Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-04-2009, 07:35 AM   #1
New Member
 
1974 23' Safari
Hamilton , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
Maintenance before towing our Safari '74

I have a 1974 Safari with one axle. We have owned the trailer for a year but never had a chance to use her yet. We are considering towing her to Florida the December. My question since I donít have a history with it is there any key items I should be servicing. I plan to pull the wheels, grease wheel bearings, check tires and breaks. Thanks John
__________________

countryking1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2009, 08:13 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,498
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by countryking1 View Post
I have a 1974 Safari with one axle. We have owned the trailer for a year but never had a chance to use her yet. We are considering towing her to Florida the December. My question since I donít have a history with it is there any key items I should be servicing. I plan to pull the wheels, grease wheel bearings, check tires and breaks. Thanks John
Make sure the brake shoes and magnets still are serviceable. Also replace the grease seals when you grease the bearings.

Check the tires for weather cracks and cupping.

The tire, wheel hub and drum should all be balanced as an assembly.

There are other issues you could check, if the trailer has been parked for a long time. LPG systems, electrical systems, etc.

Andy
__________________

Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
New Member
 
1974 23' Safari
Hamilton , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Make sure the brake shoes and magnets still are serviceable. Also replace the grease seals when you grease the bearings.

Check the tires for weather cracks and cupping.

The tire, wheel hub and drum should all be balanced as an assembly.

There are other issues you could check, if the trailer has been parked for a long time. LPG systems, electrical systems, etc.

Andy
Thanks, my last trailer was a fifth wheel with two axles. I am also a little concerned with only one set of tires. I have no issues with towing since we have a 2500 duramax and the load hitch. I see most Safari's Airstreams with dual axles and they seem to be the same weight. We are just concerned about the weight on the same single axles. Thanks
countryking1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,498
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by countryking1 View Post
Thanks, my last trailer was a fifth wheel with two axles. I am also a little concerned with only one set of tires. I have no issues with towing since we have a 2500 duramax and the load hitch. I see most Safari's Airstreams with dual axles and they seem to be the same weight. We are just concerned about the weight on the same single axles. Thanks
Airstream made a number of 23 foot Safari's with one axle.

That really is a lot of weight for a single axle, and because of the one axle, vertical movement of the tongue when traveling, can become excessive. It can get bad enough that the back end of the tow vehicle becomes a mix-master.

All you can do, is make sure the entire suspension system and running gear, is in top or nearly so, condition.

Airstream decided to later make that model with a tandem axle, which accomplished many positive things, like more load capacity, and severly curtailing the vertical movement of the tongue.

Welcome to Airstreaming. You are in the right place to have any and all of your questions answered, sometimes with facts, sometimes with opinions, but usually with experiences.

Andy
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar
 
1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,460
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by countryking1 View Post
I have a 1974 Safari with one axle. We have owned the trailer for a year but never had a chance to use her yet. We are considering towing her to Florida the December. My question since I donít have a history with it is there any key items I should be servicing. I plan to pull the wheels, grease wheel bearings, check tires and breaks. Thanks John

How about checking the axle? My -73's were *shot* and thus, replaced.
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 05:41 PM   #6
New Member
 
1974 23' Safari
Hamilton , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
How about checking the axle? My -73's were *shot* and thus, replaced.


I read somewhere there was a design change for 73 to 74 axles.
countryking1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 07:50 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
1965 17' Caravel
Birmingham , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 180
I would do all the wheel related maintenance you suggested including checking all three tires for corect pressure. Make sure to check that the lug nuts are all tight - use a torque wrench. Are the tires 5 years old (or older)? If so, spring for fresh tires. That alone should give you good confidence.

Check the tail lights. Check the set-up of the weight distrubution bars. Check the emergency chains. Secure everything inside, make sure you have any packed cargo weight up front and not all behind the axle.

Then take her for a short tow - 10 miles on various roads and various speeds. Get out and feel the wheels and tires periodically. Adjust the brake controller on a quiet street. Check to be sure there is a tiny amount of loose play in the bearings, you don't want them too tight. Tow it another 10 miles, get out on the interstate then check the wheel temperatures again. If it all works, relax and go camping.
gwchitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,498
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by countryking1 View Post
I read somewhere there was a design change for 73 to 74 axles.
It was determined that the composition of the rubber rods used in all the torsion axles installed by Airstream, at both plants, was incorrect, from the 1973 models and older. That would allow to axles to settle, ratherquickly, and cause the trailer to bottom out.

The problem was resolved starting with the 1974 models.

However, rubber must be exercised to stay alive.

If, as an example, a torsion axle, regardless of brand, has a weight load similair to the weight of the trailer, imposed upon it, but not exercised by simple movement, the rubber rods can solidify and/or simply fail and give up.

Torsion axle equipped anything, from travel trailers to farm implements, must be moved probably once a year or more, to keep the rubber rods, alive.

If not, then the rods more than likely will fail, even with the latest models.

When the rubber rods have failed, bottoming out will occur when traveling, that in turn, will cause many damages to the trailer.

There are two tests that can be visually be done, as outline in an article that's in Airstream Central.

Andy
__________________

Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1968 Safari 22' :: 1968 Airstream Safari Darrengj Airstream Registry Discussions 0 08-19-2011 08:32 AM
Safari :: 2006 Airstream Safari SE Mrs Silverback Airstream Registry Discussions 0 08-19-2011 08:31 AM
Towing with a TDI VW Jetta PA BAMBI II Tow Vehicles 102 07-21-2011 09:27 AM
New Safari owner 2001sport 1966 - 1968 Safari 10 06-24-2011 11:30 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×