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Old 09-23-2006, 06:55 PM   #1
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1976 26' Argosy 26
St. Albert , Alberta
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Trailer heavy on one side!

Has anyone experienced their airstream leaning on one side because of uneven side-to-side loading?

My rebuild design puts both the black tank and the water tank on the streetside and I'm wondering about the suspension. Any advice or experience?

Cheers!
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:19 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper
Has anyone experienced their airstream leaning on one side because of uneven side-to-side loading?

My rebuild design puts both the black tank and the water tank on the streetside and I'm wondering about the suspension. Any advice or experience?

Cheers!
It's not uncommon, many Airstreams (and SOB's) experience "the lopsided lean" from uneven loading from the factory. One advantage SOB's have over Airstreams and other trailers using torsion axles is the spring leaves can be shimmed so the trailer sits level.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:38 PM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Hello Chopper ,

I would say that if those tanks are full or even the fresh water tank is full
( 8 pounds a gallon ) you can expect some lean .fresh water tanks are usually
at the front center of the trailer ,there are exceptions on some models as to
placement ,but I don't know how you could prevent it really .the torsion axle
gives you no way to prevent any lean .I would setup your tanks for even loading ,thats the way to do it ,say black behind axle and grey in front of
axle centered in the frame .This is an option for you to think about .I think
others are here are doing it that way ,but in any event ,equal loading is the best bet.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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1992 34' Limited
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Even is best! Loading that is....

Chopper -

Reading the posts you have been making of late.... Congrats on the new trailer! Hope the rebuild goes well.... as to that....

Even loading is best. Not that I have experience with it personally. Find the search button and find the posts that Barry has made of late re: loading that caused problems....

Not that your situation and Barry's are the same, or even similar.... but still.....!!!!!!

I would try to load the trailer, rebuild or not!, in a similar fashion - front to rear. The CAT scale could be the best way to verify that what you have is not off by a mile. Of course, by the time you have built it and weighed it, it is a bit late to go changing things.... but then.... thinking about it now is likely the best option. Thinking it through now will help you keep things safe!

There are lots of posts of re-builders that thought the process through ahead of a build and reaped the benifits. Hope that works for you.

There are loads of search results that can offer you a wealth of rebuild ideas.... read them, apply, re-read, re-apply, consider, build, re-re-read, etc....

My .02 cents.

Peace

Axel
SilverToy
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:27 AM   #5
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1976 26' Argosy 26
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Thanks for the input

My original idea was to line up all three tanks between the wheels above the axle above the floor and under a second floor that goes above the wheel wells. However, when I mocked up the second floor, the lack of headroom was sadly not good. I thought I could live with that...but no...

Hence my return to the drawing board!

40 gal x 8 lbs = 320 lbs ... ok, first of all, do I need all that water? Second, I can't balance that with cabinetry or appliances on the other side because the water is not always full...and I wanted to keep the tanks forward the axles to keep the weight to the front...so...<then my wife comes in and asks "whatcha doing Einstein?"

Cheers!
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:35 AM   #6
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The question is what usage is the prime uesage?

Boon dock, outgoing water full and black empty.
incomeing water empty and black full.

I don't think I have ever had all tanks full at same time?

Not so?
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:31 AM   #7
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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I have seen a few airstreams being refurbished here on the forums ,and
the ideas look to be short width long tanks ,so as to fit under the floor and stillnot hang down under the trailer too much ,but to have decent capacity.I agree chopper that headroom is key .you do not want to even once hit your head as if you must bend down to be in the coach ,ain't happening . Look thru any threads for photos that could give ideas ,I know there are a few real good projects threads ,just cannot remeber them all .

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:57 AM   #8
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Hmmm...

Are you going to have a couch or bed all the way in the front of the coach? If so, you can use a 30 gallon fresh water tank from an Argosy trailer under the couch/bed/etc. It will be centered, and won't be as critical if it isn't full.
You can then use the underfloor area between the axles for your black and grey tanks. If you can find the room, it would be very good if you can mount waste tanks of about 2/3 your fresh water capacity each in there, say 20 gallons each.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper
My original idea was to line up all three tanks between the wheels above the axle above the floor and under a second floor that goes above the wheel wells. However, when I mocked up the second floor, the lack of headroom was sadly not good. I thought I could live with that...but no...

Hence my return to the drawing board!

40 gal x 8 lbs = 320 lbs ... ok, first of all, do I need all that water? Second, I can't balance that with cabinetry or appliances on the other side because the water is not always full...and I wanted to keep the tanks forward the axles to keep the weight to the front...so...<then my wife comes in and asks "whatcha doing Einstein?"

Cheers!
Henschen axles can be ordered, that have a different weight rating from one side to the other. Truck scale weights one each side, independent of the other side, would be necessary. We have provided those in the past.

To travel with minimum water aboard, has disadvantages.

To travel "with" full water aboard has distinct advantages.

Water costs are almost nothing, until you may need it, and don't have it.

The first, of course makes you independent of other life support systems.

The second, and far more important, is the center of gravity of the trailer is lowered when the water tanks are full. Therefore, the trailer will handle much better at highway speeds, especially when going around curves.

You can blow a radiator hose at anytime. All you need to do, is tape the hose with duct tape, go back to the trailer and get some water, and fill the radiaor. Do not tighten the radiator cap, so that no pressure can be generated.

With full water, that emergency repair, will get you many miles down the road, allowing you to obtain repair parts.

Without the water on board, your in trouble. Of course, you could call for help with your cell phone, provided it will work wherever you became stranded.

And if your cell phone does not work, then "what would you do?"

The question then is not why carry water, but instead it becomes why in the world would you "not" carry full water?

The more obstacles you can eliminate when towing a travel trailer, along with proper PM, the more enjoyment you and your friends and family, will have.

Guaranteed.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2006, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The question then is not why carry water, but instead it becomes why in the world would you "not" carry full water?
Andy
From a different point of view (not right or wrong, just different)

Water is heavy. More weight more issues with towing. Water is cheap as pointed out. And for the most part very accessable. So I get mine where ever I am. I never camp in areas that don't have water. (by choice) And that is just me. If my towing equippment is such an issue as I would need water from the trailer, well that would be like towing my trailer with unbalanced wheel assemblies. It may happen and I am willing to pay that price.

The added weight is harder on the equipment, brakes, tires. And a not completly full tank creates moveable weight in the trailer that could be a towing issue. This would be magnified 3 times if one had 3 partially full tanks. A moving weight when towing and turning at speed is not an enjoyable thing for me.

Lastly it costs more in fuel to accelerate more weight up to speed. And the brakes work harder to stop that mass too.

For me, I travel lighter. I dump all water and wastes before I tow at distance.

Just my point of view.

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Old 09-24-2006, 05:06 PM   #11
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It does seem like the common idea to not travel with the water tank full .
If you were to boondock in the sticks ,you would get the tank filled up along with some 5 gallon jugs for extra .I don't know though about having the trailer axle stiffer on one side as andy pointed out you could do (thanks Andy I did not know that ) unless you had that weight always there on the one side ,say like a vendors trailer or somthing . well ,lots of ideas to think about anyway , when designing a new layout ,but again I think balance of every
component is the key ,how its laid out in the trailer .Even if you had the axle special made for the weight ,the weight is still there if the tanks are loaded
and it is still on the same side of the trailer.

Scott
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #12
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I wouldn't carry more water for a off chance I may need it for repair, the extra wear tear and fuel to pull it just look like fuzzy math.

Lower center of gravity, if that were the case AS would have built bigger tanks.

Why did they put lightning holes in the frame?
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
ILower center of gravity, if that were the case AS would have built bigger tanks.

Why did they put lightning holes in the frame?

Airstream does have bigger water tanks than most.


Lightning holes????

So you can read in the dark.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:11 AM   #14
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1976 26' Argosy 26
St. Albert , Alberta
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Checking the balance

I'm going to keep an eye on the left/right weight balance as I rebuild. And here's how I propose to do it:

1. get a long I-Beam and put it under the Argy at the center of the axles (long enough to catch both axles and still stick out the back of the Argy),
2. prop up the end of the I-Beam under the Argy with sturdy blocks so that the I-Beam is up against the axles,
3. then slowly jack up the other end of the I-Beam sticking out the back of the Argy so that the cantilever action lifts the Argy's hiney in the air (well, not that high!)

If my idea is correct, then the jack will lift the I-Beam, which will lift the axles at the center of the Argy, and the lighter side will lift first. Kind of like a balance beam for trailers!

Cheers!
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