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Old 02-23-2017, 10:03 PM   #1
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Centramatic Balancers

Would like to know whether Centramatic Balancers on the trailer change towing characteristics for the tow vehicle. Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:20 PM   #2
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Probably not to any noticeable degree. If your coach has such out of balance wheels that you can feel it in the ride of your tow vehicle, someone did a very poor job of balancing the tires.

What Centramatics do is provide balancing weight to offset any imbalance of the wheels, tires, hubs, and brake drums as a set. If your balancing shop can dynamically balance the rotating parts as a set, Centramatics will only be helpful if small changes in the rotating mass occur over time. Tire wear is a good example. Magnet wear on the brake drum is another.

However, most shops do not balance the brake drums or hubs. They only dynamically balance the wheel and tire assembly.

A well balanced rotating assembly delivers a smoother ride to the coach. Stuff tends to stay in place and the notorious AS rivets are somewhat more likely to stay in place.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:30 PM   #3
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No change in TV characteristics, smoother tow....
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:33 PM   #4
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There are people that swear by Centramatics
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:05 PM   #5
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We don't use them and see no reason to if our running gear is balanced. The late model Airstream axle manufacturer states no wheel offset is allowed. The Centramatics introduce a slight offset.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:23 AM   #6
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What is a wheel offset, and what is the impact on the newer models if you have one?
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:55 AM   #7
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I have a '15 27 FC. I put on Centramatics because every trip had stuff thrown around on the inside. Since then things far less displaced. That is all I notice.

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Old 02-24-2017, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
What is a wheel offset, and what is the impact on the newer models if you have one?
Discount Tire says -

"The offset of a wheel is what locates the tire and wheel assembly in relation to the suspension. More specifically, it is the measured distance between the hub mounting surface and the center line of the rim."

The wheel well of an AS is tight so moving the rim position in or out would be a clearance issue.

If Centramatics were 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, the offset result might well be an issue if you also had larger tires. However, the Centramatic mounting plate is quite thin (think sheet metal) and we did not find that thickness to be a problem with the increase to 15in tires. Pat
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Old 02-24-2017, 10:23 AM   #9
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Thanks PKI, I installed them and also remember them being very very thin. I have also run some road tests, and the trailer does not shake as much based on similar observations to Caffeinated. Things doesn't move as much or get displaced.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:26 PM   #10
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I put them on our 31 Classic to get perfect tire balance, just a little out of balance can cause rivet damage. On a vehicle you can feel an out of balance tire , you can't feel out of balance tire on the Airstream.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:36 PM   #11
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Centramatics

The effect they have on the tow vehicle is an overall smoother ride. The offset is negligible. I recommend them.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:40 PM   #12
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The Dexter axle issue with wheel offset is not Airstream wheel well clearance, it's stress on the Nev-R-Lube bearings they have installed in later axles. Google it, there's the warning from Dexter to use zero offset, and the general consensus among Centramatic users that perhaps Dexter warning doesn't affect them because the offset is only about 1/16".
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:57 PM   #13
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I just got a set for my 2008 25' - I plan to install in a couple weeks when the backing plates, drums and bearings are replaced (maintenance).

On every single trip we have pillows and cushions that end up on the floor. We'll see if they make a difference... my dexter axles are of the regular variety ...I don't have the newer never lub...

I'm thinking of throwing on new shocks while I am at it for good measure.
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Old 05-25-2017, 06:26 PM   #14
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Balance issues

Hey,
The use of centermatics is beneficial, but it only can take out I think up to 12oz of imbalance out of the spinning mass. I think I read that from the centermatic info years ago. I may be wrong. With that being said, your second best option to balance your wheel, drum, tire assembly is, an on the car balance. Hunter engineering co made such a unit for many years. It is the best way to balance a wheel hub assembly. They discontinued the on the. Car balancer. You may find a truck shop that has one and still uses it. Very few people even know how to anymore. I was a Hunter rep years ago, trained a lot of shops on that unt. Works great. Here's the bugaboo. If you skid your tire you may knock it out of round, and out of balance. Thus the centermatics are constantly adjusting the weight to counter any imbalance. I highly recommend them. But remember, you can t have a wheel assembly that has a bad drum, or a tire with a out of round issue. The 12 oz issue comes into play .The bigger the assembly, the more spinng mass to deal with. I ve had them on the big rigs we drive, and they really cut down on the shakes and thus driver fatigue nothing worse than a shaking steering wheel going down the road. DJ
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