View Poll Results: Axle Replacement by year....
'60-'69 vintage - Replaced them 26 16.67%
'60-'69 vintage - Need to replace them 20 12.82%
'60-'69 vintage - My axle(s) are fine 12 7.69%
'70-'79 vintage - Replaced them 24 15.38%
'70-'79 vintage - Need to replace them 25 16.03%
'70-'79 vintage - My axle(s) are fine 32 20.51%
'80-'89 vintage - Replaced them 0 0%
'80-'89 vintage - Need to replace them 1 0.64%
'80-'89 vintage - My axle(s) are fine 10 6.41%
I don't know... 6 3.85%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-04-2005, 08:51 PM   #29
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Coloradobus,
The information on the Dexter website is not clear with respect to axle arm angles. They instead give some height numbers. Based upon those height numbers, I'd guess that their 22.5 degree axle at "full load" would be at or near a zero degree angle. I assume that "full load" means the full rated load, so that would for example be 3500lbs for a 3500lb axle. Your trailer's fully loaded weight might be less than the axle rating, and in that case, you might expect a somewhat positive angle.

I'll caution that I am speculating, because I am just reading into the data on the Dexter web site. I have no personal experience with Dexter axles.

For comparison, here is the link to the Henshen axle spec's.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:01 PM   #30
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66Overlander,

When ordering my axle last week, I had a choice of 0 degrees, 10 degrees down, 22.5 degrees down, and 45 degrees down. We opted for the 22.5 degrees axle, but increased the axle rating up to 6,000 lbs. We weighed our Globetrotter last summer loaded up and with water. Standing on the scale by itself, it weighed in a 3980 lbs. The owners manual stated it weighed 3,091 lbs. I know we don't have that much stuff in it. But, when we totally re-did the cabinets ( new oak) and to re-inforce our floor repairs we glued and screwed a 1/4 inch underlament plus linoleum. All new appliances, new plumbing wiring, window boxes and blinds, I guess we added a few pounds. Our tongue weight appears to be 598 lbs. At our rally next weekend we will have it weighed again. We currently tow with a a 3/4 Chevy Duramax, but for vintage events we will use our new 1969 Cadillac.( I order air shocks today) Poor "Caddy", towing the "Shack" (Globetrotter) to Missouri will be a true test.
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:36 AM   #31
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Steve,

Try to use more than one source when you are researching something like this.
I have found, from experience, that some information (spoken or written) can be slanted to get you to buy something you do not need or to get you to spend twice as much as you should. I have found that to be true with replacement parts.
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:28 AM   #32
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Guys,

I appreciate the above discussion. I put new Henschens on our '86 31' Sovereign a year ago. May have been a bit hasty. The angle wasn't all that bad. A couple degrees up. I also have my parents '70 Overlander with original axels. They have a few degrees of sag for sure. But for now it just sits in the shed. QUESTION: Would it be a good idea to take some weight off the wheels during long term storage?

Dwight
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:33 AM   #33
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16595,
I agree. Whether it make any difference, I put our Globetrotter up on blocks to take most of the weight off the tires. Last weekend, I put the A/S back on the ground and did notice the tires had no "flat spots" on them this year.
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:09 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradobus
16595,
I agree. Whether it make any difference, I put our Globetrotter up on blocks to take most of the weight off the tires. Last weekend, I put the A/S back on the ground and did notice the tires had no "flat spots" on them this year.
I do the same thing in the winter. I am not sure if it helps, but the way I look at it, what can it hurt? I have done it for years. It hasn't hurt a thing yet.
You do get to keep your tires inside and dry so they last longer too.
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:40 AM   #35
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Fighting Gravity

Because of location I do not have winter issues. And after every trip I elevate my trailer to take the weight off of it when not in use. The tires still touch the ground. However they are just barley touching. As a side benefit, it is much more stable when I am working on it too.

As to summer issues, (actually all year around) I keep my tires covered any time the trailer is not moving. I do not remove, them just cover them.

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Old 05-06-2005, 06:58 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action
Because of location I do not have winter issues. And after every trip I elevate my trailer to take the weight off of it when not in use. The tires still touch the ground. However they are just barley touching. As a side benefit, it is much more stable when I am working on it too.

As to summer issues, (actually all year around) I keep my tires covered any time the trailer is not moving. I do not remove, them just cover them.

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That goes a long way to keeping the tires in good shape.
I also keep mine on concrete with wood under the tires. That helps in keeping the moisture away as well. Here in Michigan it does tend to stay a little wet.
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:58 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter&Denise
Good questions. I've made the same observations with my 1981 Excella II. Does anyone have any input on these 80's axles and how they should be positioned? Thanks, P.
I am reviving this old thread about axles and axle angles, because I had a relevation today. I now have a hypotheseis that when the tongue heights changed and the axle angles changed in 1981, it was so that the frame could be increased from 4" deep to 5" deep without affecting the floor height and overall trailer height relative to the ground. (See my post #18 in this string for more on my axle angle change theory.)

My supposition is that in order to keep the floor height and the overall trailer height the same as before, the top of the frame had to stay at the same height, so the bottom of the frame was lowered. With the bottom of the frame 1" lower, the mounting surface for the axles was 1" lower. This required an axle starting angle change from 22.5 degrees down to 10 degrees down in order to maintain the same axle position (i.e. to keep the same size wheels and tires). This had the side effect of keeping the tires in the same position relative to the wheel wells as before the change.

To confirm this theory, frame sizes from 1980, 1981, and 1982 would need to be known. I am pretty sure 1979 used the 4" frame and 1982 used the 5" frame from looking at photos on the internet. I couldn't find any good photo's of 1981's to verify this theory, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was a mix of 4" and 5" frames in 1981, as these types of changes often occured "on the fly" and not at clean model year breakpoint.

What do you think? If I am correct, the axle angle "check" mentioned in other threads on this web site (i.e. up=bad axle), and on the InlandRV web site should be "qualified" as only applying to Airstream (& Argosy) trailers made before about 1981. Anyway, that's my theory.
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:23 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Steve, I can help you there.
Basically, if you crawl under your trailer, and look at the axle arms, and they seem to be pointing down, or level, you axle(s) is good. If the axle arms look like they are starting to point up, you need a new one(s).
If one side of the trailer is noticeably lower than the other side, you probably need an axle(s) A slight amount of height differential is normal, due to the difference in appliances and their weight side-to-side.
I would only add (or modify) that if they are horizontal and your trailer is basically unloded then it might be time to think about replacing them.

Ours were pointing up with a “positive angle”. They were toast and I dreaded replacing them. But it can be done in a few hours if you have all the right tools. Pneumatic impact driver is a must.


I documented what we did and it really wasn’t bad at all.
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:51 AM   #39
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What about older trailers? My '58 still has the original axle and leaf springs, and they are fine!
Ernie
"58 Traveler, 18ft.
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Old 09-15-2005, 02:34 PM   #40
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Buttercup,

Your website is extremely usefull! Thanks for creating it.

Anyone want to see what an axle replacement looks like go there.

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Old 09-15-2005, 05:49 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztlanco
What about older trailers? My '58 still has the original axle and leaf springs, and they are fine!
Ernie
"58 Traveler, 18ft.
Ernie, the big issue is with the torsion axles. Your 58 still has leaf springs and a solid axle. It does not ride as well as the torsion axle, but tends to last longer.
It is also more difficult to determine when the springs require replacement. Very generally, if the springs are very rusty, have broken leaves, or the rubber bushings are worn out, they need to be rebuilt or replaced. Also, if the springs seem to be sagging, they should be replaced.
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Old 01-30-2006, 04:00 PM   #42
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Thumbs down breaking things

How to KNOW you have a bad axle:

The door shelves in the fridge break. I thought things were marginal (slight positive angle on the torsion arm) but acceptable, because the trailer towed great. However, after finding several things broken from what appeared to be vertical loads, I couldn't ingnore the axle any longer. Some of you might have noticed that plastic 2.5 gal water bottles leaking after a long drive--it's from the slam they are taking on every pothole.

It is amazing how fast one can go from "fat, dumb, and happy" to "panicked" as the light dawns.
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