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Old 04-26-2010, 06:07 AM   #21
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Frank,
Thanks for the links. It has been awhile since I have seen them. You will note they are using less bucked rivets than in the past. They now depend more on the adhesive on the double backed 3M tape to hold the outer skin to the framework.

Wally really did do some destructive testing on those caravans. You will note that they took every rough road very slowly. Less than 70% of those trailers lasted all the way from Capetown to Cairo. Wally died in 1961 and so did that kind of testing at Airstream. My training and engineering experience in scientific road testing allows me to stand behind my original statement. The impact velocity of the trailer wheel coming into contact with the stationary bump or pothole is directly proportional to your speed. The energy imparted to the trailer is proportional to the square of that speed. The resultant force is proportional to the speed. The shock transmitted to the trailer frame through the shock mount is proportional to the resistance offered by the Hydraulic shock force developed by the resistance of the oil squirting through the internal orifices of the shockwhich are proportional to the square of the speed of the impact. Sorry Frank, Do not try to defeat a washboard road by driving fast over it. It will destroy your trailer and in the end wear out the suspension system of your TV, if it does not destroy it first. We are not in the caravaning business to try to achieve a speed record. SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

Olie,
You are right that backing off on the spring WD bars will help. As per Andy's recommendation, using lighter bars will also help considerably. However, the stiffer ride of the TV will still be transmitted through the ball and a stiffer TV suspension will have a worse effect on the trailer when traveling on rough roads. I sure did notice this on my 2,000 miles on the rough back roads in Eastern Canada and Nova Scotia when I did the trip 5 years ago with my 350 Chevy dually as the TV. The Olympic rivets attaching the front steel plate to the aluminum skin really took a beating and needed to be completely rebuilt. I repeat. If you want your trailer to last SLOW DOWN.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:21 AM   #22
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Backing off on the torsion bar tension, should be done very carefully, since that will also reduce the amount of weight that is transfered to the front axle of the tow vehicle.

Lighter rated bars, works far better, as they will still transfer the weight, but offer more flexing, for the softer ride.

Andy
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:42 AM   #23
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Lighter torsion bars seem a reasonable solution for a softer ride. I don't think Hensley sells a lighter bar than 1400#. I read somewhere that Drawtite bars are compatable with the Hensley. Does anyone know?
Also, I estimate my hitch weight is about 900#. I need to weigh it to make sure. What is the relationship between hitch weight and the torsion bars rating? Example, if hitch weight is 900# should the bar rating be at least 900 and not less?
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Olie View Post
Lighter torsion bars seem a reasonable solution for a softer ride. I don't think Hensley sells a lighter bar than 1400#. I read somewhere that Drawtite bars are compatable with the Hensley. Does anyone know?
Also, I estimate my hitch weight is about 900#. I need to weigh it to make sure. What is the relationship between hitch weight and the torsion bars rating? Example, if hitch weight is 900# should the bar rating be at least 900 and not less?
The torsion bar rating reduces as the rigidity of the tow vehicle increases.

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Old 04-26-2010, 01:24 PM   #25
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This thread is making my brain hurt!

Had I only read this stuff before I bought our first Airstream, 26 days ago, I might have made some different choices.

We have a 2007 Classic Limited. This trailer comes with leather coverings that preclude any discovery of popped rivets. I'm tempted to start ripping down the leather and carpet like fabric from the ceiling and walls.

I find the Airstream a beautiful work of art and the nostalgic feeling I get from just looking at them helped me to select AS. Additionally, the hype made them sound rugged. I know the skin bends easily, I put a $2200 crease in my right rear quarter panel before I made it home from the dealer. Of course that was my fault, my problem, and it will not happen again. Oh well, at least I got to see how the dealer replaces the skin. It took a full eight hours and I found it very interesting.... and humbling as I have NEVER hit any object with a vehicle in my entire life.

BUT, now I have to worry about the rivets popping in places I can't even see in time to stop further damage by quickly repairing the problem. Just great! Perhaps there are already popped rivets in the darn thing. Heck, this might explain the leather sag that I noticed "after" I purchased the trailer. This sag is at the leather seams on the headliner on both ends of the trailer. Suddenly I have this lemon taste in my mouth.

I am not pleased about this rivet popping junk, but I have yet to figure out what in the heck to do about it.

I guess I will just have to learn to drive like an old man, well, that shouldn't be too tough, I am 61 and I likely fall into that category now... grrrr .... It isn't easy having the mind of a 5 year old while trapped in the body of an adult. LOL

Perhaps when the shock of this issue wears down, if it does, I might change, but today, I am NOT enjoying the experience.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:18 PM   #26
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Rivet pops happened in 1940 on brand-spankin new Airstreams, and every year since. It doesn't mean your rig will be dropping body panels off on the highway. It isn't even really important unless you lose them by the handful. You are way ahead of the guys with bare aluminum interiors, as every popped rivet is TOTALLY obvious.
The headliner sag is an adhesive issue, not rivets. In fact, rivets may be a good fix for the issue if you don't mind seeing them. A few well-placed ones can make that liner stay in place.
And as for the lemon taste, if you add a little ice and gin you could have a nice lemon drop martini, which is the panacea for all Airstream issues. Take two, every 30 minutes, until no pain is felt.

Rich the Viking
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:27 PM   #27
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....... if you add a little ice and gin you could have a nice lemon drop martini, which is the panacea for all Airstream issues. Take two, every 30 minutes, until no pain is felt.

Rich the Viking
SOLD! I'll do just that in a few hours. ;>)

Rich, it's going to take me a bit to adjust to some of these things. I am finding several "small" things that I need to fix of live with. I'll get 'em sorted out, if I don't have a stroke beforehand. Had a stroke a few years ago... will avoid them at all costs. ;>)
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:48 PM   #28
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See, it works. You seem to be feeling better already!
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:12 PM   #29
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a/s is no dirt bike, but...

I have ridden a dirt bike down the middle of a railroad track. At slow speeds, the cross ties like to beat the thunder out of you. at higher speeds, you do not even feel the ties. So, although somewhat counter intuitive, speed seems to decrease the roughness of a dirt bike's ride across some pretty severe and endless "potholes." Now, the a/s i own is one that is 25 years young, and has been across the USA at least twice-it has been used a fair amount is my point, and there ain't no rivets popping anywhere. Yet, as Inland Andy R would say, cuz I tow with a one ton truck. I will keep you posted. As far as the leather covered interior-leave it be, it will fall in on you when it needs attention. be cool
ol' bill
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:38 AM   #30
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The bill of material for a 27ft. FB Airstream has a total of 5734 rivets that is used to build the trailer. While you will want to maintain your trailer ,one or two sheared rivets is not a sign of disaster but a sign that you are using your trailer. The longer the trailer the greater the likely hood of some sheared interior rivets due to flexing. This is not unusual , for a period of time no one mentioned interior rivets shearing because the interior was covered with wall coverings
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:40 AM   #31
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Popped Rivets

I'm kind of late to this party, but I have had some rivets pop on the inside of my 2007 Safari SE. I had one head missing on the inside near the door when we left on our Nor East Caravan last summer. After some very rough roads in Maine, NB, and Nova Scotia, we stopped near Halifax, and counted three more (one more near the door and one at each end all on the inside). I got a lesson on how to repair them from an experienced caravanner who says he has to replace popped rivets in the inside of in his 34' classic every two years or so traveling these roads.

No more problems with popped rivets after Halifax, and more rough road have been traveled since then. We'll see as time goes on.

Randy
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:51 AM   #32
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lynn, nice bit of triva to know about the 27's, (5734 rivets). Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #33
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We have had our 2007 Safari for almost two years. Are we the only people who find rivets popped out of the ceiling and laying on the floor, table, etc.? Does this seem odd to anyone but us? Is this normal? I guess it helps to know that we have aluminum interior (no wall covering). Thanks for any input.
The rivets used are very soft. You can try aviation grade "cherry" rivets. These are much harder.
CHERRY RIVETS from Aircraft Spruce
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