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Old 10-19-2005, 06:04 PM   #15
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Oh ouch! Ankornuta. There is a good Airstream dealer in Eugene - Sutton RV - they have a website - you may want to call them. Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:25 PM   #16
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Now I feel kind of silly about picking up my trailer. I found it late one night on a local recycler paper, phoned and got the address, drove the fifteen minutes on Saturday morning, got the folks rousted and had a look, paid them, got the bill of sale and other paperwork, and towed it home. It was in my back yard by 10:30. No adventure to talk about later, no drama, didn't even have t deal with a used trailer salesman, just some nice folks who wanted to sell an Airstream that needed some work. It had just had a new axle, brakes, tires and rims done on it, as well as the tail light wiring. I'm feeling very badly now, like an under-achiever after reading what you guys went through. Your stories will make for enduring and endearing memories of your beautiful trailers when they are done and you are sitting around the campfire. When I tell my story, everyone will yawn and decide it's time to turn in.
Barry
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:55 PM   #17
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Serial number

Ankoruta,

The serial number will definately help determining the origin. My 1954 serial number plate has the North Main, Los Angeles address but the serial number has a leading O which makes it a Ohio trailer.

Looking forward to seeing your progress and working out your problems.

Bill
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:56 PM   #18
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I think your serial number is 267137, this would make it a California number. Sorry to hear about you trip. My first trip to pick up my "dream trailer" was a total disaster. The trailer was 900 miles from Phoenix, 2 hours north of San Francisco. Left work on Thurday, drove most of the night. The next day I drive the rest of the trip. I see the trailer and it is a bad dream. I bail on the deal and drive the 900 miles straight to Phoenix in 14 hours. OK, 3 days $250 in gas, $170 in Motels and $300 deposit gone and no trailer. A few months later I buy my "dream trailer" from a forum member only 500 miles away. Things do get better. You have a truely classic Airstream.
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:25 PM   #19
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What an incredible adventure and the trailer isn't even halfway home yet. Let's hope the first leg of the journey had all of the challenges and the rest is smooth sailing.

Get it here will you? I can't wait to see it in person and converse with you over the possibilities. That's one of the most enjoyable parts of the restoration process. Actually, they're all fun, some just take longer than others.

Brad
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:31 PM   #20
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It'll get better...

I had an Astro with our 26ft Argosy for our first tow vehicle. It too is short wheelbased. Although fairly stable without trucks, it did tend to sway. Sway control helped a bit (as did transplanting the v6 for a v8), but I still wasn't too comfortable. I'm not saying you should, but I got a B350 1 ton used van (not the super extended version), and the difference was night / day. Some things make a big difference... I'd do this if I had your combo (2 cents worth following!)

I'd either a) make sure you have load range D or E tires on your Jeep (stiffer sidewalls) or b) upgrade your tires/wheels to a low profile setup. Make sure your ST trailer tires are aired up (max psi on the sidewalls - mine take 65 psi - also make sure you have truck valve stems on the rims - passenger ones will blow out at this psi). With the firmer sidewalls or lower profile tires, sway will be reduced on the tow vehicle

b) I'm not going to debate the hensley question - but make sure you have your weight distribution system set up level, AND that you have sway control. I have a friction one, and it works fine with my Draw - Tite setup.
Get what makes you feel good.

c) I'd fill up the propane tanks and maybe put 1/2 - 3/4 fill the fresh water tank. Some trailers tow better with more tongue weight. I really think your front high set-up made the trailer wag the dog.

I'd really call Sutton RV. They've delivered trailers to all parts of the U.S. based on their website. If you give them the business, they may really help you out.
Good luck!
Marc
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
...I'd either a) make sure you have load range D or E tires on your Jeep (stiffer sidewalls) or b) upgrade your tires/wheels to a low profile setup. Make sure your ST trailer tires are aired up (max psi on the sidewalls - mine take 65 psi - also make sure you have truck valve stems on the rims - passenger ones will blow out at this psi). With the firmer sidewalls or lower profile tires, sway will be reduced on the tow vehicle...
Marc
On this point I disagree. I determine the load that the tires are carrying and adjust the inflation to carry that load. My 1979 Safari, gross weight 5800 lbs, calls for 35 PSI in the tires even though the max is much greater. On my Dodge, I carry only 25 PSI in 12X16.5 tires, the max inflation will carry 2750 lbs or 1/2 of the truck weight. Overinflated tires will contribute to squirrellyness.

Bill
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:51 AM   #22
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hmmm...

I won't debate this here, as there are many threads on tires and pressures out there, but one school of thought is that underinflation creates greater heat, flexing, and increases the likelihood of failure (see Ford Explorer tire issues). I agree that OVER inflation would cause a squirely behaving tire...my tires are rated for their max carring capacity at 65psi, that's not overinflation, just specs by the manufacter of the tire - for this particular tire. Goodyear has a pretty good FAQ section on their website about pressures. My BFG's on my van are also rated at 65 psi - I air down to 55 psi for a nicer ride when I don't tow the trailer (but I haven't lately because of gas prices). The van (255/70/16's) actually feels a bit sporty at this level. Much better than my old Astro van on P-metric lower profile tires (245/60/15's).

As I said, read and use what works for you.
Marc
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:44 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
On this point I disagree. I determine the load that the tires are carrying and adjust the inflation to carry that load. My 1979 Safari, gross weight 5800 lbs, calls for 35 PSI in the tires even though the max is much greater. On my Dodge, I carry only 25 PSI in 12X16.5 tires, the max inflation will carry 2750 lbs or 1/2 of the truck weight. Overinflated tires will contribute to squirrellyness.

Bill
Bill, this is one of those discussions where everyone is right... depending on the setup they're using. While the weight rating on the tires is a good guide, and your tires may not be underinflated for the weight, they may still have enough sidewall flex that they cause the trailer to 'wiggle'. Car tires (P-metrics), even when aired up to max, if used in a towing application on a van rather than LT tires may cause the trailer to 'wiggle'. Poorly designed (for tow use) rear suspension in the tow vehicle may cause the trailer to wiggle. Towing the trailer with the tongue 2" high and not level will cause a trailer to wiggle. All of these factors together may be a really fun ride!

I know these things, because... even as a long-time veteran trailer towing Airstream owner a few years back, I towed my '61 Bambi behind my '98 Astro AWD on a trip from Iowa to Arizona. I didn't have the time or cash to "make it right" so I "towed with what I had". After repeatedly nearly crashing myself and family from severe trailer sway, I swore never to do that again.

Unfortunately that was in the days before resources like this were available... so I trial-and-errored the problem until I figured out on my own exactly what was causing the problems. After I replaced the Astro's cheap "B" range tall-flexi-sidewall tires with "C" range LT tires, the Bambi's tires with appropriate sized ST tires, both sets inflated to max psi, installed new and heavier shocks on the rear of the Astro, and figured out the proper drop on the draw bar, it towed like it was on rails.

Sway is seldom caused by any single issue such as overinflation; however side-wall flex will cause problems and sometimes serious problems. Generally sway is induced by either load-balancing issues, tongue weight issues, tire inflation/type issues, or hitch/tow rig engineering issues all acting together to contribute. A prime example of that is that my 34' trailer tends to wiggle behind my Excursion with 60 psi(appropriate for the weight they're carrying) in the "E" range tires on the rear. At 75 psi (80 psi max) it tracks like it's on rails. This is obviously not a trailer issue at all, but a tire sidewall stiffness issue on the Excursion. The trailer doesn't seem to care much what I inflate the tires on the trailer to as a tri-axle trailer is inherently stable; however I do keep them at 50 psi (their max) because the front and rear axles slide/scuff better and have less of a tendency to break the bead on tight turns at the expense of the center of the tread wearing a little faster. Since my tires usually die from UV exposure LONG before the tread wears out, I figure it's no big deal.

If you've read any of my other posts regarding my Excursion, you'll know that my problems were also caused by engineering design failures on the part of Ford. Once those issues were resolved through aftermarket solutions, my Excursion is now a superb tow vehicle, one of the best out there, IMHO.

BTW, the taillights FINALLY made it into the mail today! Sorry it took so long.

Roger
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:59 PM   #24
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Thanks everyone on the towing/sway feedback. I know that getting new bearings and 6-ply sidewall trailer tires on the Cruiser will help a lot. I've also been thinking about getting larger rims w/ low profile truck tires on my Jeep. So, it sounds like if I run those at a pretty high pressure that will assist too. I'm going to try out that configuration along with my weight distribution hitch before I invest the big $$$s on a Hensley hitch. With any luck I won't need it! I was pricing the Hensley Arrow online and it costs nearly as much as I paid for the trailer!

I need to go into the dealership for an oil change and tire rotation tomorrow... so I think when I'm there I'm going to talk to them about the reas suspension on the Jeep, too. It has a rated towing capacity of 7200 pounds, but I'm not sure how stiff the rear end is.

Oh, and it looks like the trailer will be back home with me around the first of November, yay!
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:05 PM   #25
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Don't go airbags...

or overload springs on the rear... with a properly functioning weight distribution setup, you don't need these "helpers." The Excursion problem was due to it's rear end design - I believe it needed a stiffer rear roll bar (it was made soft for ride... search for his thread and you can see what he did). Airstreams like a softer ride from the tow vehicle (in verticle compliance - not lateral - the Excursions problem). Just remember you can't just air up any old tire, you have to stay within the rating on the sidewall. Heavier load rated tires take higher psi.

Last but not least, you also need sway control (it can be a friction sway control - ANYTHING) with the weight distribution setup. Briefly - the WD hitch puts weight off the rear axle of your Jeep onto the front, both the front AND rear should sag about the same (leaving your Jeep level, and the trailer level) at rest. Your dealer needs your TV to set this up correctly. Sway control keeps your trailer from swaying back and forth from crosswinds, trucks etc.


Are you going back for the trailer? If so, you can stop by the w/e of the 28th-30th for the Beverly Beach State Park rally on the OR coast, we'd love to see you and your trailer.
Marc
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:12 PM   #26
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Squirrelyness on the road

Welcome to the forum and good luck. It is awonderful A/S you bought and this site will help you lots.

I heartily recommend stiffer sidewalls on both trailer and Jeep. I run either 8 or 10 ply and drive my little 24" around 70-75 mph on a ball hitch with no weight distribution mechanisms. I get a little float above 80 mph and don't recommend doing any of that kind of driving until you check out your brakes and bearings. I also wonder about the GVW Rating on a double door. Mine is 3450 from aistream book and sometimes it pulls a little heavy. (feels heavy...I have some experience with this). I also recommend checking site for methods of estimating curvature in axle. Loads of people with lots of experience here can save headaches later. They will help you over hard jobs with humor and validity. Good luck.
Bill
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Old 10-22-2005, 07:53 AM   #27
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I also wonder about the GVW Rating on a double door. Mine is 3450 from aistream book and sometimes it pulls a little heavy.
Just a small correction - your 3450 lbs. (or 3810 lbs. for '65 Tradewind according to the Airstream Web site here) is the dry weight of the trailer, minus options that may have been installed by the factory, and certainly minus options installed by owners and minus fluids (water, LP) and gear.

GVWR (or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is that maximum your trailer should ever weigh when towed, according to the manufacturer. This number will be much larger than the dry weight, probably several hundred to a couple thousand pounds more depending upon age and size of the trailer. Unfortunately, I do not beleive Airstream published GVWR's for trailers back in the '60's (I know I could never find one for our '66 Overlander). If you can find a weight rating for the original axles, these would be a good start at determinaing an approximate GVWR. Typically GVWR's of newer Airstreams are slightly higher than the axle total, because it is assumed that some weight will be carried on the tongue.

If your axles have been replaced, then all bets are off on using their ratings to determine an approximate GVWR. The newer axles might have a higher rating that the original ones. If you load the trailer to these higher limits, you may find that the frame or other components are not up to the task of hauling the additional weight.
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:24 AM   #28
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I also recommend checking site for methods of estimating curvature in axle. Bill
Bill, you have Henschen axles under your trailer. Akornuta has straight, sprung trailer axles under his '58. They didn't begin using Henschens until 1961.

Airstream didn't begin publishing GVWR figures until the 1989 model year.

Roger
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