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Old 12-26-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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Wish List for Airstream 'Carport'

We're in the initial stages of working with the Architect and Builder for our getaway home in south Texas. One of the most important requirements is to provide a "cover" for the Airstream ... most likely in the form of a drive through "carport". So far the things I can think of as minimum requirements include:

1. Ability to pull through (backing up not necessary)
2. 50 AMP electric
3. Sewer connection to empty black and gray tanks into the septic system
4. Water connection
5. 12 feet in height to allow for clearance of A/C shroud (does that sound high enough for clearance)?

Am I missing anything? Is there anything that you have done to accomdate your Airstream (or visiting guest's Airstream) at your home? I wonder how thick the concrete needs to be to support the weight of a 2007 25' Airstream?

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Old 12-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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I would add industrial lighting.

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Old 12-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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The factory specifications state the exterior height as 9' 7" with factory tires and of course the A/C unit is installed. If you add a domed satellite antenna system to the roof, then a 12' clear span would safely allow passage.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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A 4" thick slab with re-mesh or re-bar, assuming it's poured on a good rock base, should very easily hold a 25' AS and a whole lot more. The base is the most important - excavate down to undisturbed soil, fill with gravel or crushed rock for drainage and then add concrete. You might want to consider a slight (1/8"/ft) slope in case you or someone wants to enclose the structure at some point. Also, you should use the "thickened" slab perimeter method.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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The "thickened slab" method is known as a "monolithic" slab. In lieu of wire mesh or rebar, there is a newer technology that uses glass fibers.
You might consider an epoxy paint finish to prevent staining of the slab.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:11 PM   #6
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Really good lighting, more than I installed, is really nice. Make sure you have good lighting at the front for hooking up & parking as well as where your "utilitles" will be accessed. A concrete slab would sure be nice too. I also wish I had enclosing walls all around, mine is open on 3 sides. Lots of walk around space is also helpful, meaning at least 4+ feet all around. Good luck & post some drawings or photos when you've decided on all points.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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Sounds like you've got every thing covered unless you want a phone/cable set up.
In your neck of the woods (as it's dry) you could get away with pavers (possibly doubled up in depth and offset).
Also keep the sun off the trailer to help keep things cool.
If the AS is to sit a while you might consider putting up on blocks and jack stands to save the tires and prevent "jiggling" when you're walking around in the trailer.

Sounds like fun....good luck
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:22 PM   #8
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Due to the 30 minute penalty clock, I was unable to suggest shelving for cleaning materials as well as a small work bench and electrical for power tools. A small compressor would also be handy
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:53 AM   #9
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you might consider more height. you might go to larger tires, need to work on the roof or ac or upgrade to a motor home. also, in the hot sun, the heat radiates down a bit.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by whitsend View Post
Really good lighting, more than I installed, is really nice. Make sure you have good lighting at the front for hooking up & parking as well as where your "utilitles" will be accessed.
A suggestion for lighting: don't put any lighting on the centerline. Put it down the full length of both sides, right at the corner between walls and ceiling. Lights on the centerline just mean that your Airstream would cast its own shadow along the sides.

And another suggestion for an off-the-wall idea to improve security, a tie-down ring embedded in the concrete floor near where the trailer tongue will be. Then you can use the safety chains and a heavy-duty padlock to lock your trailer in place. People who like this idea for their existing trailer parking areas can do the same thing, if they have a concrete floor or driveway, by using an expansion eyebolt, drilling a hole in the concrete, and filling the drilled hole with epoxy after the expansion eyebolt is set.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:45 AM   #11
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AS cover

I built my AS cover 14' x 31' x 11'6" inside height, with the sides closed 3' down from the top. Have not poured the floor yet but it will have enough slope to allow drainage when I wash the trailer in place. I also installed brackets to support a 4' high walkway all the way around the trailer. Great for washing and maintaining the top. I plan to install a fan before summer to move the hot air between the AS roof and the cover. I have a lot of plans, but my main priority was just to get a roof up before winter, the rest will come later.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:22 AM   #12
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Some type of moving curtain on the sides that could be openned or closed at your choice would be helpful, esp. from the sun and hail coming in to pound your trailer. Accordian type. Possibly a ridge vent to allow hot air escape also.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #13
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The simplest thing would be a pole barn. That means a roof supported by poles (4 x 4 treated lumber seated in footings would be fine). No walls necessary and you could leave the floor as dirt or gravel. Eventually you could add walls, shelves, etc. Leave the front and back open or add garage doors, but they would have to be RV doors with extra height. If you want to work on the trailer inside, leave enough room above the trailer roof to work on the top.

You only need 50 amps if you have 2 air conditioners. To keep the batteries charged, 30 amps would work fine. If you use shore power to keep the batteries charged, change the converter to a model that has a multi-stage charger to keep from overcharging them.

The other extreme would be a shop building with an RV door. This would give you plenty of room to store tools, RV supplies, other equipment like a compressor, lawn tractor, and the trailer. Many people opt for a metal building for this option. It can be cheaper than stick built, but still requires a concrete slab.

There was a poll on the Forum that showed 85% of Airstream owners leave the trailer outside. But if you have hail there, a roof is a good investment.

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Old 12-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #14
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Hey Frank & Mike, alot of good ideas here for your choosing.

I also recommend wall lighting for the sides as Protaginist mentions. Once your AS in is it will cast shadows along the sides.

I would like to add that if you close in the sides and ends, and if you want to install overhead doors for the pull through, you will need about 2 feet above your desired maximum opening height for the mechanical components. (Roll-up type more so)

I have 12' high x 10' wide doors and 14' wall height. Plenty of room, with the OH doors 3' of the side.

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