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Old 05-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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1980 24' Caravelle
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Question 1980 Caravelle axle question

I've been reading the threads about axles, and how to tell if you have axles that are ready to be replaced, but have a question...

It looks like our torsion arms have a horizontal to slightly negative angle to them, and we can only see maybe an inch of tire above the rim, and we have various popped rivets on the outside that may be due to a rough ride, not sure really.

But, here's where the question part comes in. I've read in our owners manual that the hitch height for this model is 16.5 inches, while the larger models are 19.5 inches.

My hitch height IS 16.5 inches, with a level trailer. If I were to change the axles, for a positive torsion arm angle, more visible tire, etc, wouldn't my hitch height rise accordingly, and thus be wrong?

Is it possible that these axles / torsion arms are angled this way from the start?

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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I would say that you need new axle. If the hitch height changes, adjust your hitch.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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1980 24' Caravelle
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Any other opinions? Thanks again!
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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My opinion

Hello Seymour,
I think you need a new axle. The axle was manufactured with a 22.5 degree down angle (no load). This means that if you have a good axle, when you jack the trailer up and have no load on the axle, you should have 22.5 degrees downward angle. If you replace the axle, your hitch height will increase to what it was when it was new. Changing the hitch height is not "wrong". It just means you need to adjust the hitch on the TV accordingly.
Have a look at this Dexter publication on Torflex axles. On page 36 it shows that a #11 axle will compress 2.29" from no load to full load. I hope this helps. Check out my axle thread Good luck with whatever you chose to do.

Torflex_Information_12-10.pdf
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
I've been reading the threads about axles, and how to tell if you have axles that are ready to be replaced, but have a question...

It looks like our torsion arms have a horizontal to slightly negative angle to them, and we can only see maybe an inch of tire above the rim, and we have various popped rivets on the outside that may be due to a rough ride, not sure really.

But, here's where the question part comes in. I've read in our owners manual that the hitch height for this model is 16.5 inches, while the larger models are 19.5 inches.

My hitch height IS 16.5 inches, with a level trailer. If I were to change the axles, for a positive torsion arm angle, more visible tire, etc, wouldn't my hitch height rise accordingly, and thus be wrong?

Is it possible that these axles / torsion arms are angled this way from the start?

Thanks!
Airstream has used a 22 1/2 degree starting angle for over 40 years.

The following will help you check the axle out in just a few seconds.

The Dura-Torque Axle

New axles can be purchased with several upgrades, depending on who you may decide to guide you.

Andy
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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Per the manufacturer, torsion axles are supposed to be at zero angle (neither up or down angle) when they are loaded to capacity. So, looking at one and seeing it at that angle doesn't mean as much as you would think. A better method would be to measure the amount the axles drop when load is removed. If the wheel/hub assemblies drop a good couple of inches when you jack up the trailer, the axles are still good, and have plenty of "spring" left in them. If they don't move, or only drop a little bit, chances are you'll need new ones.
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