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Old 11-11-2015, 10:09 AM   #1
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What kind or brand of Shocks?

Getting ready for new axles and have misplaced my notes on Shocks. Don't want to bother Andy or Colin. And yes we know many of you would say they're not needed. However we are going to put them on and are aware of getting them from Auto Zone, Pep Boys, Napa, etc.

Just need to know what to ask for at those stores so I get the correct item and sound a little bit informed.

It's a 65 Tradewind w dual Axles.

Thx
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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From what I have been told, its the same shock on all Airstream trailers going back to the sixties and the OEM shock is only available from Airstream. The shocks are $28 each and found them on-line at Airstreamsupply.com , $10 for shipping . They where at our door the same week. If your putting them on yourself, check out YouTube, there's a good video showing the installation.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:39 AM   #3
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Thx Koot.

I also hear I can just buy regular shocks local in any auto parts store. I was looking for the verbiage of style, model, type to ask for instead of just walking in and saying I need Shocks.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:50 AM   #4
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I started at Napa, when I told them the shocks were for a trailer, they said they needed the load the each shock would carry, the unloaded mounting distance and the loaded travel distance for a start. When I head that OEM seemed the easier way to go and get the right shock for the job.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
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Nope, the Airstream shocks are designed and metered to work in a near horizontal position. Auto shocks are almost universally mounted vertically and are not as complex internally.

Other opinions may vary but if I was changing shocks, I would use the ones designed for the application.

Mike
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:11 AM   #6
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For 1966 Airstreams and older the shock is mounted in a more or less vertical manner. Any good shock that fits will work. I used a NAPA branded shock on my '66 when I owned it. NAPA did not have an application catalog so I brought in the old shock and on my tired axle it did make a difference.

For '67 and later the shock is mounted* more or less horizontally. Because gravity is moving fluid in the shock in a different position the valves have to be different internally. It is a extremely unique shock that is only available at a AS dealer.

*This was done to increase the space inside the coach.

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Old 11-11-2015, 11:23 AM   #7
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What kind or brand of Shocks?

I bought the shocks with my new axles, but have not welded on the brackets yet. So the shocks are still sitting on the shelf. I can't really notice a difference, but I'm sure they help.

Also, they work more like damper. They slow down the movement of the Axle in both directions.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:34 AM   #8
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Thanks all. Looks like its still a variety of opinions but were getting there. Not sure we'll have in hand (the old ones when we go looking).
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Getting ready for new axles and have misplaced my notes on Shocks. Don't want to bother Andy or Colin. And yes we know many of you would say they're not needed. However we are going to put them on and are aware of getting them from Auto Zone, Pep Boys, Napa, etc.

Just need to know what to ask for at those stores so I get the correct item and sound a little bit informed.

It's a 65 Tradewind w dual Axles.

Thx
The correct shocks are "horizontal".

They are only available from an Airstream dealer that sells parts, or if you happen to be at the factory.

Airstream has them specially made by Gabriel, therefore auto parts stores will not have them, unless they get them from Airstream.

Andy.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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Thanks Andy for chiming in. Appreciate your expertise on the matter. Is Gabriel a guy or a company.

How can there be so many varied opinions on this. I know thats just life but it gets a little confusing for us novices.

Options:
Don't need any stinking Shocks

Use only Airstream Shocks

Buy off shelf Shocks

We'll get to the bottom of this soon.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:23 PM   #11
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The Original Gabriel Shocks & Struts » Ride the Independent Spirit

Not that they sell the AS shocks other than through Airstream tho'...
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #12
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Andy is CORRECT, I looked every where. This is about the only thing not over priced from air stream.

Also have to bend brackets on axle to install portapower easiest and control bend to exactly what you need about 3/8 of and each. Each axle different as to where bracket welded on.

I put mine on when when bought trailer, have pulled SSC (Silver Senior Center)14,000 miles in two years on Costco's cheapest 8 ply 15 inch radial tires 2/32 of where so far.

And manufactures never add anything you don't need, that's giving away profit.

Randy
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:38 PM   #13
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Nice write up on the Gabriel company.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:36 PM   #14
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Shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Nice write up on the Gabriel company.
There are opinions, and then there are facts.

Dexter, has an OPINION that because torsion axles have rubber rods, that you do not need shocks.

I for one disagree. WHY???

Simple PHYSICS.

Yes the rubber rods in torsion axles absorb a lot of the bouncing from roadway bumps. BUT, they do not absorb all of it.

Adding shocks, if you wish, fine tunes the road shock that the torsion axles do not completely eliminate. Even with shocks, are ALL the road shocks eliminated ?? Heck no, but they are reduced to a very acceptable level.

A friend of ours, who repairs Airstreams but is not a dealer, says he cannot tell the difference between shocks and no shocks. But, I dont believe he has ever ridden in the trailer, over the same bumpy road, with and without the shocks.

Again, opinions say no difference. Facts, like you get when you apply Physics, says, IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

The torsion axles, INDEED, eliminate most of the shock, but not all of it, simply because rubber bounces. Adding the shocks, takes over where the rubber rods leave off, and further reduce the road shock that the trailer is subjected to.

On the other hand, why do auto manufacturers put shocks on EVERY motor vehicle ?? Simple answer, is because they reduce the movement of the motor vehicle that is subjected to the road shock. Every so often, a younger generation removes the shocks from a "hot rod". Watch it bounce and bounce, which they love, but it certainly is not comfort giving.

I am very sure that there will always be those that say NO to shocks, but since they had nothing to do with designing an Airstream, then their statements offer nothing more than an "opinion".

The funniest part, is why does Dexter install shock brackets on EVERY axle Airstream purchases from them, both for replacement and new product installation?

Airstream engineers are "not" always correct, BUT they indeed make very few errors, and they certainly would never, ever, continue an error for over 1/2 of a century.

No one, absolutely no one, has ever factually proven Airstream wrong using shocks, and never will !!!! Just my humble opinion, working with them bumping 50 years.

Andy
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