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Old 08-11-2014, 12:58 PM   #57
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Is it possible some of us have modified our Airstreams and towing with very heavy duty trucks to the point where our Airstream is getting the heck beat out of it.

Inland Andy and Andrew Thomson, long-time Airstream repair shop owners, have cautioned about this. But we still do it.

Our Airstream was delivered in perfect condition. I inspected for leaks with a moisture meter and had none for several months. Now in three years I have found five new leaks, somethings shaking things around back there.

I am looking at the 16" LT tires I put on; maybe I don't need 80 psi in them. I used an Equal-I-Zer hitch for the first year or so, learning that neither of the Andy's recommended them due to stiffness of the square w.d. bars. There was a lot of storage space in the front of our trailer, and after a long trip we would return with it well stocked.

We have a light duty truck, heavy duty but flexible w.d. bars. It's a flexible connection to the trailer. If it was not maybe an Air-Safe hitch would be good.

Our Airstream Owners Manual states that we should load so that we have at least 10% of our trailer weight on the tongue, but never more than 1,000 pounds. Have we exceeded that manufacturer recommendation? I see it all the time here.

When things begin to fall apart it's easy to blame the builder. Perhaps they deserve it, but we also need to take a look at how we use and maintain our Airstreams. This is a message the two Andy's on this forum have been telling us for years.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:11 PM   #58
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Interesting thoughts.

In retrospect, my dad ordered a new 31' Airstream from the factory back in the early '70s. Then over the next 10 to 15 years, he wore out 3 Suburbans pulling it all over the US and Canada.

Other than the interior fading from the sun, normal maintenance' and a few bugs when new, he had no problems with that trailer.

He had an EZ Lift (I think that was the name of it) hitch, and used the conventional sliding sway control. Pop was a habitual speeder; never met a speed limit that he liked. He liked hunting in Wyoming, and pulled it off-road and on gravel roads frequently.

In '84 he had a 1 ton Ford van with Diesel engine customized. He added a Banks turbo and 2 speed over drive gear box because he wanted more power (speed) in the mountains. He was never easy on anything he owned.

When I sold that trailer for my mother after Pop's death in '87, it was still tight and roadworthy. It was definitely not gently used, tho.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:27 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Is it possible some of us have modified our Airstreams and towing with very heavy duty trucks to the point where our Airstream is getting the heck beat out of it.

Inland Andy and Andrew Thomson, long-time Airstream repair shop owners, have cautioned about this. But we still do it.

Our Airstream was delivered in perfect condition. I inspected for leaks with a moisture meter and had none for several months. Now in three years I have found five new leaks, somethings shaking things around back there.

I am looking at the 16" LT tires I put on; maybe I don't need 80 psi in them. I used an Equal-I-Zer hitch for the first year or so, learning that neither of the Andy's recommended them due to stiffness of the square w.d. bars. There was a lot of storage space in the front of our trailer, and after a long trip we would return with it well stocked.

We have a light duty truck, heavy duty but flexible w.d. bars. It's a flexible connection to the trailer. If it was not maybe an Air-Safe hitch would be good.

Our Airstream Owners Manual states that we should load so that we have at least 10% of our trailer weight on the tongue, but never more than 1,000 pounds. Have we exceeded that manufacturer recommendation? I see it all the time here.

When things begin to fall apart it's easy to blame the builder. Perhaps they deserve it, but we also need to take a look at how we use and maintain our Airstreams. This is a message the two Andy's on this forum have been telling us for years.
Thinking back to my dad's time, the hitch and spring bars were very flexible. When he hitched up with those chains and let the trailer down with the electric jack you could see the bars bend in a big arc. If the tire footprints on the TV were the same length front and rear, on level ground, he had dropped the right amount of chain links.

I know the ride in his TV was much smoother than mine with the equalizer. If the ride on a bumpy road is beating me up, what is it doing to the trailer? You may be on to something here. BTW, that was in a time before radial tires. Tire pressure was much lower back then.
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