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Old 06-14-2024, 01:45 PM   #1
Vermont Airstream "Maple"
 
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2024 27' Flying Cloud
Franklin , Vermont
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Axle to Frame issue

While I was under my trailer recently, fixing the freshwater drain, I happened to take quick look at how the axle(s) are connected to the frame - just looking around when I noticed the front axle, curb side bolt (one of two bolts connecting the axle to the frame at this end) had a large gap between the bolt head and the frame. Upon closer inspection, 1/2 of the thick washer was broken, yes broken, not bent and was missing... While the bolt would not have backed out (self-locking nut) - the bolt was still "tight" against the remaining 1/2 washer.... Off to the hardware store - replace and retorqued to 150 lbs. Guess I have something else to add to my check list.. This is a 2024 27' trailer.

Gregg
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Old 06-14-2024, 06:10 PM   #2
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I've not looked at a late model Airstream. I've replaced the axles on my vintage Airstream through the years. The axle mounting bracket fits between the frame rails on the inside. Maybe you have already removed the bolt as your photo looks like it is on the outside of the frame rail. Maybe it was a defective washer that was heat treated improperly, way too hard, and it fractured when clamped against a not so flat frame rail. Just speculating. At least you noticed it and corrected it.

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Old 06-15-2024, 03:09 AM   #3
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I'd check for any bumps or welding slag which might have been between the washer and the frame. Other than that, possible causes are too much torque on initial install or defective washer.
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Old 06-15-2024, 09:23 AM   #4
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I have a 2014 25FB Eddie Bauer. About 5 years ago during annual brake maintenance I too noticed broken washers. After further inspection, 6 of the 8 washer sets were broken. The washers installed by Airstream are not normal flat washers but instead belleville washers which are not flat for the purpose of providing some continuous load to the attachment. I spoke with Dexter who seemed comfortable with replacement them with a grade 8 flat washer. I chose however to go back with the original style and haven't had any problems since. I did paint the washer so as to prevent/slow down the rust which seemed to be a contributor to the originals' failing. I recall that there was a stack of two washers per bolt, but it may have been three. In any case there was more than one.
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Old 06-16-2024, 08:00 PM   #5
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Gregg, maybe it is just the lighting, but that washer looks pretty rusty, not just the outside but also the broken edges. You say this is on a 2024 trailer, so not very old and under warranty. You are probably wise to do the work yourself rather than schedule a trip to the dealer and tie up a day or a week getting a small job done.
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Old 06-18-2024, 08:38 AM   #6
Vermont Airstream "Maple"
 
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2024 27' Flying Cloud
Franklin , Vermont
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David, yes, the broken edges were rusty as well - we picked up the trailer in April this year, so the washer had to had been broken shortly after leaving Jackson Center. I have a lift kit ordered and it looks like it comes with new hardware (Bolts/washers/nuts) - I'll replace the one that I put on. There is only 1 washer per bolt and it's goes on the head side of the bolt, the nut is a flange/nut (one piece nut/washer).
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