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Old 12-29-2010, 07:29 PM   #1
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Airstream of Chicago: CAUTION

While headed south recently my Argosy developed a squeak and squeal when the brakes were applied.

I was within driving distance of Airstream of Chicago at Joliet, Illinois so made a detour to see if I could get the problem fixed.

They recommended repacking the wheels while inspecting the brakes and drums. Estimated cost: $320.00.

Coming back for my trailer near closing time I was astonished to find them using two floor stands at the rear of my frame and MY electric jack at the front to raise and support the whole unit while they pulled the four wheels!

When I admonished them the technician said, “ Hell, I’ve used this method to lift 35’ trailers!”

I paid my bill as they were closing up and going home but when I went to drive off of the lot the squeal was still there.

So, I camped out front until morning when they agreed, pouting all the way, to re-do the job and promised to only lift my trailer by using rolling floor jacks at the axle plates.

I watched to make sure but even that did no good. They claimed that their inspection still turned up nothing. The squeaks and squeals remained.

I gave up on them and headed further south.

I could hardly believe that a so-called “authorized dealer” shop would lift an Airstream this way but I saw it with my own eyes.

Not only did the shop prove to be incompetent, the whole of the place looked “iffy” and fly-by-night to me.

I put this out as a caution for Chicago area folks and to ask if anyone has suggestions for better trained places in Louisiana or Texas.

Based on what I saw, “Authorized by Airstream” hasn’t too much value and I may be just as well off looking for a competent brake and trailer repair joint, rather than an RV place.


Sergei



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Old 12-29-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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Wow! The guy's a genius! He turned three bucks worth of grease into $320. And . . . he didn't even have to fix the brakes.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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Joliet and Davenport are know as "sunshine service"
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
Wow! The guy's a genius! He turned three bucks worth of grease into $320. And . . . he didn't even have to fix the brakes.

That was BRUTAL......Funny but brutal,.....

Did you ever find the source of the squeak?

Shane
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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Did you inspect the trailer after that event? It would seem that the shell would be under an incredible amount of stress and sagging in the middle. Did you happen to snap a picture with your cell phone?
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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this reply is NOT in support of that specific dealership or their shop....

but

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe View Post
...I could hardly believe that a so-called “authorized dealer” shop would lift an Airstream this way but I saw it with my own eyes...]
and that is EXACTLY how the factory service center in j/c lifts them.

while they don't exactly use the very REAR, they do use the designated jack points (about 6 ft forward on a 34)

and they do NOT use the axle mounting plates for lifting,

but place jack stands in those locations (not touching) at the axle plates, just as safety/backups for the floor jacks.

so on a shorty it's a non issue.

my 34 has been airborne, using that approach many times at the mothership.

it IS the official way and works well.

((see post #42 here for picture proofs from the factory experts in j/c)

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f457...tml#post428907
_________

using the axle mounting plates gets touted here (primarily by one source) and works ok too...

but there are issues like the jacks being IN THE WAY if working on stuff in that area.
_________

cheers
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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Thanks 2air...

Lets just say the trailer is hitched.. fully supported the way its designed for travel.. no problem.. now use the rear jack point designed by airstream to lift those tires off the ground.. still no problem..

Sergei states they lifted at the rear of the frame though.. near the rear bumper? past the stabilizers? when does it matter? That jack point is a reinforced section of frame rail or a predetermined stress point.. reminds me of the wing testing they performed for airliners.. I know.. two different animals.. but..

YouTube - Boeing 787 wing break test
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:10 PM   #8
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hi vin

well without a PIC we r left to wonder how far REAR is REAR in the op...

and actually the official jack points (as described in 40 years of owners manuals)

aren't reinforced at all.

they are just 'locations' on the main frame rails,

that are occasionally marked with decals or small sections of aluminum.

often the markings are GONE 4 whatever reason, but there is no special reinforcements there.

the location for manually placed 'stabilizer jacks' is different and more rearward on old streams...

so the 2 spots can be confused.

but the point is in the photos linked earlier the trailer is FULLY SUPPORTED by the tongue jack and REAR floor jack/s.

the safety/jack stands placed at the axle mounting plates aren't even TOUCHING the axle plates ...

btw there wer 4-5 guys walking around INSIDE my stream doing interior and a/c repairs while it was UP on those jacks...

here's another pic (see post # 93) with the trailer lifted at the rear...

the jack points are just 1-2 feet from the stabilizer jack locations...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...tml#post841907

then another set of jacks were place at the plates (my request) just as back ups...

cheers
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:17 PM   #9
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I remember you posting the thread on new tires.. thought to myself then OMG...

But saw the supports in the center thinking everything is right with the world and there is no way in hell your going to allow them (the creators) to lift that beast in such a way that might compromise all the seams and joints..

but now you say... "the safety/jack stands placed at the axle mounting plates aren't even TOUCHING..."

so I guess Sergei.. its ok.. no harm done if 2airs hasn't split in two..

(but im not going to do it... hee hee)

I guess you can add this one to the current running thread AirForums Contentious Topics - A Top 10 List
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:20 PM   #10
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2air,

Any thoughts on how to find the magic jacking point on an old TT, which has no remnants of the original markings on the belly?
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:21 PM   #11
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zoOOOOom on this picture,

http://cdn.airforums.com/forums/atta...4&d=1186545916

it's clear the jack stand at the axle mounting plate is NOT TOUCHING...

again this is on the floor of the factory service center in j/c.
________

of course THEY could be doing it wrong in jackson center, and teaching the dealers 2 do it wrong...

just sayin....

cheers
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:29 PM   #12
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hi aage

does your unit have the bal stabilizer jacks common from that era?

if so my WAG is about 18 inches FORWARD from them.

i suspect you could email a/s tech with year/vin and ask for the APPROXIMATE locations...

they clearly have the info and might share it with you...

it is important to actually BE on the main beams and not slip/sliding around,

or the belly pan might get a hole poked in it....

((yes there is a thread with a picture of that happening too))

also keep in mind 70s units with rear tanks and baths,

MIGHT have frame sag/separation/rust and other spooky issues...

so YMMV...

the point isn't to REopen the 'where to jack' issue

rather just 2 suggest the service shop got THAT PART right...

even if they didn't find/fix the squeaks...

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:33 PM   #13
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Yeah,

Im sure they dont feel they are doing it wrong at jc.. the jack point is one thing.. but jack stands at the rear of the trailer frame is another. Still would have like to see a picture. The wing stress test intensifies with tension.. the frame and shell stress would intensify with the position of that jack stand.. the further back the more stress however, since airstream frames are known for being overbuilt.. i guess its not an issue.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:35 PM   #14
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This does deflect us from the issue that they charged $320 and had no effect on the reported problem whatsoever.
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