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Old 02-28-2012, 12:07 PM   #1
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Airstream Goose Neck

I wonder if anyone ever welded a goose neck on the front of an Airstream trailer? I would think it would be possible to do and it would eliminate all the hitch mess you have to deal with. I expect with some engineering that the goose neck would be removable.

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Old 02-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #2
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Of course! Pretty much every wild and crazy thing you can do to an Airstream has been done.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f492...tml#post955817

What hitch mess are you referring to?
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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I mean having to deal with sway control and load bars etc. Also you can see the ball in the back of the truck so hitching is pretty easy.

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:31 AM   #4
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I once had a 34' Argosy 5th wheel converted to a gooseneck. We nicknamed her Bertha because she was a very large trailer. She pulled very well for her size. We also have acquired a 1955 trailer chopped and converted to a 5th wheel. I mean they actually cut the front off at the door and raised the front part of the trailer and made a 5th wheel hookup. We have named it Frankentrailer. It has parts from the 50's, 60's and 70's all mixed in. The trailer is in rough condition but we have high hopes to finish the original owners vision.

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Old 02-29-2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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I have thought about it. My plan would be to build a 5th wheel assembly that would go under the existing "A" frame hitch of the trailer. It would attach to the existing hitch on the trailer and have shackles that attach over the "A" frame right in front of the body of the trailer. No modification of the trailer would be required and therefor the resale value would not be affected.
The trailer would rest on the hitch assembly much like snow on a shovel. If that makes sense. Neither the propane tanks or tongue jack would have to be removed. The vertical part of the 5th wheel frame would be even with the hitch ball with the appropriate gussets and so forth for strength. The the arched part would be built like any other medium duty 5th wheel hitch.
I figure it would add about 4 1/2 feet to the length of the rig. I would use a goose neck hitch rather than a 5th wheel type.. Leaving more space in the back of the TV.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Yeah no reason to modify the trailer significantly.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Arrow My $0.02 here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I mean having to deal with sway control and load bars etc. Also you can see the ball in the back of the truck so hitching is pretty easy.

Perry
I am a little unsure why someone would want to do this. A few points come to mind here. Unless you are driving a single cab truck, you cannot see the ball in the bed to hook up and it was mentioned in another post that it would add about 4 1/2' to the length. I think they need to check the length of a typical gooseneck trailer. Mine is 8' from the ball to the front of the bed of the trailer. You have to have a fair amount of room for the swing of the rear of the truck. I would think the balance of the trailer would be not the best for this idea. Usually a gooseneck carries more weight on the hitch than a bumper pull model. Same as a fifth wheel model. Just my opinion but this doesn't appear to be a good idea to me but maybe I am missing something.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:11 PM   #8
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I thought of this also. The reason being that you could have a platform for storage in front and it would be more manoverable on forest service roads etc. Then I saw a post where they just bolted a 20 footer without axils on a gooseneck trailer and had a platform with ramp behind for the toys. It was more logical than what I was thinking of. Had better ground clearance also.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:26 PM   #9
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Airstream had a factory goose-neck model at one time, didn't they? I'm sure I saw it in the material fairly recently (within last 10 years).
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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The advantage of a goose neck is the load is over the wheels so no load distribution or sway problems. Bumper pull is a compromise.

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Old 03-08-2012, 02:13 PM   #11
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Backtruck. You are correct in stating that a 5th wheel modification would increase the length of the trailer by about 8 1/2'. But when the trailer is hitched to the truck the overall length of the truck and trailer would increase only by the distance required to turn the vehicle sharply. I stated that I thought this would be about 4 1/2'. I have seen goose neck stock trailers that are closer to the TV than this distance.
The use of a goose neck would eliminate the need for WD system and sway control. And I would bet that one could be fabricated for less than the cost of a Hensley or Propride setup.
I must admit that it would certainly be a head turner. People would say. "What on earth is that?"
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #12
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #13
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Backtruck. You are correct in stating that a 5th wheel modification would increase the length of the trailer by about 8 1/2'. But when the trailer is hitched to the truck the overall length of the truck and trailer would increase only by the distance required to turn the vehicle sharply. I stated that I thought this would be about 4 1/2'. I have seen goose neck stock trailers that are closer to the TV than this distance.
The use of a goose neck would eliminate the need for WD system and sway control. And I would bet that one could be fabricated for less than the cost of a Hensley or Propride setup.
I must admit that it would certainly be a head turner. People would say. "What on earth is that?"

A VPP hitch replicates the GN/5'er arrangement. There is no other advantage accruing to the GN type except, possibly, OAL (and for a really motivated owner, marrying the aerodynamics of TV & TT).

The downside is

1] the increase in weight,

2] the elevated and increased COG,

3] and increased sail area -- all of which punish road performance.

Then there is

4] the loss of pickup bed area (and capacity),

5] and that the trailer can now only be towed by a pickup.

A conversion with no upside, in other words.

On the other hand, a "basket case" A/S might be a good marriage to an existing GN flatbed where the flatbed has the space to the rear for "toys" or other. There are numerous examples on the website PIRATE 4X4 in a subforum (though not of A/S, even though one member did explore that; he's also a contributor here -- owns a Streamline). Have seen TT's, truck campers and even pop-ups married to flatbeds . . better have a 1T DRW for the way these guys load them. Maybe even a 4500-series truck.

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
A VPP hitch replicates the GN/5'er arrangement. There is no other advantage accruing to the GN type except, possibly, OAL (and for a really motivated owner, marrying the aerodynamics of TV & TT).

The downside is

1] the increase in weight,

2] the elevated and increased COG,

3] and increased sail area -- all of which punish road performance.

Then there is

4] the loss of pickup bed area (and capacity),

5] and that the trailer can now only be towed by a pickup.

A conversion with no upside, in other words.

On the other hand, a "basket case" A/S might be a good marriage to an existing GN flatbed where the flatbed has the space to the rear for "toys" or other. There are numerous examples on the website PIRATE 4X4 in a subforum (though not of A/S, even though one member did explore that; he's also a contributor here -- owns a Streamline). Have seen TT's, truck campers and even pop-ups married to flatbeds . . better have a 1T DRW for the way these guys load them. Maybe even a 4500-series truck.

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Old 03-09-2012, 11:18 PM   #15
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Hey, instead of a gooseneck, why not put a steering axle in the front, then put one of those duramax engine thing in it and drive it
down the road. No sway there unless your too close to the cooler. Then just call it a classA or something like that.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:52 PM   #16
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Rednax:
There is no one that can convince me that a Hensley or Valley Propride VPP hitch is equivalent to a goose neck GN or 5th wheel hitch when it comes to handling.
The idea that I threw out does not in any way modify the AS or modify the center of gravity COG since the trailers height is not changed. The "V" shaped goose neck hitch would not increase the sail area significantly since it is "V" shaped it may reduce the wind resistance caused by the flat front of the trailer.
The weight of the goose neck would exceed that of the existing hitch, but not by much when you total up the weight of the receiver hitch that is bolted to the frame if the truck, the ball mount assembly and the Hensley or VPP assembly that is required. I believe that if you used aluminum to fabricate the gooseneck it may be a close call on the weight issue. Any negative here may be off set by the improved handling and the ease of hitching up. The aluminum would match the trailer and could even be polished.
You are right that it could only be pulled by a pickup or flatbed when the gooseneck hitch is on the trailer. But with the removal of 4 shackle bolts and the release if the 2 5/16" hitch ball the entire gooseneck assembly could be removed and the trailer would then be converted back to the standard bumper pull type of hitch.
You are also correct that it would reduce the cargo space some in the back of the TV. For that reason I would choose the gooseneck over the 5th wheel.
Since I don't haul an ATV or motorcycle the lose of space that the pipe on the gooseneck takes would not be an issue. If I did want to haul an ATV I would convert it back to the bumper pull. But I don't think you can haul an ATV in the back of a Suburban or similar type of TV with out issues.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #17
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One other thing. I think I could put the gooseneck hitch on my Argosy 26 and even with the additional weight it would still be less than the weight of a newer A$ of the same length. IMHO
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:01 AM   #18
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There is no one that can convince me that a Hensley or ProPride VPP hitch is equivalent to a goose neck GN or 5th wheel hitch when it comes to handling.

Don't forget the PULLRITE, likely the best of the bunch.

As to "being convinced", you'd need time, miles -- and plenty of high winds -- driving both kinds.

On the "sail area", part of that is the flat front of a GN style trailer. I should have clarified that. Open framework is worse for aero purposes. Though I would agree that a well-designed trailer with 5'er or GN hitch could be done with good aero when matched closely to TV.

Ease of hitching is a non-starter.

There are still no advantages accruing. If one wants a heavy-weight aero GN trailer then starting with an existing A/S is not the way to go.

The thread by RoosterBooster on PIRATE 4X4 does explore this concept with an A/S 5'er toyhauler before discarding it, and he's a good read in any of his threads. His latest is on a Spartan.

SkyKing over on ECOMODDER is planning an aero 5'er to go with his Dodge CTD. I think that discussion -- preliminary, with sketches -- may be more of what you're taking aim at; both here and here. I linked in several trailers, both an AVION and Silver Streak 5'ers (they're also linked in this forum).

But none of this has anything to do with a trailer that, by design, was meant to be pulled by the family car delivering stable, reliable and economical performance over the long haul. Good engineering means "no more than necessary". A designed from scratch GN trailer, using an A/S shell on a framework sufficient to use that hitch is more than just a tongue replacement, but a substantial and heavy re-design.

That AVION is a 14k trailer, yet it would likely have better aero than a GN-conversion A/S.

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Old 03-10-2012, 07:52 AM   #19
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So TG why don't you convert your Twinkie to a Goose Twinkie?

Perry
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:18 AM   #20
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This is a good conversation.
It keeps a persons mind working.
I don't know that there is any distinct advantage of the idea I threw out here other than the fact there are no moving parts in the set up I mentioned other than the ball and socket relationship.
As for the aero dynamics. The gooseneck assembly I had in mind would not extend above the cab of the TV. Therefore no additional sail area.
I had no intention of modifying the hitch or frame work on the trailer. The idea would not require removing any skin or other components. Even the removal of the tongue jack would not be required.
It was mention that GN trailers typically have much heavier tongue weights as compared to a straight pull trailer. My thought is the tongue weight would be increased because of the GN assembly
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