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Old 07-01-2015, 01:06 AM   #1
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Rear hatch gas shock mounting brackets

Has anyone had any issues with the ball stud brackets bending where the gas shocks mount? Particularly the ones that mount on the hatch itself?

Mine have always been bent since we brought our trailer new last summer. I had assumed it was intentional since both sides had matching bends until I had one of the shocks pop off when I was closing the hatch during our last camp trip. Upon closer inspection, with the bend, the other is nearly ready to pop off as well.

I'm intending to replace these myself since I don't want to lose my trailer to the service shop in the middle of summer. I've already sourced new ones on Amazon, but have noticed even the manufacturer of the shocks suggests not using the brackets for shocks rated over 100 lbs (mine are rated at 150 lbs).

So, just wondering if the fact that mine are bent is a fluke, or whether I should be thinking about a more sturdy/reinforced solution. I've already removed one of the bent brackets and this is what it looks like:

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Old 07-01-2015, 01:17 PM   #2
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One of mine is bent also, I have straightened other brackets on strut hatches successfully. How much pressure is there on extension? I'm a bit leery on pulling the strut to straighten it. I tried a ratcheting strap to collapse the strut so I could remove it without things flying apart, but I didn't feel like I had it under control.
So one is still bent like yours. And, I carefully move the hatch gently when I use it.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:31 PM   #3
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Shouldn't that be covered by your Airstream warranty? Why not call them and have them send you replacements?
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashrover View Post
Shouldn't that be covered by your Airstream warranty? Why not call them and have them send you replacements?

A pair of them were $9 on Amazon and I got free 2-day shipping with Prime. I was focussed on fixing it as quickly as possible to prevent too much downtime.
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Old 07-02-2015, 03:50 PM   #5
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Rear hatch gas mounting.....

We have a 2005, 28 foot Classic Airstream Trailer. Would the hatches apply to our trailer. If so, please explain as I do not know of what you are writing.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
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We have a 2005, 28 foot Classic Airstream Trailer. Would the hatches apply to our trailer. If so, please explain as I do not know of what you are writing.
Rear hatch on an Eddie Bauer. You don't have one. No worries.
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:04 PM   #7
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Hi folks, I've had a few PMs going with jayseejay. I ended up replacing my brackets with these from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...%20age_o01_s00

Hole pattern is exactly the same as the bent ones I took off, but they appear to be 1/64" to 1/32" thicker. Hoping they hold up better. I was out with our trailer last weekend and they haven't bent yet, but we didn't use the hatch much either.

Note that Airstream used stainless steel rivets for attaching these. I initially had a hard time finding them. But I ended up locating them at my local Fastenal. They are 3/16" with a 3/8-1/2" clinch (there is a lot of aluminum to go through in the door). I actually ended up remounting the lower brackets with 10x32 stainless machine screws to make them easier to replace in the future.

I'm intending to fabricate some sturdier brackets out of stainless steel angle iron and stainless steel ball studs. I'll update the thread with the materials list once I'm done.
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDONA View Post
How much pressure is there on extension?

Each of the shocks/gas springs are rated for 150 lbs. so quite a bit.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:37 AM   #9
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EB's had 125, 150, and 175 lb struts installed in them. I've had 125 when new and they didn't last very long, so I now have 150.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f531...er-128663.html
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:09 PM   #10
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I have two mounts (upper mounts) on my new 25' that both had matching bends to them. I had to believe it was for a purpose - to clear something, or some other as the bends were identical on both upper brackets.
I took pictures of them and spoke with Ohio, and they didn't confirm or deny that they are bent on purpose (and I couldn't hold the customer service guy responsible to know what goes on the assembly line).
What he did say is that the rear hatch is not designed to be "let go" during opening.
He said to maintain control of the hatch all the way open.
They sent me two new brackets.

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Old 07-29-2015, 09:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashrover View Post
I have two mounts (upper mounts) on my new 25' that both had matching bends to them.
Mine is a 2012 1/2 model EB which came with a 125lb strut and the brackets/stud are straight. A few VIN's after mine was the switch to 150lb struts.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:54 PM   #12
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My replacement brackets arrived from AS and they have no bends to them.
I am leaving the bent ones for now, as they don't seem to be compromised, but Will travel with rivets, rivet gun, and the spare brackets!

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Old 10-03-2018, 01:33 PM   #13
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My newly acquired used EB has the same issue. All four gas strut mounting brackets on the rear hatch are bent. Looks like some good suggestions in this thread to implement.

As dmcgaugh suggested, I have ordered the Amazon replacement brackets and procured the threaded hardware to re-attach the lower brackets to the door frame. Dont know why Airstream would use a blind rivet for this lower bracket as both sides are easily accessible to the installer. Hoping the slightly beefier replacement brackets do not bend.

Two issues with the upper bracket. First, an installation error (see pic below). Looking from inside out, the upper right bracket attachment points were drilled into the hatch skin only, and completely missed the structural rib beneath the skin. Due to this error excessive flexing occurred, and you can see where the end of the gas strut dented the skin (red arrow). My left side upper bracket is drilled in the correct position, so I will revise the attachment points of the ride side to match the left. Stainless rivets (SSD68SSBS) ordered, as well as a bigger rivet tool to handle the 3/16 stainless rivets.

Second issue is with the design of the bracket itself. As our household mechanical engineer (my wife) pointed out, the overhung bracket acts as a lever and puts expansive force on the attachment points (rivets). This is likely why all the rivets were slightly loose (stretched) on the upper brackets. She recommends redesigning the bracket widening the base and re-orienting the ball stud direction which should put the bracket in compression and eliminate the lever effect.

I have some 3/16 2 x 2 Aluminum angle that seems sturdy enough for this application. After checking all the potential interferences, I think a wider bracket will work. Another session on Amazon and I have found and ordered threaded ball studs that should work with the gas struts. More to come.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eganwh View Post
Two issues with the upper bracket. First, an installation error (see pic below).

Modern Airstream ownership for me is it about finding and sharing "installation errors"


I'm still finding mine and my trailer is six years old... My favorites were the shower, fresh water tank connections and the mis-wired fridge controller.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StagrLee View Post
Modern Airstream ownership for me is it about finding and sharing "installation errors"


I'm still finding mine and my trailer is six years old... My favorites were the shower, fresh water tank connections and the mis-wired fridge controller.
All part of the joy of ownership.

This factory error is fixed. Bracket fab'ed and riveted to the door structural rib. Used some double sided sticky tape to help stabilize the bracket on the slightly uneven door skin which should minimize metal to metal creaking. Bracket feels super solid. Install and test should wrap up this weekend.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:42 PM   #16
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Keep us updated, please ... ours is quite weak. I haven't seen what they are doing on the new Tommy Bs.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:01 AM   #17
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I am wondering if someone would take a picture of the entire assembly strut/door assembly just out of curiosity? I also wonder if the Tommy Bahama trailer are manufactured the same way?
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:14 AM   #18
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mefly2,

Greetings from Billings, MT. We are hoping to make to your side of the state next summer for a week in GNP and maybe a trip through the Bitterroot Valley.

Threaded ball studs are due in today. Thanks Amazon Prime! So, I should be able to make it out to the shop this evening and complete the install.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Short563 View Post
I am wondering if someone would take a picture of the entire assembly strut/door assembly just out of curiosity? I also wonder if the Tommy Bahama trailer are manufactured the same way?
I would be interested as well to see a close up of the brackets used in the TB. Looks like the PNs for the brackets changed from the '16 EB to the '17 TB. Gas spring and end fittings remained the same.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:51 PM   #20
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I wonder if the made a beefier bracket giving it has a different part number?
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