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Old 12-14-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
Chaska , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 14
'73 Airstream Land Yacht New Axles MN

Howdy folks,

My wife and I inherited a 1973 31ft Center Bath. It's in reasonable shape for sitting for about 10 years, except the axles. When I jack it up, the wheels don't drop at all. From what I've read this shows the rubber rods have solidified.

Any fellow Minnesotans (Oofta!) found a local source for new dura torque axles?

The only places I've found online are on either coast and I can't imagine the shipping charges for axles to travel that far!

I'm going to buy the complete axles so all the running gear is good to go for awhile.


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Old 12-14-2015, 09:07 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,902
If you want to make it easy, and reasonably cheap, just contact Colin Hyde ( and have your axles dropped shipped to someplace local with a loading dock. I had mine dropped at a nearby shipping terminal a couple years ago, and the cost of shipping, as I recall, amounted to a bit over $100, and the axle (complete with hubs, brakes, etc.) itself was around $600.

good luck!

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Old 02-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
1970 25' Tradewind
anderson , South Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 28
Replace axles 1970 25ft tradewinds

Back in 2003 and my first experience with AS found my axles shot. Road clearances poor and arms about 15degrees above horizional. I ordered a complete replacement set through Inland RV at a cost of $1750. Drove up to
Jackson Center from S.c. and picked up the axles at the factory. Also toured the
AS factory where my unit was built. Quite interesting. Also an added detail my
New axles had applied the same origional alu sticker with model number. Sold
My old axles for $125 for farm trailer .Just checked the brakes and bearings
After 14 years and about 10-15 thousand miles and no problem. Don't know if
These new axles are available or not. Worked good for me. Took about 2 hours
To swap out working on a concrete pad and using floor jacks. Good luck with
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:19 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 258
I had the axles replaced on my 1994-34' at Specialty Mfg. in Bath SD, just outside Aberdeen SD. Snapped an axle and had Andy at Inland send them to Specialty (an industrial trailer mfg company) to install them. Great service from everybody concerned, and the staff at Specialty were the most helpfull shop I have ever had work done at. Prices were very reasonable at Specialty and Andy made sure everything was correct. Hassle free experience!!! Chris
WBCCI #7394
2002 Chev 2500 HD Duramax
1976 31' Gone but fondly remembered
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:14 PM   #5
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
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Andy took good care of us, too. Had axles shipped to "Redneck Trailer Parts".. Or similar name, up in Arlington, Texas.

My sons and I drove to Arlington with our 2000# capable heavy duty welded utility trailer to fetch them. Them rascals be HEAVY!! The 3 we needed were banded together so the folks at Redneck just used a forklift to place them. We strapped down with 3", 4000# ratchet straps. Those axles never moved until we got home.

Once home we used a hydraulic engine lift to remove each from the bundle and trailer. (Remember to secure the other axles with straps you are NOT moving..once the load shifts you ain't stopping it by hand)

We raised up Ol' Mjolnir and started the operation. Removing the drum and brake hardware off the side of the axle you plan to slide underneath the AS to replace really eases your burden.

Auto floor jacks used to lower the. Placed on "furniture Dolly's" to roll out... Takes a few hands...

Removed all hubs and braking hardware on NEW axles to install. Good thing!!! Found one lead of a brake magnet smushed under a retainer (star nut)... Redneck got a replacement to us overnight. Bearings and seals all checked and decreased then installed AFTER axle in place (much lighter).. Also, had to drill out the mount holes as the new and old did not match up... So, out with a "step" bit!!! I broke 2 to complete the 12 new holes. When done, there was less than 1/64" variance... Actually too small to measure without far more expensive tools. Just measure from the spindle center to spindle center on another axle.. It is rocket science... But not really hard.

Oh, I supervised my grown son and two other friends for all this... They learned a lot!!! They even refused beer!!! But I insisted.. ��

The hardest part is breaking in the new brakes. Once done, this baby is great!!!

Don't forget to properly wire and secure your brake wires... Cut the old ones "long.." Close to the back of the axle, so you have some wire to work with... Some folks use wire nuts.. My AS, was used, and used wire nuts. The brake wires were corroded to dust nearly onto the belly pan. New ones are soldered (properly) then coated with "liquid tape", silicone tape, electrical tape.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:23 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
Chaska , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 14
Axles went in!

I ordered the axles from Colin Hyde in early March and picked them up from a shipping terminal at the beginning of May. Everything fit as expected! Thanks Colin!

I convinced my bro-in-law to help me for a few hours this past weekend...we got both axles installed, but it did take more than "a few hours"

A few tidbits for others:

Spray the axle mounting bolts and wheel lug nuts with WD-40 for at least a week before you attempt to remove them. The lug nuts were on SUPER tight and required a ton of leverage to get them off. The axle bolts...actually pretty easy!

Make a template of the new axle mounting bracket to figure out if/where new holes are needed. Once we made this out of plywood, the install was much faster.

We had to widen the axle slot by about 1/4 inch and make the rear bolt hole a little bit bigger. We did this with an angle grinder and a jig saw with a metal blade.

An electric impact wrench was incredible useful removing and installing the axle mounting bolts. It wouldn't budge the lug nuts. I had to use a 2ft cheater bar.

All in all it went in well. New wheels and tires are mounted!

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