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Old 06-20-2014, 12:40 AM   #1
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Receiver hitch on the rear of a AS

I'm a new owner of a 72 tradewind. I was wondering if I can put a receiver on the rear to carry a basket for firewood. So I'm asking where do y'all get your to the campsite when boondocking.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:42 AM   #2
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I failed to mention that's tow vehicle is a ford expedition.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:55 AM   #3
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I think that would really depend on condition of frame and floor. Also how much weight your thinking about adding. What's wrong with the back of the truck?
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:52 AM   #4
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I wouldn't do it. I'm imagining a heavy, welded steel frame filled with several (or more) bundles of firewood. I imagine that the frame could easily weigh one hundred pounds, and the firewood could add several hundred pounds more. I think you'll be putting too much weight out on the back of the AS's frame. Something is likely to break unless you beef up the frame substantially.

If you decide to do it, you might try to mount the basket in such an orientation so that most of it's weight is as close as possible to the frame. Perhaps you could even get the basket to ride partially on top of the hitch's receiver? Try to eliminate any long lever arm. I'm imagining something top loading with minimal depth (one big piece of wood or two), but a larger length and width. This will put as much weight as possible over the hitch.

The real trick might be trying to approximate how much wood weight you think you'll need for one of your boondocking trips. If it is only 100 lbs. in a 10 lb. basket you'll probably be OK. Unfortunately I think it will be much more.

You might also consider adding a basket to the front a-frame of the trailer. If you have space and available tongue-weight this might be a better solution.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:07 AM   #5
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Why not put a receiver on the front of the Expedition, and put the basket and wood in it? The front of the truck is more capable of carrying that weight then the back of an Airstream.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:17 AM   #6
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The 70's Airstreams are susceptible to rear-end separation. Putting weight on rear receiver hitch only aggravates that.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jcain63 View Post
I'm a new owner of a 72 tradewind. I was wondering if I can put a receiver on the rear to carry a basket for firewood. So I'm asking where do y'all get your to the campsite when boondocking.
NO, NO, NO. Did I emphasize that enough? Never put anything on the back bumper, the frame is weak enough as it is, and any extra weight will cause undue stress on the frame leading to the rear end separation and possibly frame damage. Put a front mounted hitch on the truck instead and use a carrier for the firewood or bikes. And if you have a tight parking space for the trailer, you haven't lived till you have backed it in there in one shot with a front hitch.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:40 AM   #8
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Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I'm just finishing up a lite separation repair as we speak and I was just trying to think ahead. Thanks for the advise. I think I'll just try to convince my "financial consultant" (the wifey) into getting an truck.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:11 AM   #9
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Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I'm just finishing up a lite separation repair as we speak and I was just trying to think ahead. Thanks for the advise. I think I'll just try to convince my "financial consultant" (the wifey) into getting an truck.
You can mount a front hitch on an expedition, I had one on a F150, can't imagine they would be too much different.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:18 AM   #10
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Thanks Aquinob for all the help. We've been discussing more then one topic and you've been a lot of help along with the other airstreamers.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:43 AM   #11
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NEVER add any unnecessary weight to the rear of an Airstream, especially an older one! If you must haul firewood (most states restrict the movement of firewood anyway) figure out another way. Or better yet, pick up a couple of bundles when you get to your destination and help support the local economy where you camp.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #12
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I'm thinking that the hitch in the front of the vehicle and or buying it when I get there is the best thing to do. I'd hate to have to fix the dreaded separation again.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:04 AM   #13
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I recently had a converstation with Colin Hyde who stated that they often add a reciever to the back of the AS trailers that they renovate. I got the impression that it is tied in to the frame in a substantial way forward of the bumper supports. This would obviously involve removing at least some belly pan and the details would depend on what all is under there on your specific trailer, tanks, etc.

Simply adding a hitch to the bumper (a.k.a. "bumper hitch") is not a good plan. You would be much better off putting some wood in a plastic tote and putting it over your axles inside the trailer or in the back of your TV. Front hitch on your TV is a great suggestion also.

On the issue of moving firewood, I save scraps of lumber from building projects, etc. to use when camping. I have had no problem with the issue of moving firewood because there are not restrictions on this type of wood.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:12 AM   #14
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The 70's Airstreams are susceptible to rear-end separation. Putting weight on rear receiver hitch only aggravates that.
I have a rear hitch on my 61 which has a much more substantial frame than the early seventies did. Still I only carry an aluminum box with lightweight but bulky items like blue tanks and empty water jugs.

Firewood is quite heavy in any quantity and I would not do that not only because of the frame but the reduced tongue weight could potentially affect the trailer handling.

Also keep in mind that in many (most) areas it is not permitted to bring in outside firewood due to gypsy moth and other problem critters
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