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Old 08-29-2004, 01:04 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
alvinator.

There are several issues that must be considered.

First of all, you must provide a "soft" ride for an Airstream trailer. If not, then you usually damage the front end.

That being the case, the "bars" must have some flex.

Secondly, at the same time, adequate weight transfer must take place.

Third, if the above are the conditions, then what is the weight and balance on your rig?.

No one, anyone can make a flat statement that any size bars can be used, without first knowing the trailer, the tow vehicle, and the tow vehicle rear spring rate.

Then and only then, can you make a proper determination.

Lastly, Reese has never made an insurance settlement for loss of control accidents.

I have made several hundreds of them.

Andy
In my prior post, I detailed the trailer specs and the the tow vehicle specs.
What weight spring bars should I be using?
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Old 08-30-2004, 03:29 AM   #82
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I still would like to know if this crash was caused by human error!

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Old 08-30-2004, 09:39 AM   #83
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alvinator.

I answered your question in detail yesterday, however, when I went to post it, AOL said "goodbye."

Therefore, it was lost.

I will try it again, today or tomorrow.

It took about 45 minutes, just to type it.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2004, 09:44 AM   #84
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qqq.

Human error almost always enters the picture, especially when someone is improperly rigged.

Correcting an appreciable sway, by feel, cannot be done. There is the problem, in itself.

A pilot cannot fly an aircraft by the seat of their pants, and a good sway, cannot be eliminated by the seat of the drivers pants, either.

By actual tests, what you physically think and feel you should do, in fact, is the opposite thing that should have been done.

More later.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:39 AM   #85
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Andy, minimize AOL after signing on, then open Internet Explorer over the top of AOL, and then use IE to connect to airstreamforums.com. Do not use the browser inside AOL.
By using IE, or Netscape, running on top of AOL, you don't lose your work when AOL says goodbye.
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:37 AM   #86
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Does anyone have an idea what the salvage value of this Airstream might be? All of the systems were working perfectly prior to the accident, and the interior was in nearly unused condition. The insurance company feels the salvage value is $3481, and isn't willing to negotiate that number.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:16 AM   #87
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Salvage value as in what they will charge you if you want to keep the coach or what they are paying out on the claim? Anybody that has done that on a Vehicle that I have spoken with has only paid $500-1000. Granted that older vehicles but still.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:29 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Salvage value as in what they will charge you if you want to keep the coach or what they are paying out on the claim?
That is the amount that they will charge me to keep the damaged Airstream, because apparently a salvage firm will pay them this amount. I'd love to keep it and eventually either repair it or re-install the interior in another coach of the same year with a worn out interior, but this dollar amount seems excessive given the condition.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:51 AM   #89
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EVERYTHING is negotiable - I would ask for firm bids from salvage companys

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Old 09-01-2004, 10:03 AM   #90
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Apparently they have a blanket agreement with a salvage company that specifies the salvage value as a percentage of the ACV (actual cash value) prior to the accident. They can get that amount from the salvage company, so there is no negotiation. The salvage company probably "wins some and loses some" with an agreement like that, this is a case of a higher than normal pre-accident ACV due to condition, and a lower than normal post-accident salvage value due to the extent of the damage....but I want to keep it if it makes even a little sense because it's been a "member of the family" since I was a child.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:17 AM   #91
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davidp.

You have a right to examine any and all salvage value bids that your insurance company may have.

Should they refuse, then your only option then is to hire an attorney.

As is, ball park is plus or minus $750.00, based on the provided photo's.

Only you can weigh it's sentimental value.

However, having done this for 38 years, sometimes, no matter how hard it may hurt, "you have to let go," and start all over, if you wish.

Rebuilding that trailer is far removed from the normal talents of a do it yourselfer. Improper reconstruction, will haunt you as long as you own it.

Perhaps a better term, to help you better understand, is that trailer cannot be rebuilt. It's only chance would be a complete remanufacture. If you feel you have those talents, go for it, but be prepared to spend at least $10,000.00 for just materials.

Andy
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:53 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Rebuilding that trailer is far removed from the normal talents of a do it yourselfer. Improper reconstruction, will haunt you as long as you own it.

Perhaps a better term, to help you better understand, is that trailer cannot be rebuilt. It's only chance would be a complete remanufacture. If you feel you have those talents, go for it, but be prepared to spend at least $10,000.00 for just materials.
My thought was to do the interior work myself, and have the heavy re-building done by a seasoned professional, minus some of the finishing items that I could handle. The other thought was to take the interior, most of which even post accident is in good shape, and put it into another trailer that had lost it's original interior....but I seriously question whether that is worth the salvage price.

I've attached a few current photos of the interior....
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:00 AM   #93
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And a few more...
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:26 AM   #94
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davidp

Your project game plan sounds good, on paper, but in practical terms, near impossible.

I cannot remanufacture that shell and gauantee you that all the inside materials will fit "correctly" like it didn't happen.

Next important item, is where would you obtain replacements for the broken furniture and damaged head liners?

Airstream does not have them, as they are no longer available, not even the vinyl-clad wall material.

Could you obtain them from another wreck? Probably, but you will have to search and search, for the correct trailer, as well as a year group.

And finally, the interior of each Airstream of the same exact model, is different, because the interiors are not made in a "jig". Therefore parts removed from one, will not exactly fit in the same place as another.

Therefore salvaging interior parts and using them on another trailer is almost impossible, not to mention the vast number of those parts that you will need.

But, it's your time, your money and your call.

You will also have to have a very large degree of tolerance, as surely the end results will be less than desireable.

There is no harm in remembering something as it was. Perhaps it may be better, in your case, to consider that, instead of looking at a compromise.

Andy
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:33 PM   #95
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David, as much as I know your heart is in the right place, you need to get it in tune with what Andy is talking about. I can't agree more with what Andy has said. The cost of parts alone makes it a better deal to find another coach of the same year and vintage. Hopefully it would not need anything, but even if it did, the end cost would be far less I feel and the outcome far better. I say this again now after seeing the inside photos. It just never gonna be the same. Maybe not even close to what it once was.....

Of course there is nothing wrong with having a hobby, but as Andy said, this would be a fairly expensive hobby.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 01-15-2005, 11:42 PM   #96
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davidp

david: there is a repair center in alabama that specializes in heavy structural damage to airstreams, plus, they have every part for every trailer ever built, i believe... called camper repair in montevallo, alabama...the Hare family runs it. they have the ribs, sheet aluminum, front and rear end pieces. everything there. sorry i dont have telephone number. They don't have a computer there.

ken
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:10 AM   #97
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Picking up the pieces

I'm so sorry to hear about your wreck and can only imagine what you are going through emotionally and financially. I'm sure you've got hundreds of good memories intricately tied to your Airstream, but as someone who is getting her first brand spanking new one in a week or two I'd like to say this. I've never gotten a new car that in six months wasn't just transportation and a payment book.

I expect to thoroughly enjoy my 22 CCD and I think it looks great, but what I'm most looking forward to is meeting nice people. I'm buying membership in a local RV resort which will be my base and I plan to travel at least 8 times a year both for business and fun. Every time I've visited the resort, I've met a dozen nice people who've taken me on a tour of their RV's, invited me to go fishing, to come over for dinner and who've just welcomed me with open arms. And these are SOB owners who have everything from big honkin mo-ho's to one with a teardrop. (The teardrop owner laughingly introduced me to his friends as "the lady who's going to gentrify the neighborhood.")

It's the people and the memories you'll cherish and the wreck won't take any of that away from you. Whatever you do you can't lose those things. If you opt for a new one, buy a comparable vintage one, or repair the wreck - go for it wholeheartedly but remember - it's a trailer! Things are replaceable. You, your family, and your friends aren't - and the great news is that you walked away!

Best of luck with whatever you choose to do.
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:55 AM   #98
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David,
I was going to try the same thing your talking about. I have a Overlander that had the rear end smashed. I looked it over, talked to a few members here and concluded that it is just too much to bring back. I will use the interior to rebuild my Ambassador (Same year and plant). After reading what Andy said about the fit of one interior to another, I think I can work with what I have to make it look respectable.
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Old 01-16-2005, 09:38 AM   #99
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Related hitch question... I have:

- A 2003 Safari 25ss with a GVWR of 6300 lbs. The tongue weight is listed at 750 lbs when empty.
- Tow with a 2002 Ford Explorer V8 with tow rating of 7000 lbs. This is "softly sprung" compared to the pickups, but firmer than a car.
- An Equal-i-zer hitch model 1722B, with max tongue weight of 1000 lbs and tow rating of 10,000 lbs. The rating of the bars is not listed separately. I do have significant spring bar deflection. (The next lower rated Equal-i-zer hitch is only rated for 600 lb tongue weight and 6000 lb tow rating, so I believe it would be inadequate for the task.)

Question 1: Is this okay, given Andy's descriptions earlier?
Question 2: Are my spring bars 1000 lb bars?
Question 3: What does the spring bar number really mean? It is the tongue weight that the bars are suitable to work with? Is is the maximum weight transfer that 2 bars can provide with a specified deflection? Or what?
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Old 10-28-2006, 10:32 AM   #100
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Ok, not to open old wounds here, but I had long forgotten about this thread until it was raised up by another thread.

I had read this thread with great interest having come from towing a 19' Bambi to a 25' Safari with a Chevy sedan, then moving to a 3/4 Suburban.

With the sedan and the Bambi, I had 1200lb bars. Worked great, had lots of spring in them, all seemed good.

Upgraded to the Safari, same 1200lb bars (BTW, I use the Reese Dual Cam HP system since going to the Safari). Still had bend in the bars, but the issue here towing the Safari with the sedan was that the Safari outweighed the sedan by 1000lbs, not to mention the 118" wheelbase didn't make it too fun towing the Safari, particularly in wind conditions.

So, then comes the 3/4 ton Burb. 1200lb bars are nothing but cosmetic. No flex at all, meaning little to no sway control. I know this because the Safari felt unstable and swayed when trucks passed and though the Suburban was heavier and had a longer wheelbase 130", I still felt some level of sway and attempts at being pushed and pulled around.

So, I read this thread and said, I'm gonna go on eBay and get a set of 800lb bars and a set of 600lb bars. Keep in mind that Airstream rated my Safari at a 750lb hitch weight.

So, I get the bar sets and start towing from using 1200lb bars to 800lb bars still using the dual cam hp sway control. Night and day difference, yet there still seems to be a hint of instability, but only a very, very slight trace....being picky, the next trip, I use the 600lb bars. Most of the ever so slight trace of instability is totally gone. I will say that with the 800 and the 600lb bars, there was plenty of bend to the bars and I decide that for now, the 600s will be my standard setup, and as a precaution, I will bring the 800s with me, in case the 600s break. This goes on for several long trips and the 600s are doing great. So I store my 800s, just in case one day I again upgrade to a larger coach and have several thousand miles now under my belt with the 600lb bars as the standard rig setup.

Flash forward to my last trip a few weeks ago. Loaded Safari, full Suburban, going down a state road about 58mph (55 mph zone). Deer jumps out of the brush....everything goes into slow motion. I hit the brakes hard, I can feel the Prodigy also apply the trailer brakes at an even level to that of the Suburban. I can hear the anti-locks working. I then, and don't ask me how, see the deer in front of me in a somewhat of a grid. As I slowly move the nose of the truck to the left (deer running to the right), the deer enters the next box in the grid. I don't try to instantly move the nose of the Suburban to the far left, understanding that some damage may be inevitable and in less than a millionth of a second accept that as the whole thing unfolds.

The deer, at the time of impact, I was going about 40mph, the deer was now nearly past the passenger front of the Suburban, except for the hind quarter of the deer. The bumber hits, I feel a slight tap, the deer spins around and comes to a stop in the side ditch. I then slow safely to a stop on the shoulder.

I get out and to my shock, I see no damage anywhere, the deer gets up and trotts off into the woods.

My point to this whole story, Andy may very well have helped save our rig and maybe us from injury or death. How?

Well, it's simple, Andy first raised the question of being overhitched which got me thinking. The 600lb bars provided a level of transfer (compared to the 1200lb bars I had at first), sway control, etc that allowed proper hitching and not overhitching. During this 5 second event (that seemed like over a minute) the Suburban and the Safari, in an emergancy situation, felt like one unit. Of course, keeping a cool head and not jerking the wheel also helped. Previous to this event, towing the Safari with the sedan, I tried to maunver around a possum that I encountered on the highway. Same type of thing, only it wasn't as firm of a feel. It could have easily gone the wrong way for several reasons.

Two weeks ago, I was even more thankful that I made the decsion to go with the proper tow vehicle, and even more grateful that I found Andy from Inland RV's post about being overhitched. Both are most likely two of the main reasons my Safari doens't look like the crashed rigs we've seen here.

Thanks Andy!

PS- For those who say the bars make no differnce, try it or better yet, try the right bars. With my rig, I decided to try towing with out the bars, knowing I'd loose my sway control. There was a lot of bounce without them, at any speed range. Every bump or dip in the road transferred lots of nose up and down movements.
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