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Old 03-18-2010, 09:44 AM   #1
Rivet Master
1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 548
Changing out interior of 90's AS to lose weight?

I hope this an acceptable place to ask please move if I am in wrong section.

My question is what makes the 90s vintages so much heavier? Is it mostly the solid wood cabinets, corion and ???. Can I strip it out and build my own lighter weight cabinets and use plastic laminate to lighting it up to around 70s vintage. I would like the newer model to limit the amount of work that I am not too comfortable doing. I need a coach I can tow with my 2004 135 wheelbase AWD Chevy Explorer 5.3L 373 with slip differential. Rated at 6600 and be either a 23 min. or a 25. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks You Tony Rogue River Oregon a nice are to travel to.

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,129
Chevy Explorer???

No matter.

The weight differences are the sum of many small things
- 6" width increase
- increase in the amount of cabinetwork
- larger and heavier appliances being included in the standard weight. Air conditioners became standard at some point and their weight was then included. Fridges have generally become larger over the years.
- increases in the frame and running gear weight

Cheapest and easiest way to lose weight might be to travel with empty water/holding tanks and downsize your propane capacity. Leave the spare tire at home. Remove any batteries you do not need. Remove any air conditioners that are installed. Maybe remove the fridge.

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
Rivet Master
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,028
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One battery

Unless you are into boondocking more than a night or two at a time, go to a single battery. I did this a year or two ago for a significant weight loss.

On my Trailmanor, I planed some thickness from cabinet doors and drawer fronts to save a few pounds.

If your trailer is full of mirrors, remove the mirrors and replace them with lighter material. All that glass is surprisingly heavy. I went from 11 mirrors to just one. I used some cheap bamboo blinds that I bought on sale for $7 each and used spray adhesive to attach the material to the wood backing for the mirrors. Looks much like my friends vintage Limited that has caned inserts. See my 2005 Classic 28 thread for some photos.

I also traded the couch for two lightweight rocker-recliners. That had to have saved some weight since the couch is really heavy.
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:18 PM   #4
Rivet Master
1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 548
That's nice! You would think I know my own rig. Meant to say Chevy Express, as in van. Thanks for the info on the weight. Everything has its pros and cons. Tony
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:46 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
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1988 34' Limited
1960 24' Tradewind
Mt. Pleasant , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 379
The increases in weight happen over the years for the reasons Jammer mentions.
For your comparison:
1975 TW LY 24 -- 4110#
1980 Excella 24 -- 4244#
1985 Sovrgn 25 -- 4900#
1990 Excella 25 -- 5600#
1998 Excella 25 -- 5840#
2001 Excella 25 -- 6000#

Sounds like your Express would do the job for what you are looking for and you are on the right track. Good luck in your search.
Bill Cantrell
AIR 24338
Easily distracted by shiny objects.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:36 AM   #6
Rivet Master
1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 548
Thanks The comparison is useful along with the other info. I didn't realize I was good with the weight of the 25 mid 80's models. Sticking with 80% of max I am pushing with the 1985 Sovrgn 25 at 4900# but doable Tony
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:47 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
1972 29' Ambassador
Harrah , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 110
Images: 1
You're on the right track. The desire folks have to get real cabinets with granite counters in their home away from home is why all the modern trailers weigh so much.

Think like a backpacker. Every ounce adds up to pounds. You may not be ready to rip out your cabinets and replace them with carbon fiber, but you can reduce and minimize what's in your trailer. The idea of removing mirrors and replacing blinds with lighter ones is excellent. You could also replace a shower door with a lightweight shower curtain, or heavy wood cabinet doors with some colored plexiglass. I'm still amazed at the sturdiness of the cabinets in my '72 that are made out of formica and practically cardboard. The vertical strength is quite impressive.

In recent years the cost of fuel to pull the trailer used to be less than the expense of lightweight materials. That's not really the case for some people anymore.

My Brain Project and Tech Notes
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