I just completed the installation of new axles on my trailer. It was an interesting experience so I thought I'd share.
1981 Excella II 25’ weight specification is 3600 lbs. It is a very narrow body and mine has a front kitchen. I have never seen one like it before.
The original front axle was rated at 2200 lbs.
The original rear axle was rated at 1800 lbs.
When I contacted Airstream on the subject they had no information on any trailers produced without the same axle rating on both.
Search for new axles:
I contacted 4 sources.
The first two were in the Phoenix area. One was very close to me and they manufacture Dexter axles onsite. Their quote to remove and replace both axles and 4 shocks was twice what I ended up paying. The other Phoenix area shop was unpleasant to talk to and I decided not to take the time to pull it over there.
I also compared pricing and shipping cost between Inland RV and Colin Hyde.
After talking with both I went with Colin. He had installed a similar set on a 1980 Caravel
which also had original axles with different weight ratings. It was also a very narrow body. I got 2500 lb axles.
Colin’s price including shipping was less than Inland RV even though the axles were shipped at a much greater distance. I also looked into have them installed by Inland RV’s recommended installer. That would have required me to pull the trailer to the LA area. I would have saved the shipping cost of the axles and the installation quote was $800.00.
I did decide to buy the original shocks from Inland RV for a very reasonable price. Colin recommended different gas shocks but after researching I decided to buy the original type.
I also bought the 32 degree axles instead of the original 25 degrees. I was looking for more height and am not too worried about added fuel cost as the trailer is very light anyway.
After planning to do the installation myself an interesting thing happened. I needed to find a business to have the axles shipped to in order to avoid an additional $100 shipping fee. I asked a local suspension shop (Straight Line Suspension which is about 3.5 miles from my home) if they would let me have them delivered there and they said “no problem”. As I was leaving I thought I might as well ask how much they would charge to install them so I did. The answer almost floored me and greatly improved my holiday time. They charged me a total of $213.23 out the door. I removed the propane lines and trimmed areas of the belly pan so they could get to the mounting bolts before I took it there and I will patch it up myself. They also had to cut the mounting bracket so the new (wider) axle housing would fit just like Colin said.
I am very pleased with the results. It towed so much better I was smiling the whole way home.
Thanks so much to Colin for all of the helpful information and new axles, Andy at Inland RV for the new shocks and providing competition, and especially to Straight Line Suspension in Mesa, AZ for speed, high quality and very reasonable pricing.