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Old 08-19-2005, 11:52 AM   #1
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Have I got an axle story for you.......

Well......I've got something interesting to add to this discussion. About a year and a half ago, I drove from Ohio to Conn. to purchase a 1965 Caravel. I decided I needed something to work on when I retire (about 25 years from now) and I didn't want to deal with the cost of such a wonderful thing in future dollars (probably $35,000). Anyway, I've seen enough in the forums and on the net to know that the axle of a 1965 Caravel isn't the most reliable thing on the road so I decide to bite the bullet and put a brand new axle on it. Since I live in Ohio, going to the Airstream factory where this unit was born, seemed like a no brainer. I towed it the hour and a half and left it for servicing. After three months and much frustration on my part (ALWAYS BE A SQUEAKY WHEEL), I drove away, confident that the trailer was now much safer on the road. About two weeks ago, the family and I got up at 6 a.m. to head up to Canada for a week long vacation at a fishing cabin. Just before we got on the highway, the trailer started lurching from side to side. After pulling over to the side of the road, we discovered a very flat tire on the driver side. Triple A came out and tried to fill the tire but they said the seal had been broken and we'd need a flat bed to get it towed to a tire shop. An hour and a half later, the flat bed showed up and we gotter towed to the tire shop where we discovered that the sidewalls of both tires had been rubbing against the shock absorbers and that is what caused the blow out. It would seem that the factory put on an axle that was too small for the trailer and this is what caused the rub. The fact that we were not on the highway when the tire blew is a small miracle. Unfortunately they don't make a smaller tire that is rated for the dry weight of the trailer so now Airstream is trying to decide how they are going to deal with the problem. At first they wanted me to drive it back to the factory but after I gave it some thought, I told them that they would need to come retrieve it themselves. The prospect of having the other tire blow out at highway speeds just didn't seem appealing.That's where we stand right now. They've said they'll get back to me when they figure out how they are going to handle it. Moral of the story is.....no matter where you take it to be serviced.....be diligent about checking the job.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:02 PM   #2
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WOW!
That really sucks!
You do have to be diligent when it comes to what is done on your trailer. Remember, you are the ONLY one who REALLY cares what happens to your trailer. No one has to live with it as long as you.
As for the axle not being sized correctly, that is simply amazing as Airstream had the old axle right in front of them. All they had to do was to copy that axle.
In Airstream's defense, I am almost certain that Henschen is the one who supplied the axle. They should have been able to make one now, as they most likely made the original axle.
I am hopeful that Airstream will stand behind their repairs. Please keep the faith!
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gotair
Well, We've put about 800 miles on the new axle already and its working out fine. The trip to montery went excellent... we had a great time... I haven't pulled the wheels off to have a look yet we've been over 100 deg. most of the month so I avoid unnecessary labor whenever I can... Hope you all are getting some camping in... we are ... C-YA
DAN, LAURA AND NICK..
I am glad to hear that the Axis axle is working out well!
By the way, when are you going to replace those drapes now?
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the words of support. When I first took the trailer to Jackson Center, they told me that the company manufacturing (supplying?) the axle was also in Jackson Center. Do you know if Henschen is in Jackson Center as well?
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the words of support. When I first took the trailer to Jackson Center, they told me that the company manufacturing (supplying?) the axle was also in Jackson Center. Do you know if Henschen is in Jackson Center as well?
Not a problem, buddy.
Henschen is in Jackson Center. Right around the corner from Airstream.
FYI - Henschen is NO LONGER the preferred provider of axles to Airstream.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pattersontoo
...Henschen is NO LONGER the preferred provider of axles to Airstream.
Lou,

Any word on the now preferred provider?

Tom
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:28 PM   #7
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Lou,

Any word on the now preferred provider?

Tom
Tom,
It is now Dexter.
There may be other suppliers but this is the official word from my local Airstream dealer.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:42 PM   #8
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Bexley , Ohio
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Update....

Finally called the folks at Airstream about this axle and they are sending the service manager out tomorrow to take a look. Sources familiar with Henschen axles have said that they believe the shock mounts were welded in the wrong location on the axle causing the shock to rub on the tires. The service manager will most likely take the shocks off, drive the trailer to Jackson Center and reweld the shock mounts in the correct location on the axle. Hopefully we are on the road to recovery. I'll update as events warrant.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:54 PM   #9
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Unhappy

Are the new A/Ss going to have the old type leaf springs or are they staying with torsion type ???
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fun2bethad
Finally called the folks at Airstream about this axle and they are sending the service manager out tomorrow to take a look. Sources familiar with Henschen axles have said that they believe the shock mounts were welded in the wrong location on the axle causing the shock to rub on the tires. The service manager will most likely take the shocks off, drive the trailer to Jackson Center and reweld the shock mounts in the correct location on the axle. Hopefully we are on the road to recovery. I'll update as events warrant.
Man, that still sucks.
Did you ask how they could possibly screw it up with the exact axle there to copy from?
As for the shock, it is not a mandatory thing to have on a torsion axle. I would pull mine without it. Not a problem.
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:13 PM   #11
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We believe this says it all, as to who, what, where, and who knows why.

Henschen made the axle, without brackets and shipped it to the installer.

The installer welded the old rusty shock brackets to the torsion arms.

No assumptions, just hard facts.

Andy
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:27 PM   #12
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Please specify the source of your pictures.

Tom
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:58 PM   #13
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Please specify the source of your pictures.

Tom
Is there someone at Airstream that will affirm this?
The two parties involved here were Airstream and Henschen. I never saw mention of any other party.
The original poster did say that the work was done at Airstream. They also mentioned that Airstream was coming out to look at the axle.
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:11 PM   #14
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If everyone who feel they need to know, will just be patient, the owner of the trailer will post as to where the photo's came from.

Andy
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