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Old 11-15-2004, 11:16 PM   #1
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Wink Rivets

Took out the 19' CCD International Bambi Saturday to Las Vegas from LA area.The I 15 fwy. is in really bad shape lots of ruts and bad paveing bouncing around a lot most of the way to Vrgas. Anyway once in Vegas I noticed that inside of the trailer the ends of several rivets had fallen to the floor. I found several holes in the ceiling where they had fallen from. Is this a problem? Are the interior rivets part of the exterior ones? If just a few fall does that create a problem that needs fixed asap? This was my first long trip and the trailer pulled really nice even in some fairly gusty wind.
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Old 11-16-2004, 01:07 AM   #2
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Probably inside only...

The rivits that are evidently falling out probably would be just ones from the inside. You can tell by examining them. The inside rivits are typically pretty standard pop-rivits of the type that you can find at most hardware stores and including Home Depot or Lowes. They are typically about 1/8" in diameter and usually the head is colored to match the interior surface. You can also see the dimple or hole in the middle of them when they are installed from the inside. The outside rivits are generally larger in diameter, have a solid core (or at least solid looking) and have a rounded over head. Take a look at some of the other rivits that hold the interior walls on and then look at some of the ones on the outside skin. I think the difference will be pretty apparent.

If they are indeed the interior ones you could easily enough replace them. It is pretty simple to use the hand held type rivit pliers that you can buy pretty much any where the pop-rivits are sold. You might have trouble finding them with a painted head but you could probably take care of that with some model paint.

The bigger question is probably "why are they coming out to begin with"? Rough roads can indeed shake things up pretty good but it is my understanding that bad axles could transfer a lot more of the road jounce that is desirable to the interior of your AS. You might check in these forums for axle information to see how to tell if yours are in need of replacement.

I hope this gets you started on the solution,

Malcolm
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Old 11-16-2004, 04:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
...The bigger question is probably "why are they coming out to begin with"? Rough roads can indeed shake things up pretty good but it is my understanding that bad axles could transfer a lot more of the road jounce that is desirable to the interior of your AS. You might check in these forums for axle information to see how to tell if yours are in need of replacement.

I hope this gets you started on the solution,

Malcolm
Malcolm, I hope he doesn't have bad axles That is an '04 model, but I guess stranger things have happened. ardenrj, the advice still holds to check the forums for axle information, but look into running gear balance. Most dealers DO NOT even balance the tires much less the running gear assembly.

Aaron
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Old 11-16-2004, 07:00 AM   #4
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Aaron,

I don't understand why you would think that the dealer should balance the wheels on a new vehicle. They should be balanced by the manufacturer, like they do on all new cars.

Overly high tire pressures can cause added load into the trailer. I have reduced the pressure on my 2002 25ft Safari to 40#. Based on Goodyear's load/pressure chart, I need less than 35# to carry the weight, but use 40 for a safety factor. The tires run cool. You can get the load/pressure chart from their web site.

As far as rivets, since this is under waranty, I would ask your dealer or the factory to send you some of the correct color rivets at no cost.

Jim Mickle
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Old 11-16-2004, 07:29 PM   #5
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Aaron,

I don't understand why you would think that the dealer should balance the wheels on a new vehicle. They should be balanced by the manufacturer, like they do on all new cars.

Overly high tire pressures can cause added load into the trailer. I have reduced the pressure on my 2002 25ft Safari to 40#. Based on Goodyear's load/pressure chart, I need less than 35# to carry the weight, but use 40 for a safety factor. The tires run cool. You can get the load/pressure chart from their web site.

As far as rivets, since this is under waranty, I would ask your dealer or the factory to send you some of the correct color rivets at no cost.

Jim Mickle
Jim,
The Airstream factory doesn't even check to see if there is grease in the axles, when they are asked about balancing the running gear they will tell you it is your responsiblity. As far as running tires with less pressure, that will depend on the circumstances BUT that was one of the issues at play in the Firestone/Explorer debacle of a few years back. The general reccomendation is to run the tires at the reccomended maximum pressure; especially with the ST rated tires. They are a different construction from a conventional car or truck tire.

Aaron
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:00 AM   #6
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Airstream apparently not only doesn't have any meaningful quality control on their own work, and don't do any checks on incoming components. It is OK to trust your suppliers, but an occasional check on incoming materials is only prudent. Had Airstream checked even one incoming axle per batch, they would have discovered the grease problem before any went out the door on completed trailers.

You do what you want on tire pressure, but I will inflate mine sufficiently to carry the load with some safety factor. I don't see any reason to beat my trailer apart with pressures 30# more than needed to carry the load. Properly inflated tires also have more traction, not a bad thing either, even on a trailer. Based on the load/inflation charts, my 225R75/15 tires have a load capacity of 1600#@30psi, 1760#@35psi and 1880#@40 psi. My total axle weight is 6000+/-# so even 30# should be sufficient, 35# gives me about 1000# safety factor and 40#, a 1500# safety factor. I run 40#, so I have plenty of safety factor for pressure loss without overloading the tires.

The Firestone/Explorer problem was related to overloaded tires that didn't have a large safety factor. Ford didn't listen to Firestone, and set low pressures for better ride and handling. The pressures were OK if they had been maintained by the owners and the vehicles not overloaded. Unfortunately, many owners didn't do either, and then blamed Firestone when the tires failed. Tests have shown that they didn't need to crash either, but the drivers abdicated control when a tire failed. One good thing that may come out of the ford/firestone problem is reliable, relatively inexpensive, tire pressure monitoring systems.

Jim Mickle
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