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Old 08-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 15
1978 (and other models) Spare Tire Mount Fabrication

Hi,
Been cruising the forums in the past several months to learn and observe AS etiquette. Just completed a spare tire mount installation that I think is worthy of sharing. I am a new owner of a 1978 Tradewind International that seems to be fully loaded from the factory including the vacuum 4-wheel factory disc brakes. I removed all the vacuum booster/hoses, master cylinder and fiberglass cover and installed a 12V brake booster that I bought from Inland RV. This gave me the space needed to install the spare tire. Now I looked over the spare tire option from AS and it was mounted under the AS between the tongue and AS body. Didn't want to cut away the bottom of the AS and try and seal it or install it on the back bumper (due to warnings from others in the AS community) so I opted to make my own spare tire bracket. I figure the weight of the removed factory brake booster assembly and the weight of the spare tire would be a washout on tongue weight. The following are the steps that I took. s Overall this job is definitely not for the lighthearted!!

1. Removed all parts where the fabrication will begin
2. Purchase a 9 X 28 14 gauge metal trailer fender to use as spare tire holder and have some 2x2 tube and 1.5x1.5 stock metal on hand
2. Cut the propane bottle bottom bracket from its current location and re-weld it approximately 2.5 " more toward the front of the AS to give more space for the spare tire mount. There is 90 degree metal gusset under this bracket that I had to fabricate because it was destroyed during cut out. Note: it is good to reassemble all front tongue items (bottles, weight distribution brackets etc) every now and then so that fabrication will go smoothly!!
3. Fabricate and weld 2x2 brace to hold up spare tire holder. I made sure that my weight distribution bracket will completely clear all spare tire hardware. Center the metal fender so that it is between the propane tanks assembly and the AS body
4. Cut metal fender from both sides (to make them even, about 5-6 inches) so that the battery box door can clear. Note: the spare tire has to be removed if you want to remove the battery.
5. Cut and weld angle iron material so that the fender can be supported by more than the center location.
6. Weld metal fender to support brackets and also weld the center of the fender to the 2x2 brace above.
7. Make sure everything fits by reassembling all tongue parts.
8. Prepare the tongue for repainting
9. Strap down spare tire with ratchet strap that would tie down the center of the wheel. I thought about using a web strap used for holding down towed vehicles, but a ratchet strap through the center of the wheel did the trick.

I know I went through this quick, check out the pics and you guys can hit me up with more questions if you want to. Also, I will be at the NorCal AS gathering in Jackson, CA on October 11-12..Sam
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
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I think I see a winner.

Are the bottle-mount welds webbed and/or reinforced at the frame rail? I admire the simplicity of the 'bell' shape and resting tank weight on the frame rails, but the bounce of 30 or 40 pounds tanks may stampede the mild-iron bar away from its true form... did the formed piece get any heat-treatment - oil plunge etc..? I see no provision to drain the tray & allow airflow in the bottom of the pocket - important even with a well fitted UV protective cover.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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1978 25' Tradewind
Sacramento , California
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Wabbiteer,
the bell shape of the propane bracket was factory as far as I can tell. I just cut the bracket from its original location and moved it about 2.5" forward, fabricated a 2x2 triangular gusset to weld under the bell shape bracket (just like the it was at its original location. Drilled 1/2" hole at bottom of metal fender for drain. As for airlflow, was not gonna buy cover for now since the tire is protected from front by propane cover and back from AS body.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Ahhhh, so... most excellent!

I for one hate a camera twisting my arm to catch details after the series of days work gets done. The drain was not pictured...

Here in Minnesota anything metal outdoors attracts condensation twice a day, and anything wet can be ice-welded for twelve or more weeks - and during melt 'mud' season its 98% relative humidity that along with road ice-melt chemicals (fertilizer run-off in California?) will burn holes in paint and iron pretty fast. Would a plastic 'net' or 'ribbed' texture help that drain?

There is a school-of-though that adding 'sprung' weight to the A-Frame can cause loosening - separation of the shell/floor/fame junction the same way that towing with a stiff-sprung tow vehicle does.

If we subscribe to that, there is plenty of room on the front tie-down plate for an additional row of hard-alloy rivets, plus its easy* to access both sides of the front sheet to install them as well as access for retorquing the stud-welded primary c-channel hold-down bolts amd oversize washers on other tie-down bolts, and even adding elephant ears to keep flex down-stream in the plywood from jumping into other tie-downs too severely. It's been said one can never have too many outriggers...

Anyhow, I like that solution to spare tire storage!!
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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That looks good, and a great idea to use a fender for the tire rest. Nice work.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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1978 25' Tradewind
Sacramento , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
That looks good, and a great idea to use a fender for the tire rest. Nice work.
Forgot to mention cost of fabrication:
1. metal fender: $21.00 from trailer shop
2. nylon ratchet strap: $11.00 from Home Depot
3. Rustoleum primer and paint: $10.00
Had miscellaneous square tubing and angle iron around for the remainder of the fabrication. Really can't count my labor, but I had about 14 hours into it!
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