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Old 10-06-2023, 02:03 PM   #1
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2019 30' Flying Cloud
Katy , Texas
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Bad Axles Causing Crazy Amount of Warranty Work

I've had quite some warranty work done on my '21 Classic 33. We discovered the dreaded front end separation on our very first trip. While JC fixed that, they also completely disassembled the bedroom slider doors to fix the track, remounted the sink, and replaced over 20 interior rivets and 2 outside buck rivets that had all been sheared off. Locally, I've had my service center remount the desk top and galley counter top, whose mounts had broken. I've had the sink remounted a 2nd time. Several circuit boards in the CZone system have been replaced. The bathroom mirrored cabinet doors have fallen out of the tracks and been replaced--twice. I could go on and on....

I didn't have any such problems with my 2019 FC30, even though we traveled the same way to the same places. Something is clearly different with my Classic.

Fortunately, everything has been covered under warranty, but I'm just a few months away from warranty expiration. I relayed my concerns to my local repair shop during the last warranty repair visit, and the shop owner decided to check my axles. According to his measurements, both axles are out-of-spec and aren't providing sufficient suspension travel. Dexter agrees, and they've sent 2 new axles and have agreed to pay for installation.

My repair shop has hinted that my axles were bad from Day 1. This would go a long way to explaining the continuous structural failures, as I've not had much dampening....kinda like the Airstream equivalent of a Hardtail Harley.

Apparently Dexter has been replacing many many many defective axles lately. My trailer was built in December of 2020. If you have a similar vintage trailer and you're getting shaken to death, have a quick suspension check done to see if bad axles could be your problems as well.
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Old 10-06-2023, 02:37 PM   #2
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Well, I don’t have the same problems as you - BUT - I did have an axle failure on my 2023 FC. Just another data point.

However what I thought was interesting was I took my AS to an independent shop this week to have a lift installed. While talking to the shop owner I told him about my Dexter axle failure and how they replaced it under warranty. He was surprised, but then he said ‘weird, I just had a new Dexter axle failure on a different camper come in as well’.

So, it’s 3 data points, but yeah, it does happen.
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Old 10-07-2023, 06:43 AM   #3
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What is bad.....or what is failing on these axles?
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Old 10-07-2023, 11:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
What is bad.....or what is failing on these axles?
I really don’t know the answer to your question. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable might chime in with a good response.

If I had to guess, the 4 rubber “tubes” inside the torsion axle might be too soft or, perhaps, might somehow have broken down extremely prematurely. All I know is that the length of suspension travel was greatly reduced on both my axles, which has literally caused my trailer to literally rattle apart.

My service shop initially told me they were going to check my suspension functionality because they have seen a lot of failures recently, and Dexter has been quite willing to make things right. My shop has copied me on all communications with Dexter. Dexter responded to the initial claim within 3 days of submission, and within the week I saw the shipping confirmation for 2 new axles and the labor reimbursement details.

I’m just really thankful that my local shop is looking out for me!
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Old 10-09-2023, 12:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
I really don’t know the answer to your question. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable might chime in with a good response.

If I had to guess, the 4 rubber “tubes” inside the torsion axle might be too soft or, perhaps, might somehow have broken down extremely prematurely. All I know is that the length of suspension travel was greatly reduced on both my axles, which has literally caused my trailer to literally rattle apart.

My service shop initially told me they were going to check my suspension functionality because they have seen a lot of failures recently, and Dexter has been quite willing to make things right. My shop has copied me on all communications with Dexter. Dexter responded to the initial claim within 3 days of submission, and within the week I saw the shipping confirmation for 2 new axles and the labor reimbursement details.

I’m just really thankful that my local shop is looking out for me!
Seems like the problem could also be that they used a rubber insert rated way to high causing the trailer to ride like a train on rails.
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Old 10-21-2023, 10:57 PM   #6
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Just got our 2023 back. Aft axle was warrantied. It ate the curbside tire.

None of the parties involved would cover the tire.

Luckily Les Schwab Tire is a mile from the dealer because the inside sidewall had started to separate and bulge. The brakes on that side too were way out of adjustment and the start wheel could not be found in the inspection hole.

My axle’s serial numbers were not included in the Airstream list, so I wonder if the list will be getting updated.
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Old 10-22-2023, 05:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
I've had quite some warranty work done on my '21 Classic 33. We discovered the dreaded front end separation on our very first trip. While JC fixed that, they also completely disassembled the bedroom slider doors to fix the track, remounted the sink, and replaced over 20 interior rivets and 2 outside buck rivets that had all been sheared off. Locally, I've had my service center remount the desk top and galley counter top, whose mounts had broken. I've had the sink remounted a 2nd time. Several circuit boards in the CZone system have been replaced. The bathroom mirrored cabinet doors have fallen out of the tracks and been replaced--twice. I could go on and on....

I didn't have any such problems with my 2019 FC30, even though we traveled the same way to the same places. Something is clearly different with my Classic.

Fortunately, everything has been covered under warranty, but I'm just a few months away from warranty expiration. I relayed my concerns to my local repair shop during the last warranty repair visit, and the shop owner decided to check my axles. According to his measurements, both axles are out-of-spec and aren't providing sufficient suspension travel. Dexter agrees, and they've sent 2 new axles and have agreed to pay for installation.

My repair shop has hinted that my axles were bad from Day 1. This would go a long way to explaining the continuous structural failures, as I've not had much dampening....kinda like the Airstream equivalent of a Hardtail Harley.

Apparently Dexter has been replacing many many many defective axles lately. My trailer was built in December of 2020. If you have a similar vintage trailer and you're getting shaken to death, have a quick suspension check done to see if bad axles could be your problems as well.
You raised a good point. We are on the way home from JC, and they addressed our 37 item list of problems. We have new wardrobe doors to install at home, wanted the glue to dry. These are supposedly 1/8 inch taller, so they should not fall out. I have also replaced over one dozen interior rivets, and JC replaced three buck rivets with Olympics, one near the door, and two around the front storage locker. JC also bolstered the storage locker over the TV projector, which was coming loose.

I also tow with a one ton, F350, and a Propride. I have lowered trailer tire pressure to 64 cold, and have backed off on the WD.

We like this Airstream, but are tired of the small things. After JC repairs, the Pepwave router wouldnot power up, and the bed lift motor would not work. The sense line for LP1 reads zero, even though the tank gauge/sensor works. I don’t know what they touched during repairs.

We are going to Alaska next summer, but I am hesitant to take this rig.

I am glad Dexter is honoring the warranty. Good luck.
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Old 01-30-2024, 05:30 PM   #8
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My 2023 Flying Cloud 25RBQ is getting both axles replaced under warranty from Dexter, however I was told that I would have to pay for the installation, $700! I'm going to have to press on that issue. My problem was with alignment of the rear axle as it came from the factory. I mentioned this during my inspection at delivery, but the dealership said it would be no problem. It was visually obvious and ended up wearing out the left rear tire on the inside of the tread. All other tires are showing normal wear. The rear axle on the left side failed the straight-edge test and the axles on that side measured almost 1/2" further apart than the curb side axles.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:11 AM   #9
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Update on Axle Warranty...

I ended up contacting my dealership again and they gave me the AS warranty phone number. A quick call to AS and they contacted Dexter. Dexter picked up the cost of installation. I am still out the cost of a new spare tire. I used the original spare to replace the worn tire as it is the same age as the rest of the set.


With the new axles and corrected alignment, the trailer tows even better than before, plus I'm noticing that an intermittent brake issue is corrected as well. I'm hoping for slightly better gas mileage now too, as I don't have the resistance of the one wheel dragging due to the alignment issue.



I used a Dexter dealership in Gilbert, AZ: SpecTrac Suspensions. They deal with commercial trucks and trailers as well as RVs. They were great to work with and got both axles replaced quickly once they arrived.
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:51 AM   #10
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Have another thread going on this (moved by admin to towing..), looking at why our trailer is a bit squirrely.

It's a 30 Classic 2021, build date Dec 2020 with the front axle tracking crooked, and the toe-in dimensions seem to be off as well.

The frt axle is cocked to the right of center by ~0.25". There is a ~ 1/4" difference between the gaps in the tires, side-side. Did a laser alignment check and confirms the numbers, everything adds up to it been off.

I contacted Dexter, as these are supposed to be bolt-up, precisely mounted with no adjustment.

I suppose I could wrestle with it to move the axle over but I don't see anyone doing that.
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Old 02-24-2024, 11:49 AM   #11
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Just us....

Thought it was bent. Turned out the torsion 'springs' were worn out.

Upgrade to 4200lb after 14 years.

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Old 02-24-2024, 09:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMSports View Post
Have another thread going on this (moved by admin to towing..), looking at why our trailer is a bit squirrely.

It's a 30 Classic 2021, build date Dec 2020 with the front axle tracking crooked, and the toe-in dimensions seem to be off as well.

The frt axle is cocked to the right of center by ~0.25". There is a ~ 1/4" difference between the gaps in the tires, side-side. Did a laser alignment check and confirms the numbers, everything adds up to it been off.

I contacted Dexter, as these are supposed to be bolt-up, precisely mounted with no adjustment.

I suppose I could wrestle with it to move the axle over but I don't see anyone doing that.
The axles mounts are welded to the axle tubes - unlikely you'll be able to wrestle any amount of movement to center the axle to the trailer. But, there is a small amount of movement possible in the mounting holes and I'd guess that you'll be able to get enough movement from your axles to get them mounted true to the trailer and even out the gaps between the two axles.

When I mounted my axles I worked from a center point on the front of the coupler and measured to a center point on each of the four axle hubs, and then adjusted each axle until they triangulated perfectly square to the centerline of the trailer. Took a while, but it's possible.

One thing that helped me get accurate measurements was an old-fashioned plum bob which I used to transfer the center points of the hubs to the ground and from the center of the hub to the ground. This made taking accurate measurements much more simple. Make sure you're on very flat pavement when doing this.
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
The axles mounts are welded to the axle tubes - unlikely you'll be able to wrestle any amount of movement to center the axle to the trailer. But, there is a small amount of movement possible in the mounting holes and I'd guess that you'll be able to get enough movement from your axles to get them mounted true to the trailer and even out the gaps between the two axles.
I'm a bit of bender. Yes - I went looking for mojo in the holes after what you posted. The front holes are horizontally slotted, lots of travel there. But the rear holes are vertically slotted. Still, it looked like it was all oversized enough that I was able to hit my adjustment "plan" of 1/4" to the left (total). Working alone, I used a pry-lever, floor jack, then pinned it with my impact, followed by tightening up the rear, then torque everything up.

I will update my sway post too!
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