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-   -   Anyone ever added a slideout to an Airstream? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/anyone-ever-added-a-slideout-to-an-airstream-127327.html)

Keyair 11-01-2014 02:16 PM

Anyone ever added a slideout to an Airstream?
 
Searched, and not found anyone who has done it.
Not talking about the later factory installed units in the wide-body.
The difficulties are obvious, with the curved roof, but someone must have done it!
I had some ideas, and wondered if it could be done...
Links, or knowledge would be great!

Road Ruler 11-01-2014 03:57 PM

I have never walked away from a challenge. In fact my avatar was an AMC Pacer which I spent many years revamping.

I have thought of doing what you are talking about (sort off). We like the idea of a Hybrid. A Airstream with a hinged, 1/2 height drop down side panel bed which would have a canvas top so we would have the sound and feel of the great out doors yet have the amenities of the Airstream. For us it would be the perfect trailer.

Anyway I think it is possible, as almost anything is but it would be a huge project. Airstreams rely on the shell to help with structure integrity and the frames are minimal. I'm thinking the frame would need to be reinforced ( or redesigned from scratch and that would be just the beginning.

You would need skills in aluminum sheet work etc.

If you go with the idea best of luck.

AnnArborBob 11-01-2014 04:01 PM

My instinct tells me that this would be a very difficult and expensive project with a low probability that you would be pleased with the result. But if you do attempt this, please keep us informed out of morbid curiosity. :)

Inland RV Center, In 11-01-2014 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keyair (Post 1533361)
Searched, and not found anyone who has done it.
Not talking about the later factory installed units in the wide-body.
The difficulties are obvious, with the curved roof, but someone must have done it!
I had some ideas, and wondered if it could be done...
Links, or knowledge would be great!

Adding a slide out, also requires a completely different frame.

Andy

hmsteader 11-01-2014 05:52 PM

You might want to talk to Chris Gartenmann, Sales & Marketing, at Timeless Travel Trailers in Wheat Ridge, CO. Tel: 303-432-7007. As far as I know they are the only subcontractor authorized to obtain new A/S shells from Jackson Center to build customized units.

AWCHIEF 11-01-2014 06:16 PM

Airstream still has all the tooling required to make slideouts. They are doing all kinds of custom work that they do not advertise. If money is no object contact them with your request. Who knows, they might just take on the project.

Keyair 11-02-2014 01:59 PM

Its been "thought" project for a while...
I see no reason why It cannot be done in several ways...
People have cut long sections out of trailers to make serving windows, and even opening end caps.
Yes, anytime you cut into a structure, you would need to add strength back to compensate. Adding a aluminum extruded frame to support the missing stringers would be easy to do, and I think would even add strength, and beam stiffness.
The biggest issue I see would be the kinematics of the slideout.
In a flat sided trailer or MH, the top slides out the same as the bottom.
With an AS, the top of the slide out is inboard a long way already, thus constraining the outboard movement unless you want to see daylight or an indoor/outdoor shower!

Inland RV Center, In 11-02-2014 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keyair (Post 1533789)
Its been "thought" project for a while...
I see no reason why It cannot be done in several ways...
People have cut long sections out of trailers to make serving windows, and even opening end caps.
Yes, anytime you cut into a structure, you would need to add strength back to compensate. Adding a aluminum extruded frame to support the missing stringers would be easy to do, and I think would even add strength, and beam stiffness.
The biggest issue I see would be the kinematics of the slideout.
In a flat sided trailer or MH, the top slides out the same as the bottom.
With an AS, the top of the slide out is inboard a long way already, thus constraining the outboard movement unless you want to see daylight or an indoor/outdoor shower!

Wish you good luck.

Andy

Keyair 11-03-2014 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In (Post 1533848)
Wish you good luck.

Andy

Thanks Andy!
At the moment, I am searching for knowledge, and ideas, and wondered if it had been done before and if so, how.
I my case, this is for the Motorhome, and it has the chassis below, but they are well known to be "flexible". I see no reason why the MH and trailer could not be modified in a similar way.

Of course, deliberately cutting into a perfectly good Airstream to do such a drastic mod might make some people feel queezy... but my MH has damage from the door back, that will require replacing the outer skin, repairing damaged ribs., etc. I will have to remove the kitchen and inner skin if I want to do it right anyway, so I began wondering if it was possible.

vinstream 11-03-2014 11:04 AM

Question... Would you put a slide-out on a Airplane? Answer, No. for the same reason you would not put one on a Airstream. The type of construction on both does not support it. The fact you have a Motor Home type of Airstream with a different type of frame then found in a Trailer you could get away with it if you added interior structural walls on either end of where the slide out would be. Just remember Airstream had slide outs with stronger frames, so it can be done, the question is why are they no longer being produced... Cost or structural problems? I don't know.

GCinSC2 11-03-2014 11:37 AM

I don't have a pic of my frame when I went under to look at the slide components, but I remember a wow, look at that frame moment when I saw it.

BoldAdventure 11-03-2014 11:46 AM

Sacrilege

But didn't Airstream offer a slide out for awhile? Why'd they stop? Lack of interest?

GCinSC2 11-03-2014 02:13 PM

Yes they did make them, I own one. Why they stopped, the AS historians can tackle that one.

SteveH 11-03-2014 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GCinSC2 (Post 1534321)
Why they stopped, the AS historians can tackle that one.

People have asked me why they stopped making the slide outs, and I've had conversations with lots of folks about why, and to date, I've not found anyone that knows.

As with most discontinued products, if I had to guess I would say it involved money. Either too much money to build, or not enough profit when they sold, or maybe something as sinister as lack of demand. Maybe even worse...liability?

Not that it matters at this point, but if someone does know why, I wish they would share.

PharmGeek 11-03-2014 04:05 PM

I looked pretty hard as the slide outs a couple years ago as we considered used options....as I recall the tongue weight was impressive...if my recollection is correct....

Foiled Again 11-03-2014 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PharmGeek (Post 1534371)
I looked pretty hard as the slide outs a couple years ago as we considered used options....as I recall the tongue weight was impressive...if my recollection is correct....

I believe you are correct sir. I remember thinking my old 3/4 ton diesel Silverado probably wouldn't be adequate for that monster.

Paula

SteveH 11-03-2014 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PharmGeek (Post 1534371)
I looked pretty hard as the slide outs a couple years ago as we considered used options....as I recall the tongue weight was impressive...if my recollection is correct....

Yes, my truck scales out at 9300lbs with trailer in tow on a 9600lbs GVWR on the truck. Combined we are at 18,100lbs with a lightly loaded trailer. But, I suppose it's not too much for a mini van in Canada. :rolleyes:

Keyair 11-04-2014 10:31 AM

I am looking for info and input on the possibilities, and method.

The reason I posted this question here rather than the MH section was that if it had been done before, it would most likely have been a trailer. The MH has a similar bodyside section to the trailers of a similar vintage, and would have the same issues.

When you look at the work that Airstreams4u do, obviously cutting large holes in Airstream structures is possible with the right frame/body reinforcement.
Airstream4U Premium | Verkauf -Vermietung | sale- rent | vente - location | Airstream Promotionfahrzeuge | Roadshow | Event | Imbiss | Lifestyle - made in Germany !
The opening I am looking at, is small in comparison.

Sacrilege... maybe, to some people, but when I show why I am thinking about this, maybe it will be better understood.

A slideout in an Airplane... amusing, but come on!
The reason that it is not done has nothing to do with structure... in fact there are many holes in aircraft structures, and all of them have perimeter strengthening to compensate, exactly as I am proposing.

If the frame of the factory Trailers was beefier... maybe they should have used that frame for other models... there would be some happier streamers with better built trailers I think.

Anyway, back on track.
This is what I am dealing with... PO gift.
Body damage that starts in the entrance door, and extends about 8' along the bodyside.

https://www.airforums.com/attachments...09a22f748a.jpg

https://www.airforums.com/attachments...547204b551.jpg

https://www.airforums.com/attachments...e1d8fa286b.jpg
https://www.airforums.com/attachments...3c866614fe.jpg

The entrance handle was ripped off... This was under the patch panel.
https://www.airforums.com/attachments...354df91b48.jpg

So, I researched and amassed all of the info I needed to repair this.
Remove kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
Remove interior skin.
Remove Awning.
Remove windows, and exterior skin from entrance door to rear wrap.(about 1000 rivets).
Repair/replace bent ribs.
Replace floor(rotted due to leaks).

Replace all of above.


A LOT of work to bring this baby back.
After watching some TV shows where they retrofit slide outs, I wondered.
I could cut out the most damaged area, and the rotten floor, reinforce the opening with 4x2 or similar extruded aluminum. The slide out mechanisms are available that go in the floor or in the wall, dependent on space.
Floor.
E-Z Slideout System

Wall.
https://buscustomer.com/images/6-02-08%20012a_resize.jpg

The slideout would be from just behind the entrance door and extend back to the shower wall, which would be the whole kitchen.
This would be about 18" into the rear wheel opening, but that is not an issue.

The biggest issue is how much slide is possible with the curve in the body...

One area where the MH differs from the trailer to my advantage, is the subfloor structure... The is a 2x2 steel frame below the floor... seen in this COOL video of the building of the MH(about 1:35 in).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB4E_ALb3Ms

That's where I am... working out what is possible...

Ibenoverland 11-11-2014 10:42 AM

I understood from one of the owners of one that the main reason was the difficulty in preventing leaking went they were out. It would seem a good awning over the sliding unit my help unless you had blowing rain. I restore and unfit unts for hospitality rentals( tailgating ect) and my biggest concerns by far is frame integrity. You would need something like a typical door frame with about 5 times the strength.

J. Morgan 11-11-2014 10:52 PM

Anyone ever added a slideout to an Airstream?
 
Possible??

Yep.

Worth it?

Doubtful.

Putting a slide out in an Airstream will be a royal PITA. Not enough vertical space for a typical install.

It is too cramped at the roof, and too cramped on the lower.

Add to that the amount of difficulty and fine tuning in trying to get the slide to match the side of the trailer at the face joints.. This is not a box trailer, the fab required to hold the aluminum in place is going to be substantial, and it is going to be complicated by the curvature of both the slide and the trailer body.

You already have a big repair job, I would recommend concentrating on the repair. The nation is filled with simple projects made complex and then never finished.

Not making any judgement on you in specific, but watch it. Projects all too easily become unfun, and unfinished when they get too complicated.


1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow


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