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Old 02-25-2021, 06:26 PM   #1
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Jasper , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Potential axle issue - what option to take?

We were to get new tires today. The local tire dealer believes our axle may be bent. We think they were confused by the intentional bend in the Dexter axle. We played it safe anyways and decided to wait to get new tires for now. We have a decision to make. Which option would you pick?

1. Go ahead and install the new tires. Our current tires are on their last leg. They're five year old maxxis tires. Then we will drive two hours to the AS dealer to get the axle checked.

2. Drive the two hours to the AS dealer first on our worn tires. Have them check the axle and repair if needed. Then get new tires after we know for certain the axle is in good shape.

Need opinions from the experts as neither option is great. Thank you in advance!
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:29 PM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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Buy the tires and visit the Airstream dealer at your leisure. Lots of folks who should know better (like tire dealers) have no idea how torsion axles are adjusted for alignment.

If the axles were bent, your Maxxis tires would not have lasted as long as they have...
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:00 PM   #3
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1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
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Get the new tires, and ask the tire "Professionals" what he/she use to determine what is a bent axle. If they tell you that it is bent upwards in the centre, tell them to go to the Dexter axle site and learn something!! If the tires don't have excessive abnormal wear, then there is no problem. Also, don't let the IDIOTS jack up your trailer on the axle!! Then you will have a bent axle, and it will be the tire shop's fault. Be in the shop to watch the tire replacement, and if they wont let you watch or believe about jacking on the axle, find another shop.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:11 PM   #4
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Jasper , Georgia
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There's one tire that has excessive wear on the rear axle. It's on the outer edge. That's what makes me wonder about the axle. Worst case, we put new tires on a bent axle and drive it 150 miles to the dealer. How much damage could we do to new tires in that short of a drive? If it helps, here are a couple pics of our axle.Click image for larger version

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Old 02-25-2021, 08:03 PM   #5
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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This link from Dexter shows a V bend axle
https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...rsn=66abe448_8

If it looks like the axle was damaged, it may need replacing. Damage would show up as missing paint, impact mark(s), damage that is NOT symetrical or some foreign contact.
If there is no missing paint or impact mark and the bend is equi-distant from the ends, it was planned that way

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Old 02-25-2021, 08:37 PM   #6
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by great2beadaw View Post
There's one tire that has excessive wear on the rear axle. It's on the outer edge. That's what makes me wonder about the axle. Worst case, we put new tires on a bent axle and drive it 150 miles to the dealer. How much damage could we do to new tires in that short of a drive? If it helps, here are a couple pics of our axle.Attachment 389392Attachment 389393
If the axle is bent, those picture do not show the cause.
The bend would be at the spindle attachment.
If not severe it can be straightened, doubtful if any/many AS dealers are equipped to do it.

We also had ware on the inside edge of the front curbside tire,(toe out).
I also thought the axle was bent at the spindle. But it turned out to be the rubber inside the axle had deteriorated causing the tire ware.
We upgraded to 4k axles last August.

Bob
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:10 AM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Bent, not bent?

From what you posted and if one tire shows excessive wear, your axles may need aligned. Your unit is 35 years old, so it's possible the axles are on their last leg or have years left on them. I replaced my axles and added a lift kit(3") and boondocking is easy with my AS. Axles being bad is done my measuring the drop in the torsion arm when jacked up. There are videos on line that show how to check this. Post a picture of your trailer from the side looking at your tires so we can see where your tires are sitting in the wheel wells! Need both sides because each tire is independent on 1/2 the axle torsion, they are separate. AS dealers can check the alignment and they bend the axles to straighten alignment. If you took a hard curb hit on that wheel, that could be the problem. New axles for my AS were $2400 including, lift kit and wheel balancers, new brakes and drums, all the number8 nuts and bolts I needed.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:28 AM   #8
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1988 32' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLBIJOU View Post
From what you posted and if one tire shows excessive wear, your axles may need aligned. Your unit is 35 years old, so it's possible the axles are on their last leg or have years left on them. I replaced my axles and added a lift kit(3") and boondocking is easy with my AS. Axles being bad is done my measuring the drop in the torsion arm when jacked up. There are videos on line that show how to check this. Post a picture of your trailer from the side looking at your tires so we can see where your tires are sitting in the wheel wells! Need both sides because each tire is independent on 1/2 the axle torsion, they are separate. AS dealers can check the alignment and they bend the axles to straighten alignment. If you took a hard curb hit on that wheel, that could be the problem. New axles for my AS were $2400 including, lift kit and wheel balancers, new brakes and drums, all the number8 nuts and bolts I needed.
Please recheck, OPs sig says 2016. 2021-2016=5 year old trailer.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:36 PM   #9
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Jasper , Georgia
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Appreciate everyone's feedback and recommendations. (Regarding the earlier post, our AS is a 2016.) We're going to proceed with putting on the new tires next week. Plan on taking measurements ourselves tomorrow to see if we can figure out if the tire shop was assessing our situation correctly. Wondering if we end up needing a new axle if it would be covered under the Dexter warranty.
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