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Old 03-12-2016, 09:46 PM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Northeastern , Kentucky
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Increase axle rating on 1979?

I'm about to order new axles and am curious to hear opinions about the axle rating I should get. My trailer is a 1979 31-foot rear bedroom. When fully loaded with 50 gallons of water, propane, and supplies for a week, scales showed 7500lbs with 750lb tongue weight. What rating for the axles is recommended, and what's the rationale?
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:49 PM   #2
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Increase axle rating on 1979?

Any thoughts? That's 6750lbs once the tongue weight is subtracted. If axles and wheels/tires weigh about 300lbs (?), totally loaded that puts about 6450lbs on the axles, or 3225lbs per axle. Are 3500lb axles too close to the limit?
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:26 PM   #3
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What is the rating on the current axles? There should be a metal tag on the axle with the specs.
My guess would be something in the 3,800 to 4,000 pound rating for new axles.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:42 AM   #4
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The tag shows a rating of 3200 lbs per axle.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:55 AM   #5
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Probably 3500 lb axles, that would be 7000 lb total on axles, my 13 31 classic has 8800 lb on axles and they are 5000 lb each ....
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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This is out of my league but it may be best to stay close to the original spec's, over rated axles won't do much but shake the daylights out of your Airstream.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:20 PM   #7
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The vin tag may have the GAWR and GVWR listed. My guess is that you are in the neighborhood of 8,200 GVWR. 4K GAWR would be a minimum. This would be a #11 Dexter Axle that has 12" brakes and the larger spindle and bearings.
I remember reading a long time ago Inland Andy spoke about a bump of 10-15% over the original rating was ok.
I have a 94 30' Classic. The GVWR is 8,300 and GAWR is 4,000 for each axle. If I recall I bumped the axle rating to 4,400 lbs when I swapped in some new ones. Based on real world numbers our trailer is very similar in weight in comparison to yours. The trailer seems to ride good and doesn't squat nearly as bad when fully loaded.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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1974 25' Tradewind
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Axle replacement 70's AS

We have a 1974 25 ft. Tradewind.
I had the same questions you are having so I e-mailed Colin Hyde.
colinhydeairstream@gmail.com (518)578-7772
We had 2600 lb axles (2) and thought we could get "heavier 3500#) ones since we were going to get new ones anyway!
Colin said to stay with the same "weight rated" axles unless we had plans to add more weight in our re-do. We plan to stay the same (actually less weight) so we went with what we had rated as original. He indicated that too much of an increase in weight rate would cause the camper to ride with less "bounce" and thus would cause it to ride too stiff and possibly compromise the structure of the camper.
We did go with however the 32 degree arms (instead of the original 22.5 degree....lets the camper ride just a little bit higher) and Monroe Gas Magnum shock #555003.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:25 PM   #9
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Call Colin Hyde airstream restorations and Colin will help you thru the whole process...PS he had the best price for my axles.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. The GVWR is listed at 7100lbs. The GAWR for each axle is 3200lbs. It would be tough to stay under 7100lbs with full water and propane and even just a few supplies.

Funny thing about the placard on the front is it also specifies load range C tires at 40 PSI.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:16 PM   #11
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1970 25' Tradewind
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If you order axles through Inland RV when you supply the year, model, and serial number for you get the original type, specs etc.axles. a few years back I ordered mine (1970 trade winds) and even got the
Same type aluminum ID sticker applied to the housing just like when it was new. I drove up to Jackson Center and picked them up Good luck and good day Bob C
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
Thanks for the replies. The GVWR is listed at 7100lbs. The GAWR for each axle is 3200lbs. It would be tough to stay under 7100lbs with full water and propane and even just a few supplies.

Funny thing about the placard on the front is it also specifies load range C tires at 40 PSI.
The GVWR tell me that something in the trailer may have been modified to add so much weight since you said the trailer scaled at 7500 lbs. Something doesn't seem right.
Another possibility is that the frame on the Beatrice years is lighter and Airstream cut way back on the allowable weight.
You may want to contact others with trailers near the same age and compare the frame size and GVWR.
If the trailer was at the weight shown on the tag you could probably "get by" with the C load range tire.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:03 AM   #13
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Increase axle rating on 1979?

I've purchased 16" rims, so one I install the new axles LT tires will be going on.

As far as the weight, the 7500 was fully loaded with 50 gallons of water, two 40lb propane tanks, and a full weeks worth of supplies for 2 adults and 2 kids (food, canned drinks, bottled water, tools, chairs, bikes, etc). The trailer with only propane and water weighed in at about 6600lbs. The water and propane account for about 500lbs, so the remaining 1100lbs must be the A/C, 3 awnings, and extras like the vista views, overhead storage lockers).
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
Thanks for the replies. The GVWR is listed at 7100lbs. The GAWR for each axle is 3200lbs. It would be tough to stay under 7100lbs with full water and propane and even just a few supplies.

Funny thing about the placard on the front is it also specifies load range C tires at 40 PSI.
Remarkably, my 98' came with Marathon load range C tires and an 8,600 GVWR. Not knowing any better, I drove many miles on them for 6 years before replacing them due to wear. They were made in Canada back then.
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