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Old 04-02-2014, 09:04 PM   #1
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
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1976 31' Sovereign tilts right pretty substantially

Trying to figure out if my issue is major, minor, or something altogether insane.

Basically, if looking at the Airstream directly from the back, the right / door side tilts quite hard. On a flat surface, I need 2-3" of leveling blocks to get her close enough to level.

I've recently had the brakes replaced and asked them to look and see if there was any issue with axles, they said no. At the time I wasn't thinking about the tilt and didn't specifically ask. The trailer doesn't seem to pull in any direction. These are just things that lead me to believe / hope it's not the axles.

Just looking for any ideas as to what it could be? A literally warped frame if that's possible? Or could bad shocks even be a possibility?
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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I hope it is the axles, if not the frame is bent or broken.

My bet is on the axles.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:24 PM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign tilts right pretty substantially

Axles are not too expensive, if you are on a real budget and your brakes are good you can save a few bucks buying bare axles.

Unfortunately, there is no fix for these axles when they are worn out, replacement is the only option.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:40 PM   #4
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sounds like axle failure
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clicknathan View Post
Trying to figure out if my issue is major, minor, or something altogether insane.

Basically, if looking at the Airstream directly from the back, the right / door side tilts quite hard. On a flat surface, I need 2-3" of leveling blocks to get her close enough to level.

I've recently had the brakes replaced and asked them to look and see if there was any issue with axles, they said no. At the time I wasn't thinking about the tilt and didn't specifically ask. The trailer doesn't seem to pull in any direction. These are just things that lead me to believe / hope it's not the axles.

Just looking for any ideas as to what it could be? A literally warped frame if that's possible? Or could bad shocks even be a possibility?
The following article will help you check out the axles yourself in less thn one minute.

The Dura-Torque Axle

When the trailer leans, the rubber rods on one side have failed.

Also, ball park, torsion axles only last about 25 years, and then must be replaced.

If not, and if the rubber rods have failed, then you will punish the trailer when traveling.

Airstreams must have a soft ride. When the rubber rods in the axles give out, then that ride becomes very harsh.

Andy
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:27 PM   #6
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Axle time. We were very pleased with our axles from Colin Hyde. He's very active here on the forum.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Thanks everyone! I'm going to try and go through the Dura-Torque article linked above today after work.

I'm out in Death Valley and headed to southern Utah, hopefully I can find somewhere out here to do an axle replacement if that is what it turns out to be. We're definitely past the 25 year mark. :P

Any idea of what kind of time it typically takes to have new axles put on? We're full-timers living out of the old girl so trying to get an idea as to how long we'll be without house and home.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone! I'm going to try and go through the Dura-Torque article linked above today after work.

I'm out in Death Valley and headed to southern Utah, hopefully I can find somewhere out here to do an axle replacement if that is what it turns out to be. We're definitely past the 25 year mark. :P

Any idea of what kind of time it typically takes to have new axles put on? We're full-timers living out of the old girl so trying to get an idea as to how long we'll be without house and home.
Replacing 2 axles and shocks on your Airstream should be ball park 4 hours.

Andy
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:58 AM   #9
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Its a job that can be done in a few hours. The time consuming bit is that you will need to order your axles and have them delivered where you intend to be in a few weeks' time. You probably won't be able to just drive into a shop and have some "off the shelf" axles installed.

good luck!
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:28 AM   #10
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Experiencing the exact thing with our "78" Ambassador. As others stated, it's likely your axles. We will be replacing ours. While your axles are off is a good time to wire brush and coat frame with POR 15 or Chassis Saver. It's amazing what new axles will do for your vintage trailer.

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Old 05-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #11
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Experiencing the exact thing with our "78" Ambassador. As others stated, it's likely your axles. We will be replacing ours. While your axles are off is a good time to wire brush and coat frame with POR 15 or Chassis Saver. It's amazing what new axles will do for your vintage trailer.

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Bob.

Torsion axle rubber rods, last about 25 years, when in service.

Those same rods can fail in as little as 2 to 3 years, if not exercised by being used.

Why one side of the axle rubber rods fail before the other side, is indeed a mystery, but it does often happen.

Andy
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:39 PM   #12
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Thanks Andy...I've always wondered about this. Our trailer has had this tilt since the day we got it. Only really noticed how bad it was when my daughter took pictures from behind as we were towing.

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Old 06-03-2014, 09:57 PM   #13
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Bob.

Torsion axle rubber rods, last about 25 years, when in service.

Those same rods can fail in as little as 2 to 3 years, if not exercised by being used.

Why one side of the axle rubber rods fail before the other side, is indeed a mystery, but it does often happen.

Andy
I wonder if the trailer was parked on an angled surface for a long time if that would do it?
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:30 AM   #14
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I wonder if the trailer was parked on an angled surface for a long time if that would do it?
History says no.

Andy
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