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Old 01-01-2016, 08:44 AM   #1
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Educate me on 'Wide Body'?

Please educate me. In reading about some older 70's and 80's 30-34ft trailers, I have come across the term 'Wide Body'. Having owned a 2003 (8ft wide) and a 2008 (8.5') wide, am I correct that when a trailer is designated as 'Wide Body', it is 8.5' wide? Is there a clue in the VIN?
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FT
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:48 AM   #2
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The clue is in the tape measure. At 8.5' it's a wide body. Started in 1995 making some that width.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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Add to Shacksman's post that "wide body" is also 25' and above.
When you see or go inside a vintage trailer the narrower body is more apparent. There is more curve on the roofline and less flat area on the ceiling. Wide body, I am told are all models from 25' and above which, I guess began around 1995 though from the archive, it looks like from 95-98 they were settling on which models would be wide or not. It looks like, from 1998 forward the under 25' were narrow and the 25' and above were wide.

There is just more headroom and inside space and yes, there is 6" more width (8.5')
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for confirming what I thought I knew
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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Our 1999 23' Safari is designated a wide body!


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Old 01-02-2016, 03:18 PM   #6
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I understand they also make a narrow body version for export to Europe. From 1995 and later, is my understanding of the date they started making the trailers wider, which also corresponds with the wider flatter roof line. This is the easiest way to determine wide or narrow.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordTruck View Post
Please educate me. In reading about some older 70's and 80's 30-34ft trailers, I have come across the term 'Wide Body'. Having owned a 2003 (8ft wide) and a 2008 (8.5') wide, am I correct that when a trailer is designated as 'Wide Body', it is 8.5' wide? Is there a clue in the VIN?
In 1984, the Federal Government established 8' as the maximum allowable width for vehicles and trailers on US Highways and Interstates, with anything wider being considered oversized. This corresponded with the Federal Highway Administration's standard lane width increasing from 10' to 12', by the way. Not all states increased their maximum allowable widths to match; there are still a few states even today where the maximum permissible width on State highways is only 8', and anything wider legally must be towed during daylight hours only as a non-permit-required oversized load. But I've never heard of an RV owner being ticketed; it's normally only commercial drivers who bear the burden of state enforcement of width restrictions.

When the majority of states were increasing their maximum allowable width, it was common for trailer manufacturers in all fields, not just travel trailers but also semi-trailers, farm trailers, etc. to advertise "Wide Body" if their trailers were over 8' wide.

Once the industry had caught up with the change, and 8' became the standard width rather than a new feature, it was no longer necessary to advertise "Wide Body"; it's just assumed in a lot of cases, but some manufacturers still use the designation.

Side note, the measured width does not include "appurtenances" such as awnings (or side mirrors for vehicles) so the total width can be greater than 8'.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:50 AM   #8
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Easily visible/detectable if you can see the end caps.
The wide body end caps are wider and less curved.
The roof line isn't as rounded/crowned- it is more flattened out.
Really easy to spot with a bunch of trailers at a rally parked side by side-
Easy to tell which are wide body and which are not-
Another easily detectable difference:
The pre-wide-body trailers have many, many more rivets both horizontally and vertically along the ribs and cross members. I think they use an adhesive in lieu of rivets now.
Also, the pre-wide body trailers have an aluminum band around the windows and some have a nice extruded aluminum rear bumper storage lid.
If you ever enter both styles side by side, the difference is obvious inside, too. The older, non-wide-body trailers are obviously narrower, more rounded from the inside as well.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:12 PM   #9
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Our 1999 23' Safari is designated a wide body!

Yep, you are right- 8' 5.5 inches according to the spec sheet. Wow. It looks like they made the 23' wide bodied through 2002 then dropped it a few years. When It returned it replaced the 22' narrow bodied model as a 23' narrow bodied trailer. So that would mean that it started out as a wide body in 1999-2002 then later models became narrow bodied.
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:01 PM   #10
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For what it's worth, 50s and early 60s Airstreams were typically 7 1/2 feet wide. Later Airstream went to 8 feet and 8 1/2 feet, but over the years they have continued to make a few 7 1/2 foot "narrow body" trailers. The 1980-81 Caravelle models were 7 1/2 feet wide, as is the current Sport 22.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:33 PM   #11
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The current Sport 22 model is a narrow body. It's listed as 7' 3.25".
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Old 01-15-2016, 02:20 PM   #12
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wide body paper spec is 8" 5.5. In reality, it is wider. I had my new drive way gate built a month before getting my AS. The clear aperture is 9" dead.

The awnings and lights and anything that sticks out from the outer skin is not included in that 8" 5.5.

Due to my driveway it was not possible to make the gate any wider. So we do not park behind the gate...I was pissed. I mean really pissed.

I am sure a better driver could get through the gap, but I am done trying.
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