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Old 08-06-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
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2006 Bambi Quick Silver Axle Weights

I have been a bit suspicious about our Quick Silver's weight carrying capacity. Now that I have weighed the trailer, I am concerned.

A/S webiste says:

UBW: 2825 lbs
NCC: 675 lbs (doesn't include options, fluids, personal effects
Tongue wt 430 lbs(doesn't include options, fluids, personal effects.

Checking with Dexter, our axle is rated at 3500 lbs with a 22.5 degree down angle.
The 14 inch rims are A/S factory alloy wheels ( Made in Argentina) Max weight cap is 1900 lbs at 50 psi with Goodyear Marathon 225X75X14 Load Range "C" max weight is 1870 lbs. (YES they are 14 INCH TIRES)
I asked Airstream Customer Sevice the other day whether the UBW was to include the Quiclk Silver options of A/C unit, electric jack, spare tire/carrier and TV/DVD/Stereo. He said all the Quick Silvers were built with all the options. Hmm. One would think, then, the dry weight included all the above.
Off to the scales. Wow, you'll never believe this"!!!!
Bambi Quick Silver with full water ( 29 gallons, 23 fresh, 6 hot) empty holding tank, LP, linens, dishes (plastic) some pan/pots, awning wand, BAL jack crank, 2 25ft waterhoses, plus sewer hose. There is no clothing, or food in the trailer.

Bambi on scale by itself............................................ .. 3,480 lbs
curbside tire on scale hooked to truck, no load leveling bars1,380 lbs
roadside tire on scale hooked to truck, no bars,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,1,540 lbs
Tongue weight. just tonguejack on scale...........................500 lbs
Trailer on scale hooked to truck.....................................2,960 lbs.

Adding load leveling bars will transfer about 30%(150lbs) of the tongue weight to the trailer axle.
MY question is??? Is this trailer going to be over weight taking into account the dynamics of rolling suspension action. The arms on the axle have zero negative down angle. That was very evident when I jacked the trailer up to remove a tire to see what the rim was rated at.
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:18 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:38 PM   #3
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Andy, what is your opinion?
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:49 PM   #4
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Hello Coloradobus -- Let me see if I can digest this. I don't see anything unusual with your numbers right off.

Airstream's published numbers seem a little goofy to me. 2825# UBW for the Quicksilver (QS) & 16' CCD, but 2950 for the 16' Safari. The QS has the spare tire & electric jack, right? Now the Safari includes the LS package as an option only on top of UBW (thus adding electric jack and most significantly a spare tire).

Tongue weight can be 10-15% of trailer weight. 430# listed for the QS is right at 15% -- not bad actually since it does include a spare tire. Okay -- you've got to install WD gear aftermarket and put propane in the tank -- being up front these add principally to the tongue weight (but rather different than longer Airstreams probably). With full water as described I'd say you're getting by very nicely at only 500# tongue weight. Is the water tank behind the axle?

You list "Trailer on scale hooked to truck" as 2960# -- I assume this is both tires and no tongue weight. This is pretty good accuracy for a scale and reasonably reflects the sum of your right & left tire weights. So you are below the 1900# each wheel capacity and you are well below the 3500# axle capacity. All the tongue weight is carried by the tow vehicle and you should be fine. Let's look at that next...

I do not think the following is a correct assumption:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradobus
Adding load leveling bars will transfer about 30%(150lbs) of the tongue weight to the trailer axle.
In my opinion "load leveling bars" (Weight Distribution or WD gear) take some of the tongue dead weight off your tow vehicle's rear axle by torquing the TV frame and transferring some of the load to the front axle of the TV. This may be the 30% you mention -- the exact figure may be conceptual perhaps but you're talking in the right range. WD gear doesn't really increase trailer axle loading and therefore you should be well under your axle rating. See the visited the CAT scale and the numbers are in thread and read about the trailer axle loadings being unchanged before and after WD gear engagement (and I hope my memory serves me right!). Such a very short trailer may alter normal geometry and assumptions about 'no transfer to trailer axle' but I'd expect trends in the direction we're discussing and you should not have to tap-dance around your 3500# axle limit.

Where are we .... When you get up to a true trip loading (clothing & food) your tongue weight will be a litle higher -- though probably not much considering storage locations in the 16-footer. Your tow vehicle has a 'load capacity' or 'payload capacity' listed in its owners manual. You must take the weights of all the optional TV equipment, fuel, driver + passengers, internal TV luggage and the complete tongue weight -- add them together and this number must not exceed your TV's payload capacity. Or else, as Robert Shaw said, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Arms on suspension -- down angle -- let's see what others have to say. Thanks for a very good question!
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Old 08-06-2006, 11:43 PM   #5
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Canoe Stream,

Thanks for you input. The fresh water tank is under the road side bench seat of the front dinnette. Next in line is the stove w/frig below, the sink and hotwater heater. only thing of weight on the door side is the bathroom,
Per some information one of our unit members has about hitches and weight distribution, he told me yesterday the weight distributing hitches take 30% ot tongue weight and transfers it to the front axle of the TW and places 20% of the tongue to the trailer. leaving the other 50% in this case 250lbs on the rear of the TW. I am just fearful there is very little flexilbility in the torsion arms since they have no negative angle.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:39 AM   #6
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Canoe Stream,
I figure the difference in weights between the CCD, Quick Silver and Safari 16 footers is the wrap-around windows in the rear and front.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradobus
Canoe Stream,

Thanks for you input. The fresh water tank is under the road side bench seat of the front dinnette. Next in line is the stove w/frig below, the sink and hotwater heater. only thing of weight on the door side is the bathroom,
Per some information one of our unit members has about hitches and weight distribution, he told me yesterday the weight distributing hitches take 30% ot tongue weight and transfers it to the front axle of the TW and places 20% of the tongue to the trailer. leaving the other 50% in this case 250lbs on the rear of the TW. I am just fearful there is very little flexilbility in the torsion arms since they have no negative angle.
Colorado--It seems if you are in doubt as to whether the WD bars add weight to the trailer you could find out by simply weighting the trailer with and without the bars being hooked up.---pieman
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
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I would be concerned. The tires are rated for 260 pounds better than the actual load. (W/O being hooked to the TV) The axles are rated for 20 pounds better that the actual load. (W/O being hooked to the TV) And that is with out food or clothing. Surely you pack more that 20 lbs of food.

You can save almost 150 to 175 pounds by not towing with water. I never tow with water. And I never dry camp. For the same reasons I never camp in a tent.

Even hooking the trailer up to the TV and the TV taking the tongue weight, (500 to 520 #'s which is over 10% of the trailer load) I would be concerned about the tires and the axle when towing a full load with water. These are the weak points. The wheels/bearings and brakes should be up for the load. Changing tires may be an easy fix. However the 14" rim size will make your choices more difficult.

The axle. Well that would be a bit more.

In my opinon I would be a bit nervous. Like if the tire blew and caused other damage, who's gonna fix the trailer?

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Old 08-07-2006, 12:27 PM   #9
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BTW, Not sure where you travel, non-paved surfaces, and 130+ pavement temps don't help your cause.

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Old 08-07-2006, 03:05 PM   #10
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Action,
This is why I am alarmed. Everything about this trailer is marginal. For that reason, we haven't used it since we bought it. Our mistake, not checking on the stats prior to buying.
I did get a call back from Airstream a hour ago. "Randy" said he never had a call like this before. "Asking for a stouter axle, etc and determining if it structurally safe to use as loaded.. I said I weigh everytning, mostly for following the tire pressure chart.
I always travel with water, full water. The two times in other RV's we didn't have water, we wished we had in a bad way. The extra cost in fuel is miniscule.
Airstream prints the Quick Silver weighs 2,825 lbs., not including options, fluids, or personal effects. So what do we use it for, I ask?
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradobus
Airstream prints the Quick Silver weighs 2,825 lbs., not including options, fluids, or personal effects. So what do we use it for, I ask?
It's a guide. The most accurate data will come from a weigh scale when you are packed for a trip.

Run the tires at max press cold and enjoy it.

5 gal of water in a portable container is may be your solution for travel water. I have never had the need. However all I ever do is go to Mexico to the same park every year. My Overlander is the financial alternative to buying property there. It has served this mission well.

I suppose I will venture out to other places. However I really enjoy the ocean.


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Old 08-07-2006, 06:15 PM   #12
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Hi again,

We routinely when travelling dry camp, have the need to do dishes and take a couple of showers, and have water for the dogs. I would have hoped the specs of this trailer were such that could do just that without having to do without.
The drum/spindle/hub is not capable in design to accept a larger wheel. I believe there is room for a 15 inch ture/wheel but that would entail a change in running gear. That is one of the questions I had for Airstream this a.m.
I did however transpose a couple of my earlier figures.
Curbside of trailer hooked to truck, no leveling bars is 1,540 lbs
Roadside of trailer hooked to truck, no bar 1,380 lbs.
This means that the shower/bath/potty all-in-one is heavier than all the appliances and water in the tank by 160 lbs.
With the crown of the road, more force will be applied to the curbside wheel/tire,suspension beyond the static poundage.
The local tire shop said the 14 inch Goodyear Marathon I have is the stoutest tire of it size made. .

BTW, our tow vehicle is a 2004 3/4 ton Chevy Duramax 4X4 Extended cab.

Action, we primarily travel on hard surface. After learning the Goodyear Marathons are rated up to 65 mph, we do 60. With this summer's heat tho, one can encounter very hot pavements. Ex. I-205 east of Portland on caravan to Intn'l in Salem, stopped in traffic, our Chevy's onboard thermometer was registering 124 degrees, with an air temp of 102.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:47 PM   #13
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If we have to run with no water in the water tank to make weight lighter, then we truly are not fully self contained. I hope I hear something from J/C tomorrow.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:07 AM   #14
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I have a 16' CCD, and carry as much in the truck as I can to minimize the issue you are addressing. Please keep posting on what you learn from Airstream, I am very interested in what you find out.

Thanks for starting this thread.
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