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Old 07-08-2009, 11:28 AM   #21
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By the way, Bob... this situation is not unique to Airstream, or even to travel trailers. The Born Free 26' rear side bed motorhomes overloaded the E450 chassis rear axle gross weight rating by two or three hundred pounds from the factory. There are dozens and dozens of them on the road since the early '90s, and I've never heard of an axle failure or accident caused by that situation on any of them. They even still handle well, loaded.

Roger
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
I made Don repeat the statement over because I did not believe my ears. I was of the impression that Henchen were the only possible axle to be used that would not fall apart and kill an entire family. Just paraphrasing what some axle salesmen state.


Kill the entire family?! wow thats scary..
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
...Seems to me no matter how I crunch the numbers those axles are marginal at best.

I think the 15% rule should apply here also, I would be much more comfortable knowing I had an adequate safety margin.

Has AS built in that safety margin with the new Dexter axles? Are there weight rating's the same?
Has the the GVWR's gone up on the new coach's?
Rich L has a 2005 30' Bunk and his axles failed last fall. When Inland Andy replaced them, they went with the next higher rated axles, IIRC. When I had my bearings packed on my 2006 30' Bunk this spring I wanted to know if I had a problem coming in the near future. So I asked the shop to verify the rating since Airstream refused to stand behind the axles that were installed on Rich's Airstream. The shop removed the label and called the manufacturer to verify the rating. Per the shop foreman the axles were rated at 4,400 LBS ea. per the label, but the manufacturer said that Airstream has them "de-rate" the axles. The shop foreman said the manufacturer said the axle was either a 5,200 or 5,400 LBS axle. My Airstream has a GVWR of 8,400 LBS and loaded per the CAT scales weighs 7,600 LBS. This gives a minimum actual total weight rating for the axles of 10,400 LBS. If you subtract the GVWR of the trailer, that leaves a minimum of 2,000 LBS extra capacity. This is more than the 15% margin of safety you are after. Real world loaded circumstances yeilds 2,800 LBS of extra capacity so I am comfortable.

You probably had axles actually rated higher than what it is labeled but they are probably labeled lower per Airstream's requirements.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:16 PM   #24
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That is very interesting that Rich had an axle failure. I took a look at his trailer and he has the higher front end rock guards that were brought in just about the same time the "higher" rated axles were being placed on the trailers. I would guess that unless Rich had the larger front rock guards attached after construction, his trailer would also have had the same axles Minnie's Mate has.

Edit, I re-read the post and it would seem that Rich lost BOTH axles?! Ouch.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:45 PM   #25
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3 classic models for 2010

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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
.............Of course now my unit and the 31' dinette are discontinued.........................,
There are different versions of this around, so I finally called Airstream.
They said these are the classic models for 2010:
27 FB
30 (no s/o)
31 D
I hope this is correct as I have a 31 D on order.

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Old 07-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
There are different versions of this around, so I finally called Airstream.
They said these are the classic models for 2010:
27 FB
30 (no s/o)
31 D
I hope this is correct as I have a 31 D on order.

Regards,
Ken
Glad to hear it....it's a great layout IMHO....you lucky duck!
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
That is very interesting that Rich had an axle failure. I took a look at his trailer and he has the higher front end rock guards that were brought in just about the same time the "higher" rated axles were being placed on the trailers. I would guess that unless Rich had the larger front rock guards attached after construction, his trailer would also have had the same axles Minnie's Mate has.

Edit, I re-read the post and it would seem that Rich lost BOTH axles?! Ouch.
You probably wouldn't have been aware unless you follow the 30' Bunkhouse thread. Go to this thread (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f292...-29241-23.html) and scroll down to post #316 where Rich starts the issue of the axles. The remainder of the thread is primarily concerned with the axle issue. That's nearly 8 pages of posts about this one issue so you can tell we all sat up and took notice.

When I had my bearings repacked, I asked the shop to verify the rating on the axles. Per the shop foreman after calling the manufacturer, the axles are "de-rated" at Airstream's request and the actual rating on my axles are between 5,300-5,400 LBS. My trailer is a 2006 and Rich's is a 2005. Rich went back with a 5K rated axle. I don't know if that is in Airstream lbs or actually 5,000 real pounds.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:57 AM   #28
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Question Still more than a "little" concerned

Been giving this issue a lot of thought lately. Will be leaving this weekend for 15 days of 'dock'n and will most likely be loaded pretty much as last year, trlr scaled at 7580lbs.GVWR 7300 on 3500lb axle's. Will shift things around a bit, but I'm sure it will be close.

Crawled under today and took these photo's of the curbside front. Tongue is raised just enough for skinny me to slide under. All axle arms on both sides were within 1/2", (pad not dead level,but a good sign, I think?) Not loaded yet. Empty fresh and black tanks, no food or provisions, T.V., libations etc.

On the ground all axles are almost dead even with the mount channel and all dropped to the same angle when jacked, again a good sign..I think.

One question, if I have about 3"s rebound, do I also have 3 of compression? If it's not too hectic around here when we leave, I'll try for some photo's when we are loaded and see how much angle I've lost.

So all, what do 'ya think?
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:20 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post


On the ground all axles are almost dead even with the mount channel and all dropped to the same angle when jacked, again a good sign..I think.

One question, if I have about 3"s rebound, do I also have 3 of compression? If it's not too hectic around here when we leave, I'll try for some photo's when we are loaded and see how much angle I've lost.

So all, what do 'ya think?
Bob.

The 3 inches of travel is good.

The problem is bottoming out.

When the torsion arms are almost parallel to the ground, with no pay load, then when the pay load is added, it's wise to check the position of the arms again.

There is a built in "stop", which will cause bottoming out, when hitting some bumps. When the arms are parallel when loaded then the trailer is about at it's limit.

If the arms are going up hill when the trailer is loaded, then bottoming out will happen.

Bottoming out, lack of proper running gear balance, excessive rated hitch bars and super heavy duty tow vehicles, all contribute to damaging the trailer, in one way or another.

Was your ever Airstream parked for an extended period of time? If so, then that's the likely cause of the problem.

The rubber rods in the axle housings, must be exercised, to stay alive, at least every year or so, to be safe. Towing it a few miles at least once a year, will prolong the life of torsion axle rubber rods.

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:32 PM   #30
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Question



Andy,
Thanks once again for your input, you are a valuable asset here.

I have been rather anal about how I store the trailer during the off season, as you can see everything comes off including the Arrow.

We are going to be fully loaded this Saturday and I will check them again. Will also stop at the scales.

Our Suburban does have Autoride but without the auto leveling. Tongue wt is 960 on the Sherline scale, about 100 of that is the Arrow. I use 1000# bars and transfer between 140-160 to the trailer with the jacks set 1/2 way between the 2nd and 3rd marks. I get about a 5" rebound when bouncing my 170#s on the tongue. The Burb is a very smooth riding TV and if I'm not bottoming out should not bounce the coach around.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:04 PM   #31
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We went through this song and dance as well. Our '05 International 25' started to noticeably sag on the curb side. I noticed one day while rotating the tires that with the rig on jack stands, the torsion arms on the curb side did not return to a normal down position with the weight removed. The street side did. A check of the plate on the side of the trailer and the tag on the axles confirmed that Airstream installed 3,000 lb axles. A trip to the scales, without the trailer being fully packed for travel but with full propane and fresh water and a Hensley hitch showed the rig to weigh 6,840 lb.

Subsequently I ordered axles from Inland, they recommended 3,800 lb axles.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:44 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=Minnie's Mate;

You probably had axles actually rated higher than what it is labeled but they are probably labeled lower per Airstream's requirements.[/QUOTE]

Your "probables" can be very misleading to many owners.

What the label says, is what they are.

That information comes from sources deemed to be the experts in specing out the manufacturing details.

Andy

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Old 07-21-2009, 06:37 PM   #33
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I'm glad you chimed in on this Andy. I can't imagine what kind of problems would arise if the axles are labled at a higher or lower weight then they are manufactured. If my shop told me this I would be very distressed. How could you know what your capacities are without accurate axle ratings?

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Old 07-28-2009, 10:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Your "probables" can be very misleading to many owners.

What the label says, is what they are.

That information comes from sources deemed to be the experts in specing out the manufacturing details.

Andy

Andy
I don't profess to be an expert and I think everyone on the forums realize that. I am going by what one "expert" (utility/car/horse trailer re-seller) told me and I give the details of that discussion. The shop I use is a full service shop that has been in business for many years and many of the trailers he sells come with Dexter axles.

I realize most consider your advise as gospel, they do not have the same opinion of me. I can only pass along my experience as everyone else does when they post any information they want to share.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:15 PM   #35
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In restoring the Argosy it states that it's max weight (28') is 6200lbs, I was looking at the original axles today and noticed that they are rated for 2800lbs per axle, shouldn't they be closer to 3100 or even a bit more or are we taking into account the tongue weight ?
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:55 PM   #36
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In restoring the Argosy it states that it's max weight (28') is 6200lbs, I was looking at the original axles today and noticed that they are rated for 2800lbs per axle, shouldn't they be closer to 3100 or even a bit more or are we taking into account the tongue weight ?
For everyone's information, except for the recent post, this thread is 11 years old.

Peter

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Old 05-21-2020, 03:52 PM   #37
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Yep, somewhere between 620-930# is going on your hitch so your axle capacity is fine.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:58 PM   #38
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Peter...yes it is and thank you for the reminder.👍

After 17 Seasons of babying these axles I have a pair of 4200lb on order.🤓

Bob
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:59 PM   #39
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Oldies have a way of coming back I suppose. So the axle rating is the maximum actual load the axles can feel, so it would be the loaded trailer weight minus the tongue weight plus the load generated by weight distribution tension.

Without commenting on the wisdom of this, Hypothetically stangepod could load the trailer to max 6200, distributing 15% to the tongue (930), and then add sufficient tension to to the WD bars to transfer 330 lb back to the trailer axles and be at the limits.
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:00 PM   #40
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In restoring the Argosy it states that it's max weight (28') is 6200lbs, I was looking at the original axles today and noticed that they are rated for 2800lbs per axle, shouldn't they be closer to 3100 or even a bit more or are we taking into account the tongue weight ?
Yes...a bit more you won't be sorry.

Bob
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