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Old 05-27-2008, 11:17 AM   #1
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Shock Absorbers for '99 Safari

Nothing will stay on the twin beds and the night stand drawer will not stay in place. I have to regularly straighten the drawer guides and rollers from the pounding it takes. Everything ends up on the floor. Dealer said it did not need shocks becaause they were not leaking. I think they can be worn out regardless of whether they are leaking. My question is if anyhone has replaced the shocks with some brand other than the ones from A/S? I am going to make an effort to cross reference them and find a good gas shock. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:46 AM   #2
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I doubt that shocks are the problem. Out of balance running gear and / or too stiff a connection between your TV and trailer might cause this problem.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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I have had it for 6 years and I can't remember it not doing this. Don't think it is the tires. I am on the 3rd set. Old ones have not had flat spots on them like they were out of balance. The first set I removed because of weather cracks and they were 3 years old. Replace the second set when I threw a tread on one and had a blister on a second one. The 3rd set has been on for a year now and has about 5k miles on them. Had the durms pulled last week to replace the brakes but they showed little wear and repacked the bearings. I pulled it 40 miles without the weight distribution bars and it bounced all over the place. It just doesn't seem to me that the bars or tires are the problem. But then, I am wrong all the time and like so many others, live by Murhphy's Law.
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'99 25' Safari
2 Honda 2000i generators
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'07 Yamaha Rhino ATV
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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Hey raptor, try filling your water tank when you tow...maybe the extra mass will help keep you grounded.
(or bring more beer...)

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:23 PM   #5
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To make sure your tires and rolling stock are balanced, you might try DynaBeads or some such balancing technique.

Your DuraMax implies either a 3/4-ton or a one-ton pickup. The suspension of either one would be pretty strong medicine for your Safari. Make sure your weight-transfer bars are not too heavy for your trailer. You might also consider a soft-ride AirSafe air hitch, which would take the sting out of a harsh tow vehicle suspension.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:38 PM   #6
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I carry a Yamaha Rhino that weighs around 1200+ in the bed of the truck plus fuel cans and usually the 2 Honda 2000i. I have tried the water but usually no more than a half tank. I think the Equalizer bars are rated at 7000 lbs. but not sure. They are what the dealer reccomended when new. I load the heavy stuff, like my tool box, etc. in the floor between the beds. Things get tossed around pretty good. I could carry a full tank of water but it sure uses up the weight I can use for other things. I try not to overload it with todays tires being what they are. I have had good luck so far on this set of tires. I think they are called Load Kings. I have two trips from Dallas to Ca. and back plus other side trips on them. I don't intend to guy any more Goodyear Marathons.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptorrider2001
Dealer said it did not need shocks becaause they were not leaking. I think they can be worn out regardless of whether they are leaking. My question is if anyhone has replaced the shocks with some brand other than the ones from A/S? I am going to make an effort to cross reference them and find a good gas shock. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
The shocks are oil-filled shocks made for Airstream by Gabriel. They are designed for horizontal mounting. I doubt if they are worn out yet, and I can't see gas shocks doing any better. The rubber torsion axles are relatively effective at cancelling oscillations, and the shocks help to provide a controlled ride for the trailer. If you notice the trailer floating over bumps, and rocking back and forth after crossing bridges and railway tracks, you might consider new shocks. (A/S shocks are not expensive - I paid about $40 Cdn each.) Otherwise, look elsewhere.

I'd agree that wheel balancing or the stiffness of your TV are the prime suspects. However, you've got the truck well-loaded already, and you've had this problem regardless of tires. Take another look at the spring bars for your hitch - you probably don't want anything rated at more than 750 lbs tongue weight.

What tow vehicle did you have previous to your '08 DMax?
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptorrider2001
Nothing will stay on the twin beds and the night stand drawer will not stay in place. I have to regularly straighten the drawer guides and rollers from the pounding it takes. Everything ends up on the floor. Dealer said it did not need shocks becaause they were not leaking. I think they can be worn out regardless of whether they are leaking. My question is if anyhone has replaced the shocks with some brand other than the ones from A/S? I am going to make an effort to cross reference them and find a good gas shock. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Shocks aren't your problem. The pounding comes from one of two things: Too stiff a tow vehicle suspension, or bad rubber in the torsion axles. I haven't seen a 99 with bad axles, but there's always a first.
The shocks on an Airstream are mostly decorative, in my opinion. I have towed my 5200lb Overlander with and without shocks, and there was no difference that I could detect. And, I am pretty anal when it comes to my trailers.
Keep in mind that both Henschen and Dexter engineers state that shocks are not necessary with torsion axles.

Things I would check, some of which have already be mentioned in posts above:

WD bars should be no more than 750lbs with a 3/4ton HD truck
Full water tank helps soften the ride. Your truck would most likely not know the difference.
Load your tools in teh front of the trailer, to increase tongue weight.
Consider a softride hitch - Airstreams are very sensitive to suspensions that are too stiff-as most 3/4 ton trucks are, even if loaded.
Drive carefully, especially over rough roads. I have seem trailers get airborn over railroad tracks. More than once.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quick analysis. When the rig is hooked up, can you stand on rear bumper, bounce up and down and get at least 2-3 inches of travel? If not, then the truck is probably beating your castle your death. Ask inland Andy, he feels most 3/4 ton are too much truck for us on this forum. i just hooked up our 28 today and and getting at least 3 inches and I weigh about 170lbs. 1/2 tons have big time advantages indeed.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:30 PM   #10
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1/2 tons??

Half tons have an advantage once you get to your destination. What about transmissions, rear axle ring gear diameters, Gearing and Oh, brakes for when it is time to stop.

Err, for over a 25' unit I will keep my 3/4 ton suburban....
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafariSS
Half tons have an advantage once you get to your destination. What about transmissions, rear axle ring gear diameters, Gearing and Oh, brakes for when it is time to stop.

Err, for over a 25' unit I will keep my 3/4 ton suburban....
I'dlike to think that a 3/4 ton Suburban rides substantially softer than a F250, or HD2500 Chevy.
I tried them all before buying my current tow vehicle, just last year.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:22 PM   #12
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I did stand on the rear bumper last week and it does not give very mcuh when I bounce on it.

Other truck was also a 2500 hd diesel on an extended cab instead of the new crew cab. The new one rides mujch better when loaded than the old one did. Probably because of the longer wheelbase.

Are the bars marked as to hitch weight? They are the Equalizers. I'm sure I can find out on their web site.

I have weighed the trailer without full tanks and am at 6000 lbs. witch is right at gross. A full tank of water would run it on up there. But I will try it the next time out.

I am not familiar with the Spftride hitch but will check it out. Thanks to everyone for their input. Keep it coming.
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'99 25' Safari
2 Honda 2000i generators
'08 Chevy Duramax
'01 Yamaha Raptor ATV
'07 Yamaha Rhino ATV
2 burgler alarms: Rotweiller and Shepherd
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