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Old 02-01-2014, 12:58 PM   #15
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Thanks Andy! I'm hearing that if you install new axles, like the ones you mentioned, you don't need to put shocks on because they are not needed. What is your thought on this?
Thanks!
Lets give Airstream credit where credit is due.

Why would they install shocks for over 1/2 of a century, if they were not needed?

The shocks, do indeed, add to the soft ride that the Airstream/Argosy trailers require. Shocks are motion restrictors.

Ride in the trailer, both with and without shocks, on the same rough road, and you will answer your own question.

Andy
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:03 AM   #16
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Gotcha.
Are shocks included in the purchase of axles? If not, how much? I'm headed your way next week and could pick them up.
Thanks
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:18 AM   #17
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Colin, do I need to use shocks with new axles for my 1970 ambassador? I am hearing that shocks are not needed since the new axles are so good. Your thoughts?
No you do not "need" shocks on your trailer, however you do not "need" shocks on your car either, but your trailer will ride (like your car) much better with them, than without. Airstream has installed shocks on their trailer production since the beginning.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:19 AM   #18
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Colin, I was just told by airstream of LA, that you don't need them and that they actually don't add shock support to the axle. They dampen the ride.
Your thoughts?
Do you sell axis axles or dex?
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:15 AM   #19
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enosburg , Vermont
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IF you were to break the law and ride in a towed airstream on common rough VT roads with a newly installed dexter axle w/o shocks you'd be surprised how rough it really is. If you then went home, welded shock mounts on the X arms, installed shocks, took the same road same tow V same speed and driver you would be surprised at the improvement. "They" can tell you most anything, it's for to you to decide!
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:45 AM   #20
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Colin, I was just told by airstream of LA, that you don't need them and that they actually don't add shock support to the axle. They dampen the ride.
Your thoughts?
Do you sell axis axles or dex?
Shocks add to the soft ride that an Airstream must have.

If you don't use them, in time, you will pay the financial penalty.

Guaranteed.

Andy
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:18 AM   #21
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Gotcha Andy. You are probably correct. What puzzles me is that YOU sold the axles for my trailer, without shock mounts. And then Greg at LA airstream said they are not needed, only an option. S I went he cheaper route and didn't get them welded on.

What does it cost to have shock mounts welded on and shocks installed?

I'm doing a MAJOR renovation on the interior and don't want it cracking or collapsing on me! Help please!
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:17 AM   #22
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Lemme jump in here. Sounds to me like you're asking everybody, than when you get differing opinions you question everybody. You've gotten answers from both Andy and Colin, and while I don't know Andy I do know Colin. He's restored dozens of trailers like yours. His expertise is well known throughout the vintage community. Why would you question that? Common sense dictates that you need shocks like any vehicle that travels down the road. Put the shocks on. Fix your floor. Restore your trailer. Go with it and trust your instincts. Ask questions here and trust the expert opinions you get here, they're not gonna send you down the wrong path - unless you ask about hitches or tow vehicles. We all want to see these old beauties back on the road, not sitting in someones field.
Go have fun.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:51 AM   #23
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Heres why Im askingh questions of the "experts"

I needed shocks BADLY, I went to a guy in Victorville, CA that does restorations, he sold me on Dexter axles with no shock. I took his EXPERT advise and didnt install them. He even cut off my shock mounts on my frame, unknowingly to me. Then I go to a rally in Tucson, talk to service guys at Airstream, and enlist the help of the two most known "experts", Andy and Colin... They both say put shocks on.

Well, come to find out, my axle install guy actually bought the axles STRAIGHT from ANDY and didnt have shock mounts put on them. hence my asking Andy why he would sell axles without shock mounts. Following me so far?...

So then I'm asking other experts, Like Greg who is the service manager at Los Angeles Airstream, reputable, right? He says you can or not install them, he offers it as an option.

So now Im trying to find pricing to get shock mounts welded on BOTH the frame and the torsion bars and have shocks "dampners" installed.

Im just a DYIer trying to get to the best solution.


Thanks for all the words of wisdom and advise guys! Its much appreciated!

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Lemme jump in here. Sounds to me like you're asking everybody, than when you get differing opinions you question everybody. You've gotten answers from both Andy and Colin, and while I don't know Andy I do know Colin. He's restored dozens of trailers like yours. His expertise is well known throughout the vintage community. Why would you question that? Common sense dictates that you need shocks like any vehicle that travels down the road. Put the shocks on. Fix your floor. Restore your trailer. Go with it and trust your instincts. Ask questions here and trust the expert opinions you get here, they're not gonna send you down the wrong path - unless you ask about hitches or tow vehicles. We all want to see these old beauties back on the road, not sitting in someones field.
Go have fun.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:04 PM   #24
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Here is one additional "clue" as you try to solve the mystery of the axles and shocks...


Airstream of LA opened for business last year.. Andy and Colin have each been working with, maintaining, restoring Airstreams and assisting Airstream owners for more than 20 years.. The shock mounts are an option, so they aren't always the default option from the manufacturer, but those axles are also used by other trailer manufacturers who are less concerned with ride quality than build cost... Get the shocks (you can save a few $$ if you insist by shopping at places like RockAuto online..) and put them on 3500# axles.. I replaced mine last year (Thanks Colin!) and am quite happy with new 10" brakes provided...
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:16 PM   #25
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Shocks at Rock Auto will need to be mounted vertically. A task not easily done for an axle system designed for horiziontal mounting.

Albert - Go back to your exeprt in Victorville and see if he can re-weld your old shock mounts. Or find a RV wrecking yard to have the shock mounts cut off a wrecked unit. Then get the shock mounts for the axle and do the same. Those should be easier to find. Then get some shocks from a Airstream dealer as these will be a horizontal application and non-Air Stream shock will not work.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:10 PM   #26
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Put. The. Shocks. On. you're gonna need em to protect that fantastic interior work you did. For years I built and rode motorcycles. We use to refer to the guys who sold them new as "stealerships" because that's what they were. I knew that there was a warehouse somewhere full of Harley-Davidson carburetor sand exhaust, cause once you bought the bike these guys would sell you a screaming beagle "stage one" kit
. I've been back in the shop and watched those guys manhandle bikes like they were garbage trucks. I would rather get advice from the guy who's done the dirty work than a service manager who doesn't know duke from shoe polish any day. Put the shocks on and protect that gorgeous machine. Ask that doofus " if shocks are optional, please show me an Airstream on your lot without them".
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:52 PM   #27
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If I remember correctly from last year when I replaced mine, the Dexter axles came with shock mounts but needed to be welded on. The axis axles came with shock mounts that bolt on. I went with the axis axles because the were plug and play (meaning no mounting holes needed to be elongated). Colin also advised to use a Monroe rv shock that was a horizontal mount.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:28 AM   #28
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Shocks/brakes

Shocks are motion restrictors, and in the case of Airstream and Argost trailers, they soften the ride that the shell must have.

Since the method of construction of the shell is called "monocoque" meaning "load bearing shell", the shell flexes when it is shocked enough by a chug hole, or bumps.

Limiting that, saves the shell from long term and sometimes short term damage.

When Airstream decided to install 12 inch brakes on smaller trailers, they did that for several reasons.

The biggest reason is safety.

One axle with perfect 10 inch brakes will stop 3,500 pounds, as per the brake manufacturers. A tandem setup will stop 7,000 pounds.

One axle with perfect 12 inch brakes will stop 6,000 pounds, as per the brake manufacturers. A tandem setup will stop 12,000 pounds.

With the recent availability of "self adjusting" electric brakes, those numbers will stay fairly constant during their lifetime.

Caravanner Insurance, the old insurance division of Airstream, always promoted the 12 inch brakes, simply because stopping the trailer is one thing, but should the brakes fail on the tow vehicle, for what ever reason, then obviously the greater stopping power of the 12 inch brakes, provides a much larger degree of safety.

Things happen, but being prepared or equipped to deal with those things, especially when it comes to safety, may cost a little more, BUT gives a person a HUGE peace of mind.

Being a pilot, teaches many more things about safety than being a driver of a car or truck.

Andy
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