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Old 11-22-2002, 01:17 PM   #1
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Can you shorten an Airstream ?

I am looking for an Airsteam, max 22-24 ft

I found a 28ft one real cheap

NOW for the crazy idea .......
can you shorten one but taking out a couple panels 4-6 ft worth and putting the end piece back on ? yes I will shorten frame etc

I build street rods , so the work is not the problem, and the interior is bad anyway

I just do not have the room for a 28footer

Anyone done this before ?

Or does anyone know of a cheap AS thats shorter ?
Interior not important.....
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:08 PM   #2
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I don't build hotrods, but I suspect that one who does would be able to shorten an Airstream. My main concern would be with overall balance, as one of the benefits of the Airstream design is the engineering that went into balancing the trailer in the design process. Don't know what price you are paying, or what year you are looking for, but Airstream manufactures lengths from 16' up, I have a 19'. It would seem to make more sense to locate a used Airstream in the length you really want, then use your skills to restore it.
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:23 PM   #3
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I removed and replaced the body of a 24 ft. motorhome in one piece, if you are good at building cars you can shorten an Airstream. The skin panels run horizontally, so you would have to cut them not remove a section, move axles, plumbing, maybe the door. On the plus it would be a great time to replace the floor and sandblast the frame. Unless they were paying to get rid of it I would seriously look for a shorter one though, it is a lot of work to pull a body.

John
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:26 PM   #4
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To balance it, you would have to cut and splice it on each side of the axles. Splice frame, plumbing, shell...evrything twice.To much engineering involved.

My answer would be no. Keep looking.

-BobbyWright
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:42 PM   #5
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its only $800.....

but its 400 miles away so I do not know the condition other than the interior is trash

Any other cheap shorter ones around ?
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Old 11-22-2002, 03:30 PM   #6
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Thumbs down Nightmares

There is tons of wiring between the inner and outer shells, both AC and 12v. All this would have to be traced andspliced or replaced. Same thing for propane piping.

Next question is where would the tanks end up with all the balance and plumbing that entails.

Better to find a shorter model.
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Old 11-23-2002, 02:26 AM   #7
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Thumbs up

JUST GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-23-2002, 11:01 PM   #8
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Please rethink that last advice

DaPlumber

Quote:
JUST GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Trouble is, in practical terms, that probably would mean the loss forever of one irreplaceable vintage A/S. Better to start with a proper sized unit up front. There are enough problems restoring an old unit without trying to change the length.
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Old 11-23-2002, 11:06 PM   #9
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ummm

then I better not chop the top, put louvers down both sides, paint flames and put a big wing on the back.......

just joking !
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Old 11-23-2002, 11:23 PM   #10
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I vote for "go for it"

Everytime someone trashes the originality of a vintage,

It makes mine MORE valuable!

Its your trailer, do with it as you may, BUT don't be suprised when you get funny looks from the engineers around us, and/or the preservationists!

There is also the issue of liability when your weld does not hold and the "thing" breaks in two while traveling down the road causing a multiple MVA. I would think that insurance coverage would be hard to obtain if the insurance company knew of the modifications to the structure.

On second thought .... Don't mess with it ... I might be behind you
someday.

DMC
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