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Old 11-12-2006, 08:24 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edfos2
Still kind of mystifies me that a manufacturer, after so many years of building essentially the same product would possess no knowledge of the proper lifting method. Seems kind of basic to me.
Hi edfos2; I cannot believe that some of us are willing to argue with Andy's knowledge and experience. It is suicidal to go against his advice.
Does anyone think that someone as Andy of Inland RV, would take the time and make an effort to miss lead anyone? Come on, give the man the respect that he deserves. Undercarriage mounting plates to which axles are bolted too, is the strongest lift point on the entire trailer. Does it not make sense? What about his warning not to lift the trailer by the torsion arm. Would that not place more weight on torsion arm than a single arm can handle? What is the reason then for having four of them? Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:43 AM   #30
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A Better Way

I suggest that you don't need to worry about where to place the jack.
I use a ramp. Place it under the good wheel and tire. Drive up on it.
Remove or replace the bad wheel and tire. This is safer and a lot easier
than useing a jack.
If you have four or six wheels and get caught out without a ramp or
jack, you can remove the flat tire and drive for short distances at slow
speed to the nearest tire service.

Chuck Surman
WBCCI #1322
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:58 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surman1322
I suggest that you don't need to worry about where to place the jack.
I use a ramp. Place it under the good wheel and tire. Drive up on it.
Remove or replace the bad wheel and tire. This is safer and a lot easier
than useing a jack.
If you have four or six wheels and get caught out without a ramp or
jack, you can remove the flat tire and drive for short distances at slow
speed to the nearest tire service.

Chuck Surman
WBCCI #1322
Hi chuck; You have missed what was said. It is not advisable nor it is good to drive dual axle with one missing or flat tire. This is why the term SPARE TIRE was invented. If you back up one tire on the ramp you transfer about 75% of trailer weight onto one torsion bar. This, pending the weight applied to a single spindle can distort the torsion rubber and it can cause inner torsion shaft to twist and cause misalignment on that spindle. Some of us have opinions, some of us speak from experience. Sorry, but Andy is 100% correct in that statement. I have installed many new axles on my customers equipment for that reason. Thanks for your opinion Chuck, "Boatdoc"
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:44 PM   #32
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My only added thoughts on this are that in the early airstream promotional films with tandem torsion axle trailers ,airstream says to remove the flat tire and you then can procede ahead to the nearest service center to get the tire repaired .That tells me that you can indeed travel ,abit short distances
on the one axle .certainly not recommended for long distance ,but it does mean that you could if needed .i agree that Inland andy does in fact have the knowledge ,and knows what hes talking about on many issues regarding airstream trailers ,after 40 years I think he would .If I recall ,I thought I remember the advice to pull up on a ramp with the one axle hanging
from one of Andys posts ,but he could confirm that .

Scott
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:31 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
Hi chuck; You have missed what was said. It is not advisable nor it is good to drive dual axle with one missing or flat tire. This is why the term SPARE TIRE was invented. If you back up one tire on the ramp you transfer about 75% of trailer weight onto one torsion bar. This, pending the weight applied to a single spindle can distort the torsion rubber and it can cause inner torsion shaft to twist and cause misalignment on that spindle. Some of us have opinions, some of us speak from experience. Sorry, but Andy is 100% correct in that statement. I have installed many new axles on my customers equipment for that reason. Thanks for your opinion Chuck, "Boatdoc"
With all due respect, Mr. Boatdoc, your post is inaccurate.
It is entirely ok to use a ramp for tire changes, as it is perfectly ok to drive a tandem axle with 3 wheels. Common sense dictates to use caution, of course.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:35 PM   #34
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Boy this is better than talking about what tires to buy.

We bought our 71 this July and knew enough from the Forum (thank you all) to be concerned about this topic. Called A/S before taking her to a SOB dealer for bearing/brake service. The main advise A/S gave us was don't ever ever ever let them put a jack under the axle. ... tell them to look for a frame plate behind the rear wheel or run her up on a ramp.

Going back to the SOB dealer and asking about jacking her up he said it wasn't a problem - "easy to find the spot."

The manual we have says the following:

" Whenever the trailer must be lifted with a jack when changing a tire or on rough terrain, always place the jack under the main frame rail. A 3" aluminum pad is provided to indicate the proper position for the jack. Never use a stabilizing jack to lift the trailer."

SHOWS A DIAGRAM OF A PAD ONLY TO THE REAR OF THE WHEELS.

Another quote from further in the manual:

" The independent Suspension of the Dura-Torque Axle allows a four wheel unit to be safely driven on three wheels if a spare is not carried. A flat may be changed without the aid of a jack by driving the unit up on a ramp. On all trailers a 3" aluminum pad is provided to indicate the proper jack placement position."

With that said, I think I'll still order one of the ramps that Andy gave a web site for and force dealers to use it in the future.
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:05 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
With all due respect, Mr. Boatdoc, your post is inaccurate.
It is entirely ok to use a ramp for tire changes, as it is perfectly ok to drive a tandem axle with 3 wheels. Common sense dictates to use caution, of course.
Hi uve; Let's see if this time I can get my message across properly.
Each day all of us must make many choices, some bad some good, and rest of them are best we could do under the circumstances. Our forums are not about forcing individual views on the rest of the members, and that was not my aim.
We own our AS's and we can do whatever we want, without the regard for someone's opinion. Our choices as I have said, can be good or bad, but most of them will fall into category of " it's the best we could have done under circumstances".
YES, you can tow your dual axle AS without one tire, but where will you tow it to, in the middle of the desert or in the middle of the night when
everything is closed? YES, you can tow your AS placing a double load on a single torsion arm suspension, which was designed to carry half the weight which you just put on.
YES, you can use a ramp to drive your AS on to, but what happens when you do so? The dual axle is mounted to the frame solid. There is no load balance equalizer between axles such as on leaf spring suspension.
The single wheel, being backed up onto ramp meets a very high resistance much like hitting a curb. The tire must lift about 75% of the trailer weight not including the resistance factor agaist the ramp, the torsion suspension on that arm takes incredible beating. While it is true that not as much
distortion takes place while towing without one tire, but that is because the frame is more or less on horizontal plane, thus spreading the load on three wheels. However when you back up on the ramp, you reverse the load factors. For any of you who wish to place 5000 lbs load onto a torsion shaft designed to carry 1800 lbs you can go ahead and do it, it is your AS because you own it.
Can you personally do it? YES you can. Can you get away with it? You may, but then you may not. It is your AS and it is your choice. Despite any opinion you may have, the engineering facts remain. You may call my post inaccurate if you can provide a factual proof that that your 1800 lbs torsion shaft can handle 5000 lbs load. If those torsion inserts and shafts were indestructible why do we have to replace them when they sag? Yes you can do anything you like to your AS, but I certainly would not do it to mine.
If I could afford an AS, I can afford a jack and a spare wheel. By the same I will not be depended on service station 200 miles away in the middle of nowhere. If any one thinks that AS cares about you bending a torsion arm think again.
In the end it is not the question if it can be done, but a matter of better choice. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:11 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
Hi uve; Let's see if this time I can get my message across properly.
Each day all of us must make many choices, some bad some good, and rest of them are best we could do under the circumstances. Our forums are not about forcing individual views on the rest of the members, and that was not my aim.
???
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
We own our AS's and we can do whatever we want, without the regard for someone's opinion. Our choices as I have said, can be good or bad, but most of them will fall into category of " it's the best we could have done under circumstances".
???
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
YES, you can tow your dual axle AS without one tire, but where will you tow it to, in the middle of the desert or in the middle of the night when
everything is closed? YES, you can tow your AS placing a double load on a single torsion arm suspension, which was designed to carry half the weight which you just put on.
It can be towed off the road to change a tire, it can also be towed hundreds of miles to the next service station, at reduced speed, and with caution, of course. It has been done many many times before your post. It will be done many many times again after this post.
The weight rating is a rating that takes into consideration the suspended weight of the trailer, where the axles function by providing a soft and subtle ride. Overloading does not necessarily mean that everything will immediately break, it merely means that the suspension will no longer function as advertised.
The torsion axle is designed to carry this weight with out a problem, so long that you have the correct setup with tires and wheels. Both Airstream and Dexter engeneering state this very point. Airstream does so in their owner's manuals, and have done so since they went in print with owner's manuals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
YES, you can use a ramp to drive your AS on to, but what happens when you do so? The dual axle is mounted to the frame solid. There is no load balance equalizer between axles such as on leaf spring suspension.
It is irrelevant what actually happens, since it is a method approved by Airstream engineering. I am certain that they ( the engineers) have done their homework before printing such methods in 1000's of owner's manuals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
The single wheel, being backed up onto ramp meets a very high resistance much like hitting a curb. The tire must lift about 75% of the trailer weight not including the resistance factor agaist the ramp, the torsion suspension on that arm takes incredible beating. While it is true that not as much
distortion takes place while towing without one tire, but that is because the frame is more or less on horizontal plane, thus spreading the load on three wheels. However when you back up on the ramp, you reverse the load factors. For any of you who wish to place 5000 lbs load onto a torsion shaft designed to carry 1800 lbs you can go ahead and do it, it is your AS because you own it.
Since when is a torsion shaft designed to hold only 1800 lbs of load? Since when is 75% of the trailer weight put on the tire when backing up on a ramp? Are you saying that we should never use leveling blocks? What about the tongue weight of the trailer? You ought to check and verify your facts before posting to a broad media such as these forums...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
Can you personally do it? YES you can. Can you get away with it? You may, but then you may not. It is your AS and it is your choice. Despite any opinion you may have, the engineering facts remain. You may call my post inaccurate if you can provide a factual proof that that your 1800 lbs torsion shaft can handle 5000 lbs load.
See above.
I personally, and all my dual axled friends have done this for quite a while, without any ill effects whatsoever. That is one of the reasons why I am calling your post inaccurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
If those torsion inserts and shafts were indestructible why do we have to replace them when they sag?
Because the rubber deteriorates, and it's suspension quality declines over time. This means that the ride quality deteriorates severely, causing damage to the frame and shell, due to vibration, shock and poor wheel control. On some older models, the spindles fatique and are prone to breaking off.
I have never heard of, or seen, or even imagined a broken off torsion arm.
It might have happened somehwere, at some point, but it is not a daily concern for the average Airstream owner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
Yes you can do anything you like to your AS, but I certainly would not do it to mine.
Nobody says that you should.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
If I could afford an AS, I can afford a jack and a spare wheel. By the same I will not be depended on service station 200 miles away in the middle of nowhere. If any one thinks that AS cares about you bending a torsion arm think again.
Think again about what? Bending a torsion arm is quite a feat. Have you looked at one lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
In the end it is not the question if it can be done, but a matter of better choice. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
I think the better and safer choice for the average owner is to use a ramp instead of a jack to change a tire. As is approved and endorsed by Airstream.
I also think the better and safer choice for all involved is to tow your dual axle airstream out of harm's way with 3 wheels, as far as it takes, to change the tire. As is approved and recommended by Airstream.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:20 AM   #37
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Quote:
Our forums are not about forcing individual views on the rest of the members, and that was not my aim.
This is why we should avoid suggesting people are committing suicide if they don't follow some arbitrary expert's advice. IMHO we should also avoid "its your airstream and you can do anything you want" assertions as these come across as a kind of a threat. Not good.

We have evidence on the floor that the torsion axle gets a set after it sits in a position for a long while - months or years. Older ones (pre 70 or so) also tend to get weak over time. There is no evidence that has been put up that a couple of hours on three legs is going to cause any permanent damage. Such a thesis does not make sense in this light so there is good reason to be skeptical about warnings against lifting three to work on one for short periods.

In normal use, the torsion in the axles have to be able to handle peak loads significantly above nominal loads and not suffer damage. Normal engineering practice in this area tends to go for a safety factor on the order of 5-10 (or more). Doubling the load on one axle, especially when that load is well below maximums to start with, and not subjecting that load to significant jarring stress, and limiting the time under such load - as is the case in limping on three to get to help or using three to lift one a couple of inches - should not cause any damage if this is so. If there is contrary information or logic then that should be presented. Flat assertions of opinions do not help change this and only fan flames.

As we have also seen, Airstream's jacking instructions are correct but suffer in terms of risk. It also appears that they have made improvements to reduce that risk over time. They have not mandated a single approach and, to the contrary, suggest the 'three to lift one' as a contingency with certain caveats.

There are very good reasons to use 3 to lift 1 using using a device such as in the link provided by 2air. Safety is a big one. Jacks, even using jack stands after jacking, are not as safe as sitting a vehicle on something solid close to the ground. The lift also eliminates the risk of the jack doing damage by hitting the wrong spot or pushing in the wrong direction.

Quote:
Boy this is better than talking about what tires to buy.
you got this right! ;-)

It is interesting how some topics really get people going. But then, it pays to keep in mind that those who really get into it are usually those with the most to give - so there is a lot to learn if you can handle the heat.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:25 AM   #38
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hey boatdoc buddy and forum friend...

you are digging a hole now....

time to rest the shovel.

inland andy did not comment on this 'ramp' issue that i can see...
he did say not to 'jack' on a torsion arm...
it will bend the axle and the alignment will change...
most of us know this.
we also know carrying a spare tire is important and the tools to change a flat...

and if we have the misfortune to lose 2 tires then what?

if the tires are properly inflated and speed reduced we can limp in for help...

even me with a triple axle...

you ask for evidence that it's ok. i'm under warranty and a/s says it's ok...

your evidence above isn't great and your math is off too...

perhaps inlandandy would like to comment on "is it ok to use a ramp for a tire change?"


i don't recall him ever posting on this issue..

reads like you've changed a few axles for folks...that's great experience.

but if i bring in my 200,000 mile 30 year old trailer with axle sag after having a flat tire...

did 20 miles on the solo tire lead to sag?

the point is, it is very hard to do analysis on used machines and decide what one event leads to failure.

now back to the original issue of where to jack...

oh and you can go back to your shovel... now that you've worked up a sweat....

cheers
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:33 AM   #39
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A good point has been made about not jacking the torsion arm. That raises a question concerning what is different between putting a jack there and raising a wheel. I think that gets to one of the fundamental problems with jacking. It ties in with the hubcentric wheel debate over on lug nuts and bolts and why trailer wheels have more trouble with them than most cars.

The issue is one of loading and forces and the design to handle them. A jack tends to put a whole lot of force on a very small area. The direction of that force at the point you have available to apply it may not be optimum for the design loads and stresses at that point. It may even be damaging just because of the pressure of the jack not being in quite the direction and distribution of forces anticipated by the design.

Also keep in mind that jacking a trailer usually lifts the entire side of the trailer. That requires a lot more force than just lifting one wheel off the ground. That extra weight and the concentration of force by the jack may be the source of a warning against lifting the axle plate or similar structures as well.

Where does the trailer meet the ground? Since that is designed for the load that is probably the best place to lift. After that, it gets complicated as the chain of loads has to be considered. We've gone over the axles a bit. The frame is kind of assumed, at least for a short distance to the rear. The suspension (torsion arms) have been dissed. Axle plate - I still worry but don't have the reference for what I think I remember.

Fun stuff. Amazing how something seemingly simple has some good puzzles to ponder.
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:23 PM   #40
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Smile bent torsion arms

Interesting reading!! And I hate to throw a monkey wrench into the discussion,but I happen to own a '79 T-wind 25' which has bent torsion arms.Didn't know it when I bought it,because it was sitting in long grass and on a bit of a side slope.But when I got it home and on my concrete slab,you could see it with the naked eye.So to prove it out I placed a bullet level on the flat part of the rims and sure enough,the top of the wheel is out 3/8's of an inch more than the bottom.The tires on that side are also badly worn on the outside.The man I bought it from sayed they came off a truck[and they are in fact truck type tires]and that that's the way they were when he put them on the trailer.I'm not normally so naive,but the rest of the trailer was very nice with a lot of new expensive items in it,and for $1800 I didn't think I could go wrong.I bought it with the idea that the axles may need to be replaced anyway,so I'm not too dissapointed. But back to the monkey wrench---the spindles are pointed down,so somewhere between them and the square tubes there is a bend.Seems it would just about have to be the torsion arm---right?And by the way,it remains the same when jacked up off the floor.
I would love to hear opinions on this problem and also on the idea of replacing them with Dexters. Thanks,Butch
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:54 PM   #41
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Butch,

Can you post a picture or two?

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Old 11-13-2006, 06:59 PM   #42
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hi butch

has it stopped raining yet? gee whizzz

i'm no mechanic or auto expert...

but the axles are supposed to be bowed slightly...

that's how a/s gets 'em aligned...

bowing the axles give camber? i think. no toe-in or caster on these babies.

jacking on the torsen can increase this bow or create more on one side than the other...

so jacking on the axles will screw up the alignment

can you take a photo of yours? are there any small dimples/indentations on them?

that might help the experts here, help you...

cheers
2air'
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