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Old 05-21-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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Axle GVWR for my '78 Argosy Minuet

Hey Andy - can you clear something up for me. After reading a number of posts on axles, I am confused.

We have taken our 78 Argosy Minuet 6.7metre in to measure for new axle. At this point we now know that the axle on her is original, a 3500 w/10" brakes. Here is my confusion. The GVWR on a 6.7 is 3800. This concerned me when reading that there needs to be extra allowance for added weight. The man who did the measurements said that the tongue/hitch weight (w propane tanks) is about 300lbs so that is subtracted because the hitch does not ride on the axle. That makes sense, but has not, to my knowledge been addressed on posts I have read. If it is true, I guess we are ok in getting the 3500 because we will still have extra to add weight, right??? I just want to make sure we are getting the right axle weight. Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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Hey Andy - can you clear something up for me. After reading a number of posts on axles, I am confused.

We have taken our 78 Argosy Minuet 6.7metre in to measure for new axle. At this point we now know that the axle on her is original, a 3500 w/10" brakes. Here is my confusion. The GVWR on a 6.7 is 3800. This concerned me when reading that there needs to be extra allowance for added weight. The man who did the measurements said that the tongue/hitch weight (w propane tanks) is about 300lbs so that is subtracted because the hitch does not ride on the axle. That makes sense, but has not, to my knowledge been addressed on posts I have read. If it is true, I guess we are ok in getting the 3500 because we will still have extra to add weight, right??? I just want to make sure we are getting the right axle weight. Thanks.
The original axle on your Minuet was rated at 3300 pounds.

We replace them with 3500 pounds.

If your rig has the correct rated hitch bars, and they are properly installed, and properly adjusted, then 1/3 of the tounge weight goes back to the trailer axle/axles and 2/3 goes to the tow vehicle
.
Andy
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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OK, so if originally rated to 3300, but the GVWR rating in the manual for the 6.7metre is 3800, isn't it too small an axle even w/3500? I'm still confused?? and what about extra capacity for additional weight in the trailer? Sorry
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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OK, so if originally rated to 3300, but the GVWR rating in the manual for the 6.7metre is 3800, isn't it too small an axle even w/3500? I'm still confused?? and what about extra capacity for additional weight in the trailer? Sorry
We could also replace that axle, with 4000 pounds and I believe with 12 inch brakes.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:17 PM   #5
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Its not that I'm against using the 3500. I just want to understand why my GVRW is 3800 and the axle they originally installed is 3500 when everything I have read says the axle should match or somewhat exceed the GVRW so that it will handle carrying extra cargo weight. Please can you explain why they put on 3500 which is less than the GVWR of 3800? Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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thats the maximum weight. thats what the "gross" in "gvwr" is. there is no "extra", beyond that.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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OK, so our GVRW is suppose to be up to 3800, but if we have or reinstall a 3500 axle that will then be our GVRW, right???
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #8
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Well, I'm not sure I completely understand this whole axle weight rating situation mainly because I have read so many posts indicating a need for axles going onto trailers which give extra capacity for addit. weight beyond the axle weight rating? Then to have our original axle end up being less than our GVWR. But, the explanation (by the man doing measurements) of at least 300 lbs of the GVWR being on the hitch and the fact that the original axle has been doing the job leads me to beleive we will be fine if we replace w/same. The only concern is if we were to add AC and the extra weight there? If anyone can clear this up for me, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:54 AM   #9
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Well, I'm not sure I completely understand this whole axle weight rating situation mainly because I have read so many posts indicating a need for axles going onto trailers which give extra capacity for addit. weight beyond the axle weight rating? Then to have our original axle end up being less than our GVWR. But, the explanation (by the man doing measurements) of at least 300 lbs of the GVWR being on the hitch and the fact that the original axle has been doing the job leads me to beleive we will be fine if we replace w/same. The only concern is if we were to add AC and the extra weight there? If anyone can clear this up for me, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks.
Only you can determine the payloads that you would normally carry.

You can, if you wish, kick the rating up to 3500 or 4000 pounds, your choice.

Andy
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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The GVWR is the max capacity that vehicle (in this case a trailer ) was designed to handle. It includes the load and the trailer itself. This is done with computers hwoever back in 1967 this was likely accomplished with a mock up unit. (A proto-type) Then using mass produced parts that are exactly the same + or - a tollerance, a trailer cn be made to to that job of the XXXX GVWR.

Now as for each individual parts, typically those parts have a rating that meets or exceeds the standard the vehicle was designed, may be fractionally. This means the entire unit. The running gear, shell, flooring, brakes, hitch - everything. Changing an individual part out for larger weight rating doen't mean the unit can do the job. It may for a period of time just not forever. - I would doubt the original axle(s) you have has a less weight rating than the GVWR design.

Couple of other comments - first is we are speaking about 1967 designs and engineering. Back then the computing wasn't available for the designing. Heck the computer you are using to read this far exceeds what was available at that time. So there was some excess built into those units. As the price became more of a factor in marketing the designs were tightened as to the tollerance. Such that today exceeding the weight rating by any amount will not work.

I hope this helps.

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Old 05-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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I'm probably overthinking this whole thing.

Anyway, the "measurement man" is going to take the trailer down to have it weighed w/what it has in/on it at this point. I would say, other than the propane tanks, and maybe some food items, it has the amount of weight attached to it that it normally would. Once we have that number in hand, we will be able to determine the best axle for the job, wouldn't you say???

I have no idea how they determined the "correct" axle for our 78 Minuet, (guess/computer), but what seemed to stand out in other conversations was how much "EXTRA" stuff (beyond shell of trailer+axle) the axle would be carrying. If Andy is correct (& figure he would be) & our original axle was rated to 3300 it should mean we not carry any more than that amount of weight on the axle. If we think we will carry more weight, we can go as high as 4000 w/o creating the "hard" ride. That part I'm pretty sure I understand

We will probably end up w/a 3500 axle. Just thought it intriguing that a 3800 GVWR trailer would have an axle rated for quite a bit less than that.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:31 PM   #12
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my mom

My mom was famous for collecting rocks for her collection during our travels with the Minuet. She would chuck them into the bins and forget to tell my dad! Dad was a NASA engineer. Now THAT was a big dilemma for him as he tried to keep track of how much cargo/load he was hauling on that axle!!
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:47 PM   #13
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Leigh,

Questions?
Single axle or double?
Where did you get the GVWR from? This should not be confused with dry weight.
The Airstream site does not give data for Argosy and for Airstreams does notlist GVWR until model year 1989, so the 3800 # number you quote is that from your trailer VIN plate?

Buying an axle that is greater than the GVWR does not mean it will carry more weight. It only means the axle assembly is good for it. If it is a bare axle then the brakes and bearing may not be up for the task. Then there is the rest of the trailer to consider. Exceeding by a couple hundred pounds, not likely an issue. However you need to know (after you get your tariler weighed which is a very good move) that you may be operating on the edge or over the edge. If that is the case I would be towing at slower speeds over less rough conditions.

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Old 05-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #14
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Larry - thanks for the chuckle!! We also have a rock collector - he just gradulated HS. I love that your Minuet has so many memories attached to it. I hope some day one of our 2 boys will also want to carry on that tradition!...
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