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Old 01-14-2003, 03:31 PM   #1
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"We don't normally balance trailer tires....."

is what I was told, when I returned my newly purchased tires back to the tire dealer. I checked the invoice and sure enough, I was charged for high speed spin balancing, but found no balancing weights on the rims. "Most people only tow at low speeds, so balancing is not necessary." "In fact, you only need to have your tires balanced on the steering tires."

Well I don't buy this at all. They balanced the tires at my request and at no extra charge, since I already paid for it the first time. I have had no luck finding anyone who can balance an entire hub assembly in the Cleveland area, so far.
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Old 01-14-2003, 03:39 PM   #2
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FYI

Pick,

I had my tires balanced on the trailer at a tire truck service center.

I had them balanced off of the trailer, but noticed that a interior screw near the floor, by the door was backing out while I was traveling.

After having all four balanced on the trailer, this problem went away.

John
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Old 01-14-2003, 03:43 PM   #3
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Same story

I was told the same thing on my first couple of trailers, but I insisted and they balanced the tires.

My current Goodyears are quite well made; there are only a couple of very small weights on them. The wost I have had were the 13" Carlisles on my old Scamp. They ended up with quite large weights.
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Old 01-14-2003, 03:47 PM   #4
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P.S.

I paid $17.00 per wheel

I also found out that most SOB DON'T balance their wheels.

5th wheels included.

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Old 01-14-2003, 05:40 PM   #5
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Balancing debate

Man oh man, where were you guys when the great debate over Wheel balancing was a hot issue?

There is a thread that I am certain that Hex can point you to, that addresses the wheel balancing issue.

"to balance or not to balance" that is the question.

It is true that most SOB do not balance tires and some on this forum will argue that the same is true for Airstreams BUT,

An equal amount if not more will argue that if the trailer wheels and hubs are not balanced, there is a very good chance that an Airstream will suffer damage that cost many times the cost of balancing the running gear.

My take is this, Airstream dealers have made many coins repairing damage that was incurred due to imbalance of the running gear and the dealerships are very adamant that the Airstream running gear HAS to be balanced.

Just check this forum on instances of doors opening while enroute, panels shifting, wheel hubs melting down, bearings departing the hub, and blow outs leading to major damage to skin, levelers and plumbing.

It is your Airstream!

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Old 01-14-2003, 06:38 PM   #6
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I agree 100%

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the running gear on ANY vehicle or trailer that is used on the highways MUST be balanced. What has me curious though is that this issue is seldom brought up about SOB trailers on other forums. They seem to be more concerned with who has their diesel juiced up the most, than anything else. But since we folk that own Airstreams are concerned with the finer points, may be the reason that Airstreams last decades and SOB's last years.

I seem to remember back in my teens when hanging out in gas stations was the cool thing to do, some stations did have a device to attach the wheel on the vehicle to balance the entire assembly,while still on the vehicle. They used an electric motor with a friction wheel to spin the tire. Looked like a much simpler device than what is used these days.
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:50 PM   #7
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I remember those

Pick,

As I kid, I pumped gas and hung out at the local garage and I remember them spinning up the tires and adjusting the weights that where sticking out the center of the device attached to the wheel.

The truck tire center has a device similar, but they have a strob type light that shows the wheel coming into balance.

All four of my tires were in balance off of the trailer and 1 was way out on the trailer. The other 3 were out, but not as bad.

I wonder because SOB's use leaf springs and such, that they don't have the same sensitivity to balancing as we do?

John
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Old 01-16-2003, 01:48 PM   #8
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Lets not them SOB's we have bad enough name alredy lets be good AIRSTREAMers we are snob;s when we talk other rvers make A good impresion.
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Old 01-16-2003, 02:16 PM   #9
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SOB=Some Other Brand

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Old 01-16-2003, 02:18 PM   #10
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sob (some other brand)

you got it wrong moejoerv (it's some other brand).

John, you've piqued my interest in having the trailer tires balanced on the trailer, can you or Pick explain how they do it? I'm going to need new rims and tires on the '55 and no way am I going to drag it around without balancing. Your method sounds like a good median between just balancing the wheel and tires and what Andy recommends. When calling to find a center, should I just ask if they can balance wheels on the trailer, or is there a special term?

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2003, 03:15 PM   #11
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Jason,

I've found only truck tire centers have the equipment to balance the tires on the trailer.

How they did mine was: using a floor jack, they raised the trailer as if to change a flat tire. Then they had this electronic device that they put behind the tire and another hand-held device which worked like a strobe light. Then they put a machine in front of the tire that spun it very fast. With the hand-held strobe, you could actually see the wheel out of balance. He would move the strobe around to some point where the wheel was in-balanced. After the tire stop spinning, he put on the proper weights and then repeated the process to confirm that the wheel was now balanced.

I know this process is different than what Andy does, but I haven't found anyone as of yet that has the equipment that Andy has. As a matter of fact, every RV shop that I've called, just sends out their tires to a local tire center and has them balanced off of the trailer.

I hope this helps-John
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Old 01-16-2003, 03:29 PM   #12
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Thanks, I appreciate it!
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Old 01-16-2003, 03:53 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

Jabba, I recently had the tires and wheels spin balanced on the trailer after replacing 2 tires due to old age. You would be amazed at how out of balance they were before balancing. It was discovered that several of the cast hubs were so out of balance, that we almost ran out of weight on the rim. It would help if you can find someone that can dinamically balance the hubs without wheels. This will make it easier to balance the wheel and tire with less weight. All this xtra work will make everything run smoother with alot less wear and tear on the whole trailer.
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Old 01-16-2003, 03:55 PM   #14
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Truck tire service center again to balance the hubs?
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Old 01-16-2003, 04:45 PM   #15
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I doubt any tire shop would be able to handle the hubs. Someone who balances either engine componets or rebuilds drivelines(drive shafts) should be able to handle the hubs.

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:49 PM   #16
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Post resurrection

Today I asked the RV shop where I took my '72 Ambassador (a SOB shop) to balance the wheels and tires for me since they were already off the trailer. The service guy told me they don't usually balance trailer tires. I said that I would like to have them balanced. He insisted that since trailer wheels flexed when turning, the weights would fall off and it was a waste of money. He said he'd hate to have me waste my money. I didn't persist. I believe that balanced wheels/tire/hubs are a necessity. Anyone run into this stance from an RV dealer?
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:57 PM   #17
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He's trying to "buy" credibility by giving advice of saving $$$ to compensate for their lack of ability to perform the maintenance. An AS, in particular, because of their riveted structural shell will appreciate running gear balancing.

Many trailers may not necessarily require balanced running gear, as nobody is riding back there, but most RV trailers will benefit in the long run from not being shaken loose by vibration.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:34 PM   #18
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Centramatic Wheel Balancers sold by Inland RV should improve balance.
Centramatic

The video on the website looks credible.
I have them on my unit.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb379_2010 View Post
Today I asked the RV shop where I took my '72 Ambassador (a SOB shop) to balance the wheels and tires for me since they were already off the trailer. The service guy told me they don't usually balance trailer tires. I said that I would like to have them balanced. He insisted that since trailer wheels flexed when turning, the weights would fall off and it was a waste of money. He said he'd hate to have me waste my money. I didn't persist. I believe that balanced wheels/tire/hubs are a necessity. Anyone run into this stance from an RV dealer?
Anyone that claims tires don't need to be balanced on an Airstream trailer, very obviously knows "zero" about the characteristics and/or how an Airstream behaves when subjected to vibrations.

Andy
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:02 PM   #20
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Dzn,
They have a full tire shop there. He truly believes it is unnecessary.

Andy, You're right about that. I just didn't feel like arguing with him. I'll take it to the tire shop and get them balanced before we hit the road. Heck I may even order a set of centramatics. But has anyone reported that their balance weights fall off due to the wheels flexing during turns? Sounds like bull to me.
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