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Old 09-07-2002, 01:29 PM   #1
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Aluminum underbelly missing

I am new to RVing and considering an Airstream. Recently I noticed that the International trailers do not have the aluminum underbelly that the other have. Does anyone know why?

I seems that it is missing the insulation that the other airstreams seems to have.

Thanks, Joe
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Old 09-07-2002, 02:27 PM   #2
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Have you noticed this on just one International or on several? It's my understanding that all Airstreams have aluminum underbellies... And the Internationals were the "upgraded" models...

Shari
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Old 09-07-2002, 02:33 PM   #3
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Aluminum belly

I suspect the original intent was streamlining, but I know enough aerodynamics to know that the effect would be minimal in the disturbed air from the tow vehicle. There might be some insulating value, but I didn't find any appreciable heat coming in at floor level in 98 degree temps the last few days.

It has to be more expensive to build and hinders maintenance. If I were to bet, I would expect more models in the future without the aluminum belly.

Besides, most of the bottom of my trailer is taken up by the 3 tanks, anyway. The tanks are in styrofoam insulated boxes.
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Old 09-07-2002, 02:46 PM   #4
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Oooops! I was assuming an older/vintage International. Maybe the brand new ones don't have the aluminum underbelly...my mistake! I know nothing with regards to new trailers...

Shari
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Old 09-07-2002, 02:54 PM   #5
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New International

No, the new International does not have an aluminum underbody. The "banana wraps", the portions that curve under the trailer are made of black plastic. The frame and floor is exposed except that about 1/2 or more of the length is taken up by the 3 steel boxes containing the tanks.
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Old 09-07-2002, 05:50 PM   #6
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Another cheapening of their product?

I'm very surprised to hear this as a covered insulated bottom has been a trademark of their product. Guess they found another corner to cut.

John
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Old 11-10-2002, 07:21 AM   #7
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Underbelly

I'm assuming that the Bambi does not have the aluminum underbelly as well, as these two models are designed to be lighter weight SUV-capable Airstreams and this would be one way to reduce weight as well as cost. My concerns would be the exposure of the flooring, as previously mentioned, and the loss of some floor insulating value to winter dampness and the elements as well as their long-term effects on the underside. It would seem to make sense to at least cover the exposed floor sections with aluminum leaving the areas that might need maintenance (holding tanks, etc.) exposed for that purpose.
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Old 11-10-2002, 01:05 PM   #8
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Currently only the new Airstream "Classic" trailers have an aluminum underbelly cover.
Jim
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Old 11-10-2002, 03:32 PM   #9
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Underbelly wrap

The underside of the floor is completely covered with an "underbelly wrap" (got that term from the parts catalog) between the frame and the wooden flooring. The wrap appears to be a woven material of some sort impregnated with a black plastic material. It is a really tough material. Not a scrap of wood is showing.
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Old 11-10-2002, 08:15 PM   #10
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Underbelly wrap

Amen. . . and thanks, again, for the information.
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Old 11-10-2002, 09:41 PM   #11
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Correction

I got it wrong on my last post. I missed by one line in the parts catalog. The bottom of the International is covered with "Roll, Underbelly, Black Plastic" according to the parts catalog, part number 203304.

The parts catalog for the 2002 International is on the A/S site as a PDF file that you can browse or print. There are just a few minor changes betweeb the 2002 and the 2003 models. I have made good use of the parts catalog in installing some switches and a clock in the partitions.
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