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Old 07-07-2003, 07:58 PM   #1
Little Radio
1966 28' Ambassador
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 97
Independent Suspension on an AS?

Why does AS use axles instead of an SLA-type or double-wishbone type suspension set-up?

I mean, to keep development costs down, they could purchase these components from an OEM manufacturer -- many of these parts (in more expensive luxury vehicles) are already made of Aluminum, so weight isn't a problem.

Cost shouldn't be a concern with some of the pricetags I've seen on new AS's either.

Benefits would be: lower floor, better ride, quieter ride, longer component life.

What am I missing here?


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Old 07-07-2003, 08:07 PM   #2
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The torsion tube axles Airstream uses are effectively independent suspension. The axles are not the low point on an Airstream - the holding tanks are. An Airstream is already as low to the ground as practical driving conditions permit. Typically (but not always), they are very long lived. It is doubtful there are any longer life suspensions available.


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Old 07-07-2003, 08:20 PM   #3
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LOST , Hawaii
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You would also have to redesign the frame to mount a SLA/double wishbone suspension and the struts would almost have to end up in the interior. The Henschens (or Dexters) do operate independently of each other and are more compact.

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Old 07-07-2003, 08:23 PM   #4
Little Radio
1966 28' Ambassador
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 97
Good points: floor height and axle durability... but I remember riding in my father's 31 (?) foot Sovereign trailer growing up, and the ride was rough!

I remember the cabinets shaking 'til I thought they'd drop off the walls. And literally seeing the torsional forces twist the shell.

An indy suspension would help ride considerably, and help keep the trailer tight and rattle free (well, almost rattle free).

Plus, you could add electronically actuated steering to those wheels, too, at a weight penalty of about 250 pounds or so. This would help freeway lane-changing stability, as well as low-speed manuverability.

I'm still convinced an indy suspension is a better idea.

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Old 07-07-2003, 09:41 PM   #5
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2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
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Airstream axles aren't the sprung solid axles normally compared to independent suspension. They're bolted solidly to the trailer frame.

Airstream axles ARE independent trailing arm torsion bar suspensions with the same qualities of other independent suspensions.

See the Henschen website for more information.

I'm not sure what was up with your father's trailer, but I assure you ours rides smooth as glass. Stuff is still sitting on the counters exactly where we left it unless I have to brake hard.
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