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Old 10-24-2002, 08:06 PM   #29
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Just looked at a 1974 31' rear bath that had it.
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:48 PM   #30
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I looked at 20 or so trailers before buying the current one. The majority of the trailers had the crinkle by the front wheel, associated with tail sag. I did not think my Tradewind had it, but it looks like it is starting on this one. It has a few lose rivets on the outer skin near the wheel wells, and a slight crinkle in front of the streetside front wheel.........bummer. I have never abused this trailer, but had not had it balanced yet. Waiting to find some nice wheels for it.
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:12 PM   #31
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Andy is right on the vibration issue. If your axles and shocks are in good condition then there are two things left, those that spin, the brake drums and the wheels and tires. Drums are usually pre-balanced from the factory, thats what those little tabs are welded to them. No casting Co. can cast perfect balance. Rims and tires are spin balanced at around 65 mph (given todays highway speeds).
So with that in mind and taken care of, the one thing that hasn't been mentioned is GRAVITY! How many folks here put their jack stands down during long periods of inactivity? Think about it, 10-14 ft of weight behind the rear axle with no support for an extended period of time, dry or not. The laws of Physics attack our thighs, butt, belly chins and cheeks, and our "Tin Cans" are no exception! Oscar
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:25 PM   #32
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Hmmm

Hi Oscar,

I would think the silly trailer should be able to sit on it's wheels and tongue jack for it's entire life, without it starting to bend and sag. I'm not subscribing to the gravity theory just yet, especially not with the trailer at rest.
If the frame and construction should be this weak indeed......then we're all in serious trouble, even when discounting the body parts you had mentioned.
Airstream brake drums are not balanced - no signs of material removed, or welded on tabs ( or washers, in some cases). Just big, heavy orbital vibration devices........right, Andy?
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Old 10-24-2002, 11:19 PM   #33
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It's not a silly trailer...

it's an AIRSTREAM!!

Sorry uwe, had to throw that in there!

If we can't get factory balanced drums somethings wrong. Automotive drums are balanced, wht not TT's? Why balance tires and rims if the drum is out of wack? Defeats the purpose of correct suspension balance.
As for the gravity issue try this, put a pillow on the floor and lay down on it twixt pelvis and chest, extend arms and clasp hands, put cup under palms of hands. Balance weight between hands and pillow, lift those legs! Now stay there for 40 yrs. and see if you don't sag! You said it, the majority of TT's you looked at had the "sag". I can't blame everything on suspension and wheel balance, care and TLC are also part of the equation. Oscar
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Old 10-24-2002, 11:35 PM   #34
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Question Take It Or Leave It / Wrong Attitude

Uwe I am interested in the "telltale crinkle" you mentioned. Please tell us more.

I cannot believe that this situation is such a contentious matter, the Service Bulletin is also very interesting.Why has Airstream remained so silent?

Perhaps the Airstream company never wanted to address the problem, fearing law suits and buy backs or some such. Maybe it was fear of insurance claims since they owned a big trailer insurance plan. (Wasn't Inland-Andy a troubleshooter for that branch of Airstream at one time)? Could it be that the "Rolls Royce" of trailers just couldn't bear a design flaw blemish on it's carefully manicured reputation? Could they have just been too greedy for a recall, or financially unable to survive one? I hope not, but you know Big Business would never decieve anyone. Right!

I find Inland-Andy's unyeilding and "take my word for it or screw yourself"attitude on this subject very very unfortunate. He should welcome our questions (no matter how inane) and accept that the forums are as much for our self improvement and free discussions as for his self promotion and free advertising. As I have said before I appreciate his coming here (and to every other forum) but he should feel the same of me/us. I have never Argued with him about anything, yet as of now, he has Never answered one of my questions.

Could what I call Tail-Smack contribute to the sag problem in any way?
Tail-Smack is what happens when going up a slope such as a driveway apron or driving thru a quick dip and the rear slams into the pavement. Seems like this would cause the frame to 'bend' upward however. Thoughts appreciated.

thanks
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Old 10-25-2002, 09:54 AM   #35
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I could see how a "tail strike" (as they call it in aviation parlance) would weaken the structure back there, and eventually lead to sag.
I saw footage of a 747 being tested for this...apparently they have to demonstrate that the aircraft can tolerate a certain amount of this "abuse"...anyway, it is a scary sight watching a pilot deliberately pulling up too sharply on takeoff, dragging the ass-end of such an enourmous craft down the runway, sparks flying in a plume behind it. Yikes!!

Anyway, I'm sure its a combination of effects that cause it. Andy has said that trailers that don't move don't usually have the problem...hence the "vibration" theory. but obviously, this wouldn't happen if there wasn't alot of weight hanging off the back of the trailer, too. Seems to me the design should tolerate a reasonable amount of all of these potential stresses combined. but then you'd have to define "reasonable"...
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Old 10-25-2002, 09:58 AM   #36
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Cause of the sag

Too much lovemaking in the rear bath area.
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Old 10-25-2002, 09:59 AM   #37
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Hex.
I don't recall any question that you directed to me.
I will answer most any "reasonable" question, on a time available basis.
I have a choice to make most days. Do I answer questions, on the net, or do I work with our customers that are in my office, or do I answer some of the more than 100 telephone calls that are direct to me most every day??
The customers that are at our facility, will always come first. The customers that call to place parts orders will always come next. That leaves the net for last. Therefore, some days I can and some days I just don't have enough time. Straight forward questions are always welcomed, but if someone wants to get into a dragged out argumentative discussion that's not going any place, I am not interested in that kind of participation.
I have never given anyone the choice of my way or no way.
I do have many answers that I am willing to share, that come from many years of experience, research and testing. If someone adopts them, that's fine. If they choose not to, that's their choice too. Opinions are great, but they cannot over shadow facts.
What is a design flaw? Why pick on Airstream? General Motors and Ford still have design flaws today!
It's a matter of opinion, and not necessarily fact.
I don't think that my car should suffer any damage if I hit a brick wall at 30 miles per hour. Again, opinion.
Today's technology cannot be applied to anything from the past. Again, look at the auto industry. American cars would be a thing of the past, because of foreign technology and quality control. But, we learned and shaped up. So has any other manufacturer that wanted to stay in business, Airstream included.
Continuous picking on Airstream for things of the long distance past, to me, serves little to no useful purpose. Chatting and sharing knowledge of how to and why to fix those things, does make considerable sense, and serves a great purpose.
Ask your questions, and I will answer them in brief, on a time available basis, provided that they are reasonable and informative to this group.
Someone posted and said that drums are balanced with a metal plate. That's very true, within the auto industry. NOT TRUE, in the RV industry. Why? I don't have an answer for that. Therefore we all must address the problem, and take the necessary corrective measures ourselves, and if we choose not to, then how can anyone blame someone else for their individual decisions?


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Old 10-25-2002, 12:16 PM   #38
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Hex

Hello Hex,
It is an uncomfortable subject. We need to realize that the Airstream trailers are flawed by problems, much like anything else on the market. The company apparently does not respond to the inherent problems, does not offer real advice what causes it, does not admit that there might be a problem in the first place. Why should they - it's been 30 years or so since this started, and no one has sued yet, to my best knowledge. Big business usually only responds to attorneys and threads to loss of sales, everything else is secondary to them. So we have a first class trailer that has 4 very heavy rapidly rotating items ( 12" brake drums) installed unbalanced from the factory. These are the facts. After a few thouseand miles, the vibration starts to take it's toll on all the items that Andy has described so many times already. The guy might be a pain at times, but he knows his sh....!! Better separate Andy from the Airstream factory in your mind. InlandRV is able to help us repair and prevent the problem. Don't confuse Andy with Airstream's lack of attention to details. It took me a while to get over being p/o'd over something so crucially dumb of Airstream. So dumb of Airstream in fact, that I did not want to believe a word of what Andy said - yeah right - lack of drum/wheel balance destroying the trailer - you gotta be kidding, Andy! But you know what, after owning the Tradewind for a while now, it all makes sense. It explains why sometimes the curtains come off, why the tambours somehow open while driving, and why more and more exterior rivets detach from the ribs, also why the rear goucho became detached from the wall. Bottom line, you guys and girls, get the freaking running gear balanced, stop argueing, and go camping.
I am sure that other factors also play a key role in the rear end sag saga, like bottoming out, or jumping the trailer over railroad tracks etc. One guy's trailer I looked at had a 55Gal drum of bike fuel inthe rear bathroom of a 72 Sovereign. Shoulda seen the crease on that one.........
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Old 10-25-2002, 01:21 PM   #39
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Gosh, I love this stuff! What that I do for thrills and excitement before I purchased my AS?
Brouck
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Old 10-25-2002, 01:49 PM   #40
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The company apparently does not respond to the inherent problems, does not offer real advice what causes it, does not admit that there might be a problem in the first place.
What are you talking about? they posted a service bulliten about it, and prescribed a fix. ok, maybe they should have re-called all the trailers and paid for the fix themselves....But it seems that they did admit there was a problem, and respond to it.
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Old 10-25-2002, 01:59 PM   #41
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For you "do it yourselfer's"....

There is a "Snap-on" wheel balancer at E-bay (# 1870079550), little over 7 hrs. left. Price is at $260.50 and appears reserve has been met. Oscar
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Old 10-25-2002, 02:50 PM   #42
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Chuck,

I am talking about delivering expensive trailers with unbalanced running gear in the first place. Then at some point later sending bulletins to their dealers, most of which apparently don't even have the equipment to properly balance. I feel that Airstreams efforts to clarify an obviously controversial problem are very weak; by my standards of doing business. I wonder if they are installing balanced drums on the new trailers, and if so, since when. I also wonder if their factory replacement drums now come balanced.
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