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Old 06-13-2024, 12:39 PM   #1
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Diy airstream port- design & build

We have had our 66 Tradewind for 16 years and it has been parked on the driveway. This makes it convenient to work on and to use but it does sit out in the sun and rain. I have been planning on building an Airstream port for years so I have thought quite a bit about the design and where to build it.

I have looked at some of the covers and buildings that others have built and really haven’t seen others that are like what I have in mind. Some folks seem to build something that is much larger than what is needed and that is fine but I want to build a structure that is minimal in size and cost. The Tradewind is 24 ft long so the structure will be 12x24. The roof will overhang about 1 foot on each side. Now we actually have two Airstreams with the second being a 95 34’. The second Airstream port will be 12x36.

I am an engineer and have always been interested in designing and renovating houses. Everything I know has been self taught. I have designed a structure that will work and will be reasonably economical to build. Most of my design is in my head with just a few sketches on paper. It is a very simple design. The Tradewind port will be supported by 4-4x6 posts, each side will have a 24’ long 6x8 beam and self built 5/12 pitch roof trusses. Even though I have done a lot of building and renovating I have never built anything like this so it will,be another DIY learning experience- my favorite kind.

There will be no concrete and no stone. Both will be in a mulched area of the yard. I will probably build some kind of a treated pine support pad for the tires.

I am working by myself so this won’t happen fast and I am older but this also gives me some good excersize which we all need.

All comments are welcome. Here are two photos for starters.

Dan
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:16 PM   #2
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Sounds good to me. I think the only thing I would incorporate into the design would be some sort of hurricane tie attachment that would keep straight line winds from lifting the roof. Sounds like a plan.
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:27 PM   #3
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I would want to remove some of those closer trees. They are only going to get bigger.
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:42 PM   #4
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Bubba

Good idea. We fortunately don’t live in a high wind area. We have been here for 50 years and have only had one high wind event that essentially blew down part of the fence shown in the first photo. However I have already planned on installing hurricane tie straps to make sure the roof structure stays put. I will finally get to use the box of 100 tie straps that I have had for 2 years.

I might add that there won’t be any power installed at either of the Airstream ports as we generally camp without hookups. If we need power we do have 120v available about 120 feet away.

Dan
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Old 06-13-2024, 02:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeCamper View Post
I would want to remove some of those closer trees. They are only going to get bigger.
Bike Camper

Unfortunately the Tradewind has already been dented by some branches from a monster tree that came down during a recent storm. My thought is that the Airstreams will be reasonably well protected by the roof structure from any branches that may come down from trees that are close by. I certainly do like the shade they provide.

I am hoping to find a good pdr person to repair the dented panels.

Dan
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Old 06-13-2024, 03:19 PM   #6
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Over the years I have built two pole barn structures for my Airstreams, and pass on a couple of thoughts for your consideration.

— make them at least four feet longer and wider than the trailers so that you have more protection plus room to move and work around them
— additional width also makes it much more comfortable when moving the trailer in and out
— I don’t know the constraints of your property but it would probably be less expensive to build a single structure to house both of them
— partly for aesthetics and partly for more weather protection we added 4’ high side walls of exterior plywood

By the way, when we started designing the first one we referred to it as a carport. When we realized it was for a trailer we changed the name to trailerport. Then we considered it was for an Airstream and changed the name to Airport!
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Old 06-13-2024, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
Over the years I have built two pole barn structures for my Airstreams, and pass on a couple of thoughts for your consideration.

— make them at least four feet longer and wider than the trailers so that you have more protection plus room to move and work around them
— additional width also makes it much more comfortable when moving the trailer in and out
— I don’t know the constraints of your property but it would probably be less expensive to build a single structure to house both of them
— partly for aesthetics and partly for more weather protection we added 4’ high side walls of exterior plywood

By the way, when we started designing the first one we referred to it as a carport. When we realized it was for a trailer we changed the name to trailerport. Then we considered it was for an Airstream and changed the name to Airport!
field & stream

Thank you for your comments. I have thought long and hard about the design and I am committed to just making them large enough. Going larger costs more, makes construction more difficult and affects how the overall project looks. The aesthetics of the entire design are just as important to me as protecting the Airstreams.

Dan
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Old 06-13-2024, 05:59 PM   #8
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Consider using rubber pavers for your tire supports, or rubber pavers on top of your treated wood. They come 16x16 and approx 3/4" thick and are grooved for drainage. I actually use them for leveling and love them so much I threw all my other leveling parts away.
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Old 06-13-2024, 07:38 PM   #9
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Brian

Sounds like a great idea. Where did you get them?

Dan
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Old 06-13-2024, 08:01 PM   #10
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Brian

Sounds like a great idea. Where did you get them?

Dan
Lowes
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Old 06-14-2024, 08:16 PM   #11
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This may be similar

I think this may be similar to what you are describing.
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The posts are composed of 3 treated 2x8’s laid against each other with alternating crowns. Supposed to be more resistant to warping over time. They are set 3’ into the ground. The only other lumber I had to purchase was 2x6’s for the horizontal braces in the rafters. I had access to free 2x4x12s for the rest.
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Old 06-14-2024, 09:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lemley View Post
I think this may be similar to what you are describing.
Attachment 444352

The posts are composed of 3 treated 2x8’s laid against each other with alternating crowns. Supposed to be more resistant to warping over time. They are set 3’ into the ground. The only other lumber I had to purchase was 2x6’s for the horizontal braces in the rafters. I had access to free 2x4x12s for the rest.

Lemley

Yes this is similar to what I am building. Mine will not be as tall, will only have 4 posts, a shingle roof with a lower roof pitch and no free 2x4’s.

Dan
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Old 06-19-2024, 12:26 PM   #13
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Curious on if you get any snow load in your area. If so are you confident that only the 4 corner posts are sufficient. That's a long side span.
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Old 06-20-2024, 06:47 AM   #14
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We live in rural north florida. I would suggest you put down atleast a gravel base. and may be some perimeter clearing. mice like to nest in our vehicle engine compartments and sneek into out land yacht . they like to eat wiring. it seems to decrease the occurrence of their activity. cl
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Old 06-23-2024, 04:23 PM   #15
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Curious on if you get any snow load in your area. If so are you confident that only the 4 corner posts are sufficient. That's a long side span.
You raise a good point. I haven’t thought about a snow load. We have gotten very little snow the last few years but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t get 12” some time. I will take a look at the compression stresses on the four 4x6 posts.
I am mostly concerned about high stresses on the posts from cross winds. Wind is also not usually a problem in our area either. I am also building the Airstream port as low as possible to reduce crosswind stress on the posts.

Dan
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Old 06-23-2024, 04:34 PM   #16
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We live in rural north florida. I would suggest you put down atleast a gravel base. and may be some perimeter clearing. mice like to nest in our vehicle engine compartments and sneek into out land yacht . they like to eat wiring. it seems to decrease the occurrence of their activity. cl
We have three Airstreams stored outside and mice haven’t been a problem- yet. We do have some stray cats in the neighborhood though that probably helps with the mice problem. We will certainly be vigilant though and look for mice so we can take appropriate action if needed. Thanks for your comment.
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Old 06-26-2024, 08:03 PM   #17
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I have completed building the 13 5/12 pitch roof trusses and am close to being finished building one of the 24’ long beams with 4x6 support members. Here are some pictures.
One of the 4x6 posts is slightly twisted so I have built a hack out of a 2x12x8’ to straighten it. I believe it will work.

Dan
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Old 06-26-2024, 08:52 PM   #18
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Great progress.
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Old 06-27-2024, 03:14 AM   #19
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Looking good!!
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Old 06-27-2024, 06:27 AM   #20
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I'm impressed that you built your own trusses!
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