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Old 06-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #29
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1981 31' Excella II
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That is going to help you a lot and you don't have a real long trailer either. I can't see your box being heavier than a full bath with storage thanks. You are probably talking 200lbs of extra junk even with empty tanks. If you have 5" tall frame members you are probably ok. If you have 4" frame members, I would worry. You can probably call Airstream to find that out.

Perry
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Wild-Air View Post
Thanks for your concern and expertise, Andy. The frame not being suitable to support the shell was not something I was aware of. I understood the shell formed somewhat of a monocoque due to the ribs being attached across the frame, but I didn't know the roof was a stressed member front to rear. I wonder if that's why my cabinets have never lined up properly.
I think the cabinets not lining up is more so because the trailers are basically hand built. No two are the same. They are autonomous beings. The workers build them as they go. You can see where they used a coping saw or jigsaw on the curved areas that meet the roof. As I study my trailer, nothing lines up. Stack windows, vista view windows, trim, roof airs, vents, doors, awning. The spacing of the ribs must not be exactly the same from one to the next and the workers finagle everything into place.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:05 AM   #31
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....... and the workers finagle everything into place.
What a perfect descriptive term...

I see an honest ad campaign on the way.

"Airstream....let us finagle you a great adventure."

Bob
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:11 AM   #32
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What a perfect descriptive term...

I see an honest ad campaign on the way.

"Airstream....let us finagle you a great adventure."

Bob
We just need to finesse our finagling...
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:39 AM   #33
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Terry,

"We?"

History proves that OODM has been successfully finessing for years!

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Old 06-13-2013, 07:51 AM   #34
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When I was at the factory tour last October, I watched the ribs being placed into what appeared to be an over 30' long jig in the shape of the trailer. In most rib areas there were multiple locations for each rib groove individually color coded. As long as the person putting the ribs into the slots is not color blind, then the ribs should be uniformly located on similar models.

It became apparent that the side panels might be of uniform height on both the 8' and 8' 5.5" models and the roof panel determines the width. Since the roof rib is slightly arched, the wider units have a higher center ceiling point.

In that same area is a very large flat table with a computer controlled cutting head. A new piece of aluminum is placed on the table and after a period of time, all opening are cut with a small strip of metal on each of the openings sides (round openings are similar) remaining. Leaving the hole in the donut, so to speak, helps maintain structural strength to prevent bending while handling the metal to put it onto the jig and align it. They use hand shears after the ribs are attached to trim those last inch areas and the center piece then is removed leaving the opening. After being riveted to the ribs, the side curve shape gives the metal sheet more strength.

So I would have to think there is potential more for uniformity in the exterior skin than ever before.

Hanging the cabinets did not appear to use a standard support from the floor to move between the various cabinets to ensure exactly the same height. They appeared to use tape measures. They do seem to have to fit the cabinets against that curved surface.

All in all, the new units seem to have great build results. I did not see any "seconds" for sale at discounted prices on the factory lot.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:07 AM   #35
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I think Airstream went to full boxed beams for the frame rails back in the early eighties. And I think they went to a C section aluminum piece that captures and surrounds the wood subfloor to help avoid seperation due to wood rot. A new Airstream may be strong enough for your trunk.

I saw a quite good trailer being built in Jackson Center when I was there last fall. Airstreams are unique. It's like camping in a small Lear jet fuselage. Not much room in them, but very efficient, and very nice once you squeeze inside.

Your trunk is very novel. Let us know what the Airstream engineers think about the extra weight out back. If they don't recomment it, then start charging fees for extra baggage like the airlines do!

David
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:52 PM   #36
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Hey Russ, any update on the mechanics of your upgrade from the Airstream engineers?
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:53 PM   #37
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Hartford , Alabama
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Does this talk of weak frames on rear bath models mean I should not travel with anything in the rear holding tanks?
Hopefully taking a trip to AK next summer and planned on boondocking along the infamously rough Alaska Hi way. Any thoughts or suggestions?
TomJ
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #38
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Does this talk of weak frames on rear bath models mean I should not travel with anything in the rear holding tanks?
Hopefully taking a trip to AK next summer and planned on boondocking along the infamously rough Alaska Hi way. Any thoughts or suggestions?
TomJ
Traveling with some liquids in the holding tanks, is not the problem.

The issue becomes a problem, when the running gear (tire, wheel, hub and drum) is not properly balanced, and/or bad axles.

The following article will help you check out the axles.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Airstreams must have a soft ride. If not, many different issues can happen, including rear end separation, to mention just one major one.

Andy 14.7
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:34 PM   #39
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It would be wise not to travel with much in the tanks.

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valacidor View Post
Does this talk of weak frames on rear bath models mean I should not travel with anything in the rear holding tanks?
Hopefully taking a trip to AK next summer and planned on boondocking along the infamously rough Alaska Hi way. Any thoughts or suggestions?
TomJ
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:38 AM   #40
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I'll just try to find a dump daily, thanks.
TomJ
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #41
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As we know, Airstreams are quite limited in external storage capacity. Someplace to put the BBQ grill, somewhere for the folding chairs, and where does the gas for the generator go? And the generator?

With that in mind, I designed a platform to mount an external removable storage trunk. Of course, it had to be aluminum and it had to have a minimal footprint. With those thoughts in mind, and using the two frame-mounted 2" receiver hitches I had installed at George Sutton RV when I bought the trailer, I set out to put this trunk idea together.

After much searching and researching, I found a tool chest that met my needs and then located a local fabricator to build the platform. Once the trunk was mounted, I started throwing stuff in there - a shovel, umbrellas for the chairs, the chairs, the grill, hoses, a power cord, a hydraulic jack, you know - stuff. As you can see from the pictures, it came out just great.
Novel idea....but that's too nice a trailer to screw up.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:00 PM   #42
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1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
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Russ: Not to high jack your thread here but below is a pic of what I came up with and I'm open to critique as now I'm getting worried..but mostly about bottoming out.
The concept was not so much to add weighty things but double the volume and seal up the storage "Trunk" as it was a bit rusty.
The bumper is now on SST marine grade drawer pull's, the "addition" is a sport fishing rod holder that weighs about the same as the original metal bottom and everything is gasketed and caulked to prevent water getting in.
The storage below does not exceed the depth of the SKID PLATES but should I wonder about the windage down there Folks? Oh the bumper is now held in place with pins through the original bolt holes and rubber strops from below.
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