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Old 01-18-2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Axle Caution.

We have reported in the past, that the 1968 and older Caravels and Bambi's had very small spindles.

Because of that, they are "VERY" prone to failure due to fatigue.

Yesterday, we received a call from an owner in Georgia.

He stated " I went over a railroad track crossing towing my 66 Caravel at a moderate speed. I heard a bang. Then I heard a scraping noise. Something was stopping my tow vehicle and trailer. I got out to see what the problem was.

To my amazement, a tire fell off, but the trailer was almost level. Upon further inspection, the tire fell off on the other side as well.

Both spindles cracked in half, allowing both tires to fall off, at the same time. I knew about the warning, but I put it aside for now."


Accordingly, we are bringing this subject up again, as another caution for those owners.

The 655 spindle used on those models, was border line to start with.

They will fail.

When? Who knows.

We replace at least one of these axles, per week.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:05 PM   #2
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Oh Boy!

Ouch! The dreaded spindle failure.

I hope the “loose projectiles” traveling freely down the road didn’t come into contact with anyone or anything.

Axles can be a huge liability – if in doubt, change it out.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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I hope you also instructed him to use the crossing next time.

They're usually marked with gates and flashing lights.
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:37 PM   #4
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So how are the 22' 67 Safaris?
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:53 PM   #5
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Well ,that adds the 66 caravel to the list ,as the 65 was the main
one that seemingly had this trouble for the longest time .It would be
prudent for all these caravels of years andy has mentioned to really consider
and axle replacement of whoevers manfacturer they wish ,as long as it gets replaced .Ive not heard of any Bambis breaking spindles ,but Im certainly
not any final word on that ,and folks should check into it .Its those torsion
axles with the small square spindle arm thats the trouble as I recall from
the older threads and photos .

Scott
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:58 PM   #6
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It just blows me away to think of all the money we put into these OLD trailers and yet the most important item that is left to the last is the AXLE!!!

$350-$800.00 What is that - curtains, cushions, how about a Hot water heater and possibly an awning repair - or maybe a set of new propane tanks with regulator....the list goes on - but aren't all those things a mute point if you AS falls out
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:05 AM   #7
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Antiques

Just because its old does not always mean it better.
Just because thats the way its always been done does not mean the old way is always right.
Airplanes used to be made of wood, wire and cloth and had open cockpits.
Automobles used to not have roll up windows, heaters or air conditioners.

Statistics (Andy From Inland RV and this forum) tells us that the older axles with the smaller spindles seem to be prone to failure (spindles break off).
The axles are the third most important part of the vehicle (1. Driver, 2. Tires 3. Running Gear(axles, springs, torsion axles, brake drum balance)) but the most important at the time they fail. Much more important that the afformentioned drapes or upholstry.
So,
Jack it up and take a look at what you have under there. If you have the older smaller axles replace them. It will be far cheaper than waiting for a failure.
To put things in perspective, lets find out how much it costs to replace the axles after failure(injury to innocent bystanders, towing, replacment axle that will have to be fitted because you are in the middle of nowhere and the proper axle is just not available for a number of reasons, repair damage to trailer, frustration at a ruined outing, stress caused by the whole episode) and how much it costs to have the axle replaced before the next season.
Andy, could you help us with some figures please?
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:51 AM   #8
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Axels again (still)

66 Caravel? Both axels? O.K. I am convinced this time.
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch
66 Caravel? Both axels? O.K. I am convinced this time.
Not both "axles," but both "spindles."

Andy
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Thealt
So how are the 22' 67 Safaris?
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The spindle failure is on the Bambi and Caravel models only.

Andy
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beginner
To put things in perspective, lets find out how much it costs to replace the axles after failure(injury to innocent bystanders, towing, replacment axle that will have to be fitted because you are in the middle of nowhere and the proper axle is just not available for a number of reasons, repair damage to trailer, frustration at a ruined outing, stress caused by the whole episode) and how much it costs to have the axle replaced before the next season.
Andy, could you help us with some figures please?
Beginner
Interesting question.

Lets try it this way.

Should you have an axle failure on a Bambi or Caravel, while on your trip, the related costs could be out of sight.

Damage to the underbelly, underbelly wraps, LPG lines, plumbing outlet, could run $1000.00 to $2000.00.

The wrecker could cost $300.00 to $750.00, or more.

The motel for 3 weeks could cost over $1000.00.

It takes 2 weeks to create the axle and a week typically to get it to you.

The meals for a family of two, for 3 weeks could cost $1500.00.

If your a working person, then you lost a paycheck for 3 weeks, cost $1500.00 to $3000.00.

Telephone calls, how many at what cost, who knows?

Inconvenience, tremendous.

Bad language useage, excessive.

Stress, enormous.

Understandably, the cost can run into the thousands.

The cost to replace that axle is $800.00, plus freight, plus perhaps a couple of hundred for labor.

What a "bargain."

Again, fair warning to those owners.

The failure rate is tremendous. The facts are that it "will" fail.

Your choices?

Pay now, at a reasonable cost before it happens, or pay later, when the costs go out of sight since you will have little to no control over them.

We strive to keep that axle in stock at all times, but we do run out.

Time then, becomes the enemy.

Andy
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
It just blows me away to think of all the money we put into these OLD trailers and yet the most important item that is left to the last is the AXLE!!!

$350-$800.00 What is that - curtains, cushions, how about a Hot water heater and possibly an awning repair - or maybe a set of new propane tanks with regulator....the list goes on - but aren't all those things a mute point if you AS falls out
Right there with you Pete! Right now as I type the axel is being replaced o out Tradewind and we haven't even really seen it yet! Get the job done and it won't get you!
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:27 PM   #13
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Yep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
It just blows me away to think of all the money we put into these OLD trailers and yet the most important item that is left to the last is the AXLE!!!

$350-$800.00 What is that - curtains, cushions, how about a Hot water heater and possibly an awning repair - or maybe a set of new propane tanks with regulator....the list goes on - but aren't all those things a mute point if you AS falls out
Wise words indeed!

Regards,
Henry
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:36 PM   #14
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Wise words now maybe - but like so many other unsuspecting newbies - we were right there - not quite understanding how to tell if our axle was good or bad.

Up arm, down arm - bounce this and that we were more into blowing ourselves up with getting the old bowen to work - and spending hours sewing up the new curtains.

The broken windows - sort of pushed us in to the relm of hmmmmmm maybe we are bouncing too much - it did turn out that the windows were a result of expansion rather than bounce - but the shake rattle and roll that was going on inside was definitely the axle. Popping rivets, screws coming out of cupboards - stuff being strewn all over the place and the no fall hangers coming of the pole and dumping the close - the closet door falling off...it was time to get some serious reseach done.....

And that my dear friend is how we met - through Louuuuuuuu baby and then to you Henry. It is sad though - we have now sold the GlobeTrotter and moving up to the Overlander -we will miss her and all the fun we had with her - but as they say - life goes on - we are just glad that we got her all nice and safe for the next 46 years!!!
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