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Old 12-23-2010, 06:34 PM   #41
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1974 31' Sovereign
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I currently have a slide in camper. The thing I plan to build would be thinner, more aerodynamic, and stronger. It will have no windows, look a lot more pleasing to customers and will have better jacks
It will have a spot for the air compressor, and generator, ready to plug into the unit which would then have a cord and air hose reel feeding out the back of the "camper" from a hatch, and plugs through-out. I designed it to have a way for the miter saw and table saw to swing out and down, out the back door. All while still being able to carry 4' wide material with or with out the back doors open.

I really hope to get started with that next sat.^ A friends said we could use his dad's shop.. That same friend has a bus he want's to sell me for $5000. Him and his dad converted it years ago. I guess I will see it when I'm out there. It's not going to happen.

The tankless gas electric is worth looking into, I just have what I have and wanted cheap hot water no matter the circumstance. Being able to take a shower on a slow, low 20 amps is nice, so is endless gas. By the time one gas water heater is empty, one will have restored it's self. I have a tankless electric that comes with a 75 amp breaker. It will burn you at that and can be turned down to use less amps. I was planing to have them all come to the shower separately and switch between them with a standard shower control or two. I too, go to bonnaroo every year, and I'm one of the few lucky ones to get full pressure water hook-ups, because of this, I would like one or two exterior shower hook-ups.

I do live in mine, and laundry mats are a huge waste of money and time when you can't trust leaving your stuff there. I like the combo units, a front load could be hidden in the kitchen. That creates even more of a need of a, cool, pantry.

I can get water tanks very cheap, I could get a few of those for normal use and if I ever do get out to the desert or plan to be in one place a while without hook-ups, I will put the water bags in multi use storage areas and use all of the water before driving away. I may even add an additional bag to drive the water in with my truck and then transfer it to bag below the AS. That would even things out and give the tow vehicle more of a say on the road, and it would give me even more options for extended long term boondocking. extrenal tanks and generators look bad and it takes you longer to set up.

I had thought of different ways of holding bags, or a hard tank with a very stretchable water-proof material dividing it in the middle. I like the two separate bag idea more because of peace of mind and the option to remove it. I've seen some very heavy duty looking bags. Inflating one or the other could come into play for when moving, you would have to match the bags to the "holding "box"" size.

So how does the patent system work?..lol

I would have to have a very nice reliable motor-home to pull my truck and tools. Without changing professions, I need those. Keeping up with two large engines was out of the question.
Big external water tanks and generators look bad and can be stolen easily.
If I had the storage, I could leave the seldom used, without ample warning, tools behind, like my tile saw, paint sprayer, ect. At the same time i don't want to load and unload tools everyday, so I want it all to be able to fit on the truck comfortably, when I do need it.

Options on top of options.
Here's a new one. I could have the airstream, the new basement, and the last 1/4 of the frame, rise up off of a hidden flat bed or rail trailer. lol.

I don't know if I mentioned that I wanted be able to tow the slide in truck tool camper. Just lower it down, either pop wheels on a fixed axle, or have a "removable" axle or landing gear in it's basics of some sort. lol. The tongue would be made of tube and would bolt together easily, then slide into the main bottom rails of the camper, and bolt/pin lock.. It would be cool to have a trailer hitch ball on top of a rail going across the tailgate of my truck. The rail would secure into the corner pockets.With a lot more weight added to the design, i could tow it like a fifth wheel. (sort of)

ball and chain?? yes, maybe, but life is filled with those, this is a good one.
I will very much enjoy doing this. I add value to things all day, this is half hobbie/learning experience and half necessity/timing
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:20 AM   #42
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On the less is more front, I got a call today, I got the below deck ac/heater, cheap! I'm not sure on the rating, but it will at least replace the roof heat pump. Less on the roof, more lower center of gravity.
Marry Christmas
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:21 PM   #43
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When do we get to see pictures?
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:28 PM   #44
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When do we get to see pictures?
My money is on this unit being mythical.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:32 PM   #45
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lol, what a compliment. It's right there in my profile pic. Alright, alright, I'll figure this picture thing out again.
A lot of what I've done is in trial mode. I was going to post pics of the macerator setup, but decided it could be better. The shower works great but the plastic looks bad.
Then I don't want to fix or install anything because I knew at some point the shell would come off.
So I guess I'm in the shame, compile, plan mode.

But it does, very much so, exist.

I was going to say your's doesn't exist, and that your all probably working for the man trying to keep the fun down.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:33 PM   #46
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hahaha trying to keep the crack off the streets
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:39 PM   #47
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Just finished reading this thread and my only comment is: ARE YOU KIDDING?

I have worked on just about every type of RV out there and for what you are going to spend trying to cobble together a huge amount of dis-similar parts and pieces, not to mention the HUGE amount of hours that you will expend, there are a large variety of RVs out there that would more than suit your purpose.

Need a garage? Look into an SOB toy hauler motor home from Renegade or one of the several manufacturers that custom build them for race teams. They will offer you all the horse power that you need AND all of the storage you could want. Plus, depending on the model, they have hydraulic tail gates and are rated to pull trailers up to 30,000 lb.!!!!!

Just buy it, load your tools and take off. OR.......get a used bus-type motor home with all of the basement storage you want, put your tools on heavy-duty slide-out mechanisms in the lower bays (lots already exist), set up your truck/car/van as a toad and drag it flat four down behind you.

You seem to be hell bent on re-inventing the wheel just 'cause you can and will wind up with 'Franken-RV' as a result that is neither re-salable nor roadworthy! Unfortunately, Airstream in NOT THE MANUFACTURER for you, as their market and construction techniques do not even come close to providing what you seek.

Remember, just because you CAN doesn't mean that you SHOULD!

And please, if you DO go thru with this folly, please keep the Forum Folk updated on your progress and travel plans so we can scrupulously AVOID being within 200 miles of you at any given time!!!!!!!

And yes, I have a Masters in Engineering and am an RVIA Certified Master Technician.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:46 PM   #48
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Ok, ere are some limitations. Most states require Class B licenses past 10,000 lbs. The width limit in most states is 8' 6". The height limit in most states is 14'. In a few states, combined weights over 16000 lbs or 20000 lbs require Class A or B license.

In Tennessee, the height limit is 13'6", width limit is 8'0".

I just don't think you can do what you want to do.

Towing laws by state.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #49
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I know why you want to stay 200 miles away, you don't want to have to admit how awesome it is.
yep, that's it!

Well I need to build the truck box regardless of what happens on the AS. I should build it, load it up and hit the scales. I'll also weight with the AS and go from there.
The only new weight would be the dishwasher, washer/dryer combo, and new frame/axles.
I can drag the main beams, they can't be that bad. The axles are heavy, but I'm removing the old ones. I'm sure I could figure what the beams weigh with out loading them up.

Buses and motor homes seem way more expensive to maintain. I don't move that often.
I picked the AS up for 3000 and slowly added and fixed. That's way less than a normal toyhauler, and they are ugly as can be, and they will be a pile of rust in ten years.

I'm curious which is easier to maneuver into tight spaces, a bus or a 31' trailer and truck?
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:54 PM   #50
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I didn't want to widen the wheel base anyways. By the time I get the ac off, the end height would not be but a few inches taller than original.
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:11 PM   #51
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Twenty five posts and no pics, what gives?
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:18 PM   #52
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Quote: I'm curious which is easier to maneuver into tight spaces, a bus or a 31' trailer and truck?

I don't think you are going to have any trouble maneuvering yourself into a tight space..
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:23 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cclarkego View Post
Quote: I'm curious which is easier to maneuver into tight spaces, a bus or a 31' trailer and truck?

I don't think you are going to have any trouble maneuvering yourself into a tight space..
As with anything else............it depends.......... on your driving ability!

I've seen OTR drivers maneuver rigs with 53' trailers into spaces so tight you could not get a piece of cardboard in between the rigs, and I've seen drivers of compact cars have problems pulling into a parking space with 4'+ to either side.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:01 PM   #54
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Why not just buy a used fifth-wheel trailer? They are not that expensive, and many have the features you are seeking. No second motor to maintain.

This sounds like something that would be created for Cousin Eddie in the movie National Lampoon Vacation!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:20 AM   #55
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Well my name is Eddie lol.
The fifth wheel would completely destroy the tool box idea. Loading and unloading tools takes a lot of time, and bringing "only what I need" to a job site, never works.
The bus pulling my truck and tools, sounds ideal. It's by far not living in an Airstream.

I was wondering if a bus can make just as tight of a turn, and if the over all dynamics of it is easier to deal with. Reverse is a completely different creature between the two, does it make your life easier, or do you stay away from spots that you would have been able to manage easier with a trailer.

I could always, do a shell off, build a single layer frame with what I have?, sell off the axles and tires, buy new axles with more fitting ratings, possibly replace my original wheels with a higher rating as well, install the two roof ac/heat pumps, install a small dishwasher in the kitchen, install a combo clothes unit in the back closet or push my bed back into the closet and put the unit under the existing oven??, move my batteries to under the couch, maybe trade out my water heaters for an instant gas, keep the electric w/h tank under the sink, and keep the generator/s in my truck. I could also keep the water bags in the truck when boondocking/walmart.
I guess if I had a clean way of running an, easy connecting, umbilical cord to the truck, it would look good.
I would still add the scooter rack, and put the Lp tanks in the tongue. I would always have the option of mounting a gen, extra propane, ect.

Sound better?
It sounds top heavy, if I installed the two penguins. They are heavy! Can the AS support two heavy units on top? I have a ripple in front of the wheel well, I attributed it to the rear sag, but maybe the a/c helped the problem?
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #56
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That means everything is compact, hard to work on, and all the systems running through other systems and furniture. That also makes it more difficult to keep it up to date. I guess welcome to Airstream.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:40 AM   #57
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*grins* I have decided to treat this thread as if it were a joke. That's only because it's too good-natured to be considered a troll thread.

You just can't do what you imagine. You have a Sovereign with a broken frame that you can either patch or replace with a deeper frame - check out DanielB's 5" deep frame, which is an excellent depth. Now, you could build a frame like that, then mount the axles onto another 5" subframe which attaches to that frame, however, that just gets you 10" storage, and it raises the center of gravity to a place where you'll have horrible stability/handling problems.

As an alternative, I would suggest building a 5" frame like DanielB's. but alter the outriggers so that you can create a 12" or 15" pedestal inside along each side. This way, you cain a few specific 17" or 21" enclosures that can be ported to outside, you retain the low COG, and you don't mess with the weight or handling too much. Note the depth limit of these storage areas will just be the width of the outriggers, as you cannot move them closer together. Their width is defined by the standard fit of the axles.

It is ALL you can do, within the nature of an airstream's design.

And now, I stop watching this thread.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:15 PM   #58
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Why a dishwasher? Is it worth the space, weight, power and water usage?
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:27 PM   #59
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Why a dishwasher? Is it worth the space, weight, power and water usage?
yes.

lol

I like to know things are clean. They might use less water than I use now.
I've seen small ones for the counter, I might just mount that below.




What do you think of me fixing the old frame and lowering it on to the new frame? Storage 12" tall along the sides. Assuming the original is 6". My 3"x6" tube is 20' long, should I splice?, where? find longer? I could put the splice over the axles and sandwich the splice and the original frame with 3/16" plate? That would enable much bigger water tanks and support the rear. My truck hitch needs to be 6" lower, If I left the AS as it is. This would level me out. Do you really think 6-7" will make a ton of difference in handling. I could, one day, find a used Hensley, I think that's the name of what I'm talking about. Would that make up the difference?
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:48 PM   #60
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Now this may be the worst yet. I could fit the two penguins under the floor, and duct it. The air would be much cooler below the AS and this would have a great COG, if I could fit it in 12". I could even share ducts with the furnace. It would be nice to duct the intake to pull air from the top and be able to switch between where it pulls from. It would also be nice to have the cool air come from above. Is it efficient to have the intake so close to the output on these things? I take it, I would be stressing the unit?
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