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Old 06-26-2007, 02:23 PM   #57
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I would tend to agree with Andy...fancy that Andy, you have more than one person on a thread that actually agrees with you and isn't trying to but heads with you ...anyway, unless you are borderline on power in the tow vehicle, you are not really going to see much difference in fuel economy (talk about oxymorons when it comes to towing) with weight reduction of a few hundred pounds. If you have sufficient torque and hp's you won't notice the difference in weight in the tow vehicle.

The place you might run into a problem with an older, and some later models, is over loading your axles. Again this is Andy's area of expertise not mine. If you load to much stuff or build too heavy of a frame, you may over load your axles or lead to shortened life of the axles.

One example of this is the Quicksilver Bambi. I think with full tanks you could only carry maybe 50 lbs of supplies and other stuff. I believe I read the newer Bambies now have the Canadian axle that give you more total gross vehicle weight loaded.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:27 PM   #58
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Andy's "be prepared" reason for the full tank is why we run that way. I just thought it was my paranoia about being stuck without water (for any number of reasons), but now I feel really good about it. Thanks, Andy!

Andy is also right about cost for a retail customer. Many of the changes we have made to our Airstream have only been possible because it has not been necessary to pay for my labor.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:26 PM   #59
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I sorta disagree with Andy!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
With any aircraft, weight is "extrememly" important.

NOT SO WITH AN AIRSTREAM TRAILER.


Andy
I agree with the gross weight issue. I'm interested in increasing the "useful Load" you know- beer and meat and a few other things, UAV's, unicycles, grill ,stuff like that ! My 73 is pretty light, can't see loosing much weight there but the 86 is a pig. Lets see, off a few solid wood doors replace with curtains, hum translates to 6 porterhouses and a couple suitcases of cold ones! Which means your time on site increases, it's all good. lol even as I type this my new foam core construction box for my Q-100 Weber is on the cutting table. I'll start another thread on that next week. And composites are way too much money! DG
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:13 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The type construction of an Airstream trailer is semi-monocoque, which means that the "shell" is load bearing.

It does not mean that an Airstream flys like an aircraft.

With any aircraft, weight is "extrememly" important.

NOT SO WITH AN AIRSTREAM TRAILER.

Start at the west coast and go to the east coast, with the typical 60 gallons of water on board and nothing else. That payload is 480 pounds.

Duplicate the trip with "NO" water on board. You will find the difference in fuel mileage to be absolutely insignificant.

Unless considerable mountain towing is on the agenda, towing an empty or fully loaded Airstream trailer over a long distance will make almost zero difference in fuel mileage.

That information is based on a study of over 100,000 miles of testing.

Andy
I agree that if towing on flat roads, the difference in mpg will be small, but mountain driving and stop and go driving will make the difference much more relevant if the weight drops and when towing with the same vehicle.

But.. if the trailer is that much lighter so it can be towed safely by a smaller/ lighter vehicle, a more fuel efficient vehicle.. then the mpg numbers will change much more.

IMHO I think every Airstream could weight 1000 pounds less and still have the same quality (or better if more modern material were used)
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:36 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sos10
I agree that if towing on flat roads, the difference in mpg will be small, but mountain driving and stop and go driving will make the difference much more relevant if the weight drops and when towing with the same vehicle.

But.. if the trailer is that much lighter so it can be towed safely by a smaller/ lighter vehicle, a more fuel efficient vehicle.. then the mpg numbers will change much more.

IMHO I think every Airstream could weight 1000 pounds less and still have the same quality (or better if more modern material were used)
A smaller lighter tow vehicle will have it's fuel mileage drop considerably, because it will also have a smaller engine and a rear end ratio designed for economy, which "excludeds" towing any degree of weight.

500 pounds, plus or minus, "will not" have any measureable effect on fuel economy.

Trying to climb a mountain while maintaining highways speeds will severely drop the mileage, instead of slowing way down and climb using a lower gear and staying within the power curve of that engine.

That's been proven thousands of times every year.

Weight savings can be tossed out the window regarding fuel economy. But far more important, is the driving habits of each individual. That has a far greater effect on fuel economy, then a reasonable amount of weight could ever have.

However, if your looking for absolute perfection when towing, then you should also have an "air speed" indicator installed on your tow vehicle. Using that as a guide, to determine the wind direction and speed, will have a far greater impact on fuel mileage than 500 pounds or so of weight.

If traveling solely thru mountains, then fuel economy would be far down the list of "important" factors to consider when towing a travel trailer.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:17 PM   #62
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Everyone,

I was just thinkin' that if I rebuilt the ol' gal, I'd try to lighten her load a little wherever I could. I wasn't thinking of getting crazy with composite frames, etc.

Didn't mean to set off any storms here. I just think that lighter is better in general. But I will agree that it probably doesn't amount to much on level ground. And as it's been said, a 300+hp diesel truck isn't going to notice much difference between 5000 and 6000lbs....let alone 5300 and 5600.

Now where to put that insulated and cooled beer holding tank
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:21 PM   #63
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Quote:
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Everyone,

I was just thinkin' that if I rebuilt the ol' gal, I'd try to lighten her load a little wherever I could. I wasn't thinking of getting crazy with composite frames, etc.

Didn't mean to set off any storms here. I just think that lighter is better in general. But I will agree that it probably doesn't amount to much on level ground. And as it's been said, a 300+hp diesel truck isn't going to notice much difference between 5000 and 6000lbs....let alone 5300 and 5600.

Now where to put that insulated and cooled beer holding tank
A large capacity beverage tank can be installed forward of the front axle.

That space will hold over 25 gallons.

A little insulation, a little circulated cold air, and you would be in business.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:34 PM   #64
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Weight Savings

Hi all,

When I was a kid, mom said "eat your vegetables, there are children starving in China." I thought that somehow cleaning my plate would help the starving children in China.

I think of this often when I contemplate new ways to save energy. I could save a lot of energy by reducing the weight I haul in my trailer,but....if I replace things with other lighter things then I have caused the use of a lot of energy to produce the new "lighter" things.

It takes more energy to recycle aluminum cans than it costs to make new aluminum from ore? So "they" say.

I could drive an electric car so I wouldn't have to use gasoline. But how much coal do they have to burn to generate enough electricity to charge my car?

I could buy a truck with a smaller engine, instead of my wonderful big honkin diesel, and could save some fuel. But how much fuel does it take to make a new lighter truck with a smaller engine? and how long would it last compared to my diesel truck and have to be "made" again?

I could buy a new lighter SOB and get better fuel economy, but how many new SOB's would have to be manufactured for me and purchased by me to last as long as my '69 Sovereign.

I like the idea of chucking the heavy stuff and keeping the light stuff. But from what I have seen so far the '69 Sovereign has just about maximized the use of lightweight materials and without a lot of forsight in engineering a better set up would be hard to find.

New technology is great, but it sure fills the land fill fast. Like, what is all that mercury from florescent light bulbs going to do in the landfill, and what about the manufacture of murcury? Is it really safe, for the guy in the room where the processing is done, or me, if I drop a bulb? Why does my old rotary dial phone still work (I don't use it anymore. It's not so good for "press one for english, press two for no preference, etc.") while I go through the new modern wireless ones like crazy? I have sent a lot of them to the landfill. Plastic made from oil last a long time in the landfill.

Someone said that we are at the mercy of "unintended consequences." We don't seem to be able to see far enough ahead to avoid doing stupid things. I agree, especially me. Darn it!

Oh, by the way, cleaning my plate may not have helped the children in China, but some how I got really fat. Now there is a weight reduction program that might just help the environment.

not meant to be taken too seriously,
bill b.:-)
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:31 PM   #65
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Andy, now we're talkin'!
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:35 PM   #66
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Won over by Andy!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
A large capacity beverage tank can be installed forward of the front axle.

That space will hold over 25 gallons.

A little insulation, a little circulated cold air, and you would be in business.

Andy
Now we're talking, a LARGE capacity beverage tank, some sort of keg pump and a meat locker! All nestled between the axles.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:11 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
A smaller lighter tow vehicle will have it's fuel mileage drop considerably, because it will also have a smaller engine and a rear end ratio designed for economy, which "excludeds" towing any degree of weight.

500 pounds, plus or minus, "will not" have any measureable effect on fuel economy.

Trying to climb a mountain while maintaining highways speeds will severely drop the mileage, instead of slowing way down and climb using a lower gear and staying within the power curve of that engine.

That's been proven thousands of times every year.

Weight savings can be tossed out the window regarding fuel economy. But far more important, is the driving habits of each individual. That has a far greater effect on fuel economy, then a reasonable amount of weight could ever have.

However, if your looking for absolute perfection when towing, then you should also have an "air speed" indicator installed on your tow vehicle. Using that as a guide, to determine the wind direction and speed, will have a far greater impact on fuel mileage than 500 pounds or so of weight.

If traveling solely thru mountains, then fuel economy would be far down the list of "important" factors to consider when towing a travel trailer.

Andy
A lighter vehicle consumes less than a heavy vehicle, I think we all agree on that..

According to you a lighter vehicle + a lighter trailer consumes roughly the same as a heavy vehicle + heavier vehicle?

Of course we're talking about vehicles that are made for towing.

Aerodynamics have an influence too... smaller vehicles are generally way more aerodynamic than bigger ones.
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:07 PM   #68
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Hi, same as post #64 paragraph #10, the only weight loss I plan on is me.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:08 PM   #69
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Hi, same as post #64 paragraph #10, the only weight loss I plan on is me.
Try towing your Airstream without a truck.. weight loss and fuel economy guaranteed.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:58 AM   #70
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Something I noticed a few years back. We towed a Coleman folding trailer with a VW Bus. I thought the VW Bus needed the engine rebuilt as it was really working on one trip to a campground. This was the last time out for the year so when breaking camp we unloaded the trailer and put everything in the Bus. The difference in performance was amazing. Didn't need an engine rebuild after all.

Our 1975 31 ft. Airstream is light to begin with. 7200 gvw. I bought a 1998 GMC Savanna to pull it. All the stuff we don't use a lot goes in the van. When we ordered our Savanna I choose the 454 ci engine with 3.42 gearing. This only gave me a towing capacity of 6700 lbs instead of the 10,000 with the 4.11 gearing. Real good mid range passing power and it climbs hills excellent. we get 10.5 mpg at 70 mph. 14 mpg at 55 mph. Also runs on regular gas.

We are now replacing the front sofa with a computer desk. Had some 1/2' Okume plywood left over from a boat project. This stuff is water proof and light weight. The finished desk will be lighter than the sofa we removed.
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