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Old 07-19-2014, 04:31 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Ask Henschen where you can get the axles checked and possibly fixed or replaced. And use a tire tread gauge to keep checking them yourself until you get to the right shop for the job.

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Henschen closed some years ago.

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Old 07-19-2014, 09:17 AM   #44
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Ask Andy at Inland RV on this forum. He is a fountain of Knowledge...
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:25 AM   #45
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Inside tire wear on back axle

And yea, unless the edge wear is super bad you can rotate the tires to buy a few miles.

I swapped out the right front and the right rear to get "one more trip".

I managed to defer replacing the axles enough to make a last 3,000 mile trip. The tires, now on new axles, are still on the trailer, running true, and beginning to straighten up nicely... (Although showing more wear than the tires on the left)


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Old 07-19-2014, 10:31 AM   #46
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Ok, I read back over the thread, I see that the axles are 1999 vintage....

It is popularly reported on this forum that the axles last about 25 years so long as the trailer is towed regularly...

This is an average, mileage may vary, frankly if it were me I would try to buy time by rotating tires until I could get a new rear axle installed.

Simply stated, for the cost of a set of tires and money spent trying to fix the alignment a new axle could be installed.


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Old 07-19-2014, 11:07 AM   #47
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We are not on very level ground so don't think the string text would be accurate. Now have 2 new tires on the back and trying to address the diagnosis next week. In Salida CO and very soon have to head to TX.

Will let you know what we find out.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:26 AM   #48
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On these trailers there isn't a lot that will cause tires to wear unevenly.

Spring, shackle, and mounting issues are virtually non existent. (Assuming the frame is not coming apart or the axle mounts are sound)

Tire wear that is there now and was not there before must be attributed, to bent or bad axles, defective tires, or bad wheel bearings.

Bad wheel bearings will be easy to diagnose and notice so that is eliminated.

Bent axle could happen. Perhaps by running over a huge bump at speed or by someone jacking the trailer up on the axle.

Bad tires that just don't wear right... I guarantee you this happens.

I think the most likely issue is going to be the axle torsion rubber breaking down allowing the wheel to "tip in".


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Old 07-20-2014, 10:33 AM   #49
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Since we have new tires and are in CO heading back towards KY for 4 months at Amazon...the easiest for us is to research a shop there that can hopefully diagnose and replace axle if necessary. Found a place in Elizabethtown which is close so if axle takes a while to come in we will be able to wait on it. Will call them tomorrow.

That's the plan so far..thanks!
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:45 AM   #50
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Headed to North Dallas RV in Carrollton TX for alignment or diagnosis. Appointment is on Tuesday next week. They were recommended by AS Jackson Center. They have the ability to bend the axle to align.

Any questions I should ask?
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:56 PM   #51
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Utility Trailer Axles - real help. In your neighborhood?

There's a company about 2 miles from my work that sells and services utility trailers - the kind that lawn services and contractors use. I met the manager socially and mentioned torsion axles on RV's. He was surprised that I had a clue what a torsion axle was... I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that this gentleman is an RV'er himself and has long worried about the bad towing situations he regularly sees with both RV's and utility trailers. We both wish that there were more people who realized they need to learn a little about towing before they hitch up any kind of trailer and ride off into the sunset.

Most pertinent information he shared? His shop will fix and replace torsion axles for RV's as well as utility trailers. He let slip that two local RV shops "fixed and replaced axles" by towing the trailers to his shop! There's a markup we could all avoid! Not only that but they do this work every day and the average RV shop might do it once or twice a month, if at all.

Knowledge he shared regarding towing nose up or down? If your trailer weighs 5000 lbs and you're level each axle is carrying 2500 lbs (average). If you're really really really nose up, the front axle may be carrying virtually no weight. If you're less than 2 inches up, you may still be shifting 1000 lbs onto he rear axle. More weighs and the rear wheels go up into the wheel well. The axle can be thought of as a metal arch... which will bend flatter on the ends as more weight is added. Overload and the tires will start to look "knock-kneed" from the front or rear. Wear will be Where? (sorry for the homonym pun) On the inside edge of the tread and possibly even wear on the sidewall from rubbing against he wheel well itself? YES. Check your wheel well for wear or rubbed off rubber (geez another awful pun).

I made a phone call and asked about bending the square axle. Answer? "How do you think they gave them a 22 degree angle at the factory Paula?" (D'oh... Ouch.) Apparently if the axle is newish and has been knocked out of alignment by potholes, etc. it can be adjusted back to it's correct angle (camber?) and toe. An older axle... replace it for general principles. I asked about welding and drilling new holes to get an axle to run true - and he said "we make our own frames and the mounting holes are always perfect"... then chuckled ruefully and said "anything can happen in a small shop - but most of the time we find we're repairing other company's mistakes. Of course, it's simpler and more cost effective to re-drill the holes and use a good stock axle than keeping a work trailer out of service while we custom order an axle that's supposed to be an exact match but may still come in wrong." (I didn't think to ask if they had to unbolt the axle and put it in a brake to re-bend it - but I saw one IN a brake when I toured his shop weeks ago.)

Airstream doesn't manufacture trailers (nor does anyone else) - they ASSEMBLE them. Axis/Dexter/Henschen axles, Dometic appliances, Moen faucets.... the list is endless. I go to the Mothership for some stuff, or to Out of Doors Mart, but I'm finding more and more real expertise could be right in my back yard. (I'm going to schmooze more later. I'm sure they save on shipping charges ordering by the truckload... wonder if they get a bulk discount on the axles too?)

Hope this is useful, Paula
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:09 AM   #52
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Probably the least qualified repair facility are some of the smaller Airstream dealers. There are many independent shops that do specific service area work daily that are better qualified in that speciality. It is good to do local research for the better local vendors.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:17 AM   #53
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I have to wonder, for the price of a bare axle, is it even really worth the time and risk of a fix that may or may not work?
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:36 PM   #54
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I was told that the new axle may not be a fix..it may go the way of the old axle. Do not know how to deal with this but we are full-timers and cannot see how we would have had weight change. Last yr was great. We do get the brakes and bearings looked at every yr so maybe that caused it..just do not know. When we had our tires put on they used our ramp. Camping World has done the brakes and bearings. This January when they were doing them they said the cap came off and ruined the bearings and the tire after one year. Guess CW is out of the picture for us. These guys were recommended by Jackson Ctr. So on we go! Be there Tuesday.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:35 PM   #55
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Inside tire wear on back axle

I cant see how a new axle wont be a fix seeing as the axle is solidly mounted.

This is what I think. Short of the axle taking an extreme impact, which you would probably remember, the misalignment will probably be due to axle wear or internal failure.

The inside edge of my right rear tire was wearing. I knew that my axles needed replacement because of their age, replacement fixed my wear problem.

My cost for both complete axles was about $1,400 delivered.

If my memory serves me, axles are available bare without brakes, and backing plates for less than $500 each... (Your brakes and backing plates could be moved to the new axle)

Just something to consider and compare pricing on.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #56
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I dont know how long it takes to get them in..we will be stopped soon and can research it. The alignment for both axles is $300. A new axle or 2 is something to consider since we live in our trailer and or not stopping any time soon.

Thanks!
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