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Old 08-25-2005, 07:00 PM   #15
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Interesting....

Well....it is interesting to me what can happen when one makes a post. I seem to be stuck in an eddy of contraversy. Let me state the facts as I know them.
- I love vintage airstream.
- I have wanted a Bambi or Caravel for many years and finally(about 30 years too early if you ask my wife) purchased a trailer I could retire with.
- I wanted to be smart about safety so I incurred the cost of pre-emptively replacing the axle at the Airstream factory.
- Something about replaced axle caused the shocks to rub against the inside of the tires causing a side wall blow out.
- The replacement axle is a Dura-Flex by Henschen. When Airstream purchased it for the install, it did not have the shock mounts. These were cut off the old axle and welded to this new one.
- Airstream has not offered a solid reason for why the shocks are rubbing. They have suggested the trailer originally came with 14" wheels instead of the 15" wheels that were on there. They have also suggested that the torsion arms on the new axle are not as thick as the torsion arms on the old axle. This allowed the axles to sit much closer to the tires.
- I have, in no way, suggested either Henschen or Airstream is producing a crappy product. The fact of the matter is that whoever replaced the axle on the trailer didn't practice due diligence by checking their work. In Airstreams defense, I'm sure that they checked to make sure that the tire rotated freely before they took it down from the lift. The issue occured when the full weight of the trailer was on the axle.
- I feel confident that Henschen produces quality axles. Likewise, I am confident that Airstream will put this issue right. No company that produces such breathtakingly beautiful trailers with such a rich history would chance their reputation on cutting corners or not doing right by the customer.
- The pictures in Inland RV's post were mine. These were taken the day the tire blew out.
- I'm not interested in getting in the middle of anyone's mud slinging. I'm just a guy who loves his Caravel and is always trying to improve its situation.

Nuff said
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:51 PM   #16
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If I were the Airstream Rep, the first thing I would check is the wheel offset. The P.O. might have put on replacement wheels with the wrong offset, and the correct set of wheels would solve the problem. Would be cheaper than sending it back to the factory.

I think the original wheel size was 15", but i don't know what the correct offset is.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:56 PM   #17
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I wish I knew the answer to that. Unfortunately, I'm technically challenged when it comes to wheel off sets. All I know is that if I can make it to my cherished camping spot...with no breakdowns.....I'm a happy guy!
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2bethad
I wish I knew the answer to that. Unfortunately, I'm technically challenged when it comes to wheel off sets. All I know is that if I can make it to my cherished camping spot...with no breakdowns.....I'm a happy guy!
As it should be.
I simply can't believe what I am reading. I just noticed this part of the thread.
For the Airstream factory to make such a blunder is simply inexcusable. I know, they're just people, too, but dangit, where you gonna go to get something done "right" these days?
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:00 AM   #19
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Fun2bethad

The original wheel offset was "zero".

Regardless of that, if your wheels fit correctly with the old axle, they certainly should fit the same way with a new axle.

Changing wheel or tire size, or changing the wheel to an offset, is avoiding the issue of incorrect shock bracket installation.

Simply rewelding the shock bracket would solve the problem. But as we all know, sometimes in life, a simple fix becomes way too complicated.

Andy
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:28 AM   #20
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Last fall I ordered a new axle from Inland for my Caravel. It came with two loose shock mounts. After installing the axle I put them in place with a clamp before I welded them to the torsion arm so that I could check how the shock would interact and it was obvious that the shock would rub. I ended up having to heat the shock mount so that I could put a offset in the mount so the shock could be between the torsion arm and the frame as was on the original axle. It has worked fine now for 7-8,000 miles.
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Old 08-26-2005, 05:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62 Overlander
Last fall I ordered a new axle from Inland for my Caravel. It came with two loose shock mounts. After installing the axle I put them in place with a clamp before I welded them to the torsion arm so that I could check how the shock would interact and it was obvious that the shock would rub. I ended up having to heat the shock mount so that I could put a offset in the mount so the shock could be between the torsion arm and the frame as was on the original axle. It has worked fine now for 7-8,000 miles.
When I ordered my axle for my Argosy 20 in September of 2003, it came with everything already done, no welding needed. When did it change?
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Old 08-26-2005, 05:52 PM   #22
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Terry.

It didn't change.

The problem is with some of the 68 and older trailers.

There seems to be a variation between Ohio and California trailers, but only sometimes.

The safe way then is to leave the shock brackets off, and have them installed locally.

Henschen axles carry a 5 year warranty. Adding shock brackets after the axle is assembled, does not cause any problem, since they do that as well.

Look at how the axles are assembled on our web site, in the "tour" section, and you will clearly see that the spindle, torsion arm and shaft assembly, is inserted into the axle tube with the four deformed rubber rods added, that does not have the shock bracket attached.

Andy
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2bethad
- I feel confident that Henschen produces quality axles. Likewise, I am confident that Airstream will put this issue right. No company that produces such breathtakingly beautiful trailers with such a rich history would chance their reputation on cutting corners or not doing right by the customer.
Is fun2bethad out there? I'm curious to find out if Airstream made it right!
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by overlander63
When I ordered my axle for my Argosy 20 in September of 2003, it came with everything already done, no welding needed. When did it change?
When "they" forgot where "they" put the shock brackets on the original axle.
I have read stories on here of the shock brackets being mounted incorrectly by "them". I feel that "they" made the original axle. Don't "they" know where it is supposed to be mounted? One of the reasons I went with "someone else" instead of "them".
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:31 PM   #25
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So if I'm reading this thread right, funtobethad, you had this work done at Jackson Center......what does Inland RV have to do with this, and why are they posting your pics? It's not like Inland RV is the exclusive Henschen dealer...it doesn't sound like you bought it from them.....I mean, I can get them somewhere other than Inland.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:45 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by StingrayL82
It's not like Inland RV is the exclusive Henschen dealer........I mean, I can get them somewhere other than Inland.
Umm, AFAIK, they are, and you can't.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:46 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by overlander63
Umm, AFAIK, they are, and you can't.
Unless you use Airstream to replace the axle?
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:51 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Unless you use Airstream to replace the axle?
It would be ironic. Airstream had to purchase an axle from Inland in California, so it could be made across the street by the company that supplies their OEM axles...
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