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Old 04-24-2004, 04:46 PM   #15
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Thanks UWE. You are right, I am sure, about raising the trailer on the axle mount plates. I was thinking about trying to do this the easy way. When I built my garage 12 years ago I put a 20 ft. service pit in so I can easily get under my trailer( I had a motorhome then). I thought about letting the front jack down and then, by cutting some 6 by 6 timbers for the rear jack points, I could raise the front electric jack and unload the axles. I would use a jack stand under the hitch and unload the electric jack. Perhaps that procedure would put too much strain on the frame. I woud appreciate your comments. Thanks. Jeff
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:32 AM   #16
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The rear jack points are for stabilizing, not lifting.

Andy
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Old 04-25-2004, 04:22 PM   #17
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The rear jack points are for stabilizing, not lifting.

Andy
Andy, please do us a favor and define your advice on lifting points. Note that Airstream has recommended not jacking by the axle mounting plates.
Reference: THIS thread.
I'm not questioning your experience or wisdom, just trying to resolve an issue that has been much debated on this forum.

Thanks
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Old 04-26-2004, 10:09 AM   #18
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Where to jack????

Jacking anything off the ground, leaves much to be desired if the information is not "extremely exact."

Airstream indeed places a "jack" label underneath the trailer. According to the Airstream manuals, you can lift the trailer at those points.

"HOWEVER," the manual does not instruct you do do it with any detail. There arises the problem. A protective board must be placed on the frame, OR, damage can occur.

But even that can be carried to an extreme. As an example, lower the front of the trailer as far as possible, and use two jacks stands with boards on the rear "Jack" plates or labels, and then raise the trailer off the ground, as a few have done. DON'T DO IT. If you do, considerable damage to the exterior can happen, usually by bulkling the front quarter panels, and putting unnatural stresses on the entrance door hinges.

Therefore to play it "safer," is it not wiser to use the axle mounting plates as the lifting point? I think it is. Obviously, the floor or bottle jack must be placed on the axle mounting plate correctly. In doing so, there is nothing that can be damaged, since no sheet metal damage can occur. Also, that plate is about 3/16 inches thick and not likely to buckle from any type of jack.

In conclusion, I suppose the choice is up to the individual as to where and how they wish to jack up the trailer. Common sense would dictate using the axle mounting plates, but others may disagree with that. We have always promoted safety, and therefore feel that the axle mounting plates are the best jacking point.

I have raised the question with Airstream and they have advised us that they will look into the matter and take it under review.

Regardless, always exercise caution and pay attention to the small details when jacking up anything.

Andy
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:57 PM   #19
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This discussion would be helped immensely by a few pictures with arrows saying "Axle mounting plates: Safe," "xxx: Safe," "Yyy: UNSAFE," etc.

Eugenie
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Old 04-26-2004, 01:38 PM   #20
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This discussion would be helped immensely by a few pictures with arrows saying "Axle mounting plates: Safe," "xxx: Safe," "Yyy: UNSAFE," etc.

Eugenie
I doubt that anyone other than the people who build them would be willing to go that far out on a limb due to the liability issue. I imagine Inland Andy has some sway with the AS folks and hopefully they will follow through on taking the matter under review. I'm sure Andy will share any new info with us if he hears anything back from them.
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:01 PM   #21
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Many thanks Andy, uwe, Rog:
Andy, I think I will take the advice offered by you and uwe and raise the trailer using the axle mounting plates. Andy, back to my question - Is it worthwhile to unload the axles of an Airstream that sets unused for 10-11 month periods? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again. Jeff
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:41 AM   #22
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pjlingl.

Your question raises two issues.

The first being "how long can your Airstream trailer be parked, without causing the axle rubber rods to take a set?"

To my knowledge, no one has any data to support any specific time other than "long term." How long is too long? No one knows, other than it does take more than a few months, perhaps years.

However, at this point is a well known fact, that 1974 and prior axles have a significant failure rate, due to the composition of the rubber rods. That composition was changed in mid 1974, and has more than proved to be OK. However, any rubber can and does take a "set," if put under a long term pressure without any periods of relaxation. Simply put, the rubber must be exercised once in a while.

The second being, "should weight be removed from the axle or axles on a long term parked Airstream trailer?"

To be absolutely safe, I would suggest that if the trailer will not move for 6 months or more, a large amount of weight should be removed from the axles. I base that on "it's always better to be safe, than sorry," as well as it won't hurt a thing.

I also wish to say that Henschen as well as Airstream has no data to support my suggestion.

Therefore to any and all that may have any interest in this matter, the above comments are solely mine and is passed along to those that might have a concern, purely as a possible preventive measure.

Andy
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:08 PM   #23
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Andy:
Thanks for your opinion. I am going with your suggestions on this and it is much appreciated. Jeff
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:59 PM   #24
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if our axles are bad, what should we do?

I'm reading up on axles (thanks, Andy at Inland RV for the Dura-Torque article) and I think I finally get the concept. We are traveling to Wisconsin in June from California to pick up our 1967 Tradewind double axle. We definitely are going to get new tires and repack the bearings. My husband is driving there, doing the fixing up and getting it towable, then home.

But what if he get out there and the axles are really bad, and need replacing right there and then? I know about the few inches above the wheel being visible meaning the axles are probably OK. We can do the axle replacement financially, but...is there a place we can take it out that way, a way to get the right new axles to the location in WI, or any ideas someone can recommend?

Go to my web site for tire pictures, http://home.alamedanet.net/~ingrid/
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:07 AM   #25
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Ingrid,
Where in Wisconsin? Your choices depend a little on what part of the state. Wisconsin is the truckin capital of the midwest. Everyone there drives an 18 wheeler. You might even get someone to carry your little acquisition to california on a flatbed if the axles are really bad.
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:16 AM   #26
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But what if he get out there and the axles are really bad, and need replacing right there and then? I know about the few inches above the wheel being visible meaning the axles are probably OK. We can do the axle replacement financially, but...is there a place we can take it out that way, a way to get the right new axles to the location in WI, or any ideas someone can recommend?
I do not believe there is a "there and then" with Duratorque axles. I just replaced mine and they have to be ordered. They are not stocked, mine took 5 weeks with delivery from Ohio to Washington.
Sorry
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:49 AM   #27
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Ingrid.

Each and every "replacement" axle must be special ordered, and made "to specs."

In that way, we can custom design it for your individual needs along with taking into consideration what type tow vehicle you have.

Weight ratings are usually increased along with starting angles changed as well.

We will be shortly stocking some of the more popular sizes, but that still will not alter the shipping issue.

We are also working with Henschen to likewise stock a couple of sizes, so they could be immediately be shipped from Ohio as well as California, depending on where the owner lives.

A new word of caution however.

There is a known shortage of certain types of steel along with certain sizes. Henschen, in spite of their huge orders in an attempt to avoid the problem, recently ran out of a tube size. Needless to say, that caused some delays in shipment.

Steel prices have also been rising almost as often as the sun. Henschen has already established a surcharge for all deliveries. We will absorb that cost increase as long as we possibly can. At this point it's almost 10 percent. If it becomes much larger, we will be forced to pass it on.

Andy
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:46 AM   #28
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Ingrid, since the expense is so high on these, I'd suggest getting a second opinion/inspection on the axles before ordering/committing. I was just at my local Airstream Service center yesterday (getting bearings packed) and they replace axles but the manager said he gets several customers coming to him thinking they need axles based on what they read on this site. I discussed some of the "rules of thumb" discussed here and he agreed that in some cases it holds up, in other cases it's more "hype and lore" started on the internet that probably ends up selling axles but costs AirStreamers more. Bottom line is to get a couple of hands on examinations and then compare stories to see if someone is pushing axles.
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