If this such a brilliant idea - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2006, 08:54 PM   #1
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How come this is the ONLY one I have ever seen?

I like the zero tongue weight thing tho

Radio Flyer???
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:15 PM   #2
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A couple of years ago on eBay, the Argosy test wagon was sold. Stolen from AirstreamForums.com is the following photo... this paragraph was in the original eBay ad:

Quote:
"Important piece of Airstream History
1 of 1,preproduction test model, 20' cabin Airstream Argosy
Watson front wheel steer system with plexiglass windows in top of front wheel tubs for filming steering action. Steers like a car, not a wagon! Zero tongue weight on tow vehicle.
No interior -- ever, 4 wheel electric brakes, factory interior
lining. No vents or holes. Original paint, tires, signage, etc. Rear
tires show heavy wear from full power broadsliding through slalom course during testing at Transportation Reasearch Center. Amateur video of testing goes with trailer, very dramatic!"
I don't think the idea really ever caught on. I suspect that too many folks have towed hay racks to want a trailer that tows like one!

Roger
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:04 AM   #3
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I'm sure you've seen lots of trailers like this, Gina - they just weren't used as RVs. What I think of as a "wagon" (yes, like a Radio Flyer) is basically the same thing as a common farmer's hay wagon (what Roger calls a "hay rack"?) or the second (and later) "full trailer" units in a highway A-train. Some companies make the hardware for nicer wagon setups, with proper steered front wheels like the one on eBay and the Argosy (instead of a pivoting axle like the A-train dolly). I've even seen horse trailers in this format. I know what you mean, though: no one makes travel trailers this way. I didn't realize that any had been commerically produced, other than the ones which were mentioned recently in the thread about British showman's caravans.

A dinghy tow - a vehicle pulled on it's own four wheels behind another vehicle (such as a motorhome) with a tow bar - or a car on a steering tow dolly is effectively the same thing. The dinghy front wheels and some tow dolly wheels just caster, instead of being directly steered by the tow bar. I don't think there is any reason that these can't be very well behaved.

I have actually thought about this a bit, and I think it would be a great way to do a large trailer to go with a tow vehicle which has lots of traction (no help from tongue weight!) but is not good for vertical load capacity at the hitch. An example might be a short-wheelbase but heavy all-wheel-drive SUV. No weight-distributing hitch or sway control required.

The wagon setup should be easy on the tow vehicle, stable (if the steering is properly damped), and have no problem with dragging the rear end (departure angle). On the down side, it would follow a significantly tighter line in turns (great curb-bashing potential). Although the seller says:
Quote:
It backs up just about like any travel trailer.
I have my doubts...

In the end, I think the biggest factor is that change is not seen as good in trailers, and this is just way too [b]radical.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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If the trailer had rear wheel steering that worked opposite the front trailer wheels then the rear wheels would follow the track of the front wheels and wouldn`t run over curbs....I used to work at a shop that had a train of small utility trailers,(waggons), pulled by a small aircraft uni-tow that would run all over the shop and drop stuff off and all the waggons would follow each other in pretty well the same track....there would be about a dozen waggons in the train......the front wheels were hooked to the rear wheels by steel bars in a cross pattern.....something like a front end loader..........just think Brian, with this trailer you could put the battery anywhere you wanted and the ride would probably be equal,LOL.....Benny
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:13 PM   #5
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It was obviously way too late when I wrote my last post, because I messed up a couple of things, including dinghy towing...

A car on a pivoting tow dolly is a "wagon" type of steered-axle trailer, but just a car flat-towed on the ground with an A-frame tow bar, or a car on a caster-steering tow dolly, is not. With the rigid tow bar or dolly, the dinghy car is just like a regular one-piece trailer, except that the front tires are holding the front end off the ground, and not affecting the path taken by the car.

Sorry for any confusion.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:38 PM   #6
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Benny has a good example: just look at those trains of baggage wagons at the airport, following behind each other like a snake. I don't think you want this scheme at speed (for stability) but with the rear axle right at the back you could put the battery there... go all the way with a full luxo suspension system from a Cadillac (use front suspensions for both ends of course, for Benny's steering scheme) and even the fine china could ride in the back!

The prototype MaxiMog trailer is a wagon type unit; the tow vehicle is a Unimog-based SUV. The maker says
Quote:
The front wheels are steered so the vehicle and trailer combined has the same turn radius as the vehicle alone
but this does not mean following in the same tracks, just that the trailer rear wheels will track closer to the inside of the turn than the trailer front wheels, just as the tug rear wheels track closer to the inside of the turn than the tug front wheels. By the way, the drawing of this trailer shows an A-frame drawbar, which doesn't make much sense to me.
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