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Old 02-23-2003, 02:06 PM   #1
 
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Question Tire balancing & Air Ride Hitch

I know a lot has already been said on the subject, but I don't know if the following point has been discussed on this forum and I would like your opinion.
Being new to this forum, I do not know if it is acceptable, but:
The folowing comes from: http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/f...TID/443037.cfm)

The statement below is from "Kenneth, Senior Member , Port Townsend, WA" and I found that so interesting that I dreamt about it all night:

" Many trailer wheels do not have the center bore of the wheel machined concentric with the lug circle and the rim of the wheel. Many just have the center bore stamped out, not machined, and not in the exact center. These wheels need to be balanced with a lug-centric adapter. It has four, or five, or six fingers that hold the wheel by the lug holes and center it this way (Many Ford trucks also need the lug-centric adapter). These trailer wheels cannot be balanced correctly by mounting them on the balancing machine with the usual cones through the center hole."

What is the chance that AS went trough the trouble of having the center bore very acurately on the exact center?

A lot has been discussed already about balancing problem. In November, UWE stated:
Quote:
It was close to impossible to get the tires to balance on a spin balancer
Is it possible that most of the fault was the way they did the balance, not the tires themselves ?
What this fellow, Kenneth, says could explain it: the tires look balanced on the machine, but will not be balanced once mounted on the trailer due to eccentricity.
We are trying to learn more about balancing. And fast. We just bought a 1990 32' and may have to put new tires before taking it home in a few days. We cannot find any place in a 70mile radius doing strobe balancing, and I hope that this lug-centric adapter balancing could be the answer (if only temporary).

Chantal
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:18 PM   #2
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Chantal,

Andy at Inland RV truly believes that if an A/S tires are not balanced, that it will cause rivets to start popping off!

http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/wheel-balancing/

I could not find any dealers that had this equipment to balance the tires, so I went to a truck tire center and had my tires balanced on my trailer as a complete assembly.

But a computer balanced tire is better than a non-balanced tire.

John
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:18 PM   #3
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Chantal,
I believe that post over at RV.net was referring to those smaller 14 inch rims that are used on pop up trailers. The rims used on Airstreams are of a much higher quality than those used on smaller pop up style campers. I have had mine high speed spin balanced with no problems.

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Old 02-23-2003, 02:22 PM   #4
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Chantal,

Here's a thread were I shared the process of balancing the tires on the trailer.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ight=balancing

John
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Old 02-23-2003, 03:57 PM   #5
 
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Pick:
Quote:
RV.net was referring to those smaller 14 inch rims that are used on pop up trailers.
Sorry, but all this came up about "Travel Trailer" tire balancing, not pop-ups.

That same statement was made several times in their discussions, when talking about the "silent recall" of Goodyear Marathon ST 225/75 R15.

I would like to see a proof that AS rims are much better than on other trailers. On our 1974, they look very much like standard stamped steel wheels. I do not know about the 1990 models.


John,

thank you for your thread. You had taught us a lot about balancing. But I had already read everything on this forum on that topic. And there is a lot !!!!
Quote:
electronic device that they put behind the tire and another hand-held device which worked like a strobe light
Mike remember this very well. It was the typical way to balance tires, when he was working in garages in the 1960's. Unfortunately, few people do it this way now.

Our problem is we have not found anybody balancing tires on the trailer. We understand the importance about having the whole assembly balanced.
In the mean time, we would like to know if people who had the most problems balancing their tires had them done through the center hole. Did anybody looked into lug-centric adapter balancing? (even as a temporary solution)

Chantal


PS: have a good trip.
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Old 02-23-2003, 04:10 PM   #6
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Chantal, I stand corrected on the Pop Up issue. I do not think Airstream manufactures the rims. I have a new rim and tire, and the new rim is the exact same as the rims I have on a tandem axle flatbed trailer I use for hauling my farm equipment between farms. The hub assembly fills almost the entire hole, so I am confident that the hole is centered. One way to check would be to measure the distance from all lug nut holes to center hole with calipers.
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Old 02-23-2003, 06:30 PM   #7
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Balancing wheels

Airstream has always used state of the art quality wheels. Wheels that are light in rating are far removed from those of higher ratings.

Airstream steel wheels are rated at 2600 pounds each.

I have balanced Airstream tire, wheel, hub and drum assemblies for 37 years using the center hole. You can see the method used on our web site.

I have yet, repeat yet, found "any" Airstream wheel that did not have the center hole, dead center, during those 37 years. Junk wheels, yes. Not Airstream wheels.

I would suggest that if someone had out of round wheels or that the center hole was not perfectly centered, that someone prior switch out that wheel for an obvious "cheapy."

The story is the same, over and over again. You "get" what you pay for.


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Old 02-24-2003, 04:57 PM   #8
 
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Thank you very much, sir, for your input. Unfortunally, it does not answer our concern which was:
Quote:
Our problem is we have not found anybody balancing tires on the trailer
You just made everything so much clearer now:
Quote:
Wheels that are light in rating are far removed from those of higher ratings.
Airstream steel wheels are rated at 2600 pounds each.


This is going to be very useful to us.

I am still trying to understand how the following comment is relevant to our case:
Quote:
I would suggest that if someone had out of round wheels or that the center hole was not perfectly centered, that someone prior switch out that wheel for an obvious "cheapy."
The story is the same, over and over again. You "get" what you pay for.


I checked our 8 current wheels. (from 2 1970's AS, most everything else original "cup cake years") : they seem to be factory original. You are right, we got what we paid for.
(I didn't say anything about balancing those tires. We want to balance those (unknow specs) on the AS we are picking up in a few days).

Thank you too for the suggestion:
Quote:
....balanced Airstream tire, wheel, hub and drum assemblies .... You can see the method used on our web site.
That sounds great. We are going to let you do it.
I just hope you are paying for the shipping. We are UPSing the trailer tomorrow. (do you need to get the truck too?)

Chantal
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:03 PM   #9
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Chantal.

Upon receipt of your Airstream from UPS, we will drop what we are doing, and balance the complete running gear using the method that is shown on our web site.

After completion, we will return your Airstream using UPS new
"YESTERDAY AM" service.

However, please be advised that if we received your trailer today (Monday) we would have had adequate time to use another new UPS service called, "LAST WEEK AM."

Also since these services are so new to UPS, they have not had time to establish shipping rates. Therefore they have advised us that they will be happy to ship the trailer back to you, "YESTERDAY AM," along with a check in the amount of a replacement 747, so that they could better introduce this unique service.



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Old 02-24-2003, 06:10 PM   #10
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Wow,

Andy is in a good mood today!!

Chas
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Old 02-24-2003, 07:16 PM   #11
 
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To: INLAND RV

Sirs,

it looks like you have lost our Airstream which was sent UPS YESTERDAY AM service.

We regretfully have to make a claim to our insurance and cancel our order for a balance of the complete tire, wheel, hub and drum assembly.

Sorry we could not do business with you. We had heard that you have been doing this procedure for, I think, 37 years, if my memory is corect.

Regards,

Chantal
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:13 PM   #12
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Thumbs up Computer Balancing!!

Mike & Chantal,

99.9% of the members here probably just have their tires balanced off the trailer at their local tire dealers.

If rivets were popping off, you would see/hear a major amount of caution on tire balancing, but Andy is the only one who pushes this type of balancing.

On my previous thread, I forgot that my screw backing out problem started happening after I ran over a 2X4 in MT and I probably flew a weight off of that one tire.

I had them computer balanced prior to leaving FL for BC and didn't have any problems prior to running over that 2X4. I then had them rebalanced on the trailer in BC.

So go to your local tire dealer, get the tires balanced off of your trailer and enjoy this new addition to your ever growing family !!!!

Peace-John
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Old 02-25-2003, 10:04 AM   #13
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Chantal.

Sorry that your Airstream did not make the trip.

However, if you wish to try again, UPS has decided because of the great responce to their "YESTERDAY" service, they have now come out with a "DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY" service.

We trust that with this new innovative service that is available only from UPS, that your trailer can have a guaranteed delivery date of not later than last month.

Wow. Sure makes it difficult to keep up with these new delivery schedules.

We have heard a rumor that FEDEX will shortly initiate a "FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET" service. But they are still working on how to speed up the conveyor belts that load the planes. Seems like a ground service employee got his arm caught in a cargo door with him hanging to the outside of the plane, and the plane took off that way. The ground service union has filed a written complaint to the FAA, because FEDEX refused to serve the poor guy coffee, since he didn't have his seat belt fastened.

Gosh, we might have to build some more Ford tri-motors so that we can compete with FEDUP, oops, I mean FEDEX.

We also hear that Airstream is working on a new design trailer that is so aerodynamically clean, that you get there before you left. It also will be suspended on an "air cushion," which eliminates the need to balance any running gear.

Now if we could just keep the doors from committing suicide.


Andy
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:32 PM   #14
 
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OK, now let's go back to business.

We are really, seriously looking into having
Quote:
an Airstream suspended on an "air cushion"
We can use your opinion sometimes .....

Can anybody help us learn EVERYTHING there is to know about air ride hitch ?

I have found already 3 companies making them for TT: Advanced Air Hitch Inc, Air Ride Hitch, Inc. and My Air Hitch. There may be more.
At about $1000, we do not want to just go ahead without a lot of research.

One of those outfits claims that some TT manufacturers will void the warranty on trailers pulled by mid size trucks (International, Freightliners, Ford 450/550). Is it all BS advertisement, or is it true?

I will be going later tonight into all the relevant forums on the web and see what I can find.
In the mean time, anybody with something constructive to say can sure join in.

We use a 1998 International 4700, loaded well below its payload. GVW is about 24,000Lbs.
The truck weighs 12,000 and we carry just over 3000Lbs (counting tongue weigh). The trailer is 8300 GVW, a 32' 1990 Excella. The truck has air ride.


Chantal
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