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Old 05-24-2007, 08:03 PM   #29
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Umm yeah... what Nick said
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Old 05-24-2007, 08:12 PM   #30
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The frugal frame

Why not just box the frame you have? save money, time and probably weight.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by AgZep
As you take away weight that you're carrying low down, you move your CG higher. Eventually, you'd end up with a light Airstream that towed worse than an SOB. Not good.
What an excellent point! It's just the same with kayaks and yachts. Designers go to extraordinary expense and trouble to save a few ounces at the top of the mast (e.g titanium fittings) or a by specifying a balsa core deck, and then they add tons of lead or spent uranium to the keel. The aim is, of course, to stop the vessel from falling over. This must be a desirable aim for an Airstream. (i.e preventing roll-over accidents during sudden manoeuvres [I'm allowing myself the luxury of spelling that word the English way])
To this end, a huge benefit for an Airstream would be to remove the A/C unit from the roof, and put it close to the ground, using ducting to distribute the conditioned air. If, like me, you've struggled on the roof with lifting the heavy unit to replace the gasket, you will appreciate the point. That large mass is nearly 9 feet above the ground. During fish-tailing or sudden manoeuvres, it's the A/C that will be a dominant influence in rolling the trailer over.
Well said, AgZep.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:03 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Guys,

Don't get me wrong. My intent with the new frame was not to build some ten ton Titanic. Rather, the one I designed should add only about 180lbs to the coach's all up weight, yet be about four times stronger than the fishpole that's under it now.

Now let me throw this out there: When I sight down along the lower rub rail, aft of the back axles, I can see a definite downturn in the angle. It's not a lot; maybe a few degrees, but it's there. If I shine a laser down it, I can see the rub rail is lower at the back bumper than it is at the wheel well.

Is this normal?

I have been taking it all along that this means my frame has bent/sagged. Now if I'm wrong, I would just be happy as a clam! I'd really just love to be able to fix what I've got rather than go whole hog and redo everything.
A 31 foot Airstream trailer, has a normal "sag" between 1/2 inch to 1 inch.

That sag is not suggestive of anything other than, that's the way it is.

Andy
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:15 AM   #33
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Andy,

Really? That may have just made my life a whole lot easier!

I'm going to pull some serious measurements this weekend!

thanks!!!
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
What ideas would you all have to reduce weight in our coaches? I'm looking at a total rebuild. I mean to increase the strength of the frame (actually replace it with a new stronger one), but I want to lower the overall weight of the coach.

What ideas do you all have for making the trailers lighter?
I don't think the custom feature in this unit will lead to weight reduction:
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Old 05-26-2007, 03:28 PM   #35
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I wonder if a 70's vintage 31'r loses the sag at freeway cruising speads?

I have posted this thought in other places in the forums but it might bear repeating here. I have thought that if I really wanted to reduce the weight of my unit I would consider using fabric walls intead of more solid material. It also occurred to me that some parts of the storage, such as the wardrobe area, could be done using fabric cubby holes instead of solid shelves. I am not yet sure if that is what I will end up doing but I did go so far as to come up with an approach that I think would work. If anyone is interested feel free to ask for details. By the way going with this approach is not necessarily cheaper than more solid materials depending on the fabric of choice. To give the thought serious consideration mostly requires a change in mindset. As a culture we generally tend to think that solid means quality and that thinking is very deaply intrenched in some of our thinking.

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Old 05-26-2007, 08:20 PM   #36
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Hmmmm...we could add wings
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:30 AM   #37
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We took our trailer back to the factory for some warranty work in early summer 05. It's a long story, but we had a very early 28' CCD, and had encountered a strange shower drain situation that cropped up due to a deisgn flaw. They were really interested in figuring out what went wrong, and how to prevent it in future production. Anyway, the shower fix required quite a bit of the interior cabinetry to be removed and replaced.

I was shocked at the difference in weight between the 04 and 05 cabinets (the white ones with clear doors). The newer ones were much lighter, yet looked identical. It got me to thinking that a lot of weight in the newer units might come from the use of particle board, MDF and so forth. It would be hideously expensive, but replacing all of that with pine or something might save 100s of pounds. And since the cabinets are mounted high, that would be great for CG as well.

Hideously expensive though.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:59 AM   #38
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Interesting report on the weight difference AgZep. I believe John "Pahaska" Irwin has come up with the name of lower density panel board that Airstream has used in cabinet manufacture -- supposed to be less dense than plywood. Not like I'm not going to tell you -- it didn't strike a bell and I don't remember what he called it. Glue resins make up a lot of the weight of chip board or MDF. Uggh!
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:24 AM   #39
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composites

Jim, fellow EAAer, I would suggest by Zeke Smith his fine paperback "Advanced Composite Techniques". Pretty informative and gives good practical information.I'm suggesting this so that you might think about a foam sandwich table or counter top surfaces.As previous post indicates MDF is very heavy. As you are a aero engineer I'm sure you will need a hands on guy to build it for you:+}. Actually if you get to sun n fun or oshkosh or a regional fly-in you owe it to yourself to sign up for the composites workshop. Usually a no cost affair that us tech counsellors help out with! DG
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:23 AM   #40
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I am faced with a like problem. The Minuet was made with every weight reduction possible. Including foam core counter and floor, I had intended to remove much of the interior and replace it with custom cabinets. Now I will replace as needed but only without adding weight. One alternative is to use Alder, a decent hardwood with good strength to weight ratio. Redwood also has a good strength to weight ratio. I will be using Alder for the dinette table and return to foam core for the counter. The orginal dinette table is long gone.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:23 AM   #41
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plane fun

This pic added for Royce's enjoyment, There's something about a sharp tool, Nice website Royce, and I also enjoy alder, straight grained, lovely color lightweight and easy to find.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:31 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner
This pic added for Royce's enjoyment, There's something about a sharp tool, Nice website Royce, and I also enjoy alder, straight grained, lovely color lightweight and easy to find.
DG,

Thanks for the kind words on the web site. The photo looks like a Lie-Neilson low angle apron plane. Correct or is it antique? Nice plane at any rate, saved a spot on the shelf for one but don't own it yet. I am not a collector and only buy as needed so only have 10 planes on the shelf to pick from. Room for 6 more.
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