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Old 09-08-2018, 12:26 PM   #15
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This kind of road? Or the straight and narrow?

The Airstream rides low to the road for less wind resistance on the Highways. It becomes a 'slight disadvantage' when on National Forest or BLM roads.

If you have excellent judgment as to where your tires are at all times... an Airstream will follow. If you have poor judgement after installing a lift kit and 16" wheels, they may give you a bit more flexibility towards errors of judgment.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:03 PM   #16
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Sorry I didn't specify in my original post. It is a 2005 19' Bambi.
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
I agree "beefing up" the suspension will only result in a stiffer, bumpier ride and is likely to cause more damage to the Airstream because the rough ride is beyond the limits of the AS design. It is possible to reinforce the whole frame for 4x4 type of roads which would require extensive work and result in more, not less, stuff on the floor. Rebuilding the frame was done on Wally Byam's famous caravans in Africa and "Around the World" in the late 50s and early 60s.

That being said I have taken my 25 foot Tradewind on some bad road and not had a problem as long as the trailer was battened down and I took it easy. There are some places though taking an Airstream is just dumb. In those cases I park it and throw a tent in my truck. I also would not take an Airstream of any length down anything without a reasonable assurance I could turn the rig around.
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Suspension travel is more important than beef, torsion axles are not noted for their travel.

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Old 01-09-2019, 03:19 PM   #18
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Hey Ray! like the PICs - Well, 90% of our camping is dry camping off Forestry Roads and Provincial Parks so we are travelling on roads somewhere between pic one and two :-) I have always understood that to keep the AS cabinets on the walls and stuff in the drawers - SLOW DOWN! is the way to survive. We have never had problems with any of our trailers be cause of 'ruff' roads. Funny, we have had folk pass us doing 80K down these back roads and I often wonder what the inside of the trailer looks like went they arrive.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:31 PM   #19
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I'm interested to hear from anyone out there about beefing up shocks/springs suspension and tires on Airstream trailers (i'm looking at 22ft or smaller) to better handle washboard fire service roads etc.

Are there people that specialize in this? Any recommendations? Costs? Does it work?

Thanks!
One thing you didn't mention is the age of your camper. As mentioned in this thread (and many more) axle(s) on "older" trailers need to have the axle(s) replaced. This includes the shocks.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:58 PM   #20
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The Airstream trailer is a higher end RV that wasn't really designed for off road. And the trailer's Wally built and used for international travel (in the 50's or earlier) are far from what is today's Air Stream.

With that said, keeping the cabinets on the walls (or not) usually is a function of speed. Assuming one would not drive into an area that one would get stuck, all remaining travel is a function of speed. The faster one travels on an uneven surface the greater the chance of damage.

How fast is too fast? It is difficult to answer that question other than to say, if you sustain damage it was too fast.

One other piece. Fire service roads in Arizona (not sure about your area) are not known for being wide. Some are and some are not. Again some owners that have ponyied up to serious 5 figures for their new or newer new Airstream travel trailer will be far from pleased with an Arizona pinstripe gracing the side of the aluminum body. To buff that out, if it can be buffed out is effort most are not willing to do. Most newer Air Streams of higher cost are kept on the paved surfaces.

If you are looking for or have a much used Airstream that you bought on the cheap and exterior appearance is not an issue, one might consider replacing the twenty + year old axle as that axle is almost done. Before stressing that older axle, replace it. Get a lift kit and enjoy the scratches at a very slow speed off road.

Good luck my friend.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:01 PM   #21
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Hmmmmmmmmm I forgot to look at the start date of this thread. It is two years old and the OP has not been back here since two years ago.

So my post is likely more relevant to the user that searches or trips on by to this thread and wonders, HMMM what if ????????????


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Old 01-11-2019, 04:52 PM   #22
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Back to life...

I believe it was resurrected here.

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Old 01-11-2019, 06:58 PM   #23
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I'll comment as these types of roads are specifically what I have my AS setup for. Many of the overlanding and jeeping concepts apply here too.

As someone mentioned, beefing up is not exactly what you want to do.

Compliance is the name of the game. Often forgotten is tires, as they are integral as part of the suspension, especially off-road.

Firstly, clearance is important. AS's are notoriously low slung with minimal tongue and rear bumper clearance. A 3" dexter lift kit is highly highly recommended. That solves the clearance issue.

There's not exactly much that can be done with suspension on these other than making sure they are not completely clapped out. Refreshed shocks may be good. Then tires. Upgrade to 16" wheels is not helpful here as more metal and less rubber is opposite of compliance. Upsizing tires is what helps. Stock on my 27FB is 225/75r15. I went up an incremental size of 235/75r15 for overall more diameter, which adds compliance.

When running off-road, one can air down tires. On both the tow vehicle and trailer. Going down 10PSI from road pressures is a great place to start. This allows the tires to absorb A LOT of the ride harshness before it even reaches the suspension. As a passenger in the TV, you'll notice the added comfort immediately also.

As lower speeds are utilized off-road, WD can also be relaxed to an extent. If one has the type of hitch where WD can easily be adjusted, dialing in less WD can help with more compliance and ride comfort. On my vehicle with active ride height, but raising my ride to "high" has the effect of relaxing the WD bars.

Ideally, one is also not towing with a 3/4 or 1-ton truck which has higher spring rate load bearing suspensions that will transfer a lot of shock energy into the trailer.
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