Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Thank is an interesting post.
However, it's for 2 wheeled motorcycles, which I don't really think behave on the road like an Airstream.
An Airstream can hit a bump on one side of the trailer, but for a motorcycle, a bump is a total bump, period.
Surprisingly the trailing arm suspension geometry of an Airstream with a rubber torsion axle is very similar to the rear swing arm of a motorcycle. Not surprisingly, the basic physics of spring mass damper systems doesn't change based on the type of vehicle.
You pointed out earlier in this thread that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but implied that opinion is only as good as it's foundation.
I think it's fair to mention that I am a professionally registered mechanical engineer. I grew up towing trailers. One of which was the '69 Airstream I now own. I spent a number of years designing race cars and have discussed suspension design and dynamics with Carroll Smith. I used to race motorcycles and still ride a bike with a fully adjustable suspension. I currently work for a company that manufactures commercial aluminum trailers.
I run my Airstream at towing speeds up to about 70 mph. I check/adjust the tire pressure and condition for all 4 before each trip. I am happy with 2 years and several thousand miles without shocks.
My opinion on shocks in a nutshell:
- If you are concerned about harsher suspension response without shocks, don't be. You won't hurt your trailer.
- If you would rather not spend the money for new shocks, save it. You won't hurt your trailer.
- If you are concerned about voiding the warranty on your new axles, don't weld on shock brackets. You won't hurt your trailer.
- If you believe in the sanctity of original design above all else, run shocks.
- If you think that your trailer handles better with shocks or it just seems right, run shocks.
- For everyone else, think, analyze, form your own opinion.