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Old 11-14-2019, 09:05 PM   #1
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Reno , Nevada
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Sacrilegiously cutting a trailer in half

Hi all. I know it's heresy. And I do apologize. But I have an alu trailer with a lot of damage. (Several axe holes in the curved roof sections from the aluminum melty inferno level damage).

And so my idea is to simply cut off the nose of the trailer. Make that a patio, toy hauler area and then rebuild the rear into a tiny home type deal.

I'm confident in most of it, I can frame it and fabricate doors or whatever, but I'm uncertain how to seal a new 'doorway' into the existing alu roof? I mean is butyl tape and paint good enough or is there a better way to trim that Arch and make it look better. Ps it's not an AS if that helps you decide not to want to murder me. Also if you know of any how to vids of something like this please share I've had terrible luck looking. Closest I came was a guy who installed a normal house door inside a box trucks roll-up so it was hidden which is sorta what I want but that had no detail of how he actually did it and he didn't have unfinished cut edges of structural issues to deal with
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:03 PM   #2
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Now this is just my humble opinion - the eggshell aluminum skin is the keeper for axle mount points (frame) so eliminating one endcap and shortening the semi-monocoque shell and its "skeleton" of supports and braces will mean a serious frame transplant will be needed.

Once one is this deep into the project why not flip ends, put the decent rear endcap section up front and do an overhang roof above the patio or something?

Also - when you have one project Airstream others will magically find their way to you given time, how about merging two trailers into one?
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:12 PM   #3
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
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Dude....I have seen trailers with the front deck you are looking for on the road. Save yourself some serious headaches and look for one of those. They are even rated for hauling quads in front of the trailer.
If you want the function believe me they are already out there and save yourself some bucks.
Now - if you want a project and to be the coolest at the Dunes then go for it and post your progress as we all will be interested. Good luck which ever way you decide to go.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Now this is just my humble opinion - the eggshell aluminum skin is the keeper for axle mount points (frame) so eliminating one endcap and shortening the semi-monocoque shell and its "skeleton" of supports and braces will mean a serious frame transplant will be needed.

Once one is this deep into the project why not flip ends, put the decent rear endcap section up front and do an overhang roof above the patio or something?

Also - when you have one project Airstream others will magically find their way to you given time, how about merging two trailers into one?
Trailer is a '76 Silver streak. So... the frame is a beast. it's 3 approx 3x6x1/8 steel members. also trailer's not that old and the 'good' part is not that good lots of dings and dents all over it. so all things that went into the idea not to restore it. It was pretty much take the frame for a car hauler or maybe try to make a very cool car hauler

I am considering keeping the front cap in place, and either making a skeleton steel box type structure for the roof thing you mentioned or trying to relocate rearward it but that seems like more effort. I thought maybe I could make a trick tool cabinet out of the front end cap plus it would add some aero advantage + solar on top if I did that.

But The immediate plan is to make a workshop, and park it so it doesn't even have to be road worthy. and lastly, hey I got it for free, so there's that. This is more of a 'what the heck" kinda project than a "hey I need a RV type deal.

But at the end of the day I really don't know how to frame/secure/finish that wide open end of the egg. And lol not seeing many who have done it makes me wonder how bad this idea really might be...
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:33 AM   #5
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If you DO decide to proceed with the project PLEASE document your journey- pics before during and after.

There are folks with a keen interest in this kind of stuff even if only vicariously.

Ok if trailer is AS or not. Itís yours - have at it and good luck.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:16 AM   #6
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I've got "half" an airstream as an office in my yard. The previous owner gave up on a resto and cut off both ends and used the remaining shell as a storage shed. I cleaned it up, insulated it, and placed giant glass panels in one end and a solid wall with a door in the other. Each end is cut so that there is an overhang at the top and down part of the sides to help shelter the elements. Imagine a "Scout Trooper's" helmet. The wall/window were set at a rib location, and carefully cut panels sandwich the ribs to seal things up and are then sealed again with trempro.


I never posted the project because I didn't want to encourage people cutting up their Airstreams. Sounds like you are saving a pretty junked Silver Streak though, so no judgment here.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:47 AM   #7
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I never posted the project because I didn't want to encourage people cutting up their Airstreams.

Inquiring minds and all.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Inquiring minds and all.
ditto.
Also, Xymotic, take pics; keep us posted.
Good luck,
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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Thanks all.

kidjedi that sounds very interesting. I like the 'sandwich' idea, that's certainly doable. If you get a chance I sure would like to see some pix, not at all sure about the helmet thing.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:35 AM   #10
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Why don't you go to the nearest commercial trailer repair shop and pick up some alluminum sheet to repair the holes. They typically have it in rolls 8' wide and you can get a piece that would cover the entire roof, front to back.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:51 PM   #11
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Why don't you go to the nearest commercial trailer repair shop and pick up some alluminum sheet to repair the holes. They typically have it in rolls 8' wide and you can get a piece that would cover the entire roof, front to back.
I have zero funds, but if I did I'd spend 50k to have a $15,000 trailer, silver streaks are anodized which I could never replicate, I doubt I have the skills to replicate the curves, the inner skin a couple studs and a roof seam MELTED, on the exterior side a lot of the SS specific gold anodized stuff is trashed or missing, and I kinda wanted to see if I could do something different.

If I was going to "fix" it then it wouldn't be skin I'd also have to replace ALL of the windows, the door, the front curved plexiglass etc. If I just Frankenstein it I can make anything I like if I think it looks cool.

Oh, and cuz I already started
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:04 PM   #12
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:07 PM   #13
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UG. it's been a while since I've been active on forums and I'm struggling with pix. I wanted to use google but that's way harder than it seems like it should be. I'll try to upload some to somewhere soon. or if I get real motivated maybe fix my gallery server.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:44 AM   #14
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source for aluminum

you can find a cheap source of aluminum extruded pieces at any decent commercial glass shop. when they replace old aluminum frame windows and doors, they take the old frames back to their shop and pile it up out back until they get a big enough load and take it for scrap.
if you talk nice to the manager/owner of the shop they may allow you to sort through the pile for suitable angle, or box sections you can use as "studs" for the new wall. you may get it for scrap price, or free (as i did for a chunk)
cut the old trailer and install your new wall at an existing, sound rib, and blind rivet the new framing into it. you get enough salvage from the cut out walls to cover the new. having the cut end facing forward will not be aerodynamic, but it is, what it is.
you might find a trailer door (flat) at a regular automotive salvage yard. grab the frame hinges and door as an assembly if you can.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:04 PM   #15
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I'm not schooled on Google Pictures but there was enough info on broken links...

https://tinyurl.com/w673gh5
https://tinyurl.com/wcgx6c8

My oh my - that's not pretty...
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:17 AM   #16
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rear door for project

Sir,
I considered making a toy hauler of my 31" 1966 sovereign land yacht but came to my senses when I realized the two axle set up and layout would require more modifications than I had time to accomplish. However, I had already acquired a complete rear door and frame assembly from one of the radio station/transmitter Air Stream customs along with the entry setup I intended to use as a separation between living area and vehicle area.

The donor AS type is mentioned on this site in lifestyles forum on or around 07/24/2008 as the radio station Airstream. It doesn't clearly show the door in the post, but it replaces the rear section from the rear window down to the bumper, swings out like a single barn door. I am traveling, but will return to Tampa, FL in a couple of days. I can send pictures if you have an interest in the rear or entry doors. I have no need for them but have time and money invested in them.

Please let me know.
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