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Old 09-17-2014, 08:05 AM   #41
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I know I've posted this before, but here it is again.
Note the "CAUTION" at the bottom of the info sheet.

http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...flex_11-06.pdf
I don't guess Airstream read that last part.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:42 AM   #42
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Well, I'm sure Airstream started making torsion axle triples long before Dexter cautioned against it.
I'm sure Airstream's engineers factored this in the design of the triple axle 34'er.


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Old 09-17-2014, 09:00 AM   #43
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Thank you for all of the interesting posts. We have owned the trailer for about 5 months so have no idea of the previous life. As Andy says, anything can fail, and I guess we got one of the failures. We know several people with 34' units and this is the first failure I have heard about. New axles ordered from Andy, to his spec, 4000 lb, with self adjusting brakes. Should be good to go for the life of the trailer now. Maybe a "heads up" to owners of 34' to replace axles before a problem occurs. Thanks everybody!!!
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:31 AM   #44
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When you look at forums, be they RV or car/truck related what you see for the most part is posts from people having problems. There is a silent majority that are not having problems. I participate in the TDR RAM forums and have also read the mag. for many years. Mostly I find myself thinking "I never had that problem" as I read it. Owners with out problems or questions don't post.

On the axle thing I am personally aware of only a few spindle failures (5) in the 40 years I have been using Airstreams. I will continue to enjoy my trailer which is still running on the original running gear.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:55 PM   #45
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In my extensive experience as a contractor pulling numerous trailers around the country, the only time I have had trouble with running gear has been due to...

Driving too fast
Loaded too heavy
Underinflated tires
Neglected maintenance

With the exception of a 3 inch drop on a bridge approach in Louisiana, my troubles have always been self induced.

I have no doubt that if I do my job, my Airstream will perform as well.

I will say this, I have owned numerous rv's from new trailers to some 20+ years old. My AS hit 45 years old this year and for the most part is still in great shape. A testament to quality engineering and manufacturing.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:43 AM   #46
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In my extensive experience as a contractor pulling numerous trailers around the country, the only time I have had trouble with running gear has been due to...

Driving too fast
Loaded too heavy
Underinflated tires
Neglected maintenance

With the exception of a 3 inch drop on a bridge approach in Louisiana, my troubles have always been self induced.

I have no doubt that if I do my job, my Airstream will perform as well.

I will say this, I have owned numerous rv's from new trailers to some 20+ years old. My AS hit 45 years old this year and for the most part is still in great shape. A testament to quality engineering and manufacturing.
Unfortunately, some owners feel that PM is something you do, after a problem appears.

Nah, that doesn't need anything! Don't bet on it.

Spending a few dollars for some PM, in time, saves money, and, oh yes, troubles and heartaches too.

Aloha.

Andy
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:23 AM   #47
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Interesting thread… I am not pointing any fingers, but if you crawl under your 34 footers and add up the rating plates on all three axles the total will be same as the dry weight of the trailer. This will not be true if the axles were replaced or the trailer was built for direct export to Canada. For some reason those got axles that were heavier duty.

There is also a lot to be said for 50 years of experience...
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:49 AM   #48
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Axle Break Story

Andy says A$ uses Dexter axles because they are superior. The axles, which I bought from him (Inland RV) are Axis.
??????




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Old 09-20-2014, 12:15 PM   #49
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Andy says A$ uses Dexter axles because they are superior. The axles, which I bought from him (Inland RV) are Axis.
??????




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That was many years ago, AND before I had the lab report, and learn of the less quality.

Complete welds are stronger than incomplete, especially when the axle shaft is welded to the torsion arm. Partial welds on one side and none on the other side, to me, doesn't earn it top quality.

Andy
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:24 PM   #50
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Axle Break Story

It has been less than 4 years ago. Not sure if that is your definition of Many.
I have travelled some 30K miles without any problems with the Axis axles.


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Old 09-20-2014, 02:34 PM   #51
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It has been less than 4 years ago. Not sure if that is your definition of Many.
I have travelled some 30K miles without any problems with the Axis axles.


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Four years to me. Is a loooong time when your 82 years old (young)

Glad your happy.

As a pilot, I personally appreciate maximum safety, when ever possible.

Aloha.

Andy
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:38 AM   #52
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Here I sit in my 86 Limited getting ready to pull it home at 62 mph down a bumpy highway. And I have brand new 16" wheels and heavy LT tires which I'm sure put more load on the axle. I figured the "load rating" on the axle was related to the rubber torsion rods, not the dimensions of the square shaft. I'm going to worry about my wheels falling off all the way home!

I'm recently retired and want to do some serious traveling around this beautiful country of ours. I'm going to check out new axles this winter. They may not be stronger, but I can reset the clock on fatigue life.

David
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:24 AM   #53
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Looks like I opened a can of worms bringing this thread back!!! As far as worrying about bringing my trailer home, dbj216, I wouldn't worry. Axle breaks are few and far between, and I was just one of the unlucky ones. As Andy advocates, axle replacement is a good idea, especially if you do not know the history of the trailer. If all of us were worried about "life threatening" potential problems we would never move our trailers. I have more to fear about meeting a semi trailer or bus head on, than breaking an axle. Everytime we tow there is a potential for a problem, but that never stops us. Common sense should prevail, and it seems that most of us have and use it. Thanks to all that replied to the thread, and especially Andy. Will tell everybody how I made out when I bring the trailer home in about 3 weeks. Keep on 'streamin!!!
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:35 PM   #54
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dbj216,

Since we are back to axles, wheels and tires are unsprung weight and don't place stress on the axle (unless you jack up the trailer and let them hang). At least, that's how I understand it.

Al
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:30 AM   #55
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dbj216,

Since we are back to axles, wheels and tires are unsprung weight and don't place stress on the axle (unless you jack up the trailer and let them hang).

Al
Or you turn a corner.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:54 AM   #56
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I made it home in good fashion after 550 miles of bumpy highways. CBWELL, you are right. I sometimes worry about things that are really very small. Last year I was worrying about my GYM 15" load range C tires coming apart on me. They didn't, but I upgraded tires anyway.

I figure the square tube in our Dura Torq axles is constantly resisting the loads of trailer weight, tire-wheel-brake bouncing up and down, and tire drag when turning sharp corners. It's a real busy shaft at 60mph on a bumpy highway. Maybe after 28 years and over a quarter of a million miles I should refresh them.

David
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:29 PM   #57
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This thread was closed for some cleanup and is now reopened.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:28 PM   #58
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This thread was closed for some cleanup and is now reopened.
Kevin

Thanks. It's appreciated.

Fortunately, a cleanup has become rare, but not obsolete.

Andy
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:54 AM   #59
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Mods doing a good job. Keeps all of us on our toes. Thanks.... Jim
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:39 PM   #60
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The newer Dexter axles are built on a #11 tube, that makes the torsion tube about 30% larger than the Henschen or Axis torsion tubes. Anyone with pre 90's Tandem axles is riding around on the smaller tubes. I think it was very late 70's (79)or early 80's Airstream incorporated a larger axle mounting notch in their axle plates allowing for the use of either a 2 3/8" or 3" tube. It becomes a must do if you have a 34' to upgrade or you'll subject yourself to the same fate as the previous posters.

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