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Old 01-11-2008, 10:06 AM   #1
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Rear Bumper Cargo

I know that the issue of carrying cargo on the rear bumper of an Airstream has been addressed extensively on these Forums, but none of the strings that I could locate seem appropriate for this posting.

I recently came across two photos of late model Airstreams that were set up to carry significant weight on the back end. One is an Airstream that is for sale on Ebay that has a tool box installed on the rear bumper. The other is an Airstream that is offered for rent and sports a rack with a genset on it.

The tool box seems to be sitting on bumper support extensions that are welded to the frame. This appears to be a solid installation that was done with some thought.

On the Airstream with the genset, I can't tell how the rack is attached. It doesn't appear to be quite as well done as the tool box.

Any insight or comments wouild be appreciated. I don't know if I would want to carry a genset back there, but a small aluminum tool box would be super helpful in my travels.

Brian
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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The increased weight and length aside for the moment, that area tends to get drenched in water and mud/dirt/grease when towing. Think about how nasty the rear of a Suburban gets in the rain and snow. Any of that stuff would work its way into the box, and soak the tools, rendering them useless after a short time, no matter how well you try to seal it.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Stow it!

Here we go again!
Another opportunity for me to pitch the Sewer Solution!
How much does all that slinkey stinkey stuff you folks tote around weigh? empty of course. Ditch it and get a SS,
And what about that 30 foot long #10 gauge power cord!Mine is stowed in the rear bumper hatch. I'm thinkin of relocating it like the newer trailers, so I can put the cord in another underside bin. Then I'll put my bike on the bumper! Weight is weight is it not?
And what about that pic posted on this forum with the wally in the alps with a bike on the back of this trailer?
A genset is a little much!
On another note; Moosetags- Thank you once again for the best thread of 2007, your trip is most inspiring!
DG
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner
Here we go again!
Another opportunity for me to pitch the Sewer Solution!
How much does all that slinkey stinkey stuff you folks tote around weigh? empty of course. Ditch it and get a SS,
And what about that 30 foot long #10 gauge power cord!Mine is stowed in the rear bumper hatch. I'm thinkin of relocating it like the newer trailers, so I can put the cord in another underside bin. Then I'll put my bike on the bumper! Weight is weight is it not?
And what about that pic posted on this forum with the wally in the alps with a bike on the back of this trailer?
A genset is a little much!
On another note; Moosetags- Thank you once again for the best thread of 2007, your trip is most inspiring!
DG
I'm already using the Sewer Solution, and I think that it is great. I'm still carrying a slinky, though, as I haven't found a way to use the SS at a group sewer dump. The water supply does not usually lend itself to SS use.

Thanx for the kind words on "Lucy's Great Excursion". It was fun doing it. In April, Lucy will be on her way to Moosehead Lake in the Maine backcountry, and I'm planning another electronic trip log.

Brian
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
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there are 3 issues of concern with the tool box, beyond what terry has covered.

1. ground clearance

unless these rear boxes are mounted high, the rear is far more likely to drag.

look how much MORE overhang is created.

the longer trailers are already prone to scraping on many driveways, service station exit ramps and in campgrounds.

why aggravate this issue?

2. reduced carry capacity...

lets assume briefly that sufficient bracing has been added to the frame...

how much does that iron weigh? now add the tool box/contents or genset to the total...

so the 400-500 extra lbs eats into the carry capacity.

and since it isn't OVER the axles the added mass may subtract MORE from carry capacity than the actual weight it adds.

very few a/s models have enough carry capacity as is so...

again who's got carry capacity to use this way?

3. towing/handling/control issues...

as a general rule a/s tow very nicely.

the shape, independent suspension, AND weight distribution and other design features contribute to this...

so moving significant weight this far back will reduce tongue mass (as a %)

and also change the axis of rotation/c.o.g. and forces applied to the axles.

in other words screw up the handling, ride and towing control.

one could load extra weight on the tongue to get mass forward again,

but that only aggravates the weight distribution issue and further stresses the frame and axles...

so to continue, why screw up a great handling trailer?


now to properly address these 3 issues,

one could add higher rated axles, raise the trailer some (and the extension), use truck tires, and beef up the tongue framing...

OR just by a 5'er/toy hauler.

let an a/s remain an a/s...

using a thoroughbred as a pack animal is an injustice to the critter!

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:54 PM   #6
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And by adding the extension and weight, you can mess up the warranty on any NEW vehicle or cancel out and guarantees on a used one. I'd be very careful about doing any of the above. We've had posts where that has happened - why mess up a good thing.......as 2air questioned, "Why try turning a thoroughbred into a pack animal?
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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Hey, I've Seen That Trailer!!!!!!!

YES, THE ONE WITH THE TOOL BOX IN THE BACK. It's in one of the RV parks that I'm in just about every day!!

I told the guy he was crazy, but he 'knows it all'! His brother has a fabrication shop, and he welded a frame extension on to the trailer.

I can't wait for the frame to start separating
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:46 PM   #8
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I can not wait for Inland Andy to chime in. If it will not fit in the compartment between the bumper then it is too big or heavy from what I have read. In the end however, one of the reasons I bought an airstream was for the beauty and simplicity of the design. These add ons are well, UGLY.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:38 AM   #9
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I agree that it is ugly, but the Yamaha generator is about 140 lb, so it is not a big weight. I've been carrying 500 lb Personal Watercraft hanging on rear hitches on the 4-th motorhome to date. Don't really feel it there, but than -fishtailing is not an issue on motorhome.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1
I agree that it is ugly, but the Yamaha generator is about 140 lb, so it is not a big weight. I've been carrying 500 lb Personal Watercraft hanging on rear hitches on the 4-th motorhome to date. Don't really feel it there, but than -fishtailing is not an issue on motorhome.
And a motor home has a truck frame to support it, where an Airstream's frame is supported by the body, and not very substantial.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:22 AM   #11
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I can not wait for Inland Andy to chime in.
I've spoken with Andy, he is more than a little under the weather, so he may have to sit this discussion out.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:25 AM   #12
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Ditto on ugly. That was my first thought when I saw the genset photo. The ugly factor alone ought to prevent folks from doing it.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #13
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Well each his own and it seems the beauty of these RVs is just what got me so interested. If you want to paint it pink with polka dots go ahead. I have had 5-6 other SOB from Class A to travel trailers and I always pointd out airstreams. Finally my wife said to buy one and get it over. I love that women!!
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1
I agree that it is ugly, but the Yamaha generator is about 140 lb, so it is not a big weight. I've been carrying 500 lb Personal Watercraft hanging on rear hitches on the 4-th motorhome to date. Don't really feel it there, but than -fishtailing is not an issue on motorhome.
140 pounds, is "dead" weight.

That is not what the generator weighs at the bumper..

As an example, if the generator is 10 feet rearward of the rear tire, then the generator now weighs 1400 pounds, sitting still.

Then when you hit just a small bump, that weight will suddenly multiply by 2, 3 or even more times.

"Moment arm" is the name of the game.

Moment arm changes the complexion, quickly, in an aircraft or anything that is towed.

Anything over the weight of a sewer hose and it's related fittings, is "begging" for trouble on bended knees.

It doesn't matter how much you beef up the frame, you cannot change the moment arm.

In fact, adding additional weight to the frame to hold a storage box at the rear, just adds to the moment arm situation, and in time, "will" rip apart the rear end.

Andy
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