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Old 04-28-2006, 10:42 PM   #15
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Hello Andy ,

Why would henschen know anything about spindle failures on leaf spring axles,which they did not make as far as i know? I have not read anything about any spindle failure except on the infamous 65 caravel 5 lug .not one post by anyone .Definatly not a leaf spring axle .The 5200lb hadco in my 60 tradewind has large spindles an bearings with 12" brakes ,although you didnt say 1960 so you must mean torsion axles .


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Old 04-29-2006, 10:07 AM   #16
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1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
Denver , Colorado
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Some tire size history

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Traveller. Airstream "NEVER" used 14.5 wheels. Someone, many years ago, looked for "bargain" wheels, didn't consider safety, so they bought used "mobile home" wheels, which are 14.5 inch. Mobile home wheels are made for a very short mileage life span. That "incorrect" size has been perpetuated ever since. The correct wheel size is 15 x 6, with 6 lugs on a 5 1/2 inch bolt circle. Andy
Inland Andy's above stament is incorrect, which might be why he put "never" in quotation marks. Airstream used 14.5 inch diameter truck wheels and 700-14.5 tubeless tires in the 1958 model year, which begin the Fall 1957 and continued through Fall 1958 and perhaps later. The 18' Globe Trotter, 22' Flying Cloud and 30' tandem axle Sovereign all used 8 ply 14.5" diameter tubeless tires and turck wheels from the factory. The 26' Overlander used 10 ply 14.5" tubeless tires when it came with the standard single axle, but used 8 ply tubeless tires when ordered with the optional extra cost tandem axle. This information is plainly stated on all of Airstream's Ohio plant sales flyers for 1958. The California plant sales flyers are more vague, just specifying the number of plys without listing the tire and wheel diameter, but the ply specifications are 10 plys for single axle trailers and 8 plys for tandem axle trailers, consistent with ply specifications for the 14.5" tubeless type tires expressly used in Ohio.

The lower sidewall of a tubeless tire has a different profile than that of a tube type tire and requires a different wheel with a different shaped flange. A tubeless tire cannot safely be mounted on a tube type wheel, especially one having a different diameter. So to prevent mismatching, in the late 50s tubeless tires were made in "half inch" diameter sizes (14.5", 17.5", etc.) while tube type tires continued to be made in whole inch diameter sizes (14", 15"). Once tubeless tires and wheels became the common standard, they too became available in whole inch diameter sizes (14", 15", 16"), as today.

Either their experience with the relatively new "half inch" diameter tubeless tires on trailers was unsatisfactory during 1957-59, or perhaps trailer owners had a very dfficult time finding replacement 14.5" diameter tubeless tires in the rurual and remote areas they traveled, such as Africa. Tube type tires could be repaired worldwide, while tubeless tires were then just an emerging technology and required newer special equipment for repairs. Whatever the reason, by the 1960 model year Airstream returned to 6 ply or 8 ply 700-15 inch tube type tires for all trailers.

Fred Coldwell, WBCCI #1510, AIR #2675
Denver, Colorado - WBCCI Unit 24
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:16 AM   #17
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Dewey , Arizona
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Fred is the VAC Historian for a reason.
I always enjoy Fred's posts.


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Old 04-30-2006, 10:54 PM   #18
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1959 26' Overlander
Hill Country , Texas
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Thanks to everyone who replied, especially Fred for that amazing info!

So, if you were trying to maintain appropriate vintage look but reduce likelihood of getting stranded, would you get black steel 15" rims?
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:38 AM   #19
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Hey 47weewind ,

That completely answers the question in excellent detail .My 60 trdwnd had 700-15 s with splits ,had a flat on the way home with it from nebraska to ca. bummer ,splits in the trash and new tires and wheels on the trailer .

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Old 05-02-2006, 02:21 PM   #20
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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My overlander has black steel tubeless rims and I found a set of baby moons to make the look. The rims had the tabs near the center of the wheel that hold the moons on. And the moons came from an old Silver Streak trailer in a RV wrecking yard.

I do not believe my rims to be OEM. However they are close enough and make the look of my mid-60's trailer.

1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
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Old 05-02-2006, 06:43 PM   #21
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Hello Lynne,

I put 15x7" steel wheels new made for trailers of course ,I was able to find the wider wheel ,but it is not necessary .the 15x6 is fine .Painted them with automotive paint (like whats on the exterior of your vehical) ,used a nice blue that matches my travelall paint .I used the baby moons also ,so its vintage but with some color , The black gives the most original look though ,It is nice to add some personality to these trailers.


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