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Old 04-03-2016, 12:49 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Not entirely true. Airstream builds their trailers with the heavy appliances and storage tanks over or near the axles so that weight is not concentrated toward the ends. Putting heavy items at the ends to simply balance the trailer over its axles does not eliminate the potential for out-of-control sway, but probably makes it worse.

The most stable condition is with heavy items over the axle, lighter items on the ends with at least 10% of the total on the hitch.
I agree with your statement about the "most stable condition".

Though, nothing we can do entirely eliminates the potential for sway when weight is added toward the rear. We can only try to improve the situation, using various techniques and/or better equipment.

I am not saying someone should or should not add a hitch or bike rack, home made or factory made. But some people do.

My thoughts:
If someone chooses to add a hitch and/or bike rack to the rear of their trailer, then what must be done? Counter balance it, if the tongue weigh is too low, is the only answer I can come up with. The reason I ask this; the Airstream owner's manual (and common sense) tells me to shift some other load forward to compensate. Again, I am not saying that one should add weight toward the rear, just acknowledging that some people do and offering my opinion of how to improve the situation.

add edit: Doug, you are correct. My choice of word was wrong in my prior post. I should not have said "eliminating", but should have said "lessening" the potential for sway.
add edit: I'll also point out that the weight of the batteries and propane bottles at the extreme front end are a good thing (in most cases).
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:32 PM   #44
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Wow, this is a very interesting thread. Support to hang things off the bumper is new to me. I have always heard/believed that adding a 2 inch receiver to the frame is a no no. Perhaps we have been wrong all along?

Here is my take. A standard trailer has a big frame upon which everything is attached. The Cabin is separate from the frame, each doing its own job. Airstream uses monocoque construction where the frame and shell are built together to provide structural strength. The frames are sturdy but not as sturdy as other trailers. The frame separation of years ago was caused by poorly designed frames that would flex and then separate from the shell. Things are better today but my concern is if you were to add weight only to the frame, what effect would this have on the shell? If the frame can take an extra 200 pounds, can it handle 300, or 400 or what? At what point will the frame and shell connection points be stressed too much? If 200 is OK, what happens to that 200 when it hits a bump and goes up and then slams down? Perhaps our frames can handle all of these situations. If this is true we will see lots of bumper additions in the future.

I have one of those fancy bike racks that is attached to BOTH the frame and the shell. I had a rack that hung off my old tent trailer and when the bikes would bounce up and down a lot of damage was done to the rack itself and the rear bumper of the trailer. I didn't have a state of the art rack but the dynamics of a bouncing bike were quite eye opening for me.

My Fiamma rack works quite well for me. Tens of thousands of miles with the bikes on the back and no damage whatsoever. We like our bike rack but will not say it is the only way to go. I will be interested in hearing more on this subject.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:51 PM   #45
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I've been thinking (a dangerous thing ;-) about the trailer models with the wrap around rear windows. In those models the monocoque construction is no longer supporting the frame where the skin is intersected by the window. Is the frame designed to be stronger now, or is it still the same steel tube frame?
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:26 PM   #46
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Rear cargo, and Bike racks

I have had not such good luck with this rear arrangement. I have a 2012 30 Limited that had a rear receiver when I purchased it. I drove from Boise, Idaho to Tupelo, Mississippi. I was pulling with a 2014 F150 with sway bars that was doing a really good job at 70 MPH. In Tupelo I bought a rear bike rack, and added a bike. From that point on I was restricted to at best 60MPH and sometimes 55 due to excessive swaying. Stopped at RV places and made adjustments without much success. I finally removed the hitch, bike rack, and bikes, and I am back at 70MPH. Be careful on your weight on the rear axle of the AS. I had to learn the hard way.
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:39 PM   #47
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Thanks Al - hard to believe I got a math problem right 😀

I've been traveling with the bikes on the queen bed on a tarp I also use to cover them while parked at the campsite. Would love a rack solution but haven't been a fan of the look of the Fiamma which would be in our dining room window (front bedroom).
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:40 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
I'm not an engineer so take this with a salt lick ��

Wouldn't the bikes tend to bounce significantly being on the back like that? And if so - I have to imagine that constant force of bike weight X whatever multiplier applies would want to bend the frame significantly. Like sticking a crow bar in the receiver and cranking up and down.

Again - I really don't know - am just reacting based on what it appears like to me. What do you think?
I missed reading your post earlier.

To answer your question:
YES, it did have a lot of movement up down, left right, when temporarily mounted on the trailer. That is why I heeded the warnings and did not complete it.
It's out in the garage collecting dust. I've been thinking about modifying it and installing it on the front of my truck as a support for the front end of my 15' aluminum canoe when I carry it on top of the tow vehicle. Rivets to worry about in the canoe also. Maybe I should make anchors out of it ;-)
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:49 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Thanks Al - hard to believe I got a math problem right ��

I've been traveling with the bikes on the queen bed on a tarp I also use to cover them while parked at the campsite. Would love a rack solution but haven't been a fan of the look of the Fiamma which would be in our dining room window (front bedroom).
I do not like the rear mounted factory racks Airstream approves of, since they block access to the bumper storage and rear access door on my trailer. I've been carrying bikes inside the trailer also, up front against sofa. Movers quilts on the floor, between the bikes, and on the sofa for padding - garage type bike rack from Lowes on the quilt on the floor - bikes bungied to each other and to the rack. So far so good. Only time they moved was when I braked hard to avoid a collision.
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:54 PM   #50
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Anchors? Could be drastic. Hey, I admire your creativity and skills. I'm just not deep enough on the engineering and *%#]^}* math to understand whether it ultimately helps or hurts. Really appreciate the discussion!
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:17 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Thanks Al - hard to believe I got a math problem right 😀

I've been traveling with the bikes on the queen bed on a tarp I also use to cover them while parked at the campsite. Would love a rack solution but haven't been a fan of the look of the Fiamma which would be in our dining room window (front bedroom).
As an alternative I tried carrying the bikes in the center aisle of our twin bedroom. I mounted a couple of heavy screw eyes at the foot of the beds. I got a two-bike stand on amazon, just one of those things that has hoops for the tires and put it on a rug at the rear and used a ratchet strap to secure the front forks to the eyes. The first trip it worked well. The second trip the bikes pushed in the front of the bottom of the nightstand and I had to repair that. And it was more of a pain than I imagined unloading and loading the bikes for a one-night stop. So far, the best option I have found is a front hitch and bike rack on the TV.

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Old 04-04-2016, 07:30 AM   #52
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I carry my bike inside the trailer. Big negative to that is it takes up a lot of space when stopping for snack etc. and needs to be removed for overnighting. I would like to come up with a way to carry exterior that works for me. Maybe a rack that goes on the back hatch of my Jeep GC. It would clear the trailer in turns and in a pinch could still open the hatch if needed. Thule makes one. Next problem is after this extended dry camping trip I have decided I need a generator. Solar is just to chancy. Now I have to figure out where to carry it and gasoline or go with a LPG conversion. It is so much fun owning a trailer. Almost as much as a boat.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:31 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I comment only as an interested bystander; I have no intention of adding anything to the back of my Airstream.

However, adding weight to the far end of a lever (for that is what the frame is, with the rear axle of the trailer as the fulcrum) is surely going to make that lever all the more effective. If the frame stays rigid then weight, magnified by the distance from the fulcrum and the bouncing effect from uneven roads, is going to lift the tongue of the trailer somewhat, which can't be good for stability at speed.

If the frame does flex, then you increase the possibility of it being separated from the shell.

Also, if you get into any kind of swaying situation, that sway is going to be magnified because you've increased the length of the trailer without adjusting the position of axle(s). More sway is going to be harder to get under control.

I've no evidence that these things would happen in a real-world situation, but from what I know about levers, I can't imagine the addition of 200lbs beyond the back of your Airstream is going to help anything.
FYI, I have concrete evidence that your reasoning is far out and hysterical. I have my hitch on our 30' international going on 3 seasons. Hauling 2 bikes all over the country usually cruising at 70 MPH being passed at 85 MPH by semis in Kansas. According to your dissemination, I pulling a 30' Air Stream with my F-150 should have become a twisted wreck on the side of the road two years ago. If you are not comfortable with the idea and it gives you anxiety, by all means do not go beyond your comfort level. At the same time please do not make unsubstantiated and controversial statements inducing anxiety in others seeking practical input or advise.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:52 AM   #54
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Frank - reply #46 demonstrates a bad experience - oddly enough with a 30 footer and a Ford F-150. Might be good to compare notes and see what contributes to 180 degree divergent experiences.
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Old 04-04-2016, 06:43 PM   #55
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FYI, I have concrete evidence that your reasoning is far out and hysterical. I have my hitch on our 30' international going on 3 seasons. Hauling 2 bikes all over the country usually cruising at 70 MPH being passed at 85 MPH by semis in Kansas. According to your dissemination, I pulling a 30' Air Stream with my F-150 should have become a twisted wreck on the side of the road two years ago. If you are not comfortable with the idea and it gives you anxiety, by all means do not go beyond your comfort level. At the same time please do not make unsubstantiated and controversial statements inducing anxiety in others seeking practical input or advise.
You need to re-read the comment I made, my friend.

I was simply pointing out that if you follow the proven physics of the properties of levers, adding extra weight to the extreme end of an Airstream, which is a lever, will result in some amplification of the existing forces, both up and down (bouncing) and side-to-side (sway). What those amplified forces are going to do to your Airstream, or its towing dynamics, is quite another matter. What I didn't say was that you're going end up in the ditch. I also said that that I had no real-world evidence to show that adding weight like a bike carrier or storage box would cause an actual problem, but I am interested in hearing what people have experienced when they have made these modifications.

I'm very happy to hear that all your experiences are good and that your Airstream hasn't been adversely affected by your modifications. Clearly, the amplified forces in your setup are not sufficient to damage your trailer or affect it's towing stability, which is something that many readers here will be relieved to hear.

It doesn't alter the inescapable fact, though, that if you add 100 lbs of additional weight behind the rear bumper of your Airstream, the forces I've mentioned above will be amplified.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:00 PM   #56
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Frank - reply #46 demonstrates a bad experience - oddly enough with a 30 footer and a Ford F-150. Might be good to compare notes and see what contributes to 180 degree divergent experiences.

Many times (especially here) is nothing more than perspective or foggy expectations.
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