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Old 09-16-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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Possible to solder an extension up front for a motorcycle

Hello everyone. My wife and I are interested in a Bambi 16 or 19, but need to be able to tow our motorcycles as well. Would it be possible to have a extension of sorts soldered to the front of the AS to accommodate a platform like in the image below (link). Each bike FYI weighs roughly 375 lbs (link to picture of bikes below as well). we would be towing with an FJ Cruiser so I won't have any weight issues at the hitch:
(sorry tried to attach pic but forum wouldn't let me unless I upload and can't from ipad)
-little-guy 6-wide sport

-Our bikes
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:56 AM   #2
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Hello everyone. My wife and I are interested in a Bambi 16 or 19, but need to be able to tow our motorcycles as well. Would it be possible to have a extension of sorts soldered to the front of the AS to accommodate a platform like in the image below (link). Each bike FYI weighs roughly 375 lbs (link to picture of bikes below as well).
Forgive the correction in nomenclature, but it would be welding, not soldering. If the steel frame is galvanized, you'd have to grind off the galvanizing first before welding, and then reapply a brush-on galvanizing afterwards. At a bare minimum, the welding should conform to AWS D1.1 standards, to ensure that the weld is at least as strong as the original frame.

Aside from that, there would be a significant change in weight distribution, since your trailer gets longer, but the axles aren't relocated. You'd lave a lot more tongue weight, not only from the motorcycles, but also from the weight of the platform and the frame extension. Without actually seeing a design for your trailer, I can't crunch the numbers, but as a guess, about 70% of the added weight would be on the hitch, and 30% of the added weight on the trailer axle. Depending on the design you use, it could range anywhere from 50/50 to about 80/20.

I hate to steer anyone away from Airstreams here on the AirForums, but if taking your motorcycles is that important to you, you might want to consider a dedicated "toy hauler" trailer instead of modifying an Airstream.

If you don't like toy haulers, there are also horse trailers with built-in living quarters that can haul motorcycles instead of horses. While I was camping at Lake Dardanelle, I saw a Lakota bumper-pull living quarters horse trailer that the owner used to haul a matched pair of Harleys. LOUD Harleys, but there's no other kind, and I guess it couldn't be helped that he spent a lot of time tinkering with them and revving them up and distrubing the other campers.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:09 AM   #3
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Saw your ride on ADVrider..thought those looked familiar. In short the answer to your question is no. My wife and I are working out the logistics for the same sort of thing, albeit with a larger trailer. I think you are pretty much stuck with a longbed pickup, and bikes in the back. We are planning an F250 diesel. We have looked at toy haulers but the problem is they are terribly finished, and have beds for 12 people, which is fine for taking everyone out to ride dirt for a weekend and then home, but longer term for two not so much.

We are from FL and hope to take some time off from working soon and set up out west moving periodically and riding from the base that is the Airstream.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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The frame of an A$ is no where near strong enough for this application. I would think the additional weight of the bikes and the frame would cause frame and hull damage. Not to mention overloading the axles.
The additional weight on the TV may put it above the capacity of the trucks suspension and axle rating.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:41 AM   #5
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Perhaps find yourself one of these:

Airstream unveils toy-toting PanAmerica trailer
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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Consider this
Eddie Bauer Airstream
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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We have looked at toy haulers but the problem is they are terribly finished, and have beds for 12 people, which is fine for taking everyone out to ride dirt for a weekend and then home, but longer term for two not so much.
Which is why I also suggested horse trailers with living quarters. If they can handle 1000-pound horses, they can handle 500-pound motorcycles, and the living quarters tend to be nicer than a toy hauler, though still small for the overall trailer size.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #8
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We had one member of our go full timing after he retired and bought a long bed truck with a swing down ramp to load his hog into the back of the truck which had a high cap. The trailer needed to be detached to unload the cycle, but he said that was not a problem. I have seen a number of Transamerican Airstream toy haulers but the new cost over $100,000. You might get a bargain on a used one. I would not recommend you trying to modify one of the small Airstreams to haul bikes, as it will overload the frame, axles, bearings, and tires. You would have nothing but problems. The horse trailer does seem to be more economical, but isn't an Airstream.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:26 AM   #9
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We put our 250 pound scooters in the back of our truck, just watch the payload capacity. Jim
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #10
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Just saw the photo of your bikes, as a moto guzzi fan, you MUST find a way to take your bikes with you. Keep the Italians on the road. Jim
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #11
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Forgive the correction in nomenclature, but it would be welding, not soldering. If the steel frame is galvanized, you'd have to grind off the galvanizing first before welding, and then reapply a brush-on galvanizing afterwards. At a bare minimum, the welding should conform to AWS D1.1 standards, to ensure that the weld is at least as strong as the original frame.
Realized as soon as I submitted the post that I had made that mistake (and being my first post I couldn't correct it until the mod approval). Don't know what I was thinking.

Thanks for the feedback. Guess its back to plan A (truck for the bikes)
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AdamFL View Post
Saw your ride on ADVrider..thought those looked familiar. In short the answer to your question is no. My wife and I are working out the logistics for the same sort of thing, albeit with a larger trailer. I think you are pretty much stuck with a longbed pickup, and bikes in the back. We are planning an F250 diesel. We have looked at toy haulers but the problem is they are terribly finished, and have beds for 12 people, which is fine for taking everyone out to ride dirt for a weekend and then home, but longer term for two not so much.

We are from FL and hope to take some time off from working soon and set up out west moving periodically and riding from the base that is the Airstream.
That's the same reason we have stayed away from the toy haulers. Anything close to the size we're looking for is just plain hideous!! A smaller version of the Panamerica would be perfect but since that doesn't exist we like something like the Bambi International 16

As you may have seen in the post on advrider, our plan is also to use a truck (and hopefully an AS) to get out further in a shorter amount of time and start our "loop" from there.

(I'm originally from Miami, FL btw....so I feel you pain as far as riding there goes)
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:50 AM   #13
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+1 on keeping the bikes in the bed of a TV ... that is the only safe place for our GS. Can your FJ really handle over 1,000 pounds added at the hitch - liability ... doubtful ... YMMV
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:57 AM   #14
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Not all Harley's are loud. It's just that 99 out of hundred guys wants loud pipes. If it is left as it came from the factory the volume is street legal- not loud.
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