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Old 11-24-2015, 10:32 PM   #1
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Discussion about Tag axles...

A worry has been forming in my mind for those of us that have tag axles.
They are NLA, or very, very rare it seems.

We know they are rubber sprung, and so, have a finite life.
I wondering how to spot a failure or pending failure, and what our options are when they fail?
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:15 AM   #2
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Andy at Inland is an expert on this subject....there is a free play measurement I believe, when jacking if the tag axle moves more than 3 inches or so...I can't remember exactly so be sure to give him a call.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:15 AM   #3
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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I was really looking for a 310 when shopping for a classic coach.
But Raveson's nice 345 called out to me and since I've ended up full timing I do like the space and layout it offers.

In thinking about the tag axel, I'm looking for some up side here, other than just holding up the looong extended body of the 345. This being the only classic motorhome I driven. I'm wondering if having the second axel adds to the directional stability out on the highway? Clearly it fights you while turning tight turns. But does it improve tracking on the straights ?

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
A worry has been forming in my mind for those of us that have tag axles.
They are NLA, or very, very rare it seems.

We know they are rubber sprung, and so, have a finite life.
I wondering how to spot a failure or pending failure, and what our options are when they fail?
Something worth checking is the mount to the frame. I believe that wrong towing (by lifting the rigs front) will cause these cracks. I had mine welded when I discovered them.
Richard, having owned and driven a 280, 345 and now the 310, the 345 wins in Road stability, but the 310 is still my favorite for size and handling. in 1981 Airstream did a huge upgrade on the Airstream Motorhomes, by raising the rear suspension and introducing a new air bag system. The 310 vastly benefits from that upgrade.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:10 AM   #5
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Good input Guys!
I know Andy from Inland has chimed in about the fact they are NLA, so know its a concern.

Thanks for posting that info and pics of the cracks, that is another concern.

My thought was to consolidate all the info we know in one place.

Does anyone know what the tag weight rating/width/arm length is?

I was wondering if its a trailer axle with different mountings that could be retrofitted...
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:54 PM   #6
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I've been wondering along those lines too. Since buying complete brake assemblies for the tag wheel from a trailer source. Been wondering if other needed parts are interchangeable too.

Interesting to see what this conversation turns up.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:00 PM   #7
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I had the bushing go bad and one tire wear out real quick. I got the bushing from Andy but I've been unable to contact Andy in some time.
As for the cracks in the mount, I was told the bad bushing and the cracks were from backing into/over curbs.
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:57 PM   #8
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I do know Andy was selling them with out hubs, drums or bearings for $2,795 + shipping.

A forum member decided to approach Colin Hyde at Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations and this was the letter sent to the forum member.

Your axle will cost $595 + $190 shipping to a commercial address in 37923 zip. The total will be $785. The axle will come completely assembled & include 12" electric brakes, powder coated axle tube, shock brackets welded in place, "safety lube" spindles (allows you to grease the bearings without taking the wheels off), mounting bolts, lug nuts & an owners manual. It will also be equipped with "Henschen" type mounting brackets so there should be no need for drilling or cutting. Keep in mind that the lug pattern on these drums will be 8 on 6 1/2". Your current lug pattern has 10 studs & this pattern is no longer available from any manufacturer for a rubber torsion axle. If your existing drums are still serviceable, you should be able to use them on the new axle. If they are no longer serviceable, you will need to purchase new wheels to suit the 8 lug pattern on this axle. I have supplied axles to several owners of motorhomes with tag axles, & both options have been used. The shock brackets that will be supplied on the axle are the ones that are welded to the torsion arms. The brackets that supports the other end of the shock will need to be removed from your existing axle & reused. If you choose to purchase a "bare beam" (no drums or brake backing plates), the axle price will be $495 + $190 shipping, so your total will be $685. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.
Thanks,
Colin
(518) 578-7772

I haven't heard back from him as to installation problems or how it fit.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:44 PM   #9
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"Please keep this thread going!

I to constantly worry about the tag on my 345
ANY information on how, where or if another axel can be manufactured or replaced would be of considerable intrest to me
The information on this fourm has been priceless to me
Hope you all get a chance to be with loved ones these coming Hollidays
I'm thinking I need to get a alluminum Christmass tree in or near my Airstream
(Even if the only people who will see it are the ones who come in to the Self Storage place where it stored)
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:33 AM   #10
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An article Andy wrote on Henchen Axles that is interesting.

The Dura-Torque Axle
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
I do know Andy was selling them with out hubs, drums or bearings for $2,795 + shipping.

A forum member decided to approach Colin Hyde at Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations and this was the letter sent to the forum member.

Your axle will cost $595 + $190 shipping to a commercial address in 37923 zip. The total will be $785. The axle will come completely assembled & include 12" electric brakes, powder coated axle tube, shock brackets welded in place, "safety lube" spindles (allows you to grease the bearings without taking the wheels off), mounting bolts, lug nuts & an owners manual. It will also be equipped with "Henschen" type mounting brackets so there should be no need for drilling or cutting. Keep in mind that the lug pattern on these drums will be 8 on 6 1/2". Your current lug pattern has 10 studs & this pattern is no longer available from any manufacturer for a rubber torsion axle. If your existing drums are still serviceable, you should be able to use them on the new axle. If they are no longer serviceable, you will need to purchase new wheels to suit the 8 lug pattern on this axle. I have supplied axles to several owners of motorhomes with tag axles, & both options have been used. The shock brackets that will be supplied on the axle are the ones that are welded to the torsion arms. The brackets that supports the other end of the shock will need to be removed from your existing axle & reused. If you choose to purchase a "bare beam" (no drums or brake backing plates), the axle price will be $495 + $190 shipping, so your total will be $685. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.
Thanks,
Colin
(518) 578-7772

I haven't heard back from him as to installation problems or how it fit.

Cheers
Tony
That is some good news there Tony!
Is it clear that the inquirie was for a tag axel for a classic motorhome?

Certainly a big relief if so. Thanks for any clarification.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tevake View Post
That is some good news there Tony!
Is it clear that the inquirie was for a tag axel for a classic motorhome?

Certainly a big relief if so. Thanks for any clarification.

Cheers Richard
Andy always said that they were just trailer axles, except for the different mounting and shock brackets. And Colin is confirming the 10 stud lug pattern.
Sure is a huge price difference...
I have purchased trailer axles from Colin before and he is very knowledgeable, does what he says, but often very busy.
I think you tag axle owners can kick back and enjoy your rigs.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:37 PM   #13
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The above inquiry was concerning the tag axle replacement of a Classic 325. As I stated, I have not heard from the buyer how the installation proceeded.

This is the jist of what was told to me, that the axle supplied by Andy is an exact reproduction of your tag axle to the specifications set by Airstream. The axle sold by Colin is an axle that closely matches the Airstream specs, but not exactly.

The biggest headache would be replacement 10 stud drums which I have heard do not exist; so if in your travels you come across a wrecked Classic or a SOB P30 running a 10 stud tag axle, you might want to swipe the drums and keep them for future replacement.

Again, thank God I bought a 310.

Cheers
Tony

PS I have just PM'd the purchaser of the axle so hopely he will weigh in on his personal findings.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:33 PM   #14
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Awesome info!

The wheels on our rigs are all 10 lug, yet the fronts only use 5...
Unless my memory is wrong... I think 5 lug brake drums with the correct PCD are available. If 5 is ok for the front, I am sure its ok for the tag!

On a side note, I checked my tag axle mountings for cracks, and also checked for side play and found none..
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