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Old 04-10-2005, 05:31 PM   #1
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Aging Airstreams and axle problems

Hi Gang! I am still looking for a small Airstream. Thanks to your help, I know what to look for to avoid problems, but I've been reading about axle failure on the older models. I know there are alot of factors to consider, but is there a rule of thumb on the age of a trailer before I should plan on replacing the axle? The labor is not the issue but the cost of parts and shipping looks like it could be close to a Grand! Thanks, Don
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Old 04-10-2005, 05:56 PM   #2
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Don,

We've known for a while that we'd need a new axle from the get-go. This weekend, while getting news on our frame woes, we made the commitment to get it done soon. But don't let this be a reason for deciding not to buy an old trailer. Practically any older trailer beyond, say, 10 years, could have axle issues. But this is a correctable problem (unlike other things). Reflect that in how much you are willing to pay--but not in whether to buy or not. If anything, I'd say it's almost better to get one cheaper with a bad axle, since you'd know that your new axle is going to last you well.

Bear in mind, there are multiple axle manufacturers. As I understand, if you know cars(I don't), installing one is not a tough job (a friend installed his new one in a single afternoon). Dealers will install them for you at their site--so there are options available to make it more economical, depending on how much time and effort you can give to it.

Mary
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Old 04-10-2005, 06:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierrunne
I know there are alot of factors to consider, but is there a rule of thumb on the age of a trailer before I should plan on replacing the axle?
Don,

The rule of thumb that I recommend you use is the pre 74 rule. Most trailers that were made before 1974 MAY need to have their axles replaced. The composition of the rubber rods was changed in 1974 so an original Axle may either be on it's last mile or dead.

Check out www.inlandrv.com he has a good page on how to tell if your axles are good or bad.
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Old 04-10-2005, 07:07 PM   #4
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Axles

Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierrunne
Hi Gang! I am still looking for a small Airstream. Thanks to your help, I know what to look for to avoid problems, but I've been reading about axle failure on the older models. I know there are alot of factors to consider, but is there a rule of thumb on the age of a trailer before I should plan on replacing the axle? The labor is not the issue but the cost of parts and shipping looks like it could be close to a Grand! Thanks, Don

I believe Brett is correct on the pre 74 axle.
I for one would not use a rule of thumb for this issue. The only sure way is to physically check it out. Use the information on axles in the link Brett provided.
You just never know how mistreated or well treated your axle has been during its life.
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice! I've downloaded the info on the Inland RV site , this will all help with finding the "Right" trailer at a fair price! Thanks Again-Gang! Don
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:08 PM   #6
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Don;
You might also find an old trailer with a good axle too. The older models had a solid axle and leaf springs and not the hollow tube with the torsion bars and rubber inside. My trailer is 47 years old and has a good original axle, so you just might have to check and find out for yourself when you find the trailer of your choice.
Ernie
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:39 AM   #7
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The change from leaf spring to torsion spring was done somewhere around 1962 - 1964. And leaf springs can sag. The advantage with a torsion spring is the lower ride height, lighter weight, and more compact design.

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