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Old 05-24-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
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Axle Opinion Please

Did a recent thread with several question and no photos. I'm going to break those up into individual questions. Starting with this one.

She tows well and handles bumps and dips well. Axles look like the originals. Photo not the best from the inside - they appear to be dead level. What do you think about the need to replace these. Just got a return call from Airstream - estimate is $1,300 per axle installed - I already have the shocks and new shock bolts. Thanks......
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:24 PM   #2
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Though the skirt height on tire sidewall is a good spot check the trailer should be sitting on level ground; when I had to reposition trailer a mere twenty feet I had a chuckle on how tall my Overlander became with one 'new' axle & tire underneath, the new spot was not level to say the least...

Another spot check is to lift trailer via axle mounting plate and see if the trailing arms relax to follow the amount of lift untill they bottom out. Again I had to chuckle (#$!) as I was defending the old axles untill I lifted trailer and the drop did not change, quite frozen in place, rechecked and near-zero relax down after hanging a few weeks...
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:02 PM   #3
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Buy the axles from Inland or Dexter and have a local shop put them on for much less money. Not really a tough job.
Inland RV has the exact duplicates but pricey - they bolt in place.
Dexter axles - find a dealer - all over the country - take slight modification to the frame but easy with the correct tools.
Run one axle up on some blocks and see if the other one drops down. This will also help to tell if the axles are bad.
Look at the tutorial on Inland RV site.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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Call us

Larry has a local shop that does a great job with the correct materials and specs. Call him.
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Choices

I did some searching and ended up ordering Henschlen axels from Inland RV. The initial cost was higher than a Dexter but I would have added cost of mounting a plate for the shocks. There are posts that claim Dexter says you do not need shocks with the torsion axels. Maybe they are not an absolute necessity but I like the idea of dampening the ride. There are a lot of things that may not be an absolute necessity, but are a very good item that will improve performance or trailer life.

I once had a cargo trailer with Dexter axels. I had no axel problems what so ever with them. I strongly suspect that the brakes on my Henschlens are Dexter.

The cost of the axels was about a grand each (+ fuel surcharge). I have a couple of freinds that will help me as these things weigh in at almost 250 Lbs ea. I will save about $200 by mounting them myself. The Dexters would need to have the mounting plates drilled and the Henschlen will mount without modification.

I honestly cannot say anyone is wrong with a Dexter and no shocks, but (my non-expert opinion only!) I thought the Henschen was a better choice fo me.

Based on some non AS owning freinds that do know something about cars and trailers either will work. Shocks are not a necessity when using a torsion axel, but they will dampen the bounce and vibration. Much like the running gear debate. The same people said balancing running gear on something like an AS would be a good idea, not a necessity, but a good idea. Some things like shocks and running gear balance are not necessary but if you use them it will prolong trailer life and reduce (in theory) some long term maintainance.

Decide based on price and performance. The Henschlen will cost more. Professional mounting will be about $200 regardless of which type you use. Dexters are going to be about $600 + modification costs you also do not have shock costs of about $40 ea. The Henschlen and a set of Gabriel Horizontal shocks will be higher.

I found Inland RV not only provided a lot of information (and reassurance) that in the end, they were my choice. There are a number of good threads about various types of axels. There are several other types of axels that I have never encountered such as Axis, that may be as good as either the Dexter or the Henschlen.

Research and think over the final choice. I do know that Dexter and Heschlen both put out a good product. There is a price difference and for lack of a better term a "performance difference". for me the added cost was offset by "performance", and a "comfort factor" from the dealer.
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Old 05-24-2007, 08:52 PM   #6
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New axles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin
Did a recent thread with several question and no photos. I'm going to break those up into individual questions. Starting with this one.

She tows well and handles bumps and dips well. Axles look like the originals. Photo not the best from the inside - they appear to be dead level. What do you think about the need to replace these. Just got a return call from Airstream - estimate is $1,300 per axle installed - I already have the shocks and new shock bolts. Thanks......
I did an axle replacement last spring. My trailing arms were still pointing down, but were stuck in that position. Just jacking the trailer up and seeing the wheels didn't drop at all when the weight was removed from the axle was enough evidence they were bad for me. I went with dexter axles which I ordered from Starbrite trailers on W. Broad st in Galloway. The total cost with shocks was about $1000. Here's the thread I started and what installing the Dexters took. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ted-22508.html I've been very pleased, the trailer rides pretty nice. 2500 miles on them last year and rarely did anything move around in the trailer and I've not noticed any damage to the shell etc...
I've also heard that the Dexters can be custom ordered to fit the trailer without modification, but I've not done that. You could likely save some money going with Dexters, but it'll also take more time for the install.
If you can afford to order the original axles from Inland, they should pretty much be "plug and play" and not require modification to install, however they are more expensive. Looks like they are $800 each for a complete axle. But you could save on shipping costs by picking the axles up direct from the manufacturer (Henschen) which is right next to the AS factory in Jackson Center. This should also avoid any shipping damage problems. If you want to save some money on the install, I'd be glad to help out some Saturday for the price of a campsite near yours (PM me if interested) It's really not that difficult to install them, but the axles are somewhat heavy and having an extra set of hands to jockey it around is a real plus. It'd likely take us 4 hours or so to switch out your axles with new Henchens. You'll have to provide the floor jack though, mine decided to give up the ghost Tuesday, suddenly dropping my truck onto the driveway 1/2 way through a brake job --dave
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:38 PM   #7
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Have I said lately what a great site this is - well there I did.

The trailer is dead level in this photo. The site I have has a concrete pad - front to rear was the only adjustment necessary.
I was in the shop when we took her in for grease and seals last summer but I don't remember if the axle dropped down or not. Ran out tonight and was going to jack it up some but too many people already starting to roll in for the weekend.

This campground is not the most fancy but it lives up to it's name "Tree Haven" and they have been really good about letting me work on the trailer. Putting axles under her may be pushing it though.

At this point maybe I should see if I can get a jack under it and let you see what the wheel does. My first thought on axles is to buy what will bolt directly up and accept the shocks.

Love how work blooms - I have new wheels and tires ready to install - then I thought while I'm doing that.... so I got shocks and bolts...now I'm thinking - while we're doing all that....

Thanks much for the help so far and the very kind offers - that I may yet take some of you up on.
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:39 AM   #8
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Inland adds shocks as a bonus (at least they did for me & some others) so you might try to return the ones you obtained or cut a deal with young Andy on ommitting them. And I believe there is one mounting hole on each sides' attach points that needs to be slotted in order to get bracket to lay against frame...
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