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Old 01-20-2021, 07:22 PM   #1
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1992 25' Excella
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Axle Capacity Question?

I have a 92 25' Excella and I need new axles. I can't find any info on the current axles to determine what the original specs were. My GVWR is 6800lbs. What load rating should I get for my axles? 3500lbs each? Do you match your GVWR or rate them a certain percentage over?
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Old 01-20-2021, 07:42 PM   #2
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Dexter' website has some good information on axle rating selection. You want to get them close to the actual max load the axles will see because torsion bar tensioning and brake preloads are matched to the load ratings. When you go to spec them out, a call to their tech support is a good idea. In general you want to start with GVWR and subtract 10% as the minimum tongue weight. Thus 6,120 is in the ballpark, but as I say Dexter is happy to help you pick the best numbers. You do not have to get the standard stocked ratings, you can custom order.
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Old 01-20-2021, 09:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Dexter' website has some good information on axle rating selection. You want to get them close to the actual max load the axles will see because torsion bar tensioning and brake preloads are matched to the load ratings. When you go to spec them out, a call to their tech support is a good idea. In general you want to start with GVWR and subtract 10% as the minimum tongue weight. Thus 6,120 is in the ballpark, but as I say Dexter is happy to help you pick the best numbers. You do not have to get the standard stocked ratings, you can custom order.
I'm not quite sure they are quite that ....um...precise. first of all AS spec'd 5000# axles for my 10k gvwr trailer...not the Roughly 4500 pounds they carry (max).
Second, when I called dexter a number of years ago, sent them a pic of my axle tag, they told me they hadn't ever produced a 5000# axle. I had 6k axles labelled for AS build.
Take that at face value, but that's what I was told.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:21 AM   #4
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Rich have a look at the Dexter technical section of their website. What Airstream orders and installs for their production runs seems to vary. My 7300 lb GVWR trailer has 3500# axles. According to Dexter they can be custom ordered or you can go with the shelf stock ratings.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:47 AM   #5
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My 1988, 25' Excella has a 6800 lb gross weight rating and has 3200 lb axles.

For the record the times I have weighed it loaded for traveling we had 5600 lbs on the axles. I guess we do not carry as much stuff as some. And if it is heavy it goes in the truck. Is yours still the narrow body trailer or is it a wide body? That wold make a difference.

You really should take your trailer across a CAT scale before buying axles. Then you would know.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goondog View Post
I have a 92 25' Excella and I need new axles. I can't find any info on the current axles to determine what the original specs were. My GVWR is 6800lbs. What load rating should I get for my axles? 3500lbs each? Do you match your GVWR or rate them a certain percentage over?
Upgrade....We had two OEM 3500lb axles on our 7300lb GVWR Classic, with a meager 676 cargo capacity.
After 17yrs of 'kid gloving" them we upgraded to 4000lb, standard bearing, auto adjust, (I don't trust any mechanical device that has the werd "NEVER" in it.
Better to have more and need less than not having more when you need it.

Bob
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:59 AM   #7
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Rich have a look at the Dexter technical section of their website. What Airstream orders and installs for their production runs seems to vary. My 7300 lb GVWR trailer has 3500# axles. According to Dexter they can be custom ordered or you can go with the shelf stock ratings.
Oh, I know, and as I said, this was a number of years ago....and on a 2007.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:59 AM   #8
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IDK, Bob there are two schools of thought on that. Dexter axles have structural ratings and having a margin on that is good as long as they remain under the structural rating of the frame. You want the axle flex to be somewhat matched to the frame. The final rating of the axles will depend on the torsion preload and thus the spring rate. The suspension will perform best and provide the least stiff and be most gentle on the trailer and content with spring rates matched the maximum expected max load, but they will wear out bit sooner.

Your 3500 lb axles for your 7300 lb classic was a good match.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
IDK, Bob there are two schools of thought on that. Dexter axles have structural ratings and having a margin on that is good as long as they remain under the structural rating of the frame. You want the axle flex to be somewhat matched to the frame. The final rating of the axles will depend on the torsion preload and thus the spring rate. The suspension will perform best and provide the least stiff and be most gentle on the trailer and content with spring rates matched the maximum expected max load, but they will wear out bit sooner.
Your 3500 lb axles for your 7300 lb classic was a good match.
I beg to differ....Not a match with a pooped CCC.👎
We have had as much at 7800lb on the AS axles.
POI our adult beverages can weigh 200lb😂

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Old 01-21-2021, 08:26 AM   #10
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I wonder why someone would knowingly exceed the GVWR by so much. I also don't see how increasing spring rate necessarily safely increases GVWR and thus CCC. It might, but perhaps other components contribute to the 7300 lb limit.

Two 3500 lb axles are indeed a good match for a trailer with a 7300 lb GVWR. They may not be a good match for an owner who wants to load the 7300 lb GVWR trailer to 7800 lb.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:46 AM   #11
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So...what you are saying is that you would be satisfied with a 676 pound AS cargo capacity?
I was advised by both Dexter & JC that 4200lb would work very well. They were not available without the 'never-lube' bearings so I went with the 4000lb.
POI...Explain then, why do todays axle ratings more closely match the GVWR.
My observation...JC realized that an AS with such a poor CCC was NOT a good selling point.

Bob
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
I wonder why someone would knowingly exceed the GVWR by so much. I also don't see how increasing spring rate necessarily safely increases GVWR and thus CCC. It might, but perhaps other components contribute to the 7300 lb limit.

Two 3500 lb axles are indeed a good match for a trailer with a 7300 lb GVWR. They may not be a good match for an owner who wants to load the 7300 lb GVWR trailer to 7800 lb.
I agree with a lot of what you say here Brian, but for example, 2nd half of 2005 Aistream changed the axles, so say a 6300lb GVWR trailer that had 500bs of NCC and 3000lb axles, got bumped to 3500lbs axles and then got a roughly 7300lb GVWR and the NCC went up exponentially. I was at the factory and inspected the frames prior and post switchover and I can tell you that from my viewpoint (again not scientific) the only thing that provided an increase in GVWR and NCC appears to have been solely on the axle upgrade. Point of ref, unrelated. You can tell typically by look of a 2005 2nd half by the taller rock guards, they did that upgrade at the same time the axles were up'd. Post 2005, I can't say, it's been about 10 years since I was at the factory last.

My axles are getting weak, and so when it comes time to replace I will be doing similar to what Robert did. In my case, my 2005 with no other foreseeable mods from the factory, went up by almost 500-800lbs of GVWR and NCC, so there really isn't an overloading issue unless you go very grossly overboard as the factory re-certified the exact same trailer post axle change. Unless the factory cut corners or did some mods I am not aware of, my thought is was the axles that were hold the capacities lower.

When I spoke to the factory a bit ago, they told me there was no way the would put the same capacity axles on my trailer that it was standard to put slightly higher capacity axles on, which does fall in line with what Robert is talking about.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:33 AM   #13
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So...what you are saying is that you would be satisfied with a 676 pound AS cargo capacity?
I was advised by both Dexter & JC that 4200lb would work very well. They were not available without the 'never-lube' bearings so I went with the 4000lb.
POI...Explain then, why do todays axle ratings more closely match the GVWR.
My observation...JC realized that an AS with such a poor CCC was NOT a good selling point.

Bob
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You may be reading too much into my comments. I might suggest you take them literally at face value. Other than to refer back to the two schools of thought on spring rate selection, I don't have an explanation for what motivates Airstream designers.
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Old 01-21-2021, 12:15 PM   #14
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I may, but I doubt it.
A CCC of 676 just wasn't a rational choice for a 25' AS.🤔

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Old 01-21-2021, 02:03 PM   #15
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What model of 25’ Airstream carries 60 gallons of fresh water? My FB27 carries 37...
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:17 PM   #16
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What model of 25’ Airstream carries 60 gallons of fresh water? My FB27 carries 37...
WELL...our '04 25' Classic carries 54gal.

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Old 01-21-2021, 02:50 PM   #17
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WOW! Even my old ‘31 only carried 40. Great for boondocking I bet.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:07 PM   #18
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WOW! Even my old ‘31 only carried 40. Great for boondocking I bet.
Yes...with very judicious usage we have gone 10days without a re-fill.

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Old 02-27-2021, 09:38 AM   #19
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I ended up going with 3500 lb axles per the suppliers recommendation. I took measurements and ordered them with a 3" lift through Redneck Trailer. They were ready for pickup in 4 weeks. The guys are Redneck Trailer were great to work with and very helpful.
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