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Old 08-12-2013, 08:59 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
I'd like to have the sort of information Evan wants about lots of things Airstream, but no one does that sort of testing. The RV market is too small to spend the kind of money necessary to do good testing.

So, like many decisions, it is a guesstimate and I hope my $200 was well spent.

What I really need is Centramatics for the brain so I won't be unbalanced anymore.

Evan, when you get the new Michelins, the trailer should ride smoother than with the Marathons, so if you add Centramatics at the same time, you won't be able to tell what is responsible for the improvement.

Gene
Hi Gene,

If we were talking about reducing wheel vibration in the tow vehicle (like switz's Dodge truck) at least the driver & & passenger can make a subjective comment about how smooth the vehicle 'feels'. Better yet would be to do some double blind testing of multiple vehicles for both the subjective sensation & actually measuring vibration etc. (Observer bias is a real issue in any sort of question like this,)

Now remove the subjective sensation from equation; the wheels being treated are not attached to a passenger vehicle but the trailer. No one rides back there... ( I don't think). So how would you know whether there is any benefit from the Centramatics? Yes, the new tire/wheel combo could be inherently smoother than the old setup.... Maybe not. Around here we have lots of twisty mountain roads & hills. I always assumed that the pillows on the floor after a ride were due to the twists in the road not the wheel vibration. How would I know? ( maybe we had some hitch-hikers in a hurry to get out when we stopped?)

But, you're probably right. No one seemingly wants to spend the time & money to address this question and its quite possible that the stakeholders don't really want to know the answer.

This could be like many issues in Medicine where when something that makes a lot of sense is finally examined in a controlled double blind fashion, it turns out to be useless or even harmful.

I'm thinking that if I do decide to get the Centramatics (based on the common sense notion that might help keep things balanced better over time), I will devise a test setup to try & measure whether they make any difference at all to my own unit.

I'm thinking that I could place my iPhone in the trailer, set up as an acclerometer. Secure a video camera strapped down on the trailer table or countertops. Drive a certain stretch of road at a controlled repeatable speed several times while recording video & movement.

Do this with old tires & wheels.

Repeat - post new tires & wheels.

Install Centramatics & repeat again.

Report how much difference this has made to ride quality & then try & guess* whether it makes any difference to tire longevity or rivet life (or overall happiness in the life of the trailer. )

It would have only limited validity in terms of how much any one could extrapolate the results to their own setup. It also would not address the question of whether the Centramatics effect would be more valuable over time as the tires wear & stones get caught on the tread etc.; but it might be better than nothing.

If they don't work. I will take them off & wear one on my head to see if I can think straighter. I only need one though. Do you want me to send you one of the surplus for your head too? ;-) Maybe we could be on to a new dementia preventative. (Arguably; in my case, treatment.) Since it would be a medical device we could re-sell them for at least $10,000 a pop. We'll be rich!

- evan
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #44
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Perhaps a few could get together and arrange a "test day".... I think there are a few around who might give solid feedback.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #45
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There was an improvement in the Dodge ride and no vibration in the steering wheel after the Centramatics were installed.

I had the Airstream compatible "200-221 Special" Centramatics installed on my 25FB before I picked the trailer up and continued with them after switching from the GYM to the Michelin tires. Even if it just a slight improvement, the $200 is not a great expense compared to the $80,000+ list price of the trailer.

I have the "300-356" Centramatics (only for 16" wheels) on order for our new 27FB and I will install them along with the 16" Michelin tires and SenDel wheels.
If you had 6 I would buy "em off ya... I need to install on all AS wheels.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #46
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I use centramatics on the trailer and have used the dyna beads as well. I am a believer in the centramatics. At one point I used both simultaneously simply because I had the beads first. Now it is just the centramatics.

One BIG note of caution. In reference to the dyna beads. I put them in my wife's Honda Odyssey running standard P tires. after about two months she had three tread separation events within a two week timeframe. I can't prove it was the beads, but this is the only time I have seen tread separation to this extent. I DO NOT recommend them for the weaker passenger tires. The stronger trailer tires appear to be OK.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:36 PM   #47
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Could the dyna beads wear through the inside tire casing allowing air to leak between the tread and casing, causing tread separation.

Maybe, but were they indeed the product Dyna beads? In their advertising they suggest their round ceramic beads will not damage the inside casing, but other poorly manufactured beads will.

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Old 08-12-2013, 01:40 PM   #48
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They were 100% genuine Dyna Beads ordered directly from the company and installed exactly per their instructions. The amount added to each tire was within .01 grams in weight.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:10 PM   #49
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Ok let's make this easy. Put some Centramatics on the rear end of an auto and jack the rear end up off the ground (assuming rear wheel drive). Put it in high gear and get it up to highway speeds as indicated by the speedometer. You will be able to see and feel the vibrations from any out of balance wheels. You can purposly remove or add weights to see if the Centramatics can fix the out of balance condition.

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Old 08-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #50
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Evan,

I can't wear a Centramatic on my head since I have a pyramid there to focus energy into my brain and make me brilliant. It hasn't worked yet, but I'm hoping it will.

Our trailer appears to ride better than when we bought it according to the pillow test. We find them askew or on the floor far less often, but I can't remember (pyramid still not working) if it got better after the Centramatics or after the new tires (the tires came after the Centramatics). I kinda think each change made the pillows stay in place a little better. We also had some rivets pop early on, but once I replaced them, they have stayed in—was it because I put them in better than the factory guy, because of the Centramatics or because of the tires?

Gotta go and adjust the pyramid.

Gene
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #51
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.....how about a tire that comes from the factory with beads in the beads.

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Old 08-12-2013, 03:41 PM   #52
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But He's FOR REAL!

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But Dave...it's a blog on the interweb, it must be accurate.
My cousin's step-uncle told me that guy is really, really, REALLY good. He says he's the guy Colin, Terry, AND Andy go to for the tough stuff.

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Old 08-12-2013, 04:18 PM   #53
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I can comment only from personal experience.

We purchased a new trailer and traveled about 12K without Centramatics.

I replaced a couple broken rivets in the new trailer during this time.

We had an '81 model before the new trailer, and replacing broken rivets was a fairly common thing.

With those thoughts in mind, and a little research, I purchased a set of Centramatics and installed them.

We now have over 40k and I have not replaced a rivet or tightened a screw.

I have replaced a set of tires, but am still running 15" ST, though not
Marathons.


Considering $2500 for an upgrade to 16" and LT tires, what is 10% +\- for a little insurance?

Regards,

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Old 08-12-2013, 04:26 PM   #54
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I am not worried. I am more concerned about avoiding vibration damage than the slight chance of an axle issue. And Never Lube is an advertising gimmick word that bears watching and annual service anyway of the brakes and hubs. Maybe if all the parts were not purchased from the lowest bidder, we would have brake drums that were balanced to begin with like on autos and trucks.

With the Centramatics, I am compensating for too cheap parts on a $100,000 trailer which sounds nuts to me.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:56 PM   #55
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Quote:
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I am not worried. I am more concerned about avoiding vibration damage than the slight chance of an axle issue. And Never Lube is an advertising gimmick word that bears watching and annual service anyway of the brakes and hubs. Maybe if all the parts were not purchased from the lowest bidder, we would have brake drums that were balanced to begin with like on autos and trucks.

With the Centramatics, I am compensating for too cheap parts on a $100,000 trailer which sounds nuts to me.
Good points here...

So the Airstream differs from autos not just in its lack of waterproofing but also in that unlike automobiles, the drums & running gear are not balanced at the factory?

Pretty sad really.

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Old 08-12-2013, 05:01 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
I can comment only from personal experience.

We purchased a new trailer and traveled about 12K without Centramatics.

I replaced a couple broken rivets in the new trailer during this time.

We had an '81 model before the new trailer, and replacing broken rivets was a fairly common thing.

With those thoughts in mind, and a little research, I purchased a set of Centramatics and installed them.

We now have over 40k and I have not replaced a rivet or tightened a screw.

I have replaced a set of tires, but am still running 15" ST, though not
Marathons.

Considering $2500 for an upgrade to 16" and LT tires, what is 10% +\- for a little insurance?

Regards,

JD
Thanks JD.

I agree that in the grand scheme of things $200- ain't much.

I do have a few rivets that pop occasionally & many of the cushions will be on the floor after a highway run; but I always attributed that to rough & twisty roads not wheel vibration.

I appreciate hearing of people's experience.

I still think some simple objective tests would be a big help.

- evan
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