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Old 02-03-2007, 09:45 PM   #1
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Dexter axles - What I wanted & what I got

Moderator note: this post appears out of sequence in this thread and should be post 2.


Bill B.

I think you need to get them replaced with the correct 3200 lb axles.

Those will give you a harsh ride and may create wear and tear on the whole rig.

Get a lawyer to sent them a letter and if you used a credit card..........
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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Dexter Axles, a cautionary tale

I posted this as a reply on another thread by mistake. Shoulda been here.

For those following the great axle debate I would like to add an installment.
I picked up my Airstream from the axle shop day before yesterday and just now am able to speak(write.) You may be able to ascertain that I have been rendered almost speechless by the entire experience. I prepared a list of instructions for the dealer(non Airstream dealer) containing information from the Dexter web site and my personal specifications for what I wanted, as follows:

2-Dexter #10 axles 3200pound rating
22.5 degree down aspect
regular 10 inch brakes
ez-lube axles
re-welded shock mounts

What I got?
2-Dexter #?? 5200# rating
Zero aspect (level)
12 inch brakes
ez lube axles
rewelded shock mounts
2 inch bracket to provide the proper mounting?????

Huh?, I said. How did you end up with Zero degree up/down aspect? He said: Well, that's what they were at when you brought it in. Me: Thatís because they were worn out, shot, used up, aaaaaaargh. Me: my old axles were 2800# rated, that's why I requested 3200# axles, to replace the old ones and bump them up just a little bit to possible cover added weight or maybe someday a new graywater tank. Him: Well the 3200# axles would have barely covered the dry weight of the trailer and any additions, like water or junk, would raise it above the limit. Me: But airstream used 2800# axles on this model and I didnít want to go WAY over that. Him: well, trailer companies put on different weight rated axles and label them the same, as long as they are not under the limit. Me: Sheesh!

Hey look at the bright side, I told myself. The price was about what they said. $1200 plus sales tax. The extra axle rating will be really handy when I want to add a gray water tank, rear frame bracing and the Sherman tank that I may want to buy someday and convert the Airstream into a toy hauler.

All seriousness aside. I think: What to do, oh, what to do? Remember the 20-20 expose on restaurant staff, that said that if you send food back to the kitchen to be redone, they spit in it. Or worse. Makes me wonder what they do to Airstreams that are sent back to the kitchen.

The moral of the story. GET IT IN WRITING, GET IT IN WRITING, GET IT IN WRITING. Oh yea, be sure to get it in writing, too. Make them look at your specs and recite them after your reading aloud of them. Compel them, by threat of whatever it takes, to inform you of any changes that they feel that they have to make to your "grand plan."

Thanks for listening to my rant. Hopefully the story will give someone else the insight to tell the "experienced trailerman, that does this sort of thing to Airstreams all-the-time," that his high level of experience does not trump your obsessive desire to have it DONE RIGHT.
Sorry, I yelled. Just practicing to see how it sounds for future reference. Where ever I go from here.
cheers, bill b.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:01 PM   #3
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welll......

any pics? What's with the new two inch mount. Is this a spacer? Sounds botched.

Hmmmm.....
Marc
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:11 PM   #4
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hi billy05

thanks for posting the lesson...

'get it in writing'

given how little the job cost...

and how valuable this trailer is to you...

i'd take it back and ask it be done correctly...

perhaps split the cost of the redo (you didn't get it in writing) with the dealer....

even dexter will likely support the position you've got too much axle now.

also it would seem with the angle changed, 2 inch spacers and wheel size altered...

your trailer will ride much differently...

not necessarily a good thing...

spend a little more now, as painful as it might seem...

shell repair, leaks and so on could be much more painful as a lesson....

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:16 PM   #5
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Darn

I hate when this kind of stuff happens....hope it all works out for you. I think we have all been there at one time or another.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:33 PM   #6
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Looks like you never spent any time in the Marine Corps.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:15 AM   #7
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wondering

if one was to call Dexter and order an axle for a 22 or 23 ft current safari, if this would get the right axle with bolt holes in the right place. I'd love it if someone with that size trailer and the new Dexter axles as supplied by AS would confirm that the bolt holes and spacing, etc were the same as those on the 70's 8ft wide tandem trailers.

I think their GAWR rating is simular to the 25 ft tradewinds.
Marc
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:21 AM   #8
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Arrow Dexter Axles.

Hi Bill; I am very surprised to say the least. When I ordered my axles, Dexter, was not even willing to discuss the order until I presented them with filled out spec sheet provided by them. This sheet contained numerous drawings of different configurations. Have you dealt directly with Dexter or a dealer? In any case Dexter had called me back after receiving my filled out spec sheet to go over my figures. I thought that it was very professional of them to do so. For my 26' Argosy I wanted 5000 lbs axles so that I can have large bearings 1 3/4"inside and 1 /14"outside with 12 " brakes while having 22.5 Degree drop and 3500 lbs torsion arm capacity per axle. My axles came as I specified with the exception that the capacity was not tested yet, because trailer is not complete. I guess the person who did the specifications may be to blame. Thanks, "Boatdoc"

You can count on changes in life. "At times you are the doggie, the rest of times you are the fire hydrant". "boatdoc"
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
if one was to call Dexter and order an axle for a 22 or 23 ft current safari, if this would get the right axle with bolt holes in the right place. Marc
No. They want all they data on the axle they are creating. Dexter does not keep data on what trailer (A/S and non A/S) has what axle. They are a supplier for A/S and hundreds of other trailer manufacturers.

Airstream places and order for 50 axles based on the job they want done. Dexter (or any other vendor) makes the part and has no idea what it's going into. In this case Dexter, makes thousands of axles each year for many different customers for many different uses.

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Old 02-05-2007, 06:45 PM   #10
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The Dexter Axle Saga improves

Hi,
I decided to chill a bit and go back to the shop and talk it over with the axle guy. He was very nice about it. Answered my questions and agreed to redo the job. He said he was sure that 0 degree aspect was correct and suggested that I have the trailer weighed to avoid any confusion on axle strength. He called me later and said he had talked to someone at Inland RV, Gregg I think, and agreed that we need to go with the 22.5 degree down axle aspect and reduce the axle support weight down to the 3500# range. Said that Inland RV told him what they use and my original idea had been in line with that. He was a real gentleman about it and said he could probably get the new axles within about 3 days and would put them on in short order. So I am a happier camper today then yesterday. Will keep on with the update. BTW I wasn't in the Marines, but USAF and forgot to relate the project to the necessity of full instruction and confirmation that I learned there. I did know a Marine once tho. :-) Could tell some war stories about that. That was 34 years ago. I must be getting old.
cheers, bill b.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:00 PM   #11
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Glad things are working out - I have been following this thread to see where things would go. Looks like you found an honest merchant - maybe give him some credit and pass on his place of business after he corrects the axles for you so that others may call on him.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:08 PM   #12
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34 years ago- that mighta been me. Semper Fi. Glad to hear you did not need any help! To bad this shop weren't closer I'ld be giving them my axle business. DG
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:10 PM   #13
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Karma to Inland...

I'm happy that Inland helped out - really when they weren't even making a sale.
Thanks for the update - can't wait to see what you get.
Still want photos!
Marc
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:34 PM   #14
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I have been looking into axle replacements myself. Reading the posts I think a couple points have been left out. When you weigh your trailer (and you should) and you consider the weight capacities of the new axles you need to deduct the weight of the running gear, all the unsprung weight. That is the wheels tires brakes etc. You should also deduct the tongue weight. so if your tongue weight and unsprung gear weight are deducted then add 1000 LB for cargo now you are looking at the axle capacity range. Also some people are saying to go to 30 deg. for greater range of motion instead of 22.5 deg. So with 30 deg. and the axles rating close to the adjusted weight you should end up with a smooth ride with out fear of bottoming out the axles. As for the spindle hub size it seems that AS has a unique combination of over sized or heaver hubs/brakes than the typical trailer industry. So when the non AS trailer expert looks at the brakes, bolt pattern, splines and bearings they say that they are 5200lb when AS built them with Henshen 3200LB! So be careful when the typical trailer guys look at the hardware and tell you what you have or need!
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