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Old 08-28-2016, 10:33 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
I just retired from a job near the Centramatics company/factory in Alvarado, Tx. They were very friendly and helpful, and quite willing to sell their product in pairs (such as for a single axle) which is not indicated in most advertising.

But they also convinced me that their product, while demonstrably efficient at smoothing-out horribly-balanced wheels at speed....... will not remove the still out-of-balance wheel/tire combination at lower speeds. That will only be addressed by the tire installer, which is when the initial balance should be conducted.

At the speeds rough roads are taken, the centramatics will do little-to-nothing for you because they are not up to sufficient speed to reposition the internal weights effectively.

In short, Centramatics are not to be used in-lieu of proper balancing. However, they can be helpful at higher speeds if a balance-weight is thrown or if a wheel/tire combination has multiple harmonic out-of-balance points. I passed on them and had my wheels dynamically balanced and have had no problems.

My avatar amused me. It is believed to be an actual photograph, but plagiarized. Glad it gave you a smile.
Thanks for the additional detail on the Centramatics and the photo - I can see it being real, and i'm amazed at the tiny bit of road, bicyclists think its safe to ride on, not to mention the places...
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:00 AM   #30
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One very short section of rough road at too fast of speed can cause that much damage.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:06 AM   #31
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In our Alaska trip couple years ago we had to travel on gravel roads due to construction. Only casualty: the bottom screws of outer dinnet bench got loose we had to replace them with over size one. The two screws holding the microwave required tightening a couple of times.
I was amazed with the quality and durability of our Airstream
Good luck
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #32
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I feel sorry for all those folks who finally bought a new AS only to realize it's not what they expected! I would never buy an AS built after 2002. That's when Thor bought AS and the quality has gone rapidly downhill since then. My 1978 is not a posh as a new one but after many thousand miles the only thing I've had an issue with is the bottom cupboard door hinges I replaced them with piano hinges and no problems.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:38 AM   #33
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What spring bars - the 750s or the 1000s? How tight did you adjust the weight transfer (how many links from the U-bolt)? Agenda - do you have a soft or stiff TV to Coach connection? The BO will provide a soft connection if adjusted correctly. Not all service techs or owners get it right the first time.

LS likely did a fine job of balancing the wheel and tire assemblies. The Centramatics cancel out any imbalance in the hub, drum, wheel, and tire assembly that is lost by changing tires. However, IMHO the minor balance improvement from Centros would not have prevented this damage.

The 23 tows easily and the F150 V-8 should roll it along nicely, but crossing a bad bump at more than a walk is a problem. You may want to review your speed. Traveling 65 is slow compared to 80, but still moving right along for a trailer. Hitting a bump at 35 can be damaging, but it may seem slow until you see the bump. And if you were really treating the coach with extreme care, then your warranty needs a workout and the dealer needs to step up.

However, sending a spread sheet to the service department is possibly not a good first step in developing the relationship you need. A face to face discussion to investigate the list one by one might help. Have you stood in front of the microwave cabinet with the service manager and inspected it for damage from the securing hardware that they feel was ripped out and you feel was not installed? Might be a good start.

If you can't get satisfaction ... ie they will not talk to you or do not see what you see, go to Bosie, Oregon, or the Bay area dealer - all same group and they all make money from the warranty. If this is a warranty claim, they are not out of pocket.

A bit more review of the TV, window, and storage loading would be a good idea. Did the TV fall off the bracket, or did it swing out on the hanger? Are there fasteners ripped out of the wall, broken fasteners on the bracket, or bent tabs on the bracket? Another poster asked if the window was locked? Most windows have to be pried open to release them from the seal. Understanding what happened is key to resolving it. What was in your closets, hanging clothes or heavy stuff that could pop them open? If only hanging clothes, the presale prep may have bee less than complete. I do not remember a hinge on the blind assembly, so no thoughts there. They are the best blinds we have seen and were part of the reason we purchased a 15. Several slams on several blinds with no ill effect. Sounds like it may have not been attached properly if it was not hit with something.

Hope very much this works out for you. Traveling is so much more fun than feeling frustrated. Glad you had at least some enjoyment on the trip.

Please don't consider the questions a version of the third degree. You really don't have to answer them, just consider the answers in your analysis and make it all work for you. However, we would appreciate an update when you work it all out. The collective learning is a help to all.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:45 AM   #34
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When we purchased our new 2014 23 ft we had very similar problems to yours. We took it to the dealer several times after 3 different trips and ALL the repair work was done under factory warranty.
We had problems with the microwave, refrigerator, drawers and cupboards, water pump, fridge fan and sensor for water levels, black and great tank.
We estimate we have about 30,000 miles on the trailer now and aside from needing to replace the tires, fixing the hinges periodically etc., all seems to be ok.
You should definitely start with the dealer and go to the President of Airstream if you don't get satisfaction on these issues.
Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:00 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bev1940 View Post
I would never buy an AS built after 2002. That's when Thor bought AS and the quality has gone rapidly downhill since then.
I hate it when people say things they know nothing about. Since they say it on the internet it must be true.

THOR was formed in 1980 by THompson and ORthwein to purchase Airstream from Beatrice. The Beatrice conglomerate was so desperate to sell Airstream that they loaned the total amount to the buyers (THOR) to make the purchase happen. Thompson and Orthwein were so successful in running Airstream that they had paid off the loan to purchase Airstream in 18 months.

Airstream was the first company owned by Thor.

So according to BEV1940 everything produced by Airstream since 1980 must be junk.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:39 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
What spring bars - the 750s or the 1000s? How tight did you adjust the weight transfer (how many links from the U-bolt)? Agenda - do you have a soft or stiff TV to Coach connection? The BO will provide a soft connection if adjusted correctly. Not all service techs or owners get it right the first time.

LS likely did a fine job of balancing the wheel and tire assemblies. The Centramatics cancel out any imbalance in the hub, drum, wheel, and tire assembly that is lost by changing tires. However, IMHO the minor balance improvement from Centros would not have prevented this damage.

The 23 tows easily and the F150 V-8 should roll it along nicely, but crossing a bad bump at more than a walk is a problem. You may want to review your speed. Traveling 65 is slow compared to 80, but still moving right along for a trailer. Hitting a bump at 35 can be damaging, but it may seem slow until you see the bump. And if you were really treating the coach with extreme care, then your warranty needs a workout and the dealer needs to step up.

However, sending a spread sheet to the service department is possibly not a good first step in developing the relationship you need. A face to face discussion to investigate the list one by one might help. Have you stood in front of the microwave cabinet with the service manager and inspected it for damage from the securing hardware that they feel was ripped out and you feel was not installed? Might be a good start.

If you can't get satisfaction ... ie they will not talk to you or do not see what you see, go to Bosie, Oregon, or the Bay area dealer - all same group and they all make money from the warranty. If this is a warranty claim, they are not out of pocket.

A bit more review of the TV, window, and storage loading would be a good idea. Did the TV fall off the bracket, or did it swing out on the hanger? Are there fasteners ripped out of the wall, broken fasteners on the bracket, or bent tabs on the bracket? Another poster asked if the window was locked? Most windows have to be pried open to release them from the seal. Understanding what happened is key to resolving it. What was in your closets, hanging clothes or heavy stuff that could pop them open? If only hanging clothes, the presale prep may have bee less than complete. I do not remember a hinge on the blind assembly, so no thoughts there. They are the best blinds we have seen and were part of the reason we purchased a 15. Several slams on several blinds with no ill effect. Sounds like it may have not been attached properly if it was not hit with something.

Hope very much this works out for you. Traveling is so much more fun than feeling frustrated. Glad you had at least some enjoyment on the trip.

Please don't consider the questions a version of the third degree. You really don't have to answer them, just consider the answers in your analysis and make it all work for you. However, we would appreciate an update when you work it all out. The collective learning is a help to all.

Travel safe. Pat
Hey Pat - all good points and happy to answer all questions - we want to learn and help others as well.

Not sure if we have the 750s or 1000s for spring bars, I'll find out - We had no problem with the external "feel of towing" everything was nicely balanced, the Blue Ox had 3.5 links showing (if I understand the question correctly), but I would say it definitely felt stiff, though never did I think that this thing feels wrong or odd, it towed smoothly - how does one determine whether the connect is too loose or too stiff - is this something I could feel with my hands or based on how the thing feels while under tow?

Interestingly enough, I had my wife drive around the RV park with me in trailer to experience life on the inside, I was shocked at how much vibration was happening inside - I had heard towing one of these babies, is like a home going through a major earthquake, I understand why now

We dropped off the trailer on the day after our return to Montana, we expected to talk face to face with the CEO of the Service dept. but she was out at the time we arrived

The intention behind the spreadsheet was to make sure I didn't forget anything and that the service dept. didn't forget as well - the dealer is a fair drive from home, so we got what we got.

I did get a call from the CEO and we went over the list on the phone, she didn't seem to have a problem at the time, and really not sure why the Service Manager seemed so hostile or non-caring.

My best guess on the TV was the closet door hit it in flight causing it to come out of the wall-mount which it was properly secured to, and the actual TV was shattered on the floor.

The closet had some clothes and other items, but generally packed pretty lightly... the closet door latch, which we had problems with previously was in a locked open position, not sure how this happens besides they stick - I mean, it happened when the trailer was in my driver as well (the latches sticking). Under tow I imagined the closet came open and was hanging by the hinges until it gave way.

The shade is a mystery - it came of at the points that it was secured to the unit - they are the same shades you speak of.


I'm hoping the dealer will do the right thing, its the only thing that makes sense really, because even if they only loose me as a customer they will have done themselves a disservice - I'm already thinking about other dealers for sure.

We were going very slow on this road, babying the thing...I can't believe we were going more than 20mph, but I can't say for sure - I don't think this one road was the culprit - its the same answer to how many BBs does it take to sink a battleship, the answer is 1, the last 1 . So while I was focused on the well maintained state hwy, I'm thinking it was simply the last BB

Thanks for all the info - very much appreciated!

Anthony/Angela
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:53 PM   #37
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I agree Airstreams are built as highway travelers, the mountings are just screws into the walls, hinges and fasteners are essentially household hardware. We have had nothing come loose in five year of extensive travel around the country on various highways, many roads not that great but it has all held together.

I would begin by evaluating the suspension mod and see what it has done to it's range of travel and flexibility. Then tire pressure and balance, hitch flexibility and adjustment, and amount and balancing of truck and trailer loads.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:30 PM   #38
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Excellent Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Background -

It takes a very rugged trailer to travel unpaved forest service roads. Reference the construction of the Fire Service vehicles.

We have about 23Kmiles on our 2015 FC23FB. The travel included some very rugged paved roads, but we did not experience any significant interior movement until we drove the back roads in New Hampshire and Maine where the frost heave does considerable damage to the road surface.

Drawers will fall out under spirited driving conditions, if they are heavily loaded. We have had this occur on two occasions and now secure the drawers, closet doors and refrigerator door when traveling. The closet door hinges will pop loose if the release button is activated by an internal item. The screws that hold the hinges can be pulled out if the door is heavily impacted. We have a latch that failed. Required new longer screws.

The microwave - not sure about that one. It is not a heavy unit and there is a facia that should have held the unit in place. If there is no indication of fasteners pulled out, then you should be having a serious conversation with the service manager.

The TV can be difficult to correctly secure if you do not pay strict attention to the engagement of the locking pin. Other than that, no clue as we have had no issues and the coach has been over some rough roads.

Potential solutions -

We did install the Centramatics. If your dealer changed out the wheels and tires and did not balance the complete wheel package including the drum and hub assembly, you may well have an out of balance condition.

We run the 15 in tires at about 40 PSI. The weight of the 23 does not require high inflation pressure in the tires.

There is also a possibility that your weight distribution hitch is stiffer than necessary. What hitch are you using? What weight bars are you using? What pressure do you run on the tow vehicle?

A rig is the sum of the parts and performance is tuned with a lot of different adjustments. So you may need to optimize a few.

You may also need to slow considerably when you travel rough roads.

Good luck with your development. Sorry to hear of your issues. Please continue to post your progress to help with the education of others.

Edit - search out the thread where Switz comments on the improved latches and hardware he installed. Might well be worth your time.

Travel safe. Pat
Great advice Pat!!! We bought the Pendleton and run the tire pressure on the 16" Michelins at the recommended 80 PSI- It took some trial and error to adjust the weight distribution bars on the Hensley, and a shorter tow bar to get level- F-150, V-8 gasser pulls it nicely. To much tension on the bars= mega bouncy trailer.
We've had a vanity mirror tear out the latch and a pull out microwave open but no damages. Email the service manager at your dealership and copy the AS regional rep. Call CS in Jackson Center and get the email address for the National Customet Service Manager. You will get some results!

Happy Trails!
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:32 PM   #39
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My wife and I are proud owners of a 2003 Classic 30. We have traveled many bad highways but have never gone off road. It is my opinion that Airstream builds a superior product and will out live any of the competition by many miles snd years. As an owner we need to take responsibility for the things that we have control of like (1) the weight of items carried in sliding drawers (2) the way we hitch the trailer (3) how we adjust the weight distribution bars (4) how we handle trailer sway (5) how we adjust the trailer brakes. Any one of these responsibilities overlooked can cause numerous problems. Before you blame the trailer or it's maker one should examine these key areas of responsibility. Then consider the competition and how inferior their building procedures are compared to Airstream. We know...we have evolved through the competition snd trust me...Airstream has every one of the beat hands down.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:22 PM   #40
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My wife and I are proud owners of a 2003 Classic 30. We have traveled many bad highways but have never gone off road. It is my opinion that Airstream builds a superior product and will out live any of the competition by many miles snd years. As an owner we need to take responsibility for the things that we have control of like (1) the weight of items carried in sliding drawers (2) the way we hitch the trailer (3) how we adjust the weight distribution bars (4) how we handle trailer sway (5) how we adjust the trailer brakes. Any one of these responsibilities overlooked can cause numerous problems. Before you blame the trailer or it's maker one should examine these key areas of responsibility. Then consider the competition and how inferior their building procedures are compared to Airstream. We know...we have evolved through the competition snd trust me...Airstream has every one of the beat hands down.
Very well stated. Thanks
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:41 PM   #41
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Again, like one of my previous comments, I hope the factory is listening. We are not asking to run the Baja 500 with our AS's, but we would like to go down the occasion Forest Service road. 😎
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:29 PM   #42
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I don't think AS gives a dam about Owners after pur. a AS new. I am registered owner of a New 1976 AS in 1977. Suburban furnace had recall because some people died from failure of furnace. I had this prob. but caught before we died I pur furnace replaced, only found out out recall when neighbor that used to work in repair at JC. So far zilch from AS about this recall, so is this proper custmr. care I think not. I retained all paper from pur. As of this date nada from AS. This was my 5th AS + 1 Argosy. I still own 76 AS. but no more......................
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