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Old 12-06-2008, 10:06 PM   #15
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All,

I called the factory as anyone here can and asked about this very subject. Ask them what they think about it, the numbers and contact info can be found at the bottom of this post.

If you don't have time for the call, I'll save you some time. The factory-- you know, the folks that design and build our silverjoys, are staunchly against the practice of adding anything to the rear of the Airstream (trailer). I recall the tech's comments being in the realm of "anyone doing this is asking for trouble", "not a matter of if, but more a matter of when rear end separation will happen", "the back of the RV is not designed for these kinds loads". These are the words of the factory representatives, not mine.

I would invite anyone doing this or considering this to pick up the phone and ask the questions. I promise that you will get a 110% resounding don't do it. Here is the contact info for Airstream technical support and various methods on contacting the company.... don't take my word for it, by all means, call them and get the low down from the folks who know and straight from the "horses" mouth:

Speak to a Technical Support representative:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm, EST:
877-596-6111

Toll Free Automated Technical Support Line:
877-596-6505
Your call will be returned within 48 hrs.

Airstream Inc.
419 West Pike Street
P.O. Box 629
Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: 877-596-6111
Fax: 937-596-7939

Just don't do it, don't even consider it. If the factory says sure, go do this to your trailer (non-Pan America or vintage Mo-Ho), I will be happy to have the mods remove this post. If you still do it, or continue to do it, best of luck to you.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:22 PM   #16
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This subject has been beat to death and resurrected ad nauseum. If you do a forums search you will find more than you could ever want.

The opinions that are out there are more applicable to 70s Airstreams which have a lighter frame and longer Airstreams which are more effected by the cantelever effect of weight on the back bumper, both of which can contribute to rear end sag and separation
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:25 PM   #17
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Our 69

Our 69 Overlander had rear end separation and it also had the remnants of some sort of rack on the back--maybe for a tire......or a bicycle......not sure what it was and we didn't know it had separation when we bought the trailer. The effects of putting something heavy on the rear may not be known for some time....pj
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
The opinions that are out there are more applicable to 70s Airstreams which have a lighter frame and longer Airstreams which are more effected by the cantelever effect of weight on the back bumper, both of which can contribute to rear end sag and separation
This is not exactly true, I specifically asked about any newer Airstream as mine is a 2004. The answer however appeared to be an all encompassing statement meaning that no Airstream was designed for this (minus Pan America or MoHo, which can take these loads) due to the fact that the shell takes and manages some of the load. Feel free to fix my spelling, but it's called monoquot something or along the line)

Again, don't take my word for it, I invite anyone considering this or doing this to call the company first thing Monday morning. I am beyond very sure they will tell you similar to what they told me, which I posted above.

I am not offering any "opinion" here. My posts on this subject are matching what the factory told me. Please contact them should you still feel differently.

In the end, I am not the one who owns your Airstream, has to maintain it or fix it.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
This is not exactly true, I specifically asked about any newer Airstream as mine is a 2004. The answer however appeared to be an all encompassing statement meaning that no Airstream was designed for this (minus Pan America or MoHo, which can take these loads) due to the fact that the shell takes and manages some of the load. Feel free to fix my spelling, but it's called monoquot something or along the line)

Again, don't take my word for it, I invite anyone considering this or doing this to call the company first thing Monday morning. I am beyond very sure they will tell you similar to what they told me, which I posted above.
No doubt adding further to Scotty's confusion. There is a lot in the forums that is "not exactly true" and even more opinions, especially mine. But what is true is 70s Airstreams have a lighter frame than other years and also there is more written about rear end separation for these models. Also, respectfully, it's just basic physics that added weight on the back of a 31 foot Sovereign which hangs out in space about 8 feet past the axles is going to cause more stress than on say a 22' Safari which hangs out about half the distance.

Putting extra weight on the back bumper of any Airstream may not be exactly a good idea, but for some, it is a worser idea. But then again, you can't always do what you're supposed to do. at least I can't.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:54 PM   #20
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While that may be true- some are worse than others, the underlying theme I caught from the rep was it was a no no,no matter what the length. It won't take very much, even on the short ones. The factory didn't tell me, it's ok on the 16s, 19s and 23s, but don't do it on anything bigger than 23'. They simply said just don't do it--- not on a 16 and not on a 34'. Of course there was no Pan America back then, and by default the vintage MoHos are a whole different beast.

Now we can split hairs on the 70s that would separate without anything put on the rear end (mostly rear bath units), and you'd be right, they had more issues. However, my read on your orig post was that frame separation concerns are more geared toward the 70s models and from what Airstream told me, the 80s, 90s and 00s will separate just as easily if you put something on the back end, which is the question of this thread. It (newer Airstream) should not however separate should you not place something back there like the 70s Beatrice years did without anything attached.

The bottom line is that if the folks that build these say no (with little to no conditions), then it's not a best practice and should you not follow best practice, then make sure you have a full checkbook, at least that was my read from what I was told. Me, I find there are many alternatives out there which means that I don't have to do what I'm not suppose to do. Mine was to buy a roof rack for the bikes. Sure it's a PITA to load, but it cost me about $200. Any idea what it costs to repair frame separation? I don't, but I'll guess it's significantly more than $200....and Scotty's Airstream is in fact a 2008 going by his profile.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Oh View Post
I and the Princess, ride a tandem bicycle, weighs about 65 lbs. Any experience advice on the issue would be greatly appreciated. We would rather not carry it on top of TV because of height.
Thanks
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Originally Posted by henw View Post
We have a rack that lies on floor. Locks the front fork, and, the tandem rides in the AS hallway clean and dry.

Tom
Hi, Scotty Oh; We also have a tandem that we plan on taking with us in our Airstream trailer and we plan to mount it to a rack on a board as mentioned by henw.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Mine was to buy a roof rack for the bikes. Sure it's a PITA to load, but it cost me about $200. Any idea what it costs to repair frame separation? I don't, but I'll guess it's significantly more than $200....and Scotty's Airstream is in fact a 2008 going by his profile.
Hi, trying to load a tandem onto a roof rack would not be a fun task.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:13 AM   #23
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Here's how we load our's.

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Old 12-07-2008, 08:11 AM   #24
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Hi, trying to load a tandem onto a roof rack would not be a fun task.
Totally agree. My comments on the roof rack were mainly to point out that alternative options are possible, as seen by what Tom and others have done, and that any alternate solutions will cost far less than any possible frame separation repair costs that apparently, per the factory, will eventually happen.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:52 AM   #25
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A little more perspective... I carry two recumbents in our Bigfoot, and have used most modes of transport for bikes over the years. We bought two Trek F600/F400 folders this summer to solve the transport issue. That said, we use a small bicycle rack inside the hallway for the recumbents, much like henw and attach the bikes to the rack using bungie cords. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of our exact setup, but the attached photo shows the rack I use and conventional wedgies. I put the rear wheels in the rack as our recumbents are 26"/20" long and short wheelbase bikes. We drove a nearly 4,000 mile round trip with them this summer and they were safe, out of the weather, and didn't damage anything on the trailer or the bikes. The stand also works nicely to support the bikes when parked. I use bar-b-que covers for bike garages for the recumbents when they're parked. All-in-all a very acceptable system.

Now about Airstream frames, bikes on the rear, and frame separation... four or five inch frame notwithstanding, Airstream is monocoque construction. The trailer isn't built on a frame which provides support for the cabin, the frame and cabin support each other which is what allows the Airstream to (at least once upon a time) be lighter than any other trailer foot for foot of construction. An Airstream frame cannot be used as a cargo trailer frame because it is not self-supporting. Airstream frames droop without the shell attached. The shells and frames are attached with rivets. If you hang significant weight off the rear of the frame where it wasn't designed to hang, you stress those attaching rivets which will eventually lead to frame/body separation. Physics comes into play here, and things like "moment of inertia" and such goofy things amplify the hundred pound load of two bikes and a carrier to ridiculously high amounts of weight on the rear of a trailer at the top and bottom of it's travel, as it merrily bounces along down the road. That amplified weight on a monocoque construction is what damages an Airstream.

Now... all that aside, the "moment of inertia" stuff also affects your bikes as they are beaten heavily while attached to a rack. I don't need to beat my bike frames any more than what they get while being ridden, so the inside rack is a much better choice for me. On top of that, they're not exposed to road grime and the weather, which are cause for more frequent maintenance and wear.

Roger
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:50 AM   #26
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Good idea, Howie. As far as the length, I will be taking front wheel off to mount using the drop-outs on fork. The length mounted is about 7'. If I am getting close enough to get it into trouble I have a lot more to worry about, with the AS as 8.5" I am hoping to use a receiver if it doesn't add to much weight, maybe on of the small ones.
The receiver will may add some length to the moment are and thus additional force. But most important is to reduce the rotational moment about the bumper of anything hanging off the rear. To do this use something like the strap in my picture affixed to the window frame. This removes the rotational moment arm effect of the cantilevered weight and makes it just a static vertical load.

We carry quite a quantity of collected fossils under the bed and I am sure Airstream Customer Service would say this is a bad idea also. I bought my trailer to use and enjoy it. When and if problems arise from my use I will fix them rather than limit my use by 30 year old logic that is no longer relevant.

There are many on the Forum that have had Good Results in dealing with the Mother Ship. I have had contact with them on problems of axle alignment, roof vent parts, and door parts. Either they claimed Airstream never installed the original item, roof vent crank mechanism, or just took my money and did nothing, axle alignment. I am not one that would suggest the Mother Ship as a source of technical information.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:13 AM   #27
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I would also like to know the answer to this apparent problem on a regular AS
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:07 PM   #28
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Scotty
Add that receiver to the front of that TV That will put the weight on that front axle U have been lookin for, seeing U cant transfer with a WD system.
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