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Old 02-03-2006, 06:57 PM   #1
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Question How is the Airstream Made?

Starting looking for a 15 Year old unit 25 to 31', but am trying to find out how it is made.
The outside is obvious, but what about the flooring? Does it have a tendancy to rot after 15 years? What about the frame? Steel or Al?

Must be a website someplace that has some good diagrams.

First post so be patient!

Gary
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:17 PM   #2
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hi gary and welcome to airstream'n

visit the company website.......lots of photos that show contruction techniques, design, history and so on.

also you can take a virtual tour while they build 'em...here.......
http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...r/tour_01.html

or visit jackson center and tour the factory first person!!! it is cool!!

many folks have posted personal factory tour pics too....

and the rehab/contruction threads reveal just how to take apart and put 'em back together.....

i'm sure you'll get some good design/build answers here like

'built using the semi monocoque principles, low centers of gravity and the proven torsen axle suspension.....with the finest craftsmanship, by workers averaging 21 years tenure. untouched by robotics, each trailer is unique, yet comes with the heritage that nearly every one ever built is still one the road......"

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marker
Starting looking for a 15 Year old unit 25 to 31', but am trying to find out how it is made.
The outside is obvious, but what about the flooring? Does it have a tendancy to rot after 15 years? What about the frame? Steel or Al?

Must be a website someplace that has some good diagrams.

First post so be patient!

Gary
Gary, Welcome to the forums!
First off, I moved your thread to a more appropriate area The flooring will be either 5/8" or 3/4" plywood depending on the length and year and if new enough may even be OSB board. The wall framing is Aluminum, the floor frame is mild steel of varying gauges depending on where it is in the frame. The frame is fully enclosed in a belly pan made out of aluminum. The rot factor in the floor is directly attributable to the care the unit has recieved over the years, where it was stored and did the PO (previous owner) practice good preventive maintenance. I have seen 15 year old trailers that were one step away from the scrap yard and others that looked like they had just rolled off the factory floor. For the most part I would not expect to find a 15 year old trailer in absolute pristine condtion, but I would not pay for one in crappy condition unless you are prepared to do the work on it. A well cared for Airstream has a 25+ year life expectancy before any major work should be required (that is my opinon BTW ) Good luck on the search!

Aaron
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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It's 48 years old, but they still make them somewhat the same!

Gary,

Check out my blog on our 1958 Sovereign of the Road, a 30' Airstream. We are taking it all the way down to the frame, and building it back to new! http://sweetsovereign.blogspot.com The new wiring / and insulation is going in next, then new zolatone paint, and marmoleum flooring. It's coming along nicely.

Enjoy,

Rob
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:13 PM   #5
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Check out my site:

http://www.silvertwinkie.org

and

http://www.silvertwinkie.org/jc/jc.html
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie

Your sites are very informative. Very good pictures. Is the yellow color on the frame sprayed on insulation? I noticed there was fiberglass batt insulation in some of the pictures. I was told that AS had gone to the sprayed on insulation because of the the settling of the fiberglass over time. Just curious as I haven't read much about the insulation.

I know when we were in Austin and the 22 degree freezing rain came, our twinkie still had the frozen rain on it 2 days after everyone's SOB was clear. Theirs were clear the next day. I know AS are insulated well, but have never gotten the straight scoop on just how.

Thanks,
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:22 PM   #7
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I think the yellow you are talking about is the jig that they form the outerskin to the ribs.

When I was there in April/May 2005, they were still using batt insulation.

They put the shell together, add the end caps, route out the holes for windows, etc, put windows in, etc, then put it through the water test unit to make sure there are no leaks. After it passes the leak test, the installed the batt insulation all over the interior, then add wiring, plumbing, appliances, etc.....
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorback
Your sites are very informative. Very good pictures. Is the yellow color on the frame sprayed on insulation? I noticed there was fiberglass batt insulation in some of the pictures. I was told that AS had gone to the sprayed on insulation because of the the settling of the fiberglass over time. Just curious as I haven't read much about the insulation.

I know when we were in Austin and the 22 degree freezing rain came, our twinkie still had the frozen rain on it 2 days after everyone's SOB was clear. Theirs were clear the next day. I know AS are insulated well, but have never gotten the straight scoop on just how.

Thanks,
I don't know if settling is an issue, the insulation on my 1954 Liner is still in place.

Bill
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:31 PM   #9
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Now that makes sense. If the yellow pieces were part of the frame it sure would have thick walls! It's good to learn something everyday. I plan on going to the JC sometime in 2006.

Thanks for the info
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