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Old 07-06-2007, 04:41 PM   #1
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Airbags on an airstream?

Has anyone heard of putting airbags on an airstream trailer? There is a 30' classic for sale and it looks like a nice trailer but the owner installed airbags under it. He states he raised it up 8" so it has better clearance. Does this sound like a good idea? Seams like it would change the center of gravity. Otherwise the trailer may be what we are looking for and in the right price range.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:41 PM   #2
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There was a thread on this trailer a few days ago, but I can't find it right off the bat. I believe the overall consensus was it was not a good idea.

Queston to the list: Could the airbags be removed and the trailer be returned to "normal" without a lot of work?

(I found the thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f273...bay-33727.html)

Susan
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:47 PM   #3
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I think this was in the ebay scam thread if I remember right...

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Old 07-06-2007, 08:48 PM   #4
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It doesn't look like a scam, it's on rvtrader.com for 48,000. Looks for real.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:09 AM   #5
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Air Bags on a Classic

This happens to be my ad. I was tipped by another member of your forum last night so I wanted all to know the bags work very well, thank you. My classified ad gives more details. They were first added to give me clearance on my drive, but have other added benefits. I did have extensions welded to my stabilizers due to the 8" of added height, but they are almost not noticed. Call me at 330-837-9412 if interested or if you wish to have it done to your trailer. I was never concerned about hitting bottom at any campground, after it was done and it pulls great. My only need is more interior space.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhitmer
This happens to be my ad. I was tipped by another member of your forum last night so I wanted all to know the bags work very well, thank you. My classified ad gives more details. They were first added to give me clearance on my drive, but have other added benefits. I did have extensions welded to my stabilizers due to the 8" of added height, but they are almost not noticed.
John, many of us here would want to revert the trailer back to its original configuration, as the added height may cause stability issues. Do you know if this can be relatively easily done, or if it would be a major project?
And welcome to the forums.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:39 AM   #7
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Air Bags

I would not even consider changing it back. The weight is low and actually gives the trailer a lower center of gravity than it had before. I have pulled the trailer about 8,000 miles since having it done and it trails very well. See the Kelderman Manufacturing website at Keldermanairride.com for details.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:49 AM   #8
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I saw the ad also, and find this an interesting concept. I would think that this would be a very handy capability, especially if you had an on-board compressor to inflate the bags when you need clearance, and deflate them when running on the highway.

Looking at the picture of this unit in the ad, I can not see how the center of gravity could be lower when it is jacked up 8" without adding sprung weight to the bottom of the trailer.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:30 AM   #9
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Air Bags

I must clarify my last post by saying that I did not find any handling problems with my trailer after increasing the height due to the air bag addition. It trails very well and I might add the original suspension was not taken off, but better shocks were installed. I suppose the center of gravity was changed slightly, however it was not noticed. I just loved the increased clearance which it gave me and items inside did not travel to the extent they originally would if left on the counter or table. It was a very worthwhile addition.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:09 PM   #10
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THis seems like a very bad idea. Raising the center of gravity is bad. The axles were not designed for this setup. It is really not changing the ground clearence since the axle is still the same distance from the ground. It does change the attack and departure angles.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhitmer
I must clarify my last post by saying that I did not find any handling problems with my trailer after increasing the height due to the air bag addition. It trails very well and I might add the original suspension was not taken off, but better shocks were installed. I suppose the center of gravity was changed slightly, however it was not noticed. I just loved the increased clearance which it gave me and items inside did not travel to the extent they originally would if left on the counter or table. It was a very worthwhile addition.
Kelderman's web site states differently.

They say 3 inches rise, not 8 inches

They also say Installation of the suspension lifts will raise the center of gravity of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to handle differently than stock. It may increase the vehicles susceptibility to a rollover, on road, off road, and at any speeds.Extreme care should be taken to operate the vehicle safely at all times to prevent rollover or loss of control resulting in serious injury or death.

Doesn't sound to me as a very safe trailer to tow.

If Airstream stated the above cautions, they would be out of business pronto.

It also appears from the photo's, that indeed, the trailer is raised so that the back and front ends are higher, but the ground clearance remains the same since the axle tube heighth does not change.

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Old 07-08-2007, 12:23 PM   #12
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Iím going to have to go with Andy on this one. I can see an advantage if you could raise it for certain obstacles and then return it to the normal height for towing, like the old CitroŽns. Or like some lowriders, you could tow slow humping up different sides.

Vaughan
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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Excuse me, if I did not use the correct terminology. I did increase clearance where I needed it by 8 full inches. This was at the bumper and the hitch. My drive is steep so this is where I needed it and the Hensley hitch was always very close to the ground. Of course the axles are at the same place. The reason my installation is higher was due to the location of the tanks. The installer had to stay above them. All I can say is from experience and at 65 to 70 miles per hour, I've had NO PROBLEMS!
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhitmer
Excuse me, if I did not use the correct terminology. I did increase clearance where I needed it by 8 full inches. This was at the bumper and the hitch. My drive is steep so this is where I needed it and the Hensley hitch was always very close to the ground. Of course the axles are at the same place. The reason my installation is higher was due to the location of the tanks. The installer had to stay above them. All I can say is from experience and at 65 to 70 miles per hour, I've had NO PROBLEMS!
Please try riding in the rear of that trailer at those speeds.

That's the "real" test for stability.

What happens to the tail end of an Airstream "seldom" can be observed from the drivers seat.

Thousands of test miles prove that.

The ground clearance, in fact, has been effectively lowered because of the additions to the chassis system.

Also, if those shocks are vertical shocks, their effectiveness has been compromised by placing then in a 45 degree angle.

The sales attraction for the trailer, as it sits, is about nil, at least to the very knowledgeable Airstream owner, and most of them are.

On the other hand, if you removed all the "stuff," that trailer would probably sell very fast, if the price was reasonable.

These are just the simple facts of Airstreaming.

Andy
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