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Old 09-25-2006, 11:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chopper
I'm going to keep an eye on the left/right weight balance as I rebuild. And here's how I propose to do it:

1. get a long I-Beam and put it under the Argy at the center of the axles (long enough to catch both axles and still stick out the back of the Argy),
2. prop up the end of the I-Beam under the Argy with sturdy blocks so that the I-Beam is up against the axles,
3. then slowly jack up the other end of the I-Beam sticking out the back of the Argy so that the cantilever action lifts the Argy's hiney in the air (well, not that high!)

If my idea is correct, then the jack will lift the I-Beam, which will lift the axles at the center of the Argy, and the lighter side will lift first. Kind of like a balance beam for trailers!

Cheers!
If you do what you propose, you most certainly will damage the axle alignments.

Torsion axles, must never be used as a method of lifting the coach, no matter how slight.

That's a long standing rule.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:57 AM   #16
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Plan B

Thanks Andy!

Plan B it is then!

The yard where I'm doing a lot of the work right now is a storage area for heavy construction equipment. I'll use one of those heavy steel plates (that they use to temporarily cover holes in the street with) and then put the I-beam under that as the folum of my balance beam. Then I'll back up the Argy onto that plate, and presto, a teeter-totter for trailers. When I'm working inside, I'll wedge up the steel plate so that it doesn't teeter; and when I'm ready to check the balance, I'll knock the wedges out and see which way it goes.

Thanks again for the advice!

Cheers!
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper
Thanks Andy!

Plan B it is then!

The yard where I'm doing a lot of the work right now is a storage area for heavy construction equipment. I'll use one of those heavy steel plates (that they use to temporarily cover holes in the street with) and then put the I-beam under that as the folum of my balance beam. Then I'll back up the Argy onto that plate, and presto, a teeter-totter for trailers. When I'm working inside, I'll wedge up the steel plate so that it doesn't teeter; and when I'm ready to check the balance, I'll knock the wedges out and see which way it goes.

Thanks again for the advice!

Cheers!
That still will not answer the question of "how much" weight will be on each side.

A truck scale can measure each side of the trailer separately.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:25 PM   #18
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Why did they put lightning holes in the frame?
If I understand what you are talking about...and I probably don't cause I've never seen them...you actually strength metal by punching holes in it. This is one of the reasons you will see the ribs of ships and aircraft and, yes, Airstreams, have round holes punched in them at regular intervals. I forgot the structural principle, but I think it has to do with forcing the molecules around the hole closer together and therefore increasing the metal's density slightly. I forget for sure, but I saw this explanation on an automobile restoration documentary when they were explaning the processes used to restore, and in a lot of cases refabricate parts for, aluminum bodied Ferraris from the 1950's.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:54 AM   #19
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carrying water

Hi, I like the Idea of carrying water for the purpose of saveing your tow vehicle if necessary. [Thanks Andy] I always leave with a full tank of fresh water; Better balance, lower center of gravity, and when I get stuck on the highway for three or four hours [like I did twice so far] I like to be able to use my bathroom! We were stuck once because of an accident involving a big rig and the other time because of a forest fire close to the freeway. As for gas mileage, I don't think you can measure enough difference to amount to anything worth while in loss. Another way to look at this is: Since there is only the two of us [my wife and I] in the Navigator, my water weight in the trailer equals about the same as if we had two adults in the back seat. I think they would call this a wash?

Bob
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:24 AM   #20
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Person Weights as a Measure

LOL, my rebuild buddy just said the same thing...he said the water tank full was just the equivallent of "two big dudes" or "TBD's")...we've been using that measure while we deconstruct...as in "3 TBD's of material removed so far..."

I carry water for the same reason, to flush on the go...though in my case, between my wife and two young kids, every potty break is a major production (ha, production of waste water).

Plus, with Big Blue (3/4 ton Diesel Ram), I have enough pull for a few more TBD's!

Cheers!
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:02 PM   #21
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The frame "hole punching" was a weight-saving measure in the mid to late 1970's, with usually less than desirable results. It was one of the reasons coaches of that era have the rear end sag issues. Remember, this was around the time of the first gas crisis, and Airstream was trying to make their coaches towable by as many vehicles as possible.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
The frame "hole punching" was a weight-saving measure in the mid to late 1970's, with usually less than desirable results. It was one of the reasons coaches of that era have the rear end sag issues.
Why do you say that?

If the holes were engineered correctly the overall strength is unaffected I would think.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:12 PM   #23
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The issue with rear end sag was more of an issue with reduction in frame member size/depth than hole punching would have created. Yes, the hole puching does reduce weight, but as an architect, one thing I do know is that the strength of a beam is relative to the distance between the flanges not the amount of material in the web member itself. The web stabilizes and stiffens the flanges and keeps them parallel, but doesn't add a lot to the strength of the beam. Think parallel cord floor trusses. These are the flat "W" trusses used to support long span floors like in malls and flat roofs in warehouses and many other buildings. There is relatively little metal material between the flanges compared to the depth of the floor truss, yet they suppport a tremendous amount of load compared to their own weight.

However, when you decrease the distance between the flanges, you significantly decrease the beam's structural strength. This is what happened when Airstream reduced the depth of the frame members. Each was a small beam that supported the contents of the trailer above. IIRC, Airstream reduced this depth by 20-25%. This is what led to rear sag. Yes, I know part of the support of the floor was suspended by the monocoque design of the Airstream, but this whole assembly sits on the frame.

And yes, as long as the holes are properly spaced and not too large in diameter for the depth of the web, the strength would not be affected.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:15 PM   #24
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You took the words right out of my mouth
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:47 PM   #25
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The hole punching is done for weight savings. (So was the support spacing, with not so good results) And I would guess the hole punching only amounts to something like less than 100 #'s at best. Much less than 1 BD. And over many many miles, the savings adds up to lots.

Wouldn't you rather tow 2995 pounds or would 3095 be better. Getting all that weight moving each time one accelerates and then stopping all of it takes some energy. Over a weekend, it makes little to no difference. Over the life of the trailer/tow vehicle it adds up.

Why else would Airstream punch out the holes? (BTW in the automotive arena, design engineers get really excited with saving ounces for the same reasons. For in a daily driver the weight is spread out over many many more miles or use cycles.)

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Old 09-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #26
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One may question the reasoning for which Airstream reduced the weight of the frame by punching holes. . . And for using 5/8ths ply instead of 3/4 in the floors. . . And for using 3/8ths ply in cabinets instead of 1/2 . . .

Depending on what you are examining or working on, it may appear that Airstream took the "less-than-logical" way out.

Once you've rebuilt one of these from the ground up, you realize that a little weight savings here and a little there will add up to a lot overall! This is one reason Airstreams are popular! Take the Bambi for example: they are hot on the market in part because they are light weight and can be towed with mid-sized SUV's. Which means a family can have and tow a tt without the need of owning another vehicle that would not be used otherwise.

Calvin
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:47 PM   #27
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Hear hear

The reason my TV is a Diesel Ram is that my "lightweight" fiberglass Boler killed our original family van, a '95 Windstar, and went to work on the transmission of the replacement vehicle, a '99 Infiniti QX4.

The Boler was supposed to be 3000# empty, but we didn't know better and loaded it up fully until it was probably over 5000#. We lightened up a little after the initial wrecking of the Windstar, and went to a weighstation and we were at 4300#. Still, on that trip through the Rockies, fully loaded semi's were passing us on the uphill in the QX4. Which is why we finally got Big Blue.

What made up the weight? All the house extras went into the Boler, including a full set of silverware (eight person setting), all our extra pots and pans (including the heavy cast iron ones), a spare microwave (heavy duty one), firewood, two buckets of tools, full water tank, extra bedding, extra mattresses for comfort, a pile of extra dishes, portable chairs, outdoor games including a heavy bocce ball set, and books & magazines of all types, and kid's toys, and a portable TV that we never used...ouch...we learned that the TT is not a cabin. Maybe we should see it more as a backpack...keep it light!

Cheers!
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:16 PM   #28
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Wouldn't this make the trailer heavy on one side?

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