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sr5bidder 07-18-2009 08:52 AM

Custom Idea don't hate me
Hello all I'm looking for my first airstream and have found ine for $800 the floor and inside has been torn out and the cabinets are stored as well as the tanks/ apliances.

listed as a 1959 23 ft, it appears to be a 22ft flying cloud..

My Idea is to get this AS and cut a portion of the back off and weld steel diamond plate on and some rails (kinda like a fan tail on a ship) with an opening for entrance stairs/ loading ramp for my kdx200 and xt350 motorcycles. while camping the back would be a porch/ griling area
remodel the front part into camping area with a shower, toilet, sink, refridgerator and bed or beds.

this AS seems pretty far gone so "converting it" to me does not seem like a crime.

what would you recomend I use to enclose the back of it with (bracing, door, and skin)?

what is in between the outer and inner skins of this year Airstream to attach paneling to?

would I be shunned and offered no help by the airstream crowd for not restoring it to its original glory?

I hope these pics work

sr5bidder 07-18-2009 08:53 AM
another pic

aircooled4 07-18-2009 09:09 AM

I might consider doing your idea to a '79 or an '86...but Id have to draw the line at NOT doing it to a '50s trailer....IMO

newroswell 07-18-2009 09:18 AM

The shell looks to be in great shape. It's worth far more than $800 as is. If you don't want to restore it, please sell it for a profit and find something (preferably with a salvage title) that needs body work.

Distantdrummer 07-18-2009 09:21 AM

You buy it, it is yours to do as you damm well please. Don't be intimidated by any Airstream owner who does not contribute to your costs.
I see alot more than 800 dollar value as it sits. The door on it is probably worth 500 or more.
Also you gotta understand that the 800 bucks is just a cover charge to get in(volved). You are about to spend a whole lot more than that.
If you now own it you have done good. If you hack it up you are leaving an opportunity of probably good profit on the table.
Think long & hard before you cut.

Good Luck

sr5bidder 07-18-2009 09:24 AM

there is another one around here for 1500 that has been painet and has Bondo in it.

the 59 probably won't work out ...they are slow to answer email and posted no phone # to contact them

sorry but I cant afford a $17,000 popup with a cargo deck and too I really love the airstream style

sr5bidder 07-18-2009 09:28 AM

I buy old basketcase motorcycles and don't look for profit when I need to sell them but most times I get allot more than I paid..

I know what you mean, Distantdrummer, its like when I go to look at an old bike that has been spray bombed...turns my stomach

sr5bidder 07-18-2009 09:31 AM

whats the rear section worth :rolleyes:maybe if it works out I could sell the door and the rear clip to someone who really needs it and reverse the effects of bad carma:angel:

markdoane 07-18-2009 10:13 AM

You're headed down disaster highway. The thing will weight more than a single axle can support after you add 500# of bikes, and another 100# of (steel??) diamond plate. And the heavy tail weight will make it squirrelly on the highway

Better to find a more recent wreck, with a heavier frame and dual axles.

Distantdrummer 07-18-2009 10:54 AM


Originally Posted by sr5bidder (Post 723275)
whats the rear section worth :rolleyes:maybe if it works out I could sell the door and the rear clip to someone who really needs it and reverse the effects of bad carma:angel:

Not much resale for rear sections as far as I know. Hard to remove, hard to store, hard to ship,..... hard to fathom...;)

I thought you already owned it. sounds too good to be true for 800. Maybe another e-bay scam. Beware.

Markdoane is correct about the axle. You definitely need a tandem.

Stefrobrts 07-18-2009 11:16 AM

I wouldn't call that 'pretty far gone', I'd call that a pretty good start at having an excellent Flying Cloud project. Flying Clouds in particular seem to have a fan base. It's worth more than $800 - it would be a good deal to get into it for that.

I agree with looking for a newer trailer with heavier duty frame and dual axles for your project. I don't know about the squirrlyness, but it would make sense if you add a lot of weight to the back end. I'd say get lots of input and think through your project carefully before you start cutting!

I think there is actually at least one conversion like that on here already. This community is actually surprisingly supportive of interesting projects like this - but weigh out the advice to make sure you get a good start at it!

sr5bidder 07-18-2009 11:19 AM

I was wondering about the wieght ballance... I thought the stuff removed from the rear would be that heavy, nice estimate on the wieght Mark...they would be 500lbs + perminate mount grill and a plastic or aluminium toolbox box slap full of misc..

If I remove the front of the Airstream would that be better....I need the deck!!

sr5bidder 07-18-2009 11:24 AM

yeah Stefrobrts I will consider all input thats why I'm asking. I do not have the moneys for a full resto.

I have not seen this in person either and was wondering if its even movable with the floor out? 50-60 miles

goransons 07-18-2009 11:29 AM

Can I also add that the end cap provides a lot of stability to the trailer shell, not to mention is a major componant to the structure of the frame, which would further complicate the added weight of bikes and a ramp, people etc.

Stefrobrts 07-18-2009 11:41 AM


Originally Posted by sr5bidder (Post 723326)
yeah Stefrobrts I will consider all input thats why I'm asking. I do not have the moneys for a full resto.

I have not seen this in person either and was wondering if its even movable with the floor out? 50-60 miles

Moving it depends on how the floor was removed. the floor is sandwiched between the frame and the shell. As long as it is still connected it should stay together, but the overall trailer won't have the rigidity it would have with the floor intact. The frame is actually quite weak. It needs all three parts - frame, floor, shell - for strength. If it were my project I would have it moved on a flatbed, but that's just me.

3 Dog Nite 07-18-2009 11:44 AM

Only love, not hate
I've had similar dreams for a cool open porch on the back. I would've used a classic MH. Don't know if the TT frame could support the cycles weight rolling down the road. I almost bought a funeral coach a few montha ago. Thought the flip down stairs for the flower area would make a great entrance.


Frank's Trailer Works 07-18-2009 11:51 AM

i'll buy any windows, hatched or doors you cut out of that thing. The axles are not the only thing not able to carry the weight. The frame is also under rated for what you want to do.

purman 07-18-2009 02:26 PM

I like the idea but you have a serious problem !!!!!!!

1. First the axle is probably shot and new one is $800 and you would need a 5000 lb one probably, more money.

2. The frame is no where strong enough to support that kind of weight.. The shell helps hold up the frame. Thus you would have to reinforce it past the axles, which would add more weight... Have you seen an AS frame. they aren't made of much...

3. With that much weight behind the single axle it would tend to sway and swing.

I think you would be putting more money into it than you would want too. You need an 80's trailer. Most 60-70's trailers need new axles and that is nearly $2000 for a double axle...

COArgosy78 07-18-2009 02:40 PM

First off, I probably have no idea what I am saying structurally/or how you would do it...but here goes. If you found a double axle trailer in the 80's range and could do double doors on the side (opening opposite of each other), toward the front where the load can take it better, would that opening be wide enough for bikes up a ramp? Then, remodel the rear for living? Weight distribution is a very big thing in trailers - I found out the hard way:o

Mikethefixit 07-18-2009 02:44 PM

If ya want a toy hauler GO cut up an ole SOB U can probably fine one that will do the job for 4 or 5 hundred. It would be a travesty to cut up that FC. What everyone has told ya is the truth. When ya start messing wiff the shell it weakens every other thing. Seeing its a MONO COUPE design and each part rely s on everyother part to make the overall strength. Find an SOB that has a channel or I beam frame and a tandem to carry the weight. But no matter what we say here you will do what U want ITS YOUR $800 bucks. But my thought it would be a sin to cut up that particular trailer. Just my thoughts

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