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Old 03-25-2003, 07:46 AM   #57
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Good points APB,

I don't feel at all that the downward angle of the axle arms when they are unloaded is necessarily the way to condemn a bad axle.

Seems the only logical way is seeing how much they move upward when they are loaded or compressed.


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Old 03-25-2003, 11:05 AM   #58
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Axle Rebuild

We just talked with Rick March at Airstream.

He was not aware that any axle over 20 years old, "will not be rebuilt."

This is the Henschen policy and "will not" be altered or changed for anyone, up to and including the Airstream factory. The reason is simple and has been stated many times before.

It becomes a huge liability issue, that no one wishes to become involved with.

Basically, we all can thank those that are law suit happy, for that decision.


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Old 03-25-2003, 01:40 PM   #59
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Post Axle saga epilogue

Well I had had just about all of this that I can stand.

So I called Airstream and was told who to call at Henschen. I got an earfull but sadly for the frugal among us it was not good news.

I talked to two gentlemen at Airstream, both very nice and eager to help I think. One had almost 2 decades with Airstream and owns a vintage unit himself. Both real nice guys.

Airstream (service) said;
*They thought that re-rubbering was still done at Henschen but they did not know the price.
*That it is very rare that the question or request for such axle work (or almost any axle work) ever comes up with the service center.
*That they were not aware of any year (age) or rust guidelines in having the re-rubber done.
*That they did not know what holds the inner axle in the axle tube other than maybe the friction grip of the rubbers upon the axle and axle tube.
*That there is a cut-away axle that is shown on the Airstream factory tour.
*That there is no (to his knowledge) bulletin or printed advisory by Airstream relating to the relaxation of axle rubbers, their life-span or how to ascertain internal axle condition.

*Both asked me if I had called Henschen.
I told both that I understood Henschen did not talk to the general public. One of the A/S men gave me a name at Henschen and told me to tell them that he had suggested I call.I did. Turns out that the guy I sought had changed positions and I was directed by an annoyed Henschen operator to another fellow.

Henschen said;
*They no longer re-rubber any axles. regardless of age.
*Have not done so in two or three years.
*It was much too time consuming and that was the main reason they discontinued re-rubbering.
*He knew of no one who does the re-rubbering after market.
*That pre 1975 Henschens were made of a rubber that contained more natural rubber and that rubber relaxation was more prevalent in those than the newer higher synthetic content rubbers of 1975 til now. (I asked if the 1975 figure was certain or if it could have been 1974 and was told that there was no record to revisit but that he thought it was in 1975.)(He had been with Henschen for more than 25 years).
Inland Andy says pre 1974 and I sure hope Andy is correct!

*That indeed the only thing that kept the axles inside the axle tube was the friction of the rubbers on the tube and axle. But that they have never had case of one being thrown out, and agreed that you could not pull one out with a tractor(that something else would break first).
*That they have to heat the tubes with torch to soften rubbers and then still have a time pulling the axle out.
*That the rubbers do not wear away by abrasion but with inactivity relax and retain the tendency of position they are left in.
*He said that most of the problems have occured in trailers that have sat idle for quite some time.
*He sugessted that bouncing the torsion arms (as in travel) has been known to revive the rubber to some extent, and is worth a try.
*He also told me a bit about the decision to get out of the retail end of the business and the setting up the distributorship with Inland RV.
*I asked him if he minded my posting this and he said no, however he asked me absolutely not to mention his name as "he didn't want any calls from people like me". I understand that, he is obviously very busy and I did appreciate his time very much.

Unfortunately I failed to ask what the re-rubber cost had been and whether there had been any printed bulletins or advisories ever put out by Henschen regarding any of this.
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Old 03-25-2003, 02:24 PM   #60
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Pap in Dixie.

Well documented, well stated, well reported, and very accurate.

There are no records to indicate what year the rubber rod issue was solved. The year is an educated guess, and is based in part, by the failure rate reported.

However, a second owner of a 92 trailer, just replace his two axles. Seems like it never moved for about 10 years. That supports the theory that the rubber can relax. Using the trailer from time to time on a reasonable basis, seems to be the answer.

That adds to the list of reasons, "to get on the road."

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Old 03-25-2003, 03:45 PM   #61
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You know, I think I've seen more than one RV that looks semi-permanently mounted up on "blocks", or jack stands, with the tires either removed or covered. I wonder if this is a common practice, intended to avoid suspension wear from just "sitting".....
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Old 03-25-2003, 04:06 PM   #62
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Hays County , Texas
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That may be why the manual for one of my previous SOB trailers (Scamp) recommended that it be put on stands for winter storage.

I guess we're lucky here in Texas in that we can use the trailer all year long. It never stands idle more than a few weeks at a time. I never put the Scamp on blocks and had no axle droop problems even though I later determined that the axle was already overloaded when the trailer was delivered..
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
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Old 03-26-2003, 09:53 AM   #63
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New Axle information

Reference our post of March 24, 2003.

Recent misquotes from uninformed sources has raised the question of "axle rebuild."

Please be advised that Henschen has not rebuilt any axles for over 3 years.

Henschen has decided the last time that they rebuilt an axle, that they no longer will do so under any circumstances.

We are stating Henschen's policy here for everyone's perusal.

Henschen "will not" rebuild any axle, regardless of the circumstances.

According to management, as of yesterday, personnel at Airstream have been so advised, putting an end to mis-information.

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Old 03-26-2003, 09:35 PM   #64
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Thumbs up Put trailer on stands.

I replaced my axle, drums, shocks and brakes last fall, and am glad I did. The brakes are superb and the trailer rides much higher (better ground clearance) and smoother. We just returned from a short 350 mile camping trip with it, and as soon as we were home I put my A/S back up on jack stands. When I did this the tires just cleared the ground and could be turned by hand. After sitting for two days in that position the tires had dropped to where they were in solid contact with the ground. I am going to always store my A/S on jack stands, even if its going to only be for a couple of weeks. I firmly believe this will help maintain the elasticity of the rubber in the axle.

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