Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-16-2014, 09:00 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,649
Most of the flex in an Airstream is because the frame is moving relative to the shell which is bad. Flex is not a bad thing and all structures flex. Look at how airplane wings flex from the base to the tip. The flex I am talking about is because there are only a few bolts holding the shell to the frame at the front and rear of the trailer. Here is a thread I made a while back on the perfect frame design.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...gn-100154.html

Perry
__________________

__________________
perryg114 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2014, 09:21 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
truckasaurus's Avatar

 
1960 33' Custom
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,182
Images: 25
A most interesting read, I'm a sucker for the freshly built frames.
__________________

__________________
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
truckasaurus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 01:05 AM   #17
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
vinstream's Avatar
 
1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
1961 19' Globetrotter
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 624
Images: 2
A ladder frame by its self is just that... A steel ladder. Being the only one to build an all aluminum frame with amazing success and amazing results for other reasons... I have discovered a lot more than just building an all aluminum frame. Let me first say that I would not encourage an Aluminum frame for a trailer over 26 feet. Furthermore, I will say that the longer an Airstream of these vintages grow in length the more they are pushing the limits of their design. I have discovered that the frame, floor, belly pan, body and the connection of all these components are the strength and in this cases the lack of strength of vintage trailers. You have to look at the frame as part of a system and simply increasing the thickness or height of the frame and not changing other parts of the system is not the entire answer. When I set out to design and build an all aluminum frame I also replaced the wood floor with aluminum floor and redesigned how the body connected to the floor and the frame. I also skinned the .040 alclad belly pan the same way as the body skins to create a stronger, lighter, System that in the end creates a more semi-monocoque design. The body is the real success of the design of these vintage trailers and the connection of the body to the frame is the weakest link. A poor belly design of popping rivets, a wood floor that rots over time and a very long trailer that pushes the limits of design in the end leads to a SYSTEM that fails. If you think about it, passenger airplanes have not gotten longer rather girthier... semi-moncoque systems are limited in length, and the railroad trailers are a great example of this. They were never designed for repeated travel rather to simply be pulled to location or place on rail cars. I personally would discourage someone to restore the longer trailers based on the knowledge that I now possess working on these vintage trailers.... However, to humor the discussion the frame is the least of the problem and I believe if one would even want to make a railroad trailer into a travel trailer or even the longest of travel trailers the connection of the body to the floor, the belly pan, and the floor would be were I would focus more of my attention.
__________________
www.VINSTREAM.com
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
WBCCI # 1962
Instagram #Vinstream
vinstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 05:34 AM   #18
Restorations done right
Commercial Member
 
Frank's Trailer Works's Avatar
 
1962 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Vintage Kin Owner
Currently Looking...
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,547
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
Hey Frank, have you seen anything this size and vintage in your shop? I'm thinking you might have. From chatting with Colin I'm giving a lot more thought to keeping or getting the frame close to original if I can swing it tank and durability wise.

I looked back on your blog and I'm thinking of the Budha trailer.
Once posted, this contained three links. I did not put in the text….

The next trailer up is 1953 31 footer. It has a 5" frame. I also did a 1964 Sovereign which was 30 foot.It had a 4" frame.
I am a firm believer in restoring not re engineering. I am however a trailer restorer not a hot rod shop. I think many contributing on this thread feel that changing the dynamics to be important.
The year your trailer was built is in my opinion the best era of all Airstream construction. Most think Wally was encouraging people to drag their trailers around the world to promote the blue beret club. I believe it was his way of putting his product to the test and finding it's weaknesses. I have seen this evolution from 1951 on. By the time your trailer was built, Wally had most of the bugs ironed out.
It is your trailer and you can do whatever you want with it. My philosophy is to restore not reengineer.
Frank's Trailer Works is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 07:05 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
r carl's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Lin , Ne
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,057
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
The year your trailer was built is in my opinion the best era of all Airstream construction. Most think Wally was encouraging people to drag their trailers around the world to promote the blue beret club. I believe it was his way of putting his product to the test and finding it's weaknesses. I have seen this evolution from 1951 on. By the time your trailer was built, Wally had most of the bugs ironed out.
.
And then came Beatrice Foods.............
__________________
The higher your expectations the fewer your options.
r carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 07:18 AM   #20
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,649
If you put the trailer exactly back the way it was new then it will probably last another 60yrs. However, if you start adding extra tanks and extra this and that and make it heavier than it was designed for you will have problems. This is what happened in the 70's when the old rear bath design was combined with larger holding tanks in the rear of the trailer. In some ways I do agree with Frank. If you have a trailer from the 50's and 60's that is in good shape then restore it to original. Get a 70's trailer and play with making it better than it was. Most of those are too far gone and had crappy plastic interior to restore anyway. From an engineering standpoint there is room for improvement in the design.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 08:05 AM   #21
2 Rivet Member
 
57BB's Avatar
 
1957 22' Caravanner
1964 26' Overlander
1954 29' Liner
Washington , Washington, D.C.
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 95
Frank restored and I mean restored my 64 Overlander. It's a dream on wheels. There was some very minor reengineering to resolve design flaws he has seen in the past. His solutions work. I'm not an engineer, but an architect, and see this from the point of view of composition and design. I didn't want anything to change because those changes would compromise the original design integrity...I even reused screws, hinges and anything else that could be...the result is a truly restored trailer...a beauty. The original system lasted 48 years without ANY maintenance for the last 25 years. The trailer was useable barely when I found it. That said the restoration gives this trailer at least another 50 years of useful life...and if it is properly maintained it just might hold up beyond that.

If it ain't broke don't waste your time, money and energy changing it.
__________________
57BB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 09:36 AM   #22
Rivet Master
 
truckasaurus's Avatar

 
1960 33' Custom
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,182
Images: 25
I'm pretty sure I'm jumping the gun trying to evaluate my project before I've seen the bones of the frame but the thoughts and opinions so far have brought up some interesting questions in my mind. (I'm a big believer in honest opinions so keep em coming).

I love the look of the very late 50's and early '60's trailers but want something that more closely meets my needs. If this was a mint barn find I'd approach it differently but this is not a usable trailer by a long chalk. I picked up this unit because it's of my favourite era appearance wise, has a great "literally" layout and is also quite rare. A major downside is that as far as I know the railway trailers weren't built so much for actually travelling under their own steam, therein lies the crux of my challenge, a desire to add capacity both in terms of carrying what I want to for camping/ travelling and also that it doesn't fail or fatigue prematurely.

I do see a challenge ahead but not insurmountable, taking the design as a whole and tweaking it as needed it can't be that hard. In the sphere of aviation (structural) that my license covers it is common to increase skin thickness, alter rivet pitch etc as long as it meets manufacturer publications or even a standard practice on occasion. In the Airforums community we're quite happy to upsize all our rivets from 1/8" (#30) nominal to 5/52" (#21, #20) nominal so that we can work with a freshly drilled hole and keep the head size similar. We're altering the design. Most probably aren't even aware of the effect of decreasing edge distance and don't give it a second thought or even consider oversize rivets in a #27 hole which would be the next logical (from an engineers viewpoint) step. Going up a grade in the skin (which I think is a great choice) is again altering the structure and I'd suggest that it's mainly done for aesthetic reasons being as it's easier to get a smooth ripple free repair this way (it's also much more forgiving especially for the amateur riveter). I think what I'm trying to get across is that I don't see a huge difference between increasing rivet size, skin thickness, type of plywood used and adding a steel gusset or thicker channel to a frame.

I didn't think I'd be opening a vat of worms but really enjoy looking at all the suggestions and I didn't even know the Vinstream chassis was even on the road! Are there any reviews?

Here's a link to Icon vehicles which in many ways I'd like to emulate in my project, great usability and aesthetic. There's now way I could live with an original but the reborn version for sure. DeSoto_Chrysler 1952 Wagon Derelict | ICON

They make a the Thriftmaster too which is all new but just a little spendy….
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ICON_Thriftmaster_F34_Low_Sunrise_4_Web.jpg
Views:	143
Size:	22.6 KB
ID:	203769   Click image for larger version

Name:	Main_D_Gallery_0.jpg
Views:	176
Size:	32.1 KB
ID:	203770  

__________________
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
truckasaurus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 09:22 PM   #23
4 Rivet Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 470
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
I'm pretty certain that I'll want a new frame on my '60 Sovereign and I'm struggling to find much to read on the matter. I know Boatdoc made his Argosy frame from stainless and there's been a couple of liner stye pipe frames but I'm not feeling super confident in a home brew mega frame being my first project although to be fair I do have some welding resources to call on if I get going down that road. I even thought about looking into a new rolling frame for a 34' from Airstream but suspect it would require mega modification anyway.

I flip flop around keeping the original frame but as it's a double stacked 4" C channel with reinforcement it looks sketchy and doesn't seem up to job for a rehab'd 33 footer in 2014. I figure something with a much deeper section will give me much better tank options and a fresh start for the A frame which took quite a beating and for the axles which I'll upgrade from leaf to probably torsion although I am liking air as an option.

As I'll be replacing pretty much if not all the sheet metal with the exception of the compound curved sections I can accommodate the thicker frame no problem and will most likely go 040" with a modified rivet pitch on the exterior skin. I'd like to keep some give in the frame but am not concerned at all about the overall effect of increased stiffness to the frame.

But back to the point of the thread. I want to start scoping out resources that have the experience building up a frame like this and I'm keen to check with Timeless as TTT fabricated a deep frame for the 40' Pacific monster but I wanted to see if the forum had any thoughts about shops.
If it was my trailer I wouldn't hesitate a second to build a new frame for it. I would consider 6" or 7" standard structural channel for the main members and 3" or 4" cross members. I like to build them strong since the actual weight difference when you are done is minimal.
I like the rubber torsion axles, but I would consider the leaf springs since the use an equalizer. If Dexter still made the independent leaf spring axles that Avion used in the mid 1980s I would probably go that route.
Good luck with your project.
__________________
M2HB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 11:49 AM   #24
Rivet Master
 
truckasaurus's Avatar

 
1960 33' Custom
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,182
Images: 25
I was reading up on axle-less axles; which would really only work with a substantially altered frame design and noticed VintageTrailerSupplies had a blog which I'd never noticed before. Not much to read but I saw an article by Wally about axles which might be interesting to some here.

Vintage Trailer Supply Insider: Dura-Torque Torsion Axle

I'm not seeing much to gain from axle-less axles really. Yes they are truly independent unlike most torsion axles which are just "nearly independent", but that's a tiny point that's pretty much irrelevant I think. They may be quite a bit lighter but how much extra weight would the frame need to compensate for the lack of axle? On a new 6' frame possibly very little so I could save a 150 lbs. They look pretty cool to me but that's not much of a deciding factor. Lighter to install, not a big deal at all. Better clearance by a few inches. A really clean undercarriage providing a an opportunity to get tanks in somewhere better, maybe.. . Overall I'll stick these in the possible file.

Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension System - Straight Spindle Only - 3,500 lbs Timbren Trailer Suspension ASR3500S05
__________________
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
truckasaurus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 02:36 PM   #25
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Colin H's Avatar
 
1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
1959 28' Ambassador
1949 24' Limited
Peru , New York
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 740
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
I was reading up on axle-less axles; which would really only work with a substantially altered frame design and noticed VintageTrailerSupplies had a blog which I'd never noticed before. Not much to read but I saw an article by Wally about axles which might be interesting to some here.

Vintage Trailer Supply Insider: Dura-Torque Torsion Axle

I'm not seeing much to gain from axle-less axles really. Yes they are truly independent unlike most torsion axles which are just "nearly independent", but that's a tiny point that's pretty much irrelevant I think. They may be quite a bit lighter but how much extra weight would the frame need to compensate for the lack of axle? On a new 6' frame possibly very little so I could save a 150 lbs. They look pretty cool to me but that's not much of a deciding factor. Lighter to install, not a big deal at all. Better clearance by a few inches. A really clean undercarriage providing a an opportunity to get tanks in somewhere better, maybe.. . Overall I'll stick these in the possible file.

Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension System - Straight Spindle Only - 3,500 lbs Timbren Trailer Suspension ASR3500S05
Axle-Less Suspension System............Interesting concept, however the problem is that 1) it is quite a bit more difficult to align two separate axle spindle assemblies than one axle assembly alone, unless you use the optional square tube to connect the two together, but then you lose the ground clearance advantage, 2) you can't get load ratings in 100 lb increments, so you may end up too heavy for your trailer, 3) the weight of the two assemblies + the cross tube is more than a torsion axle assembly, 4) a pair of these assemblies cost more than a "bare beam" torsion axle, in fact they cost more than a torsion axle that includes brakes.
I don't see any benefits.
Colin
__________________

Colin H 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



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:10 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.