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Old 01-11-2019, 03:01 PM   #21
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Hmmmmmmmmm I forgot to look at the start date of this thread. It is two years old and the OP has not been back here since two years ago.

So my post is likely more relevant to the user that searches or trips on by to this thread and wonders, HMMM what if ????????????


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Old 01-11-2019, 03:52 PM   #22
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Back to life...

I believe it was resurrected here.

Bob
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:58 PM   #23
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I'll comment as these types of roads are specifically what I have my AS setup for. Many of the overlanding and jeeping concepts apply here too.

As someone mentioned, beefing up is not exactly what you want to do.

Compliance is the name of the game. Often forgotten is tires, as they are integral as part of the suspension, especially off-road.

Firstly, clearance is important. AS's are notoriously low slung with minimal tongue and rear bumper clearance. A 3" dexter lift kit is highly highly recommended. That solves the clearance issue.

There's not exactly much that can be done with suspension on these other than making sure they are not completely clapped out. Refreshed shocks may be good. Then tires. Upgrade to 16" wheels is not helpful here as more metal and less rubber is opposite of compliance. Upsizing tires is what helps. Stock on my 27FB is 225/75r15. I went up an incremental size of 235/75r15 for overall more diameter, which adds compliance.

When running off-road, one can air down tires. On both the tow vehicle and trailer. Going down 10PSI from road pressures is a great place to start. This allows the tires to absorb A LOT of the ride harshness before it even reaches the suspension. As a passenger in the TV, you'll notice the added comfort immediately also.

As lower speeds are utilized off-road, WD can also be relaxed to an extent. If one has the type of hitch where WD can easily be adjusted, dialing in less WD can help with more compliance and ride comfort. On my vehicle with active ride height, but raising my ride to "high" has the effect of relaxing the WD bars.

Ideally, one is also not towing with a 3/4 or 1-ton truck which has higher spring rate load bearing suspensions that will transfer a lot of shock energy into the trailer.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:09 AM   #24
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Wash Board is an antique method of cleansing clothes

I can tell there are a lot of amateurs concerning Wash Board Roads.

There is absolutely NOTHING one can do. Slow or Fast... you will shake everything that was not intended to be permanently attached... apart. Over time, of course.

I have driven a 1956 VW at 16 years old and it probably, with the short wheel base, handled WBR (Wash Board Roads) very well. Will not tow an Airstream with the 900cc engine, though.

I now have a F350 Diesel Turbo, double cab, 18 inch Michelins from the factory, strong shocks, great suspension, comfortable seating.

Your eye balls will be shaken from your skull if you are not a patient driver. With or without a trailer in tow. Most steep grades on mountain roads are WBR. ATV's will even enhance the WBR as do cattle haulers and people who drive just to rip some new ruts for those unsuspecting tourists who made an error in judgment.

The trailer hasn't shocks like on my F350. These are for the axles moving and it eases the moving back where the axle is most comforatble... like 30 inches center to center on a double axle.

Off the Grid camping requires some ingenuity. Not guess work or mumbo jumbo cures. Better hardware to secure the interior. If you do not know now, you will find out later which.

Anyone who has traveled serious back roads know. Anyone who says an Airstream is not capable traveling off of new paved Interstates... probably has not done much off the gilded highway travel from RV Park to RV Park.

It does take a learned skill of handling these roads. You are not an idiot or fool to take your Airstream where 90% would wet their drawers once seeing dust in the rear view mirrors.

Our used trailers, when sold were 100% road worthy, NO sign of misuse or damage and were 'upgraded' by common sense and experience. Those who slobber all over themselves about Wally and his wild travels... like to read. Great. It can be done, easily and leave it to those who know what they are doing.

We did a couple of 'Expeditions' in Wyoming and New Mexico. Some handled it without blinking... others needed to laundry their underwear. They left earlier than expected.

As a Wyoming Rancher would say... 'Good Riddance', you are slowing the rest of us down.

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
Green Day
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right
I hope you had the time of your life
So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while
It's something…
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
I'll comment as these types of roads are specifically what I have my AS setup for. Many of the overlanding and jeeping concepts apply here too.

As someone mentioned, beefing up is not exactly what you want to do.

Compliance is the name of the game. Often forgotten is tires, as they are integral as part of the suspension, especially off-road.

Firstly, clearance is important. AS's are notoriously low slung with minimal tongue and rear bumper clearance. A 3" dexter lift kit is highly highly recommended. That solves the clearance issue.

There's not exactly much that can be done with suspension on these other than making sure they are not completely clapped out. Refreshed shocks may be good. Then tires. Upgrade to 16" wheels is not helpful here as more metal and less rubber is opposite of compliance. Upsizing tires is what helps. Stock on my 27FB is 225/75r15. I went up an incremental size of 235/75r15 for overall more diameter, which adds compliance.

When running off-road, one can air down tires. On both the tow vehicle and trailer. Going down 10PSI from road pressures is a great place to start. This allows the tires to absorb A LOT of the ride harshness before it even reaches the suspension. As a passenger in the TV, you'll notice the added comfort immediately also.

As lower speeds are utilized off-road, WD can also be relaxed to an extent. If one has the type of hitch where WD can easily be adjusted, dialing in less WD can help with more compliance and ride comfort. On my vehicle with active ride height, but raising my ride to "high" has the effect of relaxing the WD bars.

Ideally, one is also not towing with a 3/4 or 1-ton truck which has higher spring rate load bearing suspensions that will transfer a lot of shock energy into the trailer.


Agree on all points. We just returned from another epic journey which included many miles of very rough roads.
I just love finding a remote overnight spot off of Hwy 50 in Nevada.

The Airstream does just fine when I adjust the speed and raise my RAM 1500 active air suspension to Off Road 1 which relaxes the Equalizer a bit. The 15” Michelin Defenders (upgraded from OEM 14”) added a significant 1” of clearance and provide a kind ride at 50 psi without any wallow. Airing down is a good option as needed.

Cabinet straps, microwave tie-downs, pantry dividers have all been added as we gained experience in rough travel.

Don’t forget to close the roof vents.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:40 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Ideally, one is also not towing with a 3/4 or 1-ton truck which has higher spring rate load bearing suspensions that will transfer a lot of shock energy into the trailer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
There is absolutely NOTHING one can do. Slow or Fast... you will shake everything that was not intended to be permanently attached... apart. Over time, of course.

I now have a F350 Diesel Turbo, double cab, 18 inch Michelins from the factory, strong shocks, great suspension, comfortable seating.
As I pointed out earlier, there's a few dials that can be turned to help the situation. Unfortunately, HD trucks, especially 1-ton diesels as you mentioned don't have a lot of options. Their suspensions are setup solely for one thing - carrying capacity.

As opposed to compliance for ride manners that most passenger cars are tuned for. While my vehicle is still a body on frame architecture like a truck, I can say that mine generally floats like a cloud when aired down off-road. Sure, the washboards come through, but it's a remote filtered rumble rather than sharp jolts. The AS sitting on the hitch of this type of vehicle greatly benefits from the smoother ride too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JamuJoe View Post
The Airstream does just fine when I adjust the speed and raise my RAM 1500 active air suspension to Off Road 1 which relaxes the Equalizer a bit..
It sure feels like cheating doesn't it! My vehicle has the same type of function, to be able to lift on demand up to 3". I likewise use it as an easy way to relax the WD bars off-road and when entering driveways/ramps and such.
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:29 AM   #27
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Bumpy off the highway roads is what some are describing. Not an issue.

Roads that have an 'incline', we say uphill, but eventually when your come down... it is downhill.

Vehicles going UP will hop and the tire that is lifted somewhat off the ground comes down and tosses some gravel... the birth of Wash Board. The steeper the angle... the closer the wash board rise and fall become.

If it is an all season road... it will have pot holes. Usually like in the Rockies where there are lots of gravel packed into the softer material. Really decent roads.

New Mexico in the Gila National Forest are mostly silt with some gravel. The Wash Board is like jumping record grooves on vinyl, but gigantic. Pulling a trailer puts some axles on top of a Wash Board high, others in a low. When you hit the peddle to keep moving... the trailer and vehicle move forward and sideways.

That is WBR. Not mild ripples on the other 85% of roads in the mountains. Next time I will photograph a WBR. Much like a mountain in Arkansas and a mountain in Alaska... mountains, but not the same.

The End...
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:28 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mymd View Post
I'm interested to hear from anyone out there about beefing up shocks/springs suspension and tires on Airstream trailers (i'm looking at 22ft or smaller) to better handle washboard fire service roads etc.

Are there people that specialize in this? Any recommendations? Costs? Does it work?

Thanks!
******
First- Install a Dexter 3" lift kit if your Dealership says it is OK on your model. Extra clearance gives you more options to avoid boulders weighing 500 pounds with four inches sticking out of the hard pack.

Second- There are a number of threads with 15" tire upgrades that have more tread than the Goodyear Endurance tires. A LOT More tread. Pointy rocks are less likely to penetrate a Michelin tire... unless you aim for them on the road.

Third- Wash board is like heavy traffic in the City. Unavoidable when you find it and the faster you go, the worse it becomes.

Fourth- Wash boarded roads are not the same as pot holes or muddy ruts dried out.

Fifth- Those people who advise lowering the tire pressure. Have you been out west where ADDING air from the majority of self service gas stations do not exist. Those you put quarters into, also tend to add a lot of water vapor.

Sixth- The trailer 'shock absorber' is for the Torsion Axle to slower move back and forth. When stopped if the distance, well our 27 foot, between axles is 30 inches. You may find it at 28 1/2 inches or more the other way, but once you begin to move they align just fine. Otherwise you need an alignment and your tires are beginning to show unusual wear.

Seventh- We avoid Wash Board Road travel experiences. Anyone who says they can minimize wash board shake ups... by how much? If your trailer and tow vehicle are moving left to right while going forward... slow down to 3 miles an hour... do not think going to 30mph is a physics test.

Pot Holes, Road Ruts, dodging boulders, edged stones in the road... we all learn out to work around them.

Wash Board Road will shake your trailer apart if you like doing them all of the time. I can give you some great test roads in New Mexico if you have a system perfected. I do not mind going down... but the going up... is best avoided if you do not have tools to reinstall your cabinets.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:26 AM   #29
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Apologies but yes I've been away but wanted to thank everyone for all of this info. At the very least hopefully others interested in the topic will have been enlightened on the subject.


I started this thread back when I was in the market for an airstream. Due to life getting in the way that purchase was indefinitely delayed. In the last couple of months I have returned to researching my backroads/unpaved RV'ing options and have found the Black Series trailers from Australia. I have to say, they have lured me away from the idea of an Airstream. I have seen several of the videos by Shane at RV's of America in Utah and I'm sold. It's only now a matter of which HQ to go for - likely HQ15 or 17.



No offense to the legendary Airstream and the devout Airstreamers out there. I get it. It's a love affair I totally understand. But....



https://www.rvsofamerica.com/black-s...mper-trailers/


Again thanks to everyone and I do hope others found this thread enlightening.
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