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Old 02-14-2006, 11:26 PM   #1
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Red face Towing behind an A/S

All of you participating in these forums are great. We have learned so much from all of you and have contributed nothing but questions.

So as not to break tradition, here's another:

Just bought a '67 Tradewind (it's a long & boring story behind the '66 Tradewind that the '67 replaces; suffice it to say that we learned a lot from the '66 but the '67 is ready to roll down the highway.) and want to know if anyone has successfully attempted to tow a motorcycle trailer behind an Airstream, particularly a trailer equal or similar to a 1967 Tradewind (as if there could be anything equal).

I was thinking of adding (welding) a hitch to the rear end then attaching about 1,100 lbs. to that (cycle & trailer combined). Is this feasible? If the frame isn't previously compromised, can the stock frame take the load without compromising its integrity?

I'm thinking Sturgis here.

Any help will be appreciated and I (we) absolve you of any liability for your comments &/or suggestions in advance.

As always, thanks to all.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:34 PM   #2
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I have a question here. Does your state allow two ball hitch trailers to be towed at once ? Here in Oregon the first trailer has to be a 5th wheel for that and then you have to get a permit to do it.

How about the states you will be travelling through ?

Chris
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:51 AM   #3
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I don't claim any expertise in towing, but nearly everything I have read on the forums indicate it's a bad idea to add any weight to the rear of an Airstream trailer. At any rate, here is a towing law guide that lists the states where towing two trailers are legal/illegal.


http://www.recvehicle.com/laws.html
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:11 AM   #4
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It is a bad idea. Very bad. The constant bouncing of the second trailer on the frame of the Airstream, plus the extra weight of the tongue and second trailer, will cause many more problems with your new to you coach. Think rear end sag, separation, broken frame rails, popped rivets, reduced tongue weight of your coach for a less stable tow. Not to mention it is illegal in many states.
If you have to take a motorcycle with you, you can get a carrier for the front of most trcks and vans that will hold a small motorcycle. Obviously a small (non-American) motorcycle would not be well received at Sturgis. If you have a pickup, you could put the bike in the bed of the truck.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:15 AM   #5
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A lot of info is spread through any number of threads. But the basics are that the engineering is just sufficient to support the structure aft of the axle. This engineering fell notoriously short with rear end separation in the Beatrice years, but one reads about that problem to some degree with most any era. Frame members are a lot smaller than current day on my '74 Argosy -- doubt Airstreams were any different in '67.

Even bicycles shouldn't be added at the rear bumper. The moment arm from the axle to the bumper multiplies any added weight back there and works to rip things apart. Hitch weight? Not a chance -- they just weren't built for that.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:28 AM   #6
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Motorcycle love

Mick and Judy--I feel your pain--I too have been trying to figure a way to include my r1100 BMW gs motorcycle--It hates to be left at home! I guess it'll have to go into the AS living room [its only 750 lbs.!]--just kidding
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:43 AM   #7
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Regardless of what the state allows, it's a BIG no no. Don't do it.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:13 AM   #8
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If you have to tow your HOG to Sturgis and I can understand you're wanting to do it with an Airstream, trade the TT for a Classic Motor Home. We live a few blocks from the Harley plant here in Milwaukee and my Classic is always drawing attention from the enthusiasts visiting the plant.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:19 PM   #9
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Again, Thanks

I believe you've given me more than enough reasons to quit considering this (now) obvious folly .

A ramp and tiedown straps it is.
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:44 AM   #10
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Having just returned from Florida with a load of golf ball samples for the PGA show in Myrtle Beach I can attest to the load handling of AS P30's. I added display materials for three more booth exhibits as well.
Don't count on hauling too much past the rear axle.
With my airbags at normal presure the ride was much harsher than usual. Of course I was carrying almost 2,000 lbs. more in what was originally the casket chamber/flower area behind the rear axle. I'm certain that the coach was never designed to carry that much weight in it's original configuration.
The only way to ever consider towing behind your trailer would be a complete redo of the frame to accomodate the weight and stress of the trailer. Not a good idea from my perspective.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:43 PM   #11
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It looks like you have decided against adding a second trailer, which I think is a good choice. I've traveled from southern California to Colorado deer hunting the last two years in a pick up, 5th wheel, and utility trailer hauling two quads. The stress on the 5th wheel is unbelievable. At times the utility trailer will bounce and cause a jerking effect on the 5th wheel. An airstream frame doesn't seem like it would take the abuse. This year I hope to take my 26ft Argosy and put my quad in the back of my pickup.
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:15 PM   #12
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From the other side

Well, Mick really wants to go to Sturgis; me, I think maybe the Hog goes in the truck bed, the AS doesn't get compromised and we will all have a great time. (?) At least I'll have my own john, shower and bed. Happy trails to you.....
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:36 PM   #13
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Strugis Bound

Here is a photo of a good way to take the bike to Sturgis.

There is another thread about a BMW rally in Vermont, but
Sturgis sounds like more fun to me. Where are you departing from ????
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:57 PM   #14
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Lovely St. Louis is our departure point (but not often enough).
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