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Old 07-05-2004, 02:39 PM   #1
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Rear bath models....yes or no?

I'm looking for a 29' or 31' trailer, and another site warned against looking at AS trailers of that size with rear baths. Is that true of every year, every model? Or just certain ones?
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Old 07-05-2004, 03:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chumleys_mom
I'm looking for a 29' or 31' trailer, and another site warned against looking at AS trailers of that size with rear baths. Is that true of every year, every model? Or just certain ones?
True to a point only.
Many mor rear bath models were produced, so when there are problems, naturally it's going to be a rear bath model.
Separation of frame and floor, and floor rot, or both, were the major problems.
Flor rot will happen to any trailer that has water leaks of any kind, so a mid bath, rear bedroom trailer can and will also have a rotten floor if there is a leak in the rear.
A search with the terms " floor rot" or " frame separation" and " rear bath" will bring many posts that can shed more light on this subject.
It seems that the problem is less common in the newer models, after 1985.
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Old 07-05-2004, 04:48 PM   #3
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Rear Bath

We have owned two Airstreams. A 70 Caravanner and our 69 Overlander.
Both have rear baths and we have never had a problem with leaks or separation.

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Old 07-05-2004, 05:52 PM   #4
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Last year, my wife and I looked at a new Airstream with center bath. To us, the toilet appeared to be in the middle of the floor with limited privacy.

I choose to deal with problems aft caused by a rear bath just have a bit of solitude in special moments

Tom
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:30 PM   #5
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AFAIK There are two service bulletins out on the seventies era Airstreams over 24' long related to frame problems. One strengthens the frame from the rear to avoid tail droop and the other strengthens the axle mounting plate to prevent buckling. This was the result of trying to save weight by moving to smaller frame members sometime just before Beatrice bought Airstream.

I tend to agree with Andy at InlandRV that the primary cause of problems is not the rear bath but rather stresses caused by imbalanced running gear. Make sure your axles and shocks are in good shape. Run load range C tires. Avoid running with waste tanks full. Dynamically balance your wheels and tires.

If I understand my grandfather right, the rear bath was a Wally Byam insistence item as it makes such a difference in usability. By having the bath at the rear rather than storage you also tend to have less weight hanging out at the end of the lever resulting in better handling.

Floor rot tends to be a concern in any older Airstream and is mostly a worry only when it gets too close to the wall to fix without removing the shell. The frame droop tends to pull the shell away from the floor (a common test is to bounce on the rear bumper and see if bumper and shell move together or not). The structural integrity of the Airstream depends a lot on the shell and floor being solidly held together.
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Old 07-05-2004, 07:12 PM   #6
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Frame Problems Notwithstanding.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
Last year, my wife and I looked at a new Airstream with center bath. To us, the toilet appeared to be in the middle of the floor with limited privacy.
I choose to deal with problems aft caused by a rear bath just have a bit of solitude in special moments
Tom
On the flip side, if you often have 4 people and are over a "certain age", the center bath has advantages. With a rear bath, all of the traffic from the front has to go through the middle sleeping area....at all hours of the night.

With the center bath the rear bedroom is more isolated, and occupants need not be disturbed when anyone in the forward area needs to use the facilities.

Most of the center baths have, at the least, a "privacy curtain", or some sort of door, that permits the bath area a certain amount of privacy - for both sleeping areas.

The layout in the 345 is a center bath, and it creates sort of a "dormitory suite" atmosphere - two separate sleeping areas with a shared bath.

It all depends on how (and by who) the unit will be used.

There was a thread and poll recently - do a search on "bath layout", or "prefered layout" - where people expressed their preferences, and, more importantly, why. What it boiled down to was is that each of the layouts had certain advantages unique to various uses of the Airstream (and the personalities of the owners).

I think the useage of the unit would be more important than any "potential" frame or separation problem. With the age of most of the used units, any problematic failure would probably have already manifested itself.
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