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Old 04-11-2006, 05:50 AM   #181
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Quality Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
LOL, I hear you So far I've done everything myself on this project... with the exception of all the support I've gotten from these forums! Then again, this has taken up almost all of my weekend time since January (which your wife might not like either).

-Andrew
Andrew,

It is somthing rarely mentioned in this forum just how expensive it really is to keep up an Airstream. But when one looks at the price of a new unit, a bargain! I attribute this to Wally Byam, "Talk is cheap, Airstreams are not."
The wife and kids have fun with my 'quantity time' with things Airstream.
You are going great, keep up the good work and it is so nice to see progress on such a sweet object of art.

R
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:37 PM   #182
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Hitch Weights and Energy

So how much weight is too much weight to put up on the hitch?

I was thinking about getting two Trojan L16H batteries (6 volts each) to put up on the hitch with the propane tanks. They're about 11.5x7x17" and weigh 121 pounds each. However, they each have 885 minutes of capacity at 25 amps load. Compared to a typical RV battery, series 27, which has a capacity approximately 1/6 of that and still weighs in at around 50 pounds. So anyhow...

The "model 40" propane tanks I've been looking at hold 9.4 gallons each and weigh 20 pounds empty. So loaded they're about 119.52 pounds together (or almost 60 pounds each) when full.

Is 362+ pounds too much weight to put up there on the hitch? To me it seems like one of the structurally strongest points on the trailer, but I wanted to get some opinions on this because this is fairly concentrated weight.


Okay, jumping back to the batteries... I know the inverter is going to lose some energy, but if the A/C takes 14.1 approximate full-load amps for cooling, and the batteries can maintain 25 amps for about 14 hours... does that mean that this would be enough power to run the A/C on battery power for a several hours? I think I'm missing something.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:20 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by 66Overlander
It seems that on most trailers I've seen, they keep the gray water lines above the floor as much as possible (behind cabinets and such) until they get near the tank. I don't know if it'll be an issue, but you'll probably be sloshing water back and forth in those long horizontal lines if you travel with the gray tank anywhere near full. Depending upon how you run the traps and such I wonder if there could be any slosh out back into sinks, or especially the shower pan.

This is just a thought, but I have no personal experience plumbing a trailer to confirm if this could really be an issue or not.
That's an interesting point. It sounds like I might have to put a plug in the shower drain if that happens. There really was no way I could put a P-trap in the shower drain and still run the lines above board unless I raised the shower significantly, but then it would start to get in the way of the bathroom cabinets, etc.

My trailer has a very weird layout. It's proven difficult with the plumbing.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:23 PM   #184
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Andrew,

Regarding putting 300+ lbs on the tongue

I haven't done the math, but is sounds a little over the top. I'd be worried about rotational momentum that far from the axle. I think you would move the center of rotation too far forward.

What will this do? I think it might have a tendency to push the rear of your tow vehicle, especially in curves.

Think what would happen if you had that much weight on the rear bumper. What you have is the same inertial effect, a lot of weight on a long moment arm several feet from the center of gravity. The difference is that the front end of the trailer can't swing free. It is pinned to the TV by the hitch. So part of the angular acceleration goes into your tow vehicle.

I don't know if this helps you or not.


On the plumbing, did you think about putting a check valve in the shower drain line? Here's what I did, but it has not been road tested yet.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:33 PM   #185
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What are you going to hang the belly pan on?

I notice in your plumbing photos that you have replaced a number of the cross-members with angle iron at the top only. What do you intend to hand your belly pan on?

Malcolm
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:38 PM   #186
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I feel like such a traitor. I have sold the 58 to a friend who got me interested in Airstreams in the 80's. I guess I really am not a silver person. I want another, longer Argosy. Cream is in my blood I guess. Bertha will stay here until May, when she will go to Illinois to be restored. She will have a great home, with a great man.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:29 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
I notice in your plumbing photos that you have replaced a number of the cross-members with angle iron at the top only. What do you intend to hand your belly pan on?

Malcolm
I'm glad you asked that! I actually didn't replace the cross-members with angle iron; that's how it came from the factory. Then, there are these aluminum pieces that hang off the angle iron (held down by the floor's elevator bolts) and are like c-channel that had cut outs for where the old drain lines were (which didn't drain into tanks, but just to a hookup for a sewer pipe). The belly pan attaches to these pieces.

I think further back in this thread there are some pictures of them. It's only like this under the bathroom area (middle of the trailer).
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:30 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juel
I feel like such a traitor. I have sold the 58 to a friend who got me interested in Airstreams in the 80's. I guess I really am not a silver person. I want another, longer Argosy. Cream is in my blood I guess. Bertha will stay here until May, when she will go to Illinois to be restored. She will have a great home, with a great man.
Hopefully it wasn't this thread that scared you away from restoring a '58!

I'm glad to hear she's going to a good home at least Good luck with your hunt for a new Argosy.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:33 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Andrew,

Regarding putting 300+ lbs on the tongue

I haven't done the math, but is sounds a little over the top. I'd be worried about rotational momentum that far from the axle. I think you would move the center of rotation too far forward.

What will this do? I think it might have a tendency to push the rear of your tow vehicle, especially in curves.

Think what would happen if you had that much weight on the rear bumper. What you have is the same inertial effect, a lot of weight on a long moment arm several feet from the center of gravity. The difference is that the front end of the trailer can't swing free. It is pinned to the TV by the hitch. So part of the angular acceleration goes into your tow vehicle.

I don't know if this helps you or not.


On the plumbing, did you think about putting a check valve in the shower drain line? Here's what I did, but it has not been road tested yet.
Thanks for the advice Mark. I've been thinking about the physics of it as well. I wasn't sure if under 400 pounds would be enough to be noticeable or not, but that certainly is a concern. I might have to see if there's somewhere under the trailer that I can stash those batteries. Actually... if I can find room underneath for two, I'm sure I can find room for four

Regarding the check valve, that's a great idea! I think I might have to plumb one of those in before I put the floor back on. Thanks!

-Andrew
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:17 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
So how much weight is too much weight to put up on the hitch?
Well, if you go by the conventional wisdom, it is not the actual amount of hitch weight that is the issue (assuming your tow vehicle and hitch can handle it), it is the percentage of total trailer weight that is on the tongue that is important. Traditional wisdom says to keep tongue weight between 10% and 15% of total (loaded) trailer weight. Of course, tongue weight will be affected by fullness of the LP and holding tanks, as well as the location of any "stuff" you load into the trailer.

Just to come up with some reasonable "limits" you might want to make sure tongue weight is above 10% with the LP and holding tanks empty and the trailer lightly loaded and make sure it is below 15% with the holding tanks full and the trailer heavily loaded. The final desired tongue weight will be somewhere in between these values, but will again be dependent upon how you load the trailer.

For example, if your trailer were to weigh around say 4000 lbs lightly loaded with empty tanks, this would put the minumum tonuge weight at around 400 lbs. If it were to weigh somewhere around 6000 lbs heavily loaded with LP and water tanks full, maximum tongue weight would be around 900 lbs. Again, these are just hypothetical numbers, you'll have to determine the correct values based upon the actual weight of your trailer and "stuff".

Now as for those batteries, their weight will not go 100% to the tongue, it will be divided betweem the tongue and trailer axles on proportion to the distances involved based upon mounting location. If up front, the larger portion will go to the tongue, however.

P.S. It is quite possible that originally your trailer did not have even 10% tongue weight, because back when it was made in 1958, trailers were typically pulled with cars, which probably couldn't handle the heavy tongue weights that trucks can handle today. Thus, the layout of your trailer may tend to favor a light tongue weight that the batteries might actually help to offset. Just a thought. The truck scales will tell the true story when you are done.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:09 PM   #191
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Hmmm... you mention an interesting point. My trailer (a rear bed, mid-bath model) actually had a "gyrotronic stabilizer" in the rear. Basically a lead or steel filled pipe that weighed about 90 pounds. It was mounted in the trunk and looked original. I call it a "gyrotronic stabilizer" because that's what it actually said on it. Obviously this was there to reduce the tongue weight.

I'm curious if anyone else has ever seen one of these. It was mounted in the trunk, about as far rear as anything could be mounted without being on the rear bumper.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:47 AM   #192
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Hello ankornuta,
You are doing a beautiful and thorough job there ,very impressive! I would agree without repeating with 66 over and markdoane about the tongue weight .The propane tanks 40# and 242 pounds of batteries then the normal tongue weight of the trailer as measured by airstream . although you are redesigning your coach so I cannot say what the weight will be and you wont really know ,but Im sure youve got a pretty good idea .When its finished ,shell on, interior in ,so on and so forth , then it can be correctly measured .The tandems help damatically with your setup as you can design in the load parameters to balance out the weight .Now with those tanks near full over the axles as they are, theoreticallythe tongue may act lighter do to the water weight 8lbs a gallon. I might be inclined to hold off on the battery install until your closer to hitch time .It could be heavier than you think. You will get sloshing to and frow for sure with those level long drains. Almost need some gate valves maybe somewhere to just shut off those lines when underway ,youll have yucky sink water up in the shower or bath .You are doing a very impressive job , real guts there mister.

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Old 04-12-2006, 12:57 AM   #193
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Me again ,

I dont know if I want 900lbs of tongue weight on the ball although the WD will help out with that of course, wether or not the truck can carry the weight isnt the point .Airstream ,at least then didnt have those heavy weights as 66over says except maybe the single axle trailers that were over 26 or more feet. There were some yes. Travelalls and f250 fords and the travelette crew cabs were the dominate vehical in wallys caravans. But many were towed by cars as well.I would shoot for 400#s I think

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Old 04-12-2006, 09:44 AM   #194
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I looked on the Aitstream website for weights on your trailer and couldn't find them. There are gaps in the chart for the '50's model trailers. But, maybe this will help some. The 1955 Overlander had a hitch weight of 340 lbs, the 1957 shows 260 lbs. You can find the chart here, if you haven't already seen it:

http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:57 AM   #195
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The 1959 Tradewind had an overall weight of 3170#, hitch weight 290#. I know that is less than 10%, but that's what the factory listed.

Since that was the first year, they may have refined it a little for the 1960 model, and increased the hitch weight a little.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:52 AM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
I'm glad you asked that! I actually didn't replace the cross-members with angle iron; that's how it came from the factory. Then, there are these aluminum pieces that hang off the angle iron (held down by the floor's elevator bolts) and are like c-channel that had cut outs for where the old drain lines were (which didn't drain into tanks, but just to a hookup for a sewer pipe). The belly pan attaches to these pieces.

I think further back in this thread there are some pictures of them. It's only like this under the bathroom area (middle of the trailer).
Yes, I did find a photo in post #32 that shows the aluminum pieces that hang down from the frame. That is an interesting way to do it and entirely different than on my '73. It also looks like it could be a good way to open up more room on a later model trailer if it was needed for plumbing or holding tanks.

Malcolm
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:06 PM   #197
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Watts or Jules

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
.......
Okay, jumping back to the batteries... I know the inverter is going to lose some energy, but if the A/C takes 14.1 approximate full-load amps for cooling, and the batteries can maintain 25 amps for about 14 hours... does that mean that this would be enough power to run the A/C on battery power for a several hours? I think I'm missing something.
Andrew,

An a/c uses huge amounts of power. No battery or solar panel that could fit in an Airstream will run one. Think generator or tapping into the grid. 12v times 14.1 amps does not equal 110v times 14.1 amps. Someone please help out here as I am not current on these jules.

R
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:35 PM   #198
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Hello ,

How can the batteries maintain 25 amps for 14 hours? You will need continous power to run that a/c ,shore power or say an eu3000 or 2 2000s or equivilent type generators of your choice. The batteries just wont maintain that load without a source to keep them at a constant voltage . the unit will not tolerate unstable voltage for very long Im afraid.Dont know the jules either but know it cant work unfortunatly , I would think you would be worried about your battery life on a hot day boondocking if that a/c was on and if youll have enough juice for the weekend.


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Old 04-13-2006, 03:36 AM   #199
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The typical 13,500 btu AC uses about 15A at 120V while running, or 1800W. You'd defintely want at least a quality 3000W inverter to try to handle the start-up surge. Because it's only about 90% effiecient, the inverter would draw about 2000W or 175 amps from the batteries. An inverter typically draws at least 11 times in current at 12VDC from the batteries as it's supplying at 120VAC. Another rule of thumb is that it will draw (120V output wattage)/10 in amps from the batteries.

Let's say we install 7 Group 27 batteries (500 pounds) dedicated to the air-conditioner to spread the load to 25A each. Group 27 batteries have a Reserve Capacity (full charge to full discharge at 25A) of about 180 minutes or 3 hours. To have a decent life, we won't discharge them to less than 50% charge, so on our first night of use, we can run the air-conditioner for about 1-1/2 hours. If the night is only a little warm and the AC only runs 25% of the time, we could get 6 hours until our batteries are down to 50%. But if it's a hot night and it runs 50% of the time or more, we'll only have 3 hours of air-conditioning.

But that's on the first night. Because it takes so much generator run time to charge from 80% to 100%, most shut off the generator at about 80% charge. That means on second and subsequent nights, we have 60% of the run times above, i.e. 3.6 hours if the night is only warm, and 1.8 hours if it's hot. And we'd need a 200 amp charger to bring them back up the next day, and an EU2000 won't run that!

This is why it's impractical to run an air-conditioner off batteries through an inverter. In fact, we use two Honda EU2000 generators paralleled to supply that 2000W continuous and in the real-world other things, such as powering the converter to charge the batteries. One EU2000 can't supply the full start-up current needed, meaning the compressor is starting slowly and overheating the motor windings, as well as hurting the generator. DuoTherm says our AC unit needs a 3500W generator.
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:58 AM   #200
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I have seen someone run A/C off batteries and solar power in an Airstream. At the 2004 Lansing International, there was a guy that cooled his vintage Bambi or other small Airstream at the Vintage Open House in just this way. He probably had a small A/C unit (8kW) due to the small size of the trailer. He had many, many batteries (could have easily been 500 lbs. worth) installed in the bed of his pickup truck, and the solar panels on the roof of the truck. He thus had to plug the trailer to the truck to run the A/C. I suspect that after the Open House demo it may have taken days for the solar panels to top the batteries back up.
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