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Old 02-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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1967 24' Tradewind
1979 25' Tradewind
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Section an Airstream?? Anyone done this??

This is my first post so be gentle. I am looking for a small Airstream, around 20' or so. I would like dual axles if possible. Looking at the adds and seeing how cheap larger trailers are in comparison to the small ones a thought came to me.

Why not buy a large Airstream cheap and simply cut it down to the size needed by cutting out the straight center portion (s) and shortening the frame?? I could have my dual axles, windows wherever I want etc. I know this is a lot of work but I like to think I am handy and have friends that really are handy if I get in a jam.

I think balance will be a big issue so the revamped trailer will tow properly. Also the axles may be over sprung, ie too stiff. These issues will have to be approached with care. Probably others I have not thought about. Any suggestions on what would be the best donor trailer-model , size. Also comments!

John
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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sure, anything's possible.. I can't find the link right now, but there was a person who made the SHORTEST airstream possible out of a 31 ft'r I believe.... it was just the front and rear cap, with a 3 ft section in between... I think I remember the door as being on the front, and he planned to tow it with a Suzuki Samuri.

Good luck!
Marc
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:40 PM   #3
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There is a ton more to it than "simply cutting it down to the size needed."
You would spend much more in shortening a trailer than you would ever save in paying for a shorter trailer from the outset and you would still have a butchered trailer.
You would have to pull every fixture out of the inside.
You would have to strip the interior skin off the inside.
You would have to redo all the wiring.
You would have to redo all the plumbing.
You would have to pull the belly pan.
You would have to cut a section out of the frame (very big deal).
The holding tanks would likely be in the wrong place and have to be moved (very big deal).
You would have to do all of this hoping to get the two axles in the correct location.
You would have to put all of this business back together and hope that you get interior weight distributed properly.
The whole process would take hundreds of hours (if not more) if done by someone who knows what he is doing.
I wouldn't even consider such a thing. And that is being gentle.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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Hi amoretti. Welcome to the forums!

Nothing new under the sun... This has been talked about. Yes, it's possible. You will need to correctly calculate final weight distribution so that you'll still end up with 11-13% of trailer weight on the tongue. No doubt this will involve building a new frame and repositioning the axle(s) accordingly. A total re-wire, re-plumb, new tanks. Migosh, this is a lot of work!

There is a lot of desirability to shorter coaches --- yes. A surgerized Airstream will carry forward none of that value. What length Airstream do you really want? Honestly, you'll spend a lot more time rebuilding a sliced Airstream from the ground up than you would by taking many months or a year or more finding one to buy the way you want it.

Related thread: Cut & Shortened Airstream

And from the ultimate craftsman! http://www.airforums.com/forums/f191...pod-37710.html
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:48 PM   #5
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you're better off saving your $, meditating for patience (nearly impossible when you have THE FEVER ;-), waiting a bit and just getting a nice Globetrotter, Safari, etc, and go camping...

resectioning is certainly possible, but Lord Lord, the work would be so demanding and take a long time....
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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1967 24' Tradewind
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OK guys- I you have convinced me to bag the idea! I will continue to look for a smaller Airstream. I may have a little bit of the "fever". I did bid on a Globetrotter in Montana recently but was out bid.

Thanks, John
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amoretti View Post
OK guys- I you have convinced me to bag the idea! I will continue to look for a smaller Airstream. I may have a little bit of the "fever". I did bid on a Globetrotter in Montana recently but was out bid.

Thanks, John
For your future reference, should you shorten the trailer, be it a single or tandem axle, the original axle ratings will be more than likely, excessive for the reduced overall weight.

That being the case, use caution and be very thorough when preparing the estimates for your time, and money.

You can always, eventually, find what your seeking, but before you take the plunge, post the info here on the Forums, along with your list of questions.

If you take photo's, and you should, make sure you include good and clear shots of both sides and the front and rear. Good photo's can tell many stories.

Andy
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