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Old 09-30-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Adding second axle to '64 Tradewind....

Has anyone added a second axle to an airstream that originally only had a single axle? If so, I would appreciate any info. on how you did the conversion.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:34 PM   #2
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I didn't add a second axle to my Tradewind.

Just the thought of cutting a bigger opening in the skin, and making larger wheelwells, and rearranging some of the things in the interior was too daunting.

By the time I finished restoring my Tradewind, I realized that putting another axle under it and making all the alterations would have added very little time and effort to the whole project.

I'd say go for it. Before you start, get a real good measurement of the gross and tongue weight with your single axle as you would normally use it. Then try to locate the axles so you have 13-15% tongue weight. If your current setup with one axle doesn't give you optimum tongue weight, you may want to move the axles fore or aft to adjust.

I added a larger freshwater tank and my tongue weight is a little higher (16%) than optimum, so I wish I had moved the axle when I had everything taken apart.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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Has anyone added a second axle to an airstream that originally only had a single axle? If so, I would appreciate any info. on how you did the conversion.
Measure the location of the axles on a 65 or newer 24 foot Airstream.

Then you would have to add an "axle mounting plate" to each side of the frame.

Adding tandem wheel well covers, both inside and outside, would complete the job.

Andy
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:40 PM   #4
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1964 24' Tradewind
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65 or newer 24 foot Airstream.

Anyone have the measurement of the location of the axles on a 65 or newer 24 foot Airstream.?
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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Gearhead,

I don't have the measurements but want to keep up with your mod. I have a 68 Safari that I want to add a second axle to as well. My thought has been the original needs to be replaced and I want to go with two, use lighter rims/brakes and make the trailer pull and track easier if possible. What is the total weight of your tradewind?

One place you may be able to get the measurements from is vintageairstream.com he seems to have a large quantity of information on hand as well as a good source of contacts.

Mike
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:07 PM   #6
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The first thing I would suggest is to make sure you have room above the floor for the new wheel wells. NO plumbing, cabinet, or refrigerator issues that might change your mind.

You all ready know about the outside wheel wells and frame issues but take a look inside.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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I have taken the shell off the floor last week. Therefore, there are not items in my way. The original axel is rated at 4800 pound, and I think the trailer came in around the 3800 dry. I would like to increase the total load capacity and the ground clearance at the same time. I have called a shop that specials in axels and spring. They have quoted me $1000 to $1500 to have them remove the current axel and relocation it with an additional axel installed.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #8
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I have taken the shell off the floor last week. Therefore, there are not items in my way. The original axel is rated at 4800 pound, and I think the trailer came in around the 3800 dry. I would like to increase the total load capacity and the ground clearance at the same time. I have called a shop that specials in axels and spring. They have quoted me $1000 to $1500 to have them remove the current axel and relocation it with an additional axel installed.
I assume your trailer had leaf springs and not a Hinchen axle. If so as long as you have new matching springs installed on both axles you should not have a problem. 1,300 lbs. springs would take your total load up to 5,200 lbs and give a much smoother ride. However if it has a Hinchen you can not mix and match 2 differently rated axles.

Compared to a set of Hinchens that is not a bad price.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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I have taken the shell off the floor last week. Therefore, there are not items in my way. The original axel is rated at 4800 pound, and I think the trailer came in around the 3800 dry. I would like to increase the total load capacity and the ground clearance at the same time. I have called a shop that specials in axels and spring. They have quoted me $1000 to $1500 to have them remove the current axel and relocation it with an additional axel installed.
The original axle on your 64 24 foot Airstream, was rated at 5000 pounds.

Anything different than that suggests that someone changed it out.

Increasing the capacity, would be a very bad idea, since the chassis will not support anything additional.

You can obtain a new torsion axle and install it yourself, in about 2 hours.

Total cost, of course depends on where you live regarding freight charges, but should be under $1000.00.

Raising the ground clearance is easily done, within reason.

Andy
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:02 PM   #10
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Has anyone added a second axle to an airstream that originally only had a single axle? If so, I would appreciate any info. on how you did the conversion.
When I started my Tradewind project I thought about dual axles for about a minute and then realized all the reasons not to do it. The only thing you would really gain is making it easy to change a flat. You can not increase the load rating of the trailer by adding a second axle. Where and how you place two is a bit tricky and would depend ojn where you place all your weight when completing the interior. The tongue can still only carry the original designed load along with the balance of the frame. DANGER! Displacing additional weight to the rear frame behind the axle will cause frame drop and or failure. Also you can't just place an additional axle in front of or behind the exiting one. You will need to build a whole new attachement assembly. I am not saying it can not be done but it will require you building a brand new frame. Please keep us posted.
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