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Old 08-28-2006, 11:17 AM   #15
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Ishmael , I believe Holiday on Wheels in Patterson NY is , or was an Airstream dealer . 845-878-9400 Good luck and congrats
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:39 PM   #16
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Hi, Michelle,

You'll never know until you get under there and look at the axle angles. And I guess they could be stuck down if parked on an irregular place.

It's good that this is easy to figure out. From the looks of your trailer, I don't think it has a whole lot of miles on it.

I'd be worried more about rigid axles than heights. Things you can look for as signs are cracks in the ceiling over the walls, especially in the areas over the axles in the middle of the trailer.

It's unlikely, I'd think, that a 35-year-old trailer WILL NOT have axle issues. (I'm already thinking about replacing mine.)

Lamar
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:37 PM   #17
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I would NEVER tackle that chore alone, if at all! And, of course, when you pay a competent place to do it, they charge BIG $$$. Bad Axels are definately not good news. Bill[/quote]

I don't agree with Bill. I am somewhat mechanically inclined. I have rebuilt several old cars and can fix just about everything. I am replacing the axles on my '73 Excella. Four bolts and the shock absorber for each axle. They weigh about 180# each. Different jacking techniques suggest that using lumber to raise the front axle while removing the rear and vice versa. You can search for pictures on previous threads.

If the arm is parallel to the frame or above, it probably need to be replaced. My replacement axles are the original Airstream brand and included everything except for the wheel and tire. I will be putting them on this weekend and will post pictures for all.

Joe
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defelice
I would NEVER tackle that chore alone, if at all! And, of course, when you pay a competent place to do it, they charge BIG $$$. Bad Axels are definately not good news. Bill
I don't agree with Bill. I am somewhat mechanically inclined. I have rebuilt several old cars and can fix just about everything. I am replacing the axles on my '73 Excella. Four bolts and the shock absorber for each axle. They weigh about 180# each. Different jacking techniques suggest that using lumber to raise the front axle while removing the rear and vice versa. You can search for pictures on previous threads.

If the arm is parallel to the frame or above, it probably need to be replaced. My replacement axles are the original Airstream brand and included everything except for the wheel and tire. I will be putting them on this weekend and will post pictures for all.

Joe[/quote]

This seems to be a "Before" and "After" story. What will Joe's comments be "After" he has replaced and aligned his axels?!!

From the experience he sights, it seems that Joe kinda knows his way around heavy mechanical projects and is equipted to do this job much more than the average Airstream owner.

Each axel weighs 180 pounds! Hmmm.....well, we can bet that Joe has a capable, muscular helper......and if not, Joe, we want to see a photo of YOU!

We will be looking for all the photos and a report, Joe! Hope things go as easily as you implied. Bill
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:41 PM   #19
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Well Here Goes

Hesitated to post this since I'm so new to the Forum and certianly not an axle expert. But, here we go for what it's worth.

Called Airstream right after I brought the 71 home in July to get parts numbers. Got into a discussion about wheel bearings and the parts person said "hold on XYZ just walked by - he's a technician and he's been here forever - he knows everything". Got off that topic onto axles.

Summary of his comments on the topic of axles:

what makes you think you need new axles

who's telling you you can tell a bad axle by how much the wheel well hangs down on the tire - where does this crap about axles come from

do you know how many different designs we've had on wheel wells over the years - you can't tell crap about an axle from the amount of overhang - of course a new axle is going to stiffen the trailer and lift it a bit - that doesn't mean the old one was bad

when was the trailer towed last when you looked at the amount of overhang - was it snugged up on jacks at the time - did you just let it down off jacks-was it sitting on just the axles for a more than a day or two - how much stuff do you have in it

when did you last tow it - at highway speed did it tow straight (yes) did it flex with the highway dips smoothly (yes)

then you don't need new axles - keep your wheel bearings and seals up -check the shocks we didn't put em on there for looks

Again I know nothing about axles but possibly worth sharing.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:12 PM   #20
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Ganglin,

With the exception of Henry's input, that was probably one of the best written posts I've ever read about axles. It just goes to show that the factory still has some folks who know what they're talking about, and that we shouldn't just run out there and buy axles because we're "told" to.

You get good karma for that one, if the site lets me give it to you.



Frederic

P.S. It wouldn't let me, of course, so I'll try again when we get back to MD...I think it has something to do with the server here....arrrgghhhh!!!!!!!
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:24 PM   #21
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Ganglin , thanks for sharing that information.
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:28 PM   #22
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Hi, Ganglin,

Thanks for your input. It's interesting hearing it from "the horses keeper."

Lifting the trailer a bit is not a bad thing to do. I bought a "blue boy" to dump in while I'm using the trailer as my office, and the outlet on the trailer is too low to get a dump. I also know that I'm hitching a little above 17" when the factory spec is 19".

On the other hand, during my recent tow, my 3/4-ton truck rode better than it ever has before. Due to some tire trouble, I keep my mirrors adjusted where I could watch the tires. I was surprised to see that my 27-year-old axles are still pretty active soaKing up the bumps. These axles have more deflection than you might think. If you haven't tried this, do. Point your mirror toward the tires and watch what it does going over a railroad track. I was shocked.

Do I still want to replace my axles? Yes, I do. I'd like to get it back up to the standard ride height.

But I'm not in any hurry to anymore.

And in case anybody is wondering, my truck has dual-plane towing mirrors. I can watch the tires is the big ones and for traffic in the convex little ones.

Lamar
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:04 PM   #23
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Good to see this post is getting some interesting info out to all. Waiting til we can put ours on some level ground to take a better look at what we have going on axel wise. If we still can't tell we'll have them check it at the dealer. Seems the best way to go for now as not sure what the PO did with other than say he had it parked on some property.
Oh and thanks to Ticki2 I checked but Holiday on Wheels is no longer an AS dealer.
Cheers to all,
Michelle
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:25 PM   #24
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Hi, Michelle,

Three-way Camper in Atlanta is also no longer an Airstream dealer, but they have a lot of left-over parts for sale, and the same techincians that worked on the Airstreams. Don't be afraid of a good dealer that has only recently stopped selling Airstreams. They're the same folks they always were.

Lamar

PS - The main Airstream site has a "find a dealer" link.
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Old 09-22-2006, 02:13 PM   #25
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Hello to all
New to the airstream world . Would anybody be willing to look at my 75 31 foot land yacht. I need someto look at my axles and give me your best advice. I'm in Salinas, Ca ....thanks
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:03 PM   #26
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Hi, George,

Please look at post #7 above. I posted a link to an article that tells you about as much as want to know about axle diagnosis.

Lamar
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:06 PM   #27
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Welcome from a 1972 Excella owner.

Welcome to the family. We own a 1972 Excella and thank you Alansd fro adding 1972 to the list so I can update my profile with the right year.

Any certified RV mechanic can check out the basic systems on your AS. That would include:
water from a city source and the tanks.
Electric/ battery
LP gas
Stove and Furnace
Refrigerator
AC
Understand that anymore if the RV medchanic finds a problem they will try to sell you a complete replacement not just the part you need to fix it. I know I might get flamed for that last comment but that has been our experience. I have been fixing cars, airplanes, and RV off and on for over 25 years and every year find it harder and harder to just get the part I need instead of a completely new system.

If you are fairly handy then us this resource to do most of the checks yourself.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have and remember there are no stupid questions. Use the search function first to see if the question has been asked before and if you can;t find the answer or it doesn't make sense then post away or PM me.

Anyway have a great time with your Excella we love ours and hope you will too.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:23 AM   #28
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71 Excella 500

I owned the exact same unit with the same layout! Lost it in a Toranado!

Will gladly help out with any questions concerns.

I really miss mine!
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