are up against.

As a final consideration, it might seriously impact the resale value of an older trailer like your Sovereign.

Al
Thanks for the input. I've wondered about those things and more. As for resale not too concerned since I plan on keeping this one even if we were to buy another.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
If you really want a trailer with a slide out.......buy a trailer with a slide out.

The cost of engineering, fabricating, and buying hardware to put a slide out in your trailer, would be far more expensive, with no guarantees it's going to work, than buying a slide out Airstream.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS You're not kidding anyone; it's you that wants the slide out. Your husband is the one saying "you must be joking right?"
Actually I'm on team buy one with a slide out and leave this one as is. Hubby wants space for a recliner and we can't ditch the sofa since we need it as a bed. I already said "you must be joking right?"
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #7
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We have the 2 recliners versus the existing sofa bed discussion going now. But adding a slide for a recliner has not been entered as an idea.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HabaNaHaba View Post
. . .
. . . I already said "you must be joking right?"
. . .
Ditto.

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Old 04-13-2019, 01:46 PM   #9
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Ditto.

We are in the process of adding a slide-out to our '76 International. Well keep you posted.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HabaNaHaba View Post
We are in the process of adding a slide-out to our '76 International. Well keep you posted.
I can tell you that no matter how skilled the craftsman this project is going to be a very bad idea.
I never want to discourage anyone from being creative, but this is going to make an other wise valuable trailer and make it worthless.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:31 PM   #11
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I can tell you that no matter how skilled the craftsman this project is going to be a very bad idea.
I never want to discourage anyone from being creative, but this is going to make an other wise valuable trailer and make it worthless.
Are you speaking from experience? If so please elaborate.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HabaNaHaba View Post
Are you speaking from experience? If so please elaborate.
Knowing how Airstreams are manufactured, the complexity of adding a slide out to a unit that was not designed to have a slide out would make it not feasible to do.
Even if you had a salvage unit with a slide and wanted to put it in your current unit to would be intimidating to even the best of the best.
Cost of this would probably be more than the unit was worth.

Here’s a plan.....Call Jackson Center, they have all the skills, inside knowledge, tools, and facilities to pull this off if possible, they have install second doors for folks (best I can remember at about $8000). Ask them to install a slide out for you. I bet they will tell you NO WAY..

It’s just not a good idea.

With that said, Any MOD is possible with enough time, skill and money.
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:58 AM   #13
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Basic knowledge about Airstreams, structure, and logic all support the following statements, as well as earlier posts, IMO.

Can it be done? Sure . . . but at what cost . . . and with what level of functionality and "finished" look?

If this is the best use of one's time, and money is no object, go for it.

Peter

PS -- And in some future year, when the project is finally done, please update us about the labor hours and material cost.




Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
I can tell you that no matter how skilled the craftsman this project is going to be a very bad idea.
I never want to discourage anyone from being creative, but this is going to make an other wise valuable trailer and make it worthless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Knowing how Airstreams are manufactured, the complexity of adding a slide out to a unit that was not designed to have a slide out would make it not feasible to do.
Even if you had a salvage unit with a slide and wanted to put it in your current unit to would be intimidating to even the best of the best.
Cost of this would probably be more than the unit was worth.

Here’s a plan.....Call Jackson Center, they have all the skills, inside knowledge, tools, and facilities to pull this off if possible, they have install second doors for folks (best I can remember at about $8000). Ask them to install a slide out for you. I bet they will tell you NO WAY..

It’s just not a good idea.

With that said, Any MOD is possible with enough time, skill and money.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HabaNaHaba View Post
We are in the process of adding a slide-out to our '76 International. Well keep you posted.
Have you documented this project? Total labor hours, material costs, and photos would be interesting for all to see IMO.

Thanks,

Peter
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