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Old 06-07-2016, 09:11 AM   #71
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I received another response from the owner. All products will have some issues and will not be perfect, I accept that and can deal with just about anything..

It comes down to how the company that I purchase a product or service from responds when said product or service fails to meet expectations...

The owner of the box company has been very responsive and informative, he has even emailed me his personal cell phone.. To me that means a lot, I can deal with some flaws as long as the company is willing to help and figure out a solution.. Which this company is more than willing to do..
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:51 AM   #72
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Sounds like a stand up company. Keep us posted, several of us are looking for that better mousetrap.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:00 PM   #73
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GearSpace 34 experience

We purchased a Lets Go Aero GearSpace 34 several months ago, switching from their GearCage model that wasn't a good fit for our purposes. We've taken several trips, including a 2K+ mile trip over Memorial Day, and are quite happy with its performance. Lots of space, the tub is a sturdy heavy plastic, and the fit and finish is good.

We have the optional wheels, which make pulling it away from the doors easier and less cantilevered. The wheels lower and raise easily once you get the hang of it. They also making removing the box altogether a one (fit and persistent) person job.

When pulled back the box allows both doors to open fully so we can sleep with the screen down when the weather allows. This was a key requirement.

We carry two folding bikes, camp chairs and table, propane heater, electric fan, a canopy shelter, and the like--less than 200 lbs. Roads in NOLA can only aspire to third world standards, but we've had no mechanical issues. That said I made a point of checking every bolt when I installed it and periodically since.

I also had good support experience with the previous product. Your mileage may vary, but it's working out well for us so far.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:32 AM   #74
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Still working on this issue, contemplating various configurations, especially with weight being kept in mind. Ultimately what might work best is a mounting system that could accept either a box or a tray, depending on the needs of the trip, with a tray weighing much less.

Well, if the needs call for tray only, then I'd like to get a simple cargo cover to use in conjunction with it. Question as I pound my head on my desk: Why are virtually all of them black? Black, in the southern United States, enclosing a cooler? Why not just take a blow torch to it?

Maybe it's because the manufacturers figure that black would show less dirt, or because it's the cheapest way to incorporate some UV stability to the fabric, but one would expect there to be a reflective option somewhere in the mix. If there is, I haven't found it yet.
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:00 AM   #75
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The hitch carrier issue has been discussed at length across several threads, the most recent (and contentious) of which has been this one.

After finding no reasonably durable or secure solution in the commercial market, my brilliant engineer husband designed and fabricated this minimalist hitch carrier to fit our needs. It's built like a brick outhouse despite weighing just 57 pounds unloaded. We haven't subjected it to the ultimate road test yet, which is the crumbling IH-10 through the southeastern U.S., but I'm willing to bet that it will do just fine (it was certainly unaffected by a gallop down IH-45 the Gulf Freeway). Details, design rationale, and theft-deterrent issues are discussed in the blog post linked below.

I know I'm going to get some good-natured ribbing along the lines of "Oh! How cool! You built a dog carrier!"


The dog is simply there smiling in the photo to mirror her owner's state of absolute delight at finally seeing the successful delivery of this project, which was almost two years from conception to completion.

CUSTOM HITCH CARRIER FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:12 AM   #76
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Airstream Interstate roof storage

Nice work! I came across this strange rear storage box on a recent trip to Winnipeg. It has three trailer hitch jacks that fold down to remove this beast from the van. I imagine when loaded it is very heavy and probably exceeds the 500 lb. weight limit on a Sprinter hitch.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:41 AM   #77
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One of LB_3's original ideas was to weld additional receivers onto the existing hitch assembly that came with the Interstate. Then we realized less is more - we wouldn't need any additional receivers unless we were carrying the weight that demanded them. And by the way, additional receivers are really freakin' heavy in themselves (we bought some). So we deleted that idea (and now I have to do a return shipping on those danged things).

This is a Class B - everything needs to be scaled down. So we took a hard look at what we need right now, versus what might be nice to have. It came back around to the simplest possible configuration. Which actually turned out to be an unexpectedly versatile configuration. Especially if we start welding up additional little supplementary brackets for items such as bikes or a BBQ. We could put a lot of stuff on that rear end now. Maybe not all at once, but any given trip doesn't demand everything at once (not the kinds of trips we do) - it only demands certain stuff. And that's the key.
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:25 PM   #78
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We looked at building a swing basket but the hinge alone is about 25 lbs and the total weight was going to be well over 200 lbs. I wanted to use the additional receivers that IB mentioned to keep the basket from rocking but two additional receivers would add 16 pounds to the vehicle and would increase the weight of the basket by another 8-12 lbs. Given that we're less than 400 lbs from max vehicle weight with only a half full fresh water tank, an extra 30 pounds felt like a luxury. I purchased a hitch tightener to reduce the rocking. It works well for now but it hasn't seen a lot of miles yet.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:28 PM   #79
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Gear space 34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mjgman View Post
I received another response from the owner. All products will have some issues and will not be perfect, I accept that and can deal with just about anything..

It comes down to how the company that I purchase a product or service from responds when said product or service fails to meet expectations...

The owner of the box company has been very responsive and informative, he has even emailed me his personal cell phone.. To me that means a lot, I can deal with some flaws as long as the company is willing to help and figure out a solution.. Which this company is more than willing to do..
Have you gotten a resolution on your Gearspace 34 bent crossmembers? Just got back from a long trip to the Northcountry with our new Gearspace 34. I want to love this thing but there are a couple of issues that aren't acceptable for a hitch mounted box in this price range. First of all, it has gobs of storage and would be easy to go over on the weight limit. For this trip I had less than 175 pounds and the heavier items were centered over the large support members. The crossmembers were slightly bent during the trip (not as much as yours). The other issue is even when the bus is parked, I've had up to a cup or two of water get into the box after a steady rain. I called the company but the owner was not in. It's too big to ship back but I would be willing to make repairs myself if they send the parts.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:04 PM   #80
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..... The other issue is even when the bus is parked, I've had up to a cup or two of water get into the box after a steady rain.....
Just as an FYI in case this might be a consideration for anyone, most of the high-end coolers on the market right now (Yeti or other brands) are not only water tight - they are air tight, so much so that storing dry ice in a Yeti could be potentially hazardous due to pressure build-up (reportedly said by a specialty meat shipper via one of the recent trailer threads).

It was mentioned previously on at least one thread that the Stowaway also leaks. If someone absolutely had to have a dry exterior gear space for whatever reason, buying and mounting a large one of these coolers would pretty much guarantee it.

After we got our hitch carrier completed, it suddenly occurred to me that there's no law that says I have to only carry food in that cooler. Depending on the needs of the trip, I could carry pretty much any cargo I needed to, as long as it would fit. I mean, we went to tremendous trouble to build that carrier, so why not use it in as many different ways as possible?

A larger cooler on a hitch carrier would be even more versatile than ours. Some of them are pretty large - as in, offshore fishing expedition large. The Yeti Tundra 250 for instance. It would be well-proportioned to the rear end of the Interstate (although as I mentioned previously, if I were buying all over again, I would choose Cabela's).
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:26 AM   #81
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I finished trimming out our "back porch" yesterday with visibility tape, non-slip treads, and a cover that I sewed for the cooler. There's some sourcing info in the blog post in case it's of interest to anyone.

And here's a night shot that illustrates why I'm fond of DOT C2 reflective tape. That stuff is amazing.

CUSTOM HITCH CARRIER FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE, PART 3: TRIM OUT
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:54 PM   #82
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INTERBLOG----
Very nice job and well thought out addition to your Interstate. Thank you for sharing your projects with us. AEW
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:54 AM   #83
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A short lesson in metallurgy this morning, as it may become relevant to the others of you who use hitch carriers of one kind or another.

LB_3 mentioned above that we had used a hitch tightener to stabilize our hitch carrier. We bought the tightener produced (or at least plated) by StowAway for that purpose.

I had to take the carrier off yesterday so that LB_3 could complete the wiring to the license plate light. I got everything off step by step and came to StowAway’s tightener. This hitch carrier is my brand new toy that took almost two years to realize, so I’m handling every part of it with kid gloves. I didn’t even put a wrench to the StowAway piece – I intentionally got the correct socket (3/4) just to make sure that I was getting it off cleanly, no inappropriate forces applied.

The first nut came off in the expected manner, no issues.

The second nut was seized from the get-go, so I went back into the house and fetched LB_3 and told him that he needed to deal with it because I didn’t want to run the risk of damaging it.

A few minutes later, he came back into the house and announced, “It’s not every day you see galling like that.”

Thus entered a new word into my Interstate vocabulary. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia: “

“Galling is caused by a combination of friction and adhesion between the surfaces, followed by slipping and tearing of crystal structure beneath the surface. This will generally leave some material stuck or even friction welded to the adjacent surface, …. Galling is most commonly found in metal surfaces that are in sliding contact with each other. It is especially common where there is inadequate lubrication between the surfaces. However, certain metals will generally be more prone to galling, due to the atomic structure of their crystals. For example, aluminum is a metal that will gall very easily, whereas annealed (softened) steel is slightly more resistant to galling. Steel that is fully hardened is very resistant to galling.”

In other words, the nut had essentially welded itself to the bolt. The only way to release it at that point was to break it, as shown in this photo below. This phenomenon is different from cross-threading. You can see in the photo that there’s no evidence of cross-threading (such as eroded threads along the length). Just a thoroughly-welded nut.

People sometimes ask me why we are so obsessive about building stuff ourselves. This is an example of why. When we buy stuff produced by someone else, it’s not uncommon for things to unexpectedly go wrong. Not so much when we do the building. A person can certainly live without a hitch tightener, but it’s a nice thing to have, and if it works, it eliminates the need for another method of lateral stabilization (such as the installation of a second, off-set hitch receiver as mentioned above in other posts). This is exactly the kind of failure event I would rather live without if I’m 500 miles from the nearest RV supply place.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:04 AM   #84
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This is a common problem with Stainless Steel and Aluminum fasteners. I've had it happen to me in a similar situation. I now use an anti-seize compound on all SS or Al bolts. It's messy stuff but prevents the galling seizures.

https://www.permatex.com/product-cat...ts-anti-seize/


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2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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