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Old 05-27-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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1972 Argosy 20
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Correct Axle?

So I'm having a new axle installed on my 20' Argosy. I was advised to use a 4000lb rated axle. I just found the tag on the original axle and it reads 4500 lb.

Actual weight on the trailer is 3460lbs with full water tank, full hot water tank and full propane. Tongue weight under these conditions is 620lbs, so the weight on the axle should be 2820lbs.

Given the above, it looks to me that the 4000lb axle should be adequate even if I throw another 500lbs of stuff in the trailer (which I won't). I wonder why the trailer originally had a 4500lb rated axle?

Any thoughts? Is the 4000lb axle adequate? Am I missing something?
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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If the original axle was rated at 4500 lbs, why would you reduce the capacity? I also hope you are increasing the brakes to 12" self adjusting with centramatic balancers. There is a great video on the centramatic system at inlandrv.com, take a look.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFly View Post
So I'm having a new axle installed on my 20' Argosy. I was advised to use a 4000lb rated axle. I just found the tag on the original axle and it reads 4500 lb.

Actual weight on the trailer is 3460lbs with full water tank, full hot water tank and full propane. Tongue weight under these conditions is 620lbs, so the weight on the axle should be 2820lbs.

Given the above, it looks to me that the 4000lb axle should be adequate even if I throw another 500lbs of stuff in the trailer (which I won't). I wonder why the trailer originally had a 4500lb rated axle?

Any thoughts? Is the 4000lb axle adequate? Am I missing something?
Argosy vs. Airstream, almost identiacal for weight purposes.

A 1972 Airstream 21 foot trailer used a 4500 pound axle.

Also, checking with the 1974 Argosy parts book, a 20 footer calls for a 4500 pound axle.

Down grading the weight rating of a torsion axle used on a Airstream or Argosy trailer, is an absolute NO NO, unless the trailer was completely redesigned and the weight was drastically reduced.

Adding 12 inch brakes instead of 10 inch brakes,is always a good thing.

But, 10 inch brakes are only good for 3500 pounds. Since your original axle was 4500 pounds and the replacment is the same, 12 inch brakes must be used.

Also, as Airstream learned in time, a lighter rating torsion axle will have it's rubber rods "give out" way too soon.

Example. 61 22 foot Airstream used a 3600 pound torsion axle, a 1962 used the same, a 1963 used 4000 pounds, a 1964 used 4000 pounds, a 1965, 66, 67, 68 used 5000 pounds.

Your axle rating is "exactly" what it is supposed to be.

Andy
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #4
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When you put WD gear on the trailer, some of the tongue weight gets transferred back to the trailer axle. If the OEM axle was 5,000 pounds, I would certainly not go lower than that. If the person advising you to do so is the person selling you the axle, I would question why they wanted to do that. Are they trying to sell an axle they already have, and are trying to get rid of? Do they think they are selling you a softer ride?
The 4000 pound and 5000 pound axle, IIRC, are the same tube diameter, and the only real difference is capacity.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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I would call Colin Hyde if you are interested in axels. He sell them and will be straight with you. Colin Hyde Trailer Restoration. He is out of New York but don't let that put you off

Tony
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Roadrunner55 View Post
If the original axle was rated at 4500 lbs, why would you reduce the capacity? I also hope you are increasing the brakes to 12" self adjusting with centramatic balancers. There is a great video on the centramatic system at inlandrv.com, take a look.
I agree. Why would anyone use a lower rated axle, especially on rubber torsion axles. Most rubber torsion axles ride real well when you get over 60% of the weight rating on them, so why get a lower rated axle than the manufacturer used originally. Leaf springs aren't that forgiving.
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