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Old 05-21-2009, 08:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
I second Leigh's advice -- don't skimp on the safety -- get a brake controller installed even if it is the cheap "ramp" type of controller. You never know when an unexpected gust of wind, a pair of speeding semis, or something similar is going to pass you and start sway and yaw. I too had similar experience to Leigh only with a Nomad 17-foot travel trailer in 1982 -- trailer brakes are a necessity. In fact, just last week I was towing my Overlander with my Cadillac which outweighs the Overlander by several hundred pounds and has a very low center of gravity -- an unexpected strong cross wind started the trailer to sway -- a quick tap on the electric trailer brakes brought the coach into control and into a straight line -- if I hadn't had trailer brakes, I don't think it would have been possible to overcome the event with just accelleration as the crosswind was encountered at the base of a rather steep grade.

Please, think carefully about the potential pitfalls of towing your coach without brakes. Just one encounter with sway could potentially have very serious results.

Properly functioning brakes are cheap insurance. You'll know what true appreciation is when you feel the brakes activate the day you're faced with some type of "sudden stop" situation.

In Tennessee the state law (unless it recently changed) requires all trailers weighing in over 3,000 lbs. have functioning brakes. The only advantage I can see to not having them would be the lovely Brown pinstriping you’d leave on the driver seat when you needed brakes and didn’t have them.

Congrats on your new Baby.



"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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Old 05-22-2009, 03:55 AM   #16
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Do you have thoughts about the axle? I did see some forum traffic about people replacing the axle but I thought that was associated with dual axle zero level or some such. Please, pile it on. Better to be able to identify an issue before I agree on a price.


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Old 05-22-2009, 04:05 AM   #17
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Sorry, I forgot. Thank you very much for the advise.

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Old 05-22-2009, 06:06 AM   #18
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If you need a new axle,, and on a trailer of that vintage changes are you will, the cost will vary, depending on what you go with. Swat down away from the trailer,get eye level with the wheel, You should be able to see at least 2 inches of tire above the edge of the rim. If the top of the tire is hidden up inside of the wheel well then you axle is worn out.

Good luck,

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Old 05-22-2009, 06:50 AM   #19
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I like the paint job!
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:30 AM   #20
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Hello again Airfoil - We are in the midst of getting a new axle. We have an Argosy 6.7metre Minuet (the thinner Argosy). I am not an expert on axles, and, in fact, I have been posting questions here in the AS forums myself to make sure we are getting what we need. Here is what I can tell you right now.

We have had our trailer for over 5 yrs. Our axle is original and even tho we have wanted to replace earlier, we have had to wait (expenses + trying to research our best bet on axle replacement). So we have used our Moonunit w/the old axle. We haven't gotten to go on alot of trips, but have made some extended ones into Utah and N.Mex. We have gone over some fairly rough dirt roads as well as hiway w/her. The main thing we noticed w/old axle is that everything inside is always tossed when we arrive (short trip or long) and many of the bolt, screws, rivets holding things in place have become loose or striped out - not good!!

Having a new axle (that is correct replacement for trailer weight) will eliminate all that, as well as have her ride higher so she won't bottom out.

An earlier post mentioned cost of axles. Your best bet is to go into the forums area here and down to the axle subforum to read (there will be alot). The 2 most common axle replacements are Henschen (what you most likely have now) which are costly and Dexter Torflex which have some limitations on number of replacement options, but are a very well made axle, and AS has been using them lately.

There is alot to learn about these trailers, but much of it can be done after purchase as long as you do a bit of homework first and negociate a price that is fair for condition of the trailer you are looking at.

You might see if there is a forum member close to you who can look at the trailer w/you. Many here will do that. Hope this helps and I know others will chime in. Good luck.
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

"When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:45 AM   #21
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Axle replacement

Here is a link to an old thread that Larry and I started when we got our Minuet. We did our own thing. Found equivalent axles locally and did not have to spend a fortune on shipping or anything. We had a good experience and Larry did the installation himself without any trouble. If you read through you will find pictures as we did the installation.

We now have a great ride, great ride height with adjustments which can be easily made, and our unit is not shaking apart anymore. Good luck with your search.
Lou and Larry in sunny Ohio
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:15 PM   #22
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Hello again,

Well, I bought a brake controller. I ended up getting a Hopkins Agility, plug in simple brake controller along with a pigtail for Ford / Mercury. Apparently, the connector isn't standard Ford because it looks nothing like the Ford pigtail connector. I attempted to wire it per the custom wiring instructions but it appears that there is nothing standard about my configuration. I guess I'll try to get to an RV dealer tomorrow morning before we leave to look at the Argosy 20.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:03 PM   #23
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I have a 1973 20' and that is a 20 for sure.

The rule of thumb is, to only tow 80% of the tow vehicles rating, and that includes passenger weight and cargo. You will want trailer brakes and a
contoller. The trailer can actually push you into jack knifing if the tow vehicle is stopping and the trailer isn't being stopped by brakes. Especially with a short wheel base tow vehicle ( like the Explorer ) Trailer brakes
take a lot of the strain of of the tow vehicles brakes. Possibly saving your rotors. A controller enables you to activate the trailer's brakes only, which can help you out of a sway situation. That being said, I would take it easy with that rig. No quick lane changes and give your self plenty of time, and room, to stop.

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