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Old 05-03-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
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1967 24' Tradewind
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New axles '67 Tradewind

Tomorrow I am going to finish taking out the rear axle on my Tradewind so I can take it to the Dexter dealer in Billings Montana for accurate measurements for ordering the new axles.

Questions:
1. The original axles are rated at 2,600# does this sound correct? Seems odd since the trailer only weighs 4,000# - I will have axles that will support 10,400# !! Should I order 2,600# replacements??

2. I recently saw that Dexter is offering a down angle of 45 degrees. I am tempted to get the high down angle axles for the extra clearance when boondocking-comments please.

I have read many of the threads on axles here on the forum and have a hard time finding a consensus opinion so hope to get some good input with this query-comments please.

Thanks, John in Wyoming
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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Tomorrow I am going to finish taking out the rear axle on my Tradewind so I can take it to the Dexter dealer in Billings Montana for accurate measurements for ordering the new axles.

Questions:
1. The original axles are rated at 2,600# does this sound correct? Seems odd since the trailer only weighs 4,000# - I will have axles that will support 10,400# !! Should I order 2,600# replacements??

2. I recently saw that Dexter is offering a down angle of 45 degrees. I am tempted to get the high down angle axles for the extra clearance when boondocking-comments please.

I have read many of the threads on axles here on the forum and have a hard time finding a consensus opinion so hope to get some good input with this query-comments please.

Thanks, John in Wyoming
The best consensus, is exactly how Airstream built the trailer.

A starting angle of 45 degrees was deemed excessive and would cause extra road shock being transfered to the trailer frame because of the addition movement of the torsion arms.

Use caution however, as Dexter will down grade your brakes to 10 inch.

The original axles were rated at 2600 pounds each,for a total of 5200 pounds, not 10,400 pounds.

You can kick up the rating to 3000 pounds each, if you wish. If you remain with the 2600 pound rating, the axles will have a much shorter life span.

Andy
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Andy!

Thanks Andy-my adding ain't so good!!

Won't the higher capacity axles result in a rougher ride??

John in Wyo.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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Thanks Andy-my adding ain't so good!!

Won't the higher capacity axles result in a rougher ride??

John in Wyo.
Not really.

Increasing the axle rating 10 to no more than 15 percent, is OK.

Today, owners typically carry much more "STUFF" than yester year.

The replacement axle ratings can be fine tuned to match the life styles of todays owners.

A couple of huge drawbacks are 45 degree starting angles, and down grading the brakes from 12 inch to 10 inch.

We very recently had a meeting at our office with two big wheels from Dexter.

They were asked about the down grading and their answer was "If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to buy the axles".

When asked about shocks, their answer was "We don't build trailers".

Oh well.

We thanked them for attending, and they went on their way.

Andy
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:48 AM   #5
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The subject of 10 versus 12 inch brakes has been beaten to death repeatedly. A search of "brakes" will net dozens of threads, many of them discussing this. The end result in every thread is the realization that the 10x2 1/2" brakes have more surface area than the 12x2" brakes.
The subject of shocks on Airstream axles has also been beaten to death repeatedly. A forum search on "shocks" will also yield dozens of threads. Do shocks have an effect? Yes, marginally. Are they worth it? That would be for the individual to decide.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:41 AM   #6
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As an addition to what Terry said. Also bear in mind today's tow vehicles unless using vintage will have much better brakes i.e. disc, than tow vehicles of yesteryear. Oh -no I probably fueled the fire!
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:31 PM   #7
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Well I bit the bullet and ordered two new axles from Six Robblees in Billings Montana. I ordered #3,000 axles with a 32 degree negative angle. The Dexter order form did not show a 32 degree angle so it was special ordered, I hope. Since there has been so much discussion here of Dexter axles not fitting after a careful order, I took one of the AS axles along and had Kevin Koerber of Six Robblees measure it while I looked over his shoulder in a snow storm!

He said I should get them in 6 weeks with no freight if I am willing to wait that long-I agreed.

Kevin was very helpful and knew his stuff. Will report how it works out.

By the way, Six Roblees has stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Montana and Alaska. They have lots of trailer towing stuff esp commercial grade.

Cheers, John in Wyo.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
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John,
I just installed a Dexter #3000 axle on my 63 Bambi. The axle, with measurenents frame to frame and hub face to hub face was perfect. I special ordered shock brackets and companoin brackets( which I didn't use), the total price was $525. with no charge for shipping. Took about four weeks. I am very satisfied!
Tim
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
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1967 24' Tradewind
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New Axles installed

My axles came in a few weeks ago. As you may recall I took my old axle and had 6Roblees measure it and order one just like it. Well the new axles did not come just like the originals. The tall part of the vertical, welded on the axle was on the inside not the outside like the original. My friend who is a talented guy said no problem and bolted the new axles to a 5' 3/3" angle iron and slipped the upright portion of the angle over the trailer frame and new axles done. I wanted more clearance and since the new axles do not sit down in the notch in the frame I gained about 1 1/2" plus what the new axles added for a new height of about 21 1/2" clearance. It looks a little high but is exactly level on the back of my tow vehicle and should be good in the boondocks. The additional clearance is welcome if you have to crawl under the trailer. Now I have to find a way to add another step to my steps!!

The total cost was $950 for the axles-no state tax in Montana and they did not charge shipping-I picked them up. By the way I did no opt for the fancy grease set up. The salesman said it was not worth the extra cost. The new axles have a rubber plug that pulls out and the axles can then be greased with a grease gun fitted on the zerks on the end of the axle-pretty slick.

In hind sight it all worked out OK but it irks me that even with the axle there in front of them and they took the measurements it still was not like the original. For any one else doing the same thing and wanting Dexter to exactly duplicate the original axle I don't know what to say. The price is hard to argue with but be prepared for a surprise when the axles arrive!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:18 PM   #10
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Am having a new pair of axles installed on my 72 Tradewind, came from Inland.
We were out doing measurements today, the RV shop is modifying my hitch assembly to compensate for the "she rides high in front" syndrome.

It all sounds like a lot of work but I guess the proof will be in the ride.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:51 PM   #11
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... Well the new axles did not come just like the originals. The tall part of the vertical, welded on the axle was on the inside not the outside like the original. ...!!
The order must not have specified "Reverse" mounts...
Glad things worked out 4 ya!
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:26 AM   #12
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The order must not have specified "Reverse" mounts...
Glad things worked out 4 ya!
In my case the order did specify reverse mount and they still came wrong. The guy from Six Roblees that I ordered from said the problem was at Dexter because he sent the order specifying reverse mounts. Doing some other things with the trailer right now and have not tried the replacements yet....soon. Hope they fit.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:58 AM   #13
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Will see the final bill today on mine, they didn't bring the back of the trailer up as much as expected so they're lowering the hitch.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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So I am looking at a 1972 31' Excella tomorrow that I am pretty sure I will purchase as my first AS. It is in great shape and I am paying a little more because the stove and fridg are new and the interior is updated and the floors are solid (i will verify tomorrow). I assume I will be replacing the axles because the owner believes them to be the originals. What is an estimate that I will be looking at to replace these axles. I was a mechanic in my past life so I will be doing it myself, not the hardest job I have done. Doing the suspension lift and body lift on the Chevy at the same time was the biggiest PIA i have done but at least I am familiar with Chevy's. Looks pretty straight forward so not too worried. I will stay with a factory ride height now due to hip and knee issues. Anyway and $$ estimates would be great for the parts I may need.
Thanks, Mike
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