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Old 04-08-2016, 11:56 AM   #1
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Turning Radius, etc.

I am planning an addition to house an as-yet unpurchased classic Airstream motorhome. The problem is getting the motorhome in the building - I am not sure it will make the turn. Please refer to the attached sketch, which I hope is legible.

The addition will be 32' wide, and will be grafted on to the rear of an existing building - also 32' wide. I will put a 20' garage door in (at least 14' all) the addition. My driveway is 20' wide and, due to the terrain, I have to stay on the driveway. So the motorhome will be backed down the driveway, along and past the existing building and turned into the 20' garage door opening in the addition.

I normally wouldn't worry about such an approach as there seems to be plenty of room, but I have never maneuvered one of these beasts. My preliminary figuring makes me think that it might be possible, but I am not positive.

So, what say ye, oh wise masters? Will a 345 or 360 easily make the turn or is it back to the drawing board?

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File Type: pdf addition plan view.pdf (17.4 KB, 70 views)

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Old 04-08-2016, 01:07 PM   #2
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See attached link for a bit of general application information that might hep you.


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Old 04-08-2016, 07:16 PM   #3
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You won't need to go 14' high on the door as 12' will do.

As for making the turn, it would be very tight in my 310 to go into say a 12' wide opening from your driveway, but probably do-able as long as I hugged the outside of the driveway as much as possible before the turn. The 20' door shouldn't be a problem but you may have to do a reverse S turn with the bigger rigs to get straightened out before fully entering the shelter. Hard turns are harder on the tag axles if you can't raise them. The single axle 360 would be the way to go.

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Old 04-11-2016, 11:53 AM   #4
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

I understand that a shorter door is possible, but a 12 foot door seems like it would be cutting it close.

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Old 04-12-2016, 08:59 AM   #5
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Good point about the scrubbing tag wheels in a very tight turn.

Another consideration is the rear overhang that steps out as you make a tight turn. If you have some clear space on the side of the drive opposite the house that will be a big help as it will let you approach from the very edge of the drive.

Sure would help if someone near you could drive over in their coach and sort of test the waters for you before the building begins.

Could consider placing the new garage at the end of the drive if you have the space. Then the existing building would still open into the back yard. And access would be easy.

Yep 12" is plenty for an airstream classic and could let the overall height of the building be that much less intrusive/costly. But would be a bummer if you then think about going to another taller design
Ah, so much to think about.

Cheers Richard

PS. Welcome to the forum, don't let us confuse you
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:28 AM   #6
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Thanks for your comments.

I agree that a straight on approach would be preferable. Unfortunately, with side yard setback requirements, my usable space is only 17'. So I have the option of building a 17' x 50' building with a straight entry, or a 32 x 100' building with an entry perpendicular to the driveway. I prefer the bigger building, but if I can't get a definite answer, I may have to go with the smaller one.

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Old 04-12-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
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If you have room for the addition to be 32x100, you might consider making it something like 32x75 and setting the entrance back from the corner (set back from the driveway, not back further from the street) of the existing building by 25' (0r 32x80 with a 20' setback, etc.)

That would give you a bigger space to make the turn and get lined up to go into the building. You could make the driveway area nice looking to be possibly usable as outdoor space when you're not moving the motorhome through there, and a large part of it would be screened from the street by the existing building.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Thank you for these comments, which are quite helpful. I understand what you are saying, and agree that recessing the addition relative to the driveway would make it easier to turn the motorhome into the building. I will have to think about this some more.


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