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Old 11-07-2004, 08:19 AM   #1
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Question "Rear End Sag" -How likely is this?

Howdy! 1st post. If this isn't correct forum for my Q, please advise -but I HAD hoped to reach more membership than limiting myself to owners of 1970 Sovereigns...

Have read that excessive weight in rear can bend or even break the frames of longer pre-1983 A/S. Preparing for full-timing-it, I've cut-back a LOT, but there's no giving up tools/repair materials, and my photo-files [a semi-retired Outdoors Photog] -both "weighty".
I'd planned storing these in the 2 big closets in the r.bath -that's c. 6' aft of r.axle.
HOW dangerous/likely is this rear-sag thing?
Should I plan to put the heavy items in the BR closets just aft of axles? Or [try to] put as much as possible in the storage under the fr. hideabed?
Thanks, Tom
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gringo9779
Howdy! 1st post. If this isn't correct forum for my Q, please advise -but I HAD hoped to reach more membership than limiting myself to owners of 1970 Sovereigns...

Have read that excessive weight in rear can bend or even break the frames of longer pre-1983 A/S. Preparing for full-timing-it, I've cut-back a LOT, but there's no giving up tools/repair materials, and my photo-files [a semi-retired Outdoors Photog] -both "weighty".
I'd planned storing these in the 2 big closets in the r.bath -that's c. 6' aft of r.axle.
HOW dangerous/likely is this rear-sag thing?
Should I plan to put the heavy items in the BR closets just aft of axles? Or [try to] put as much as possible in the storage under the fr. hideabed?
Thanks, Tom
Tom,
With any unit and not just sag prone Airstreams you want to keep as much weight over the axles or slightly forward of them, but not to the point you cause excessive tongue weight. IMHO I would store the heavy stuff under the beds and the front gaucho. I am very wary of the frame related issues of the early Sovereigns, there have also been issues of frame cracks in the axle areas that were caused by lightening of the frames in partial response to the gas crisis of the 70's, this was addressed by installation of frame stiffening plates. IMO this is even a bigger issue than the rear seperation. Another possiblity that I have been exploring is storing some of my heavier items in the rear of my tow vehicle, but that is another whole set of issues

Aaron
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Old 11-08-2004, 05:14 AM   #3
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Thumbs up YES to shifting heavy-wieights to tow

Howdy Aaron Thanks for your advice!

I'm with you on getting heavier stuff into tow-vehicles. I bought & installed an older camper shell Saturday, thinking that might add to my now-improved aerodynamics, as well as provide add'l. secure/weather-resistant storage.
{I'm not quite "there" yet: my tailgate is one constructed for a fifth-wheel, with a cut-out that allows you to back up to the kingpin w/out lowering it. As soon as I can add some sort of lockable solid backer to the present tailgate, I'll move most of the tools/hardware/"asstd.-materials" to the pickup-bed.
Unfortunately, this won't work with photographic files. Too moisture/temperature sensitive. The space directly over the axles is limited: the built-in slides w/ bins that's apparently A/S's substitute for bureau drawers, and a few more of those under the [center, double] bed. I think I'll have to use those "bedroom" closets JUST-aft the axles for the slides-negs-prints files, and move my [much-lighter] hanging-clothes to the big closets in the r.bath. [Otherwise, the latter would stand empty -what else could I store there?]

In this posted-Q, I didn't mention that I'm about to take-off on 4100+-mile trip, NOT fulltiming yet, 1st to Columbus NM, then east to Florida [to see kids and my "new" grandchild, Oshie, now 16months old. ] My rig is turn-key ready to roll, I'm all set to embark, and...I'm up so VERY early, I've got time to "muse" over these storage issues.
Saturday after getting the camper-shell, and yesterday, I carried stuff out to the A/S, standing on bathroom-scales and writing down the weight of every load. I loaded considerably more than bare-minimum for this trip, yet am still "only" at 623#. And at least HALF my closet/drawer/shelf space is unused.
Discounting what I would sell or dispose-of before going Full-Timing-It, that only leaves the aforementioned photo-files, a box of videos, another of paperbacks, and music [tapes & CDs]. Well...a FEW more things, not "too much". I believe I CAN DO THIS!
...I am simply in awe that this A/S, some 4400# lighter than the 5ER I sold in Sept., and 8' shorter inside, has MORE storage-space & MORE weight-carrying capacity than that 38-footer!

Tom

PS: so these couches that pull-out & drop down to become beds are "gauchos", eh? A/S is as cool w/ names as it is w/ design/engineering.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:44 PM   #4
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Don't forget to factor in the weight of water in the holding tank when you calculate you load weight. 8lbs per gallon if you're towing wet.
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