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Old 07-20-2015, 04:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
Check out the link to my thread below, it should answer many of your questions
Wow - what a read, and yes, it answered many questions.

Can I confirm that the ribs and stringers are all Z section, and if so, what size are they?

I guess the middle leg of the Z will give the spacing between inner and outer panels?

How would one form the curves in a roof rib using section, or would it be better / easier to use box section and put it through a roller?

I'm also intrigued about how thin some of the skin is at 0.032. Is that not really fragile and vulnerable?

I'd have thought .050 would be better? Would 0.50 be okay to make the 13 leaf end caps?

One area of concern is how to make the door and window recess mounts - the return flange frame that the windows and doors will fit in... any clues about how to form these?

Sorry for all the additional questions - I just want to have a clear idea of what's ahead of be before I pull the trigger as I don't want to get half way through and discover that I don;t have the skills or tool required to make something critical.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:13 PM   #16
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How ironic...

When I had my interior work done, there was a custom Airstream trailer being built in the bay next to mine. It was being built for a very tall, very rich guy, who needed a taller trailer. Cost??Ö.250K us dollars. They went about it totally different than you.

They took an old trailer like what you want to copy. They only used the shell from the old trailer. Added about a foot in the middle to the shell.

Now get thisÖ.the frame was made by a race car maker in Great Britian.

Other cool features were a pivoting hitch coupler, Plastic wafer sub floor, that I picked up with thumb and index finger.

If it was me, and it's not, because I am me, and you are you. I would design the interior floor plan first, and build to those parameters. I think a 16 foot long cabin is needed to fit everything, and have enough room to get around.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:23 PM   #17
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Stop!

There is an outfit in Britain that currently MAKES copies of early Airstreams. I'll search for the link, but it's probably 2 years since I saw the thread. Guarantee you'll spend 4 to 10 times as much "learning" to do the build than buying one from a company that's already cleared the learning and regulatory hurdles.


There is also a company in the USA that makes a reproduction of the Road Chief by Bolus Aero I believe.

Going to SEARCH function now.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:32 PM   #18
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link #1 Retro Rockets

Retro Rocket Caravans

See, right in your own back yard. These are designed to be arty-tarty little shops, but if they can make those, why not a regular caravan for the road?

Paula
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:39 PM   #19
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ready!

Specs New - Bowlus Road ChiefBowlus Road Chief

Retro Rocket Caravans


prepare to drool... have medics from the flying squad nearby when you look at the price, but you can bet building one from the ground up will cost more in the end.

Paula
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:47 PM   #20
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There is an outfit in Britain that currently MAKES copies of early Airstreams. I'll search for the link, but it's probably 2 years since I saw the thread. Guarantee you'll spend 4 to 10 times as much "learning" to do the build than buying one from a company that's already cleared the learning and regulatory hurdles.


There is also a company in the USA that makes a reproduction of the Road Chief by Bolus Aero I believe.

Going to SEARCH function now.
Thing is though, they're £14,000 or approx $20k !!!!! And that's just for the smallest one. I could buy a real one for similar money.

I'm looking to do it all myself and spend far less than that.

Plus they won't fit in my garage as they are all a little bit too tall - hence I want to build one to my own size and specific needs.

For the record, I restore classic cars for a hobby and am from an engineering back ground so I've got a fairly decent handle on what might be involved - at this stage I just gathering info on what size the stringers and ribs are and how I might over come window and door frame recess issues.

Thanks for the help so far though!
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:55 PM   #21
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I can see building a luxury one with all the modern conveniences in would be expensive, but I'm looking to do this on a low budget.

I can get the rolling chassis ready to go for circa $500 using a used existing trailer and adding my own custom sized outriggers and perimeter frame.

The interior would be very basic essentials - a bed, table sofa, fridge and sink with basic unheated water. No toilet, heater, A/C or other luxuries. I've just built a camper van / motor home conversion so am aware of the interior fit out costs which for what I want could be done for about $3k all in. Remember this will be very basic inside and be only a 14' long body.

So the only real unknowns are the cost of the ribs, stringers, sheet ally, bucket of rivets, special tools, insulation and sundries which I can't see costing the earth from what I've seen so far.

I can't see how I'd need to spend more than circa $10k on such a small compact and basic trailer , keeping in mind that from the floor down will cost next to nothing as used trailer chassis over here are peanuts.

What am I missing?
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:20 PM   #22
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What did you have in mind for the interior appliances, water systems, insulation, holding thanks, electrical systems, and black waste? If all you are looking for is a place to sleep such as an aluminum tent it's possible for under 10k
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:49 AM   #23
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What did you have in mind for the interior appliances, water systems, insulation, holding thanks, electrical systems, and black waste? If all you are looking for is a place to sleep such as an aluminum tent it's possible for under 10k
I can make the furniture myself for peanuts and small water tanks cost buttons, as does recycled 'plastic wool' insulation.

All I'd need is a fridge, gas hob, sink and tap.

What sort of cost would a reasonable condition Bambi or Wee-Wind cost over there these days? Something reasonably straight, but with maybe a tired interior needing a refit and mechanical refurb?

There are a few importers over this side but they are obviously making a living from it and I don't want to be paying wages for stuff I can do myself.

I'm up for buying an original if I can, but it;s down to buying blind from 5,000 miles away and getting it to a port and then shipping it could be as such expense if not more than the trailer itself?
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:55 AM   #24
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Have you thought of a composting toilet? I know of some people who use the very expensive composting toilets while some just have built a nice shroud for a bucket. I have this book and you can also read online for free. I do not plan on having a black water tank. Where I am their a very few dump stations. The ones that are available cost $25+ for just a dump station. Some though not all campgrounds have dump stations also. Dumping gray water here is not as much of a concern. So composting toilet for me. Plus better for the environment.
The Humanure Handbook - Center of the Humanure Composting Universe
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:04 AM   #25
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Original VS Replica

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Originally Posted by Last Triumph View Post
I can make the furniture myself for peanuts and small water tanks cost buttons, as does recycled 'plastic wool' insulation.

All I'd need is a fridge, gas hob, sink and tap.

What sort of cost would a reasonable condition Bambi or Wee-Wind cost over there these days? Something reasonably straight, but with maybe a tired interior needing a refit and mechanical refurb?

There are a few importers over this side but they are obviously making a living from it and I don't want to be paying wages for stuff I can do myself.

I'm up for buying an original if I can, but it;s down to buying blind from 5,000 miles away and getting it to a port and then shipping it could be as such expense if not more than the trailer itself?

I have looked at several trailers locally and in neighboring provinces. The 30 - 31 foot models of 1990 and before the lowest cost seams to be around 5K. These all need TLC on the frame and interior. Many have hidden issues. One I looked at even had 2X4 wooden beams bolted to the frame to hold it together. So inspect carefully. One Bambi form around 1970 went for $1000 up the road from me. Though the only usable part of it was the vin plate. The frame was completely gone and the aluminum skin was all corroded some place you could put your finger through as it was parked right next to a highway with heavy salting in the winter. Another small trailer I looked at was $13 000. The frame was ok, though the interior was completely ruined form rodents and raccoons which had gotten into the trailer through a broken roof top vent.

So trailers here are available at all ends of the spectrum. One buddy found one for dirt cheap less than $5000 and all he had to do was clean it up and was ready for camping. He spent like a day washing the interior then went camping.

Good luck hunting.

I am thinking about building though I am still hunting for the right one. I have till next spring to make my decision. Though received all the regulatory documents form the Government yesterday in concern to constructing your own.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:40 AM   #26
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I have looked at several trailers locally and in neighboring provinces. The 30 - 31 foot models of 1990 and before the lowest cost seams to be around 5K. These all need TLC on the frame and interior. Many have hidden issues. One I looked at even had 2X4 wooden beams bolted to the frame to hold it together. So inspect carefully. One Bambi form around 1970 went for $1000 up the road from me. Though the only usable part of it was the vin plate. The frame was completely gone and the aluminum skin was all corroded some place you could put your finger through as it was parked right next to a highway with heavy salting in the winter. Another small trailer I looked at was $13 000. The frame was ok, though the interior was completely ruined form rodents and raccoons which had gotten into the trailer through a broken roof top vent.

So trailers here are available at all ends of the spectrum. One buddy found one for dirt cheap less than $5000 and all he had to do was clean it up and was ready for camping. He spent like a day washing the interior then went camping.

Good luck hunting.

I am thinking about building though I am still hunting for the right one. I have till next spring to make my decision. Though received all the regulatory documents form the Government yesterday in concern to constructing your own.
It would seem that building my own is still the best bet to get exactly what I want, in the size I want and for the fun of actually building, which for me is the best part.

Here's a question - the stringers and ribs don't appear to go into the curved ends - what does the inner skin mount to - or is the window from the only anchor point for both skins other than the C channel at the bottom?

Anyone got any dimensions for the ribs and stringers - thickness of material, length of leg and flange etc?
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:57 AM   #27
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Man I'm hoping you go through with this!!! Please document the build on here with lots of pictures...

-Red, just posting to track the thread more easily...
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:00 AM   #28
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Hi Last

You asked " Here's a question - the stringers and ribs don't appear to go into the curved ends - what does the inner skin mount to - or is the window from the only anchor point for both skins other than the C channel at the bottom? "

I don't fully understand the question, and I hope not to insult your skills, or knowledge base.

Both the inner and outer skins are riveted to the ribs. ONE rivet goes through both. It takes two men at the factory, one inside, one outside the trailer. It's airplane construction technology called "monocoque". Airstream uses Olympic rivets. After the rivets are installed, they need to be "shaved ".
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