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Old 08-30-2011, 07:58 AM   #1
Luc
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1999 19' Bambi
Cape Canaveral , Florida
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Got my first Airstream, need help!

Hey we have been looking and finally found our first Airstream a 1999, 19' Bambi!
She is in fair condition and needs minor repairs. This trailer has not been used in the last couple of years, the rims are rusted and the tires are shot.
Does anyone know what size rim and tires I need? Are the bearings sealed or should they be replaced or re-packed before I go get her and take the 12hour ride home? Anything else should I be concerned about?
Thanks for your help. We are excited but want to be safe!
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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In my world new tires and repacked wheel bearings are a must before towing. Depending on your tow vehicle and the terrain, you might also want to consider getting a brake controller. There may also be a sway problem if your not set up correctly. Don't be discouraged by all this. Just use your head and drive carefully. It would also help if you had an experienced camper to go along with you. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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Any idea where I should find aluminum wheels?
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
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Any idea where I should find aluminum wheels?
Got my wheels from Trailer and wheel Im running Maxxis 8008 225/75 R15
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip. These wheels will look nice. Just checked out your renovation. Great job!
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tip. These wheels will look nice. Just checked out your renovation. Great job!
Thanks Luc! I am really stoked on them. Hope to have the axles and wheels on soon. I am going to post a separate thread on my axle install. Make sure you go with the load range D tire. E range side walls are too stiff for your trailer. Just don't ask too many people or you will start a healthy debate on the subject, Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
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Got my first Airstream, need help!

Greetings Luc!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstream ownership!

In this situation, I would suggest that you consider:
  • Have the wheel bearing repacked, and this should include a brake check-up while the drums are off the axle. Properly greased bearings and functional brakes are critical safety measures with a single axle coach.
  • Your coach would have originally been equipped with Load Range C 15" ST tires . . . most likely . . . . ST 205/75R15 . . . or ST 225/75R15. Either size would likely fit your coach, but clearances can be tight on the single axle coaches.
  • The specifications for the wheels on your coach are likely the same as other Airstream coaches, and those specifications would be:
    • 15" x 6" wheel with 2,600 pound or greater weight rating.
    • 6 lugs on 5.5" centers
    • 4.25" center bore
    • 0.0 offset
You can learn more about the specifications for your coach on this link.

Since you know little about the age of the tires, a new pair of tires would be a cheap insurance policy along with new metal valve stems. Any blowout on an Airstream is potentially very expensive particularly if the tire doesn't remain in-tact. Blown tire shrapnell can seriously damage your coach to the tune of thousands of dollars . . . so new tires are a comparatively inexpensive insurance policy. Sometimes, trailer tire specialty shops will offer special deals on trailer tire and wheel combinations . . . or, your local tire dealer will likely have sources where he can source trailer wheels as well as tires.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:51 PM   #8
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1999 19' Bambi
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Thank you Gentlemen for all your advice. I ordered wheels, tires, lug nuts, new valve stems, a set of bearings (just in case) and just installed a brake controller on my tow vehicle.
I am ready to drive 700 miles to go pick up my Bambi. My plan is to get where the trailer is stored, replace the wheels and tow it slowly to the nearest shop to have the bearings repacked or replaced and have the brakes inspected.
One last question: How do I raise the trailer to swap wheels? Where does the jack go? Thank you so much!
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:30 PM   #9
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There is only one "official" jack point on each side of a 19' Bambi...about half way back between the axle and the rear bumper. It may or or may not be marked on the underside with an aluminum diamond. Ours is not...it does, however, have and arrow label that points toward the correct spot...which is on underside at metal frame/beam which is inside the belly pan...it's extremely important to be sure you jack on that beam or you will puncture the belly pan.
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