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Old 03-29-2005, 01:34 PM   #1
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Dexter vs Henschen

Ok, I called Dexter axle today, gave them the specs for my 73 sovereign, 61.25 inches mounting flange to mounting flange. and 80 inches wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface 3500 pound axle.. I upped each axle 10 % +-.. and I requested a 45 drgree drop due to needing some unbuttdragging clearance. They quoted me 387.67 out the door per axle. (I did not ask for a shipping quote)and that is complete with electric brakes.and greasable bearings.. I think she said it was an extra seven bucks for the permantent lube jobbies.But I prefer to repack yearly..
Granted this axle is not going to be a direct bolt on .. it might require some fabricating. so Is it really worth saving a little bit of money to buy a Dexter over a direct replacement? My friends, I will leave that decision up to you.. It is a beautiful day here in central Indiana..now if it will just stay that way.
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:48 PM   #2
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Only you can determine if it's worth it. And you probably won't know till after it's done.

But the 'unbuttdragging' remark certainly makes MY day.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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Unhappy Wal-Mart or Nordstroms

If you're pulling an Airstream why are you looking for a cheaper axle?

Are you trying to protect and preserve your Airstream for years of fun and safe use? If so, the RIGHT parts will save more than the cheap ones.

Tin Lizzie
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:20 PM   #4
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I put a dexter axel on my Caravel because the RV shop I used to do the work recommended them, as did many other Airstreamers I talked to. There was some fabbing involved, but there would be on a Caravel with any axel because of the short mounting flanges, as I understood from previous forum posts. Anyway, we put a lot of miles on it last year and are very happy with it.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:23 PM   #5
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Dexters are a moot subject for me

According to Dexter's website info, the Torflex axle is not recommended in triple axle applications. Fortunately my present axles seem to be fine, and we typically run the roads at least once a month, so I know the rubber's getting a workout, as opposed to being stationary.

I am thinking about fashioning a cradle of sorts to relieve weight on the axles while not traveling for the express purpose of trying to prolong the life of them.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:28 PM   #6
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Paula,

Dexter axles are not reputed as lower in quality. It's just another manufacturer, recommended by all I know who have their axles. The markup is lower, but that's unrelated to its quality. The tough part is the installation, just as Eric writes. Just another option, a more complicated installation procedure, but not necessarily a worse option. One that I'm considering too (heck, I'm considering all options)!

I'm also interested in finding out what folks who have installed one think, too...

Mary
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaFord
If you're pulling an Airstream why are you looking for a cheaper axle?

Are you trying to protect and preserve your Airstream for years of fun and safe use? If so, the RIGHT parts will save more than the cheap ones.

Tin Lizzie
The right part was a Dexter. I think...
I trust Dexter axles just as much as a Henschen any day.
I am getting an axle made by an axle shop. It is custom. It will be far superior than what was under it. It will last longer than I will live. That's a long time considering I am just a youngster!
It will be safe.
It will be preserved.
For years and years to come.
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaFord
If you're pulling an Airstream why are you looking for a cheaper axle?

Tin Lizzie
If by 'cheaper' you mean lower quality, I don't think that has been demonstrated.

If you mean 'less expensive', what's wrong with that?

Dexter is a $350M company. That's larger than Airstream and Henschen combined. They have resources for R&D, metallurgy, manufacturing and quality assurance that comes from being a larger corporation.

I think the advantage for Henschen is that they grew out of an in-house operation by airstream. They know the dimensions and design specs.

If someone wants to switch to Dexter or AL-KO, and they're willing to do the research and legwork to save some money, I say more power to them!
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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I'm wondering what exactly has to be done to make a dexter axle fit? also, what about allignment? I believe the Henshens are alligned at the factory.

but for the $$ quoted....you could probably get new axles with brakes, and have someone else install them for less than it would cost to do it yourself w/ henshens. hmmm.....
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chuck
I'm wondering what exactly has to be done to make a dexter axle fit? also, what about allignment? I believe the Henshens are alligned at the factory.

Not to cast fuel on a blaze, but I'd be interested to know how Dexter ships their axles - if they're in some kind of a crate where it's obvious if they've been dropped, or like Henschen, where with a two axle purchase they're merely banded together, or with just one, you get nothing at all. If an axle has been dropped, I could see where alignment could be affected somewhat.

Stephanie, did your new axle come directly to you, or to a local dealer who then installed it? Do you know how it was shipped?
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:42 PM   #11
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Alignment specs are:

multiple axles must be parallel to each other within 1/8"
axles must be perpendicular to the centerline within 1/4" total (1/8" per side)

The original set-up on my 1959 tradewind was out by 1/2". I corrected it when I put on a new coupler.

I do not know how the axle was shipped because I picked it up from the distributor. I believe that Dexter uses their own trucks to ship to distributors. The highest risk of damage is shipping the axles by common carrier.
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Old 03-29-2005, 07:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by markdoane
I believe that Dexter uses their own trucks to ship to distributors. The highest risk of damage is shipping the axles by common carrier.
If the first part of this is indeed true, then that's pretty interesting.
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:12 PM   #13
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Airstream uses Dexter axles also

At the Sarasota rally in one of the sessions, the Airstream rep said Airstream had used Dexter axles on the International series in the last few years. If you drill down into the "Airstreamer" pages on the Airstream site to the maintenance books, you can see what axle was used on a particular model of Airstream. E.G. a 2002 22ft International has a Dexter axle.
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Herb Spies
At the Sarasota rally in one of the sessions, the Airstream rep said Airstream had used Dexter axles on the International series in the last few years. If you drill down into the "Airstreamer" pages on the Airstream site to the maintenance books, you can see what axle was used on a particular model of Airstream. E.G. a 2002 22ft International has a Dexter axle.


Hmmm.... I'm not too sure about that... just looked at the maintenance manual for a 2004 Classic. Mentions Dexter brake assemblies, but nothing about the axles being Dexters...

In fact, the part numbers for the axles end with "H" - as in Henschen. Found this to be the case with the Internationals as well.
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