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Old 07-17-2016, 07:54 PM   #1
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2014 27' FB International
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Close . . . .

Due to some low back issues we bought 2 Worthington 30 pound aluminum propane tanks, allegedly the same size as standard AS tanks. They are close. They fit nicely in the rack on the trailerís tongue (27 FB International) but are just a little taller and fatter. We now canít secure the large wing nut to the threaded tie down rod. It needs to be about ĺ to 1 inch longer. In addition the aluminum cover only goes on with much pressure.

In old forums we have found that there is a longer rod for 40 pound tanks but worry that it might be too long for our cover to close. Also a bigger cover is available but it is taller which we donít need.

We have read the forums for two years and feel fortunate to have learned so much from our fellow Airstreamers. We would greatly appreciate thoughts and ideas from anyone with any mechanic or engineering knowledge or experience.
1. The rod seems to be bolted into the A-frame. If we could get a longer rod does the changeover require more than wrenches (such as welding)? Does anyone know the size of the rod and thread/bolts?
2. Does aluminum stretch? We pull the trailer a lotó35,000 miles in just under two years. Will the bouncing along make the cover slide on more easily?

Thanks in advance for any help,
Jon and Sharon
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:59 PM   #2
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Cut off a few inches of your rod with a hack saw and join the pieced back together with a coupling nut. You will be able to add the extra length you need.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:24 AM   #3
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CRH, thanks for your help. Our trailer is not with us now but my memory (which isn't always correct) is that the entire rod is not threaded making a coupling nut less useful. In addition, would not be able to cut the rod. Would have to remove it and bring it to some place. Do you (or anyone) know if it just screws out somehow? thanks much, Jon
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:28 AM   #4
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Threaded rod and couplers if necessary can be purchased at Lowes or HD. Nothing special about the rod used in Airstreams.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:05 AM   #5
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Mine is a full length piece of all thread rod. It screws into a mount welded to the tongue. It has a nut to lock it down. I could probably lengthen mine by an inch if needed. If not, replacing the whole rod would only take a minute.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:53 PM   #6
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If the coupling nut (great idea BTW) Doesn't work, unscrew the rod, take it to a hardware store and buy the right length.
You DO know how much longer you need, don't you.☺
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help. We need only about one inch more. Will get out to the trailer's storage place soon and see if I can get the rod off. Not very handy but seems within my scope.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:15 AM   #8
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I changed the tanks on my Excella from 30lb to 40lb. There was enough extra length at the bottom of the rod, several inches, for me to loosen the stop nut at the base and adjust it upward. No adding on was required.

I suggest, if you choose to use a threaded rod coupler to splice on an additional rod length, that you also add stop nuts. Rod couplers can turn when vibrated and come loose.

Threaded rod can be purchased at most hardware stores. A new rod of the proper length would be much safer than one that has a piece added on, and it would cost only a few $ more.

add edit:
You asked about diameter of the rod in your first post. I know there are at least 2 sizes. My Safari and my Excella have different diameter threaded rod.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:27 AM   #9
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If you replace rod find stainless rod as most steel supply places will have, very inexpensive then any shop could thread both ends as I don't like threads full length then use stainless nut below bottom bracket and one above to lock in place
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:14 AM   #10
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Cutting new threads on stainless steel can be "challenging", especially on larger sizes like 1/2" rod.

In my humble opinion and experience, I would not use stainless rod in this application, threads in stainless steel pull and gall way to easy for me to use it in an application where things are frequently taken apart and put together.

And then,,,,, I would not use the hardware store "all thread" stuff either, in my experience it is some brittle crap.

I would cut threads on a mild steel rod.


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Old 07-20-2016, 10:51 AM   #11
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Pan for bottles is rusty

I have aluminum bottles on the Avion, but both the pan ,or whatever it is called and the rod are rusty. Where would I find a new one, and does it need to be welded to the a-frame?
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I have aluminum bottles on the Avion, but both the pan ,or whatever it is called and the rod are rusty. Where would I find a new one, and does it need to be welded to the a-frame?
If it were me I would use a wire brush in a drill to clean up that old rod then paint it, leaving the part where the tie down nut goes unpainted.
The old rod that is there will be better quality than what you will get new now. But, you can get new at about any hardware.
Not sure about your trailer, but on mine there is a nut welded onto the trailer at the frame. The rod treads onto it and a second loose nut is used to lock it in place.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:58 PM   #13
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Our original rod has threads at top and bottom and no extra length. Came out easily as suggested it would and is 23" long. Purchased a new 25" iron rod for $10 at local small machine shop that is threaded top to bottom. Owner suggests painting it which we will to prevent rust. It should install easily. Many thanks to you all.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:30 PM   #14
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All,

Yes, threaded steel rod is available at any hardware store or big-box home center. Don't use stainless steel. It's not as strong.

A coupler, properly installed with locknuts above and below, is as strong as the original rod.

Use loctite or a similar thread-lock product, or star washers, or keps, at all of the fasteners for the rod that aren't intended to be removable (all except the big wingnut at the top).

Vintage Trailer Supply has the tank racks, wing nuts, and other hardware. http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/category-s/402.htm
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