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Old 02-11-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
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Shocks- do I need them - which ones?

I am in the process of updating my 27' 78 Argosy and while inspecting my wheels I noticed that I have shocks. How do I know if they need to be replaced?
After reading throught most of the threads I am still somewhat confused as to the question, if I do need new shocks - what type of shocks is best for my Argy and who has the best pricing on them?


John
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argy 78
I am in the process of updating my 27' 78 Argosy and while inspecting my wheels I noticed that I have shocks. How do I know if they need to be replaced?
After reading throught most of the threads I am still somewhat confused as to the question, if I do need new shocks - what type of shocks is best for my Argy and who has the best pricing on them?


John
Some people say shocks are not needed.

Airstream engineers say otherwise.

There is no choice as to what shock to use.

Yours is a "horizontal" shock made expressly for Airstream by Gabriel, and is not available from anyone except an Airstream dealer.

A vertical shock will not work.

Andy
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:30 PM   #3
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John,

It is my opinion that a shock is the frosting to great cake. Your axles and towing handling charistics would be good with out the shocks. Having the shocks just makes a good ride the best. And the shocks will not compensate for a bad axle(s). Bad axle will still rdie bad with good shocks.

Because of the way valving in shocks works, a vertical shock will not work in a horizontal position. I believe A/S trailers from 1969 and later are horizontal mounting.

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Old 02-14-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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Why do the Dexter sales rep's I speak with say that shock are not necessary...and that they defeat the purpose of the torsion axle?
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:29 PM   #5
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With a little luck

I plan on posting some ride quality measurements once (if? ) I get my new axles installed ('Epiphany gets new Axles' thread). Part of the goal is to quantify the effects of adding shocks to a torsion suspension.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:29 PM   #6
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A torsion axle has a significant degree of shock absorbing built in, but there is still oscillation. More importantly, in my opinion, shocks control the motions of the trailer while allowing a relatively soft suspension.

My trailer was missing shocks when I bought it (it had new axles). A friend welded on shock brackets and we installed the Gabriel units (reasonably priced, BTW). The shocks cured a side to side rocking and a "floatiness" over bumps and dips like bridge expansion joints. The handling benefits are well worth the money (in my opinion) and the smoother ride is no doubt better for the trailer in the long run.

In any event, no axle is going to be harmed by the use of shock absorbers.

The brackets don't have to be fancy to work. We started with 5/8" bolts and welded them to plates that were welded onto the pivot arms of the axles. The minor bit of heat from a mig welder is not going to damage the rubber rods in the axles.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for your reply. You sound like you know what you are doing building shock mounts. You could put these on any Airstrream trailer and they would be a lot better off.
Shock really do work.
Andy
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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Shocks are one of the items that has me upset with Airstream engineering. The old shocks had split rubber bushings and the new ones do not. Apparently airstream allowed Gabriel to inject a one piece bushing into the shocks which makes mounting very difficult. If you call airstream, they will tell you to get a big bar and bend the spindels on the top which face the frame.

I removed one of my old ones and it was labeled "Delco". My axles are still in good shape and the shocks operate at about 15degrees from horizontal. To make a long story short, the old ones work fine. I left them on!

My "auto shocks" work just fine. Forgot to sit the tv down once last summer and it rode 30 miles just fine.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argy 78
I am in the process of updating my 27' 78 Argosy and while inspecting my wheels I noticed that I have shocks. How do I know if they need to be replaced?
After reading throught most of the threads I am still somewhat confused as to the question, if I do need new shocks - what type of shocks is best for my Argy and who has the best pricing on them?


John
It depends on who you want to beleive. Henschen has the following posted in FAQ section of their web page.

Question--What is unigue about Henschen axle?

Awnser-- F. Reduced ocillation time (self dampening, no shock needed)

I am installing new shocks on my Argosy.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norsim
It depends on who you want to beleive. Henschen has the following posted in FAQ section of their web page.

Question--What is unigue about Henschen axle?

Awnser-- F. Reduced ocillation time (self dampening, no shock needed)

I am installing new shocks on my Argosy.
Unfortunately, that statement, is confusing, and should have said (travel trailers excluded).

The GKN Henschen axle web site, is basically designed for commercial vehicles, such as commercial flat beds, agricultural euipment, farm equipment and the like.

The total travel trailer axles supplied by Henschen, is about 1 (one) percent of their production. Their plant only has 140 employees.

I am working on having that confusing statement corrected, since Airstream engineers, do specifiy "shocks".

Andy
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:45 PM   #11
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That would make sense as in the difference between hauling hay and hauling my personal stuff.

What the hay!

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