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Old 02-18-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
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Ding dang 'ol axle

this don't look some good to me. looks like it's time to replace my axle. it looks like it'll be a pretty straight forward fix...some busted knuckles, a few dozen of just the right words and viola she's fixed! the one question i did come up with is where do i support her while she's up in the air? on the axle brackets that are part of the frame and the tongue jack. is that enough? any thoughts, suggestions, warnings, words of wisdom, would all be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Cojer,
Nice little trailer! You can get by with jacking the trailer up and placing jack stands under the main frame rails to the rear of where the axle mounts to the support plate and of course the tongue jack. I have ordered new Axis axles from Colin Hyde. Just waiting on their arrival. I have my very own axle thread. It has all the information I was able to compile. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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thanks top. i just made one call to inland today was quoted 750. i'll take a look at these others you've got listed....and we're off to the rodeo
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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That reminds me of a song...
"Weeeelllllll it's forty below, got a heater in my truck so I don't give a and I'm off to the rodeo!"
Good luck and if you'd like to save yourself some money for the same product, call Colin Hyde.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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ah not many know that song! so why is colins' so much cheaper?
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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ah not many know that song! so why is colins' so much cheaper?
Cojer,
Based on the Forums rules, I don't think I'm allowed to tell you, not here anyway.
What I can tell you is that Caravels are notorious for fatigue cracks in their spindles. I had one client who went over a slightly rough railroad crossing & he broke both spindles & the whole trailer hit the ground. He sent me photos of the old axle spindles after I supplied him with a replacement & they had obviously been cracking for some time as there was rust in the cracks. I have seen this quite a few times with Caravel axles with the 5 lug pattern. Check out www.vintageairstream.com as it shows the nightmare of the website owners axle mishap.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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ah not many know that song! so why is colins' so much cheaper?
Because it is not a duplicate of the Henschen design, but a cheaper version, according to Axis.

Andy
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:15 AM   #8
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HOLD ON NOW!!! Andy you both sell the same product. There is no longer Henchen or the monopoly you had for so many years. I pray that Axis does the right thing and does not allow either you or Colin to have a monopoly on their product too. Everyone needs to eat, but the EXTREME MARK UP has to end. We strive to have "free trade" in America, time for that to be a reality.
I spoke with Axis yesterday. Turns out I cannot buy axles for Airstreams until they sort out "this situation we have internally" due to two vendors both wanting exclusive right.
I had a client ask me why the axle wars are so fierce. I know why, the mark up is why. It is a total cash cow for both you guys. Stop fighting over this and pretend you know how to play fair.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Because it is not a duplicate of the Henschen design, but a cheaper version, according to Axis.

Andy
That is just laughable Andy. I SERIOUSLY doubt that Axis would describe any product they make as "cheaper". Isn't the main tube the same? Isn't the rubber inside the same? The brakes are the same. The spindles are the same. Do the axles you sell for $750 have a data plate that reads "Axis"? That is not the reason you stated for your price being higher here. (remember the cost of California?) Elsewhere you mention that Axis bought only some of Henschen's tooling and equipment but not the spindles. I think you are just trying to milk the cow before she goes dry.

I do understand suppliers have to make some money to stay in business. I'm sure Colin isn't giving axles away. You DEFINITELY are not giving them away! Most sane people can understand some difference in price at a modest level. But $430 vs. $750 is too much to pass off as anything other than excessive markup.


Here's some flowers for y'all!
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:14 AM   #10
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thanks top. i just made one call to inland today was quoted 750. i'll take a look at these others you've got listed....and we're off to the rodeo
I replace my tandems with axles from Inland, The price isn't bad 'cuz you get new backing plates, brakes, drums, bearings all on the axle. Everythng bolts up. You may have to drill a couple of holes and weld the shock mounts on. If you don't weld take the axle to a welder and in a short time there mounted. A diagram just how where and there mounted will be included.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:07 AM   #11
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wow! i knew the inherent problems with the caravel axle when i bought her. i knew there was a very good possibility i would have to replace it. i was kind of under the impression that there was only one company who made axles for the airstream. i guess i was wrong there. and i didn't know that i would be uncovering something this ugly. airstream is an american icon for sure. i hope it doesn't also become a symbol of the elimination of the middle class as well! if what i'm reading here is true....well it's just sad really. guess i'm just going to have to make some phone calls and talk to folks to see what's going to work best for me.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:57 PM   #12
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Ok folks, I'm sorry some posts were pulled for discussion. We put everything back, and I hope we can continue to discuss axles in a civil manner. There are several good options for axles right now, and people on the forums who have taken advantage of different brands, there's a lot of good experience and knowledge to share. So let's keep it polite, play nice, and carry on.

For the record, I've been happy with the 3500lb Dexter under my Caravel since 2004.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:09 PM   #13
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Ok folks, I'm sorry some posts were pulled for discussion. We put everything back, and I hope we can continue to discuss axles in a civil manner. There are several good options for axles right now, and people on the forums who have taken advantage of different brands, there's a lot of good experience and knowledge to share. So let's keep it polite, play nice, and carry on.

For the record, I've been happy with the 3500lb Dexter under my Caravel since 2004.
Hi Stephanie,
Also "for the record", Axis was a subcontractor for Dexter some years ago, as they didn't sufficient capacity to build all of their axles. So there is potential that your axle was built by Axis, even though it has a Dexter tag & casting marks on it
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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and for the record i would like to say, thank you colin for taking the time on the phone with me to answer alot of my questions about axles and airstream restoration and also for turning me on to THEVAP podcasts....very cool!
anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new axis axle so i can take pictures and share with the group how the whole experience unfolds.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:02 PM   #15
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Good luck, I hope it goes smoothly. One of the reasons I went with Dexter was because the Caravel required fabricating a mounting plate, and welding on the tabs for the shocks. Since I couldn't do that work, I had a local RV shop do it, and they did the measurements and ordered the Dexter axle for me. They ended up spending more time on the mounting plates than they charged me for, but I think they did a good job, at least we've had no trouble since.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:27 PM   #16
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thanks stephanie btw...good lookin' camper ya got der
i hope it goes smoothly too. the way i understand it all i will have to do to make the axis work is drill a few holes....we'll see.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:37 PM   #17
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Good luck, I hope it goes smoothly. One of the reasons I went with Dexter was because the Caravel required fabricating a mounting plate, and welding on the tabs for the shocks. Since I couldn't do that work, I had a local RV shop do it, and they did the measurements and ordered the Dexter axle for me. They ended up spending more time on the mounting plates than they charged me for, but I think they did a good job, at least we've had no trouble since.
What was wrong with the original mounting plates? The axles I supply fit right into the original plates & don't require any welding. Even the shock brackets are welded on at the factory. The average DIY person is able to install these axles.
On pre 61 trailers built with leaf spring axles, I supply a drawing of the mounting plate to simplify the installation, however I will be offering production made plates shortly so it'll be easy for 50's era trailer owners to upgrade to the wonders of independant suspension. They'll be saving about 100 lbs too.
Colin
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:48 PM   #18
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What was wrong with the original mounting plates?
No idea, it was so long ago. Something specific to the Caravels, is all I remember. That's nice there's an easier way to do it now. Putting in that axle made a HUGE difference in how it towed, and how much stuff got tossed around inside during a trip. We used to open the door after a tow and it looked like a tornado hit it. Now we open it up and the pillows aren't even out of place
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:27 PM   #19
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No idea, it was so long ago. Something specific to the Caravels, is all I remember. That's nice there's an easier way to do it now. Putting in that axle made a HUGE difference in how it towed, and how much stuff got tossed around inside during a trip. We used to open the door after a tow and it looked like a tornado hit it. Now we open it up and the pillows aren't even out of place
Interesting. I had one client who had towed locally for several years with the original axle, however they were planning on taking an extended trip so I installed a new axle for them. They emailed me part way through the trip saying it was amazing the difference they noticed. Apparently they forgot a cup of coffee on the counter one morning & 100 miles later, it was still on the counter when they stopped for a pee break. I'm not sure if that'll happen to everyone but that's pretty remarkable.......................plus all they had done was have the wheels dynamically balanced at a local garage before they left.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:00 PM   #20
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well the new axle from axis arrived today and everything went pretty much just like colin said it would...tomorrow i'll weld a new bolt on where i busted the old one off (even after soaking everything for about a month with penetrating oil) slap the wheels back on her then go for a spin to get the brakes broke in and adjusted....and whoooo hoooo i'm a happy camper!! thank you colin
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