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Old 01-15-2024, 08:24 AM   #1
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2009 25' FB International
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Front End Separation (FES)

I watched this video and thought it gives some insight to what causes this issue. Also how it can be corrected.

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Old 01-15-2024, 08:30 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting. Has me researching Airsafe again. The video is great, but does not go deep enough down the rabbit hole. Airstream used to make a better frame, stopped doing so in the 80s. FES also happens to more than FB models. KYD puts a lot of miles on their rig.

I am considering going with an Airsafe, just need to control sway. I wonder how it compares to a Propride?
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Old 01-15-2024, 09:26 AM   #3
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This video also got me thinking if the investment in an air safe hitch is worth it.

To answer Bgclassic, I would assume you can use the air safe with the propride since it provides a cushion between your tow hitch and your chosen wdh or ball.
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Old 01-15-2024, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r3z View Post
This video also got me thinking if the investment in an air safe hitch is worth it.

To answer Bgclassic, I would assume you can use the air safe with the propride since it provides a cushion between your tow hitch and your chosen wdh or ball.
That's a good idea, had not thought it was possible to combine the two. Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2024, 09:54 AM   #5
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enlightening.
Vinnie is the man.
KYD gets special treatment (free)
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Old 01-15-2024, 11:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by r3z View Post
This video also got me thinking if the investment in an air safe hitch is worth it.

To answer Bgclassic, I would assume you can use the air safe with the propride since it provides a cushion between your tow hitch and your chosen wdh or ball.
Per the company, you can not combine the two. "The Air Safe Hitch does not work with the ProPride system. The best choice for your information is the Class 6 or Class 7.

If you are using Weight Distribution System, then the tongue weight of our Receiver Air Hitches must be reduced by 25%, exampleÖ Class 4 Ė 900 tongue weight reduces to 675 lbs , Class 5 Ė 1,400 tongue weight reduces to 1,050 lbs, Class 6 Ė 2,000 lbs to 1,500 lbs."
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Old 01-15-2024, 12:34 PM   #7
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When Inland Andy was still around, he often weighed in on the cause of front (and rear) separation. This is from a post in 2016:

"What causes the vibration ??


Excess rated tow vehicle.


Excess rated hitch bars.

Unbalanced running gear.

Bad rubber rods in the axle/axles.

Anyone or more of the above will cause cracks typically in the front of the shell and near the axles in the chassis.

That has been happening during my 50 years with Airstream."

Vinnie talks about "overigging"; perhaps he means bars that are too stiff.

I watched the video. The front hatch design is a compromise, and so is the attachment point at the front of the frame. However, aggravating factors that are evident are carrying bikes on a rack attached below the trailer bumper, using an Equal-i-zer hitch, and towing with a one ton truck.

Axles are probably fine in this case because the trailer is not that old, but if you have an axle with worn out/stiff rubber rods, there is no "spring". The suspension effectively bottoms out on minor bumps and transmits shock to the vehicle constantly. Andy also harped constantly on the need to have balanced tires on the trailer.
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Old 01-15-2024, 03:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF View Post
When Inland Andy was still around, he often weighed in on the cause of front (and rear) separation. This is from a post in 2016:

"What causes the vibration ??


Excess rated tow vehicle.


Excess rated hitch bars.

Unbalanced running gear.

Bad rubber rods in the axle/axles.

Anyone or more of the above will cause cracks typically in the front of the shell and near the axles in the chassis.

That has been happening during my 50 years with Airstream."

Vinnie talks about "overigging"; perhaps he means bars that are too stiff.

I watched the video. The front hatch design is a compromise, and so is the attachment point at the front of the frame. However, aggravating factors that are evident are carrying bikes on a rack attached below the trailer bumper, using an Equal-i-zer hitch, and towing with a one ton truck.

Axles are probably fine in this case because the trailer is not that old, but if you have an axle with worn out/stiff rubber rods, there is no "spring". The suspension effectively bottoms out on minor bumps and transmits shock to the vehicle constantly. Andy also harped constantly on the need to have balanced tires on the trailer.
Guilty, tow with a F350. I have balanced tires, and added Centramatics. I find it amazing that I read about an owner on here getting FES from towing with an Audi Q7.
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Old 01-15-2024, 04:31 PM   #9
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I recently added a shocker hitch. It doesnít have near the range of movement that the airsafe hitch does. But it does make a different. Expounding with the AirSafe derating info, it is easy to overload the Shocker. 1500lb bars are too much for it. In talking with an AS tech, he questioned the bars I had and recommended 800-1000lb bars.

I was surprised to see a large AS dealer had hitch parts by kit and didnít have different bars to test. Had to order bars to test. Or they were just stuck in the logic box.
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Old 01-21-2024, 09:22 AM   #10
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Interesting video. I watched it a few days ago. Anyone know if this fix is significantly different from what AS is doing in JC?
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Old 01-21-2024, 11:30 AM   #11
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Following FES Vinnie vs JC
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Old 01-21-2024, 11:32 AM   #12
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AirSafe vs Gen-Y The Boss

Has anyone compared the AirSafe to the Gen-Y The Boss.
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Old 01-22-2024, 07:06 AM   #13
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JC Fix is Similar

Quote:
Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
Interesting video. I watched it a few days ago. Anyone know if this fix is significantly different from what AS is doing in JC?
I just had my 2019 27'FBT repaired in JC last June. They did install a very similar brace as to what Vinnie did. Although mine is somewhat visible inside the front compartment.
I have about 5000 miles on this new fix with no sign of any issues up front. So, I would say the JC fix is acceptable and working as promised.
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Old 01-22-2024, 07:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikebrady62 View Post
I just had my 2019 27'FBT repaired in JC last June. They did install a very similar brace as to what Vinnie did. Although mine is somewhat visible inside the front compartment.
I have about 5000 miles on this new fix with no sign of any issues up front. So, I would say the JC fix is acceptable and working as promised.
Excellent! Iím going to have our local dealer look at my 25FBT. Itís got the dimples, and now it looks like a couple of rivets are pulling out. They have an excellent repair shop, and say they have repaired many (FES). I hope they use same techniques as JC.
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Old 01-23-2024, 03:57 AM   #15
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If you are referring to Reliable in Springfield, I would be very cautious. I had a list of 5 small items and the FES issue to them and in 4 weeks only fixed 2 of the 5 properly, claiming they took care of all 5. The repair consultant claimed that he had never heard of the FES issue with AS. Months later when they finally said they had approval to fix the FES, there was no way I would let them touch it. So I made the trip to JC.
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Old 01-23-2024, 07:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikebrady62 View Post
If you are referring to Reliable in Springfield, I would be very cautious. I had a list of 5 small items and the FES issue to them and in 4 weeks only fixed 2 of the 5 properly, claiming they took care of all 5. The repair consultant claimed that he had never heard of the FES issue with AS. Months later when they finally said they had approval to fix the FES, there was no way I would let them touch it. So I made the trip to JC.
Nope, I havenít been to the Springfield AS dealer. Iím going to the St Louis AS dealer, Bill Thomas. Iíve had very good results with their service department. Havenít had a lot of luck with the sales side due to higher pricing, but service is great. Had a tree limb drop on our 19í Bambi, the repair was flawless. They are just really busy, so I have to schedule visits pretty far in advance. Way easier than going to JC.
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Old 01-24-2024, 04:58 AM   #17
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Good to Know

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Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
Nope, I havenít been to the Springfield AS dealer. Iím going to the St Louis AS dealer, Bill Thomas. Iíve had very good results with their service department. Havenít had a lot of luck with the sales side due to higher pricing, but service is great. Had a tree limb drop on our 19í Bambi, the repair was flawless. They are just really busy, so I have to schedule visits pretty far in advance. Way easier than going to JC.
I'm glad you have had good luck there. That would be way more convenient for me rather than making the trip to JC.
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Old 03-17-2024, 08:20 AM   #18
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Factory tour front end separation question asked

Hello forum.
I'm a few days out from a VIP factory tour which while on the line and inside some partially built units I addressed this issue with an engineer I was talking with.
While touring the inside of a 25' FB, I was shown in detail the supports that have been added on both sides of the front compartment doors. To me they looked like an either very heavy duty aluminum, but I was leaning towards maybe a stainless steel corner bracket, along with many ties down into the composite floor. I was told that Airstream came up with this reinforcement for the 2023 models, and going forward.
In my humble opinion as a tradesman for 31 years between the composite floor, and all the structural supports including the new corner brackets it appears that Airstream has addressed this potential problem in a very positive way going forward.
John
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Old 03-17-2024, 10:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet27 View Post
Hello forum.
I'm a few days out from a VIP factory tour which while on the line and inside some partially built units I addressed this issue with an engineer I was talking with.
While touring the inside of a 25' FB, I was shown in detail the supports that have been added on both sides of the front compartment doors. To me they looked like an either very heavy duty aluminum, but I was leaning towards maybe a stainless steel corner bracket, along with many ties down into the composite floor. I was told that Airstream came up with this reinforcement for the 2023 models, and going forward.
In my humble opinion as a tradesman for 31 years between the composite floor, and all the structural supports including the new corner brackets it appears that Airstream has addressed this potential problem in a very positive way going forward.
John

Well being a tradesman also & IMHO, not making the same mistake twice is expected. Going back fixing the mistakes you made is much more admirable and would be expected of any company worth it's salt.

AS put in sub par brackets that break, they did it year after year knowing they will break. And they will do nothing to help the thousands of there broken brackets that are out of warranty. We have a 5 year old trailer that now needs 4K repair costs to fix. Last week JC AS told my wife that that FES is a user problem not an AS problem caused by bottoming out the trailer or using a WDH. Our trailer has never been "bottomed" out the under carriage looks new, and we use a hitch that the AS dealer recommends and sells.

It's not even funny how JC customer service will lie about FES separation cause to avoid any responsibility. But have completely changed there brackets and repair FES under warranty, IMHO that is very slimy business.
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Old 03-17-2024, 11:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet27 View Post
Hello forum.
I'm a few days out from a VIP factory tour which while on the line and inside some partially built units I addressed this issue with an engineer I was talking with.
While touring the inside of a 25' FB, I was shown in detail the supports that have been added on both sides of the front compartment doors. To me they looked like an either very heavy duty aluminum, but I was leaning towards maybe a stainless steel corner bracket, along with many ties down into the composite floor. I was told that Airstream came up with this reinforcement for the 2023 models, and going forward.
In my humble opinion as a tradesman for 31 years between the composite floor, and all the structural supports including the new corner brackets it appears that Airstream has addressed this potential problem in a very positive way going forward.
John
I agree with you. Sounds like they fixed the problem properly with a well engineered solution. Thanks for sharing.
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