Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2004, 12:41 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Cedars's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Waterloo , Iowa
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 355
Running gear balance?

So okay. I keep seeing reference to running gear balance. And I THINK I know what it means but.... After all the dire warnings of extremely bad thing occuring if the running gear is not kept in balance....
What the heck, exactly, does that mean?
We're old truck drivers, so we know a little about balancing a load, where to put what for weight distribution, loading most weight over the axles, etc. (Why else do so many of us use the shower for a closet? LOL!)
We've axled out our unit with tow vehicle. We know tow vehicle weight, total and axle by axle, and we know trailer weight axle by axle, plus the total weight. So we do have an idea of where our weight is.
But this constant reference to balance the running gear has me sweating. We extended the frame in the rear by two feet, and added a 25 gal fuel tank and a generac 55. Our local independent guy (ex-airstream dealership employee of 17 years) looked everything over, and said to do this and that. We made an ap't for him to do it.. he called and said once he got inside, those items had already been done. He also said we should be in good shape. We added weight in the form of lead bars in the front, in the toolbox on the A frame, and load the heaviest stuff that fits behind the sofa.
So I need to worry? Fret and stew? Change things around? Are we gonna break the trailer? Pretend you hear me shouting that last sentence..
But please please, tell me what balancing the running gear means!

Elizabeth in Iowa
__________________

__________________
The carpeting is gone! The carpeting is gone! Long live the cork floor!
Cedars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 01:23 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
jaco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 279
I don't recall the weight of gas but if your talking gasoline + tank+gen set. you must be knocking 300 or more extra pounds.
If LP... not a whole lot less if not more.

I think you need almost primo balance.
And there is some extra weight figure that even primo balance can't compensate for I'd imagine.

Go to Inland Andys InlandRV.com http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/wheel-balancing/
and find the balancing page. There are also many many threads and posts on the subject.
In a nutshell it means you have to balance the wheel & tire as well as the hub/drum. Most places won't do the hub/drum because they don't know how to add it to their balancers which many have paid 5000 plus for.

Best of luck.
__________________

__________________
jaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 01:42 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Cedars's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Waterloo , Iowa
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 355
Okay, this time I did do a search before asking! And got five pages of threads that have the words 'balance', 'the', 'running', 'gear', sometimes only one of those words in the entire post!
Now you're saying to balance the wheels and hubs. Okay, I got that part. And will have that done before we put the new mag wheels on. That's all in the works. But you also add a new term; primo.
Well, I went to inlandrv.com, and looked for anything about balancing the running gear. Found the page on tire and hub balance, but nothing on 'balancing the running gear'.
What's a primo balance, and how does that tie in to balancing the running gear? Is the running gear only the wheels, etc?

Elizabeth in Iowa
__________________
The carpeting is gone! The carpeting is gone! Long live the cork floor!
Cedars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 04:55 AM   #4
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Elizabeth in Iowa


Would you do me a favor and close the door that is letting all this cold air come east!

Being old truckers you should remember the strobe balancing equipment they use to balance the wheels on the big rigs. It will work on the Airstream. What everyone is talking about when they refer to "running gear balance" is the hubs and wheel and tire assembly. The way Inland Andy does it is one way. Apparently on an Airstream it isn't enough to just balance the wheels, partially due to the fact most trailer rims can't be balanced using the center hole because it isn't centered If you don't balance the assembly you will cause structual problems,. My take on this is that #1 the Airstreams last so much longer than the typical SOB that if you don't keep the wheels balanced you will see the damage, and due to the number of miles the typical Airstream is towed. I pulled a SOB 5'ver 2400 miles last year, we had a cabinet come loose, the fridge dump open and several drawers that kept opening up all due to road vibration. I had the wheels strobe balanced on the unit, and it did not seem to help. With properly balanced running gear on the Airstream, you can literally leave a cup of coffee on the table and it will still be there after a day of driving, the AS rides that smooth...if the running gear is balanced. I believe too that this adds to why the AS is as easy to tow as it is. I hope I clarified this...at least a little. BTW we strobe balance our wheels on the AS, I don't have access to Andy's fancy old Snap_On balancer.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 09:50 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,819
Images: 3
Another approach

I just bought a set of Centramatic balancers. I haven't had time to get them installed yet. I bought them at the local Freightliner parts store and they swear by them based on feedback from truckers. The centramatics mount between brake drum and wheel and will dynamically balance the entire hub-wheel-tire assembly. Check out centramatic.com

There is another company that makes a similar balancer using mercury, but they are much more expensive. The only gripe I have heard about the Centramatics is that they are a bit noisy at very low speeds as the balls roll around, but who could even hear that on a trailer.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 11:04 AM   #6
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Intersting issue, but if you replace your RV tires at 3 or 4 year intervals as a bunch of folks on this fourm have suggested, is this still something to consider?
__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 11:16 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,819
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
Intersting issue, but if you replace your RV tires at 3 or 4 year intervals as a bunch of folks on this fourm have suggested, is this still something to consider?
I guess over the last 2 years, InlandAndy has brainwashed me, but I bought the balancers to reduce vibration in the trailer rather than to increrase tire mileage. As a side effect, I hope they reduce the possibility of a blowout.

The knobs on both of my Fantastic Fans have unscrewed themselves during towing. To me, this spells vibration and that can't be long-term good. I hope that the balancers reduce vibration,

As a side effect, the balancers have been positively shown to reduce heat buildup in the tires (tests published on Centramatic website)and that should reduce the possibility of a blowout. In Texas heat, that has to be a good thing.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 11:36 AM   #8
Site Team
 
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,940
Images: 59
Bad science?

I reviewed the Centrmatic site six months ago and was totally confused by the following:
"The Company claims the dissimilar metallic composition of the balancer, i.e. steel mounting plate and aluminum balancing ring, dissipates wheel/tire heating while in operation. This feature is called "ThermoFlow" by the Company. Basic rules of thermal physics apply as different metals have different coefficients of contraction/expansion with convection heat transfer migrating to the metallic content with the highest coefficient of expansion/contraction, i.e. rapid transfer from the wheel/hub/tire assembly to the steel mounting plate to the aluminum tube."

I have no issue with the basic concept of metal balls in oil helping to balance the tires. I think this company probably makes a great and useful product.

But trying to expand their claims beyond wheel balance with some weird theory of thermal heat flow due to difference in thermal expansion is pushing the bounds of good taste. Just because it sounds scientific doesn't make it true.

Buy their product because it is a neat way to balance your tires. Maybe your tires will run cooler. But making up theories to support their data smacks of hucksterism.
__________________
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 12:14 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,819
Images: 3
Re: Bad science?

Quote:
Originally posted by markdoane


I have no issue with the basic concept of metal balls in oil helping to balance the tires. I think this company probably makes a great and useful product.

But trying to expand their claims beyond wheel balance with some weird theory of thermal heat flow due to difference in thermal expansion is pushing the bounds of good taste. Just because it sounds scientific doesn't make it true.

Buy their product because it is a neat way to balance your tires. Maybe your tires will run cooler. But making up theories to support their data smacks of hucksterism.
I have to agree that is double-speak, but the road tests clearly show decreased heat. I suspect that running cooler is due to less tire flexing because of the better balance. Whatever the reason, less heat should be worthwhile.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 12:20 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
"We extended the frame in the rear by two feet, and added a 25 gal fuel tank and a generac 55."

Those who have read my posts undoubtedly recognize that I use far more than my share of qualifiers - i.e . "possibly", "somewhat", "maybe", etc. But not in this case. You are in the process of destroying your coach. With that much weight it will not take long, either. Airstreams are not now, and never have been built to take that kind of load on the tail.

If you dig far enough into the archives you will find stories of rear end separation caused by mounting a bicycle rack on the rear bumper. I know, I know, you extended your frame. But the monocoque construction of the shell is designed to remain as rigid as possible; meanwhile your frame is going to be bouncing up and down just as hard as it can with that pendulum you have back there.

Mark
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 01:10 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 25
Centramatic

Smart move John, from all the history on this forum concerning frame failure, rivets failing, and other vibration issues, I would think that the $200 Centramatic dynamic balancers may be an excellent solution to this age old problem. I am ordering a set for our 2001 Safari tomorrow. Our '71 Sovereign has all of stress failures that occur from continuous vibration.
Bud
__________________
Bud Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 01:11 PM   #12
Site Team
 
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,940
Images: 59
Data

John:
Yeah, I don't argue with his data. But I think there is a more scientific and reasonable explanation for the cooler running tire. It would make his sales pitch more persuasive if he didn't use pseudo-science to try to explain it.
__________________
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 02:00 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
RivetED's Avatar
 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
North Central , USA
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 661
I have been reading this thread with great interest, 'running-gear balance' was something I thought had to do with load-balancing. I have been told that trailer tires do not need to be balanced. Now I read that not only should they be balanced, the hubs, brake-drums, etc. also need to be balanced. Will having my trailer tires balanced (high-speed) be a prudent action if that's all I do for now?
__________________
RivetED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2004, 02:30 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Cedars.

"Running Gear" is the tire, wheel, hub and drum.

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



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.