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Old 10-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #1
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1961 24' Tradewind
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Seeking axle rating advice

Hi,
I need a new axle for our '61 Tradewind but don't know what the weight rating needs to be. Can anyone tell me the original weight rating? Is it best to spec an uprated axle and if so by how much?
Any info would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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Post Hi MR Jolly

There should be a tag spot welded to the old axle-and or located on a sticker in the trailer door frame. Take a look and let us know what you find.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mr Jolly View Post
Hi,
I need a new axle for our '61 Tradewind but don't know what the weight rating needs to be. Can anyone tell me the original weight rating? Is it best to spec an uprated axle and if so by how much?
Any info would be much appreciated.
I can look that up on my charts for you, but not until tomorrow.

Andy
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:18 AM   #4
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OK thanks Andy, I would appreciate that.

Can't see any info on the axle or anywhere else.

Mike.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:50 PM   #5
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Sugestion - if you are replacing the axle why not match the new axle to the load anticipated. Assuming the trailer is driveable, load up the trailer with a typical load. Run across the scales. Add for weight of full propane load, water and waste load. Then get an axle set that is 110% of that number.

Also know that back then units did not have a vehicle weight rating like they do today. And many vehicles were over built for the design.

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Old 10-28-2011, 06:47 PM   #6
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I would not load the trailer to what you want to travel with and weigh it. Then buy an axle to handle the weight. You could be way over the GVW of the trailer. Anyone who has looked at the frame on an AS would not say it is overbuilt. By putting an axle or axles under the trailer that are rated for a much heavier load would be synonymous with breaking a stick over your knee.
Consider when you load up the trailer, especially one with a fresh water holding tank in the front like my 26' Argosy. You fill the fresh water tank (30 gal) about 240#. Add two 30# steel propane tanks at 55# each=110#. Then throw in all of your stuff to travel. While traveling you don't reduce the weight of your personal stuff and you are loaded to or close to the GVW. Let's say you use 20 gal of fresh water then refill the tank but don't empty the gray and black holding tanks. Now you've added 160# of weight to the trailer at the extreme front and rear. It would be bad enough with an axle of the proper rating, it would be worse with an over rated axle. You could bend the frame.
I think you should match the axle rating as close as possible to the GVW of the trailer. Also make sure you don't overload it.
The tongue weight specs on the trailer will include the loaded weights of the FW holding tank and full propane bottles. If the holding tanks in front are not full and the 2 in the back are full or close to it. I believe it could affect the handling of the rig since you will not have the proper tongue weight. Light tongue weights will cause trailers to sway.
I always do my best to empty the waste tanks and fill the FW tank before hitting the road.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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I would not load the trailer to what you want to travel with and weigh it. Then buy an axle to handle the weight. You could be way over the GVW of the trailer. Anyone who has looked at the frame on an AS would not say it is overbuilt.

I think you should match the axle rating as close as possible to the GVW of the trailer. Also make sure you don't overload it.
True for later built units. This older trailer doesn't have a GVW rating! So it will be extremely difficult to match the axle to a non-published standard! If there was then you would want to comply to that standard.

In addition all axles (or combination of axles) weight rating will exceed the Gross Vehicle Weigh rating by design. This is to build safety into the load carring ability of any vehicle. It does not mean to load the vehicle beyond the Gross Vehicle Weigh Rating. (GVWR)

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Old 10-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #8
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Here is a link to what typical trailer weighed out at. (From Airstream)
http://www.airstream.com/files/libra...d0fad2072b.pdf
It isn't a rating, mearly what some trailers weighed in at a rally. Hardly a standard to shoot for.

There was no rating for that year so it is unknown to what rating these units were built to for that year.

It is also common practice in axle replacement to use a slightly higher rated axle than what the unit was originally equipped with. Typically the factory used the least expensive axle to make the unit work. Going a little larger in capacity is usually a very good idea.

Since the engineering statndards of the late 50's and early 60's did not cut design tollerances to what is used on the last 10 to 30 years. Usually some basic designs were such that they were over built. This isn't a guarentee, however look at vehicles of any manufacturer for pre-68. In automotive circles these vehicles were not built for fuel economy or for compact design. They were built to put a product on the market. They did not have the split hair tolerances of the vehicles of today.

Just my opinon. However I do have a question - why replace the axle?

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Old 11-02-2011, 05:59 AM   #9
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The axle is shot - the arms are sagging past horizontal and hardly move when jacked up.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:03 PM   #10
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Axle rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jolly View Post
Hi,
I need a new axle for our '61 Tradewind but don't know what the weight rating needs to be. Can anyone tell me the original weight rating? Is it best to spec an uprated axle and if so by how much?
Any info would be much appreciated.
The axle rating for a 1961 24 foot Airstream is 4000 pounds.

Keep in mind that 1961 was the first year that Airstream used torsion axles.

Feedback, required that some ratings had to be changed.

In 1962 the axle rating did not change.

However, in 1963, the rating of the axle for the same trailer, was increased to 5000 pounds.

All the 1961 and 1962 axle ratings remained the same.

In 1963, every rating increased for every length trailer.

Andy
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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Thanks Andy, thats given me a good point of reference to start with.

I'd seen on another thread someone had gone for 5200lbs as a replacement for a single axle '61 Tradewind, do you think that would be a good choice?


Mike.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:02 PM   #12
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Thanks Andy, thats given me a good point of reference to start with.

I'd seen on another thread someone had gone for 5200lbs as a replacement for a single axle '61 Tradewind, do you think that would be a good choice?


Mike.
I would say no, but it's your choice.

Andy
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:32 PM   #13
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What would you recommend, Andy? 5000lbs?
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:30 PM   #14
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What would you recommend, Andy? 5000lbs?
Yes, and none higher.

Andy
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