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Old 09-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
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Trailer Length Question

Does trailer length on Airstreams measure just living area, or does it include the distance up to the ball hitch from rear of trailer?
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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from tongue to bumper...
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #3
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Does trailer length on Airstreams measure just living area, or does it include the distance up to the ball hitch from rear of trailer?
Airstream trailers are measured from the coupler to the bumper.

As an example a 31 foot Airstream, is ball park only 28 feet long, on the inside of the shell.

Andy
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:24 PM   #4
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The ball park for a 31 is exactly 27ft. I just measured mine to make sure my new floor will still fit.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:35 PM   #5
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thanks I appreciate the clarification for length of trailers. Also seems as though I can buy a longer trailer from the 1970,s than current newer models as they weigh less in terms of GVWR . Am I missing something???
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #6
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Yes you can, but be careful of "Sag" and "Separation" issues that the long trailers of the 70's had.

They had a frame that was too shallow in height and were not strong enough. Look at the shell just behind the rear wheel. If you see a buckle in it, that's from the frame sagging. I had a '77 Excella 500 31 footer and it did this. A real shame, as it was a beautiful trailer. But that was a major structural issue.

Because they are so springy (as in, the frame isn't beefy enough), they flex a lot. At least, a lot more so than a trailer with a stiffer frame. The next problem that comes of that is called "Separation", and that is where the shell separates from the frame.

Inland Andy has posted tons of stuff on here about both issues, but separation in particular. I'd recommend you look up those posts and read them. He says the primary cause is people running with their tires/wheels/hubs out of balance. I won't argue that, as that will certainly cause the coach to shake (imagine wiggling a fiberglass fishing pole). I balance my running gear, and certainly recommend you do the same. But, that being said, IMHO Airstream didn't have a stiff enough frame on that era of long long trailers and that exacerbated all the other stuff.

In 1985, they made the frames deeper in cross section, and the problems basically went away.

If you want one longer than 26 ft, I would recommend you buy a 1986 or newer if you plan to tow the rig a lot. It seems like most of the sag/separation issues happened to those 27' and longer. It could happen to any of them, but the longer trailers with the shallow frames really got it. If you just want to park it, then by all means get a mid 70's 31 footer and have a blast. They are really beautiful trailers. I still think the proportions on the 31' Excella's are about the best of them all. But, it sounds like you plan to tow. If that is indeed the case, I would urge you to get a 3/4 ton tow vehicle for anything over 26 foot, stick to 1986 or newer if you want a long one, and go have fun. If you want a 25 footer or so, about any year should do. I'm partial to the 50's trailers, but you'll have your work cut out for you on the interior.

Whichever way you go, have fun with it!

Cheers,
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
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how do i find inland andy on the site? I assume i type it in a search somewhere on this site. Thanks again for your great insight!!! Steph.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:57 AM   #8
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He responded at post #3 in this thread. So I suspect he'll still be looking in.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:03 AM   #9
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Jim

Thanks for the valuable information. I learned a lot.

Dan
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:09 AM   #10
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Jim

Thanks for the valuable information. I learned a lot.

Dan
One other factor to keep in mind is that the number in the Airstream model is not always the exact length. For instance in the current line, the Classic 30 and Classic 31 are actually the same length.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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How do I find those posts you mentioned regarding trailer seperation sagging on the longer models????
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
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do a SEARCH using this feature at the top of the forums...go to the 'advanced' area to refine your search...

Ray
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:06 PM   #13
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Ooops

Everyone,

I was just rereading this and realize that my posting above makes virtually no sense at all.

Airstreamdmb had several different posts on here. I was reading all of them, and somehow managed to answer one on a different thread in this one. DOH!

Sorry for my faux pas! I'll try to do better

Meanwhile, keep the silver polished and I'll see you all on the road!
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