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Old 09-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
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'73 Tradewind new axle alignment ?

Last fall I purchased a set of axles for our 73 tradewind . I am just now getting around to installing them. I read several posts regarding alignments I am wondering if some specs are available to set new axles up on. I used to align semi trailers to 1/8 in. side to side as measured from the center of the pull point. Will this work on the airstream ? any input appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:03 PM   #2
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If the tube size on the new axles are the same as the old you should be ok. Given the factory welded on the plates correctly. The axles come pre aligned, or so I am told. I think Andy from Inland RV stated to measure from the jack back to the Axle. They should be the same measurement on both.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:59 AM   #3
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If the tube size on the new axles are the same as the old you should be ok. Given the factory welded on the plates correctly. The axles come pre aligned, or so I am told. I think Andy from Inland RV stated to measure from the jack back to the Axle. They should be the same measurement on both.
From what I was told when I got my axles is that there are no exact fit replacements and that you will have to cut the frame a bit to make the new axle fit. The frame is relatively soft steel and will cut with a bimetal blade in a jig saw. Just make sure that you use a drill to create a round corner for the new edge (the tube is bigger so you need a larger opening). As long as you use the original hole in the frame (aft or rearward) for the aft hole in the axle, they will be aligned ok. Check out my blog for pix of the axle installation I did last winter.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tngristmill View Post
Last fall I purchased a set of axles for our 73 tradewind . I am just now getting around to installing them. I read several posts regarding alignments I am wondering if some specs are available to set new axles up on. I used to align semi trailers to 1/8 in. side to side as measured from the center of the pull point. Will this work on the airstream ? any input appreciated.
More info here for you.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
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You didn't mention the manufacturer of your new axles, or where you ordered them from, but I ordered a new Axis axle for my '73, and the tube was the exact same dimensions as the old axle. The holes in the mounting plate did not line up exactly, but a little drilling solved that problem. I had my trailer frame separated from the shell and upside down when I installed my new axle. I had to hammer the axle down into the slots in the mounting plate as the fit was quite snug. There was no alignment needed, or possible--there was no play whatsoever once the axle was down in the slot.

If you want to check your alignment, you have the right idea, just measure from the center of the hitch to the drum on either side, and you should be able to detect any gross misalignment. If you are misaligned, I would guess you would either have to cut the mounting plate or bend the axle--but I doubt there will be an issue.

good luck!
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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73 tradewind axle alignment details.

My axles were purchased from Andy A. ( at inland rv ) the highly knowledgeable and helpful airstream dealer in California. They were shipped from a wholesaler in Alabama. as for a brand I haven't looked yet. we are preparing to drop belly pans and install a new water tank, some plumbing....the axles to finish out the bottom side repairs. Thanks to all who replied .
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Andy will might chime in, he is active on the forums. My guess is that if the holding plates were welded on correctly and at the right location they should be bolt and go. If the axles are larger then you might have to notch out the holding plates.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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That is where I got mine from as well, and they were not the same size as the originals. These were dexter axles, here is one of the tags:


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Old 06-15-2014, 11:56 PM   #9
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Axles

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Originally Posted by tngristmill View Post
My axles were purchased from Andy A. ( at inland rv ) the highly knowledgeable and helpful airstream dealer in California. They were shipped from a wholesaler in Alabama. as for a brand I haven't looked yet. we are preparing to drop belly pans and install a new water tank, some plumbing....the axles to finish out the bottom side repairs. Thanks to all who replied .
What weight axles did you go with on yours RED
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tngristmill View Post
Last fall I purchased a set of axles for our 73 tradewind . I am just now getting around to installing them. I read several posts regarding alignments I am wondering if some specs are available to set new axles up on. I used to align semi trailers to 1/8 in. side to side as measured from the center of the pull point. Will this work on the airstream ? any input appreciated.
With twin axles, basic alignment can be checked with a level and a straight edge. put the level vertically on each tire, being sure that it is not at the center so as to avoid the bulge at the bottom. There should be a slight bit of positive camber at each wheel. Not much, but just off the vertical with the bottom inward. Place the straight edge horizontally across the center line of the axles. It should rest on the back sidewall, leaving about 1/16" gap at the front sidewall.

Mind you, this is very basic. When aligned by a good alignment tech, they will align the front axle to the ball socket on the tongue, and the rear axle to the front axle. This assures that the trailer is straight behind the tow vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:47 AM   #11
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The guy who posted this thread hasnt responded since last year, so lets hope he figured it out.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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73 tradewind axle update

thank you to all who advised on the axle replacement. The axles I purchased were dexters thru redneck trailer or axle supplier in Alabama, sold by MR. Andy A. of inland rv..... I think . I do know he has forgotten more about these than I will probably ever know and was very helpful. The bolt holes did need a lil massaging to line up and the axle holes needed to be enlarged 1/4" , I pushed all measurments to the rear to keep all alignment specs true to original. ( I verified w/tape measure before starting ) axles were easy really, 1 shock stud broke off and I had to weld in a new one and make a new bushing for it, taking several hours. It now pulls 100% better ( w/a 1 ton dodge diesel power no problem) and seems to float along for the ride. I use a sway bar hitch also as this seem to balance any trailer better. Now we plan to replace all copper with pex and install new water tank and belly skins.
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