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Old 01-13-2008, 03:00 PM   #71
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My good fellow,

It is your own words in you own post that led me to take finger to keyboard:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Cursh,

As far as the interior, you can do whatever but keep in mind that weight distribution is a key element of why Airstreams tow so well.

Oh, and speaking of towing...your statement "My concerns over the towability of this is probably low on the list of my concerns.".....well this really concerns ME!


I guess you didn't notice that in my experience with towing, having an unevenload is incredibly manageable (example having close to 50% of the weight left of center)


Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
You have already had a near death experience trying to tow this thing when you bought it. I would have to surmise that the brakes are worthless, the bearings shot, your axel is over, AND THIS IS NOT A CONCERN OF YOURS????
I am sorry to have misled you, what I mean't was that I won't be towing on a weekily basis and therefor can deal with a slower trip once or twice a year

If you plan on towing your project, regardless of it's interior state, the above MUST BE ADDRESSED!!!! ..........or you WILL be a hazard on the road. Not just to yourself....but to the general motoring public as well.

Please believe me when I tell you that this is not a criticism, but a fact that you should consider FIRST!!!!!...... especially since you are talking about traveling with your GF to beat the winter(s).


I don't know what I have said or done that led to to believe that I have any intention of towing the trailer in its current state at all, much less with my girlfriend anywhere near it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
If you still believe that you can tow this trailer anywhere you like in it's present state, PLEASE POST YOUR ITINERARY SO I WON'T BE IN AN AREA NEAR YOU.!!!!!!!!!!!


as I said, I don't know what I said that led you to believe that I would tow the airstream again in its current state, but even so - If you would kindly send me a pm or an email I will add you to the growing list of people who will be informed of my trailers every move.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Thanks for your indulgence



anytime

"Oh, and speaking of towing...your statement "My concerns over the towability of this is probably low on the list of my concerns.".....well this really concerns ME! "

This is the statement of yours that I speak of. As I said, it should be at the top of the list, since it doesn't really matter what you do to the interior if the trailer is not road-worthy (like yours).

I've said what I had to say, made my contribution, and the rest is up to you.............
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:29 PM   #72
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Tow ratings for the same vehicles are different in Europe vs the US.
A lot of this is probably due to the lawyers per square foot thing, but a lot of it too is no doubt due to the lower speed limits...
If I read it correctly this is something like 60mph MAX in the UK and 50MPH (80KPH) on Germany's fabled autobahn.

What I'm getting at is this. I bet that a person who is careful and keeps it around 50 MPH can get away with a lot less tow vehicle than one who drives 60 or especially 70.

My own silly experience is towing 30ft of sailplane trailer (big slab, 6 ft high) with an Accord. I kept it at 50 - no problem. 55 was not good if there was any wind. With an F-150 it was good to 80.
Many of the comments directed at Cursh have been, in my opinion, out of line, or very nearly so. The car experienced structural failure - a failure no different than a hitch on a Chevy ripping loose. It stayed upright. It did not tumble, nor did it ignite the atmosphere.

As far as Cursh's schedule and priorities... unless he's getting a grade on roadworthiness instead of interior design, he absolutely has to bump that down. I'm sure of all people he has the least desire to unglue another TV, so I'm also sure he'll attend to the roadworthiness in due time.
Quite frankly him towing that with an Audi at 60 doesn't give me near the willies as some of the 15000-30000 lb motorcoaches and toyboxes pulled along at 70mph by people without a CDL.

I feel better now, thanks
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:59 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh

My A4 Avant weighs in at 3500lbs has 220hp - 260lbs tq and is AWD

The audi had more than sufficient breaking power to easily stop the 1300lbs behind it, and in no way let the trailer control it. I am confident that with an appropriate hitch system installed (in adition to an EBC) my avant could easily and safely pull a new bambi.
It is "quite possible"?? your Audi could make a very good TV for your Airstream but I wouldn't attempt it without professional assistance. Your hitch designer/ builder/ installer, let you down!

This is what a pro set up looks like (see post #21)....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...tml#post492246
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:37 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler
It is "quite possible"?? your Audi could make a very good TV for your Airstream but I wouldn't attempt it without professional assistance. Your hitch designer/ builder/ installer, let you down!
Road Ruler,

Any 1957 vehicle has a frame... today's unibody cars do not have a frame. The structure of the vehicle is not designed to carry a load other than in the passenger and stowage areas... no matter how good your hitch builder is.

Wally demonstrated that an Airstream can be towed by a bicycle... but that doesn't mean it's safe to do it to get from here to there.

BTW, thanks for the Vintage tow vehicle link... I think they are a very cool "accessory"
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:12 AM   #75
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Perhaps, in the interest of research, it would be a good idea to rent,or borrow, a white box travel trailer that looks like your grandma's bedroom inside and learn all the workings of that trailer. Park it in an uninteresting place, or beside your AS, and live in it for a week. Take lots of notes. Make lots of sketches. Live with the layout, cheesy cabinets, big tele, and frilly window treatment until you're ready to scream. At the end of the week (my prediction) you will know exactly what is good and what is bad. This is how many of us came to AS in the first place. Have fun and enjoy the contrast.
Getting total clarity about what you aren't willing to settle for will speed the learning curve a lot.
Good luck with your project. Looking forward to more. Stick with the stuff you can do well and leave the scary stuff to the pros.

Bill

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Old 01-14-2008, 12:21 PM   #76
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Thanks for all of the Discrouagement and Encouragement (both equally useful at this stage.

I found a fun little post on here being a weak link in my "spindles"
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ure-38944.html

And the first google link brought me this
Dura Torque Henschen Axles Order


$800 seems like a steal for an entire new system - but I haven't read through the posts pro or con this company yet. (and their prices seem a bit odd, I was looking for something rated to two tons minimum, looks like I will have to give them a call.)


Bill - That is a fantastic idea (renting borrowing an old whatever trailer and living in it) I will look into what that will involve.
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #77
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new axles are a great idea... essential really.

and IF u don't wanna use henschens investigate the dexter options available...

increasing axle capacity much (>10-20%) beyond the frame/shell parameters isn't recommended by the experts.

it is claimed that this will beat the shell and structure too much.

IF you are gonna keep the trailer light, select the proper ratings

and IF you are gonna add mass capacity to the unit, the frame needs to be STRONGER...

so many issues are interrelated with these wingless travelers...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:28 PM   #78
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My Buddy (welds) was amazed at the lack of triangulation in the frame and was begging me to let him weld in some bracing.

He claimed it would greatly improve the strength of the frame without adding much weight at all.

is this something I should let him take a crack at?

The only thing that should add weight are
Real Toilette Bowl
Batteries
Poly Flooring

Sales at Can Am looked up my trailers original weight and quoted me at 3500lbs. I'm confident I can keep myself to under two tons. dry weight, but that would put me much higher than that with water, sewage, and my stuff (figure 200lbs of pots - pans - clothing - food - toiletries)
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:40 PM   #79
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Cursh, Have someone (or you) check the frame for the following: Bent members, rust thru areas, outriggers separated from frame, and broken welds. If all these items check out okay there is no good reason to add any bracing to the existing framework. It was designed to flex and move. Clean all the surface rust off the frame and paint it with POR15. That will protect it from any further rust damage. While you are doing that you can check out all the plywood subfloor for soft spots from the bottom and top, to see just how extensive the replacement of the plywood will be. If you are really to do a shell off then the best thing you could do is to replace the entire floor plywood with marine grade 5/8ths or 3/4 inch plywood. then after the frame is painted with the POR15 you can reattach the floor to the frame. Then replace any bad c or j channel with new and reattach your shell with new bolts, rivets, and stainless steel screws. THEN... and only then should you worry what the interior looks like. Then you need to upgrade/replace plumbing and electric wiring as needed. Reinstalling new interior aluminum panels. At that point you can set-up for your tank(s) locations and add the cabinets, shower/toilet and sinks for your bath and galley areas. You will have to do cardboard mock-ups for any curved wall segments or bulkheads that need to go in for mounting cabinetry to. You will need the trim required to hold these items (with rivets) to the interior walls. Then your interior layout will come together. There are many more items you will need to research before your redesign will be complete but this will give you a basic idea what to consider and check out before you worry about an axle. That should figure nearly last in your list of items as it will need to be rated at approx. 5000# so as not to be too light a rating and possibly fail or too heavy a rating that could cause a very rough ride and do damage to the trailer. One of the last items should be to have the running gear aligned and balanced for the trailer when it is ready for road testing/camping/living. Hope this gets you started. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:07 AM   #80
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I was thinking this over in my head - The Bicycle industry offers a variety of spacers for rear wheel applications that could accomidate the gapping in the floor. Would there be any negatives to installing these spacers over the frame bolts as a sort of fail safe in case of rot (as I understand it the plywood is holding up the shell, and when it rots the shell loses support)

Second question is about interior and the floor. I was under the impression that the interior lay out would effect the floor. I need to run plumbing under the floor correct? or is that completely wrong?

I was also wondering if there was any reason not to put things like my water pump and Inverter in the floor.

Thats all I have today.
(thanks ed )
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:57 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
My Buddy (welds) was amazed at the lack of triangulation in the frame and was begging me to let him weld in some bracing.

He claimed it would greatly improve the strength of the frame without adding much weight at all.

is this something I should let him take a crack at?

The only thing that should add weight are
Real Toilette Bowl
Batteries
Poly Flooring

Sales at Can Am looked up my trailers original weight and quoted me at 3500lbs. I'm confident I can keep myself to under two tons. dry weight, but that would put me much higher than that with water, sewage, and my stuff (figure 200lbs of pots - pans - clothing - food - toiletries)
It is my understanding that Airstream frames are relatively light and flexible because the shell adds torsional rigidity. Yes, an Airstream effectively has a unibody structure. I wouldn't bother with additional bracing, just make sure the original structure is sound, and the connection of shell to floor to frame is solid.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:04 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
Would there be any negatives to installing these spacers over the frame bolts as a sort of fail safe in case of rot (as I understand it the plywood is holding up the shell, and when it rots the shell loses support)
The fewer the spacers the tighter the fit, and the stronger it will be - there should be no need to worry about rot once you replace the floor. In addition, keep the floor as smooth as possible in case you want to lay linoleum or other surfaces that may telegraph any imperfections, ridges, cracks, or bumps on the surface of the plywood to the surface of the finished floor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
Second question is about interior and the floor. I was under the impression that the interior lay out would effect the floor. I need to run plumbing under the floor correct? or is that completely wrong? I was also wondering if there was any reason not to put things like my water pump and Inverter in the floor.
Plumbing lines COULD be run in the belly pan area, I would not recommend putting much of anything else under there unless you provide for access problems. Since you are (probably) going to replace the belly pan, you could install anything you wanted to under the floor, but leave easily removed access panels (like those in small aircraft) so you can pull maintenance on any item under the floor.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:07 PM   #83
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Towability is an important consideration. It's worth noting the factors that affect it.

A low centre of gravity concentrated in the centre of the trailer will enhance stability, and minimize the tongue weight required to achieve stability in the first place. A tall, top heavy trailer with a lot of weight at the ends needs more tongue weight to be stable. E.g. a trailer with a slide out has a higher centre of gravity and will require a greater tongue weight.

European caravans work fine at 7% tongue weight because the designers pay careful attention to these factors. Many Airstreams have come from the factory with unloaded tongue weights around 9% and tow just fine - clear evidence of careful balance.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:12 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursh
..Second question is about interior and the floor. I was under the impression that the interior lay out would effect the floor. I need to run plumbing under the floor correct? or is that completely wrong?...
layout doesn't really affect the floor, it does affect tank placement and wt distribution, wiring, gas lines and plumbing

almost ALL of the plumbing is above the floor. this helps keep lines from freezing...

tanks and drains and low water valves are below the floor (sometimes tanks are above the floor too) and lp gas lines usually run outside the belly pan.

generally the sub floor goes in, then the flooring (lino/vinyl/carpet) covers the full subfloor.

then all the plumbing, fixtures, gas to applicances, electric, mechanicals are placed.

the the interior is built over/around these guts and furnishings/fridge are added...

al least that's the factory build process and the approach many full monty redos follow...

most of the locations are 'time tested' and some layout is with good reason.

another issue is VENT PIPES for the tanks; many of these are hidden inside interior walls and piped to the top...

cheers
2air'
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