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Old 05-31-2014, 11:36 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella Limited
Anchorage , Alaska
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Wrong axles installed by dealer?

I recently had two new Dexter axles installed on my 1981 Excella by an Airstream dealer/service center in southern California. When I asked (ahead of time) what axle weight ratings they would use, they said they would use "the same as those that came with the trailer".

After I picked up the trailer, I asked what kind of axles they ended up using. They said they used two 3500 lb axles. This seemed reasonable at the time, as the service manual specifies 3200 lb axles for the 31' models. However, I just read that all the Excella models actually came with 4000 lb axles. Disbelieving, I opened up my front left corner rock guard and looked at the data plate underneath. Sure enough, it lists a GAWR of 4000 for both front and rear axles.

It sure seems to me like maybe they put the wrong axles on. I'm worried about a reduced useful life if the rating is too low. But before I go wild, can anyone think of any good reasons why I should have 3500 lb axles instead? If I have to pursue action on this, am I stuck dealing with the local dealer, or would going through the national Airstream headquarters be more useful?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this..

AJ
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:50 PM   #2
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1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
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I would ask the specific question, why did they put on 3500 lb axles when the data plate states 4000 lb axles. But first check the tag on the axles to see the weight rating of the new axles.

Bill

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Originally Posted by akflyer View Post
I recently had two new Dexter axles installed on my 1981 Excella by an Airstream dealer/service center in southern California. When I asked (ahead of time) what axle weight ratings they would use, they said they would use "the same as those that came with the trailer".

After I picked up the trailer, I asked what kind of axles they ended up using. They said they used two 3500 lb axles. This seemed reasonable at the time, as the service manual specifies 3200 lb axles for the 31' models. However, I just read that all the Excella models actually came with 4000 lb axles. Disbelieving, I opened up my front left corner rock guard and looked at the data plate underneath. Sure enough, it lists a GAWR of 4000 for both front and rear axles.

It sure seems to me like maybe they put the wrong axles on. I'm worried about a reduced useful life if the rating is too low. But before I go wild, can anyone think of any good reasons why I should have 3500 lb axles instead? If I have to pursue action on this, am I stuck dealing with the local dealer, or would going through the national Airstream headquarters be more useful?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this..

AJ
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akflyer View Post
I recently had two new Dexter axles installed on my 1981 Excella by an Airstream dealer/service center in southern California. When I asked (ahead of time) what axle weight ratings they would use, they said they would use "the same as those that came with the trailer".

After I picked up the trailer, I asked what kind of axles they ended up using. They said they used two 3500 lb axles. This seemed reasonable at the time, as the service manual specifies 3200 lb axles for the 31' models. However, I just read that all the Excella models actually came with 4000 lb axles. Disbelieving, I opened up my front left corner rock guard and looked at the data plate underneath. Sure enough, it lists a GAWR of 4000 for both front and rear axles.

It sure seems to me like maybe they put the wrong axles on. I'm worried about a reduced useful life if the rating is too low. But before I go wild, can anyone think of any good reasons why I should have 3500 lb axles instead? If I have to pursue action on this, am I stuck dealing with the local dealer, or would going through the national Airstream headquarters be more useful?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this..

AJ
Airstream specs call for 4000 pound axles for your Excella.

If anything, 4500 pound axles could have been used.

But, the 3500 pound axles will have a very short life.

Andy
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:16 AM   #4
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1977 31' Excella 500
West Sacramento , California
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My 77 Excella came with 3500lb axles and I replaced them with 4500lb. The GVWR was around 7500-7700lbs with the 3500lb axles
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:13 PM   #5
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1981 31' Excella Limited
Anchorage , Alaska
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Thanks to all for the replies. As a follow up, I contacted: (1) the service center which replaced the axles, asking for more information, (2) Airstream factory support, asking for their opinion of 3500 lb axles on this year/model, and (3) Dexter axle, with serial #s that I read off the installed axles.

Dexter replied within hours, with the welcome news that the axles are actually rated at 4000 lbs. This cleared my concerns, as it matches the listed GAWR on the data tag.

Airstream factory also replied quickly, and basically said that my trailer was built without a GVWR, and that 3500 lb axles were sufficient given the listed dry weight (although, my original data plate does list an 8500 lb GVWR).

Disappointingly, I haven't heard back from the service center which installed the axles at all.

Thanks again for the ideas. Happy travels,

AJ
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akflyer View Post

Disappointingly, I haven't heard back from the service center which installed the axles at all.

Thanks again for the ideas. Happy travels,

AJ
I you do not hear back that might be a good reason NEVER to go back to that service center. Wonder where they are located?
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