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Old 03-09-2014, 12:42 AM   #29
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According to the web site here: Centramatic, when you navigate to this page: Balancers - Centramatic, a set of four balancers for Airstream would cost $199 plus shipping for late-model Airstreams. I've not heard of these things ever before seeing them in this forum, but I'd love it if I could use them instead of worrying about balancing the wheels.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:53 AM   #30
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How much does balancing 4 wheels at a tire shop with weights cost?
I guess these trailers are so expensive anyway that cost of any accessory is also no object...
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:56 AM   #31
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There are two sets of Centramatic balancers that work on Airstreams depending on wheel size. The 15" wheels must use the 200-221 Special. The 16" wheels can use this size or jump up to the 300-356 all A plates version, which is what I installed with my SenDel T03-66655T wheels.

On my Honda GoldWing motorcycles, the tires and wheels are light enough that the Centramatic balancers can do the job without wheel weights.

On the trailers, the tires and wheels are much heavier and need to be properly balanced on a machine. I see the function of the Centramatic balancers is to help balance the brake drums and compensate for the change in tire balance due to tire wear.

In my images link to the left, are two tire photos. One shows the mounted OEM GYM tire beside the mounted 15" Michelin tire (both are on a factory wheel) and the other shows the OEM GYM tire mounted on a factory wheel beside the 16" Michelin tire mounted on a SenDel wheel.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:24 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by streaminlife View Post
Much appreciation for all the responses here. We do have a little time to make our decision on tires, and it's good to get feedback on tires that have worked well for others. If we are unsuccessful at locating the Michelin LTX tires, we now have some good back-ups. We will check Discount Tire in our area, and I do appreciate the debunking of some of the tire myths out there. We will also consider doing the install ourselves. Pappy19 - the Trailer Aid looks pretty cool. Is it as easy to use as it looks?
Yes, the Trailer Aid is even easier than it looks. Takes seconds to use an only weighs about 5 lbs. I keep mine in my TV all year even when I'm not towing just incase some poor person is trying to jack their trailer on the side of the road in the mud or dirt. I can't say enough good about this product. Every AS owner with twin axles, should have one.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:48 AM   #33
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How much does balancing 4 wheels at a tire shop with weights cost?
I guess these trailers are so expensive anyway that cost of any accessory is also no object...
$100.00 to $200.00.

Andy
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:40 PM   #34
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How much does balancing 4 wheels at a tire shop with weights cost?
I guess these trailers are so expensive anyway that cost of any accessory is also no object...
Balancing the wheel/tire combo is balancing, it costs the same as balancing the tires on your car.

I think my local Discount Tire charges something like $12-$15 for "lifetime" balance per tire, and $5 per tire for one-time balancing.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:02 PM   #35
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Yeah, but....
I didn't even know what it costs for a car...
On my 15 year old car the wheels have been balanced twice- when I got new tires- and all I knew was the cost for 4 new tires mounted and balanced- not an itemized break down of each expense-
On my 7 year old pickup I assume once, when it was built. I have never had the wheels balanced. It still has the original tires. I can see stick-on weights on the inside of the wheel- I think this is "static" balancing-
On my trailer I cannot see any weights on the wheels. I think it might be a little gentler on my stuff inside if the wheels were balanced.
I mounted and balanced the tires on my previous trailer myself because I bought the tires wholesale through my company and we have a tire mounting machine and a tire balancing machine. That trailer had steel wheels and I used the hammer-on weights- net cost to me = my lunch break-
This trailer has aluminum wheels which should have stick-on weights. We may have some stick-on weights at the shop. I don't know.
Please excuse me for nor knowing what this costs.
In my opinion, based in my personal experience, the lifetime balance is a waste of money.
How often would you get your wheels balanced anyway?
I think $20 is reasonable for a 1 time balance and never mind getting Centramatics.
If it really costs from $100-$200 you might just as well get the Centramatics.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #36
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It should only cost $200/set if they come get the trailer or the wheels from your home, take them somewhere to balance them, bring them back to you and preferably offer a kiss afterwards. I'd never pay that for balancing 4 wheels and tires.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:36 AM   #37
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Notes:

1. Balancing the wheels and tires off of your Airstream does not balance the brake drums/discs and other running gear. That's what the Centramatics are for.

2. Also, Centramatics compensate for rocks in the tire treads, and ice or dried mud stuck on wheels, etc. They could also compensate for a lost wheel weight, depending on how big it was.

3. Tire prices at Costco include mounting, balancing and nitrogen gas.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:19 AM   #38
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Why is it so important,to balance the other running gear?
I have been driving for 30 years and have never balanced the other running gear and have had no I'll effects for not doing so.
If it were so important to balance the other running gear wouldn't it be done from the factory?
How is it that we made it without these devices all these years, and we have never heard of them, but when we sign up on Airforums these devices become something we can't live without?
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:33 AM   #39
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Perhaps the thought might better be "What can I do to make the trailer ride smoother so no structural damage gets generated over time."

So we get the new tires balanced and we get stick on weights on the aluminum wheels. The factory recommends rotating and balancing the tires at specific intervals.

I have had the stick on wheel weights come off on motorcycle tires on a trip. The vibration becomes a safety issue over time as it makes the rider more tired. Since the Centramatic wheel balancers were installed on my Gold Wing motorcycles, there have been zero out of balance conditions in over 60,000 miles.

I elected to install the Centramatic wheel balancers for my Airstreams because $200 is peanuts compared to the cost of the unit and I would like to reduce road stresses to a minimum. They will compensate for a missing wheel weight on my trailer.

YMMV
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