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Old 01-31-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
1977 31' Sovereign
 
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Axle $$$ Price Is The Topic

Ok there seems to be a very high markup on axles and many differant views about it.. I have only checked with Dexter Distributors and this is what I have found out. Dexter dose not make a 3200# axle for this applecation, they offer a 3500# complete axle with electric brakes 6 bolt hubs and drums for $337.77 the only catch about the 3500# axle is that you can only get it with 10" brakes, which I would not put on a 31' trailer. In order to get 12" brakes you need to move up to a 6000# axle and these sell for $449.66 per axle complete with electric brakes 6 bolt hubs and drums these are torsion axles. Now because it is a 6000# axle dose not mean that your tailer will ride rougher it just makes your GVWR larger per axle. Now if you want just the bare axle for 12" brakes that will run 341.38. I have also found out that prices differ from distributor to distributor, the way I look at it is this, Inland RV wants $800.00 for a complete axle 10" or 12" and $500.00 for a bare axle 10" or 12" plus shipping, now these axles that Inland RV sells are Henschen axles whitch are OEM on Airstreams. If I needed axles on my trailer it would be a no thinker for me on which axles that I would buy but that is only my thoughts. The prices that I have given do not include shipping..
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:03 PM   #2
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Which One?

Which one would you buy? Would you get the $450 Dexter or the $800 Henschen? I've seen guys on here argue vehemently both ways.

Me, I still don't see where the torsion types are that superior to leaf springs. Yes, you get independant suspension. But are you in a Porsche 911 going around a race track? No, you're driving a pickup truck with leaf springs pulling a travel trailer. I don't see where the independant suspension is going to make that huge a difference. Maybe I'm all wet here, but I'm just not getting it. At least with leafs, they don't sag on you after not jacking the thing up all the time and leave you with a low rider.

Of course, that being said, the torsion types are superior in every regard OTHER than taking the permanent set.

I'm in a similar position right now David. My axles are shot. I'm also looking to fab a brand new frame of a deeper section. I will eliminate the sag and separation problem once and for all. The question is: Do I want to go with torsion axles or go with leaf springs? After I answer that question, I will have to look at what brands to go with...
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Which one would you buy? Would you get the $450 Dexter or the $800 Henschen? I've seen guys on here argue vehemently both ways.

Me, I still don't see where the torsion types are that superior to leaf springs. Yes, you get independant suspension. But are you in a Porsche 911 going around a race track? No, you're driving a pickup truck with leaf springs pulling a travel trailer. I don't see where the independant suspension is going to make that huge a difference. Maybe I'm all wet here, but I'm just not getting it. At least with leafs, they don't sag on you after not jacking the thing up all the time and leave you with a low rider.

Of course, that being said, the torsion types are superior in every regard OTHER than taking the permanent set.

I'm in a similar position right now David. My axles are shot. I'm also looking to fab a brand new frame of a deeper section. I will eliminate the sag and separation problem once and for all. The question is: Do I want to go with torsion axles or go with leaf springs? After I answer that question, I will have to look at what brands to go with...
Jim,

I would replace torsion with torsion and leaf with leaf, replacing one with the other means quite a few changes. Torsion also gives you ground clearance which the leafs do not and the distance between the axle and the trailer does not change with torsion. I have leafs on the 1954 Liner and torsion on the 1979 Safari.

Bill
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:50 PM   #4
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Which One?

The reason I started this thread was because I have read so much about cost, Its almost like trying to reinvent the wheel. Mine have been replaced with Henschen before Inland became the only retailer for them. The funny thing about my axles are I have the Henschen invoice but they came with a Dexter manual whats up with that I do not know. I know this much the price of iron as gone up in leaps and bounds so axle price is going to be higher. If I had to replace my axles, I know I would not pay the price Inland RV wants for there Henschen axles. Both axles are torsion, real close to the same design I would think other then maybe different rubber compounds and the inside shaft, both are the same princeable in development, I am not a expert in that field. But when it gets right down to spending the green I would buy the Dexter without a dought, I would rather keep that extra $700.00 in my pocket than give it to someone else. As for leafs I guess thats up to you, me no.
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:52 PM   #5
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I took my 62 Globe Trotter to Axis Products in Elkart IN . They took off the old axle and built a new one to match the old, and installed itl I drove away $442 later and have been very happy that I didn't have to do it myself.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagecoachbill
I took my 62 Globe Trotter to Axis Products in Elkart IN . They took off the old axle and built a new one to match the old, and installed itl I drove away $442 later and have been very happy that I didn't have to do it myself.
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Glad to hear that,,, that is another good alternetive there are lots ways to go about it to save money and that is the whole objective to this thread, the money saved is another trip in my book..
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:09 PM   #7
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Ride height of leaves vs torsion

There is no vertical motion (under the trailer) for torsion suspension. There is a live solid axle under the trailer for leaf springs. When the springs go up and down under the unit the height of the floor of the trailer must be raised to allow for this movement. This puts the floor further up in the air and raises the center of gravity of the unit. This makes the whole thing more suceptible to side loads from trucks passing and also make the unit tippier from side to side from irregularities in the road. You can not make a better handling trailer when you start off with an inferior suspension system. That and it also make the towing air resistance of the unit more since it will have to be higher overall and not be tucked in behind the TV. Next time you are at an RV show or campground check the distance from the ground to the floor in the trailer. You will be surprised.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:21 PM   #8
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Dewightdi

dewighdi I know I live in mine full time I just took the Lab out to do his thing and walked over to a 06 coachman that sits beside me has leafs from ground to floor about 3'6", these trailers are to high.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidh
dewighdi I know I live in mine full time I just took the Lab out to do his thing and walked over to a 06 coachman that sits beside me has leafs from ground to floor about 3'6", these trailers are to high.
David,

The height has nothing to do with leaf springs. My 1954 Double Door Liner with leaf springs is about the same floor height as my 1979 Safari with torsion springs. The difference you found is the fact that the floor is above the wheels and tires to give the trailer a flat floor without the wheel wheels encroaching on the floor.

What I really like about Airstream trailers is the low floor height.

Bill
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:37 PM   #10
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Your absalutly wright that is why they sit so high so they can have axle travel if they had wheel wells they would be lower, you sir are 100% correct..
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:30 AM   #11
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Just last month, I helped a friend (on this forum) put new axles on his '70 Overlander, 28 foot. I measured 5 times, and then ordered: Hub face to Hub face, 79 7/16". The mounting brackets welded to the axles 61 1/8", with the "l" turned inward. These dimensions gave him beautiful tire clearance front to back and inside to outside. He used Dexter axles for two reasons. Dexter has a place 35 miles from our home, and the cost was right at half what they would be buying Henschens from the supplier, and NO SHPPNG. I ordered two #11 axles with a #3700lb rating so as to receive the 12 inch brakes/drums. I also ordered the 22.5 degree down on the start angle. The trailer sits up nice and pretty now. Pulls great. The main thing I am trying to tell you is that you can order anything you want in load ratings. I think you can even order #3600 in the #11 axle, still getting the 12" brakes.
Now, when it came time to mount them, the back hole in the Dexter bracket is the same location as stock. On the front hole, I elongated the hole on the Dexter bracket approx. .225". I then had to widen the hole for the axle tube on the Airstream frame by approx .185 on each side of the opening to keep the axle centered. The Dexter axle tube is 3" where your Henshen is 2.75. The upper portion of the hole was left with the flat factory cut to keep the axle positioned properly. I installed it this way instead of cutting the brackets off the old axles and welding them on the new as I did not want to weld on a tube that already contained the rubber torsion rods. We accomplished this in about 6-8 hours total, spread over two days.
Not trying to talk you into anything, just telling you what we did and the results. The owner of the trailer is GTRACER. If you would like, email me (wingsofgold1@cs.com) or call me, and we will discuss at legnth. 770-228-6678
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:58 AM   #12
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Reading previous post on Inland RV, It seems they have customer service issues.

I highly recommend that you check out C & G Trailer Service in Bellflower, CA.
Prices are fair, great help, and nice people too ! It'll be worth going the extra mile.


Good luck in your quest.

Safari-Rick
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:11 PM   #13
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Inland Andy probably charges so much to cover for the all the “free” abuse and put downs he dishes out here.

It fascinates me that some members seem to take masochistic delight in this and keep buying from the guy.

I wonder why the forum allows him to flame throw around here. He’s obviously an opportunistic vendor, masquerading as an “expert” on these pages.

Nobody needs to reward such rudeness with their money.

Besides, doesn’t Airstream use Dexter now?


Sergei
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:31 PM   #14
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Sergei,

Inland RV is not allowed to "flame throw" or post anything any different than you. They have been punished just like others that are out of line when brought to our attention or we discover issues. However we will not broadcast to everyone every time some one is punished. There are no special rules for anyone. We are not perfect or paid. Just volunteers doing the best that we can. If you have suggestions please do not with hold. And while you are entitled to you opinions, so is everyone else.

Another advantage to independent suspension of torsion springs is the ride for the things we all have inside. As the torsion springs wear and no longer have the smoother ride, things tend to move or fly inside. Extreme cases have involved rivits coming loose. Going to leaf springs would provide a rougher ride. However, in my opinion leafs last longer, they have other draw backs as compared to independant rubber torsion springs. Poorer ride, higher ride height, can get rusty and squeek, do not look as nice as torsons, more difficult to have multi axles, take up more installed space.

A manufacturer has to always consider the limitations when building a product. I would think Airstream would consider 10 to 20 years as an acceptable life span for the product they make. (axles included) I don't know that for sure and any manufacture wants the consumer to come back for a more recent offering. For those of us that have vintage units (as defined by VAC) it would be my opinion that Airstream doesn't even care for those units. In fact those units probably compete for sales in the newer box trailers. I know I decided a VAC defined A/S was a better choice for me than a newer box type. A newer (less than 5 years old) Airstream was not even on the radar screen when I was buying. ....... however I am off the topic now so I will stop.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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