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Old 08-26-2014, 07:07 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by tallen5 View Post
Love it. We did have to trim some plastic from the wheel wheel and we needed a small step stool to easily get in the trailer now, but that's no big deal to us. No more worries about scraping getting in and out of our driveway, gas stations, etc... is well worth it.
Your photo shows that the torsion arms are parallel with the frame.

That suggests that the rubber rods are now history.

Torsion axles only last about 25 years, and then only when used periodically.

Andy
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:31 AM   #22
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I am finding this thread very interesting. We have a 2012 FC FB 25 foot and like to use USFS campground when available. Two weeks ago we were on a road in the Gifford Pinchot NF and came to a repaired slide area. There was a sharp dip that looked a bit too much for us so we turned around. Being able to raise our clearance a few inches sounds very tempting. It sounds like axel alignment would not be affected but i suppose there would be a small affect on towing stability and wind resistance.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #23
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I'll have the trailer out next week, I'll get a photo or two then. I think im ready to start a Roast Andy thread! Yea I'm sure my 2013 axles are junk and the dealership would have delivered it that way! For everyone else interested the plastic trim was due to a wheel and tire replacement with the larger 16" radials and a little heavier duty rim. The axle drop didnt require any plastic trimming I mispoke earler and need to clarify. So I'll try to post a photo or two in a week or two. Thanks for the questions. I hope this info can help someone.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:06 PM   #24
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Andy, "talen5's" photos appear to be of a 2013 model Airstream; and the axle and undercarriage look clean and almost new. From your observation and comment, is it possible for the axle to be worn out so soon?
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:28 AM   #25
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Andy's at least partly right. The arms are parallel and should be slanting downward. Check the manufacturer's tag on the axle to see what its capacity is. It might be hard to see because it could be between the axle and a holding tank. But if you have a small digital camera, set it for a close up and take a picture of the tag. Then you can read the tag without straining. Since the axle is fairly new, my guess is that the axle is underrated for the weight of your trailer, or your trailer is overloaded. In either case you should have the trailer weighed to compare it with the rating of the axle. Don't go by the manufacturing tag on the side of the Airstream. It might not match your axle. There's no other way to be certain, you've got to find the information tag on the axle to know. You lost two to three inches with arms that are parallel to the ground, made up for it with the extension kit, but still have an axle that no longer has sufficient arm travel to absorb shock. That can be really hard on the trailer, cabinets and rivets.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:44 AM   #26
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tags

Just so you know... the first photo is the tag on the old front axle of my Excella. It reads 3,200 lbs. the rear axle 4,000 lbs. (didn't post the photo - wasn't very good). The other photo is Airstream's manufacturing tag with specifications that read the axles are ALL 4,000 lbs. Obviously not. When I put on new MATCHING axles the clearance under my trailer increased about 3 inches.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:31 PM   #27
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I crawled under my 2012 25FC FB to see about the feasibility of putting in the spacers from Dexter to get more ground clearance. What caught my attention was my trailer has shock absorbers attached to the frame and the axel, one at each wheel. Installing the spacers would change the angle of these shock absorbers. The affect of this I do not know.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:53 PM   #28
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I'll have the trailer out next week, I'll get a photo or two then. I think im ready to start a Roast Andy thread! Yea I'm sure my 2013 axles are junk and the dealership would have delivered it that way! For everyone else interested the plastic trim was due to a wheel and tire replacement with the larger 16" radials and a little heavier duty rim. The axle drop didnt require any plastic trimming I mispoke earler and need to clarify. So I'll try to post a photo or two in a week or two. Thanks for the questions. I hope this info can help someone.
The torsion arm position on your axles should be going downward about 20 degrees.

From your photo's, that's not the case.

Possibly the trailer sat still for a long time, or the axle rating is inadequate.

But what does matter, is that when your Airstream hits a bump, the axle will bottom out, which in turn causes excessive shock to the shell. That means you will start seeing some damages from those shocks.

Typically, rivet heads shearing off would be the first clue.

I simply tried to caution you that your axle torsion arms are in the position that indicates somethoing is wrong.

Andy

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Installed the Dexter lift kit today and it worked beautifully. A breeze to install and now we are almost 3" higher than before. Here's the lift info:
Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - #11 Torflex Lift Kit (K71-724-02)

I've included before and after photos plus a photo of the lift kit. You can only purchase the lift kit a package deal for a tandem axle trailer. Since my airstream only has 1 axle, I have the other 1/2 of this kit (enough for 1 axle) for sale now for $90 plus actual shipping. If anyone is interested, PM me.
Granted, the lift kit raised the trailer.

But, a lift kit cannot compensate or change the position of the torsion arms.

Once again, the position of your torsion arms, strongly suggests that something is wrong.

Andy
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:58 PM   #29
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Just so you know... the first photo is the tag on the old front axle of my Excella. It reads 3,200 lbs. the rear axle 4,000 lbs. (didn't post the photo - wasn't very good). The other photo is Airstream's manufacturing tag with specifications that read the axles are ALL 4,000 lbs. Obviously not. When I put on new MATCHING axles the clearance under my trailer increased about 3 inches.
Airstream would never deliver a trailer with 2 different axle ratings.

I would guess that the previous owner had a problem with one axle, and simply replaced it with whatever they found, and I would further guess, from a wrecked coach.

The 4000 axles are the correct ones for your Excella.

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Old 08-29-2014, 04:44 AM   #30
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Dang it! Sounds like I'll be contacting Dexter axle real soon. maybe a new axle will ge me another inch. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I've hit certified scales fully loaded. So I've got some numbers to look at. I'll be looking unto the torsion arm angles. Thanks
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:16 AM   #31
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Original axles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Airstream would never deliver a trailer with 2 different axle ratings.

I would guess that the previous owner had a problem with one axle, and simply replaced it with whatever they found, and I would further guess, from a wrecked coach.

The 4000 axles are the correct ones for your Excella.

Andy
Hi Andy,

I admire your loyalty to Airstream, but the truth is that the lighter front axle was original. The dimensions of that axle's tube were smaller than the heavier rear axle, and so when we installed the front axle's replacement we had to grind out a larger opening in the mounting plates. We didn't have to do that with the rear, it was a direct replacement. I think that proves that two different axle ratings were installed by Airstream.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:11 AM   #32
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All right Andy, you win! Dexter is going to send me a new axle. Now im going to need a ladder to get in my trailer.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:23 AM   #33
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All right Andy, you win! Dexter is going to send me a new axle. Now im going to need a ladder to get in my trailer.
If you ordered it yourself, make sure the starting angle is higher than when new, and that the mounting bracket and hub face are correct.

Also, the new axle will be minus the shock brackets. You can cut the old brackets off and reuse them, or get a couple of new ones.

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Old 09-19-2014, 06:35 PM   #34
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Got my trailer picked up today from the local wheel and axle shop. I need to clear up a couple things. First of all I learned my trailer, 2013 23' sport has a 10 degree trailing leg axle. Pretty much everyone agrees it can point upward a little bit. Other things here about my trailer that may not have been completely clear at first. Trimming along the aft edge of the wheel well lower aluminum trip was only done as a precaution. As to help prevent the newly replaced 16" wheel and tire from contacting the trailer. Don't think it could have, but not I'm confident it will not. So anyway back at home with my new axle, brakes and bearings etc. My next purchase will be a new drop hitch, the one I have now is a little bit to low. My recommendation after all this is that if you are reading all this seeking info on additional ground clearance for your trailer. Than figure out what axle you have and what Torflex start angle your trailer has. Again mine came with 10 degrees down. For additional height consider replacing the axle with a 22.5 re 45 degree down start angle. I got ground clearance the cheap way by adding the drop kit as discussed earlier in the thread. I would have done it differently if my axle would have been older.
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:30 PM   #35
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Got my trailer picked up today from the local wheel and axle shop. I need to clear up a couple things. First of all I learned my trailer, 2013 23' sport has a 10 degree trailing leg axle. Pretty much everyone agrees it can point upward a little bit. Other things here about my trailer that may not have been completely clear at first. Trimming along the aft edge of the wheel well lower aluminum trip was only done as a precaution. As to help prevent the newly replaced 16" wheel and tire from contacting the trailer. Don't think it could have, but not I'm confident it will not. So anyway back at home with my new axle, brakes and bearings etc. My next purchase will be a new drop hitch, the one I have now is a little bit to low. My recommendation after all this is that if you are reading all this seeking info on additional ground clearance for your trailer. Than figure out what axle you have and what Torflex start angle your trailer has. Again mine came with 10 degrees down. For additional height consider replacing the axle with a 22.5 re 45 degree down start angle. I got ground clearance the cheap way by adding the drop kit as discussed earlier in the thread. I would have done it differently if my axle would have been older.
45 degrees is a no-no per the Henschen engineers.

32 to 35 degrees is the greatest down angle they said was fine.

Andy
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:07 PM   #36
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My 2013 22' Sport looks the same way, if anything slightly worse. Does anyone have the price for a new axle? My metal "guard" around my sewer drain is bent pretty good.... It seems to be that or the lift blocks.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:21 PM   #37
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I realize this is an "old" thread...but I"m curious about the "metal guard" for your sewer. Do you have a pic?

I'm also curious about all this swapping-out of axles every few years or so...
In my experience with my boat propellers, the center, rubber-hub could be replaced by prop shops (using a hydraulic press they press out the old rubber torsion material and lubricate and press in a new rubber. Why isn't that available instead of having to purchase an entirely new axle? ..or IS it available?
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:11 AM   #38
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Axles are assembled by soaking the rubber rods in liquid Nitrogen then rapidly assembling the parts using special tooling. Once it's together, the rubber warms, expands, and permanently locks everything together.

It's just better and easier to buy a new axle... They do last about 25 years or so, I've been told.


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Old 04-14-2015, 09:04 PM   #39
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I can get a picture for you, but it is just a large metal L bracket with a hole in the side for the sewer pipe to go through. Doesn't protect it from much other than a small road hit.
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Old 07-03-2015, 10:27 PM   #40
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I just put the spacers on my '13 sport 22. The factory axel is a minus 10. I checked out brand new ones at the local-ish dealer and they are the same. the only issue I had was that some whizbang at the factory ran the propane line between the axle tube and bracket.
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