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Old 06-26-2006, 05:46 PM   #1
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Looking for Airstream tow truck.

I've built a "toybox" trailer for my 1956 Continental Mark II convertible show car and I am in need of a tow vehicle.

Everything I looked at seems inappropriate. I looked at using a GMC motorhome. They're nice, but it's no Airstream.

I read that Airstream made a shiny motorhome for one year. What year and model was it? Were all of that model shiny or did they also come in matt finish? I prefer the shiny surface. It would be parked indoors.

Is that model appropriate for towing, or is another more so? My trailer weighs about 13,000 lbs loaded but has very little rolling resistance with three axles and a trailer balancing system.





Toybox trailer project:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/340096/5
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Old 06-26-2006, 08:24 PM   #2
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You are wanting a 1979 Airstream Excella Motorhome
Unfortunatly there is no Airstream made that will tow that amount.
Mine is a 24' model and it has a tow capacity from the factory of 4000 pounds, the 28' model has even a lower rating.
Leemo owns the fully polished 1979 24' shown in the second picture.
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Old 06-26-2006, 08:33 PM   #3
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I see motorhomes towing car trailers at all the Concours I attend. Why is the rating on an Airstream so low?
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Old 06-26-2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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Your toy hauler is beautiful, but unfortunately none of the classic motorhomes by Airstream have a tow rating more than 2,000 lbs. The newer desiel pushers might have more, but I don't think they have enough for what you have in mind. 13,000 lbs is a lot to tow with any motorhome. I'm not sure you will find anything short of a bus conversion like the Prevost or MCI.
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Old 06-26-2006, 08:40 PM   #5
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You mean I couldn't tow a 24 ft International behind a 345 w/ 454? I'm serious.

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Old 06-26-2006, 09:00 PM   #6
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I need to explain something. I just need mass.

It takes very little to move this trailer. The 9,000 lb trailer body and car sits on top of 4,000 lbs of suspension. The Goodyear RST tires are inflated to 110 lbs of pressure and the Dexter Airflex axles are fitted with their Nev-R-Lube bearing system which is factory set. They come pretty close to perpetual motion. I can roll the trailer around the shop with one hand.

With the air suspension holding the trailer level at all times I can dial in an ideal tongue weight just by adjusting the ride height valve on each axle. The trailer requires no tonge jack or dolly wheel as the trailer is held level with no support. At full inflation I can sit my 275 lbs on the tongue and the leveling system will lift me 1 foot off the ground.

The axle capacity of the trailer and air bags is 8,000 lbs per axle (3). It also has 24,000 lbs of brake capacity, more than enough to stop both the trailer and tow vehicle in an emergency.

I just need mass to get the beast going.
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:22 PM   #7
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Your car hauler is gorgeous, what a wonderful piece of work that is. Please understand that on our classic motor homes the receiver is little more than a bumper hitch. What you are asking it to do would literally tear it off of the body. Possibly you could weld a hitch assembly onto the frame and get it to work that way. I would not trust the way Airstream has put the receiver on my coach for little more than the utility trailer I use. There was a recent thread which told about the receiver literally coming off of the body and almost loosing the trailer they were hauling. I would look it up for you but am using a strange dial up service while camping in the woods.
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:36 PM   #8
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Just have to say, that's some of the finest work that I've seen. I came across these pictures . it seems like a year ago. I was amazed then and I'm amazed now at the quality and depth of the project. My hat's off to you.
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:40 PM   #9
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I've read enough to know that Airstreams were a little weak in the rear. I've designed a tow bar that is independent of the body. It will hook to the rear axle and be supported by the rear of the frame but no appreciable weight or forces will be present. My trailer rides level at all times because of the air suspension.

The hitch receiver will be allowed some vertical movement with little stress on the tow vehicle. This trailer has the unique ability of adjusting the trailer to the load instead of the load to the trailer. Individual ride height valves allows me to infinitely adjust the tongue weight, regardless of the load or position.

I'll be able to "dial-in" the ideal balance and weight. With weight distribution bars it should float down the road.
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:44 PM   #10
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Just curious. What is the maximum allowable length of a motorhome/trailer?

Can you imagine the two of them together?



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Old 06-26-2006, 10:17 PM   #11
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If just for the looks, you have to get an Airstream MH as your TV and polish it. That would look so cool at the car shows, no one would look at anything else. (Except for the classic Mustangs, of course.)

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Old 06-26-2006, 11:02 PM   #12
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Barry, I'm no expert but with your engineering skills, I'm certain you could devise a way to tow that gorgeous piece of work with AS MH. You may have to "soup" up your TV motor, but you being a car guy, I'm sure you won't mind that. I'd also talk to some professionals about the tranny and rear end, just to be sure the can take the strain.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:17 PM   #13
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Barry - YOU'RE BACK!!!!!

SO GLAD to see that you are back!!!

I am an 'old' Lincoln guy that was avidly following your MK restoration, your hauling trailer restoration....

I am now VERY GLAD that you have eye's on an AS MH as a hauler.

You will undoubtedly be able to find a unit that will easily haul your unit to speed. With all the engineering you have in the trailer and all its systems.... any unit you buy ( and undoubtly upgrade!!!) should be able to easily get you around with HUGE STAR POWER.

Not really what you are looking for (if I know the 'special' classic Lincoln owners!) but then there is a certain "Bling", in being apart from the rest, of the 'Classic Lincoln Owners' group. Then there are the rest of the car guys that LOVE seeing a car, a trailer, and a TV all as an integrated unit.

Sounds like you have a "WINNER" in all senses.

SO GLAD to see you back on the AS board, Barry!

Axel

PS - Can you post more photos of the rest of the hauler trailer restoration?? There was a GREAT series that you posted previously, but then....???? Can you finish that series!?!?

AND BE SURE TO POST ANY AND ALL OF ANY AS MH RESTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go For It!!!
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:34 PM   #14
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What are you waitin for?

Go find the MHof choice, beef the frame to accept the right hitch, drop a CAT 3116 and an Allison 6 Speed in, and a Gear Vendor OD and be done with it!

You obviously have the talent to make this a short month project- that trailer is fantastic!
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