Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-16-2006, 08:56 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Robfike's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
Thumbs up 345 Trailer towing

Streamers,
We have just had our hitch redone for towing our 24' race trailer. Our new tow limits are 10,000# trailer, with 1200# tongue weight. This is with load leveling. Without load leveling the limits are 6000# trailer, with 600# tongue weight.
The work was done by Dan's Hitches, in Elkhart, Indiana. They have been doing this type of work for many, many years. Their workmanship is great.
They looked at our frame and decided there was plenty of BEEF allready there from the factory. They reinforced the area aft of the fuel tank, and installed a custom built hitch receiver. Where the original receiver tube was about 8" long, the new one is about 3' long.
I will post pictures tomorrow evening.
We just did a test run with our trailer this evening. It has everything in it that goes with us to race with the exception of the car. The trailer in this condition is about 4700# with a tongue weight of 550#. The car will add 2100# to the total, and take the tongue to about 700#.
The 345 goes down the road like the trailer is not even there. What a great ride. In our neighborhood, it is also very easy to maneuver.
And the price..... With a new digital trailer brake controler, and redoing all the trailer wiring in the back, $640
That sure beats $3000!
Rob
__________________

__________________
Robfike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2006, 09:39 PM   #2
JBK
3 Rivet Member
 
JBK's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grand Rapids , Up in the Nort' Woods of Minn.
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 120
Rob:
That is great news! Please post all pictures you can and if you have any sketches or plans, I would really appreciate getting copies. I can give you my address. Thanks for the post. I am anxious to beef the hitch on the 345.

Just curious. How do they determine the capacity?

JB
__________________

__________________
JBK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 06:41 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Robfike's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
Here are some pictures of the hitch install. We took the 345 out for it's final Sea Trial yesterday evening. This time with the trailer fully loaded and with the street Porsche which weighs 400# more than the racing one.
The old girl did just great. There seems to be no difference pulling the trailer with or without the car in it. The tire temps were only about 2 deg higher than the coach alone.
The first and second photos are the before and after fo the hitch. I am laying under the left side looking to the right. The rear is to the right in the photo.
With the trailer fully loaded, measuring at the edge of the rear bumper, the back end only goes down 1/2" from unloaded height.
Rob
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	AS Hitch mod 005.jpg
Views:	158
Size:	61.2 KB
ID:	24888   Click image for larger version

Name:	AS Hitch mod 013.jpg
Views:	159
Size:	62.1 KB
ID:	24889  

Click image for larger version

Name:	AS Hitch mod 015.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	62.6 KB
ID:	24890   Click image for larger version

Name:	AS Hitch mod 014.jpg
Views:	135
Size:	59.5 KB
ID:	24891  

Click image for larger version

Name:	AS Hitch mod 017.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	61.5 KB
ID:	24892  
__________________
Robfike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 06:59 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
Robfike's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
Also, I should mention that these guys really know their business. I would not feel good doing something like this myself. They know what materials to use, where to put them, and then what load it will haul when it is done.
Even if it means a drive to get there, it is worth it. From Indy it was 3 1/2 hours each way.
Rob
__________________
Robfike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 07:19 AM   #5
JBK
3 Rivet Member
 
JBK's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grand Rapids , Up in the Nort' Woods of Minn.
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 120
Rob:
I can see from the before image why the tow capacity is so low on a stock 345. Man, that is a joke. I like your new set up. Looks like they did a very nice job. Keep us posted as to how it works out.
Thanks for posting.


JB
__________________
JBK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 08:08 AM   #6
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Rob,
Thanks for posting pictures. It's great to know this modification can be done. 10,000#!!!!!!!

Based on your pictures it appears that my hitch may have already been modified by a previous owner. Mine looks a lot like yours with a few minor differences.

While mine is also an "H" assembly it does not come as far forward as yours. It about six inches shorter as the forward "C" channel is bolted through the bumper extension rather than welded to the frame rails as pictured on your installation.

I also do not have the diagonal bracing installed which I would want to have in place given the long overhang on our 345s.

I have to say after seeing a picture of your "stock" hitch it's quite clear that the hitch itself is the limit. I've been discussing hitch limits around here from the perspective of looking at mine and thinking it was stock - apparently not.

In any case it's nice to know the modification can be completed by professionals for a reasonable amount of money. I'm sure many people either pass on an Airstream Moho or get out of one because they want to tow more than a utility trailer back there.

Lastly, the combination of the AS and the race hauler looks terrific. It'll certainly get you some attention in the pits!
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 12:03 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1988 34.5' Airstream 345
CUMMING , GA
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 49
Cool airstream 345

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robfike
Streamers,
We have just had our hitch redone for towing our 24' race trailer. Our new tow limits are 10,000# trailer, with 1200# tongue weight. This is with load leveling. Without load leveling the limits are 6000# trailer, with 600# tongue weight.
The work was done by Dan's Hitches, in Elkhart, Indiana. They have been doing this type of work for many, many years. Their workmanship is great.
They looked at our frame and decided there was plenty of BEEF allready there from the factory. They reinforced the area aft of the fuel tank, and installed a custom built hitch receiver. Where the original receiver tube was about 8" long, the new one is about 3' long.
I will post pictures tomorrow evening.
We just did a test run with our trailer this evening. It has everything in it that goes with us to race with the exception of the car. The trailer in this condition is about 4700# with a tongue weight of 550#. The car will add 2100# to the total, and take the tongue to about 700#.
The 345 goes down the road like the trailer is not even there. What a great ride. In our neighborhood, it is also very easy to maneuver.
And the price..... With a new digital trailer brake controler, and redoing all the trailer wiring in the back, $640
That sure beats $3000!
Rob
I've just purchased a 345 an was assured that I could tow my grand cherokee with it. When I found ... should have read it first... in the manual that i could only tow 2k i was not a happy camper. but through this forum i now have hope! I have contacted Dan's in Elkhart and am arranging to have a new hitch installed. Thanks for all the info on the forum. Rob, your posts may have saved my bacon. Thanks mucho.
__________________
wpapke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpapke
I've just purchased a 345 an was assured that I could tow my grand cherokee with it. When I found ... should have read it first... in the manual that i could only tow 2k i was not a happy camper. but through this forum i now have hope! I have contacted Dan's in Elkhart and am arranging to have a new hitch installed. Thanks for all the info on the forum. Rob, your posts may have saved my bacon. Thanks mucho.
Welcome to the forums. It is always great to have a new motor home owner with us. How about introducing yourself in the new members area and posting some pictures of your coach?
__________________
Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
This may be a dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway.....doesn't that have an adverse effect on the shell long term since the shell supports the overall structure? I thought that was why the MoHos had such a small tow rating....
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 01:11 PM   #10
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Not on a motorhome. Unlike our trailer brothers, the motorhome "shells" are attached to a 1" x 1" grid of tubular steel. This "sub-frame" is them bolted to the P30 Chassis frame rails. In the case of the 325/345 (like Rob's) the original P30 frame is extended using C Channel, tag axles are added, and then the shell is installed.

The hitch itself is welded to the chassis frame.

If you look at a "stock" hitch on an AS moho, you will immediately see why the low rating. It's not much more than a bumper hitch.

Technically, over loading the chassis frame while towing over the weight for the chassis could impact the shell but only after distorting the chassis. But you would have bigger problems if that happened.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 03:52 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
Robfike's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
WPAPKE,
I think you will be very pleased with these guys. Dan himself is a great guy. I used the 345 for the last 3 races of the season. It tows my race trailer really great, and what better way to stay at the track. Now I want to get a tow bar to tow our street Porsche 4-down behind the Airstream. It only weighs 2100#.
Rob
__________________
Robfike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 05:27 PM   #12
The Hawk's Lair
 
cooperhawk's Avatar
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 922
Images: 9
Nice Job:

I too didn't realize that the original hitch was just a bumper hitch. Mine is welded to several cross members and extends at least a yard foreward of the bumper. I have towed Explorers, boats, and whatever else I wanted with no problem.

My biggest problem was when I was towing my fifteen foot fibre glass boat and blew a tire going up the interstate. I didn't even know until a trucker pulled alongside and motioned back toward the boat. I pulled over and all I had left was a very small rim on the right side.

The diesel had so much torque that I felt no drag at all from the blown tire. Luckily I had a spare. I just threw the rim away. It was half it's original diameter.
__________________
AKA THE GUNNER
There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"

AIRSTREAM 345 TURBO-DIESEL
VFW, LEGION, NRA


cooperhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 07:59 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
GlenCoombe's Avatar
 
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
Images: 27
This is very encouraging as I also had missed the towability of my previous coach. I've got a nice tandem axle trailer I've been holding off converting to a car hauler. Yet another project in the wings...
__________________
Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
GlenCoombe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2007, 09:24 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
1988 34.5' Airstream 345
CUMMING , GA
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 49
ROBFIKE,

looking foward to the upgrade. in the meantime i have had 1/2" bolts installed to tow my tracker. by the way? does anybody have any idea what bilsteins a 345 would use?
__________________

__________________
wpapke is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LT versus ST tires on a trailer 76Argosy Tires 18 08-29-2014 05:03 PM
Trailer Type Joe & Mary Scudder 1998-1999 Limited 1 09-29-2004 05:24 PM
LP Hose from Reg. to Trailer niftypkg LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 2 06-20-2002 10:09 PM
Towing a small 60s trailer with a SUV... Andy R Tow Vehicles 15 03-30-2002 08:57 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.