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Old 03-28-2005, 08:27 PM   #1
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'71 GT Axle Replacement/rating

The AS dealer proposes replacing the axel on my newly acquired GT with a 5200 lb AL-KO Kober(made in Oklahoma by a German Company), the next size smaller is 3500. The installer will fabricate the mounts, including shock installation. I am concerned about the over capacity, since the current axel is rated at 4000 lbs, which is light. I suspect the road weight will never exceed 4500 lbs. Anyone foresee problems with 7-800 lbs excess capicity, such as bounce or rivet popping? I am intalling ST22575R15D radials, running at 50 lbs rather than 65 lbs. The price is attractive. Thanks for your input. Larry D.
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:21 AM   #2
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No one except an engineer/designer could give you an absolute. (OR if someone has done it and has that experience) As an opinion I would not exceed 10% over the rating. If 4000 #'s is what was used then I would not go over 4400 #'s. The factory thought 4000 was good based on all of the anticipated possible designed uses. A little higher should not hurt. At 5200#'s that is going to be a stiffer ride. Depending on use the ride could take it's toll on the wear of the unit....... Like you may only use it 1 time a year for 10 years and never know the diff. Or you may use it 10 times a year in 2 years over rough roads at high speeds and the trailer shakes it's self apart.

I am also of the opinion to inflate trailer tires to the max pressure cold. The tire has a rating and it is based on the max inflation. Again, anything less than that may be a guess as to load capacity unless you have a chart from the manufacturer stating load capacity at given inflation intervals.

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Old 03-29-2005, 09:58 AM   #3
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71 GT Axel Replacement/rating

Greetings Larry!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryD
The AS dealer proposes replacing the axel on my newly acquired GT with a 5200 lb AL-KO Kober(made in Oklahoma by a German Company), the next size smaller is 3500. The installer will fabricate the mounts, including shock installation. I am concerned about the over capacity, since the current axel is rated at 4000 lbs, which is light. I suspect the road weight will never exceed 4500 lbs. Anyone foresee problems with 7-800 lbs excess capicity, such as bounce or rivet popping? I am intalling ST22575R15D radials, running at 50 lbs rather than 65 lbs. The price is attractive. Thanks for your input. Larry D.
My Airstream dealer replaced the axle on my coach, and from research at the time (18-months ago), it was recommended that to avoid potential damage (popped rivets, etc.) that the axle capacity not be increased more than 500 pounds or on my single axle Minuet - - the original axle had a rating of 3,000 pounds while the coach had a GVWR of 3,250 pounds <2,450 pounds empty weight> (Gross Hitch Weight is over 500 pounds <395 pound empty hitch weight>). I knew that the typical gross weight (via actual weighing at truck scales) for my Minuet was 3,100 pounds with 525 pounds on the hitch, so my dealer installed an axle rated at 3,500 pounds. The coach rides well with its new axle, but I would have been very concerned to have an axle with much higher capacity in relation to the actual load.

Kevin
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:33 AM   #4
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LarryD,

I have done what you are planning, although I am using a leaf spring axle. I had a very careful plan, made a list of all the weight additions that I am adding to my trailer, and decided to go to a 5200# axle.

Unless you are planning to add significant weight, like I am, I would forego the larger axle. I can always 'go backward' by removing a leaf from my springs. You can't do that. . . .
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:04 PM   #5
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Very interesting (and a bit suspicious to me) that an Airstream dealer would reccomend any axle other than Henschen. I am convinced that Dexter is as good if not better, but it is a nightmare (so I read) to mount one or order one correctly, and remember that you do not want to weld anything that could heat up the torque rubbers no matter which brand.

I think that big an increase is very risky and you might just shake the house down. Go slowly on this deal. Just cause they sell Airstreams doesn't alone make any RV dealer creditable.

Sure would be helpful if you would respond and tell us much more about the dealeer and why he is pushing this particular axle. All of us except for a very few are interested in an alternative to the Henschen due to the marketing deal they ok'd with just one supplier stateside (Inland Andy) thereby driving a stake into the heart of any supply & demand or competitive pricing.

Can't blame ol' Andy, he did good for himself, or as we say around here he "cut a fat hog in the.....". But I have no respect for Henschen's thinking or marketing plan.

roadeo
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:23 PM   #6
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I'm not convinced that the axles ever need replaced. Except maybe in the case of an accident.
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