Originally Posted by VIKING
Thanks Andy. It suprised me to find my little old 22' Safari had this.
Rich the Viking
Not at all Rich.
I have seen, but not often, rear end separation, on 17 foot Caravels.
It all depends on how much abuse the trailer has been subjected to.
Strange as it may seen, the greatest source of abuse to an Airstream that caused rear end separation, is "lack oif proper running gear balance".
Yes, I know some owners claim traveling with full holding tanks. I have to disagree, because the separation also happens, when owners "very carefully", emptied the tank/tanks before getting back on the road.
When you see a rear end separation issue on an Airstream, without exception, if you very very carefully, examine the trailer, you will find evidence of vibration. Things such as worn out entrance door hinges, gooves in the striker bolt and/or pocket, missing rivets, inside and out especially in the underbelly, fatigue cracks in the shell and/or the frame, a polished surface where the window gaskets rest on the window frames, outriggers punching holes in the underbelly wrap, loose wiring connections, cupped tires, worn out axle/axles, and the list goes on and on.
Not always, but generally speaking, the longer the trailer, the sooner the rear end separation will occur, when the running gear is not properly balanced.
Any vibration, that is caused by the running gear, will multiply as it travels to the rear of the coach. Moment arm is the name of the issue.
As an example, move the small end of a crow bar, even 1/8 of an inch, and then observe how much the other end moves. You will see it moves much more, since the movement multiplies.
Same for vibration that starts at the wheels and then travels to the rear end of the trailer.
No one would ever dream of driving a tow vehicle, even without a trailer in tow, with unbalanced running gear. BUT
amazingly, the vast majority of those same owners, never consider the trailer tires.
Unfortunately, finding a shop that can do the proper running gear balancing, is far and few between. Recent technology, has come up with balancing devices, that simply mount on the hub and drum, or rotors, along with the tire and wheel. Now, when the trailer is moving 25 to 30 MPH, the running gear, "within reason" is balanced. It is still wise, however, to properly balance the tire and wheels, which minimizes the job that the balancers are ask to do.
That type of balancer, has a huge positive effect on eliminating the return of rear end separation, or eliminating it from happeneing in the first place.
Of course, rebuilding the rear end, has it's challenges too, but if done properly, you can say "BYE BYE" to rear end separation, forever.
I would also point out, that the in field, "elephant ear" fix for rear end separation, is a short term fix, at best, but a fast negative fix on your pocket book.
Keep us Forum members, posted on the rebuild progress.