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Old 11-03-2009, 07:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I think skids on a torsion axle might be a bad idea, but leaf spring axles are a different matter.
Hi markdoane, Without hijacking this thread can you explain why you put a skid plate on a leaf spring axle. I understand why you wouldn't on a torsion axle but since my 60 has a leaf spring axle I'm curious. It would seem to have the benefits and pitfalls as a torsion axle. Thanks
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #16
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The plate that holds the axle to the spring pack is only a couple of inches above the highway surface, so if the tire loses air the plate will drag on the highway before the wheel rim does. I think that's probably a good thing, the trailer can't tip more than couple of inches, and I'd rather drag it on a smooth piece of meal than a mangled up carcass of a tire.

The mounting plate doesn't protect the ends of the U-bolts though. Nothing worse than grinding the nuts off the U-bolts and having the whole axle come loose. So I welded some heavy plate to the bottom of the spring plate to protect the nuts. Here's a picture.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:23 AM   #17
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Question

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Originally Posted by 65Safari65 View Post
...And now I'm learning from other threads that skid plates may be a bad thing. How tragic.
Where are these threads you mention?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I think skids on a torsion axle might be a bad idea, but leaf spring axles are a different matter.
Please explain why.


I have no opinion on the skid plates on torsion (Henschen type) axles but am curious and think the above answers would make this a better thread.



thanks
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:33 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Please explain why.


I have no opinion on the skid plates on torsion (Henschen type) axles but am curious and think the above answers would make this a better thread.

thanks
To properly hold the skid plates in position, the "U" bolts must be tightened very well.

When that happens, the square axle tube compresses, and alters the effect and purpose of the rubber rods.

Once in a while, someone shows up with the skid plates welded to the square axle tube. HELLO. that ruined the rubber rods, no question.

Henschen states that while skid plates offer a degree of safety in the case of a blow out, their installation on the axle tube, has a undesireable negative effect on the performance of the axle.

"DON'T DO IT" on any torsion axle.

Andy
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:42 AM   #19
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What is the shortest tandem axle trailer that Airstream made? Best I can tell, it was the '65 and newer Tradewind 24 footers. I know the Overlanders are 26 footers. Is there anything else in this range?

As well, I guess I'm asking this of those of you that pull single axle trailers...do you have any misgivings about the single axle vs. the tandem? Ever have a blowout? If so, how'd the trailer react?

I currently am pulling a 34 foot triple axle. I really like the coach, but I'd like to get a second trailer that is smaller. Something that I could really take just about anywhere. My grandfather has a '58 Traveler that I've been looking at hard. But, I'm a bit leery of the single axle trailers. I'm just afraid of what would happen during a tire blowout. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I want to set up a rig I can pull on rough roads. I'm figuring that with tandem axles, I could at least get the thing down the road a little piece with one tire blown. And, with tandems, I'm thinking that if a violent blowout occurs at high speed, it wouldn't automatically throw me into the ditch. But, I've never pulled a single axle trailer; only tandems and the triple.

I was thinking of finding the smallest tandem axle trailer and going from there. But, thought I'd throw it out here for everybody.

Any recommendations on years and models? Am I worrying about nothing on the single axle?

thanks,
Sorry! I was hoping this would not go astray. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:11 PM   #20
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Gentlemen:

Thank you for your well informed responses. You've really got me thinking. I hadn't really thought about the weight penalty of the tandem vs the dual, but I see that it is rather significant. To the point where a single axle trailer with really heavy duty tires might be better than a tandem with C's on it, for example.

I really was leaning toward a vintage coach. I know where a rather rough looking Globetrotter is sitting. I might talk to that owner. But, it also makes me think about my grand dad's '58 Traveler. It's got a leaf spring. Personally, I like the leaf sprung setup. But at any rate, I appreciate all of your responses. I did not know about the 21' and 22' tandem axle trailers of the '80s and '90s. Those are certainly worth looking at too.

I will be looking at all of them.

See you on the road,
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:59 PM   #21
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We tow a 19' Bambi, single-axle, of course. I was crazy paranoid about blowouts, etc but we got PressurePros for the trailer and now I don't worry about it so much...we can monitor the tire pressure and we know immediately if there's an issue giving us time time get off the road and deal with it...and we've done that...a rubber valve stem failed (we now have metal ones)...just keep your tires well-maintained and watch your load and pressure and you will be fine with a single-axle trailer. And you can take it anywhere!
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:55 PM   #22
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Thanks again, everyone!

I really am leaning toward vintage. I like the really old ones with the many paneled ends (shame on me for not knowing the exact count, but it's more than seven....).

I talked to my grand dad, and he's in no hurry to give up his Traveler. So, I may go look at that Globetrotter I mentioned...even though it's a "newer" one, ala mid 60's I think.

I've got my 34 footer to hold me over for now. What I think would be cool would be to get something in the 18-22' range, vintage, good shell, the rest toast, and do a total rebuild with a new frame and everything. That's what I'd originally wanted to do several years ago with my Excella 31 footer that I had (1977 model), but I didn't have time then. I still don't, but will soon.

See you all on the road,
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:39 AM   #23
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After reading these posts, I'm not so worried about whether I get a dual axle or single, but I better know the difference between the leaf spring type and the torsion. Thanks for the great info
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #24
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After reading these posts, I'm not so worried about whether I get a dual axle or single, but I better know the difference between the leaf spring type and the torsion. Thanks for the great info
Unless you get an Airstream thats pre-1960 then you don't have to worry about the difference. First torsion axle was 1961.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #25
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I agree, great thread. We've got a single axle '64 Safari and a dual axle '68 Overlander. Had one flat with the '64, right after we got a spare for it, so it was not a big deal (but it wasn't a catastrophic blowout, either). We ended up mounting the spare on the tongue with white vinyl covers and a chrome ring. That way we don't have to remember to throw it in the truck.

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Old 11-29-2009, 11:22 AM   #26
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I had a total blowout on my 67 Safari. I was pulling out to pass a car when there was a tremendous vibration in the stearing wheel, the trailer stayed straight. I pulled over thinking something was wrong with the truck and found the tire cut into 2 pieces by the wheel running on it. Never was a control issue with the trailer and at least you know right away to stop, not drive on with the tire beating on the trailer as in a tandem. Now at least I don't worry about what happens in a blowout.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:24 PM   #27
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I have had a blow out on a single axle 54 Safari and a lost wheel on a single axle 70 Globetrotter. Neither caused any control problems.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:04 PM   #28
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You guys sure make a strong argument for the single axle trailers!

Well, I did stop and talk to the Globetrotter guy. It's a '64. The owner himself didn't know what year it was.

He said I was about the 40th person to stop and look at it, but the first to actually speak to him about it. He said I get first dibs on it, but he hasn't called me back. I talked to him about three weeks ago....

After reading Wally's book, I can see why he went to the torsion axle over the leaf setup. It's simpler; less to go wrong. But, Wally wasn't thinking about it being 50 years old. Why would he? The GT I looked at had an axle that was totally shot. It'll need a new one. But what the hay....a new axle is what, $1000 maybe? And it lasts 20 years? I can see getting a new torsion axle and not changing the design.

That being said, I'll probably not be going to the jungles of Borneo and so a leaf setup would probably be OK for me

My Avion has six independent leaf setups for six individual swing arms which gives a fully independent suspension. It's a wicked slick setup, and it rides very well. But it's got a lot of parts which are admittedly hard to replace in the jungle. Ol' Wally was a smart cookie.

See ya on the road,
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