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Old 07-07-2009, 01:52 PM   #1
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Angry How did this happen, OEM axles under-rated

While checking thru the owners manual today I came across something that concerns me a LOT. Our 03 25' Classic was delivered with a pair of 3500lb Hencshen's on a GVWR of 7300lbs.

I've scaled out at 7580lbs loaded for camping, knowing I was 280lbs over, not 580... BTW Just weighed the tongue today with the new Sherline scale..960lbs w/Hensley. 1540lbs.

Now what?...'yeah I know new axles, but this is something that just shouldn't happen. Anyone else found the same problem? Or is there something I'm missing?

Be careful everyone, don't assume, check your specs.

Bob
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
While checking thru the owners manual today I came across something that concerns me a LOT. Our 03 25' Classic was delivered with a pair of 3500lb Hencshen's on a GVWR of 7300lbs.

I've scaled out at 7580lbs loaded for camping, knowing I was 280lbs over, not 580... BTW Just weighed the tongue today with the new Sherline scale..960lbs w/Hensley. 1540lbs.

Now what?...'yeah I know new axles, but this is something that just shouldn't happen. Anyone else found the same problem? Or is there something I'm missing?

Be careful everyone, don't assume, check your specs.

Bob
Bob,

Henschen many years ago, built the chassis for Airstream.

When they built the chassis, they also installed the axles, and therefore had the axle rating for each individual length trailer.

Sometime prior to 1996, Henschen no longer built the chassis.

Ever since that time, Airstream ordered a variety of axle ratings, without ever telling Henschen what size trailers they were going to be installed on.

Accordingly, the axle ratings that were installed by Airstream, was of their sole choosing. Henschen had nothing to do with it, and therefore has no records of what was used, on what.

I would agree that in your case, the rating should have been a little higher.

Andy
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #3
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Thank's Andy..

I sure would feel more comfortable with 4000# axles.

I'm a bit "old school" and have always added the tongue weight to the GVWR,
I'll try and deal with the 580 lbs over and forget the 1540 number.

It was brought to my attention that the factory doesn't take into consideration the the weight of the axles, tires, brakes etc. in their GVWR figures, so there's the un-sprung weight factor also...sorry just trying to rationalize here.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:44 PM   #4
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I sure am glad someone else is questioning that, The 2004 Classic has the same 3500lbs axles. How are they allowed to rate it higher than what the axles will hold? Is it even legal to have it this way?

Bob
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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Perhaps they are using the unsprung weight and not allowing for the additional weight due to the tongue and weight transfered due to the hitching?

Try weighing your trailer without the axles, wheels, brakes, tires and tow vehicle transfers, and let us know how that goes

I'll bet it's road-ready, without all that silly stuff attached to it.

Good luck,
Rich
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:41 PM   #6
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I just put a pair of #3,500 axles on our '83 27' Excella. The book shows the trailer to weigh about 5,600 lbs. No water, no stuff inside, no nothing. The old axles were a pair of #2,800 installed new. No wonder they were worn out and the trailer was a "low rider".
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
While checking thru the owners manual today I came across something that concerns me a LOT. Our 03 25' Classic was delivered with a pair of 3500lb Hencshen's on a GVWR of 7300lbs.

I've scaled out at 7580lbs loaded for camping, knowing I was 280lbs over, not 580... BTW Just weighed the tongue today with the new Sherline scale..960lbs w/Hensley. 1540lbs.

Now what?...'yeah I know new axles, but this is something that just shouldn't happen. Anyone else found the same problem? Or is there something I'm missing?

Be careful everyone, don't assume, check your specs.

Bob
Actually you aren't as far over as you think you are. The weight of the wheels, brakes and what ever is on the tongue needs to be subtracted from the total weight to get the what is actually carried by the axles.

Aaron
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:50 PM   #8
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During the mid 2005 model year, Airstream started to realized this was an issue and increased the GVWR. I assume that they upgraded the axles to the next level up to achieve this increase in NCC and GVWR. This happened on all trailers from 25' up through the 34 footers. Anything south of 25 though it was my understanding that those GVWRs remained the same.

I know that the NCC is rated on a sticker on each Airstream...my 03 had this as does my 04. My NCC is about 900lbs....pretty easy target to hit when a case of be...I mean soda can weigh about 19lbs and we all only take one case of ....soda, right?

When it's time to replace my axles, I will be getting the 3500lb unit since mine is not a classic and does not have the heavier wood and I have no plans to upgrade my interior, but can easily add more than 900lbs of NCC.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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I was going to say pretty much what Aaron did... you have the ability to carry 7,000 on the axles. That doesn't count the 650 or so pounds on the tongue or the weight of the running gear itself, another 600 or so pounds. The GVWR includes all that, so the actual weight of the trailer is significantly below the 7,300 lbs... by probably 1,200 lbs or so... which is about right.

Roger
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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Thanks gang I'm feel'n a little better.

Would really like to know what the actual un-sprung weight is, and what axles are now used on the 25 Classic.

At least 4k I hope. Someone ck the build sheet please.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:48 PM   #11
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Thanks gang I'm feel'n a little better.

Would really like to know what the actual un-sprung weight is, and what axles are now used on the 25 Classic.

At least 4k I hope. Someone ck the build sheet please.
Each tire/wheel weighs around 60 pounds, each brake drum is another 20 pounds, each backing plate is 10 pounds. So, figure removing almost 400 pounds from the scale weight.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:38 PM   #12
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I just looked at mine and they are 4500# each and the GVWR is 9300#'s
Your 400#'s makes sense in wheels and axles.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:45 AM   #13
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Hi, it seems that for whatever reason Airstream has listed axle ratings at 200 to 300 lbs under the trailer's GVWR. My Safari is rated at 6,300 lbs GVWR and my axles are 3,000 lbs each. I have an Airstream sales book and all of the trailers are listed this way. I guess the unsprung weight and tongue weight allows this to work properly.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:35 AM   #14
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We just took the factory tour two weeks ago. Turns out Airstream no longer uses Henchen axles. They now use Dexter.
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