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Wayward 02-12-2014 05:22 AM

Bow Up?
It is always sad to see the rotted floor stories. I wonder if anyone else stores their Airstream "bow up"? I mean with the tongue jacked up as high as possible?

I do this out of habit have grown up and worked around trailer boats a good part of my life. Boat subfloors (even today) are usually plywood laminated with fiberglass mat.

The fiberglass is never 100% watertight, even when brand new. They have drains above the floor and below the floor (in bilge) to drain any water that gets past the fiberglass and subfloor. Boat interiors are exposed to water constantly, in use and on the trailer.

Most of the floor rot we fixed was from storing with the bow too low. We always told customers to store with the bow as high as possible and all the transom and bilge drains open. Customers who did this had no problems.

I'm of the mind an Airstream will never be 100% watertight 100% of the time, and figure if a leak develops with the front of the Airstream as high as possible, the water will find its way down and out.


overlander63 02-12-2014 05:30 AM

Whenever we do a delivery on one, I always mention storing the trailer nose high, and the reasoning behind it.

dznf0g 02-12-2014 06:35 AM

I store on a bow up slope. I am not sure it is as important with an AS as my SOB, due to a rounded roof. However, having the overlapping seams drain "with the grain" and a reduced possibility of puddling has it's benefits. Also, any water getting into the bumper tray drains through its holes. I would advise to place an appropriate thickness block under the front tires though, to help equalize the load on the rear torsion axle. I keep mine on stands, so not an issue.

Wayward 02-12-2014 07:44 AM


Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1414769)
. I would advise to place an appropriate thickness block under the front tires though, to help equalize the load on the rear torsion axle. I keep mine on stands, so not an issue.

Ah.... That makes sense.

Ahab 02-12-2014 07:51 AM

Yes, I store Bow up for the same reasons.

Cannonball 02-13-2014 07:17 AM

I am new to this, but I thought the Airstream needed to be close to level. Something about the ammonia in the fridge coils or something. Or that only an issue when the fridge is operating? If the fridge is "off", then is it OK to stow the Airstream "bow up"?

perryg114 02-13-2014 07:26 AM

It is not a bad idea. Might reduce water penetration at the back and help water shed off awning covers etc. For some reason my awning covers are lower in the middle which means water puddles up there. It will only bother the fridge when it is running. The best idea is to put a roof over it.

I never understood the way fiberglass boats were made. Why put wood in something when you know it is going to rot. In places like FL a fiberglass coated wood boat will rot. The floor is wood and the transoms are wood. You might get 10 yrs out of a boat in FL.


Wayward 02-13-2014 07:29 AM


Originally Posted by Cannonball (Post 1415209)
If the fridge is "off", then is it OK to stow the Airstream "bow up"?

It would make sense that it affects a running fridge not one in storage

I've had no problems. Fridge always fires right up after hooking it to the truck.

dkottum 02-13-2014 08:44 AM

Good point, we always store or Airstream, boat, and utility trailer with the front up. A slight lift in front helps the Airstream drain water from the awnings and the rear bumper storage cover mounting plate.

jcanavera 02-13-2014 09:12 AM

I don't know about storing nose up. Part of that reasoning is based on the air conditioner seal. That particular area is covered by the profile of the air conditioner itself. I'd say that probably the only time water gets around that gasket is during travel. To me, putting the nose of the trailer up would potentially hold moisture or water against the gasket. When combined with freeze thaw, you could eventually develop a leak in that area.

In my opinion, storing level allows the water to naturally flow off surfaces and seams, and if you do have a seam that is not perfect, you won't trap water in it due to an unnatural positioning of the trailer. If you are in a warm weather climate that doesn't freeze, I wouldn't have as much concern, but don't under estimate the effect of the freeze thaw on areas that can hold a small amount of water.


Phoenix 02-13-2014 11:39 AM

We park bow-up in storage. The first summer after we bought (2005), we had leaks when stored bow down.

Good boating advice from Wayward. We learned this by trial and error by finding bow of our first boat full of water a few weeks after an infrequent, Arizona, summer rain storm.

m.hony 02-13-2014 12:47 PM

I don't do it intentionally, but it ends up that way due to the lay of the land. By the time I get the trailer high enough to get it off the truck, the rear bumper of the trailer is merely a couple of inches off the ground. I just leave it like that so it is already at the right height to hook up next time.

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