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Old 01-28-2019, 06:51 AM   #1
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Dreaming of an Airstream project.


First time poster, long time reader. Thank you for having me as part of your forum.

I am still in the dreaming phase of my trailer life but had a few ideas that I wanted feed back on.

I am approaching my 20 year military career mark and have been dreaming of the military campgrounds and becoming a snowbird to escape the winters part time.

I have been looking at getting a 30ft Airstream to rebuild to my needs. One thing that really worries me is the interior height. I am 6'4" and dont want to have watch my head or duck every second. Since my budget will involve buying an older trailer that needs work, I was thinking if I had to remove the shell anyway, why not build a 8-10inch foundation around the frame to raise the shell up for more head room.

Is that crazy? Has anyone ever done that before? Also since I am dreaming, I have found two 30ft AS that need work. Has anyone made a 40ft trailer by splicing two AS together? If I am doing shell off anyway, I could simply extend the frame and make it bigger.

Thank you for your time and humoring me.

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Old 01-28-2019, 06:55 AM   #2
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A good starting point,


1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:57 AM   #3
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I think you’d have an easier time splicing two together than raising the height, though I imagine where there is a will there is a way.

Look into, if you haven’t already, some of the full monte threads to see how AS’s are constructed and see if you can figure out how you’d approach the height issue.
I’m 5’ 10” and have to duck through the door.

Oh, and welcome!
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:15 AM   #4
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This is the only thread I recall on adding ceiling height.

Unknown if it was ever finished, he quit posting. Rumor was he sold it. If you plan on a lot of traveling, I'd be a little concerned with the engineering of adding that section and the 'flex' of the unit.

Hope you find a good solution. Thanks for your service.
Harold & Rebecca
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:27 AM   #5
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Whoa!!! I hope you're an engineer in the military! Lots of complexity in redesigning one of these for travel.

Here I believe is the longest Airstream made. Airstream made it for the railroad and it was 40' long. Tandom axels! I just can't imagine pulling this thing anywhere!

Have you looked at the newer models at all? They are wider and taller. I have a friend about your height who lives in a 30' classic. Gets along just fine.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:29 AM   #6
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If you add height, remember to take into account the total height with AC units and other roof items, then keep an eye on the height of low bridges on minor roads, and other overhang issues...
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:58 AM   #7
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Hmmm.... an interesting proposition!

I think that just from an empty shell proposition, putting an extender module under the existing walls would be difficult to do. It seems to me that there would be an unacceptable amount of flex right in the wrong spot.

However, if you incorporated lots of bracing using bulkheads and cabinetry, it might work out. Airstream uses floating bulkheads, but this would require that they be severely attached to floor and wall.

Maybe a clerestory approach might be better? Less messing around with all of the important stuff (ext. door, plumbing, window height from floor, etc). I think that the folks converting buses to RVs have more experience in this issue. A fiberglass "tub" (turned upside down) wouldn't be that difficult to build, and could make for some nice lighting effects during the day.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:24 AM   #8
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While you are dreaming, consider that some of the newer Airstreams have a very nice height. My husband is 6'5" and fit into several of the newer models perfectly. He doesn't even have to duck to avoid the air conditioners and we were lucky enough to find one with extra long twin beds -and he fits on those as well.

You might want to check to see the newer ones at a dealer and decide if perhaps buying one that doesn't need to be completely redone might be a better option. Folks do trade them in or sell them because they no longer want them. You can get a really good deal if you know what you are looking for, and then do a bit of remodeling and be on the road that much faster.
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:17 PM   #9
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I am 6'3" and have no trouble in our 2018 Classic 30RB Twin. There is nothing on the ceiling to bump my head on. On the other hand, even my 5'5" wife can bump her head into the ceiling locker/cabinets.
Kevin Short
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:12 PM   #10
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Pull it with a diesel...

Whatever you decide for a trailer, find a diesel tow vehicle that sounds like an Alco 251 or a Fairbanks-Morse OP. You’ll feel like you are bilge rat back on a WMEC.
David R. Busse
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DRBusse View Post
Whatever you decide for a trailer, find a diesel tow vehicle that sounds like an Alco 251 or a Fairbanks-Morse OP. You’ll feel like you are bilge rat back on a WMEC.
If I close my eyes, I can still hear the Cummins VT903 light off on the 41UTB. A great sound.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:48 PM   #12
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enosburg , Vermont
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Frame is the problem. Weak [intentionaly], flexable and only 4"s deep on the older ones. To get an extra 6"s height seems you'd have to add 6 to the hull. Skins, body bows, door frame. But, what would happen if you built a 8" frame, set / attach the hull / body bows to the top. Then set the floor inside the frame rails near bottom and increase belly pan wrap up under hull skins? theres another 4 to 6 inches. AND a lotta work. Take a look at Avion, prob a better canadate. Rigid 3 rail frame, sides near flat at floor level. Or spartin spartinette, pretty, flat sides, alum exterior. Was in a couple and interior height seemed more than airstream.

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