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Old 02-11-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
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Shocks or no shocks?

I will be replacing my axles. Dexter axles are complete and no shocks are needed? Everybody I talked with said that they are not nessesary. Imput please. Thanks
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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Does not sound right to me. You might want to talk to someone qualified about this. Give Colin Hyde or Andrew a shout and see what they have to say about it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #3
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Do newer Airstreams today come from Airstream with Dexter Axles. Do they have shocks?
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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I think the story is that Dexter uses this type of axle design for more than just airstream trailers and those applications don't use shocks. Airstreams do use them and if you think about it, you really don't want the wheels bouncing uncontrolled over rough stretches of road. The idea is to give the coach as nice and cushy a ride as possible to keep the frame from flexing and rivets popping.

I just had a welder do the four brackets on my rigs new axles for 100 bucks. I would rather not have paid that extra money, but I do think they are necessary.

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Old 02-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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Where did you get your axles? and shock mounts?
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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Newer Airstreams do come with Dexters (That could change) and shocks.

This axle type does cushion the coach more so than other axle types and that is why many in the service industry say shocks are not needed. In my opinion it is a personal choice.

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Old 02-11-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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Colin Hyde does axis axles, and he can order you a bolt on axles with brackets installed. He really seems to know his stuff. I ordered dexter axles and I still need to install the brackets. Dexter warranty states if you weld on the axle it voids the warranty, thus my waiting. I went with dexter axle since I could pick them up at red neck trailer supply, and save on the freight shipping. If I was to order axles again I think I would go with Colin.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:03 PM   #8
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With these particular shocks that are sold as replacements pick one up and actuate them by hand. With axles, loads rated for 3500 lbs and up plus highway speeds road vibrations, potholes, dips, etc you can be the judge whether these particular replacement shocks are necessary. I wouldn't put these shocks on my mountain bike not that that is a good comparison but you get my point.

That being said I agree with Action...personal choice
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Yea mine are sitting on the shelf, they really seem more like dampers than shocks.. They work in both directions.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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They're really not vecessary on your TV either. They are just there for handling, comfort, control and safety. Take them off of your TV ans see if you like it. Just because your are not riding in the trailer, doesn't mean there aren't mechanical reasons why they are there. I do BELIEVE, if AS didn't think they were necessary, they would save the bucks and tell you so.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:22 PM   #11
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For what it's worth at this point...

I bought my axles direct from Axis. I had them add the shock bracket at the factory so that if I or a later owner wanted to install them, they could. I opted not to install the shocks and so far have no regrets. The trailer pulls very well as compared to before the axle change.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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I swapped my original Henschens for Axis in 2011. I was originally planning to reinstall the shocks, but one of the studs broke off when removing the shock retainer bolt. After removing the remaining shocks, I decided to run without shocks before taking the time and spending the money to replace the old shocks and repair the damaged stud.

Two seasons and a few thousand miles later, I have no plans to reinstall the shocks.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:52 PM   #13
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Shocks

Manufacturers sometimes do dumb things.

But I don't believe they would be doing the same dumb thing for over 50 years.

For those that feel shocks are not necessary, have you ever been in the trailer at 50 to 60 mph, with no shocks? If you did, you would change your mind in less than a heart beat.

Airstream's must have a soft ride, and the shocks improve the ride that they receive from the torsion axles.

The axles that Airstream purchases from Dexter, TODAY" are all equipped with shock brackets.

I have worked on Airstreams that were equiped with load range "B" tires, and the owners always said, "never a problem".

Experience takes time. Opinions do not.

But again, to each his own.

Andy 14K
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:27 PM   #14
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Removing the shocks will result in an under-damped suspension system. Under-damped suspensions result in a softer ride at the expense of body control. Think 1980's Cadillac.

Offering a jab at someone's opinion/experience while insinuating that yours is superior is quite bold when you know little of the other person's background.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle401 View Post
Removing the shocks will result in an under-damped suspension system. Under-damped suspensions result in a softer ride at the expense of body control. Think 1980's Cadillac.
True for the example that you've given...shocks are needed. But, in the case of a torsion axle, not so. Torsion axles are a steel bar encased in rubber or similar material. The steel bar is the spring, the rubber is the damper. Rubber and similar materials (urethane) have a high amount of friction when deflected (bent or twisted). Friction is damping, therefore the torsion axle system is already damped which is why the rubber is there. Obviously, Airstream at some point felt that wasn't enough damping (or maybe not enough damping over time since the rubber will get hard over time) and added shocks. Are shocks necessary, no, especially if your axles are in good condition. Are they an added bonus? Yup. Do shocks compensate for degrading rubber for some time? Yup. Do shocks compensate for old, dry, hard rubber? Nope. Airstreams have a lot of added perks that aren't necessary to the average camper buyer. Shocks are just one of those.

If someone wants to buy shocks for their Airstream, we should let them. If they don't want them, we should not belittle them. We can offer our own experience / setup / opinion and then let the individual decide.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:39 AM   #16
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What I found interesting about the airstream shocks is that they damper in both directions. though you can move them easily by hand, I would expect that slow down the movement of the axle, so you don't get fast snap backs from big bumps. I can see how they would work to make a smother ride, but is it worth voiding my 5 year warranty? I spoke with many people who have been doing axles for years, and welding them on is normal practice. But with my luck I could have a factory defect and they could blame it on the welding....
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #17
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I just finished having new Dexterís installed under my í74 31í AS along with the new brackets that had to be welded on for the shocks. Since it had shocks when manufactured, my thought is that they were required for proper operation of the AS. Like Silverflames, I picked mine up at Redneck Trailer but in Springfield, Mo. I bought mine from Andy.
When I pulled my AS home a month or so ago, I didnít know how recently the wheel bearings had been packed so I drove about 50 mph for about 30 miles with very little if any sway. I knew it needed axles so it sat in the driveway until last week. I pulled it to a trailer guy to install the axles with no problem or noticeable sway. Here are pics of the wheels before and after axles installed. I gained about 6Ē in height. This apparently caused the tongue weight to be greater since it was apparent when I hooked up to tow home (about 10 miles on a county paved road). The ride home was an eye opener. The sway was very noticeable and one that requires action before I tow it again.
I mention this because the majority of you responding to this thread have similar size and age TTís so Iím in desperate need of help deciding on a weight distribution and sway control system. It would be very helpful to know what systems you guys are using. On a different thread, the majority of those responding (only 5 responded) recommended a Pro Pride system, $2500 system unless they have a less expensive one I donít know about. I need something to compare it to in order to make a decision. Also, 800# bars seemed to be best for my AS. Your response will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:24 AM   #18
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Sorry Andy...

You usually have me backing you when you talk about axles and the importance of proper running gear. While shocks (debatable but more on that later) are ONE part of that entire system as it goes it is a personal choice. But your shop facts are emergency room statistics. If a doctor had a heart attack victim come in with a pack of cigarettes hanging out of his pocket and automatically assumed that was the cause of his heart attack he wouldn't be a very good doctor would he. As you always state in the many other threads regarding axles and running gear and overly weighted distribution hitches you almost seem to single out shocks as one of the major causes of damage in this thread and I'm sorry but it just isn't so. Winestream has it right in that shocks do help but there is a point when they can't be asked to do something they werent design to do and that is to absorb. Thats where these shocks differ from what most people believe shocks are suppose to do. Just because they look like shock absorbers this they are not...they're dampers. Dampers reduce oscillations and mechanical road transmissions where actual shock absorbers do just that...Absorb Shock....thus enter the Duratorque Axle your new "shock absorber"

Now if someone came up with a adjustable damper for the varying road conditions that an AS will see...you will have my undivided attention. But this 60.00 x 6,4 or 2 do all damper loses me from the start.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #19
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Sorry Andy...

You usually have me backing you when you talk about axles and the importance of proper running gear. While shocks (debatable but more on that later) are ONE part of that entire system as it goes it is a personal choice. But your shop facts are emergency room statistics. If a doctor had a heart attack victim come in with a pack of cigarettes hanging out of his pocket and automatically assumed that was the cause of his heart attack he wouldn't be a very good doctor would he. As you always state in the many other threads regarding axles and running gear and overly weighted distribution hitches you almost seem to single out shocks as one of the major causes of damage in this thread and I'm sorry but it just isn't so. Winestream has it right in that shocks do help but there is a point when they can't be asked to do something they werent design to do and that is to absorb. Thats where these shocks differ from what most people believe shocks are suppose to do. Just because they look like shock absorbers this they are not...they're dampers. Dampers reduce oscillations and mechanical road transmissions where actual shock absorbers do just that...Absorb Shock....thus enter the Duratorque Axle your new "shock absorber"

Now if someone came up with a adjustable damper for the varying road conditions that an AS will see...you will have my undivided attention. But this 60.00 x 6,4 or 2 do all damper loses me from the start.
Shocks indeed, no matter what they are on, are dampeners.

Mosr agree that when an Airstream hits bumps, the shell flexes.

That flexing can increase by the amount of road shock delivered to the chassis/shell.

Bad rubber rods in the axle/axles contribute to that shock.

Bad or no shocks, in whatever amount they contibute to the overall running gear system, also help to reduce or dampen road shock.

Seeing many Airstream's over the years with cracks in the shell and/or frame, missing rivets, holes punched into the ceiling, broken thermocouple leads, and many other things, are caused by bouncing and/or vibration.

Certainly, unbalanced running gear has made it's contribution as well to damages.

There would likely be less unnecessary damages, if the entire running gear system was kept in top shape.

The basic problem, is that many owners are not aware of what heppens to the trailer, since they never have ridden in it.

Helping owners, to increase safety and decrease cost of repairs, over the long haul, has always been my goal.

Being informed, is the first step to saving money.

Andy
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASRookie View Post
I just finished having new Dexterís installed under my í74 31í AS along with the new brackets that had to be welded on for the shocks. Since it had shocks when manufactured, my thought is that they were required for proper operation of the AS. Like Silverflames, I picked mine up at Redneck Trailer but in Springfield, Mo. I bought mine from Andy.
When I pulled my AS home a month or so ago, I didnít know how recently the wheel bearings had been packed so I drove about 50 mph for about 30 miles with very little if any sway. I knew it needed axles so it sat in the driveway until last week. I pulled it to a trailer guy to install the axles with no problem or noticeable sway. Here are pics of the wheels before and after axles installed. I gained about 6Ē in height. This apparently caused the tongue weight to be greater since it was apparent when I hooked up to tow home (about 10 miles on a county paved road). The ride home was an eye opener. The sway was very noticeable and one that requires action before I tow it again.
I mention this because the majority of you responding to this thread have similar size and age TTís so Iím in desperate need of help deciding on a weight distribution and sway control system. It would be very helpful to know what systems you guys are using. On a different thread, the majority of those responding (only 5 responded) recommended a Pro Pride system, $2500 system unless they have a less expensive one I donít know about. I need something to compare it to in order to make a decision. Also, 800# bars seemed to be best for my AS. Your response will be greatly appreciated.
Dave.

The ball height on your hitch will have to be changed.

It also appears that perhaps your tires are over inflated.

A sway can develope on a tandem axle trailer, if more weight is on one axle than the other, by having the trailer nose down or nose up.

The tandem or tri-axle torsion bar axle equipped trailer should be reasonably level when being towed.

Andy
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