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Old 08-09-2017, 07:20 PM   #1
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2017 27' International
Lewes , Delaware
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To Torque or Not to Torque

Folks, I'm new to Airstream but have over 10 years in Winnebago a couple different Sprinter Chassis's, View and Via.

I want to get off on the right foot with "Bella" my new 27FB International Serenity. In reading safety warnings etc. I see the recommendations to check the torque on the trailer lug nuts. Do folks really do this?
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:44 PM   #2
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Lug nuts

Welcome.
After hearing of actual stories of wheel loss
(Any trailer) one may think to have done beforehand.

Personally, if it's checked and right tight....less wondering. We're new at this But done it and happy not to worry afterwards. Noticed some lugs became looser than others. If not watching, who knows?

After all, Its your personal experience to follow up on items that can mess with your trip.
Safe travels.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC@ViennaVa View Post
. . .
Do folks really do this?
Only the folks who want the wheels to stay attached to the drums and axles . . .

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Old 08-09-2017, 09:06 PM   #4
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I carry a torque wrench at all times.I check torque every other fill up of my tow vehicle.I have had them loosen up.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:31 PM   #5
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I check the lug nuts a couple times a summer and also carry a big breaker bar with sockets in the event I need to tighten a wheel, hitch bolt or what have you....
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:42 PM   #6
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Yes. Daily when on a trip. They are very vulnerable to loosening especially with tight turns that can flex the wheels. Preferably get a torque wrench and appropriate socket, but if not at least get a wheel lug wrench and "check' them for tightness each day. Just be mindful that overtightening them can lead to misfortune as well.

On this topic, have your bearings checked for grease once a year as well. Just visited my local dealer and there was a trailer in the shop with several thousand dollars worth of damage to it...the bearings weren't well-greased (they had never had it done) and the end result was the bearing coming apart and then the wheel coming off the hub.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
I check the lug nuts a couple times a summer and also carry a big breaker bar with sockets in the event I need to tighten a wheel, hitch bolt or what have you....
Ditto, doing this without a torque wrench is easy to do, and a good habit to get into IMO.

DC -- Once you have used a [borrowed] torque wrench to do one wheel bolt/nut to the correct setting, you will have a feel for how it feels with a breaker bar, and it is hard to over-tighten by hand. [not true while using an electric or air impact wrench -- not sure how accurate the new lithium battery impact wrenches are?]

Of course, having a properly calibrated torque wrench on a trip is the correct way, but the generic breaker bar setup is great to have along also!
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:53 AM   #8
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When new a couple of my flying cloud lug nuts were persistent in loosening. They've all settled in now and stay tight HOWEVER I still check 'em every time.....PLUS the PSI too.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:19 AM   #9
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I just had a lug nut come off and I had torqued prior to last trip.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:20 AM   #10
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I use torque wrench and then mark
Each lug with a paint marker, a vertical line. That way I can do a continuos visual check on the lug nuts. I will also hand check
With a torque before trips. Great price of mind to look and see all those lug nuts are vertical.

Note: they do loosen, and every so often, I have to re-torque a few. The vertical lines work and immediately show when it's loose.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:28 AM   #11
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Or you can order some concentric rings for the wheel hubs to eliminate slop between hum and wheel and the lugs will stay tight. The AS hubs are not a standard car/truck size, so you have to measure the hubs and the wheel and order the correct rings. Go to www.hubcentric-rings.com. Mine were 102mm I.D. x 104mm O.D. Measure your hubs and wheels to confirm.

They were $79.95 incl shipping. They also result in a better balance because your tire and wheel are concentric to the hub. Order a set, you'll be glad you did!

Barry
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:55 AM   #12
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torque wrench

Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive torque wrench for under $20 and if you watch their sales and search online you can get a 20% off coupon which they can scan from your phone. I got one for $12 and checked it against 2 much more expensive torque wrenches and it was accurate. Always store it with the setting at 0 and keep it under the back seat in the truck.

Cheap insurance. I check the lug nuts and the tire pressure before each short trip and about every couple of weeks when on long trips I have never had one loosen up after the first 2 times I've tightened them but I still check.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
I use torque wrench and then mark
Each lug with a paint marker, a vertical line. That way I can do a continuos visual check on the lug nuts.
Great tip!
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:18 PM   #14
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Whenever any wheels are newly installed I find that I need to re-torque them several times before they take a "set". After that, I'll check them periodically, and they seem to stay tight. Seems they need to go a couple hundred miles, re-torquing them several times before they settle in.

So, in answer to your question, yes it is important to pay attention to wheel torque.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:47 PM   #15
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Yes, we keep a torque wrench in the trailer and I check the lug nuts before leaving on a trip and every 1000 mi or so. Check them a few times within the first 500 mi if you have the wheel off for any reason. On a trailer you may not notice a wheel is loose until damage has already occurred.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:50 PM   #16
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I carry a lug wrench with me and check before each trip segment. I have noticed that depending on the terrain and travel length and temperature, some will need tightening... basic safety.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:52 PM   #17
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I check torque before every trip. I have not had problems with lug nuts loosening, but you can see from other reports why I feel lucky so far.

You didn't ask about, but I feel compelled to offer that I often check and retorque the various bolts on my hitch. We use an Equal-I-zer which has 6 bolts with torque specs (including the hitch ball nut). Four of the six are looser than spec almost every time I check them.

So... you spent tens of thousands on a trailer... spend another $25 on a torque wrench and proper socket set. Learn where all the nuts and bolts are that need checking and make a habit of it.

In just a few months someone else will post a question on this topic and you can join in with the same sense of smug self-satisfaction that so many of us already exude!
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:29 PM   #18
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I do all the time and always check the air pressure.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:34 PM   #19
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Do it.

I check the torque on my lug nuts before each trip. NOTE: If you have never torqued them, loosen each one and then torque it to the setting that the wheel manufacturer recommends.

The 16" wheels on my 2013 27' FB Flying Cloud (I added these wheels at the factory so that, then, I could get Michelin tires) were made by Tredit. I bought the wheels and tires from the AS factory. Tredit says: torque between 110 and 120 pounds. The factory technicians have a chart that says 130 pounds for these wheels.. I have assumed that the factory is wrong after talking directly with Tredit.

I have attached (hopefully, I have never tried that before) a photo of the wheels on my Airstream.

Bill
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otra15 View Post
only the folks who want the wheels to stay attached to the drums and axles . . .

exactly!:d
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