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Old 06-22-2013, 03:18 PM   #15
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Got some comments from another forum

I'm kinda late to the conversation, but the straight spindled axles Rick is talking about are called "HP" (or pro-par style if you are from Texas) axles. Mention that when specing and they'll know what you mean. If fact, amongst regular highway stuff, they are the only ones that allow outset rims and can go back and forth between duals and singles. So you might end up with them as a default anyways. From Scrap

I kinda like the idea of the super singles on the two axles. Well, other than the fact they cost a fortune, require special wheels, and axles to meet their spec's. From Jack


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Yea they've got some crazy trailer tires out now. They look worn out when you put them on. But I swear you can blow on the trailer and it'll roll!

From Scrap again. Had a photo of a Michelin Super Single that didn't copy.



This is the type of information that is what's great about this forum. I have a good source for tires and wheels, in fact I will be replacing the tires I put on the rear a couple years ago with a different tread pattern. The straight line steer tires are great for being smooth, quiet but if you get off on the grass and it's just a tiny bit wet you are done. Will be moving two of them to the front and will have a matched set available. they are Dunlop LoPro 285/75/ 24.5. I am going with the same size standard sidewall in an all-position type. Haven't decided the specific brand yet. Now back to the trailer.

I am pretty set on going with the heavier axles and super singles. Having tires, bearings and wheels that are of top quality and made for the road is important. Will try to work out the most popular tire use them for three years and then sell them used to someone that puts a lot of miles on in a short time. We should both be happy. I have yet to hear back from Marsha on my initial ideas. Have worked the past three days from 6am to 8pm and other than checking emails I have not made another attempt to contact her. Will be off next Thursday and Friday so will make sure I speak with her and get her initial impression of my plan.

My next question is on having a tall trailer with only the essentials on top. I do not want the A/C on top, but don't yet know the cost differences and other pro/con considerations. Most of it is in regard to my current rig that the water from the A/C is running to the top of the living room slide out. Very poor design, but I couldn't see it when I first purchased the trailer. Water takes the path of least resistance. If it's at the bottom it doesn't have far to travel. I know the Alfa models and some Class A models did basement air. Why don't others?

With a tall trailer I'd like to have a single level living area or at most a single step up from the main living area at mid trailer to the Kitchen in the front. There will be a couple steps from the garage in the back up to the main living area. An open basement area with access to all potential service areas. Access to this will be from the front and opposing doors just behind the hitch area. I would also put a small crawl through door under the steps in the garage. More for passing small items in or having access for additional light or ventilation while working in the basement. I have a friend who has suggested waiting on finding a damaged Prevost, cutting off the front to add a hitch and enclose it and then putting a Smart where the engine and drivetrain were. Sounds like a lot of work but I sort of like the idea.

So Jack, is this going to be a New Horizons Semi type trailer or something else?

Rod
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:24 PM   #16
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Tried to contact Marsha today but she is out of the office until next week. Probably should send another email but would rather speak with her first. Remind me to call again on Monday.

Rod
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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Rod, my two basement air conditioners, drain down through the floor and vents bringing the outside air in (from underneath). I have some design drawings and custom ducting necessary for my custom installation. Unfortunately these are in Florida (with the rig) while I'm in New Hampshire. But I should be there in August. I'm just under 13 feet with the air conditioners in the basement, flat floor throughout, 7 foot ceilings throughout. I could throw together quick drawing of my frame design, once I get back to Florida.

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Old 06-29-2013, 06:25 PM   #18
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Thanks Henry

[QUOTE=hjsdds;1622577]Rod, my two basement air conditioners, drain down through the floor and vents bringing the outside air in (from underneath). I have some design drawings and custom ducting necessary for my custom installation. Unfortunately these are in Florida (with the rig) while I'm in New Hampshire. But I should be there in August. I'm just under 13 feet with the air conditioners in the basement, flat floor throughout, 7 foot ceilings throughout. I could throw together quick drawing of my frame design, once I get back to Florida.

hjs[/QUOTE
I will check with Marsha to she if she would like those. You will eliminate the areas you had to repair not all that long ago, right?

Looked at a lot of the display trailers today at a Motorcycle event in Iowa. I am amazed at how quiet some of those diesel generators are running. Not sure how much fuel they use but I think I could live with one running all the time and forget it was there at all. The only reason I knew one was running was the flapper was up and it was raining. Stood there long enough to see it close a little once so I knew it wasn't stuck open. Would sure be nice to have the room in a few more parks for a rig like they have. But then I would have to get a different truck and probably lot more headaches than the ones I have now.

Rod
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:17 AM   #19
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Rod, I would love to work with SpceCraft to see if we can duplicate mine and Marsha did mention that she would built one like that, "if there was a client".
I would do bunch of that work, "pro-bono", because I can and because it would be very rewarding to see something like that again. And I think if she exhibited it at Tampa it would cause quite a stir (and orders).
There are few "fundamental considerations" of designing the flat floor unit and keep it under the 13 foot height limit.
First, because you will have two frames not one (one for floor and one for axles and basement), I-beams, C-channels or vertically stacked tubing will not work. To achieve the necessary strength these components would be either too massive, or too tall. So instead of going vertically you go horizontal. On mine it's a rectangular tubing welded to each other horizontally, not vertically. That extends 40 feet from the rear bedroom floor all the way to the front living room floor and meets up with the structural members around the pin box.

I'll divert here for the moment. There has been quite a bit of discussion about Lippert frame failures, particularly around the pin box (undersized structural steel and lousy welding). The fifth that I bought originally came with a truck which had commercial Holland hitch plate that did not articulate side to side, only forward and back.

That puts tremendous stress on the pin box when you take a corner while the truck and the fifth are not horizontal (uphill/downhill turns, etc.). Note what that pinbox and pin plate did to that Holland head.

It dug four massive divots in that steel plate (3/8" deep) around the kingpin and the edges of the pin box pin plate. This was one of the reasons I got into designing and building an ET. I did remove the fifth underbelly in that area (to service a hydraulic hose) and there was no evidence of any cracks and the welds are perfect (and substantial). If it was a Lippert frame I would expect the truck would be heading down the the road with the pinbox attached to the Holland head and the fifth heading for the ditch.

Second consideration is the air-conditioners in the basement and you already know about that. That is not as simple as it sounds. First, is the choice of the unit, not every unit is suitable for that. I have two Dometic units that were originally manufactured for the use in small permanent campers that you see sitting on the blocks in many campgrounds. Mine are no longer made, but I believe there are other models which replaced those. Third, designing the air flow and ducting is not trivial. Even though it's in the basement you need outside air to come in to extract the heat from the coils, have properly sized plenums and ducts to distribute the cold air into the fifth and return it to the unit, filter that air and be able to replace the filter and drain the condensation so it doesn't rot your basement sub-flooring.

Third consideration is the elevated position of your flat floor, it's going to be be high and you need to get to it. In this 55 footer that Marsha built.

there is a horizontal platform that comes out from just under the flat floor and it forms a "porch" (similar to what King of the Road was offering) then an angled set of stair is attached to it to climb.
On mine I have retractable stairs, hydraulically operated,










Having that little "porch" and railing is essential when climbing up there and trying to open the door with a bag of groceries. The extra step at the bottom became essential when I flipped the axles to line it it up with the Volvo, the original Dodge puller was lower and they matched the fifth to that truck.
I took those stairs out couple of times to service them (they are one of the kind),

and while I had them out I figured that it was a good opportunity to reverse engineer these and document it.



So should you fancy these, you knows who has the plans. As I said these are hydraulically actuated and Marsha does not use hydraulics, but these could be be easily re-engineered to be electrically actuated, either by a cable or a screw jack.

Lastly, you remembered my "project" to repair my flat floor frame.

This was Carriage's one and only "foray" into hydraulic "everything".

That system is massive and even the people at HWH who built it, remembered it 15 years later because it was so unique. But Carriage didn't build anything like that before or after (they stayed with electrics). One area where they screwed up was how they fed the hydraulic actuators through the frame (the stacked horizontal tubing). That required cutting holes through the tubing to install the pistons. That's done all the time in all kinds of structural members, but if you cut a hole in those you need to reinforce that area to restore it's structural integrity, they did not do that well, hence I had to repair it and "do it right".

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Old 06-30-2013, 08:03 PM   #20
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Thank you again. I will mention it all to Marsha.

That is a very generous offer Henry. I am not too worried about the climb into the main living area. My hope is that having a floor level emergency window exit and then the primary entry would be through the garage, which will be on a lower level than the living area. A couple steps up into the garage from the outside and then a couple more into the living area.

I have heard that Wyatt has a source for basement air conditioners. I haven't been able to speak to them to get a brand name, size, power requirements, and the like.

Was looking at some photos on the other site and came across a 53 foot with 1000 sq foot of floor space. It's a demonstrator trailer with slides that are nearly as deep as the main trailer is wide. I would consider going with a single slide if one could be almost as deep as the two I have now. Limiting the number of slides would decrease the amount of stuff required below the floor and the number of holes required through the framing.

Are those hydronic heat elements still available or is the Aqua Hot the best a person can get now. Roger was very pleased with their units in the New Horizon trailer they had built about three years ago. I haven't seen them in the past two years but haven't read any concerns.

Rod
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #21
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Rod, mine was built in 1996, I'm sure there is something more "current" that Wyatt knows about. Everything on my rig is "one of a kind", which meant researching every system and then learning how to "deal with it". Forget taking it to the RV repair shop, although we found one in Goshen that was not "intimidated", as a matter of fact they got the rear (bedroom) air conditioner functioning again (+12VDC wiring quit inside a wall, we bypassed it).
There is no comparison between the hydronic heat and the "jet engine blower" alternative. The problem why it's not too common in trailers is the cost, hard to justify when surrounded by all this "cheapness", that why you are more likely to see it only in higher priced class A's. On mine cost was not an object, whatever President of Carriage wanted it got installed. Back in mid 90s the Primus based hydronic systems were primarily installed in Wonderlodges, that's why there is still a "lively discussion" of those on Wonderlodge website and among those who are restoring the older rigs. My system and it's design was apparently "lifted" from mid 90's Wonderlodge class A. There are still couple of of people who cornered the older Primus parts, one in Sweden and one in the US so these can be fixed.

Each of those 2490 furnaces is $1,800, not likely something you'll see in a 29 foot Dutchmen. Aqua Hots are up there price wise but they are US made and work very well, as anything would that moves heated water through pipes vs. hot air through ducts. The only negative that I can think off is the use of squirrel fans to extract the heat from the radiators and then push it into the room (similar to kick heaters under the kitchen cabinets in houses), it adds noise.
In my rig it's strictly radiators and convection only.



The hot water is circulated by a whisper quiet magnetic impeller pump, can't hear it at all.

Interesting development in Europe though, they developed a brand new version of hydronic heaters for their "caravans" and they run in the same fashion to mine.
Welcome to Alde UK
Their system seems to priced lower than the US version but so far I am not aware of anyone importing these to the US. Alde is a Swedish company, the main distributions apparently is done out of UK.

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:45 AM   #22
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Henry,

Spoke with Marsha yesterday and she said she was nearly finished with the initial plans and would be sending me something by no later than Wednesday evening. They will be out of the plant for the holiday. So far she is working with everything I had mentioned, her only concern was having a wheel well intruding inside the garage. I reported that shouldn't be an issue as the motorcycle would be the primary vehicle being carried there. She is planning on a Semi chassis plan that they use. Can't wait to see her initial drawings.

Rod
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:17 PM   #23
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Rod, Marsha has lot of experience with those. Last time she was doing some service on mine I "snuck a peek" in the frame shop. Guess what they were building, a flat floor chassis?


Very impressive, definitely non-Lippert engineering and worksmanship.

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Old 07-03-2013, 05:23 AM   #24
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Quite impressive is an understatement eh!

A lot of steel in that build. I wish I had the option of being close to the plant during the build, would love to see how it is actually built and would know where things really are once it's all put together. Don't see that happening. I will be lucky to be able to see it more than once during the build.

Is coating the steel with POR or something else prior to complete assembly something to be considered? You see automotive frames being dipped in something during their travel through the production line, but I don't remember seeing anything like that at the Space Craft shop. Don't remember reading or hearing about anyone doing anything to their frames during the build process. Almost , if not all of the frame members are enclosed on one of these, so it may not make a difference. What does everyone else think. Would be a $$$ for the product and $$$ for the application. Is another $$$$ an investment or just an unwise expenditure?



Rod

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Rod, Marsha has lot of experience with those. Last time she was doing some service on mine I "snuck a peek" in the frame shop. Guess what they were building, a flat floor chassis?


Very impressive, definitely non-Lippert engineering and worksmanship.

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:17 AM   #25
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Rod, couple more pictures of that frame coming together.






Real structural steel and "real welding". This is not a slam bang routine, these pictures were over two days with couple of guys going steady over it. They did paint the frame afterwards, don't know what Marsha uses but I think a good DTM stuff is all you need, it will be mostly inside. POR is great for the outside but it's very expensive and a real mess to work with and around.

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Old 07-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #26
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Off topic, but here goes. Henry, I want to build my air ride 5th hitch and thinking of using 1 Firestone air bag W01-358-7043. At 60 psi it's rated at 3900 lbsf, 90 psi 5850 lbsf. 4.4-5.5 design height. It's going to be directly under the Binkley head. Tounge weight is 4000 lb. If need to I can put 2 bags side by side to increase the weight caring capacity of the hitch. Min height is 2.7 " no max given. What do you think?
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:12 PM   #27
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One of those should work.

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Old 07-04-2013, 09:49 PM   #28
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thanks a bunch!

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