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Old 11-20-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
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New 16' Quiksilver owner - CSA upgrade and GVWR

Hi everyone! My wife and I are the happy owners of a new 16' Quiksilver. We and our two kids just took our first trip with our Highlander Hybrid tow vehicle and the Bambi (see the 2006 Bambi forum for details).

Like raptorron we bought our Quiksilver from far away because it was the closest one we could find - we live in NY and we bought it in FL. Also like raptorron we were surprised to find out that after all the Quiksilver options were added it had almost no Cargo Capacity - 51 lbs in our case. I looked into it and (like raptorron) found out that the CSA version with the upgraded axel and 225/75R15 Load Rating D tires has an extra 800 lbs of GVWR.

I emailed Airstream about the issue and received the following reply:

"Thank you for purchasing a new Airstream. To answer your questions, The CSA version does have an 800lb larger capacity axel. And yes, you can up grade your unit with a new and heaver axel used on the CSA version. If you plan to do an upgrade, you'll need to contact your dealer for the costs of the changes."

I contacted my local dealer a couple of times about doing the axel upgrade and each time I got a response that basically said 'We'll check with airstream and get back to you" with no further follow up.

So...I'm curious. Has anyone here actually upgraded their USA Bambi to CSA spec? Is this just a case of a bad dealer?

Thanks in advance,
ljmiii
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:35 PM   #2
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I'm not sure how Airstream of JC handles the CSA dealers, or if you just have a lazy dealer, but when I bought our Airstream I was told I had to have a specific trailer in mind to get a quote on any aftermarket items because the "new inventory system the factory now uses" requires the actual serial number to be put into the system before a quote will come out...figuratively speaking. In other words, if your dealer hasn't requested the seiral number of your new Quicksilver, he/she isn't looking into it very seriously, if at all.

BTW, congradulations on your new Quicksilver. I hear they are neat and I look forward to seeing my first in person at an upcoming Forum Rally in January.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:40 PM   #3
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Axle Replacement

ljmiii,

You may be better off finding a shop which specializes in repair work instead of your dealer, especially if your dealer does not have a good shop. Unlike auto dealers, some RV dealers are only interested in sales and not the repair/maintenance side of the business.

Bill
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:43 PM   #4
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This thread relates to the question you're asking. At least it might give you further background on the topic. I just recalled it was out there in the Forums.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:37 PM   #5
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hi ljmiii

there are several threads here on axle upgrades so search a little. the one linked above is related to bambis but others have useful info too...

the factory charges approx 1,400$ to replace an axle. this includes the drum brake assembly as well...

like others have suggested this work should be done by a shop with some experience. i have none but i watch them to a couple in the service center and it's not difficult. cumbersome however.

it's a crime they mislead folks on carry capacity for q/s models...seems most of them are used as yard art...

the extra capacity will put you way over the battery powered tv towing capacity right?

if going to the trouble of uprating the axle on a new bambi also consider adding disc brakes...

more hauling is good, but better braking is too!

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:31 PM   #6
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Cool Congratulations!

And you've been on a trip already! We just purchased a pre-owned and can hardly wait for our first trip! Good luck and many happy adventures!
Mona
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the extra capacity will put you way over the battery powered tv towing capacity right?
The problem isn't the 3500 lbs...it is how it is distributed. My Bambi at rest has about 400 lbs on the tongue and 3050 lbs on the axle. But once the WD hitch is in place and the load balanced so that the tow vehicle chassis is once again level at least 300 of those lbs and maybe all 400 are now sitting on the trailer axle. And I'm a little worried about riding around with my weight almost at max GAWR all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
If going to the trouble of uprating the axle on a new bambi also consider adding disc brakes...more hauling is good, but better braking is too!
Thanks...good idea
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:37 PM   #8
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ljmiii,

We too, have an '06 Bambi Quick Silver. Congrats!! It's a cool looking trailer. I have checked into increasing the axle capacity with Airstream. We SHOULD all get together and insist Airstream upgrade our axles under warranty. This might be something for the NTSB to sink their teeth into, and have Airstream "RECALL" all the QUICK SILVERS for this insufficiency as being non-safe.
Airstream told me months ago, the Bambi Quick Silver is what it is and I should not carry water. And I knew what I was buying!! Imagine, a travel trailer not being able to carry water.
We have had ours for a year now, and will not tow it. It has sat in the garage. Alternatively, we have used our 1967 Globe Trotter.
Why not PM me and we can talk.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:58 PM   #9
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To all Bambi owners,

We should band together and ask Airstream to upgrade our axles under warranty for safety sake.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
The problem isn't the 3500 lbs...it is how it is distributed. My Bambi at rest has about 400 lbs on the tongue and 3050 lbs on the axle. But once the WD hitch is in place and the load balanced so that the tow vehicle chassis is once again level at least 300 of those lbs and maybe all 400 are now sitting on the trailer axle. And I'm a little worried about riding around with my weight almost at max GAWR all the time.
hi ljmiii

ok i get it, you don't want to carry any more stuff, just increase the margin of safety on the trailer side...right? very reasonable on your part.

i'm sure you've read about weighing things...have you had a chance to scale your set up?

most of the industry info suggests properly adjusted w/d gear will redistribute tongue mass...
1/3, 1/3 and 1/3 to steering, drive and trailer axles.....not 3/4ths rearward...

one can't know what happens without a weigh in.

for my long rig almost none of the tongue mass went to the trailer axles...but for yours the 1/3 rule might be expected...

best of luck and keep us posted.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
ok i get it, you don't want to carry any more stuff, just increase the margin of safety on the trailer side...right? very reasonable on your part.
Off in another thread under 2006 Bambi I just found that nickcrowhurst put together a set of equations for figuring out the loads and lifts that result from using a WD hitch. Running the numbers for my setup yields an added load of 119 lbs on the rear axles. Not great...but not bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i'm sure you've read about weighing things...have you had a chance to scale your set up?
I've been really wanting to but haven't gotten the chance get. I took Airstream's weight as a given, weighed everything I've taken out (e.g. outside speaker, LCD TV, CD changer) and everything I've put in. I've also been carefully weighing my tongue weight. But as you said...you can't really know what happens without a weigh in.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:30 PM   #12
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Well, this is some good info. I own a 16' CCD, and last winter started a thread similar to this, to have more carrying capacity and safety margin. I guess the CCD models are not quite as close as the Q/S, but I would still like more.

Last winter I concluded the main factors were 1) axle, brakes, tires, wheels, and 2) frame and coupler. This thread indicates that upgrading the axle/brakes/tires/wheels would, in fact increase the total capacity - and this according to Airstream!

I would rather Airstream would just put the heavier axle in to begin with - could just NOT add that much to the initial cost. But, when I consider what I've already spent on the CCD and the tow vehcile, I think I will be willing to pay for the upgrade, which would give me the ideal setup for what I want.

Not that I wouldn't rather have Airstream pick up the bill.....

Any thoughts from you folks have already upgraded - does the frame and the rest of the trailer, like on a newer 16'er, work OK with the upgrade to the axles, etc??

Thanks
Bob
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:32 PM   #13
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PS - What does 'CSA' mean?

Sorry for the ignorance....
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
PS - What does 'CSA' mean?
Sorry for the ignorance....
No problem. CSA is the Canadian Standards Association, sort of the equivalent of our ANSI - American National Standards Institute.

I say sort of equivalent because ANSI's actually considers it's peer to be the SCC - the Standards Council of Canada. I have no idea how the CSA and SCC decide who standardizes what. I just know that somewhere in the CAN/CSA-Z240 RV Series of standards is a requirement that travel trailers have a bigger cargo capacity than is provided for in the US.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
PS - What does 'CSA' mean?Sorry for the ignorance....
well i will tell ya what it really means...

to airstreamers...

it means dexter axles instead of henschens...

see, dexter has usa and canada certification...

henschens does NOT...

so for way less than 1% of the entire market all the rest of us must suffer...

the experiment of using dexters on airstream....

i don't like it one little bit...

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
I would rather Airstream would just put the heavier axle in to begin with - could just NOT add that much to the initial cost. But, when I consider what I've already spent on the CCD and the tow vehcile, I think I will be willing to pay for the upgrade, which would give me the ideal setup for what I want.

Not that I wouldn't rather have Airstream pick up the bill.....
I completely agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
Any thoughts from you folks have already upgraded - does the frame and the rest of the trailer, like on a newer 16'er, work OK with the upgrade to the axles, etc??
As near as I can tell no one has actually had the work done. A number of people (including myself) have talked to AS about upgrading the axle and the answer we get is 'No problem, just contact your dealer for pricing.'

There was a recent discussion of the issue in

http://www.airforums.com/forum...lks-27798.html

There was a thought that Bill Payne had the work done, but though he owns a 19' Bambi the AS he had the axle work done on was his 30' er. It seems that raptorron and coloradobus would also like to have the work done. And that David Tidmore of Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep [and Airstreams] (817-596-0050) in Texas would be a good person to talk to about having it done.

I don't know where you are located, but Texas is a bit far for me.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:25 PM   #17
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This is an interesting thread, and it motivated me to get a note off to the Airstream tech folks, and like you said, they indicate no problem, but wanted to know how much 'extra' I am looking for. If I could go to the 4500 pound (like the 19'ers have), I would be more than satisfied. I don't know if axles are available in other than 1000 pound increments, so I asked about that.

This is to be my retirement deal, so I'm willing to go far to get the job done right, instead of going close if the local dealer really can't handle the job. Seems like the folks at Jackson Center must do a lot of axle installations, so I'm inclined that way if they would do it. I'm in Utah now, but I came from Ohio and that would be a nice trip to visit where I grew up.

I'll let you know as I find out more.

PS When I say axle, I'm really saying axle, brakes, wheels, and tires - I think all would have to be upgraded
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
If I could go to the 4500 pound (like the 19'ers have), I would be more than satisfied.
The 16' CSA axle and 225/75R15 Load Rating D tires will get you to 4300 lbs...I don't know if there are any issues with trying to use the 19' axle.
Another advantage is that unlike our 14" ers the 225/75R15 tires are everywhere. In a multiple blowout situation you can easily get tires to get you home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
Seems like the folks at Jackson Center must do a lot of axle installations, so I'm inclined that way if they would do it...I'll let you know as I find out more.
That's a great idea...and thanks.
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
As near as I can tell no one has actually had the work done.
h ljmiii...

perhaps no one posting has done this upgrade, but it has been done.

i was at the factory summer 05 and met a couple from the st louie burbs;
they were at the service center for exactly that reason....

upgraded the whole works (axles) including the brakes to discs and 15 inch wheels.

he pulled with a cayenne and his trailer was not able to match stopping power with the big red brakes...and was a little 'loose' in panic stops...

once the conversion was done they took his combo over to the proving grounds (a track) and dialed the combo in...

sorry no more details and i don't think he's on the forums...

cheer
2air'
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i was at the factory summer 05 and met a couple from the st louie burbs; they were at the service center for exactly that reason...
upgraded the whole works (axles) including the brakes to discs and 15 inch wheels.
Great news! Like RDM16CCD I'm happy to go to Jackson Center to get it done right.
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