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Old 09-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Airstream installs skid plates—how can they be ok and casters are not?

Gene
Gene.

The skid plate distribute the impact over an area.

The casters confine the impact to a small area.

Additionally, the casters are closer to the ground by 4 to 6 inches as well, therefore they come into play far faster and to a greater degree than the skid plates.

Andy
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:04 PM   #22
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If you look at trailers with casters you will note that 90%+ of them are installed WRONG.

People tend to mount casters on the bottom of the frame. This causes the impact point to be lowered by the height of the caster and thus you are striking the trailer infinitely more often.

If you are hard set on installing casters cut the skid plates off and make sure the bottom of the caster is no lower than the bottom of the original skid plate.

The only reason I can see for casters or rollers is if you have a newly paved driveway and are now hitting it with the skids.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:14 PM   #23
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Why can't casters be mounted on the side of the skid plates? They would only have to extend a little below the bottom of the plate and the plate would distribute the weight as it had before. The only reason to do this I think (besides Howie's reason) is a wheel would offer less resistance than a skid plate and would be easier on the truck, trailer and hitch.

This is academic perhaps because I'll probably never do anything about it and my wife may not allow me to take the trailer on those roads with Canadian ferries.

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Old 09-30-2009, 05:39 PM   #24
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Think of the narrow frame tab 'bash' plates as a NO-GO gauge?

The original layout of these trailers were meant for small trailer lengths and most likely leaning toward protecting from packed earth & gravel tracks that would yield somewhat when the trailer end was wallowing, er, bottoming out to reach or escape an out of the way destination.

Yes of course you can have stealth casters if you have a yen to be a low-rider but (oh, thats punny) for those requiring ramp climbing or such having a spare gooseneck hitch mount might be a solution, an eight inch drop is available.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:52 PM   #25
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My 20 footer is nothing like yours, but it had casters which the PO had added. A new axle from Andy and slightly larger tires gave me plenty of additional height. I cut the casters off. Geo...
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:11 PM   #26
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Maybe upgrade the wheel size from 15" to 16"? Add solid steel riser blocks between the axles and frame, you could go another 4" or 6". You'll have a Monster Airstream and need a ladder to get in.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:02 PM   #27
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Is there such a thing as an adjustable height hitch mount? I'm thinking of one that has something like an electric jack built-in to raise or lower the ball height. I would think it would have to be very heavy-duty to handle the stresses of travel with a heavy trailer. I once saw a guy with a forklift with a ball mounted on the end of one fork. He was putting boats into very narrow parking spaces at a storage yard and his lift had side-shifting, so he could move the ball both up & down and side to side. He was parking the boats with less than a couple of inches between each one. It just made me think about the possibilities...

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Old 10-09-2009, 05:20 PM   #28
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casters

I had them on my old trailer. I would never get them again.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:07 PM   #29
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I had them on my old trailer. I would never get them again.
Reason?
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:41 PM   #30
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1. They bent out of shape entering or exiting gas stations with steep inclines.
2. When backing into some sites, they would dig into the soil if the incline was too high. I dug a "trench" backing into a grassy site, before my wife told me what was happening.
3. too much stress on the back end of the trailer if the incline is too steep.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:13 AM   #31
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From Mr. Wolf's reply above: Casters have a small contact area and therefore will not work on grass or other soft surfaces. Skids plates are better solution for soft surfaces or grass. If you are going to bottom out on gas stations or getting on to ferries, you are going to put high loads on the back of the the trailer if the bottoming is severe. The only solution to that is: don't do that kind of thing. Another solution is to: listen to a very watchful wife or traveling companion. The best mechanical solution is: drop the front of the trailer down to gain more rear end elevation when you need to work around a bad situation. Start by dropping your w/d bars. If that does not work: throw some boards under the wheels. If that is not enough: unhitch and put on a big drop hitch on the TV and rehitch.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:13 AM   #32
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Here's another remedy... not perfect, but it serves our purposes allowing incline backups. It consists of a long steel rod, two short pieces of nylon/delrin rod, two short pieces of pipe to protect the nylon, spacers, wahers, nuts and some vinyl pipe to protect the steel rod.
The thought is that ANY skid rail contact will transfer load to the frame. It is preferable to have some control over the rate and amount by rolling rather than scraping... surface area is similar. Rolling surface is suspended less than 1/2 inch. Contact while turning does cause some roller scraping, but its minimal. Wear on the roller is evident as well as that on the skid rail incurred before install 6yrs ago.Not able to insert the pic... sorry. If interested in seeing it, email me, I'll reply w/ the pic and someone else can post it.
Brian
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:46 AM   #33
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Kristi F,

Yes, we live in Georgia... Newnan
Hi and welcome!

I have fond memories of the Newnan area. The first Airstream I was ever inside belonged to friends at the Powers' Crossroads Art Festival. Found my Trade Wind and the next year we had the two of them side by side. Nice area.

As you can see, the casters are not generally looked on as a solution, but just about everything here provokes a lively and ongoing debate.

Enjoy you new Excella!
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:45 AM   #34
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Here's another remedy... not perfect, but it serves our purposes allowing incline backups. It consists of a long steel rod, two short pieces of nylon/delrin rod, two short pieces of pipe to protect the nylon, spacers, wahers, nuts and some vinyl pipe to protect the steel rod.
The thought is that ANY skid rail contact will transfer load to the frame. It is preferable to have some control over the rate and amount by rolling rather than scraping... surface area is similar. Rolling surface is suspended less than 1/2 inch. Contact while turning does cause some roller scraping, but its minimal. Wear on the roller is evident as well as that on the skid rail incurred before install 6yrs ago.Not able to insert the pic... sorry. If interested in seeing it, email me, I'll reply w/ the pic and someone else can post it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:31 AM   #35
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NW Classic, good looking retro fit.... The 1/2" that's added to the height with your DIY design is some minimal might be the way to go! I too have dug a few trenches in both grass and asphalt but have yet to damage the Excella itself. I will send you an email at your Yahoo address to request specifics. This looks like something Jackson Center should consider on the longer Airstreams. My next concern is the amount of rain we are getting here in GA!! Has anyone used their Airstream as a boat?
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:17 PM   #36
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What we rehash every three years -- http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ers-26660.html

Just sayin' ...
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:30 AM   #37
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Sorry for the late reply... I'm not on the cyberbox daily. While there is 'nothing new under the sun', some rearrangement from time to time can enhance life. It was in that spirit I offered our treatment to the rear bumper problem... not advocating anyone else try it. The only intent was to contribute to the conversation.
Best to all.
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