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Old 11-08-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
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Ordering Axles, Configuration Check?

I'm ordering axles soon and just finished making the required measurements. I'd appreciate a critique of my configuration by anyone who has ordered axles recently.

I have a 2002 Classic 30 Slideout. The GVWR is 9100#. The measured tongue weight is 900#-950#, leaving about 8200# to be carried by the axles. It currently has Henschen axles rated at 4400#. My plan is to up the ratings to 5000#, but I will leave the start angle at the original 22.5 degrees. My reasoning is that each change, rating or start angle, could result in a rougher ride so I don't want to do both. The basis for that is the Dexter Applications Manual which says that the best ride performance is obtained when the torque arm, at load, is horizontal. I assume that means that a 4400# axle will have its torque arms horizontal at a 4400# load and a 5000# axle will have its torque arms horizontal at 5000# load and thus below horizontal at the 4100# load I expect. I would like to gain some height for mild boondocking and clearance at driveways so I plan to order the 2" lift kit and make a decision at install time whether to use it.

A conversation with Dexter confirms that they will supply the axles with shock mounting brackets as Airstream configured them, so I plan to order my axles with the brackets.

Summarizing, and adding dimensions requested by Dexter on their order form:

Load capacity - 5000#
Outside of brackets - 67"
Hub face - 86.5"
Start Angle - 22.5 degree down
Cambered beam only with brake flange (I am fitting the new axles with Kodiak disc brakes and a Hydrastar 1600 actuator)
Bearing Lubrication - E-Z Lube (uses the standard bearings). I don't see why they can't be serviced as normal if I so desire.
Mounting Bracket - Low Profile; Side Mount
Mounting Bracket Orientation - Reverse (tall side out)
Finish - Paint
Options:
1. Add top shock mounts
2. Provide 2" lift kit

Does anyone see a problem with this setup, or anything I have missed? Can the axles be side mounted through the standard mounting brackets, or do I need the side mount hangers?

Thanks,

Al
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:57 PM   #2
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Update, and a Problem?

[QUOTE=Al and Missy;2032276]I'm ordering axles soon and just finished making the required measurements. I'd appreciate a critique of my configuration by anyone who has ordered axles recently.
...

Summarizing, and adding dimensions requested by Dexter on their order form:

Load capacity - 5000#
Outside of brackets - 67"
Hub face - 86.5"
Start Angle - 22.5 degree down
Cambered beam only with brake flange (I am fitting the new axles with Kodiak disc brakes and a Hydrastar 1600 actuator)
Bearing Lubrication - E-Z Lube (uses the standard bearings). I don't see why they can't be serviced as normal if I so desire.
Mounting Bracket - High Profile; Side Mount
Mounting Bracket Orientation - Reverse (tall side out)
Finish - Paint
Options:
1. Add top shock mounts
2. Provide 2" lift kit

Two things -

1. My brackets are actually high profile, not low profile. I change the summary above.
2. The only significant difference between my axle mounting plate and the Dexter is the spacing of the mounting bolts. The space between my bolts is 9" and the spacing on the Dexter axle is 9-1/2". I think I can just drill a new rear mounting hole as the front one is in the right place. Something has to be slotted to provide for alignment, but I cant see the actual holes due to the washers. I'll have to mark something )axle tube sides or center) on the frame bracket to be sure to get everything back in the right place.

Al
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:40 AM   #3
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That looks correct to me. I was going to suggest the high profile mounting brackets but you corrected it on the second post. You shouldn't need side mount hangers. If you use a Rotobroach or Blaircutter to align or slot the mounting holes it takes less then a minute to cut the holes. I wouldn't count on the forward hole lining up, I had to cut approx. 1/4" wide half moon slices on both front and back mounting holes. This can be done with the axle in place.. I also cut the shock mounts off my old axle and welded them on the new axle.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...l_6xdrc048p2_e
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:52 AM   #4
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Al,

Not sure if this was a necessary procedure but I did it when I did a 3" lift for a friend on a 30'.

I used a square and scribed a reference line UP onto the frame marking the front edge of the axle mount. Inserted lift and reestablished the location.

FWIW, on my '07 slide axles are 5K.

Gary
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:51 PM   #5
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Thanks Gary,

I'm probably going to mark the edges of the axle tube. After my measurement session, I'm not sure the bolt locations are a good reference when changing from Henschen axles to Dexters. As best I can tell the front bolt hole is in the same place, but it is hard to get any accuracy with the axles still on the trailer. The bolt hole spacing is different, 9" for my Henschens, 9.5" for the Dexters.

BTW, the brake setups at AumaLina had Nev R Lube hubs, which I don't want to use due to their very expensive bearings. I'm getting EZ Lube spindles which use the standard bearings but can still be lubed without pulling the wheel. If I have trouble with grease pushing past the seal, I can just lube them the old way.

Al
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:01 PM   #6
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Al,

When we did the lift I found the axles could be shifted front to back, hence the markings.

Just for grins look at Dexter K71-638-00 as an example of dexter discs on a what looks like a std spindle tapered bearing setup. Needs hub 008-403-05 me thinks.

Gary
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Al,

When we did the lift I found the axles could be shifted front to back, hence the markings.

Just for grins look at Dexter K71-638-00 as an example of dexter discs on a what looks like a std spindle tapered bearing setup. Needs hub 008-403-05 me thinks.

Gary
What was slotted, the bracket on the axle or the bracket on the frame?

I e-mailed A/S customer support and got back the dimensions for the axles. I was 1/4" off on the hub face and 0.06 off on the bracket width. According to them, my trailer is supposed to have 5000# axles. The spec sheet says 4400#. I think I looked at them and they are 4400#, but I can't find the pictures I took.

Al
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:42 PM   #8
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Ordering Axles, Configuration Check?

Al,

Honestly don't remember but scribing was prudent. And with a lift, that's just more clearance holes to deal with.

Gary
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:03 PM   #9
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Al,

If you're still considering hydraulic brakes plan carefully how you route the hose from the frame to the caliper. Airstream (on the Dexter axles I've looked at) routed the hose to the caliper from behind the caliper. The wheel moves up down at that point, couple inches? and the hose has to accommodate that range. If I ever redo my hose routing I'd do it like a motorcycle brake line is run to a rear wheel, a rubber hose going down the swing arm (trailing arm) from the front. It only has to deal with a couple of degrees of flex. The motorcycle description is the best example to describe this that I know of.

Gary
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Al,



If you're still considering hydraulic brakes plan carefully how you route the hose from the frame to the caliper. Airstream (on the Dexter axles I've looked at) routed the hose to the caliper from behind the caliper. The wheel moves up down at that point, couple inches? and the hose has to accommodate that range. If I ever redo my hose routing I'd do it like a motorcycle brake line is run to a rear wheel, a rubber hose going down the swing arm (trailing arm) from the front. It only has to deal with a couple of degrees of flex. The motorcycle description is the best example to describe this that I know of.



Gary


Does anybody have any photos showing a recommended routing of the brake line through or around the frame and to the caliper to accommodate suspension travel? I am in the middle of coming up with a design now for my 66 Tradewind.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Al,

If you're still considering hydraulic brakes plan carefully how you route the hose from the frame to the caliper. Airstream (on the Dexter axles I've looked at) routed the hose to the caliper from behind the caliper. The wheel moves up down at that point, couple inches? and the hose has to accommodate that range. If I ever redo my hose routing I'd do it like a motorcycle brake line is run to a rear wheel, a rubber hose going down the swing arm (trailing arm) from the front. It only has to deal with a couple of degrees of flex. The motorcycle description is the best example to describe this that I know of.

Gary
Thanks Gary,

That is a really good suggestion and I'm not sure I would have thought of it. My current axle has clips on the swing arm to hold the brake wire. Since I'm ordering beam only, I need to make sure they will have the clips. I can use them to secure the hose.

I'm going to mount the actuator in the storage compartment on the A-frame behind the propane tanks. I will use steel line and route it down the middle of the trailer, perhaps offset to one side depending on how the flexible hoses work out.

I have my order sheet pretty much completed, just waiting on a call from Dexter to close out a couple of questions.

Al
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:43 PM   #12
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Does anybody have any photos showing a recommended routing of the brake line through or around the frame and to the caliper to accommodate suspension travel? I am in the middle of coming up with a design now for my 66 Tradewind.

Thanks, Dan

Dan,

Sorry no pics at this time. My rig still feeds from behind the brake as original.

I might be able to make a sketch or take a pic of mockup idea and send to your email.

But looking at a motorcycle, they don't run the line in from the back end of the rear fender, they route down the swing arm from the front.

Pm me if you want a pic of mockup.

Gary
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:28 PM   #13
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I found this:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...2&d=1187065189 in post 43 of this thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...nts-34646.html

Apparently the shock mounting bracket supplied by Dexter has a hole to mount the shock. Presumably Airstream welds a stud in that hole, making it difficult, at best, to change the shocks. Why not just bolt the shock in? Then the bolt could be removed and the shock would drop out. What am I missing?

Al
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:27 AM   #14
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Presumably Airstream welds a stud in that hole, making it difficult, at best, to change the shocks. Why not just bolt the shock in? Then the bolt could be removed and the shock would drop out. What am I missing?

Al
Only guessing ... a current automotive manufacturer redesigned the rear suspension in 1965 from leaf springs to coil springs. This also required changing the shock mounting. The lower shock mounting went from a pin style end to a eye style end that slipped over a stud that was bolted into a plate.

A frequent occurrence over a longer periods of time was the right rear shock stud, that took bouncing from the road and torque from the rear axle, came loose. So frequent was that issue, that the aftermarket shock companies included a new stud for the rear shocks of those vehicles.

Over all of those vehicles built from 1965 to 1972, a bolt in stud mount for those shocks did not last in service. It wasn't a huge deal and yet was an issue that a service tech needed to address with the correct tightening.

Just a guess on why Airstream didn't use a bolted stud.

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Old 11-17-2017, 07:55 AM   #15
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Dan,

Sorry no pics at this time. My rig still feeds from behind the brake as original.

I might be able to make a sketch or take a pic of mockup idea and send to your email.

But looking at a motorcycle, they don't run the line in from the back end of the rear fender, they route down the swing arm from the front.

Pm me if you want a pic of mockup.

Gary


Gary

I have 3 motorcycles sitting in my garage. I will look at the brake line routing on them to see what I can learn.

I have a routing plan figured out in my mind that I think will work. I will post photos after my initial installation.

Part of the problem is that I have never replaced brake lines before, much less designed and installed brake lines on a trailer that was only built with electric brakes. It would be nice to see what others have done so I could learn from them. Not having that I will forge ahead and do my best.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:59 AM   #16
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Ordering Axles, Configuration Check?

Dan,

I can take pics of mine but can't post here, can email.

One fitting that you'll need is a all female T and most likely a trailer T. IIRC the trailer T is male and two females. Like this http://hosewarehouse.com/7900-Towed-...6-Inv-3-824-Ma

Rubber lined clamps to secure the lines, couplings, tubing bender and either a bit of luck buying pre flared lengths or a brake line flaring tool.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:05 PM   #17
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Dan,

I can take pics of mine but can't post here, can email.

One fitting that you'll need is a all female T and most likely a trailer T. IIRC the trailer T is male and two females. Like this http://hosewarehouse.com/7900-Towed-...6-Inv-3-824-Ma

Rubber lined clamps to secure the lines, couplings, tubing bender and either a bit of luck buying pre flared lengths or a brake line flaring tool.


Gary

My email is danengel1@aol.com. I would appreciate any photos.

I am thinking that I have all the pieces: 50’ of 3/16 brake line, four flexible hoses, T’s, couplings, clamps, tube bender. I also bought a high dollar brake line flaring tool. I did not like the flares made with my cheapie tool. Brake lines need to be completely custom and hold 1,600 psi.

Assuming all goes well, I’d be happy to lend out my brake flaring tool.

Dan

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Old 11-21-2017, 05:22 PM   #18
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Order Placed

Here is a copy of my order form. I turned it in to my trailer repair place today. He will send it to Redneck Trailer (a Dexter distributor) on Monday to avoid its getting lost over the long holiday weekend.

I went with an upgrade from 4400# to 5000# and increased the stargting angle to 32 degrees from 22.5. By my calculations that will raise the trailer just over 3/4" in addition to any gain from replacing the shot axles.

I also specified the shock mounting bracket (in the comments box) but I'm going to try it first without mounting shocks.

Kodiak 12" discs and Hydrastar 1600 actuator also ordered. Hope to have it all together for Canopener.

Al
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Order form for Classic 30 SLideout Axles Beam Only.pdf (522.8 KB, 240 views)
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:41 AM   #19
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Unless one rides in TT, the shock may be hard to distinguish. Think, instead, about its function in reducing momentary tire load. The tire has to "absorb" that much more road shock when the dampener is missing.

Had AS quit using them, that'd be another thing.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:10 PM   #20
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Actually, AS does not fit shocks on the smaller trailers (23 and under) shipped overseas and with CSA ratings. I would think a lighter trailer would be more subject to shock loads.

From Wiki:
"While shock absorbers serve the purpose of limiting excessive suspension movement, their intended sole purpose is to damp spring oscillations."

Since the torsion axle converts vertical movement of the unsprung components to torque on the rubber rods (which have a natural hysteresis) I believe the impact of a shock absorber on the Torflex axle is less important than on a leaf or coil spring suspended solid axle. The axle manufacturer (Dexter) says they are not required, and several on here have reported excellent towing without them.

All that said, I'm a "belt and suspenders" kind of guy so I am ordering my axles with the shock mounts. As a friend one said "overkill is just about right". If I feel the shock absorbers are needed after some test tows, I can add them.

Al
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