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Old 11-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #15
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Shocks or No

I have a 1965 Caravel wirh a torsion Dexter Axel. The shocks were mounted but the shocks rubbed on the tires when turning corners. I called Dexter and they said remove the shocks, torsion axels don't need them. I see no difference, but I am not riding in the trailer. I kept the shocks and can remount them if I necesary The brackets could be bent to eliminate the rubbing, but I think the shocks are not necessary on the 1965 Caravel.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #16
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I've just replaced the axels on a '79 7.3 Minuet. The shocks that I removed were original and still in excellent condition. This tells me they
weren't doing very much if anything. The tortion axels were 'popping rivet shot'. The new axels raised the ground clearance 2.5". had I not ordered new shocks the old ones would have been reinstalled. The test drive today was excellent, nothing slid off the counter nor did any of the bulkheads pop any rivets.
Are the shocks necessary...... beats me.
Paul
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Airstream engineers say that the shocks are VERY IMPORTANT.

But it's your trailer to do with as you wish.

Keep in mind, that Airstream does not install needless or useless things.

However, some shock opinions, which are just that, are opinions, that never include engineering facts or data.

Andy
Is that the same engineers that put OSB board in the floors and didn't think caulking was needed at the back bumper area? Or the engineers that used frame members in the 2002 CCD+ models that bend like cardboard or crack when you use the step? Shocks are way down the list of VERY IMPORTANT in my mind. Of course this is just my opinion.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:16 AM   #18
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Is that the same engineers that put OSB board in the floors and didn't think caulking was needed at the back bumper area? Or the engineers that used frame members in the 2002 CCD+ models that bend like cardboard or crack when you use the step? Shocks are way down the list of VERY IMPORTANT in my mind. Of course this is just my opinion.
Those things mentioned above are all cost saving measures that didn't work! Airstream still installs shocks on all trailers, so they must have proof that they are necessary or they would be eliminated as another cost saving measure. Remember it's all about cost, these days nothing is installed unless there is a cost/benefit to it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #19
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I have a 1965 Caravel wirh a torsion Dexter Axel. The shocks were mounted but the shocks rubbed on the tires when turning corners. I called Dexter and they said remove the shocks, torsion axels don't need them. I see no difference, but I am not riding in the trailer. I kept the shocks and can remount them if I necesary The brackets could be bent to eliminate the rubbing, but I think the shocks are not necessary on the 1965 Caravel.
Dexter is WRONG.

Shocks are necessary on EVERY Airstream product.

If they are necessary on a motor home, then they are equally necessary on a trailer.

No one ever disputes the need for shocks on a car, truck or motorhome, so why think that they are not necessary on a trailer, especially an Airstream that flexes from every bump in the road.

Using a torsion axle, has nothing to do with it since rubber bounces, no matter where it's used, since to one degree or another, it flexes.

Andy
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #20
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one other factor with shocks is traction when braking. the tire will have a lot of 'air time' when riding over rough surfaces with bad or no shocks. shame on dexter.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:13 PM   #21
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one other factor with shocks is traction when braking. the tire will have a lot of 'air time' when riding over rough surfaces with bad or no shocks. shame on dexter.
AGREED.

Andy
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:09 PM   #22
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Airstream has certainly built late model trailers with no shocks. The aforementioned 22' trailer comes to mind. I'd snap a photo of one the next time it comes in, but I'm pretty sure everyone knows what a picture of something not there looks like.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:22 AM   #23
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It would be nice if there was some real accelerometer data to back all these claims pro and con. My cell phone has an app that lets you display accelerometer data but you can't store it and compared to older runs. This sort of data with and without shocks would tell the tale.

I sorta feel like the rubber spring torsion axels are self damping to a large extent but since I have no data to back that up it is just a WAG. I have a small cargo trailer with a Dexter Axel with no shocks and it does not bounce even empty. It maybe that the rubber compound that Dexter uses have better damping chacteristics than the other manufactures. They may also add some plain old friction into the equation to help with damping.

Perry
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:19 PM   #24
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Wow! Thanks for all the opinions, engineering and manufacturing information.
I will now move ahead and install shocks. I only have to determine which ones and, from what has been said, order them from Airstream.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #25
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Shocks are used on cars trucks and motorhomes to keep the tires on the roadway to maintain traction. Please note these shocks are mounted vertically. How much forward motion is there on a torsion axel??? Not much, hardly any?? How do the shocks keep the tire on the road when mounted horizontally?? Or nearly so??
Paul
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:43 PM   #26
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Shocks are used on cars trucks and motorhomes to keep the tires on the roadway to maintain traction. Please note these shocks are mounted vertically. How much forward motion is there on a torsion axel??? Not much, hardly any?? How do the shocks keep the tire on the road when mounted horizontally?? Or nearly so??
Paul
The shocks used by Airstream are more like a steering damper than a real shock absorber. It resists motion horizontally, in both extension and compression.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:43 PM   #27
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Well in this case they are damping the rotation of the torsion arm. It does not matter what angle the shocks are as long as they can damp the rotation of the arm. When the suspension compresses so does the shock.

Perry
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:47 PM   #28
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It would be nice if there was some real accelerometer data to back all these claims pro and con. My cell phone has an app that lets you display accelerometer data but you can't store it and compared to older runs. This sort of data with and without shocks would tell the tale.

I sorta feel like the rubber spring torsion axels are self damping to a large extent but since I have no data to back that up it is just a WAG. I have a small cargo trailer with a Dexter Axel with no shocks and it does not bounce even empty. It maybe that the rubber compound that Dexter uses have better damping chacteristics than the other manufactures. They may also add some plain old friction into the equation to help with damping.

Perry
If you have more patience than I do, you can search the forums for this info. There was somebody a few years ago that conducted these tests scientifically. He used accelerometer to measure the ride of his Airstream without shocks, then installed the shocks and retested. The difference was very small, but measurable. Almost no difference, though "almost no" is not the same as "none".
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