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Old 03-09-2007, 10:16 PM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Hinge pin

We have an '07 25 FB. I noticed that one of the hings pins had worked itself up and out by a 1/2 inch.

I gave it a few medium taps but it did not go back in.

Is there anything I should know before I get a bigger hammer?
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:08 AM   #2
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No Bigger Hammer!

Hi,
I don't know about new Airstreams but I have rehung my 64 Safari door and a lot of doors on old 1930ís & 40ís cars and houses and had a lot of old car door hinge pins raise up. If the hinge pin won't go in with tapping....something is NOT lined up. Try to avoid the urge to use the bigger hammer.

If you LIGHTLY tap on the hinge pin while slowly moving the door open and closed, sometimes lifting on the bottom edge to tweak it up and down, you can usually find the spot where it all lines up and the pin slips down in place. It may take 2 people, a tapper and a lifter.

On my Airstream the pins would slip up ľ-1/2 inch every thousand miles or so (especially on Alaska Highway). I finally drilled small hole at bottom of hinge, through the hinge and pin, and inserted a stainless steel cotter pin (from inside out). It locks the hinge pin in and also makes it so you canít EASILY pull hinge pin and lift door off to break in.

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Old 03-10-2007, 02:17 AM   #3
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"Try to avoid the urge to use the bigger hammer." - now, that's no fun at all.

The hinge pins on mine had a hole drilled & threaded in the bottom and a bolt screwed in to hold them in place. Unfortunately it was all pretty rusted, but I may look for a stainless-steel replacement for that if the threading is still good.

I was looking at replacement locks and realized, like you say, that since the hinge pins are on the outside breaking in is pretty trivial with a deadbolt lock. I was thinking of getting a drop-bolt lock like a Medeco Steelguard which would probably slow them down, but bolting the hinge pin would also do the trick.
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
We have an '07 25 FB. I noticed that one of the hings pins had worked itself up and out by a 1/2 inch.

I gave it a few medium taps but it did not go back in.

Is there anything I should know before I get a bigger hammer?
The hinge pins can and will come loose, basically caused by lack of proper running gear balance.

Andy
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The hinge pins can and will come loose, basically caused by lack of proper running gear balance.

Andy
Andy, Thank you for answering. Do I just tap it back in?
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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Andy, Thank you for answering. Do I just tap it back in?
Tap it back in carefully.

Then using a center punch, place 4 or 5 punched holes around the top outside edges of the hinge pin.

Then add one more hole in the center of the top of the hinge pin.

Within reason, the pin should now be secure.

However, get the running gear properly balance, and then continue to watch for any further movement of that pin.

Andy
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:31 PM   #7
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Balancing running gear

Since this is a '07 trailer we are talking about should it need the running gear balanced this soon? Would that be covered under warranty? Just wanted to know, Ed
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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Since this is a '07 trailer we are talking about should it need the running gear balanced this soon? Would that be covered under warranty? Just wanted to know, Ed
Brand new tires are hardly ever in balance.

I don't believe warranty covers wheel balancing.

Andy
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:39 PM   #9
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Not likely

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGED52
Since this is a '07 trailer we are talking about should it need the running gear balanced this soon? Would that be covered under warranty? Just wanted to know, Ed
IIRC, The Factory does not balance running gear. I would imagine that any warranty service would be limited to tapping the hinge pin back into place.

A LOUD, knowledgeable customer could probably convince them to drill the hinge casing & install a roll-pin.

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Old 03-17-2007, 11:30 AM   #10
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WoW!

I guess I am just naive! I just thought that the tires would be balanced on the trailer prior to the "finished trailer" leaving the plant and being road ready for sale. Or at the least that dealer prep would include checking something as important as this seems to be. My mistake... Sorry I brought it up! Ed
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:51 AM   #11
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Andy, I've been using Centramatic wheel balancers on my rig and still notice the top hinge pin works it's way up a half inch or so after a thousand miles or more. I feel certain the Centramatics are keeping my wheels balanced and assuming I'm correct could it be max tire air pressure (65#) causing a ride too rough for the trailer or some such? Just a thought. You mentioned using the center punch. By doing so, I would be expanding the pin against the interior side walls of the hinge thereby hopefully preventing vertical movement, correct? Thanks in advance for your thoughts or anyone elses for that matter. This pin issue hasn't caused too much concern until now because I can easily tap it back in place with a rubber mallet. Until now, I thought possibly I'd lubed the hinge too much.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ZoominC6
Andy, I've been using Centramatic wheel balancers on my rig and still notice the top hinge pin works it's way up a half inch or so after a thousand miles or more. I feel certain the Centramatics are keeping my wheels balanced and assuming I'm correct could it be max tire air pressure (65#) causing a ride too rough for the trailer or some such? Just a thought. You mentioned using the center punch. By doing so, I would be expanding the pin against the interior side walls of the hinge thereby hopefully preventing vertical movement, correct? Thanks in advance for your thoughts or anyone elses for that matter. This pin issue hasn't caused too much concern until now because I can easily tap it back in place with a rubber mallet. Until now, I thought possibly I'd lubed the hinge too much.
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I assume you have load range "D" tires. If that's the case, I would suggest you drop the tire pressure down to 60 psi, and possibly even 55 psi.

A rough ride is similiar to out of balance running gear.

Expanding the top of the hinge pin to fit very tight is the idea.

Keep in mind, that if the hinge design was inadequate, then everyone would have the pin problem.

Since the hinge pin problem is rare, then logic says it must have something to do with that particular trailer.

Andy
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:42 PM   #13
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Thanks Andy. I appreciate your thought on this. I'll try the lower tire pressure on the next trip and see what shakes out.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:00 PM   #14
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Thanks Andy. I appreciate your thought on this. I'll try the lower tire pressure on the next trip and see what shakes out.
I think you have another problem as well.

You have a super heavy duty tow vehicle, along with a hitch to tow the Queen Mary.

That setup, transfers considerable road shock not only to the front of your Airstream, but also to anything that can move, like the entrance door.

You didn't say which hinge pin came loose, but my bet is that it's the top one.

If that's the case, then the problem will not stop, until you considerable soften the connection between the tow vehicle and the trailer.

Testing it is easy. When hooked up, stand on the tounge. Jump up and down to make the tongue move vertically. It should move 3 to 4 inches.

If not, then the hookup is way to stiff for your application.

Airstream trailers love a soft ride. When you over hitch (bars too heavy and/or heavy duty tow vehicle), you destroy that softness. That results in many failures, including making the hinge pins come loose, cracked A-frames, fatigue cracks in the frame, shearing rivets, fatigue cracks in the shell, tearing the front shell to pieces, breaking copper tubing in the AC, and many other seemingly, but true, failures.

Remember, that an Airstream is made using a semi-monocouque design, Simple stated, the shell is load bearing. That also means the shell flexes. How much, depends on the kind of bumps, or, the roughness of the ride.

Your shaking the trailer to death. Soften the ride. Your Airstream will love you for it.

Andy
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