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Old 08-12-2008, 07:06 AM   #1
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Towing gutted shell

Greetings fellow 'Streamers,

Any thoughts on towing a gutted shell? How much does interior fittings add to overall structural integrity?

I have a 64 Safari and am in the process of a total rebuild. The interior of the AS has been completely removed. The floor remains in place, but does have some bad spots. I'd like to pull the trailer for a couple of easy 150 mile legs if it can be done without damage. It's been going strong for 44 years, and I want at least 40 more out of it!

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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Hello Dave. The inner skin is the most important component for shell rigidity. Remember that all states require breakaway brakes (with on-board battery) when trailers go above 1500-2000# weight. How about tail lights -- do they work? Many salvagers make up their own light bar.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:44 AM   #3
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Yes, the intrerior is important to the structural integrity of the trailer. The tow if needed should be on good hghways and slow. I might suggest some weight anchored inside to give ballace and minimize the bouncing (axle good?). The weight should be centered with the appropiate tongue weight.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 64_safari View Post
Greetings fellow 'Streamers,

Any thoughts on towing a gutted shell? How much does interior fittings add to overall structural integrity?

I have a 64 Safari and am in the process of a total rebuild. The interior of the AS has been completely removed. The floor remains in place, but does have some bad spots. I'd like to pull the trailer for a couple of easy 150 mile legs if it can be done without damage. It's been going strong for 44 years, and I want at least 40 more out of it!

Thanks,

Dave
Your first problem will be considerable sway, since the trailer weight has been reduced by a large degree.

Your shell will be ok. However, when you start the rebuild, make sure you properly use jack stands to level the shell, which will put in back into a straight line.

Andy
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
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Bob, Neil and Andy,

Thanks so much for the replies. The interior panels are still intact and wiring is still in place for lights, brakes, etc. I have an anti-sway hitch and this trailer tows like a dream, but I have not towed it since removing the interior.

Like most projects, I didn't realize how extensive the makeover would be. I WONT miss the Winfield bluegrass festival even if I have to sleep in a tent! I'm considering putting the restoration on hold until after the festival and putting the old army cot and lawn chairs in for the fest. Man, will that be hillbilly or what?

Thanks again to all,

Dave
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:17 PM   #6
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Dave,

As you read around the Forum, you'll see a LOT of people who end up using their Airstreams as aluminum tents when they are mid-restoration. It's common, and from what I hear, quite fun!

Good luck with the move, I think you'll be fine if you just take it easy, and be sure to monitor your trailer's condition throughout the process.

Good luck,
-Marcus
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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I was always told not to tow an airstream with shell not attached to floor as made. Shell and frame work together, So if that part of the structure is intact and sound I would think you should be OK, however you are going to have to load the tongue properly if your going a distance on the freeway ect. Probably use water in those blue sealed jugs or what ever plat sand ect. Good Luck
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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The master spaketh earlier

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I was always told not to tow an airstream with shell not attached to floor as made. ...
And now Andy, with his background in settling Airstream insurance claims, has provided a viewpoint. Don't forget that he can be somewhat annoying with his "safety first" mantra.

I trust what he says AND it corraborates what I would have done in a similar situation.

Tom
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:54 PM   #9
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I towed my GT 1000 miles with no interior or panels at all, But mine is different then a stock trailer. I had zero issues. My wife and I just used our camping gear inside. It was fun
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