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Old 02-24-2014, 10:39 PM   #1
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shell mount

I have an aluminum car hauler open trailer that I do not use and was thinking about selling it. Then an idea popped into my head - why not locate a used airstream with a bad frame and then mount the shell onto my Worthington brand trailer?
Any suggestions or 's?
Thanks for your input!
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:44 AM   #2
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First of all, welcome to the forums!

As to your suggestion, I suppose anything is possible with enough time and money. Simply stated, it seems highly unlikely, even knowing nothing about the dimensions of your car hauler, that you would be able to simply set an Airstream shell onto it, and everything would fit nice, trailer wheels line up with AS wheel wells, etc.. It is like saying "I have a slab of concrete that was once a house foundation, maybe I can find a house and put it on it and the plumbing will all line up."

Speaking of plumbing, if you wanted to have holding tanks in your frame, like they are in modern trailer frames, you would have to do a lot of modification to your car hauler to accommodate them, and that may be just the start of the the mods that have to be done to make it fit.

The other issue, is that you generally can't just walk up and look at an Airstream trailer and tell that it has a frame so bad that it will have to be completely rebuilt. You have to put a lot of work into the project to even get to that point, at which point, most people will invest the ~$2000 to just have a custom frame built on the pattern of the original. Also, I would hazard a guess that the number of trailers that need a completely new frame is fairly low.

So you have a stack of improbabilities working against you. What are the chances that you find a shell of just the right dimensions to fit on your trailer, that has a frame so bad that it warrants being replaced altogether, and the current owner has invested days, if not weeks in the project, but is willing to wash his hands of it immediately? Plus, if the frame is that bad, it would probably have to be flat-bedded to where you are, in which case the cost of transporting it may exceed the value of using your trailer as a frame.

My guess is that your car hauler has more value as it is, and if you have no use for it, sell it and use the proceeds to buy that Airstream trailer that is not a complete basket case.

Good luck!
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
First of all, welcome to the forums!

As to your suggestion, I suppose anything is possible with enough time and money. Simply stated, it seems highly unlikely, even knowing nothing about the dimensions of your car hauler, that you would be able to simply set an Airstream shell onto it, and everything would fit nice, trailer wheels line up with AS wheel wells, etc.. It is like saying "I have a slab of concrete that was once a house foundation, maybe I can find a house and put it on it and the plumbing will all line up."

Speaking of plumbing, if you wanted to have holding tanks in your frame, like they are in modern trailer frames, you would have to do a lot of modification to your car hauler to accommodate them, and that may be just the start of the the mods that have to be done to make it fit.

The other issue, is that you generally can't just walk up and look at an Airstream trailer and tell that it has a frame so bad that it will have to be completely rebuilt. You have to put a lot of work into the project to even get to that point, at which point, most people will invest the ~$2000 to just have a custom frame built on the pattern of the original. Also, I would hazard a guess that the number of trailers that need a completely new frame is fairly low.

So you have a stack of improbabilities working against you. What are the chances that you find a shell of just the right dimensions to fit on your trailer, that has a frame so bad that it warrants being replaced altogether, and the current owner has invested days, if not weeks in the project, but is willing to wash his hands of it immediately? Plus, if the frame is that bad, it would probably have to be flat-bedded to where you are, in which case the cost of transporting it may exceed the value of using your trailer as a frame.

My guess is that your car hauler has more value as it is, and if you have no use for it, sell it and use the proceeds to buy that Airstream trailer that is not a complete basket case.

Good luck!
I guess my objective is to preserve shed space. Really what I had in mind is to simply remove the Airstream axle(s), then anchor the camper to the car hauler. The appearance may look ridiculous but on the other hand, unique is not all bad either. Plus, if I want to upgrade down the road, or need a flatbed again, I could remount the axles on the Airstream. But the option of selling what I have for $5,000 and putting the money toward a used camper may be the route to go. We shall see -
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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Ah, not worried about looks. Ok, well then, you still may have trouble with interference at your trailers' wheel wells, plus, with no axle on the airstream, you will either need to lift it or drag it onto your car hauler. If the frame is shot, you may find it hard to find sturdy enough places to anchor the AS on the hauler. End of the day, if the frame is shot, the rest of the trailer will probably be a wreck as well--you will still have a lot of work to do to make it liveable.
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