Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-21-2007, 11:28 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
tetstream's Avatar
 
2007 19' Bambi
Somewhere , Between the Tetons and the SF Bay
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 77
TT up on blocks to save tires?

I'm new to the travel trailer scene.... and lovin' it. But we don't use our trailer all that much yet. I wonder about the tires, just sitting there with the whole trailer weight on them. ( I do have them covered ).

From the Rubber Manufacturer's Association website:

"When recreational vehicles are out of service for long periods of time, they should be put on blocks. Place the blocks under the axles so that tires bear no load during the storage period. Also ensure that the tire/wheel assemblies are protected from direct sunlight. Because inflation pressure will fluctuate with surrounding temperatures, a slight, gradual air loss will typically occur over extended periods. Be sure to inflate the tires, including the spare, to operating pressure before returning to service."

I looked thru my Airstream manual but saw nothing about storage.

What do you guys do?

If you block your TT, when, that is, if it's out of service for a month? 3 months? ??

Where do you block it? I'm reluctant to block directly under the axle housing for fear of deforming it.

I'd sure like to hear from some of you on this. TIA.
__________________

__________________
TT: 2007 Bambi 19' 75th Anniversary Special Edition, David Winick
TV: 2006 Chevy HD2500 Duramax 6-speed manual
tetstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2007, 09:11 AM   #2
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
The best thing you can do is use your trailer!
That being said, many members (not me) store their trailer during the winter months. I doubt that many of them jack the trailer for the months they are sitting idle. You do not want to jack your trailer at the axels. The axel will bend and cause an alignment problem.

I get out with mine about once a month. When it is not in use I just park it. I check the tire pressure before every trip and before I move it to the RV storage area (covered).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	stored.JPG
Views:	94
Size:	64.4 KB
ID:	45868  
__________________

__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2007, 10:04 AM   #3
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,754
I would not block your airstream. It has different axles than most TTs. If anything I would slight over inflate the tires to reduce flat spots.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2007, 10:21 AM   #4
VAC President
 
Buttercup's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
1954 25' Cruiser
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
VC Highlands , Nevada
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,149
Send a message via Skype™ to Buttercup
Actually, I read somewhere that jacking at the proper points, of course, will help the tortion axles to stay flexible and supple. This is not the case for the regular spring axles. This is only needed if stored for long periods of time without movement.
__________________
Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
Buttercup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2007, 12:14 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetstream
From the Rubber Manufacturer's Association website:

"When recreational vehicles are out of service for long periods of time, they should be put on blocks. Place the blocks under the axles so that tires bear no load during the storage period. Also ensure that the tire/wheel assemblies are protected from direct sunlight. Because inflation pressure will fluctuate with surrounding temperatures, a slight, gradual air loss will typically occur over extended periods. Be sure to inflate the tires, including the spare, to operating pressure before returning to service."
Absolutely, the best thing you can do to ensure the maximum longetivity of the spring action on a rubber torsion axle is to unload it (put the frame on blocks) during periods of inactivity. Travel trailers, unlike most other types of trailers (ie horse or utility) are loaded to near 100% almost all of the time - and almost all of the time the trailers are sitting motionless.

The "spring" rubber is under compression when weight is on the trailer, and ALL rubber will take a "set" after a period of time. Removing the compression load will allow the rubber to retain the designed operational characteristics for a much longer time compared to being loaded to the almost maximum load during storage.

When I was researching axles for my '78 I talked to no less than 3 engineers from separate companies and the all agreed that any rubber torsion axle is running on borrowered time after 15 years or so.
Airstream Forums - View Single Post - '78 31' Sovereign

When I put the new axles on the Sovereign I constructed a beam and jack receiver just inboard of the tires. The primary reason for the beam is to unload the torsion axles during periods of inactivity. The beams are welded to the flange mounts, so no weight is actually on the bottom of the axle tubes. The flange mounts transfer the weight of the trailer directly from the jacking beams to the trailer frame via the axle mounts. When installing the axles I moved the front axle 1/2 bolt hole to the front, and the rear axle 1/2 bolt hole to the rear, allowing for a decent amount of room between the wheels to easily use the bottle jacks. I also have a pair of 12 volt electric scissors jacks purchased to do the same job as the bottle jacks. I find the bottle jacks more convenient.

Airstream Forums - View Single Post - '78 31' Sovereign



Double click on the above pictures to enlarge.

Additonal pictures are available in the "Photos" section of the Forum
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2007, 02:49 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
tetstream's Avatar
 
2007 19' Bambi
Somewhere , Between the Tetons and the SF Bay
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 77
87MH - very nice, sweet setup. I go with your conclusion and experience, and will block the trailer when not in use. Thanks.
__________________
TT: 2007 Bambi 19' 75th Anniversary Special Edition, David Winick
TV: 2006 Chevy HD2500 Duramax 6-speed manual
tetstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2007, 06:35 PM   #7
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,153
Images: 1
Thumbs up YES......What he said!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87MH
Absolutely, the best thing you can do to ensure the maximum longetivity of the spring action on a rubber torsion axle is to unload it (put the frame on blocks) during periods of inactivity. Travel trailers, unlike most other types of trailers (ie horse or utility) are loaded to near 100% almost all of the time - and almost all of the time the trailers are sitting motionless.

The "spring" rubber is under compression when weight is on the trailer, and ALL rubber will take a "set" after a period of time. Removing the compression load will allow the rubber to retain the designed operational characteristics for a much longer time compared to being loaded to the almost maximum load during storage.

When I was researching axles for my '78 I talked to no less than 3 engineers from separate companies and the all agreed that any rubber torsion axle is running on borrowered time after 15 years or so.
Airstream Forums - View Single Post - '78 31' Sovereign

When I put the new axles on the Sovereign I constructed a beam and jack receiver just inboard of the tires. The primary reason for the beam is to unload the torsion axles during periods of inactivity. The beams are welded to the flange mounts, so no weight is actually on the bottom of the axle tubes. The flange mounts transfer the weight of the trailer directly from the jacking beams to the trailer frame via the axle mounts. When installing the axles I moved the front axle 1/2 bolt hole to the front, and the rear axle 1/2 bolt hole to the rear, allowing for a decent amount of room between the wheels to easily use the bottle jacks. I also have a pair of 12 volt electric scissors jacks purchased to do the same job as the bottle jacks. I find the bottle jacks more convenient.

Airstream Forums - View Single Post - '78 31' Sovereign



Double click on the above pictures to enlarge.

Additonal pictures are available in the "Photos" section of the Forum

Have always put our Streams on stands during our Infamous Buffalo Winters, Wheels and tires also get stored inside. Helps keep that fancy Alcoa aluminum shiny, and that Goodforayear rubber pliable.....Stream-on
__________________
PFC.....

“After all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.”
RLC

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
RLC
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 05:19 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
ALANSD's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,462
So if the axles are 30 yrs old but there is still good ride height and the ride is still good...(I can leave a wooden paper towel rack on the sink, it barely moves after hundreds of miles). Why would I want to change mine? Or is that a sales pitch by the axle manufacturers?
__________________
1966 Overlander
AIR #005
Please visit our blogs and web pages:
OUR AIRSTREAM PASSION! BLOG
RESTORING AN AIRSTREAM
Our AIRSTREAM and TIN CAN TOURIST Rallys
ALANSD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 06:38 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
So if the axles are 30 yrs old but there is still good ride height and the ride is still good...(I can leave a wooden paper towel rack on the sink, it barely moves after hundreds of miles). Why would I want to change mine? Or is that a sales pitch by the axle manufacturers?
Henschen axle from 1974 and back are prone to failure, especially the Bambi and Caravel models, because of the composition of the rubber rods.

Torsion axles really don't have a 'life" expectancy.

What can and does kill them, is simply a matter of "non-use."

Rubber must be exercised in order to keep it alive.

When a trailer that uses torsion axles, regardless of brand, sits for years at a time, then the rubber rods lose their resiliency and will harden.

There are two visual tests that a person can make.

1. If the torsion arm is parallel to the frame, when the trailer is empty, then the axle is done.

2. When one side of the trailer is lifted off the ground, the tire should have a drop of about 2 1/2 inches. If that drop is small, then the rubber has solidified, and the axle is done.

If the torsion arms are parallel to the frame, when the trailer is loaded for travel, then they still have some life left, but that is telling you that the axle is not as good as it should be. Keeping a watchful eye on that parameter, will help you decide, in time, when the axle is totally finished.

I have personally seen Henschen axles that are 40 years old, that are still doing a good job. Not good as new, but certainly not in the replacement stage.

Inactivity, is the real killer, of a torsion axle.

We have replaced many axles on trailers that have been built since 2000. The cause, "without" exception? It was parked for a long time, without any attempt to remove some of the weight from the axle with jacks, and/or simply not towed for an extended period of time.

Torsion axles are, in a way, like the human body. No exercise means a short life.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 11:42 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
ALANSD's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,462
When the axle is "done" what happens? It makes the ride harsh? The wheels fall off? Just wondering.
__________________
1966 Overlander
AIR #005
Please visit our blogs and web pages:
OUR AIRSTREAM PASSION! BLOG
RESTORING AN AIRSTREAM
Our AIRSTREAM and TIN CAN TOURIST Rallys
ALANSD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 01:27 PM   #11
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
When the axle is "done" what happens? It makes the ride harsh? The wheels fall off? Just wondering.
There are two situations when the axles are "done."

The first is when the rubber has given up and allows the trailer to settle closer to the ground. When towing, the trailer will bottom out, causing numerous damages.

The second is when the rubber solidifys and no longer acts as rubber should.
This also results in a very harsch ride for the trailer.

The test for the latter, is jack up one side of the trailer, The tire should drop about 3 inches or so. If not, then the rubber is gone.

Long term storage without use, can cause both of the above.

Rubber must be exercised to stay alive. If not, the it will give out and/or solidify.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 06:25 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
ALANSD's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,462
Thanks, your knowledge as always is appreciated!! I will check mine for sure.
__________________

__________________
1966 Overlander
AIR #005
Please visit our blogs and web pages:
OUR AIRSTREAM PASSION! BLOG
RESTORING AN AIRSTREAM
Our AIRSTREAM and TIN CAN TOURIST Rallys
ALANSD 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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
P30 fuse blocks and connectors bkahler Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 6 06-08-2007 08:10 AM
How to save threads tslanier Forum Admin, News and Member Account Info 8 02-25-2007 07:40 PM
Over-inflate Tires to save fuel? ldetsf Tires 7 11-16-2006 09:07 AM
Putting AS on Blocks/ Electric brake conversion ? airhead Axles 4 06-27-2004 04:52 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:58 PM.


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.