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Old 07-08-2009, 07:20 AM   #15
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Again, thanks to all.
I can accept the rational concerning the un-sprung weight issue, but there is still the concern of what the bearing assemblies and brakes are dealing with. On average the weight bars have been transferring between 175 & 210lbs back to the trailer axles. Seems to me no matter how I crunch the numbers those axles are marginal at best.

I think the 15% rule should apply here also, I would be much more comfortable knowing I had an adequate safety margin.

Has AS built in that safety margin with the new Dexter axles? Are there weight rating's the same?
Has the the GVWR's gone up on the new coach's?
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:29 AM   #16
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Bob, you have to remember that the GVWR, axle ratings, and maximum tongue weights are all guidelines. The maximum recommended weights are not a failure threshold. They're some engineer's idea of what you can safely carry for the life of the coach or vehicle. If your axles are rated for 7,000 lbs max and you put 7001 lbs on them, they're not going to fail. At least not immediately. You'll have a condition perhaps of premature wear... but they won't fail. Same with a hitch receiver. Eventually, if you overload it there may be a failure, but it won't be with a slight overload condition.

In other words, the components may wear more quickly overloaded and because of that should be inspected regularly (actually you should inspect this stuff regularly anyway...) but this shouldn't be anything to lose sleep over. You're just not stressing anything too much here.

Roger
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #17
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axle ratings

Regardless of the axle manufacturer, Airstream, all by itself, selects the axle rating that will be installed on each model trailer.

That has been the case for over a decade, and then some.

Rubber must be exercised, to stay "alive".

Lack of frequent use, is the primary cause of the rubber rod failures, for the past 35 years.

Failures due to reasonable overloading, are a distant second.

Failures due to extreme permanent overloading, push for first place.

Extreme overloading would be 15 to 20 percent or more of the axle ratings, on a permanent basis, not just a single trip here and there.

Andy
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:41 AM   #18
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Interesting that Dexter is the new axle supplier to Airstream......

Bob, I can tell you that your model year and many around that time up until mid 2005 had grossly under rated axles. This is not only my opinion, Airstream made a major change in mid 2005 model year (many model years too late IMHO).

Your hunch is 100% correct. Roger is also correct when you slighty go past the max, it typically won't fail immediately. My take is that with late model trailers like ours made prior to the Airstream increase (mid 2005), it is beyond entirely possible to overload the axles. I believe this is why Airstream finally woke up and made the change mid 2005 model year. The slide outs IIRC were the worst, but all of them-- 25ers north to 34 footer pre mid 2005 were ridiculously low in total NCC, which in turn made it very easy to exceed the "guideline" mentioned. When I ordered my 25er, they had the options and the additional weights listed. Though my trailer had a 900lb NCC before I hit the max suggested weight, the ultraleather sofa added like 30 tp 40lbs, fantastic vent options, spice trader larger AC also took my NCC down. I believe that after all was said and done I had an NCC of about 675lbs. If one case of pop weighs 19lbs, you can see that after food, clothes, and all the other goodes we bring for us and for the trip, it's easy to hit max on late model units built prior to mid 2005 model year.

It is after mid-2005 where I would agree, that the 7000lb GVWR on my model (up from 6300) provided a greater margin of saftey and a more realisitic NCC (1600 lbs total up from 900). I was also looking at a 31' dinette at one point. I seem to recall that after the axle upgrades, the GVWR went up to 10k from about 8900lbs.

Of course now my unit and the 31' dinette are discontinued, but the upgraded axles remain on all units at 25' and above from what I can tell.

My suggestion would be when the next axle change that is needed, to go to the very next size up...in my case it would be 3500lb axles from the 3000s I have now. But as Roger said, you will most likely not have a failure if you are slightly over....300? 500? Who knows where the breaking point will be, but I would try to keep her as close as possible without going over much in the meantime.

Not that this is a complaint, but it's funny, the carrying capacity of the tires put on my unit are rated to carry a bit over 10k combined. The axles on my model are barely enough to realistically carry a reasonable 7000lbs. Glad they corrected it, though a bit late for me and you my friend.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Interesting that Dexter is the new axle supplier to Airstream......

I made Don repeat the statement over because I did not believe my ears. I was of the impression that Henchen were the only possible axle to be used that would not fall apart and kill an entire family. Just paraphrasing what some axle salesmen state.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:20 PM   #20
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weights

Generally speaking, 186 pounds per axle can be deducted, from the total weight.

The next weight that can be deducted, is the huge variable.

When a "proper rated hitch" is "properly installed" and "properly adjusted," then two thirds of the tongue weight can also be deducted since it's transfered to the tow vehicle.

If the tow vehicle is a car or a light truck, then two thirds of the tongue weight can also be deducted, from the total weight.

This is not applicable to every rig or situation, but it's an effort to perhaps simplify the understanding or definition of the "real weight" question.

Andy
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #21
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By the way, Bob... this situation is not unique to Airstream, or even to travel trailers. The Born Free 26' rear side bed motorhomes overloaded the E450 chassis rear axle gross weight rating by two or three hundred pounds from the factory. There are dozens and dozens of them on the road since the early '90s, and I've never heard of an axle failure or accident caused by that situation on any of them. They even still handle well, loaded.

Roger
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
I made Don repeat the statement over because I did not believe my ears. I was of the impression that Henchen were the only possible axle to be used that would not fall apart and kill an entire family. Just paraphrasing what some axle salesmen state.


Kill the entire family?! wow thats scary..
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
...Seems to me no matter how I crunch the numbers those axles are marginal at best.

I think the 15% rule should apply here also, I would be much more comfortable knowing I had an adequate safety margin.

Has AS built in that safety margin with the new Dexter axles? Are there weight rating's the same?
Has the the GVWR's gone up on the new coach's?
Rich L has a 2005 30' Bunk and his axles failed last fall. When Inland Andy replaced them, they went with the next higher rated axles, IIRC. When I had my bearings packed on my 2006 30' Bunk this spring I wanted to know if I had a problem coming in the near future. So I asked the shop to verify the rating since Airstream refused to stand behind the axles that were installed on Rich's Airstream. The shop removed the label and called the manufacturer to verify the rating. Per the shop foreman the axles were rated at 4,400 LBS ea. per the label, but the manufacturer said that Airstream has them "de-rate" the axles. The shop foreman said the manufacturer said the axle was either a 5,200 or 5,400 LBS axle. My Airstream has a GVWR of 8,400 LBS and loaded per the CAT scales weighs 7,600 LBS. This gives a minimum actual total weight rating for the axles of 10,400 LBS. If you subtract the GVWR of the trailer, that leaves a minimum of 2,000 LBS extra capacity. This is more than the 15% margin of safety you are after. Real world loaded circumstances yeilds 2,800 LBS of extra capacity so I am comfortable.

You probably had axles actually rated higher than what it is labeled but they are probably labeled lower per Airstream's requirements.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:16 PM   #24
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That is very interesting that Rich had an axle failure. I took a look at his trailer and he has the higher front end rock guards that were brought in just about the same time the "higher" rated axles were being placed on the trailers. I would guess that unless Rich had the larger front rock guards attached after construction, his trailer would also have had the same axles Minnie's Mate has.

Edit, I re-read the post and it would seem that Rich lost BOTH axles?! Ouch.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:45 PM   #25
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3 classic models for 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
.............Of course now my unit and the 31' dinette are discontinued.........................,
There are different versions of this around, so I finally called Airstream.
They said these are the classic models for 2010:
27 FB
30 (no s/o)
31 D
I hope this is correct as I have a 31 D on order.

Regards,
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:03 PM   #26
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There are different versions of this around, so I finally called Airstream.
They said these are the classic models for 2010:
27 FB
30 (no s/o)
31 D
I hope this is correct as I have a 31 D on order.

Regards,
Ken
Glad to hear it....it's a great layout IMHO....you lucky duck!
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:22 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
That is very interesting that Rich had an axle failure. I took a look at his trailer and he has the higher front end rock guards that were brought in just about the same time the "higher" rated axles were being placed on the trailers. I would guess that unless Rich had the larger front rock guards attached after construction, his trailer would also have had the same axles Minnie's Mate has.

Edit, I re-read the post and it would seem that Rich lost BOTH axles?! Ouch.
You probably wouldn't have been aware unless you follow the 30' Bunkhouse thread. Go to this thread (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f292...-29241-23.html) and scroll down to post #316 where Rich starts the issue of the axles. The remainder of the thread is primarily concerned with the axle issue. That's nearly 8 pages of posts about this one issue so you can tell we all sat up and took notice.

When I had my bearings repacked, I asked the shop to verify the rating on the axles. Per the shop foreman after calling the manufacturer, the axles are "de-rated" at Airstream's request and the actual rating on my axles are between 5,300-5,400 LBS. My trailer is a 2006 and Rich's is a 2005. Rich went back with a 5K rated axle. I don't know if that is in Airstream lbs or actually 5,000 real pounds.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #28
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Question Still more than a "little" concerned

Been giving this issue a lot of thought lately. Will be leaving this weekend for 15 days of 'dock'n and will most likely be loaded pretty much as last year, trlr scaled at 7580lbs.GVWR 7300 on 3500lb axle's. Will shift things around a bit, but I'm sure it will be close.

Crawled under today and took these photo's of the curbside front. Tongue is raised just enough for skinny me to slide under. All axle arms on both sides were within 1/2", (pad not dead level,but a good sign, I think?) Not loaded yet. Empty fresh and black tanks, no food or provisions, T.V., libations etc.

On the ground all axles are almost dead even with the mount channel and all dropped to the same angle when jacked, again a good sign..I think.

One question, if I have about 3"s rebound, do I also have 3 of compression? If it's not too hectic around here when we leave, I'll try for some photo's when we are loaded and see how much angle I've lost.

So all, what do 'ya think?
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