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Old 07-23-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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1975 29' Ambassador
Fort Wayne , Indiana
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Spare Tire Carrier

We need help and suggestions for installing a Spare Tire Carrier. What is the best way to cut the sheet metal under the trailer?

Any instructions and assistance with this would sure be appreciated.

Tammie
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
Palomar Mountain , California
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I moved my propane tanks forward a couple of inches - mounted my spare behind them. Gives me 2" between tire and front of trailer. Worked out great - easy to get to and out of the way, and was a hole lot easier to do than the under trailer ideas I've seen.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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I put the spare in the back of the pickup. Since we converted to 16" wheels and tires, the spare doesn't fit very well in the carrier.

But, to cut the panel, you need a nipper—this is a tool just for that type of cutting where you are cutting sheet metal and don't know what is behind it—start with a hole drilled and then use the nipper to nip along the lines for the hole. Check tool stores for a nipper. A slow job. A saw with a short metal blade (sabre saw, for ex.) would do it, but you may cut something you don't want to.

However, why cut the sheet metal? You just need to locate the the metal frame parts and drill into that to mount a carrier. You'll need some pretty big metal screws to hold it since the tire and carrier weigh a lot. You could look at other Airstreams to see how it is mounted. The back of the truck (or SUV) is a lot simpler.

Gene
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Well, if you want it to look like a factory job, get underneath and measure back from the front edge of the center of your trailer about 4 feet. Here you should find the first cross member. There should be a row of rivets that are holding up the center panel of your bellypan. If you cut clear across this center section of bellypan, and then drilled out any other rivets that are holding it in place, it will drop, and you will expose the area that was used to mount the spare tire carrier in 70's vintage trailers. I have heard rumors that all of them were set up from the factory for the carrier, but if it wasn't chosen as an option, then the bellypan was just run across it, as it is less work.

Anyway, now that you see that cross member, you might see two holes in it that are 1/2" in diameter and have a coarse threaded insert or nut welded to the backside of the cross member. If you are lucky, there will also be a shiny layer of aluminum already in place protecting the underside of the sub floor. See the first pic below--it is of the frame with bellypan in place of my 21' GT suspended sideways. The spare tire carrier area is the in the "base" of the triangle formed by the A frame and the first cross member.

I believe that you can still order the factory spare tire carrier from places like Inland or Out of Doors Mart. Anyway, there are two brackets about 6" long that attach to each side of the carrier. These brackets are bolted into the holes in that first cross member (see the second pic). The carrier attaches to the front of your trailer by a protruding plate through which you put a bolt that also goes through a bracket at the front of the carrier.

If you can go the route described above, you can cut the bellypan with an electric sheet metal shear, as it is a straight cut.

You may have to temporarily detach some propane lines to execute this process. Also, if there is no aluminum sheet protecting your sub floor, or openings in the cross member, you are going to have to get some aluminum to patch things up. Actually, you could probably use the piece you cut out of your bellypan to do the patch-work.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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Oh, and I see this is your first post--welcome to the forums!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:02 AM   #6
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1975 25' Tradewind
Sherbrooke , Quebec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Hawk View Post
I moved my propane tanks forward a couple of inches - mounted my spare behind them. Gives me 2" between tire and front of trailer. Worked out great - easy to get to and out of the way, and was a hole lot easier to do than the under trailer ideas I've seen.
'Morning.

Silver Hawk, I like your idea. Could you post some pictures and give details about the tire you are using?

Thank you.
Ghislain
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
Palomar Mountain , California
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Well - I don't have any Idea how to post pictures - not to computer savvy.

Best I can do is describe: The propane holder is welded on, easy to grind off welds with 4 1/2" grinder.

Move holder forward enough to clear trailer with tire and new tire holding bracket - about 2 " (measure). Used a piece of 2x2 steel for bracket, (vertical) welded to the back of the propane holder and about 20" high with a 1/2" bolt going through the tire rim holes and bracket with large washers to hold the tire.

Welded a 2x2 6" piece to the bracket for the tire to rest on (to elevate it about 2" above the frame so the tire would not rest on the frame and there would be clearance for the Resses Hitch arm brackets on each side.

This allows the tire to be below the top of the propane clamp and below the window. I can get the tire off and on in about one minute and just rolls off and on. I'm an old 71 year old and the under trailer would be beyond me. This is easy. Even looks cool!

BTY: I also welded a trailer hitch tube under the 'A' frame in the front to hold the trailer hitch (it's extremely heavy) when I unhook. Best thing I ever did on the trailer!

If someone would tell me the steps to get and use pictures on this form I could comply. Thanks
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
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Memphis , Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweetie1966 View Post
We need help and suggestions for installing a Spare Tire Carrier. What is the best way to cut the sheet metal under the trailer?

Any instructions and assistance with this would sure be appreciated.

Tammie
I just mounted a tire carrier under my 2000 25' Safari....the underneath was already recessed for the tire carrier and two large threaded holes were already in the frame. I had to run a tap into them to free up the threads and had to drill two holes in the front to mount the latch. Fairly simple installation.

I purchased it from Out of Doors Mart. The shipping was listed at $90...a couple days after the purchase I was refunded about $42 because actual shipping was less. Great people to deal with.

A-Frame Tire Carrier,Black 450414 [450414] - $149.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!

I did have to move the stabilizer jacks back about a 1/2" actually the worst part of the installation. Rather than drill more holes in the frame I took the jacks off marked some new holes and drilled the jack frame.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
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After reading this thread this is one of these should of, could of, would of, but we had other competing upgrades when we looked at the underneath mount. Now, I hope I don't regret not putting it on one day.
With the older Airstream like ours even with the new axles last year, I don't think the height is there for that rack up front. Plus I didn't want to risk putting a hole in the fresh water tank. Still looking for the A-frame mount style for behind the propane tanks, but if we upgrade to 16" rims and tires that could give the lift needed for the under carriage mount.

Can't say enough about ODM parts department. For a second year in a row they are the #1 Dealer Parts provider for Airstream outside of JC. I've spent just about as much on parts as I have labor with them.
As I tell the guys there, they keep me coming back due to their great customer service. Great crew that gets it right based on the knowledge/information provided. So conversations remain two-way.

We may not own a brand new Airstream, but with the upgrades, due to a great parts selection and pricing, we certainly feel like it is new and it functions like it is new.

Thanks for the sharing of this. It looks great.


SL4BLLT
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