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Old 08-22-2002, 10:17 AM   #29
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I bought a 31 ft. rb sovereign last year and towed it home after putting two new tires on. It towed beautifully. I replaced the other two tires this spring and replaced the shocks. I called around for places to balance the tires and drums in place and had little success. My neighbor owns a tire shop and I asked him if he knew anyone that still balanced the tires on the vehicle?
He had the equipment from his fathers garage and they only used it a few times a year!
I had the wheels and drums balanced and they said they were so bad they were surprised I didn't bounce off the road!!!
I never noticed the unbalance and the trailer towed beautifully!
I feel much safer knowing that the wheels are balanced!

If Andy had not been so strong in his opinion I probably would have said it tows smooth, so it must be OK.
Thanks Andy!!

Paul
31ft sovereign
Troy MI
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Old 08-22-2002, 05:01 PM   #30
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Thumbs up copying the mail

This is a terriffic forum guys. I have learned more salient facts about my old airstream from copying the mail on you guys than from any other source. My old sovereign was a real stinker 3 years ago but is really taking shape. Without this source of information I have been tempted to give it up. With all its' periodic design flaws I still am a true fan of airstream. Now, for better or worse, I feel as though I know what to expect, what to monitor and how to react. Keep it coming. And all you guys "kiss and make up". I glean wisdom from you all.

Just left the RV Shop today and learned that my blackwater tanks do not leak as first I thought.

I still must repair the floor in the rear bath area. however we can at least take a few shake down trips. Now I shall also pay attention to vibration. It has to matter. Eventually I'll probably be forced to take on separation repair.

And lets not beat up on Andy, he is a wealth of information. He takes his time to answer my questions and I am 3,000 miles away and may never darken his shop with the shadow of my old sovereign. However, California is on my planned tour. Who knows?

Thanks,
Sid White
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Old 08-22-2002, 11:10 PM   #31
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Gee...

Gee fellas, I didn't mean to spark such heated debate with my question. I've read all the replies to this and visited Andy's Inland RV site and have to say, for myself, safety outweighs inconvenience.

I don't know Andy but consider his site to be one of valuable information...and you can't discount 30 plus years of real, hands-on experience.

My vote, if I have one, goes with taking the time and trouble of finding someone who can balance the whole assembly as detailed in Andy's website.

Yes, it's a real pain but if you ever had a wheel come apart on the road or even just tire failure, that's also a real pain, both literally and figuratively! Not to mention the expense and time lost.

Thanks for all the info though and the entertaining reading!

Great site and invaluable resource. Keep up the good work!

CJ
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Old 08-27-2002, 06:13 PM   #32
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Everyone's got one.... an opinion that is!

Hey ya'll,

My Airstream owners manual on page 13 parg. #6 in bold face print clearly states, " Be sure to rebalance the hub, drum, wheel and tire assembly each time a tire is changed or rotated. "

Seems to be clear instuctions, even an engineer can understand. No slam on the engineers, just seems they are the people claiming Andy's advice is questionable at best.

I have received good solid information and quality parts from Andy at Inland RV. I also believe that if your in a business for 25 plus years you see all the problems that the factory doesn't.

Andy thanks for all the great posts and the timely delivered parts. - Ray.
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Old 08-27-2002, 06:22 PM   #33
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Thanks!

Amen to Fatt Ratt and a big thanks! I'll stick with the factory recommendation. Now, does anybody know someone who can do this in the midwest? St. Louis, preferably but I'll travel.
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Old 08-27-2002, 11:13 PM   #34
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CJ,
Check with Bill Thomas Camper Sales up in Wentzville. Andy said that Bill had the balancing equipment. Now whether he took it with him when he moved to his big new site, I'm not sure but you can check.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 08-27-2002, 11:25 PM   #35
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Thanks Jack! My son lives in O'Fallon. I'll check it out next time I'm out there. Is this the same org as M.B. Thomas in Lemay (or related), do you know?
CJ
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Old 08-27-2002, 11:45 PM   #36
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CJ,
You know I never did ask the question. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some tie. FYI, Bill Thomas will be hosting at his place, the first rally of the year next April for the local St. Louis WBCCI unit. Apparently he has a lot of hookups there. I'll keep you posted and you would be welcome to attend.

The Missouri State Rally is in Columbia next month and the local St. Louis unit will have their last rally of the year in Villa Ridge Mo. in October. Just a few miles west of Six Flags off I-44. Let me know if you are interested. I might be going to the Villa Ridge rally dependent upon weather and if I want to get out again. We are heading down to Branson the week before. And the Safari goes to its winter home at the end of October. I'll need to winterize and Walbernize prior to going into storage so time will be tight for me.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 09-10-2002, 08:51 PM   #37
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Have had tires and wheels balanced by computer on our 75 31' Sovereign several times over the years. Recently had each wheel tire and hub assembly spun balanced on the trailer. Took quite a lot of weights to rebalance. One hub and wheel was so far out, that almost ran out of weights. Its obvious that the hubs can be badly out of balance and that balancing only the tire and wheel assembly only gets part of the job done.
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:17 PM   #38
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Cool F.Y.I.

I have recently replaced the drums and backing plates (with new shoes & magnets).

The drums I took off were almost egg shaped and had such an off-balance nature that they actually rocked like a pendulum until they stopped. One side of the drum was at least 1/8" thicker than the other side. What were they thinking???

The new drums are better but I can see that even they have an offset. The old drums coupled with an out of balance wheel could have wreaked havoc on the A/S.

Trust Andy at Inland, if you can get someone to balance the whole system, do it.

IMHO,
Brian
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:36 PM   #39
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If you have new drums and you can visually see a difference in the thickness they should not be used. That goes beyond balancing to poor machining or casting. All drums have a minimun safe thickness, you may already be less than that.

John
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Old 09-10-2002, 11:39 PM   #40
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Response

The drums I bought were New. They came from a reputable vendor. I personally think that the manufacturing company(s) know that no one will be riding in the TT's and so the balance problem won't be disclosed by observation.

The out-of-round drums I took off were probably OEM. All four were out of balance.

All I am saying is from my own experience the drums are inherently out of balance/out of round. If this causes rear-end-droop, rivet shake, or some other problem I don't know but what Andy (Inland) says makes sense.

Take a moment and check yours out. Take the wheel off and see if the drum finds a heavy spot.

If it was economical for me to go there I would have the assembly balanced as suggested. Since I did not, I will have the problems suggested or maybe not.

I will make some calculations on what the harmonic cycle is at a nominal speed to estimate the frequency just for my own information.

IMHO
Brian
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Old 09-11-2002, 07:45 AM   #41
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Brake components generate a huge amount of heat. All the energy in your trailer moving down the road at 65 mph must be absorbed and dissipated by the drums and shoes. If the drums are machined properly (consistent thickness) they absorb and dissipate consistently. When machined inconsistently the different thicknesses have a different capacity to absorb and dissipate. This stresses the shape and you end up with out of round drums. Nothing to do with balance, everything to do with proper operation of the brake system.

John
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Old 09-11-2002, 08:55 PM   #42
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See? And that's exactly why these forums are so valuable. What a great wealth of information and even better, everyone's willingness to share their knowledge and experience. Thanks everyone!
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