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Old 02-01-2006, 12:49 PM   #15
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Thumbs up Axis axle price

I priced an axle from Axis for my 1971 18' Caravel just last week. A bare axle with 3" tube was $275. With 12" electric brakes and drum it was $366. Then you have to get it shipped. The good, even best, thing is that they will install the brackets so that you have a perfect (no drilling, no welding) installation. I have one more set of measurements to make before I actually order, but I will report the outcome in the Axles and Wheels forum.

Regarding Inland RV: Andy can be interesting, but I have discussed the axle situation with him in detail. He even showed me how to get the shock off of the original axle without having to take the axle down--just take a very big screwdriver and bend the shock-mounted tab outboard just enough to slip the shock off the stud.

Also, he said that at the time he picked up the exclusive Henschen distribution rights, Henschen was about to stop making customer axles entirely. The reason for this was the number of disputes that they were encountering about axle fit. As I try to correctly measure mine, I can believe that lots of mistakes were made, leading to lots of returns. Andy took on that burden, so he covers himself by charging what it takes (not that I like it but I understand it).
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:59 PM   #16
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I don't agree with the statement that leaf springs require higher floors and ride height.

The floor height on my 1959 Tradewind with leaf springs is lower than current A/S models.

I also dispute that the ride is 'poorer', but I don't have data to prove it. If someone has real data I hope they will share it. I didn't have any busted rivets in my Tradewind.

Oh, and I'm still looking for the lab report on the Henschen vs Axis dynamometer test.
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I don't agree with the statement that leaf springs require higher floors and ride height.

The floor height on my 1959 Tradewind with leaf springs is lower than current A/S models.

I also dispute that the ride is 'poorer', but I don't have data to prove it. If someone has real data I hope they will share it. I didn't have any busted rivets in my Tradewind.

Oh, and I'm still looking for the lab report on the Henschen vs Axis dynamometer test.
Mark,

As I said the high ride height on SOBs is due to the lack of wheel wells and the desire on the manufacturer's part to have a flat floor without wheel well cutouts. My 1954 Liner has about the same floor height as my 1979 Safari. There is a reason Airstream and others go with the torsion axle, I believe that the reasons, for Airstream, were discussed in the new Wanderlust book, but I don't have it in front of me now.

Bill
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:01 PM   #18
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I have telephoned Andy on several occasions and he's never been anything but really nice to me.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:43 AM   #19
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Axle prices

Hello All,
I Bought 2) Axis 3700# axles with 12" Kodiak Disk brakes , Mounting bolts, Hydraulic brake line kit and an Actibrake electric over hydraulic pump the middle of last year for a little less than $1300.oo for our 31". Shipping was not included in that price.
Last month was the first time that we had the trailer finished enough that we were able to take it camping.
I am very happy with the quality and fit of the Axis axles and the disk brakes are unbelivable.
If anyone is on the fence about the Kodiak disk brakes one hard stop with them will make up your mind for you.
If you want to read more info about axle stuff read the thread "The Minuet is at the Axle Doctor".

Mike B
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:31 PM   #20
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No complaints here.

I was the first one to get an Axis Products axle installed by Axis.
I took my Minuet down to Elkhart, IN in April of last year. Axis not only installed the new axle but also offered SEVERAL coating options. One being galvanizing. I went with the E-coating.
My brother-in-law now owns the 1973 31' that my father bought brand new. The trailer sat so low that the tops of the wheel covers could not be seen. My brother-in-law did not believe me when I told him to replace the axles. He took the trailer to Jackson Center to resolve the rear-end sag. When they quoted approximately $1,200 per axle he called me from there. I gave him the contact information and he hauled it over to Elkhart. Long story short; he got two new axles under the '73 for less than one from Airstream. He called me from the road while hauling it back home and commented that he had never known it could tow so well.
I am a firm believer that torsion axle manufacturers' materials and assembly methods cannot vary widely. These are items that need to be safe. I am sure that the manufacturers take liability very seriously. I do not think that any of them make an inferior product due to this.
Taking the liability into account I based my decision upon the fact they are not going to vary in quality greatly. If you can feel comfortable with the manufacturer of the axle then you can make your decision based upon price.
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:43 PM   #21
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Murray and I have purchased and installed several axis axles for friends last year. Most of them were of inferior quality, when compared to Dexter or Henschen.
The fit was very poor, and the overall quality on them was questionable. We gave very exact measurements, and shock bracket locations, and none of them were as ordered. The ride height varied on 2 identical installs.
We were only happy with the results on one of the 4 trailers.
From now on, it's "friends don't let friends use axis axles!"
They're cheap. All the way. The saying "you get what you pay for" applies here as well.
I believe that if one wants an excellent value, go with Dexter. A 100% reliable product for a fair price.
Henschen is also a very good product, but at a much higher price. You do get a factory fit for this higher price on some applications, though.
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:10 PM   #22
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5,000 miles on my new axle and no trouble as of yet. The two on my brother-in-law's trailer have about 2,500 miles on them now. No trouble.
Fit and finish can be seen on the thread "The Minuet is at the Axle Doctor".
Loaded it up and pulled it everywhere I went for work last season. I travel a lot for work. It is nice to camp instead of staying in hotels and flying in cramped coach class of a jet.
The weather here has been extremely mild and I was under the trailer last week. Nothing is loose or worn funny.
The brackets are a perfect match to the original ones.
To each his own but I have an excellent product at a great price.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
5,000 miles on my new axle and no trouble as of yet. The two on my brother-in-law's trailer have about 2,500 miles on them now. No trouble.
Fit and finish can be seen on the thread "The Minuet is at the Axle Doctor".
Loaded it up and pulled it everywhere I went for work last season. I travel a lot for work. It is nice to camp instead of staying in hotels and flying in cramped coach class of a jet.
The weather here has been extremely mild and I was under the trailer last week. Nothing is loose or worn funny.
The brackets are a perfect match to the original ones.
To each his own but I have an excellent product at a great price.
If I had someone do one axle, and did not have to go through the measuring, drawing, shipping, and then receiving a mediocre ( at best) product, I would feel the same way.
But - I did go through above steps, and then through shipping, installation hassles and finally problems with axle mounts and shock mounts on 4 out of 5 trailer that we did with Axis products. Hence, my somewhat strong, but educated opinion.
I regretted the entire time not having used Dexter's axle. The extra work on all but one set of axles was the same, even more on some of the installations.
I installed all three of the discussed brands - Henschen ( 3 sets) Dexter ( 3 trailers) and Axis ( 5 trailers).
I do not believe that the axis product is unsafe, as some have claimd on the forums. I do believe, however, that there are far better options.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:31 PM   #24
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Well, all I know comes from 24 years of restoring and maintaining these trailers.
Several other forums members have gotten axles from Axis, Dexter and Henschen. All of these manufacturers have had some horror stories.
I paid right around 300 bucks for my axle, complete with stainless steel mounting hardware.
My brother-in-law spent a little more than I did. He also had them use the stainless steel hardware and E-coating.
I like the E-coating due to the fact that it beats any "well-built" axle that is hand painted after it is completely built.
Mine was E-coated before it was assembled.
Just like Dexter, Henschen and Al-Ko, Axis supplies axles to several trailer manufacturers. One being a major tractor trailer manufacturer and another being a major farm implement manufacturer. These people use torsion axles with weight ratings that are in excess of 12,000 pounds. I am sure that all of the axle manufacturers supply to some of the same types of industries.
I have used Dexter and Henschen in the past. I never had a problem with either of them.
I have restored several trailers. I do not do this for a living. It is a hobby that my father figured I would be good at because I was no good at restoring cars. It has been my only hobby for the last 24 years.
Seeing as how I am not "flipping" a trailer when I am done, I investigate what I am replacing if I am not familiar with the item or the project. I plan on using what I restore, (or it is for a family member/friend), so I am not inclined to use inferior products or methods to cut costs. I do like to keep my money as "my money". I am not a "cheap skate". I investigate and pick what I feel is the best product or solution based upon quality and price. I still have a family to feed and house so I like to research first.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
I paid right around 300 bucks for my axle, complete with stainless steel mounting hardware.
We paid substantially more. Plus truck freight to California, way over $ 100.00 for each axle. For us, these axles were not a bargain, by any means.
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:01 PM   #26
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Well, being within driving distance helped.
Like I said, everyone has to weigh the options.
All I did was offer what I have had for experience with the 24 years of exposure I have had with long-term results of several types of components for these trailers.
It is good to have a varying opinion on here.
My proof of success with this axle has been clearly documented here.
Several others have posted similar results.
I love Dexter axles. They make some of the best products on the market.
If I cannot find a 6.7 Metre Minuet I will have this one as long as I can. I am not about to put junk on what I plan on keeping. Then again, I will not pay too much for something that I feel is of the same, or similar, quality.
They cannot make a "cheap" axle that could fail under use. So.... that being the case, it cannot be something that can just fall apart.
If you have had a problem with a vendor I would post pictures of the problems to let people know. Just the same with touting the quality of a vendor's product or service.
I, myself, would really like to see what was wrong with the Axis product so I know if there is something I am not seeing. Any help like that would be welcomed my myself and other forums members as well.
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:01 PM   #27
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Lou,
I did not take any pictures of the problem axles, and as I said, it was not a matter of them being unsafe or unsuitable, but the overall build quality, and attention to measurements by Axis themselves was a letdown to me.
I did not think at the time to make problems for Axis, nor do I want to do this now. I merely want to bring tha point across that their quality and overall customer service/buying/installing experience does NOT measure up to what I have experienced with Dexter or Henschen.
I have already listed someof the issues we had with Axis products, as in brackets being wrong...reversed entirely with the long side pointing the wrong way. Bolt hole patterns off by 1/2 of a hole - makes it very difficult to mount the axle. The only way is to drill all new holes. Brackets being welded only on one side, as opposed to all the way around like the competitors do. Shock mounts being welded to the torsion arms in the precise location where the axle mounting bolt goes on the bracket opposite the torsion arm, making it impossible to insert a bolt or nut due to clearance problems. Also, very sloppy and uneven welds where the spindle is attached to the torsion arm. In one case, the torsion arm was 1/2 in off from the other one, meaning that the arms did not have the same down angle. ( It eventually did not make a difference in the way the trailer sat, though.)
Anyways, we had noisy brakes, one drum sounded like something was dragging inside. Had to take everything apart and re-assemble, and adjust the brakes. Other times, a simple adjustment took care of the noise.
Maybe we just had a run of bad luck, but I just can't agree to the statement that all axles are the same, and one might as well pick the cheapest ones. In my experience, this was a big mistake. However, someone near their factory could take back a product if it was not satisfactory, and get it taken care of. In our case, we had a huge shipping bill, so returns were out of the question. It was more cost effective for us to help our friends solve the issues, and learn from our experience.
You obviously had much better results with Axis. Good for you!
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:20 PM   #28
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On the subject of leaf springs: (A War Story)
In 1966, I bought a Kenskill 19 foot single axle trailer. This was a stick built California trailer which I towed with a Dodge 4-door 3/4 ton pickup.
The first few trips made just about convinced me that I had to get rid of it. It hopped all over the road, and when the drive was over, the drawers were in the floor, dishes too. I mentioned this to the dealer, and his response was; "They all do that. The roads are too rough. Slow down."
I also talked to a friend who was a hot-rodder. His advice:
Put some shocks on that beast. He suggested the shock absorber brand and size, welded them on the proper spot.
This made a hell of a difference, and settled this baby down. Same roads as before, and when we pulled into park, nothing on the floor. Dishes in the right place, etc. I pulled this unit until we were transferred to Germany, 3 years later.
end of war story.

So, if you do put leaf springs on, my advice is the same as the old hot rodder.
Shocks, man, Shocks.
regards
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