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Old 09-12-2007, 04:03 PM   #43
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TOW VEHICLES

now suggest ONE tow vehicle manufactured for the domestic market...

that can adequately pull, stop and control a modern 28-34 foot a/s...

on u.s interstate roadways with traffic, over the mountain passes and with a family on board...

the simple but difficult TRUTH is that anyone using a modern mid to large a/s should EXPECT...

that the trailer body will tear, separate, loose rivets or otherwise show stressful signs from travel....

IF they plan to travel much.

and it IS NOT the fault of adequately sized tow vehicles or proper hitch sizing.

airstream is at fault, period.

the frames are marginally adequate,

the skin is thinner and more fragile, while the bracing, attachments and rivet count...

have all been reduced.

semi monocoque is NOW completely mono crock!

front end body separation IS the new rear end sag issue revisited.

yes i like my trailer and yes i've been an airstream owner for 25+ years...

and like others expect to log 100s of thousands of miles.

i'd also like to see the company be HONEST about this issue and CORRECT the design errors...

that have created this problem.

just like they need to acknowledge the 'corrosion issue' that currently exists.

... good luck howieE on repairs...

and thanks for posting your photos...

they reveal how just a 'little' visible gap is really a HUGE problem...

i suspect you should/will need added bracing and more tie down bolts and new skin along that lower front.

send your photos to a/s and ask for some guidance on their apporach to this....

also check with others who really understand why this issue exists, without blaming the proper tow vehicle...

IT IS SEEN REGULARLY by the folks fixin' them...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:47 PM   #44
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2air,

That was probably the most passionate, insightful and educated answer I have read in a long time.

Thank you, 2air.

Frederic
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:20 PM   #45
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2Air, you are telling it like it is.

My solution was to buy a Class V AirSafe air hitch. It delivers everything the manufacturer promises, and allows the use of my weight transfer bars. With this hitch, my 3/4 ton truck's harsh suspension is effectively isolated from the trailer's. Each gyrate independently over the potholes and railroad tracks of today's highways. For me, it is the answer to the dilemma you write so insightfully about.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:35 PM   #46
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As the repair continues I may have lucked out a bit better than some. There was no indication the floor had seperated from the frame, all floor bolts were in tact. I did however remove the 2 that were between the battery boxes in order to mount a 1 1/4 in Al. angle to replace the standing web of the floor channel, torn off during the deterioration. This angle is now held down by 4 new bolts and an additionial flat strip of Al. to act as a large flange under the bolts.

The attached picture shows the angle in place before the bolts were set. I used under belly revits through the outer skin and into the angle because the larger diameter would offer additional bearing area against future failure.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:48 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
As the repair continues I may have lucked out a bit better than some. There was no indication the floor had seperated from the frame, all floor bolts were in tact. I did however remove the 2 that were between the battery boxes in order to mount a 1 1/4 in Al. angle to replace the standing web of the floor channel, torn off during the deterioration. This angle is now held down by 4 new bolts and an additionial flat strip of Al. to act as a large flange under the bolts.

The attached picture shows the angle in place before the bolts were set. I used under belly revits through the outer skin and into the angle because the larger diameter would offer additional bearing area against future failure.

Lookin good HowieE.

As mentioned by others I also have a ClassV Airhitch.

Put 40,000 on it after I did a front end repair. The front end is still tight.

700 lb bars, E350 7.3l td, dually.

Michael

2Air, you rock !
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:10 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Artstream
A camel.
Towing with a camel will keep your Airstream front-end in tip-top shape.


Michael
hey, i just bought that t-shirt!
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:15 PM   #49
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It's a small world after all.

Dave,

How ya like it!

Michael
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:26 PM   #50
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Dave,

How ya like it!

Michael
LOVE IT! I'll be wearing it this weekend at the NJ State Rally. next i want a print to add to my Airstream art collection that hangs in my Airstream room.

--dave
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:01 PM   #51
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Great!
Don't forget the referral program.

Michael
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:35 PM   #52
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Is that front hold down plate a cure-all? I thought AS was using heavier panels? Is this problem more likely to occur in heavier (Classic) or longer 31-34 footers? Just curious. What can be done to prevent? How expensive would it be for AS to build the fix right into the trailer (might be naive here). Would sure make me sick--best of luck
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:32 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Brad Hunt
Is that front hold down plate a cure-all? I thought AS was using heavier panels? Is this problem more likely to occur in heavier (Classic) or longer 31-34 footers? Just curious. What can be done to prevent? How expensive would it be for AS to build the fix right into the trailer (might be naive here). Would sure make me sick--best of luck
That problem can occur on any size Airstream.

It's usual cause, is from vibration.

That vibration can be a combination of super duty tow vehicle, using excessively rated hitch bars, along with lack of proper running gear balance.

Andy
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:50 AM   #54
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The world has changed since the 1950's and 1960's and 3/4 and 1 ton diesel trucks are the norm today. Wouldn't it be nice if Airstream would re-engineer their trailers to be able to take the strain? I imagine all of the other SOBs have.

We don't tow with cars and station waggons anymore. (except at Can-AM RV in Canada Welcome to Can-Am RV Centre: I particurly like the Jag and the little Mercedes towing a 34 footer) Because of weight restrictions and safety concerns, we don't use 1/2 ton trucks to tow with anymore. We don't travel on the old non-interstate highways for the most part anymore. If I paid $40 to $90 thousand dollars for a new Airstream and it promptly proceded to rip apart, I would be very disapointed.

On the subject of the 34 foot Airstreams, I would like to know what other truck other than a "heavy duty" could pull the thing adequately and safely? I tried to pull mine with a 3/4 ton long wheelbase Chevy with a 350 gas engine and it wasn't up to the task (the truck chasis was, though).

AIRSTREAM - modify your trailers so that they can be towed with modern trucks.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:08 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by dmreilly10000
On the subject of the 34 foot Airstreams, I would like to know what other truck other than a "heavy duty" could pull the thing adequately and safely?

AIRSTREAM - modify your trailers so that they can be towed with modern trucks.
I know of a guy in the NY Metro Unit who pulled his 34 footer to Alaska and back with a Safari minivan. The Safari is still his tow vehicle.

--dave
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:31 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmreilly10000
The world has changed since the 1950's and 1960's and 3/4 and 1 ton diesel trucks are the norm today. Wouldn't it be nice if Airstream would re-engineer their trailers to be able to take the strain? I imagine all of the other SOBs have.

We don't tow with cars and station waggons anymore. (except at Can-AM RV in Canada Welcome to Can-Am RV Centre: I particurly like the Jag and the little Mercedes towing a 34 footer) Because of weight restrictions and safety concerns, we don't use 1/2 ton trucks to tow with anymore. We don't travel on the old non-interstate highways for the most part anymore. If I paid $40 to $90 thousand dollars for a new Airstream and it promptly proceded to rip apart, I would be very disapointed.

On the subject of the 34 foot Airstreams, I would like to know what other truck other than a "heavy duty" could pull the thing adequately and safely? I tried to pull mine with a 3/4 ton long wheelbase Chevy with a 350 gas engine and it wasn't up to the task (the truck chasis was, though).

AIRSTREAM - modify your trailers so that they can be towed with modern trucks.
The heavy duty part, is the problem, along with a hitch rating that is excessive.

You cannot pull a 31 foot Airstream easily with a 350, let alone a 34 foot.

Large engines with plenty of horsepower are fine. Gears make a huge difference.

You could have changed the rear end ratio in your 350, that would have solved the problem you encountered.

Andy
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