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Old 12-02-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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Question Weight: now vs then

What is the reason for the large weight difference between current AS and the vintage model? I've noticed that the older trailers seem to weigh significantly less than the new one's. Why is this??
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:46 PM   #2
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Corian counters, big mirrors, more windows, wide bodies, bigger tanks, air conditioners, beefier frames? A pound here and there; eventually it all adds up.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:03 AM   #3
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It takes man hours and considerable and thoughtful effort to keep weight down during construction. I guess that's one of the reasons planes cost so much. Anyway, we seem willing to put up with it and buy bigger and bigger tow vehicles.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:53 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:06 AM   #5
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A "big" car these days, the Ford Crown Vic/Mercury Gran Marquis/Lincoln Town Car, is only rated to tow 1,500 pounds maximum. No wonder the top 3 selling "cars" in the US are the Ford F-series, GM C/K series, and the Dodge Ram.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:47 AM   #6
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As a weight comparison, my '59 TradeWind at 24' came from the factory dry rated under 3100 pounds. Friend of mine has a 2000 25' model and it weighs over 7000. That last foot must be really heavy.

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Old 12-03-2006, 05:55 AM   #7
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Interesting....I had assumed that airstream went to heaver gauge alluminum or more steel and wood in the frame and floor. Sounds like the weight increase is more due to the extra ammenties than the base constuction of the AS.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outthere
Interesting....I had assumed that airstream went to heaver gauge alluminum or more steel and wood in the frame and floor. Sounds like the weight increase is more due to the extra ammenties than the base constuction of the AS.
Greeting all- Outthere, just a freindly word, one of the wonderful things about our Airstreams is that there is no wood in the frame. Yes, the base floor but none is used anywhere else for the frame construction. Everyone has made exacting comments about why heavier now. You want your comforts but you want to pack it into a VW? No, as long as we as Airstream owners, campers on the road want mircowaves, coffee, hot showers we will be packing on the weight! I for one want both worlds, hence a modern AS and a vintage!
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by peegreen
Corian counters, big mirrors, more windows, wide bodies, bigger tanks, air conditioners, beefier frames? A pound here and there; eventually it all adds up.
That about sums it up! Also the interior woods appear to be more substantial, solid oak cabinet frames etc. I think the wide body is also a major contributor.

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Old 12-03-2006, 07:31 AM   #10
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Add a slide out and see the step change in weight.
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:09 AM   #11
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Get thee to a rally and you'll see Airstreams from several decades. You'll see a lot lighter frames until they addressed the rear end separation problem (some in the 70s, more in the 80s). Wide bodies came along in ... 1993? 1994?

The wood veneer interiors of the 50s & 60s are nice in photos but flimsy in person. The attitude toward cabinetmaking changed into, "There's nothing that can't be solved with another sheet of 5/8" plywood." Some of the plywood is supposed to be lighter core but it sure looks like the normal stuff.
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:46 AM   #12
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That about sums it up! Also the interior woods appear to be more substantial, solid oak cabinet frames etc. I think the wide body is also a major contributor.

Aaron
Agreed.

Anyone else hear the rumor of the Arosgy or aspects of the Argosy line making it back into production trailers?
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:14 AM   #13
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The Safari model (sans: oak cabinets, corian counter tops ) should be a bit lighter, if you want to make it easier on the truck.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:08 AM   #14
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Two comments: 1) The older trailer "advertised" weights were without any options. The '70s owner's manuals had several pages devoted to calculating trailer weights that included the additional weights of added options. If one took the time to calculte weight with options then drove the trailer to a scale and got the actual weight, something closer to the truth would be found. 2) Newer trailers include many things as standard equipment that were previously options (larger tanks, AC, M/O, BAL jacks, etc) all of which affects weight. Interior cabinetry does appear to be heavier than that of the '60s trailers with wood cabinetry, but after having several of the older trailers, I much prefer their quality over the new. The aluminum framed laminate interiors of the 70s were an attempt at weight control but didn't do much for appearance or durability. The weight tags on the newer trailers can be deceiving. GVW weights are prominately stamped and some may read those weights as the actual weight of the trailer. Best advice is to drive the trailer to a scale and get an actual weight. If you really want to scare yourself, empty the trailer of all liquids and personal gear - weigh the empty trailer - then re-pack, add liquids and weigh again. You may reconsider the necessity of taking everything with you! Darol
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