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Old 10-16-2005, 05:35 PM   #1
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Angry Wheel just fell off!!!!

Hi folks,

I am still traumatized. On may way back today to Santa Rosa, CA from a weekend trip, the rear wheel, tire and everything fell off without warning. The whole thing lasted about 2 seconds. This is a 2004, 28-foot Safari. This was on a twisty mountain, so luckily I was only going about 30 mph. I was able to get the truck and trailer safely off the road. I spent about a half hour looking for the wheel as it had gone off into the adjacent creek.

I unhitched and left it there. It was obviously some kind of wheel bearing failure. In addition, underneath the trailer and the bottom part of the outside, including the aluminium siding is damaged. This is one of the 2004 trailers that was recalled. In January of this year I drove it 175 miles to my dealer, Toscano's in Los Banos, who inspected the wheel bearing grease and said everything was fine. I will call them tomarrow to find out what they are going to do.

If anyone has any advice let me know.

thanks

Wilco
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Old 10-16-2005, 05:56 PM   #2
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Sorry you had that happen Wilco. You just discovered one of the advantages to having a tandem axle trailer or damage could have been worse. One thing that definitely comes to mind is how often the lug nuts were checked and torqued. I've checked mine after pulling for 25 miles or so after having the bearings serviced and have found some of the lug nuts under-torqued. I believe the manual says 20, 50, 100 miles (something like that) they should be checked after having the wheels off for any reason. Mine are aluminum though, I'm not sure what your Safari specifies. If the lugs were fine and it was the bearings it'll be interesting on how you get that resolved. I'm glad you kept it under control with no injuries.
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Old 10-16-2005, 06:34 PM   #3
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Wow, what a scary thing to have happen. Thank heavens nothing but parts were hurt. They can be fixed. It will be interesting to find out what the dealer says the problem was. I'd be taking a LOT of pictures before they get into it, and during if you are able to. A good record to have for your own needs.

I torque my lug nuts before every trip, and take the torque wrench with me and check them about every second day, particularly when we are on winding roads. A habit from years ago after I lost a wheel on my car shortly after a garage had installed new tires, and it put me end over end down an embankment and hospitalized for a LONG time. I don't just check the trailer, I do the car and particularly the back wheels that have a load on them. Have I ever found a problem???? No, but I like to think it's because I do check them religiously.

Keep us posted on the problem determination. Stuff happens and it's fortunate that in the overall scheme of things this was a minor one and you will be around to camp again.

Barry
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Old 10-16-2005, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
tire and everything fell off without warning
was the spindle still intact? or did it snap off?

would be interesting to see the inside of the hub if you ever find it... i would like to hear about the condition of the cotter key and castle nut.

on edit was this a streetside or curbside wheel?

john
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:31 PM   #5
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Did you purchase this trailer new? There was a recall/problem with the grease used to pack wheel bearings in some of the 2004s. here's a link to a thread about it - but there are other threads as well - use the search tool and search red bearing grease... you will be amazed at what you find. Glad everyone was OK.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:02 PM   #6
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Wilco---A little word of advise before going ballistic with the servicing dealer. I would get an opinon from another mechanic before taking it back. If is obvious after that the dealer is at fault then you can be firm when asking for compensation. It's also possable like some have already mentioned that wheels lugs came loose which are your responsibility to maintain. If that's the case you'll need someone to do the repairs. The last thing you want to do is acuse them of something they didn't do.
Pieman
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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Hi,

thanks for responses. For clarification, the rear curb side tire, wheel, lug nuts and wheel drum all came off as a unit. All the lug nuts are there and tight. The spindal with wheel bearing is still on the trailer. A small part of the wheel drum broke off and I did not recover it. I did purchase the trailer new in April 2004. I found the wheel about a half hour after it came off and the wheel drum was still hot. The tire on the wheel that fell off is not damaged and is still full of air.

Wilco
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Old 10-16-2005, 09:43 PM   #8
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Take pictures of it for sure. And as advised, get someone other than the dealer to take a look as well. I know of several instances where folks re-use cotter pins or don't tighten the castle nut properly after having checked or repacked the wheel bearings. Obviously this was not a lug nut issue if they are still attached. However, it could be anything from poor work, poor quality parts, all the way through to something completely out of the blue that caused it. It's the old seek first to understand what the heck happened, then make sure it is fixed and that it can't happen again, then if some one is responsible, make sure they step to the plate and make good on their obligations.

Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome. And again, what a blessing no one was hurt!
Barry
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Old 10-16-2005, 10:37 PM   #9
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This talk of making sure lug nuts are tight brings me to caution.... make sure they are correctly torqued! Over tightened lug nuts will wreak as much havoc as loose ones, and cause just the same type of experience as described! Ask me how I know! At least, I know it happens on big trucks..... and man! can those suckers roll a loooooong way!

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 10-16-2005, 11:12 PM   #10
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Wink Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco
Hi,

thanks for responses. For clarification, the rear curb side tire, wheel, lug nuts and wheel drum all came off as a unit. All the lug nuts are there and tight. The spindal with wheel bearing is still on the trailer. A small part of the wheel drum broke off and I did not recover it. I did purchase the trailer new in April 2004. I found the wheel about a half hour after it came off and the wheel drum was still hot. The tire on the wheel that fell off is not damaged and is still full of air.

Wilco
Just curious:
  • Is the castle nut and cotter pin still on the axle as well?
  • Are both bearings present?
  • What are the conditions of the bearings?
  • Did you notice any discoloration?
Regards,
Henry
Ex-Axleman
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Old 10-16-2005, 11:23 PM   #11
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service

You may want to try RV Specialists or Sonoma RV Service in Santa Rosa. I've taken my MH to both at diferent times and they are knowledgeable with Airstream...especially the guy at Sonoma RV...he worked at the factory before coming here. Worth the opinion prior to going dealer.
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Old 10-17-2005, 12:53 AM   #12
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I am sorry to hear about your troubles but relieved to know that you had tandem axles. It truly would have been a disaster if the whole thing went to the ground.

As I started reading this thread, my heart sank at the mention of "red grease". But was relieved to see in searching the posts that the issue seems to be one of a lack of grease rather than just red grease.
I repacked with red grease so hence my concern.
Anyway I too would be very interested to see any pictures of the remains if you take any.
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:29 AM   #13
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This does indeeed sound like a bearing failure, and it should be covered under the recall, if your trailer fall within the range of VINs of 515557 through 516568, (not inclusive).

Here is a link the the text of the recall:
http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...ce/recall.html
And to a PDF document of the same recall:
http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p...e102204doc.pdf

Good luck, and sorry to hear about your grief.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:52 PM   #14
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Here is an update.

I called Airstream in Ohio who said they would call my dealer and they would handle it. Ohio said the dealer may need to come up (175 miles) and get the trailer. I did not hear from my dealer, so I called them and they said they had not called me because they were busy. He said I needed to bring the trailer to the dealership for repairs and said they did not think it was their fault.

I really don't care who's fault it was, I just want it repaired under warranty. I can't image towing the trailer on 3 wheels on California freeways 175 miles. He said he would check with Ohio to see if they would pay for towing and get back to me.

Does anybody know what Airstream normally does in this type of situation?

thanks for any advise. I am remaining calm.

Wilco
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