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Old 12-22-2010, 01:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DanielB View Post
Second question. My Excella has a GWR or whatever of 7100 lbs. My new chassis is going to have straight C5x6.7 C channel with no holes to reduce weight. The interior will be a minimalist type interior, which will be less weight from "furnishings" and what-not.

Should I be looking at 4000-6000 lb axles?
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Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
Personally, I would get the Dexter #11 axle with 12" drums and the 3500 lb rating.

People have all kinds of opinions on this subject. What feels right to you?
Dave,

Daniel told us that his trailer has a rated GWR of 7,100 lbs, plus he has replaced his frame with something heavier than stock.

Do you feel that the ratings for axles are that conservative that he can get away with buying lower-rated axles than what he surely has in weight in his trailer? I know it's only a few hundred lbs over, so it seems as if it might be possible, but I really have no idea.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:21 PM   #16
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I called down to the Dexter place today.
For the Dexter Torflex (torsion axles-don't use shocks) 3500 lb:
Axle, hub, and brakes $405 each.

The sizes that they have are 3500, 5200, and 6000.
I wonder if the 5200s are too much and the 3500s too little...?

Daniel

Please be advised that your Excella originally had 4000 pound axles on it.

To replace axles with a smaller rating is asking for big trouble.

You can increase the rating up to 4500 pounds, but no more than that.

And if you don't use the shocks, you are asking for even more trouble.

A previous owner could have change out the axles, and simply installed the wrong rating.

I have all the original axle specs, so this is not a guess, BUT FACTS.

Andy
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:56 PM   #17
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I picked up from previous posts that the outgoing axles were 3,200 lbs. In that case, 3,500 lbs would seem reasonable to me.

However, as Andy says (and I absolutely trust his knowledge) this trailer originally had 4,000 lb axles, and I certainly wouldn't downrate axles after having added about 250 lbs of weight to the frame.

Given the trailer was originally specified for 4,000 lb axles, I would say replace them with the same axles, since 8,000 lbs is in the range for your 7,100 lbs gross weight.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #18
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The original axle rating for Excella's is 4000 pounds.
Andy
Not to belabor this but "GAWR for each axle is 3200 lbs" came from the plate on the front of the trailer. Is this consistent with the original axle rating being 4000 lbs?

Thanks
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DanielB View Post
Not to belabor this but "GAWR for each axle is 3200 lbs" came from the plate on the front of the trailer. Is this consistent with the original axle rating being 4000 lbs?

Thanks
Daniel.

You are assuming that the axles on the trailer are "original".

I am telling you that they "ARE NOT".

All Excella's had 4000 pound axles.

The regular 31 trailers had 3200 pound axles.

But as always, the choice is yours, as to what to do.

If you use 3200 pound axles, you will ruin them in short order.

Andy
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:36 PM   #20
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This is so confusing. The numbers didn't come from the axles, they came from the plate riveted to the front of the shell.

id number on the plate: E31A4S1941 - 31' 1974 Excella center bath twin?
On same plate: GAWR Left 3200
GAWR Right 3200
GVWR 7100

Does this sound right?

3500 or 4000 lb axles are surely the way to go, like you are saying. I am curious though if I have some sort of weird trailer..
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DanielB View Post
This is so confusing. The numbers didn't come from the axles, they came from the plate riveted to the front of the shell.

id number on the plate: E31A4S1941 - 31' 1974 Excella center bath twin?
On same plate: GAWR Left 3200
GAWR Right 3200
GVWR 7100

Does this sound right?

3500 or 4000 lb axles are surely the way to go, like you are saying. I am curious though if I have some sort of weird trailer..
Daniel I have the same plate on mine with the same ratings
GAWR Front 3200lbs
GAWR Rear 3200lbs
GVWR 7100lbs
I got axles from Andy 4000 lbs plus new shocks and you will need 4 shock mount bolts to attach shocks to the new axle plate. IMO it's worth getting originals as they bolt right in and behave just like originals.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:02 PM   #22
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Thanks Chris. I'll call him tomorrow.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:26 PM   #23
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DanielB, sounds like from your original post you have gutted the interior and it will be lighter than original and the frame will be heavier and stiffer than original.

The original design is for a 7100# rating I would weigh the finished trailer before replacing axles to get a loaded weight (With liquids and gas) of the unit. Then figure 300 to 600 pounds of "stuff" that could be carried when traveling. Use that number + a cushion of 5 to 10 percent to spec your axle ratings. Also know that RVs of any type are like humans. They get heavier with age. You no longer have a stock unit and stock axles may not be the best fit. If the total new load is significantly less than the original load you may be setting yourself up for too stiff a ride. The reverse is true as well. Know that if the total number gets much more than 7100 #'s you may have issues with other components of the trailer that have not been replaced that were designed for a total load of 7100#s.

You are re-engineering the unit because of the major changes that it sounds like you have or will do from your first post. Don't go into the axle replacement blinded by stock specs.

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Old 12-23-2010, 05:46 AM   #24
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I think that I just might take your advice on this. The trailer weight may be significantly different when the redo is done.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:20 AM   #25
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Daniel Sorry a little boo boo I got 4500lb axles from Andy. If you plan to rebuild the interior all new with new bulkhead walls and cabinets etc. The trailer will be heavier than original. The original cabinets and furniture were all aluminium framed and used light weight panels if you use wood for framing and panels you will add much more weight than the original. New appliances are heavier as well and any additions will again add more weight. Installing the axles now will be much easier than once the shell is back on. Your choice though.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:32 AM   #26
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4500. So you pretty much have it covered with those.
This is a tough one.
The new chassis is heaver than the old one was, but I'm want to leave out as much as I can from the interior. I had a motor home before and really want to minimize the "cramp" factor, so it may be lighter.

4500 would cover just about anything.. but maybe too much if it is significantly lighter? Darn this is tough. Maybe the safest bet is to wait until the weight can be determined.

Thanks
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:50 AM   #27
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Just to add another wrinkle to this discussion. I find that the Dexter axles degrade much faster than Hension axles do and that the initial ride is nowhere nearly as smooth as a new Hension. What you might wind up doing is changing the axles and after 5,000 miles have no smoother suspension than you had with the axles you are removing.

My quick axle test on a tandem is to put two 2x8 blocks of wood under one tire if the other tire still sits on the ground you have as much travel as you will get with the Dexter and there is no real benefit to changing the axle.

What I have found is that if you want to preserve an older Airstream the best way is to install a softer riding tire.

To give an example, three of us were traveling to a Rally in PEI a couple of years ago. We had three 34's, a 1987 with at least 50,000 miles on it, a 1999 with about the same, both had the original Hension axles. I had a new one with Dexter axles with about 4,000 miles on it. The back roads in PEI have a lot of pot holes and frost heaves, they really challenge the suspension on the trailer. We drove one behind the other down the same road at the same speed. In our Airsteam there was not a single thing left hanging in the closet some of the hangers had actually straightened out. In the 87 and the 99 everything was still hanging up when we arrived.

My rather primative ride measurement device is a gell battery sitting on a old mechanical bathroom scale over the axles. With a new dexter the weight fluctuates twice as far as a new Hension on the same road.

I just wish we could still get Hensions.

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Old 12-23-2010, 08:03 AM   #28
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GKN/Henschen Axles

Quote:
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I just wish we could still get Hensions.

Andrew T
I believe that they are still available from Inland RV. Not sure how many and what sizes are in stock. It was reported that GKN/Henschen was closing its doors and reorganizing. See this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ing-59074.html

The GKN web site does not list Henschen axles anywhere that I could find.

Axis axles can be installed.
Axles

Colin Hyde is a distributor for Axis. There are probably others as well.
https://sites.google.com/a/colinhyde....com/home/Home

All the Horse trailer places here in Texas that I have talked to (5/5) recommend Dexter. There are a lot of distributors of Dexter axles.
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