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Old 10-26-2009, 08:20 AM   #1
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Shortening a 31-footer

With the prices of shorter Airstream's as high or much higher then the same year nice 31 footers, and harder to find, has anyone ever shortened a 31 footer into a 26 footer or done something similar?
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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Hey ventport........You sound very ambitious.....but, think long and hard before you take on a project like that. There are smaller trailers out there, and some of them are priced fairly.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventport View Post
With the prices of shorter Airstream's as high or much higher then the same year nice 31 footers, and harder to find, has anyone ever shortened a 31 footer into a 26 footer or done something similar?
I have seen pictures of it being done. IIRC someone took a 31' that had been crunched in the middle by a falling tree limb and cut it down to a 22'

The best bet would be to get ahold of a Service Manual for the year you are interested in to see where the structure and interior appointments differ, then decide which way to go.

From my general observations the extra length is in a couple of places, the closets between the bedroom and bath, the front between the door and the nose and on some in the midsection. Some of the shorter units have a different/smaller bath layout too.

Nothing wrong with doing a custom Airstream, but would it be cost effective?

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Old 10-26-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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Why would you shorten a 31footer?
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:48 AM   #5
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Perhaps someone could provide the links, to the threads. Their are at least a couple of threads that show pictures of shortened trailers, one as small as 10?, or 12? ft.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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The towing dynamics would require some engineering if you ever want to end up taking it on the road. 11-13% of the gross weight should end up on the tongue. By the time you study 25-27' Airstreams & measure axle position -- it will be mighty hard to move axles unless you are committed to welding a completely new frame.

A 31 footer can go 99% of the places a 26 footer can. And they'll both tow about the same. 25-27' Airstreams don't really fall into the premium prices charged for significantly shorter units. Pay yourself $.25/hour for a shortening project and you'll be time and money ahead searching and jumping on the size coach you wanted in the first place IMO.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:36 AM   #7
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Sounds like a huge project, and if not one that is very well thought out and executed could easily lead to a less than satisfactory outcome.

Far better IMHO to sell and buy what suits you!




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Old 10-26-2009, 10:08 AM   #8
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25-27' Airstreams don't really fall into the premium prices charged for significantly shorter units.
That's been my observation as well. Maybe it's a touch harder to find a Tradewind or Overlander than a 31', but not impossible. (The Caravanner "party trailer", one of my faves, is considerably rarer.)

I would buy a 24-28 foot Argosy (which tend to sell for less than Airstreams) and strip off the paint/polish it before I'd try to shorten a 31' Airstream...

Tom
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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With the prices of shorter Airstream's as high or much higher then the same year nice 31 footers, and harder to find, has anyone ever shortened a 31 footer into a 26 footer or done something similar?
This one by Carlos was shortened a lot more than you want but I would imagine the techniques are the same.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f191...pod-37710.html

I picked up this photo somewhere on the web. Thought it was very creative.



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Old 10-26-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
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