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Old 06-13-2021, 10:17 AM   #1
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2004 30' Classic
California , MD
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 240
Service Center Visit. Opinions/Input Please...

Hi Team,

We are headed to the Service Center in a week and wanted your input on our list.

Background:
Our 2004 Classic is a bit unique. The gent we purchased it from always had it serviced at the Service Center. A few years ago, he wanted new flooring, recliners instead of coach, new wall covering, etc. He invested over $30K in having the Service Center remove everything and rework the interior. The interior looks brand new. They also had the water systems reworked (flush valves replaced, etc. ).

So we are headed to the Service center to have them complete the refurb by redoing the outside systems. Below is our list. I would appreciate any feedback on what we are having done. Other stuff you would have done/checked? Items you would not do?, etc.

Thanks in advance for your input
Dan

The list

1) New Axles with Nev-R Lube Bearings and Disk Brakes.
a. Install lift kit
b. New Shocks
2) New Michelin Tires
a. Including spare
3) Replace existing hydraulic brake controller
4) Check on worn propane line near front jack (front door side of Airstream)
5) Replace skylights. They are 20 years old and beginning to show their age.
6) Reseal the roof
a. Check on the seal of everything on the roof and rework.
b. Replace AC seal
7) Leak check entire Airstream
8) The slide on the drawer under the dinette (the one closest to front), the bearing slide needs replaces
a. Ball bearings are rolling out from under drawer
b. Please check other drawer
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:01 PM   #2
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My wish list is below. You may already have some of these since it’s a Classic.
  • Michelins require 16” wheels. Call ahead for availability if you don’t already have them.
  • Solar power?
  • TPMS
  • By leak check I assume you want to pressure test the shell.
  • Rub rails? I’ve replaced some of mine.
  • Rear view camera replacement
  • AC slow start capacitor
  • Toilet seals or the Dometic 320 with the longer seat (Requires flange bolts 11” from wall. 310 is only 10”).
  • Paint any undercarriage not being replaced. Likely some rust.
  • Awnings all around
  • Ceramic coating on the shell
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:48 PM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Solar would be on my list if it was my trailer. That's based on how I use mine. It may not apply to you and how you use yours.

Unless it was done in the earlier rebuild, I'd replace the converter / charger. They don't last forever. I'd at least check the batteries.

I would have them go over the steps and replace any worn hardware. They live a tough life and do wear out eventually.

For this extensive an upgrade, it's not unreasonable to switch over to Lithium batteries. How much sense that makes, depends a lot on how you do (or plan to ) use the trailer.

I don't know what kind of fans you have right now. If the stock Fantastic Fans are still on there, upgrading to something fancier would be high up on my own list.

When you get the skylights replaced, get the new skylight shades installed at the same time. They work well and aren't that crazy cost wise.

Have fun !!!!

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:08 PM   #4
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2004 30' Classic
California , MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
My wish list is below. You may already have some of these since it’s a Classic.
  • Michelins require 16” wheels. Call ahead for availability if you don’t already have them.
  • Solar power?
  • TPMS
  • By leak check I assume you want to pressure test the shell.
  • Rub rails? I’ve replaced some of mine.
  • Rear view camera replacement
  • AC slow start capacitor
  • Toilet seals or the Dometic 320 with the longer seat (Requires flange bolts 11” from wall. 310 is only 10”).
  • Paint any undercarriage not being replaced. Likely some rust.
  • Awnings all around
  • Ceramic coating on the shell
Thanks tons for the response

*Fortunately it already has 16 inch rims and Michelins. Just need tires (and spare) replaced.
*Got solar power
*Got TPMS
*Rear camera replacement is a good one. The existing one is VERY low resolution
*AC slow start capacitor. Excellent I will add
*Will check with them on under carriage.
*Ceramic coat is an interesting one. I will have to research this.

Thanks again
Dan
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:15 PM   #5
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2004 30' Classic
California , MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Solar would be on my list if it was my trailer. That's based on how I use mine. It may not apply to you and how you use yours.

Unless it was done in the earlier rebuild, I'd replace the converter / charger. They don't last forever. I'd at least check the batteries.

I would have them go over the steps and replace any worn hardware. They live a tough life and do wear out eventually.

For this extensive an upgrade, it's not unreasonable to switch over to Lithium batteries. How much sense that makes, depends a lot on how you do (or plan to ) use the trailer.

I don't know what kind of fans you have right now. If the stock Fantastic Fans are still on there, upgrading to something fancier would be high up on my own list.

When you get the skylights replaced, get the new skylight shades installed at the same time. They work well and aren't that crazy cost wise.

Have fun !!!!

Bob
Thanks tons for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate your time.

*Got solar
*Installed Lithium Batteries last year
*New converter when I did the lithium upgrade.
*Steps- Excellent idea. I will add this one.
*it has stock fantastic fans. I will check on upgrades
*Good intel on the skylights. I will make sure the new ones have shades.

Again, thanks tons for taking the time to respond and help me out!
Dan
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cru-in View Post
*Good intel on the skylights. I will make sure the new ones have shades.

Again, thanks tons for taking the time to respond and help me out!
Dan
My 2004 30' Classic Slideout was equipped with interior skylight shades. No reason to replace if nothing is wrong with them. The two skylights on mine have each been replaced once due to cracking. As I remember the skylights are exterior mounted and do not interconnect with the shades in any way since those are interior mounted.

As far as the A/C seal goes, if I were going to spend the labor to remove the unit to get to the seal, I'd consider a replacement of the A/C unit. My 2004 is still using the original heat pump unit that I requested at build time. Back in 2004 the standard A/C unit that came with the 30' Classic was the 13.5K Penguin unit. I paid extra to get the optional 15K unit. Was out in the 95 degree heat the weekend and my 15K unit was keeping things very comfortable.

Jack
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:37 PM   #7
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2004 30' Classic
California , MD
Join Date: May 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
My 2004 30' Classic Slideout was equipped with interior skylight shades. No reason to replace if nothing is wrong with them. The two skylights on mine have each been replaced once due to cracking. As I remember the skylights are exterior mounted and do not interconnect with the shades in any way since those are interior mounted.

As far as the A/C seal goes, if I were going to spend the labor to remove the unit to get to the seal, I'd consider a replacement of the A/C unit. My 2004 is still using the original heat pump unit that I requested at build time. Back in 2004 the standard A/C unit that came with the 30' Classic was the 13.5K Penguin unit. I paid extra to get the optional 15K unit. Was out in the 95 degree heat the weekend and my 15K unit was keeping things very comfortable.

Jack
Hi Jack,

I believe our skylights are the same. They are looking worse for the wear (slight cracking, etc.), I am amazed how thin they are. A slight bit of pressure of the finger will deform them.

Thanks for the input on the AC/HP. I will check on ours. AC may be one of the items that is in short supply. I read somewhere on the forum that AC availability was hindering production. We had requested a new mattress and were told it was at least a 4 month delivery time.

I really appreciate you taking the time to respond with items for us to consider.

Dan
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:27 AM   #8
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As for 16" Michelins: XPS Ribs
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgentum View Post
As for 16" Michelins: XPS Ribs
The Ribs are good tires but if you go with Michelin as a replacement the question becomes whether you need to spend the extra money that the Rib costs vs the Agilis, which is the model Airstream uses.

The Rib is a heavy duty tire suitable for recapping. It will be a rougher riding tire since it is geared for commercial use. Expect at least a $50 premium per tire over the price of the Agilis.

Unless you are wanting to keep the tires more than 6 seasons, I'd go with the Agilis. It's been in available for about 2 years now and reports here on the forum are good. Many of us are using the Michelin Defender series which no longer is available. Note there is a Defender series tire today in the 15" range but it is not in the same class as the previously sold 16" Defenders.

One last piece of advice if you are going to use an LT tire. Many local tire dealers will not mount an LT tire for use with your Airstream. They usually say that ST tires are the only tires suitable for trailer use and their corporate policies will not allow them to mount tires on trailers that are not rated as ST models. Obviously Airstream will, and in my situation my last two sets of LT tires were mounted on the wheels and I subsequently placed them on the Airstream itself.

Airstream isn't the only manufacturer using LT tires on some of their trailers. My local dealership also sells SOB 5th wheel trailers and a some of his heavy 5th wheels are coming from their manufacturer with LT tires on them.

Jack
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:43 AM   #10
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2017 30' Flying Cloud
Highland , California
Join Date: Dec 2007
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You may want to double check the nev-R-Lube axles applicability. I have been told that disk brake kits my not be available for nev-R-lube axles only ez lube. In addition, the Nev-R-Lube axles are prone to bearing failure on on the heavier, longer AS units like mine and yours. They have a single inside bearing race and loads put on the axles from tire scrub during tight turns tend to make them fail. So my service guy tells me that it may be less expensive to buy new Dexter EZ-lube axles w/ disk brakes than to buy just the disk brakes for my unit. Go figure.
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:52 PM   #11
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2018 30' Classic
Shawnee , Kansas
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
My wish list is below. You may already have some of these since it’s a Classic.
  • Michelins require 16” wheels. Call ahead for availability if you don’t already have them.
  • Solar power?
  • TPMS
  • By leak check I assume you want to pressure test the shell.
  • Rub rails? I’ve replaced some of mine.
  • Rear view camera replacement
  • AC slow start capacitor
  • Toilet seals or the Dometic 320 with the longer seat (Requires flange bolts 11” from wall. 310 is only 10”).
  • Paint any undercarriage not being replaced. Likely some rust.
  • Awnings all around
  • Ceramic coating on the shell
<< Saw converter menitoned, how about inverter. Want to upgrade heating system to an Alde, but would include installing registers...so maybe not!? What shape are tanks in? Just some thoughts.>>
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:58 PM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabonds_2 View Post
<< Saw converter menitoned, how about inverter. Want to upgrade heating system to an Alde, but would include installing registers...so maybe not!? What shape are tanks in? Just some thoughts.>>
I am old school but personally very little of the "upgrades" that Airstream has been adding are things that I would not want put into my Classic. There is some comfort in the simplicity of my manual Zip-Dee, my existing furnace and hot water tank, and my blinds and shades. All someone simplistic but a heck of a lot easier to self maintain.

An interesting article by Consumer Reports noted that most failures and problems repaired under warranty with modern cars and trucks is electronically oriented.

Jack
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:58 PM   #13
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You might want to search this site for Maxim sky lights. Higher quality then AS skylights.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:11 PM   #14
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2004 30' Classic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapper View Post
You may want to double check the nev-R-Lube axles applicability. I have been told that disk brake kits my not be available for nev-R-lube axles only ez lube. In addition, the Nev-R-Lube axles are prone to bearing failure on on the heavier, longer AS units like mine and yours. They have a single inside bearing race and loads put on the axles from tire scrub during tight turns tend to make them fail. So my service guy tells me that it may be less expensive to buy new Dexter EZ-lube axles w/ disk brakes than to buy just the disk brakes for my unit. Go figure.
Thanks for the response.

I checked and the Dexter Disk Brake Kits for Nev-r Lube hubs are listed on etrailer. Link is below.

Thanks for the heads up on potential problems with their use on longer airstreams. I will investigate before I get to the Service Center.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...1-647-648.html
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cru-in View Post
Thanks for the response.

I checked and the Dexter Disk Brake Kits for Nev-r Lube hubs are listed on etrailer. Link is below.

Thanks for the heads up on potential problems with their use on longer airstreams. I will investigate before I get to the Service Center.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...1-647-648.html
I should have been clearer. Dexter makes the disk kits for the Nev-R-Luble, but were not available when we checked.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cru-in View Post
Thanks for the response.

I checked and the Dexter Disk Brake Kits for Nev-r Lube hubs are listed on etrailer. Link is below.

Thanks for the heads up on potential problems with their use on longer airstreams. I will investigate before I get to the Service Center.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...1-647-648.html
My comment is only based on extracting that you are concerned about Nev-R-Lube bearings on longer Airstream trailers, correct?

I just checked and for the 2021 Classic 33 Nev-R-Lube bearings are standard equipment. Scroll thru the specs here https://www.airstream.com/travel-tra...loorplans=33fb

IMHO these bearings have had an undue less than a fair rap and I suspect some of it is due to their unique R&R and even installation torque specs and not understanding the design.

I plan to post a bearing R&R procedure for Nev-R-Lube bearings soon. I have the screw press a disc hub and drum in my shop for the write up.

Gary
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
IMHO these bearings have had an undue less than a fair rap and I suspect some of it is due to their unique R&R and even installation torque specs and not understanding the design.

I plan to post a bearing R&R procedure for Nev-R-Lube bearings soon. I have the screw press a disc hub and drum in my shop for the write up.

Gary
Gary, you think the the Nev-R-Lube bearings have gotten a bad rap, then fair enough But isn't your opinion is based upon the 2nd failure after they have failed once, replaced and repaired, right? My service guy is telling me that the original factory bearings have had a higher failure rate than the E-Z-Lube axles, because of the single inside bearing, rather than the typical outside and inside bearing configurations. I haven't heard or seen much about this topic to confirm or deny this trend.
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:44 PM   #18
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Zapper,

I have not experienced a Nev-R-Lube bearing failure on my rig or replaced one on any rig. Granted that is limited hands on exposure.

I do have spare used disc brake hubs with bearings and one used drum that the plan is to post bearing only R&R procedures. I have replaced same design bearing on my VW Beetle front wheel hubs with nearly identical R&R.

Part of my opinion is based on that bearing design is current art for a majority of front wheels on pass cars and pickup vehicles. You cannot change the type of the bearing from Nev-R-Lube to traditional trailer bearing or back without changing complete axles as the spindle is not the same.

But and again my opinion is that a lot of failures is the lack of proper bearing replacement procedures that damage a new bearing or not torquing the nut to its specification again leading to premature failure. You cannot correctly replace this bearing with big hammers.

Dexter has published service procedures and even putting a label over the nut specifying the correct torque.

Learning about the design, how to do periodic wheel in the air inspecting and using the proper procedures and special tools can only help owners that have this style bearing.

If you’re looking at complete new axles then yes you can choose the replacement bearing design.

This is a pic of a Timken Dexter Nev-R-Lube that I disassembled. It shows a back to back twin cup, two cones and seals.

Gary
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