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Old 10-20-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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1986 32' Excella
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Very strange tire wear

I'm fairly new to posting. Have been member for several years & done a lot of lurking.

First: Trailer info. '86 Excella 32'

Just returned from 3 week trip & thinking about going south for a while during winter. Knew I would need tires prior to going - primarily due to age (6 yr) When checking tires found some severe wear on right front tire. At least 2 spots clear down to belt. These are on inside of tire & that tire seems to have more wear than other 3. I'm suspecting a brake hanging up. First thought of balance but these are almost flat spots & not sure balance would be that bad. I always have all tires balanced. On that same tire I have a wheel cover which continues to spin enough to pull the stem sideways. Has always been a problem. I do keep a pretty good check on pressure.I'm considering new wheels (to get away from the spinning wheel cover) along with tires & may go to LRE rated.

Will definitely have brake job & seals packed. How do you know when shocks need replacement?

Would appreciate some help.

Thanks.

RB
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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Just a thought, Could there be an alignment problem with that axel and the tire is hopping at that position?
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Just talked with a/s friend who suggested it might be a shock. He had a somewhat similar problem & found a bad shock. I haven't checked that.
Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rbhinzman View Post
I'm fairly new to posting. Have been member for several years & done a lot of lurking.

First: Trailer info. '86 Excella 32'

Just returned from 3 week trip & thinking about going south for a while during winter. Knew I would need tires prior to going - primarily due to age (6 yr) When checking tires found some severe wear on right front tire. At least 2 spots clear down to belt. These are on inside of tire & that tire seems to have more wear than other 3. I'm suspecting a brake hanging up. First thought of balance but these are almost flat spots & not sure balance would be that bad. I always have all tires balanced. On that same tire I have a wheel cover which continues to spin enough to pull the stem sideways. Has always been a problem. I do keep a pretty good check on pressure.I'm considering new wheels (to get away from the spinning wheel cover) along with tires & may go to LRE rated.

Will definitely have brake job & seals packed. How do you know when shocks need replacement?

Would appreciate some help.

Thanks.

RB
You have described a "HUGE" out of balance issue.

The tire, wheel and hub and drum "MUST" be balanced as an assembly.

If that shock was that bad, it would be wet on the outside from the oil.

Most owners at this point are installing a automatic wheel balancers, such as Centramatics.

You could also perhaps have bad rubber rods in the axle.

Torsion axles, when frequently used, last about 30 years.

However, if the trailer was parked for an extended period of time, like 3 to 4 years, without being used, then the life of a torsion axle can be as little as 3 to 4 years, because the rubber rods would have solidified.

Rubber must be exercised to stay alive.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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Check both alignment and balance. You will find one or both at fault.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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I'd be willing to wager that tire has seperated. That's what the ST tires do, and that's what they look like if you catch them after they've been run a while and before they come apart. You are lucky.

Be aware of those trying to sell you things, but if your shocks are original, they are most likely bad.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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I'd be willing to wager that tire has seperated. That's what the ST tires do, and that's what they look like if you catch them after they've been run a while and before they come apart. You are lucky.

Be aware of those trying to sell you things, but if your shocks are original, they are most likely bad.
Also be aware of those that that share opinions, instead of facts.

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Old 10-20-2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
You have described a "HUGE" out of balance issue.

The tire, wheel and hub and drum "MUST" be balanced as an assembly.

If that shock was that bad, it would be wet on the outside from the oil.

Most owners at this point are installing a automatic wheel balancers, such as Centramatics.

You could also perhaps have bad rubber rods in the axle.

Torsion axles, when frequently used, last about 30 years.

However, if the trailer was parked for an extended period of time, like 3 to 4 years, without being used, then the life of a torsion axle can be as little as 3 to 4 years, because the rubber rods would have solidified.

Rubber must be exercised to stay alive.

Andy
Thanks for reply.

I was able to get out & check further today - finally not raining. Don't see any wetness from fluid & can't distinguish any stains from the same. Most of the tire wear as I said is on inside but in some spots a lot worse. Read your article & checked the torsion arms. They appear to be just about horizontal. I'm suspecting axle problems. Trailer has never set for more than a year. Usually get out 2 or 3 times per year. If I do have to change axles do you also advise new shocks, brakes, etc?
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for reply.

I was able to get out & check further today - finally not raining. Don't see any wetness from fluid & can't distinguish any stains from the same. Most of the tire wear as I said is on inside but in some spots a lot worse. Read your article & checked the torsion arms. They appear to be just about horizontal. I'm suspecting axle problems. Trailer has never set for more than a year. Usually get out 2 or 3 times per year. If I do have to change axles do you also advise new shocks, brakes, etc?
If your brakes have round magnets, then be advised that some of those brake parts are no longer available.

The current style electric brakes have used oval magnets for many years at this point.

Your hub and drums, if I remeber correctly, are 2 piece. If so, they are notorious for being out of balance.

If what you have is as described then getting new axles complete with brakes and hub and drums, etc.

New style hub and drums are "unicast" and then machined. They are still noy perfectly balanced, but close to it.

What many owners are doing today, when they change out complete axles, is adding automatic balancing systems, such as the centramatics.

Should you decide to change the axles, it would be a good idea to increase the capacity as well.

Of course, replace the shocks, when ever you change the axles.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Also be aware of those that that share opinions, instead of facts.

Andy
Yes, rbhinzman, please understand that whenever Andy writes anything here, it is fact.

Whenever anyone else writes anything here, it is OPINION.

Even though Andy doesn't even own a trailer now, or tow one. He just sells parts, and hitches.

Please let us know what the tire shop says about the tire with unusual wear.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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Andy ain't selling the guy something, is he? The OP can buy what he wants from wherever he wants.

I'd say that a fairly heavy quarter-century old trailer could use the suspension being freshened up, even replaced. Leaf spring or torsion, they all need to be gone through as time and/or miles take their toll.

And if I'd been in the supply/repair business for several decades I would -- as would you -- have some fairly strong opinions about the best bang for the buck, much of which is comprised of do it once, and do it right so that the customer can go on down the road with no problems from that set of components. No comebacks, as they say in the business.

And it isn't about a minor problem. Think the tire shop has a few dozen Airstreams rolling through every year?

That this is a 25-year old trailer obtained at a low price, and possibly without major repairs involved, thus re-doing the suspension/brakes/tires/wheels whatever is nothing in comparison to their failure. A normal cost. And done at the time of the customers choosing. Not while on the road.

That Andy likes to word it one way or another is just his way.

As to the "problem" it would appear that alignment is an issue. And balance. And -- since the components are ancient -- replacing them (even more than is suggested above) -- would be high on the list for anyone conversant with old vehicles of any type. Why take a chance?

Andys advice has nothing to do with it. It's simple prudence. His is one more voice, and based on more repairs than any of us will ever see. But is consistent with the care of any old vehicle.

.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:35 PM   #12
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Andy ain't selling the guy something, is he? The OP can buy what he wants from wherever he wants.

I'd say that a fairly heavy quarter-century old trailer could use the suspension being freshened up, even replaced. Leaf spring or torsion, they all need to be gone through as time and/or miles take their toll.

And if I'd been in the supply/repair business for several decades I would -- as would you -- have some fairly strong opinions about the best bang for the buck, much of which is comprised of do it once, and do it right so that the customer can go on down the road with no problems from that set of components. No comebacks, as they say in the business.

And it isn't about a minor problem. Think the tire shop has a few dozen Airstreams rolling through every year?

That this is a 25-year old trailer obtained at a low price, and possibly without major repairs involved, thus re-doing the suspension/brakes/tires/wheels whatever is nothing in comparison to their failure. A normal cost. And done at the time of the customers choosing. Not while on the road.

That Andy likes to word it one way or another is just his way.

As to the "problem" it would appear that alignment is an issue. And balance. And -- since the components are ancient -- replacing them (even more than is suggested above) -- would be high on the list for anyone conversant with old vehicles of any type. Why take a chance?

Andys advice has nothing to do with it. It's simple prudence. His is one more voice, and based on more repairs than any of us will ever see. But is consistent with the care of any old vehicle.

.
Rednax,

Never in any of my posts in this thread did I ever say to the original poster, who asked a question about unusual tire wear, anything about not replacing suspension items. In fact, I told him he should replace at least the shocks if they are original.

However, keeping in mind the OP's question was about a tire with unusual wear, he himself saying he was intending to service the brake and bearings, possibly replace wheels, and then Andy starts trying to sell him centramatics, without even knowing for a fact what is wrong that caused the tire to wear unusually.

It's a fact that ST tires seperate, it's all over these forums, and I've seen it on lots of ST tires myself. It's also a fact that seperated tires wear rapidly and unusually right up to the point where they throw all the tread off and do lots of damage to the trailer, again usually.

It was Andy who jumped on me for just insinuating to the OP he should be aware of what people try to sell him to fix all of his "unusual" tire wear problems, without even knowing for sure what caused the wear.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:42 PM   #13
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Rednax,

It was Andy who jumped on me for just insinuating to the OP he should be aware of what people try to sell him to fix all of his "unusual" tire wear problems, without even knowing for sure what caused the wear.
Perhaps I have experience with that issue, and therefore can be a little more affirmative.

That is for me to know, and for others to accept, or not. Their choice, as always.

I really don't find that negativity has any useful purpose in this Forums, towards trying to help others.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #14
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checked the torsion arms. They appear to be just about horizontal. I'm suspecting axle problems. Trailer has never set for more than a year. Usually get out 2 or 3 times per year.
Just an FYI, ALL OEM Airstream axles are almost completely horizontal from the factory. That's the way they are designed. If you don't believe me, I'll be happy to crawl under a dozen of them, take photos, and post them here. I really don't think all those 2011 and 2012 Airstreams have bad axles.
To check the axle, you need to jack up the trailer, and watch to see how far the wheel assemblies drop when weight comes off them.
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