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Old 04-21-2015, 10:19 PM   #1
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2015 Airflyte Potential Safety Issue

I am posting this info here for those who do not follow other avenues of Airflyte information.

A serious potential safety issue has been discovered in some of the 2015 Airflyte reissues regarding clearance - or rather lack thereof - between the top of the tires and the wheel well. There was a picture posted where the tire rammed into the wheel well above, busting it open and destroying the cabinet / fixtures located around it. It was caused by lack of sufficient space between the tire and the wheel well and is likely due to the suspension springs inability to carry the weight of the trailer.
Shasta has “meagerly” acknowledged the potential problem, there is some indication it may be on earlier builds but as of today there has been no action on their part. Because of the safety issue involved people are not waiting for the manufacturer to take action. This could potentially be catastrophic if it occurred while pulling the trailer at highway speeds. At this point it appears replacement of the rear leaf springs with something more substantial is the correct fix at an estimated cost to owners of roughly $500.
I believe it is in everyone’s interest to inspect and address this potential safety hazard as soon as possible. You may want to try your dealer first, but for those of us located long distances from dealers it only makes sense to drive the shortest distance possible for this repair.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:03 AM   #2
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I'm with you DCS on the clearance.

I replaced the cheap, already flattened Chinese springs with a custom set and now have 4" of clearance.

It's clear Shasta made a mistake when designing the wheel wells. That coupled with the choice to include passenger car tires (no matter how cool looking) makes for a dangerous combination.

BTW, the shackle fix was described as a "Band Aid" by my spring guy and several others. There's concern the longer shackles will increase lateral stresses on already cheap springs, potentially tearing them apart.

But hey, spending $50 versus a $300 per trailer to silence those concerned? I get the Shasta math. I hope it doesn't have dire consequences.
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #3
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I noticed that there is more axle travel room than wheel-well room this past weekend, fortunately by inspection. It was not an issue on the short pull home from dealer on mainly freeway roads with no equipment or supplies in the camper.

I have yet to call my service manager to discuss. There are several ways to fix the problem, stiffer springs/longer shackles as discussed in prior posts, also one could "flip the axle" and mount below the springs rather than above. Benefit of stiffer springs, assumig the same spring arch, is the ride height or look is not affected. Downside of stiffer springs are a rougher ride for camper and equipment in it.

Two questions for other posters--is there a clue to where this picture may have been posted as well as other discussions on this topic, and secondly, what is the concern for the tires? I would expect it might be the load rating on the tire, I will look and I would expect it to be over 1800 lbs. Maybe that is the rub...I am familiar with these tires as I have used them several years on a vintage full-size long-bed pickup truck that is not exactly "light", with no issues, Coker is a well respected manufacturer by antique/vintage/hot rod enthusiasts.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:50 PM   #4
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I actually replaced the springs myself this weekend - along with the shackles to slightly shorter (2" vs. 2.5" that came on the trailer) and couldn't be happier with the result. The look is, IMHO, much better than stock. I've never done anything like this before in my life, but when it comes to this trailer I rely on two common sense conclusions: 1. Nothing I do could possibly be any worse than what the factory did from a quality standpoint and 2. Shasta's warranty policy is focused on cost containment - not longevity, not necessarily the best / highest quality solution, and rarely what is in my best interest as an owner.

Having said the above, I was extremely alarmed at what I saw - both sides of the trailer's wheel wells had been hit with the tires but fortunately not busted out or through. And what kind of traveling have I done? Straight from the dealer to the house, totally empty and on good (southern) roads, in good weather. I thank God that this problem was identified by other owners and hope no one is hurt before all of these are fixed.

As to a clue - I tried to identify the link on this forum and was notified I was not to "mine" away from here to another site. So if they will allow a clue - popular social media site, two groups. One focuses mostly on doilies and as cheerleader central, the other is down to earth, speaks the truth and lives in "Realville". Many from Realville are starting to show up over here as well. You'll find it if you look and there you can see all the pics of all the issues. As for the wheels, I know they are rated at 1820 lbs but not sure about the Coker tires. I hope you have a later build and avoid many of the problems I've seen on my unit. There is a lot of info out now about the various issues and fixes – and contrary to cheerleader central pronouncements they are very real (i.e. not rumors and not complaints), they are many and found on a significant number of units as opposed to the “one or two” they’d have you believe – and two are potentially serious safety issues: this suspension weakness and the rear window falling out.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:28 PM   #5
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DCS,

Thanks for the info, I think I googled into your clues.

Congrats on your spring upgrade! That should work better than longer, spindly shackles or the application of liquid Teflon to the wheel wells, right??!!! Yes, a spring swap, while sounding kind of daunting, is only 6 bolts per side and the hard part is safely raising the camper for the work. I am going to measure the shackle length and see what Northern Tool or eTrailer.com have for replacement springs with a little more oomph (arch).

I spent too much time this weekend addressing things inside the air conditioner box. From the bottom up, no drain hose, no sealant on the screws fixing the drain pan, small exhaust fan, absolutely no insulation from the "hot" side to the "cold" side, huge holes for the hot air to go into the cabinetry and thus the "cool" part of the trailer.

A small weak piece of 1x3 furring strip to hold the AC in and I am pretty sure the unit itself wasn't tilted correctly in order to drain into the drain pan until I adjusted it. With said adjustment the temp knobs are hard to reach, but it will likely stay on MAX and just be switched on and off any way!

While the little unit was actually producing cold air, it basically circulated the heat back into the interior so the net was no change in temperature. Thus demonstrating the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Once again....

In the end after some amount of time and expense on these adjustments, I found that I missed preventing air from exchanging across the top of the AC unit--when the upper shelve bottom was put in I still have about 1 inch by 22 slot that is open.

I hope that plugging that opening with foam weatherstripping will actually allow the AC to cool the interior and not the entire Earth. I still have my doubts, and have eyeballed some 8000BTU units as another $240 donation to the camping gods in hopes my family can have a comfortable beach trip in late summer this year.

As far as the Coker Classic tires, I did check and on my axle they are rated at 1874lbs at 35PSI reading from the sidewall. That is good enough for me on what I have to assume is a 3500lb axle.

Although my label says 2448lb dry weight with a cargo limit of 1170lbs, which gives a GVWR of 3618lb, a very strange number...

Well, I am new to this RVing stuff!!

BTW, our unit build number is over 800...

Again, thank you for taking the time to provide useful information.
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:20 PM   #6
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I've filed a couple complaints with the NHTSA regarding the wheel clearance and use of auto passenger tires instead of trailer tires. I encourage others to do the same:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/Vehicl...nt/index.xhtml

I chose "2015 Forest River Shasta" as the model, making sure to mention the Airflyte Reissue in the complaint.
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:30 PM   #7
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Please, everyone, check your tires and wheel wells.

We replaced the leaf springs on our Reissue and, just as DCS did, found both tires had rubbed the well.

This is a SERIOUS issue Shasta is remedying with the cheapest and least effective "fix" possible.

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Old 05-17-2015, 11:09 PM   #8
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I've also discovered that all shackle bolts and nuts are not created equal..........and that shackle bolts are meant to be used one time and not re-used when replacing shackles. They have "ribs" that bite into the shackle that anchor the bolt.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:11 PM   #9
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I then researched shackle geometry and, while this is from a jeep related thread, the principles discussed are still valid Jeep Parts, Jeep Accessories & Jeep Soft Tops From The Jeep Parts Experts - Quadratec
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:25 PM   #10
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And finally I watched this video which pretty much explains why we have so many issues with our trailers. This is appalling - clearly clueless about the technical aspects of the product, cajoling for time (I can envision a similar cadence for the entire build in say what, a two hour period?) and a total abuse of management / subordinate relationship i.e. would you want your father, brother, husband, son or even uncle being the one making this change under a trailer supported by makeshift milk cartons? Yes, that is the President of Shasta filming this video....
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