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Old 06-19-2015, 08:59 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
These aren't your grandfather's Airstreams. They are made of different materials and with more delicate systems.

That being said...we drove our 2005 Airstream Interstate with Flying Cloud systems and interior on washboard roads regularly without a hitch in the Airstream added systems. But...that was on a very heavy duty Mercedes 2500 van chassis. I guess I have doubts about the durability today's (2014-15) AS trailer chassis when subjected to the same conditions.
My 2014 FC 20' has a full 5" frame, heavier and deeper than some longer AS trailers I have owned. My '74 Argosy 20 only has a 4" frame.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:42 AM   #30
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But what is difference in weight between those two?
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:47 AM   #31
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Argosy as ready to tow, 4200#. Airstream as ready to tow, 5100#. Both have a tongue weight of aprox. 700 #. All measured at scales.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:05 AM   #32
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So the frame strength may be fine for each, with a small edge to the newer one. Or is it otherwise in your opinion?
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:18 AM   #33
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From what little I recall of my courses in structures, the frame strength increases greatly with each added inch of depth. That is a 5" frame is much stronger than a 4" frame, the added inch adds far more than 20% capacity.

But, that said, those courses were over 50 years ago, so I have to put my comments in the opinion category, rather than being able to back them up with calculations. Some who worked in structures and structural calculations as their profession may be able to shed some light on my dim memories.

Does anyone have frame depth vs. length information on lets say 60's and 70's vs. 2010 and up Airstream trailers? This has now got me interested in frame strength of old vs. new rigs. Of course the metal thickness may have varied also so simple depth may not be the entire story.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:39 AM   #34
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And alloy. And supplier.

I agree it can get deep without being revealing. So it wasn't quite a trick question, or being cute on my part just because we all know today's TT is heavier than yesterday's. It's not the direction to go, IMO.

The point of TT total length is apt. And THE ONE.

I would no more take my travel trailer down any of the oilfield lease roads I've travelled for work seeing how even high dollar semi trailers flex, than I would park it on the beachfront.

Those that want to with theirs are welcome, no criticism from me. But shorter is better no matter the frame rail depth. Travel trailers of our type can be tough, but the guys with toy-haulers and the rest tend to trade every six years as a result of hard use.

Suspensions, tire pressures, hitch setup, and so on . . some roads are just going to take a lot out of a trailer. There won't be an easy offset or fix. So it also comes down from another angle about preservation. Some will want to go where others won't.

I don't believe there is a fix outside of a custom engineered build. What would result would not be an Airstream as we've seen.

Now, mount one if ours onto a forty foot gooseneck with tandem tires riding on air and you may have something. But the axles would have to come off the A/S to meet the 13'5" overhead road clearance

Pirate 4x4 has plenty of interesting builds. Even an A/S some years back along this line.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:45 PM   #35
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COOL: the Chaco Eyeball Shaker

I LOVE to drive washboard backroads and find it COOL. IF, it is YOUR truck and trailer.

I am sure Wally LOVED washboard roads. It is a great way to promote a product at the time, when you have lots of parts being towed behind the convoy. At Wally's era, most all rural roads in the USA were rutted and washboarded. How else to sell his airplane without wings? Even horse shoes come off...

If modern airliners need to be rebuilt just from flying in AIR... imagine the damage to rivets and hardware on the "Chaco Eyeball Shaker" at any speed. I upgraded all of my 2006 23 footer hardware just for "bumpy roads". The Airstream hardware must be in a carton somewhere of no value to anyone that travels a lot. The "Chaco Canyon Road Test" was made twice and the upgrades were successful, after the dental work and laxatives took effect.

If you want, experience moving in a straight line with trailer attached and feel the tow vehicle and trailer vibrated towards the guardrails or edge of the gravel road. Chaco is the best test of tooth enamel and holding back the strongest cursing in silence... or vocalized pain of travel.

Uphill / Downhill washboard roads are no more entertaining that those on flat roads. It is as if your V8 horsepower has been misdirected to displace dirt and call it "road work improvement ahead".

Cool, yes.

If the Chaco Eyeball Shaker is to prevent Looting of archaeological sites... then they should add more around Banks instead of a lone speed bump to slow traffic down. Chaco was looted before it became a Park. The washboard was created by the caretakers loading up trucks to sell the loot to those interested.

Something I would want to do often? Only if I did not own it and had to repair what is left after I am through with it. Much of this is pure made up boiler talk among those who do know better and profess to offer advice to those who want to experience a rare commodity today... washboard roads. They are getting hard to find and it will not be long that Chaco Canyon will be designated a Wally Ride worth Saving.
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:00 PM   #36
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Drive chill, use your trailer, enjoy it.
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:39 PM   #37
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Maybe it depends on your definition of "Cool." Not really something I would be doing unless I had no choice in order to get to someplace I REALLY wanted to be!

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Old 06-20-2015, 07:28 PM   #38
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:43 PM   #39
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I went to an off road camp site near the South rim of the Grand Ganyon for a family birthday celebration through ruts and pot holes on a dirt road. The 4 miles in took nearly an hour..... Folks blew past me with their SOBs bouncing up and down like a cork in a bathtub.

The only negative thing was the layer of dust that accumulated on the trailer. All the pillows and stuff were still where we put the items before starting the off road part of the trip.

It took me just as long coming out.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:45 PM   #40
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If the destination is attractive to you, go for it. Washboard can be managed by tuning your speed to the road. Sometimes 30 mpg is far smoother than 5 mph. We did the infamous Chaco Culture NP access road when our 2011 FC23FB was two days old. Wonderful experience! Two loose screws on the microwave mount was the extent of 'damage'. No chassis or skin damage then, and none now after 40,000 miles with many hundreds on really bad roads. Well, a few dings on the rock guards, but that's what they are for. Secure the cargo inside, close the vents, and appreciate the adventure. Dust washes off.


Safe Travels,
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:29 PM   #41
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I'm going to endure 7 miles of gravel and some washboard to get here (Pine Lake USFS CG) for a long weekend next month. The spot is too good, and the fishing too tempting, to pass up such a beautiful high-altitude summer camp. Reading the posts here, I will take my good sweet time getting over a few bad washboard areas (we scouted this recently when staying at Bryce.)Click image for larger version

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ID:	241196 My biggest concern, however, is the oncoming traffic, although few in number, they don't seem to want to slow-up to pass - dust galore, hopefully no gravel into the windshield or AS...
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:05 PM   #42
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Owned for a year, 100s of miles on forest service, dirt and other . No issues with anything, take it at a reasonable speed and enjoy!Click image for larger version

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