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Old 12-19-2010, 11:28 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Lift my Ride, bus type storage for AS?

So what do you think about me lifting my airstream 2 in the air? I recently bought: 1/4 3x6 steel tube, it may be a bit thinner , 3 -20 3-10 4-7. 6- 3/16 2x6x7. 8 20 2x2x 1/8 and tons more of scrap. I also bought 4 sheets of 1/8ish aluminum sheets 4x12, black on one side, and tons of scrap smaller sheets, most 2 wide by 8. 2 hardly used 10,000 axles, 4 new hankook load h tires on very nice dully rims, one new dua term slim ac, one new dua term roof heat pump, new 30,000 btu suburban direct spark furnace. New Atwood 6 gallon water heater, two new fantastic fans-one power up- both no remote or wall thermostat ahh boo.. lol. Two awning actuators, NEW 100 amp IOTA automatic transfer switch, a very high end electrical panel for ac/dc with breakers gauges-and indicator lights, new nice tank monitoring system with all wires and probes, new smart sensor 4.0 shurflo pump, 1000 lbs winch. 20 Very nice keyed Handles for bus under floor compartments- they fold flush, high end sound proofing, hundred or so feet of all sorts of weather stripping, and 3 curved chrome corners for enclosed trailers, for $3000. Did I do good? Lol. I plan to sell the transfer switch. Its worth way more to someone else. Anyways, Im thinking I will lift the shell. Restore/modify the frame. Then lift that 2 in the air and build another one underneath it, much beefier of course, and from 3 behind the wheel wells the lower frame would triangulate up to the original rear bumper. NO MORE BUMPER DRAG! I would then put 24 2x2 from old main beams to the new lower one and put a 2x2 from the lower tube up to the outer edge of the outrigger, possibly installing a/the steel tube under the C channel under the ply. I hate the sandwich of the ply but I do want the mona whatever-lol. With the wheel wells out of the way, I could have that extra rigidity all the way down the side of the trailer. I have sag signs in front of the wheel-wells; I dont want this to happen again.
I would be able to move the heaters, water heaters, plumbing, duct work, tanks, generators, batteries, and all sorts of stuff below. I would like to leave the entire 31 accessible from the back. I would have a drop door like a jumbo jet and would build collapsible wire boxes on a carts that would how my water bags. I want to have a bladder system. I will try to explain. Say you have a 5x5x 20 space, and you want to have the biggest holding capacity possible. So for ease of explanation, lets say you can fit 100 gallons in that space. Instead of having two 50 gallon hard tanks, one for clean water one for grey, you would have two 100 gallon bags on top of each other. As the clean water is pumped out, the grey will drain into the grey bag on top, slowly displacing the clean water as its used. By the end of the clean supply, the pressure should help the pump drastically. I bet this has been discussed on here. When I dont need to carry that much water, I can roll it out the back, clean thoroughly, and roll up into a tiny space saving square.
I also plan to build a slide-in camper type tool box. It wont stick out over the bed like others and it will look a lot more professional then keeping my tools in a normal slide in camper. I also hope to have jacks that pop out the sides and can get the thing off my truck and all the way to the ground in with VERY little work/risk/time. I want to be able to drop my tools at a customers house, in a secure, visually acceptable way. I will then be able to use my truck bed and save on gas. I think all these trailer companies that are going out of business should start making these. I want one and it would save me a ton in the long run. I bought all of the metal, including the sheets, for this idea for $150 added to the list. It was part of the $3000.
They have one more dua-therm with-out trim, older inverters, lights, hydraulic jacks, metal, microwaves, sinks, and random stuff. The company built custom trailers for nascar drivers. They went bankrupt. Another company wanted the warehouse to store fireworks but after buying everything in the warehouse for a DEAL, they found out they could not store fireworks in the building. So now everything needs to be gone in 6 weeks. Everything except the metal, axles and wheels came to $1000. If you plan on be in Nashville, I can bring you by. Its really random stuff. Circuit boards out the wazoo, but I have no idea what they are. I could take pictures and figure out that process all over again, which I need to do anyways.
Back to the subject of real importance, a 30 thick frame with two 10,000 lbs axles, and load h tires. If I triangulate everything it should be a solid frame on a stiff suspension. I plan on utilizing the holding capacity, but I wouldnt drive across country full. i might end up selling the 10000lbs axles and tires if it just too stiff, but Im going to fight for this one. Where exactly does DOT come into play on this? I plan on having a bumper that lowers to legal spec and rises when I need it to, maybe with lights on the bumper, if needed. All of the steel came from the shop that built 40+ trailer that could hold 4 cars and more. I just dont know what dot actually requires out of people making personal trailers, not for resale.
As far as center of gravity, I plan to Move and add a lot of weight to the lower half. The wall oven would be lowered under the stove. All of the heavy stuff below the floor and a suspension that should eliminate all sway, maybe to an unsafe level, might fix that. ??
Its been so long since I posted last. Maybe because I dont want to post pictures of an airstream being lived in and worked on at the same time. Lol. I now have boxes of goodies all over the place. I do want to show everyone how I lowered the shelf around the rear bath tub and turned it into a seat for the shower. It has made the world of difference and rerouting the vent around was simple. I should have found a suitable wall material before starting, I ended up making a temporary seat surround out of a washer and dryer, emergency leak, pan. Lol. It was the only thick white plastic I could find, which was very surprising in this era of plastics.
The macerator pump constantly proves to be worth every penny.
Well thats my update, what do you think?
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:35 PM   #2
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I also painted the walls with stainless steel paint. If I had a choice, which i now do, I would keep these as opposed to real aluminum. I like the way the texture came out in the silver. It looks nice.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:20 AM   #3
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Well i just saw another picture... Re-inspired...I might as well replace the walls and shine them up.lol. It's amazing how far I placed that out of my realm of possibilities, before I found these prices.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:16 AM   #4
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Well, its your rig and if you think it would better suit your sense of style lifted, then let it be so. I think you are going to sacrifice a lot of stability and increase drag markedly but as long as it looks good...

If you can design the change so it can be undone, it may help with resale. Most AS enthusiasts are pretty traditional (I'm one of them)

mike
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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I have a lot of tools and need the storage. This is a full time home, I would really like a dishwasher, washer and dryer. It would open a lot of possibilities that other Airstreams couldn't dream of doing.
It would also act as a skirt, and would allow heat around my tanks and plumbing.
I also plan on having the front longer to hold a scooter.

I'm really wondering if it's been done before and what needs to be done for dot?

If everyone could leave at least a half of a yeah or nay, just so I can tell how far off I am this time.

It is not going to have an off road look. All aluminum skin.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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Why don't you just buy a SOB and paint the thing silver? That's what you're pretty much going to end up with anyway. When you change the entire geometry of the Airstream, it ceases to function as the Airstream engineers designed it. It will end up being a worthless turd that doesn't track well down the road, that's top-heavy, that could cause an accident and when the day comes when you decide to sell it, noone will want to touch it with a ten-foot pole.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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I also have plenty of help welding, so that won't be expensive. I would love even more help, I wouldn't turn anyone away.

I'm worried dot will require me to have a certain kind of engineer design plans, not that I wouldn't love to have plans that and engineer approved or drew but, if it's forced, it sounds like a dream killing expense.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:36 AM   #8
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Why don't you purchase a Classic Airstream motorhome? It will already have the basement storage that you seem to need.

Bill

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I also have plenty of help welding, so that won't be expensive. I would love even more help, I wouldn't turn anyone away.

I'm worried dot will require me to have a certain kind of engineer design plans, not that I wouldn't love to have plans that and engineer approved or drew but, if it's forced, it sounds like a dream killing expense.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:40 AM   #9
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Stingray.
I thought at worst it would end up pulling like a typical RV or a high-end enclosed trailer when empty. Is it the axles that cuase the tracking concern or is it everything?
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:48 AM   #10
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Why don't you purchase a Classic Airstream motorhome? It will already have the basement storage that you seem to need.

Bill
I hadn't thought of that, since wanting to lift everything. I guess because I've never seen one in person, and I got the impression they broke down a lot. The front end never looked right to me.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:56 AM   #11
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I believe that they are on the GM P30 Chassis, I know that they have a Chevrolet drive train. Plenty of performance and heavy duty parts available.

Bill

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I hadn't thought of that, since wanting to lift everything. I guess because I've never seen one in person, and I got the impression they broke down a lot. The front end never looked right to me.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:57 PM   #12
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Stingray.
I thought at worst it would end up pulling like a typical RV or a high-end enclosed trailer when empty. Is it the axles that cuase the tracking concern or is it everything?
It's the combination of everything...you're going to be adding more weight that the axles weren't designed to handle, you're lifting the trailer, which changes its center of gravity. The combination of those two things right there would make me uncomfortable towing it down the road. It's a disaster waiting to happen...at best you're destroying the trailer, at worst you're killing people...not a chance I'd be willing to take.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm worried dot will require me to have a certain kind of engineer design plans, not that I wouldn't love to have plans that and engineer approved or drew but, if it's forced, it sounds like a dream killing expense.

I'm thinkin' there'd be a good reason to have a versed engineer *draw it up*. Course, I'm pretty used to grand safety factors in the space transportation system. You could consider our efforts to be overcautious if you'd like... The engineering behind all of it is definately a huge element of cost - for design and fab. And it still doesn't guarantee survival.

OTOH, creativity is the father of invention. It could be really amazing.

Laura
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:45 PM   #14
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I saw this one at a rally. Later it was listed for sale on craigslist for a really long time. Same guy hacked up a canned ham on a mercedes also, and had it for sale forever.
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