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Old 08-12-2003, 11:55 AM   #1
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need to make a model

im looking for a plan and section of a 1962 safari 22', so i make a model to redesign the interior and some exterior chnges. im going to make the first totally wheelchair accessible airstream.

any help or insight would be greatly appreciated..

thanks
rich
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Old 08-12-2003, 03:41 PM   #2
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http://www.vintageairstream.com/archives/index.html
Might have to dig a little but some of the archives will have floor plans.

Your going to have a couple problems. Biggest being the door. It's simply not wide enough. Somebody with good fabrications skills, Metal brake and possibly a tig welder could skin the door. Cut the frame in half add about 8 inches you want it around 32 inches so the person is not busting the knuckels and elbows when getting in. Not sure if the factory hinge is up to the task.

Next problem is this. Something down one wall is going to have to go. This is going to cause two problems.
1. natural left and right ballance is going to be thrown off. It's important. It's going to have to be delt with.
2. Loss of major storage space.

I would design with a Goucho with a fold up table in the front. that will maxamized floor space. When the table is up and extended it will give the person plenty of room to get at the table. When its folded they can back up to the couch or the folded table to watch TV or chat. The Goucho will form a bed. Some had a slide out lower section to form a double bed and the back was used to fill the extra width. I would think this would be something a person in a chair could handle operating without much problem. It would be something like a Futon couch with some storage drawers under it.

Bath is going to be another fun point. The standard rear bath in some of the units may actually work and have the room they need. The yhave a tub with a low rim. It might work out quite well with a bath chair for them. THe problem is rear bath tend to be curb side bath tub. You cant widen the door to the curb side because of this OR your going to have to remove the tub and the person will have to bath in the campground baths. It would open a lot of floor that way but it's if you want to live without the tub. You can (depending on the bath lay out) widen to the the street side. The side you widen somewhat dictates that the galley would have to be same side as the tub.

I would think it would be easier for the person to navigate a street side galley because of the oriantation to the goucho if the table is up. Possibly there is a model that had a street side tub but none come to mind. www.vintageairstreams.com has the photo archive and you might want to look at it for some ideas.

Good luck with it. Keep us informed. I would like to see what you come up with.
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Old 08-12-2003, 05:42 PM   #3
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Along with what Eric mentioned you will need to reinforce the frame. Lifts are fairly heavy and the load extends further outside the frame than ever intended, more leverage. You could probably help the balance situation by adding batteries on the opposite side.

John
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by 74Argosy24MH
Along with what Eric mentioned you will need to reinforce the frame. Lifts are fairly heavy and the load extends further outside the frame than ever intended, more leverage. You could probably help the balance situation by adding batteries on the opposite side.

John
I had not even concidered a lift. LOTS of weight.

For some reason I assumed a ramp and a fairly active person not using a power chair. You are correct. It may warrent a LOT of frame reinforcement if a lift was used. It may take enough that it may warrent a custom frame to do it.

These trailers were built as light as possible. If this person is using a power wheel chair you could be talking 300-350 pounds with a average sized person and power chair. I could see a lift with enough doward travel weighing 300lb not counting batteries. I'm not sure 600lb hanging on that door frame is such a great idea.

I can check with some friends if you like. They just installed a lift in their van. He did the work himself. He would have a pretty good idea of the weight.
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:17 PM   #5
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thanks for the replys.....

im going to make a ramp with the current door width......im in a powerchair and with no alteration to the door i have 3/4" on each side of the chair.....close yes but will work....

im going to put the trailer on an airbag suspension so i can drop the trailer as low as possible.....im a little concerned cause its a single axle....have you ever heard of any problems.....

im going to line the floor with hardwood and aply a thick coat of polyurathane so i can make an open floorplan which will allow a roll-in shower......

can one place the fridge and stove in he front of the trailer or does that cause to much tongue weight.....i thinking water tank to rear as a counterweight......

rich
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:02 PM   #6
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Air bags....That's a interesting idea. If it has leaf suspension like our 59 it shouldn't be hard at all. Simple three link should otherwise take the axle locating chores up and the front spring mounts would easily surfice for the two locating. Track bar could be easily made for the third. I would have to measure but I would think you could lower an easy 5 inches.

I would concider a sway bar as a safety device. If for some reason the presure became low in the bags it might cause a handling issue. A sway bar would prevent that.

As for the weight distribution question:

If you look at all the the floor plans it becomes obvious that Airstream did try to center the heavier componets towards the center close to the axle.

That said if your carefull with the weight I think it could be done. Typiccally the water tank is located right against the front wall. I would not move it past the axle. There is concern with putting to much weight in the rear and causing "sag". What happens is the weigh hanging out past the axle acts as a spring on the frame and eventually distorts the trailer or causes the floor to seperate from the frame.

New trailers, the water tank is in the floor between the frame rails. This wouldn't be cheap but if you had a custom tank made out of aluminum or stainless to mount under the floor just infront of the axle it would come close to ballancing the galley being moved to the front. I think you could do it . Just build the cabinets light. Use the existing cabinets as an example on how to build light. Most cabinet folks would try to build it like they would for a house with 3/4 plywood. That would be extremely heavy

My concern with the roll in bath is the water. The biggest single thing that get's these campers is water rotting out the floor.

You need to remember that as this thing is going down the road it's flexing and moving. If you look at all the seams on the interrior pannels you will find some where there has been shifts and you may even find a few poped rivets. I really am unsure if your goint to get a perment seal with the urathane. Also some concern with the added weight with the extra decking.

My recomendation would be to skip any heavy decking and urathane. Go with a laminate floating floor system like pergo, That will get the good hard wear surface in the living area. That will stand up to the wheels and dirt they may track in. It will also limit the weight your adding. Still would have the look just not the wieght.

For the roll in shower: build a lip for the bath area and fiberglass the floor to make a pan. If you can find a boat yard that does major repairs I bet you could find somebody with the tallent to do this and make it strong enough not to crack without adding a tremendous amount of weight. They would also be able to put a texture in the surface to keep it from being slipery.


Alternative #2 is a fabrication shop that can work with aluminum and fabricate a pan. Might be able to use a thin Stainless steel as well and it would keep a better looking finish for longer.

Either method is going to be a little tricky to get the slope for proper drain. Fiberglass will probably be a little less of a problem. they could cut some starlite board and build up the edge and level with the fiberglass. Just make sure that what ever you do, explain to anybody that you have fabricate anything that weight is a big concern.


Look forward to seeing how this turns out and hope to run into you on the road one days and see it first hand.

Eric
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:10 PM   #7
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Centered weight

The reason the weightier items in the trailer, stove, frig, water tank, holding tanks, are centered and balanced left to right is weight over the axle. Put the frig and stove in front, and the bath and corresponding holding tanks in rear, and you have a scenario of the trailer breaking in half unless frame reinforcements are made, (many rear bath models already have tail droop because the weight in the back is too much). Also, when towing a huge increase in tounge weight would be present from the galley being moved forward.
Perhaps you could engineer a slide to accomodate the extra width necessary as some of the newest trailers now have slides.
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Old 09-02-2003, 03:07 PM   #8
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Compared to the floorplan for the safari twin bed model, the safari double has the kitchen galley closer to the front but still on the side. Being opposite the door it might give you more openness in front of it, if that was part of the reason for moving it forward. But it would still be closer to the center of the trailer. I like the safari double floorplan because the bed is not as much in the kitchen, but more its own separate area.

The double floorplan is attached:
Attached Images
File Type: bmp safaridouble.bmp (80.1 KB, 155 views)
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Old 09-02-2003, 03:37 PM   #9
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Also, here is an older safari that has the kitchen and small bath in the very front.

http://vintagecampers.com/1955_Airstream_22'_Safari.htm

Of course just because they were made that way, doesn't mean it worked well, I guess. (in terms of the weight distribution)
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Old 07-15-2005, 09:37 PM   #10
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Oh!! Here we go again!

See my comments on the thread about NPR Story Corps. That would make a mighty good main door for such purposes. I can't seem to find the actual photo where they had the ramp deployed -- it looked practical and lightweight.
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