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Old 12-03-2006, 10:13 AM   #15
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Weight begets weight.

The big change came with holding tanks. Once you start carrying water and waste you not only have the weight of the tanks, but also their supporting structures and the rather considerable weight of the water itself (about eight pounds to the gallon - 30 gal. = 240 lbs.)

But there is more. More weight turns out to require a heavier frame - as Airstream found in the late 70's. More weight also requires heavier axles and tires, themselves being heavier as well.

And, as noted, there are the ammenities. Airconditioning, microwaves, charger/converters, forced air furnace, solid wood cabinets, and on and on.


'85 Sovereign, 25'
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by anholman
Anyway, we seem willing to put up with it and buy bigger and bigger tow vehicles.
Yeah, and I thought 'we' are supposed to be conserving our environment. I have a big '71 Buick to tow my '66 Tradewind. The cars then were made for working. Today even tho I believe automotive technology is much better it still takes brute power to pull the new trailers.
I as well use an old car to tow my trailer Neil. I grenaded the optional Trail Blazer as it was a pig on gas when pulling the trailer and when just commuting (that new inline 6 of GM's was a big disappointment to us) and I am on the prowl for just the right replacement truck for when the '57 is not the right vehicle to use. As noted by others, by the time you add your large fridge, TV, A/C, power jacks, microwave etc necessities to survive today, and then load all the things we each think we need on our "simple" camping outings the trailers get pretty darned heavy. I'm certainly guilty of taking a vintage light weight and adding the luxuries . But it sure is fun "roughing it" this way.


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Old 12-09-2006, 12:03 PM   #17
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For heaven sakes folks...don't complain about the weight. Someone from Airstream might just be reading these posts?????? Remember something about making them light. The lighter they make them the less quality you have. If you don't agree with that talk to the designers. With the materials availible to them quality equals wieght with a BIG emphasis on PRICE control at the same time. There are lighter ways to make these trailers...but the price would blow you away. Composit materials are very very exspensive.

And as to pulling your tailer with an 71" buick and being more enviormentally friendly? I dont' think so. The emissions from a V-10 Ford truck is many many times less then the buick. And pulling your AS would probably get better fuel milage. I will never forget my father pulling a 23 foot trailer with a 1968 Ford stationwagon. Empty was a strong miles per gallon...pulling and I will never forget this......8 mpg. May people in this forum pull new AS with new trucks and get 10-12 pulling with much much cleaner emmions than years past.
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:12 PM   #18
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Modern con's vs 60's con's veniences that is...

they had awnings

they had AC's - that blew cold not look warm

they had ceiling fans - that sucked the air out in 10 seconds flat!

they had the beautiful veneer - but strudy press board to make them durable

they had bags of storage (you just have to bend over) a novel idea when camping

they had torsion axles with 12inch brakes -

aluminum wheels are lighter than steel so not much savings there -with exception of t in the old days many longer trailers had single axles opposed to dual

they had fresh water tanks - water in water out (on the ground or into another tank) so where is the extra weight there? Most do not travel with tanks black or grey full anyway so that is only sitting weight at the best of time.

I would guess that it is the longer wider counterparts and as pointed out base weight NO options for the older trailers giving a false weight to use as a comparison. Dual battery, solar power extras, solid oak cabinet facings. The cabinet frames in both our early 60 and late 60's where made with oak. Bigger black tank, bigger fresh water tanks. Glass shower/bath doors instead of curtains.

Plywood vs particle board sub floor weight comparison???

More of the things we really do not need but just have to have or have come to expect!

To say the Quality is better with heavier - hmm I don't think so. Look behind the scenes of a 50's which is better than the 60's. The 70's is basically plastic and light weight materials that were alot cleaner behind the scenes (modual systems). Now take a look behind the scenes of 2000+ what the hell is holding this fancy stuff together - staples! - not much! There is a lot of press board (heavy stuff in CCD's and Safaris) even today - and that really is not expensive - just recycled sawdust...from all the heavy cabinet facings used in the Classics

More complicated windows, frames, hardware and the bigger appliances - that today do not last half as long as the 50's and 60's did - we live in a disposable world....

Just my take on how we have all got heavier over the years.

Simple equation - 17' x 7' (body of a 26' 1961 Overlander) = 119 square feet / 3750# dry weight listed = 31.5 pounds per sqft.

1 foot wider = 17 square more feet x 31.5 pounds = 535pounds plus a few items like Awning 110# + A/C 100# and we are already up to 750# not too mention all the other items mentioned above - like everyone says here they add up real quick.

Especially when gas economy on a v6 vs v8 as well as cargo weight is at best 500# for most trailers....why we can reach that in just Canadian Ice

Just our take on the difference between the old and the new - but we would take any Airstream over an SOB because of looks alone!

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