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Old 08-22-2007, 11:03 AM   #1
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Running gear balance problem?

I'm fast approaching my wits end. After out first real trip in May, our Base Camp had been to the dealer to fix leaks, we've taken it to Jackson Center to have them fix leaks, and now it's leaking again. Here's the rub, I can't see where the water is coming in (it shows up as a river on the floor, mostly CS), but there isn't that many places it CAN leak.

I'm wondering if, maybe, the running gear might be out of balance and it's shaking loose the weather sealing for the big, non-opening side windows. I made an appointment at Colonial for Friday to see if they can find out what's going on.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:08 AM   #2
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I'm a firm believer that running gear imbalance causes problems big and small.

Since your tires and drums/hubs are not balanced by the factory you need to balance all the componants.

Run wheel balance under search and you'll find a pictorial by Inland RV on the steps required. It's different than just getting your tires balanced. I have also seen the pictorial on the Inland RV site.

Once you know what kind a balancing you need you can call around your area and get it done.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
I'm a firm believer that running gear imbalance causes problems big and small.

Since your tires and drums/hubs are not balanced by the factory you need to balance all the componants.

Run wheel balance under search and you'll find a pictorial by Inland RV on the steps required. It's different than just getting your tires balanced. I have also seen the pictorial on the Inland RV site.

Once you know what kind a balancing you need you can call around your area and get it done.
We've had threads on this before -- it's darned hard finding shops with the equipment -- much less understanding what is being requested. If Colonial doesn't find anything else it might be a case where Centramatics would help.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler
...there isn't that many places it CAN leak.
you are joking right bob?

did you take the tour in j/c and visit the bcamp building out back?

there are 100s of places for a leak to start,

and because of the fiberglass exoskeleton and alum skin cladding arrangement,

the water from those leaks can migrate all over d place.

you might try recreating a 'leak test' at home...

basically, insert a vacuum cleaner hose blowing air INTO your unit and seal around the hose...

the goal is to create positive air pressure INSIDE the unit.

then with a bottle of soapy water, spray the outside in areas you suspect....

if it bubbles, ya got a leak.

as for the tires...

the tire/wheel assembly on a/s trailers IS balanced at the factory (the vendor does it) but this old story won't die.

and as bob knows bcamps don't have the usual wheel/tire found on the usual a/s trailer...

bcamps come with passenger car tires/wheels that are either off road styled or street style with a much lower profile.

any tire shop can do these wheel/tires although with the low profile version 'hunter road force' balancing is ideal..

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
any tire shop can do these wheel/tires although with the low profile version 'hunter road force' balancing is ideal..
Bob, if you can get your Basecamp down here (a great excuse for a camping trip), I will happily road force balance your tires for you.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the tire/wheel assembly on a/s trailers IS balanced at the factory (the vendor does it) but this old story won't die.
'
That's news to me. As far as I know, no mfg. balances trailer drums. Balancing the tires and wheels is not the problem here.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
you are joking right bob?

did you take the tour in j/c and visit the bcamp building out back?

there are 100s of places for a leak to start,

and because of the fiberglass exoskeleton and alum skin cladding arrangement,

the water from those leaks can migrate all over d place.

you might try recreating a 'leak test' at home...

basically, insert a vacuum cleaner hose blowing air INTO your unit and seal around the hose...

the goal is to create positive air pressure INSIDE the unit.

then with a bottle of soapy water, spray the outside in areas you suspect....

if it bubbles, ya got a leak.

as for the tires...

the tire/wheel assembly on a/s trailers IS balanced at the factory (the vendor does it) but this old story won't die.

and as bob knows bcamps don't have the usual wheel/tire found on the usual a/s trailer...

bcamps come with passenger car tires/wheels that are either off road styled or street style with a much lower profile.

any tire shop can do these wheel/tires although with the low profile version 'hunter road force' balancing is ideal..

cheers
2air'
Nope, no joke. They didn't have any b'camps in production while we were there, so we didn't get to see them without their clothes on. As for being able to pressurize the unit, there isn't any way I can see to do that. The windows aren't like a conventional trailer, and the rear doors would make it a practical impossibility.

It's my understanding that while the wheels and tires are balanced, the brake drums are not (see many posts on the subject by InlandRV, I pulled a wheel off and didn't see any evidence of weights welded to the brake drums). It's the brake drums and possibly the wheel hubs I'm wondering about...
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:07 PM   #8
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You show a picture of the lower section of the trailer. Is that because that is about where you think the leak is?

Give a better discription as to where the water is showing up inside the trailer.

At one point I drilled a hole in the bulkhead forward of the refig and found water on the drill bit when I removed the drill. It took months to find that the shower vent cover was cracked and the drain hole under the cap was clogged. Under tis condition the water would build up in the vent assembly overflow into the skin and run along an frame member for about 4 ft and leak into the bulkhead. Water can travel before it shows.

Had I not want to install a thermometor and pass a wire through that bulhead I would have never known of the leak, as it did not show anywhere.

As for balancing or any type of axle/wheel work consider Gommer's in Chamberburg Pa. They corrected my problems, in that area, at Jackson's advise after Jackson had a try at it.

Colonial is a USED CAR Dealer attempting to sell Airstreams.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler
Nope, no joke. They didn't have any b'camps in production while we were there, so we didn't get to see them without their clothes on. As for being able to pressurize the unit, there isn't any way I can see to do that. The windows aren't like a conventional trailer, and the rear doors would make it a practical impossibility.

It's my understanding that while the wheels and tires are balanced, the brake drums are not (see many posts on the subject by InlandRV, I pulled a wheel off and didn't see any evidence of weights welded to the brake drums). It's the brake drums and possibly the wheel hubs I'm wondering about...
If you realy want to yu can seal those obvious door and window leak duct tape will do it. Not a fun idea but it will work.

As for the drums effecting the overall balance of the wheel assembly, remember any given weight that is out of balance will only have an effect porportional it distance from the centerline of the assembly. Tires have a much greater effect then the drums.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler
..there isn't any way I can see to do that...
my understanding is the dealers who do this use roof access via the a/c or a vent fan...

i understand the bcamp ac isn't up there.

does the bcamp have a fresh water inlet?

one could drain the plumbing, open the sink faucet and run compressed air in via the water inlet...

leaks make for desperate measures sometimes!

as for the hubs...

the 'balance yer hubs' concept is fine to preach...

when you've got one of the few shops anywhere that can or will do this...

besides the data for this is based on old trailers...

have hub assembly tolerances improved any in the 21st century?

who makes the bcamp hubs?

i'd check the dexter website or call/email them for info...

what specs are these axels/hubs/drums brakes built to? does dexter EVER recommend hub balancing?

many small cars and economy trucks still use drum brakes on the rear...

DO ANY of these automakers 'balance the hubs'?

do drivers of these vehicles find/notice issues related to drum imbalance?

no offense to i.a. but the bcamp is not very much like a 60s gt....

and this unit is more likely to have wheel/tire balance issues as these tires wear...

does your have the 20 inch wheels?

i'd consider adding liquid (stan's, simonize, slime) sealant inside the tires....

this will protect against slow leaks AND work like tire beads to offset imbalances...

from the hub bub or rim or tire...

sadly there isn't a similar product for leaking 'streams...

lastly does the unit leak when parked?

this info would affect the running gear theory.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by uwe
That's news to me. As far as I know, no mfg. balances trailer drums. Balancing the tires and wheels is not the problem here.
mr uwe,

righty you are again...

noticed as i was rotating the tires that they were balanced from the factory.

i, as we speak, have just installed the Centramatic Balancers.

what timing...

i only managed to take two pictures however...

this should stop, the shake, rattle 'n roll...

and yes, you could use the search box above, instead of hijacking the thread... as i just did...

kevin
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
my understanding is the dealers who do this use roof access via the a/c or a vent fan...

i understand the bcamp ac isn't up there.

does the bcamp have a fresh water inlet?
No, but that's a good idea. I can disconnect the sink drain and pipe air in that way. The BC air is on the bottom front of the box, it would have tpo be sealed off with plastic sheeting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
one could drain the plumbing, open the sink faucet and run compressed air in via the water inlet...

leaks make for desperate measures sometimes!

as for the hubs...

the 'balance yer hubs' concept is fine to preach...

when you've got one of the few shops anywhere that can or will do this...

besides the data for this is based on old trailers...

have hub assembly tolerances improved any in the 21st century?

who makes the bcamp hubs?

i'd check the dexter website or call/email them for info...
The axle is a Dexter. I was more concerned about the drums than the hubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
what specs are these axels/hubs/drums brakes built to? does dexter EVER recommend hub balancing?

many small cars and economy trucks still use drum brakes on the rear...

DO ANY of these automakers 'balance the hubs'?
Yes, car drum brakes are balanced (at least all of them I've worked on have been). I did the rear brakes on my TV ( a 2000 GMC van) and they are balanved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
do drivers of these vehicles find/notice issues related to drum imbalance?

no offense to i.a. but the bcamp is not very much like a 60s gt....

and this unit is more likely to have wheel/tire balance issues as these tires wear...

does your have the 20 inch wheels?
Yeah, not much in common with a GT, that's for sure... Max gross weight is 2500 pounds. We're probably getting close to that weight with our gear. Yes, we have the 20" wheels (275 45R 20). We've towed a little less than 3500 miles since she was new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i'd consider adding liquid (stan's, simonize, slime) sealant inside the tires....

this will protect against slow leaks AND work like tire beads to offset imbalances...

from the hub bub or rim or tire...

sadly there isn't a similar product for leaking 'streams...

lastly does the unit leak when parked?

this info would affect the running gear theory.

cheers
2air'
If only there was a "Slime for 'Streams", we'd all be in hog heaven. Yes, she leaks when parked. For the record, she's sitting slightly nose and CS high in the driveway (about an inch in both directions).

My thought is that vibration may have screwed up the sealing of side windows (the non-opening ones). They CS side window was resealed at JC and was fine for the couple of days when she wasn't moving much. After about 700 miles of towing, it leaks...

Then again, they re-sealed a LOT on this trailer, and God only knows where the water is coming from now...
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler
The axle is a Dexter. I was more concerned about the drums than the hubs.

...Yes, we have the 20" wheels (275 45R 20). We've towed a little less than 3500 miles since she was new.
the drums come from dexter also, correct? i would still contact them about this you are under warranty.

are the tires contis?

many of us (my track club) with stock contis in 40/45 series have had issues with out of round tires.

i've had 7 of 8 replaced on new cars because they were TOO asymmetrical to correct with the hunter road force balancer.

terry's offer to road force is worth some bucks!

my concern with these 45 series tires would be flat spotting from prolonged parking; this is common on lower profile tires.

some tires i've had need 10 miles of driving to correct and others 25 or more.

the solution for me, besides switching tire brands,

was to inflate the tires 3-5 psi higher (when parked) that the vehicle guide, but still under max cold inflation pressure,

then quickly bleed some pressure b4 driving.

given how long an rv can sit unused it is very likely those tires will flat spot...

so consider some easy way to raise this trailer off the wheels when not in use....

of course none of this finds or fixes the leak...

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler
They didn't have any b'camps in production while we were there, so we didn't get to see them without their clothes on....
hey bob

we aren't allowed to take photos on the tour anymore...

so here is a pic of the bcamp shell....

enjoy!

cheers
2air'
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