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Old 12-15-2013, 09:51 AM   #15
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Triples

"I'm curious! Since I've never heard of one, how common is a broken axle on any Airstream?"
Pretty common on 60s Caravels.
Not very common on modern trailers. The two modern era trailers that I have read about here on the forums in the last 2-3 years were triple axle trailers. Even though Airstream has been making triple axle trailers with rubber torsion axles for a long time, Dexter does not recommend their torsion axles for triple axle configurations.
See page 7 of this document from Dexter.
Applications_Manual_Complete_Catalog.pdf
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top View Post
"I'm curious! Since I've never heard of one, how common is a broken axle on any Airstream?"
Pretty common on 60s Caravels.
Not very common on modern trailers. The two modern era trailers that I have read about here on the forums in the last 2-3 years were triple axle trailers. Even though Airstream has been making triple axle trailers with rubber torsion axles for a long time, Dexter does not recommend their torsion axles for triple axle configurations.
See page 7 of this document from Dexter.
Attachment 201779

Their concern seems to be overloading a front or rear axle when a trailer is going over uneven towing surface. I missed that when I read it before! I downloaded this document a few years back when I built myself a 6 x 10 utility trailer. I used a 3000# single axle w/leaf springs, so I guess that 3 axle part did not concern me at that point. Then again, my memory is not one of my strong points any more.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top View Post
"I'm curious! Since I've never heard of one, how common is a broken axle on any Airstream?"
Pretty common on 60s Caravels.
Not very common on modern trailers. The two modern era trailers that I have read about here on the forums in the last 2-3 years were triple axle trailers. Even though Airstream has been making triple axle trailers with rubber torsion axles for a long time, Dexter does not recommend their torsion axles for triple axle configurations.
See page 7 of this document from Dexter.
Attachment 201779
Your correct about the old torsion axles on the small Airstreams.

We have for many years now, warned owners of the original Bambi's and Caravels, that the spindles in time, will fail and that will cause an instant wheel loss, due to the fact that the spindles are under rated.

We suggested that a replacement should be in order, if the owner will take the trailer on the road, along with the fact that the torsion axles from the early 60's, since they are over 50 years old, have served their purpose and that the rubber rods are useless.

We receive calls every month, from an owner stranded because of the axle failure.

And, what is even worse, is when that failure happens, body damage also joins in.

Bummer.

Andy
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #18
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Wow... Top, thx for info
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:50 PM   #19
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Glad you got it fixed. With where that broke it would have been really hard to see it before it was too late.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
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I would think that the 3 axel trailers would really stress the front and rear axels while making sharp turns and also sharp parking maneuvers. My two axel trailer really puts a lot of stress on the axels while parking. I expect that this is much worse on a 3 axel trailer. The more the front and rear axels are separated the more it tries to pull the tires off the rims while parking or making sharp turns. The working loads going down the road should be less than a similar size two axel trailer.

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Old 12-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #21
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Just for my and other info how much does something like getting not one but three axles replaced..

how much time does this take and is it done on site ie where you broke down or have to be towed or (trailered) to repair site.

thanks
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #22
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Just for my and other info how much does something like getting not one but three axles replaced..

how much time does this take and is it done on site ie where you broke down or have to be towed or (trailered) to repair site.

thanks
A tandem or triaxle Airstream can be towed with as little as 2 wheels, just so that one is on each side of the trailer, and they do not have to be on the same axle.

For safety, towing it slowly would certainly be in order.

In either case. flat bedding it would not be necessary.

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Old 12-15-2013, 09:30 PM   #23
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The op has stated in a post that he towed it-
That used to be advertising for Airstream- even on the 2 axle trailers- that if you had a flat you could tow the trailer with 3 tires on the ground-
If he lost a wheel on a 3 axle trailer he still had 5 tires on the ground.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:53 PM   #24
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We have been to Alaska and across country a few times so we have quite a few miles on the trailer. I think it cracked at some point in the past and finally broke through.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:58 PM   #25
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We have been to Alaska and across country a few times so we have quite a few miles on the trailer. I think it cracked at some point in the past and finally broke through.

So, if cracked, was there telltale rusty areas?
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:01 AM   #26
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Axle break

Quote:
So, if cracked, was there telltale rusty areas?
Here is a closeup.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:10 AM   #27
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It is hard to tell from that photo what is going on. It looks to me that the metal was weakened by some inclusions. I don't see the clam shell marks that are usually a sign of fatigue. Without a higher resolution image to look at, I am going to say it was a metallurgy problem. Can you post a full resolution image?

It maybe that lower gray section is the fatigued area and the bright area is the material that was left that failed. I would think that the fatigue would have to cover at least half the area before it broke though.

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Old 12-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #28
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What does other side, spindle end, look like?

From what I see, there does appear to be rust on the right upper/lower corners of the square axle rod.

I wonder, would an expert chime in to the question; "Would MAGNAFLUX inspection have a chance of revealing this flaw?"
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