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Old 09-29-2009, 02:26 PM   #15
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Howie, it sounds like you haven't gotten stuck getting onto Canadian ferries. The Class C I saw was trying to get on a ferry in the NWT to cross the MacKenzie R. The road was dirt and sloped downward and the ferry ramp sloped upward. The rear bumper dug into the dirt on the road as the Class C was driving upward on the ferry ramp. He couldn't move and then the ferry captain tried to bust him loose by rocking the ferry back forth. That finally worked and the Class C backed up a bit, gunned it and got on. The bumper made a loud noise when it hit the dirt. I don't know how long he was there, but when we got there it took 20 minutes before he got free.

Now that I've looked at the back of my Safari, I see catching the bumper is almost impossible and the skid plates are mounted below and just forward of it. Casters mounted on the side of the plates that are slightly below it could make it easier than simply dragging it.

Gene
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:26 PM   #16
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casters, no plastique, si

aplogies to everyone on the title-a buddy of mine landed his twin engine aircraft with the wheels up one time...the plastic strips along the bottom of the fuselage saved the body of the airplane from any damage!! I know, I was there, and I still cannot believe it. now, the props were a different story...but if you do not know what I am referring to-check a teenager's skate board-they have hard/durable yet "grindable" plastic rails under them so the boarders can "grind." I'd put a 2 inch wide length of that stuff under whatever is dragging (1/4-3/8 inch thick) and let that stuff do the "grinding." this barely makes the contact points lower, certainly less than 2-1/2 inch casters and will distribute load axially-oh man, I'm sorry-along the length of the frame/plastic instead on wholly on the caster mount. PSI would be considerably less with the plastic grind strips than with the casters.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Howie, it sounds like you haven't gotten stuck getting onto Canadian ferries.
The ferries I referred to are those in the maritime, NB, NS, Newfoundland Labrador, and the Queen Charlottes. They all have a very steep ramp angle that causes one to slide a 34 ft. trailer down the ramp.

Crossing the Yukon at Dawson City is the same dirt ramp that you describe. Sounds like I have to head to the NW territory.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:53 PM   #18
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I've been on the ferry at Dawson City, but not with trailer, and don't remember the ramp. If you go north to Inuvik, NWT, you'll run into a few more of those ferries with dirt ramps. And that road is great fun when it rains. You can wait 'til winter and become a ice road trailerite from Inuvik to Tuktoyatuk on the MacKenzie and maybe you'll get on a TV show.

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Old 09-30-2009, 12:33 PM   #19
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Rear end casters.

Rear end casters, of any kind, are great for body shops.

The first time you really elevate the rear of the trailer with the casters, you will also severely damage the rear quarter panels, especially from 1969 and up.

Wally said, "your Airstream can go any place your tow vehicle will go". NOT TRUE.

Your Airstream trailer will not go under 7 or 8 foot high bridges that allow a car to pass through, Some inclines like boarding a Ferry or the like, are way too steep sometimes for safe boarding.

Lifting the rear of the trailer, with casters, is an absolute no no. The longer the trailer, the worse the damage.

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:26 PM   #20
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Airstream installs skid plates—how can they be ok and casters are not?

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:38 PM   #21
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Airstream installs skid plates—how can they be ok and casters are not?

Gene
Gene.

The skid plate distribute the impact over an area.

The casters confine the impact to a small area.

Additionally, the casters are closer to the ground by 4 to 6 inches as well, therefore they come into play far faster and to a greater degree than the skid plates.

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Old 09-30-2009, 05:04 PM   #22
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If you look at trailers with casters you will note that 90%+ of them are installed WRONG.

People tend to mount casters on the bottom of the frame. This causes the impact point to be lowered by the height of the caster and thus you are striking the trailer infinitely more often.

If you are hard set on installing casters cut the skid plates off and make sure the bottom of the caster is no lower than the bottom of the original skid plate.

The only reason I can see for casters or rollers is if you have a newly paved driveway and are now hitting it with the skids.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:14 PM   #23
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Why can't casters be mounted on the side of the skid plates? They would only have to extend a little below the bottom of the plate and the plate would distribute the weight as it had before. The only reason to do this I think (besides Howie's reason) is a wheel would offer less resistance than a skid plate and would be easier on the truck, trailer and hitch.

This is academic perhaps because I'll probably never do anything about it and my wife may not allow me to take the trailer on those roads with Canadian ferries.

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Old 09-30-2009, 06:39 PM   #24
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Think of the narrow frame tab 'bash' plates as a NO-GO gauge?

The original layout of these trailers were meant for small trailer lengths and most likely leaning toward protecting from packed earth & gravel tracks that would yield somewhat when the trailer end was wallowing, er, bottoming out to reach or escape an out of the way destination.

Yes of course you can have stealth casters if you have a yen to be a low-rider but (oh, thats punny) for those requiring ramp climbing or such having a spare gooseneck hitch mount might be a solution, an eight inch drop is available.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:52 PM   #25
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My 20 footer is nothing like yours, but it had casters which the PO had added. A new axle from Andy and slightly larger tires gave me plenty of additional height. I cut the casters off. Geo...
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:11 PM   #26
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Maybe upgrade the wheel size from 15" to 16"? Add solid steel riser blocks between the axles and frame, you could go another 4" or 6". You'll have a Monster Airstream and need a ladder to get in.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:02 AM   #27
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Is there such a thing as an adjustable height hitch mount? I'm thinking of one that has something like an electric jack built-in to raise or lower the ball height. I would think it would have to be very heavy-duty to handle the stresses of travel with a heavy trailer. I once saw a guy with a forklift with a ball mounted on the end of one fork. He was putting boats into very narrow parking spaces at a storage yard and his lift had side-shifting, so he could move the ball both up & down and side to side. He was parking the boats with less than a couple of inches between each one. It just made me think about the possibilities...

Rich the Viking
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #28
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casters

I had them on my old trailer. I would never get them again.
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