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Old 11-10-2008, 03:20 PM   #1
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Bad Axles or Not?

I have recently taken a trip to Airstream, with my trailer. I was going to take advantage of there winter repaire rates. I wanted to inquire on my axles.

When I called Airstream, Customer service I was alarmed that when I was checking axle prices, and Specs for arm travel I was refferred to Inland RV.

What started all this was a post telling me my axles where bad. From a picture. My Airstream on hand now I am going to get a quote. Shocked
to find out that my axles are not bad. Infact a engeneer from henschen was also there. He told me they have axles from back when they first started putting them on still operating fine.

Airstream / Henschen told me. Those arms can actually be slightly pointing up and still operate fine. Looking at the tires through the wheel well is not
an acceptable way to tell if the axles are shot unless your a salesman selling axles.

Many wheel wells on different units through out the years have been cut out differently. Just like on cars and trucks.

Before anyone replaces there axles I would reccomend you do the same as me.

I hope this post doesnt offend anyone, It is my little true story on a hot topic only on these forums.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:26 PM   #2
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Axle voodoo...............

Now this ought to get interesting!
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang View Post
I have recently taken a trip to Airstream, with my trailer. I was going to take advantage of there winter repaire rates. I wanted to inquire on my axles.

When I called Airstream, Customer service I was alarmed that when I was checking axle prices, and Specs for arm travel I was refferred to Inland RV.

What started all this was a post telling me my axles where bad. From a picture. My Airstream on hand now I am going to get a quote. Shocked
to find out that my axles are not bad. Infact a engeneer from henschen was also there. He told me they have axles from back when they first started putting them on still operating fine.

Airstream / Henschen told me. Those arms can actually be slightly pointing up and still operate fine. Looking at the tires through the wheel well is not
an acceptable way to tell if the axles are shot unless your a salesman selling axles.

Many wheel wells on different units through out the years have been cut out differently. Just like on cars and trucks.

Before anyone replaces there axles I would reccomend you do the same as me.

I hope this post doesnt offend anyone, It is my little true story on a hot topic only on these forums.
According to Henschen and Airstream, ALL pre 1974 axles, will fail.

That's 100 percent of them.

What was the name of the persons you talked to at Airstream and Henschen?

The information that's posted in the Dura-torque axle article, in our web site, came from Airstream and Henschen.

Andy
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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I'm getting the popcorn and a beer ready for this one!
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:54 PM   #5
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Andy straight up I am going to ask you 2 questions that thes guys told me and laughed.

1st Do you own these forums? or started them?

2nd Are you the only Henschen dealer in the US for Airstreams?

Answering these 2 questions will tell me alot about the gentlemen I talked to. I still cant figure out why the lady in customer service told me what she did. Refferring me to you when it is there product.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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Andy straight up I am going to ask you 2 questions that thes guys told me and laughed.

1st Do you own these forums? or started them?

2nd Are you the only Henschen dealer in the US for Airstreams?

Just for clarity here - Inland RV's Andy is not the same Andy R that owns the forum (or started it).

As far as your questions about axles... Airstream has used both henschen and dexter axles on their trailers over the years with henschen being supplier for most vintage trailers. While the forum is a great source of info, if you have specific questions from a dealer or vendor, you should take it up with them privately. Commercial entities are discouraged from doing business in threads and are prohibited from quoted prices etc.

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:28 PM   #7
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That is good info Janet. Can a commercial vendor initiate or use " The sky is falling" tactics to market there product on here?

The dealer told me that Andy was the owner so at least I now know that was bad info. As for my second question I think it still is important.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:47 PM   #8
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The answer to the 2nd q depends on the age of the Airstream. Inland RV is the only distributor for Henschen axles used on Airstream trailers built prior to a certain date. It is for older Airstreams and the date is something like 20 or 30 year old trailers.

The reasoning is based on quanity. Henschen is in the business of manufacturing and not necessarily retail sales. They manufacter a lot of units for Airstream and many other trailers. The volume of sales for replacement axles on older units is not cost effective to deal with on a retail basis. So Inland RV handles retail sales of Henschen axles for Airstream trailers of an older vintage. I do not know the date however I believe it is in the 1970s and older.

If you are in the market for axles, Henschen is just one of the choices.

Thanks for sharing your experience at the Airstream Service center. Your contributions are what makes this forum a great place. Please restrict your negative opinons and judgements of others on this website. This is called posting nice. And we will moderate to that standard.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:09 PM   #9
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Wally Byam encountered so much leaf spring breakage on the original Capetown-to-Cairo trip that Airstream developed and then spun off the rubber rod damped Henschen axles. That rubber was prone to aging and developing a set so that the axles became rigid and led to a harsher ride than desired. Up-angle (down angle? help me out here...), history of the trailer (mobile vs. parked) and age of the trailer all bear into decisions on replacing the axles. We have experienced people here beyond Inland that can vouch for when or if one should replace their axles. It is the nature of the forum beast that the desired experienced people may not step into the flow of this thread and post more expert reports than I have just now. And I'll be the first to say that my history may be a little off....
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:27 PM   #10
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To add to the above, in the torsion axle design (rubber rod) usage of the trailer by traveling greatly extends the service life. And there was a design significant change in 1974 in the make up of the "rubber". Older axle designs (rubber rods) are prone to stiffen up such that they no longer cushion the ride and the trailer and contents get shaken up to the point of having damage. If you are not experiencing the contents of the trailer moving or drawers and cabinets opening along with rivets loosening after pulling for some distance, you may be OK. It is the design of the torsion axle to allow for a very soft ride and be rather resillant. Leaf springs do not have that benefit.

The above is not to be interpreted as a diagonsis of any axle condition on any trailer. Rather a general indication of issues if one experiences the above issues.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:40 PM   #11
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My .02

Can't resist.

My 73 Sovereign had the original axles in which the arms were about horizontal. I also cracked the frame above the axles. I have no doubt the axles were bad and if I knew then what I think I know now it wouldn't have happened.

Last year I put new 10" Dexters on my 71 Tradewind. The old axles were 12" Henschens. SO FAR plenty of stopping power and no complaints.

SO FAR the axles on my 62 (that has been around the world) seem OK. But I only towed her 15 miles since I got her. At some point it had hydraulic brakes, now they are electric. If they are replacement axles had to be pre 1982 which is the last time the trailer was regisitered.

I think the horse is dead.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
The answer to the 2nd q depends on the age of the Airstream. Inland RV is the only distributor for Henschen axles used on Airstream trailers built prior to a certain date. It is for older Airstreams and the date is something like 20 or 30 year old trailers.

I guess thats my point

I am not saying axles cant go bad. but they sure are going bad alot around here
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:04 PM   #13
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I am not saying axles cant go bad. but they sure are going bad alot around here
Maybe that's because there sure are a lot of 1974 and older Airstreams around here.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:07 PM   #14
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Mine are bad. And it's a '66.

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