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Old 04-25-2022, 10:18 AM   #81
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Just got off the phone with Airstream Service Center in Jackson City, OH.

I received exactly the response I expected to hear :-)

To paraphrase their responses:

1. Trailer frame and body are also designed with GVWR target in mind. Increasing GAWR rating of the axles via axle upgrade might not increase the GVWR. Officially, they can't recommend that approach.

2. I asked if there were any concerns with placing 300+ lbs of heavy batteries towards with rear of the trailer in terms of overstress of the frame or trailer body. Officially, they recommend placing heavy loads close to, or over the trailer axles. Unofficially, the representative indicated that many customers place even heavier loads than that at the ends of the trailers and do not experience any issues with the trailer body/shell or frame.

I didn't expect anything different than the responses above, but I wanted to ask, just in case I might get an answer that would have been different
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Old 04-25-2022, 10:55 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Note that F150 half ton trucks are 4000-5000 lbs and the Cayenne is just under 5000lbs.
My 2020 F-150 Lariat curb weight was 5450#. A bit higher than the implied low of 4000#.

F-150 GVWR was 7000#.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
I asked if there were any concerns with placing 300+ lbs of heavy batteries towards with rear of the trailer in terms of overstress of the frame or trailer body.
Be careful here...300# in the rear of the trailer could contribute to sway.
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:18 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
My 2020 F-150 Lariat curb weight was 5450#. A bit higher than the implied low of 4000#.

F-150 GVWR was 7000#.




Be careful here...300# in the rear of the trailer could contribute to sway.
Hi Fungus. You are right, there are F150's with higher curb weight based on the installed options and the different trim/cabs. I just did a quick google on "F150 weight" and got this result.

2022 Ford F-150
Pickup truck
MSRP: From $30,495
Towing capacity: 5,000 to 11,300 lbs
MPG: Up to 25 city / 25 highway
Horsepower: 290 to 450 hp
Curb weight: 4,021 to 5,014 lbs
Payload: 1,745 to 2,238 lbs

Clearly curb weights can exceed the amount listed above. I probably should have read a little further in the google results.

The curb weight of most F-150s varies between 4,069 and 5,697 pounds, depending on the size of the cab, bed and engine, too.

Anyway, in comparison, the Cayenne weighs about 5000lbs. According to the CAT scale last Friday, the Cayenne with my wife and I and a full tank of fuel weighed 5500lbs exactly (though it's fair to note that my wife and I are no longer ...uh ... lightweight?).

The Cayenne's GVWR is 6305 lbs, so it's payload capacity is in the mid-range of the 1/2 ton F150 lineup.

As for adding weight to the rear of the TT and the impact on tongue weight, I'm tracking that carefully and will make sure I load sufficient counterbalance weight in the front of the trailer to keep the tongue weight at or above 12.5% of the total trailer weight (for stability and sway control).
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Old 04-25-2022, 12:28 PM   #84
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Interesting Discussion Concerning 27FBQ's

I will first admit my 5.7L Toyota Tundra 4x4 with shell would be able to tow my 2019 27FBQ. But there is not enough WD on an Equalizer Hitch to move much weight to the front axles of the tow vehicle.

The Tundra towing the 25 foot International, with my wife within the trailer. Said it was hard and unforgiving to the interior and contents... including her three miles on I-80 in Wyoming. She has not volunteered to sit one foot in the 27FBQ... Me, either.

It was a stretch towing a 25 foot International. The WD made the ride hard and stiff. The front end was up, no matter more WD or not. The night headlight flashing from oncoming vehicles... big clue. Sold the Tundra... F350 Diesel 4x4 was not a choice using Physics... but power, comfort and ability of the tow vehicle.

Our entertainment when on the Interstate Highway is getting a good look, while passing, overloaded and poorly hitched tow vehicle to trailer.

My choice was to sell the Toyota Tundra and get a TOW Vehicle for the 25 International and works excellent for the 27 International FBQ on the Ball. No WD or Sway Control on an Equalizer Hitch. As WD provides the SC friction... it also puts EXCESS TENSION / TORQUE ONTO THE FRONT FRAME OF THE AIRSTREAM.

I am then told the F350 Diesel 4x4 King Ranch puts TOO MUCH STRESS ON THE FRONT OF THE INTERNATIONAL. Without 1000# bars. Airstream JCenter will no doubt blame your structural injury to the Tow Vehicle and Hitch, like the rest of us.

Someone may be using a 'magical hitch' which distributes mythical weight into the atmosphere... if it is on Earth and it goes somewhere to the trailer or tow vehicle. It does not disappear.

When you find a Dip in the road... hold on and watch the braking occur. Watched an Arctic Fox 25 foot being pulled by a 2001 Toyota pickup... the front end of the tow vehicle would go up and leave the planet... almost.

The Rear Axle? Or the torque of the front frame members, causing the Known, Front End Separation on older models of FBQ's, but the updated models, as well?

My Axles: are 3800# EXCLUDING WHEELS AND TIRES, Mod. 11CA, SLR 14-2, Dexter 121271050 Axle.

Numbers are FUN... but reality is not the same. Find a smaller trailer or upgrade to a 3/4 to 1 ton tow vehicle. Then you can haul all of this weight and have empty space in the event you add more weight... or decide to get into a heavier tow vehicle.

My F350 4x4 Diesel rides wonderful and we have not lost any teeth from fear of rear ending someone in front of us.

I took University Physics. Passed with a D. Lots of formulas and numbers that made no sense to a Geologist measuring the thickness of a sedimentary rock or thin sections under a microscope.

Do what you think is marginal... let us know how it all works out. I will find it interesting and like the number crunching. Myself... F350. Many have tried and many have failed in the quest of a tow vehicle attached to a heavy object with wheels. I learned by experience of 16 years. I listened to those who did not know and had to go on my own to get it right.

You will soon and let us know. May pass you some day... and get a good look going up the Passes of Colorado.
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Old 04-25-2022, 12:48 PM   #85
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926 lbs does seem a reasonable cargo load to me. 350 lbs of lithium batteries seems excessive. Nobody runs with all the tanks full so that is not a good argument. Maybe a Airstream is not the best choice for what you want. Maybe what you want, 6 hours of AC battery capacity, is well out of the norm for most people. Maybe leaving the dogs alone in the trailer is just a bad idea. Maybe camp much further north and at higher elevations. Maybe just run heavy. Maybe put the batteries over the wheels, up size the axles, and do not worry about the frame.
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Old 04-25-2022, 01:12 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
926 lbs does seem a reasonable cargo load to me. 350 lbs of lithium batteries seems excessive. Nobody runs with all the tanks full so that is not a good argument. Maybe a Airstream is not the best choice for what you want. Maybe what you want, 6 hours of AC battery capacity, is well out of the norm for most people. Maybe leaving the dogs alone in the trailer is just a bad idea. Maybe camp much further north and at higher elevations. Maybe just run heavy. Maybe put the batteries over the wheels, up size the axles, and do not worry about the frame.
All good points Bill M, Ray.

No doubt that a bigger tow vehicle would add margin in multiple areas (GCWM, GVWR, Rear Axle GAWR for tow vehicle) if I went up to a 3/4 ton or 1 ton (F250, F350 et. al). We'll see if the Cayenne can pull this comfortably or not. Can Am RV says I should be fine with a properly configured Eaz-lift Elite with 1000lb bars and the Cayenne Tow Vehicle. If not, then Ford wins.

As for the trailer, yes my demands are a bit unusual. But it doesn't take very long browsing around airforums to find a bunch of other folks with 400 - 800ah lithium battery banks in 25-28ft airstreams. The same is true for folks towing 25 and 27ft airstreams with Cayenne's, Touareg's, or Audi Q7's. And these folks report rock solid stability at 65 - 75 mph towing in all conditions (mountains, cross winds and tractor trailers/busses/Class-A's passing them).

So, I'll see how this works out. The worst that happens is my retirement bank account gets lighter to the tune of an F250/F350 diesel (i.e. I'll be a lot poorer) and someone else gets to enjoy the Cayenne

As for the trailer weight problem ... I'll try making this work without changing the axles. In other words, I'll add up what I planned to carry in terms of cargo weight and if it isn't ultimately compatible with the default axle ratings of the GT 27 FBT, then I'll upgrade the axles. All I need is 400 - 500 lbs of additional load capacity. The trailer already has dexter #11 axles with 12" brakes and downrated torsion rubber for a 3800lb per axle GAWR. What I would go for is a 4100lb rated #11 axle (the bottom of the "normal" GAWR ranges for #11 axles). That would give me 300lbs of additional capacity or 600lbs in total. That's more than enough to meet my needs (about 7+% increase in total trailer weight capacity).
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Old 04-25-2022, 04:21 PM   #87
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When we purchased the 2006 23 foot Safari we had the last of the small Toyota trucks made in 2006.

The Airstream Dealer added the Equalizer Hitch with the chain bars, and dropped three links. Pulled fine, but never could move weight off the rear leaf springs to the front end.

They waved, I believe... when we left the parking lot.

We weighed the stainless flatware, groceries going into the trailer and everything going into the trailer BUT... just gave it up as it was never ending.

Traveled with full fresh water, and empty grey and black... as we were Off the Grid and a shovel flush. (The Airstream manual said to weigh what you were going to haul in 2006. I look at photographs and Nancy reads text.)

The Bowlus is an easy aluminum trailer to tow... but missing the storage capacity and comfort of space within, unlike an Airstream. A high end SUV just was not intended to tow an Airstream... maybe a single axle, with less space to load it up.

We have owned Toyota Land Cruisers since 1989 with the straight 6 engine. A dog... but went anywhere. Now the last of the 5.7L 2022 Land Cruisers that even has a 2" sleeve to tow. We cannot imagine towing with the LC, but it probably could easily, but a poor fit. It is rides 'solid and stiff' but that is why we like it. Reminds me of the F350 when driving the LC. Just LESS POWER than the F350 Diesel that has been an excellent truck, as is the LC.

Much like the Oregon Trail wagons in the 1840's were primarily 'well to do' migrants that could afford the wagon, horses, food and guided trips... many did not make it with all of... their stuff.

This is no different with current Airstreams getting heavier and tow vehicles getting... lighter... to fill fuel requirements. I still think pickups are exempt for these fuel minimums... and we get 15mpg in town with the Diesel and 15+ with the Land Cruiser. With effort the LC would get 18 to 19mpg... but not at 70mph and city traffic.

Get your stuff out... weigh it like we did. Paper towels, toilet paper and HITCH weights... flatware, food, bedding... do some Calculus and Physics.

Much like the Oregon Trail travelers, they began to throw out stuff along the route. Maybe join this Oregon Trail group that has room for a few more Oregon Trail Airstream travelers. Get ready to toss stuff out along the way.

To add the Second Blue Heeler and pet porter on the back seat... something had to go. High Heels, anything resembling clothing fit to wear in town, two hat maximum... not really, but you get the idea.

Even the weight of Fuel. Five gallons of water just for the Heelers for camping and set on a milk crate.

Many have worked out how to tow a 30 and 34 foot Airstream. Good for them. I am working on finding at short cut out of where we camped for several days, that does not exist.

Resale on F250 and F350 are excellent, as are Tundras. Enjoy figuring this all out. It was an eye opener to us what can tow a trailer, but is the tow vehicle manufacturer comfortable with that... and any Trailer Dealer put it into writing that it is a great combination?

If they do... lets have it scanned so we can read it. Just for those who said it is all... possible with current Gravity and Physics of Tow Vehicle and Trailer sweet spots once rolling down the Interstate.

I would like to read it. Maybe I will get smart... and get a C in Physics some day.
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Old 04-26-2022, 12:08 PM   #88
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I do NOT care what games are played for "tax purposes". The PLACARD affixed by the manufacturer is THE "bible" that states what the manufacturer deems safe. Many components (frame, drive line, cooling, electrical etc) come into play here? I doubt ANY purchaser knows more than the engineers who "doped out" the build know. That said, should an accident occur, the PLACARD numbers will rule. If said accident involves death or SPI (or an "injured party has a good lawyer who knows what questions to ask) you've just bought a ticket to the world of hurt (and said accident / incident might not even be YOUR fault!). In the long run, you'll be better off doing EVERYTHING "by the book" rather than trying to game the system. It simply is NOT worth the risk.
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Old 04-26-2022, 03:14 PM   #89
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So being able to order a version with a simple and higher GVWR sticker means nothing?

An “across the board” 10,000 lbs GVWR sticker with 13,000+ lbs in axle ratings means nothing?

I just can’t believe CanAm is still in business and people driven from all over Notth America to have mods and hitch steps done there.

Is there a “closed” sign on their door? Is Canada closed? Did Trudeau turn the lights out?

We want answers!!!
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Old 04-26-2022, 05:08 PM   #90
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Not sure if this will help. But I had a local Arstream Dealer install upgraded 4,400# Dexter Axles my 2003 Safari. The Dealer contacted the factory and they came up with the axle:

The Airstream part number 41087-08,

After installation had questions and Contacted Dexter. There part number 57641; #11 Torflex,
(Airstream (my) Item Number 41087-08,
Brk Axle=86.75, 12X2, Elec, Brk, 2.250 seal, 6-5.50, H-D 1/2-20 Stud, 6"Arm, 22.5 Down Trail, RC=4400, HP-RE (0), OB=67.00, calculate Torrflex Capacity, CSA Tag Capacity=4,400, Top Shock Bracket, per E-1492, USE ONLY NEW STYLE 11 IN BRACKET.


If you buy the axles through an Airstream Dealer the required markup by Airstream is around 100%


The 4,400 pound axles will provide plenty of support 8,800#, but WILL NOT change the factory GTW.
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Old 04-28-2022, 11:29 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellSaid11 View Post
So being able to order a version with a simple and higher GVWR sticker means nothing?

An “across the board” 10,000 lbs GVWR sticker with 13,000+ lbs in axle ratings means nothing?

I just can’t believe CanAm is still in business and people driven from all over Notth America to have mods and hitch steps done there.

Is there a “closed” sign on their door? Is Canada closed? Did Trudeau turn the lights out?

We want answers!!!
WHATEVER the PLACARD that the manufacturer installed is what goes. There ARE "Remanufacturers" who are legally licensed to ALTER the OEM ratings by affixing a SECOND, UPDATED PLACARD. The bottom line is the WHATEVER numbers shown on the official placard(s) clearly state the weight limits that owners / users are LEGALLY REQUIRED to follow. Anybody can choose to ignore these placards but do so AT THEIR OWN PERIL. A professional shop is not likely to risk their business by arbitrarily exceeding the placard's limitations. If Airstream AUTHORIZED an update, I expect that should be OK. I also expect that OFFICIAL PAPERWORK would be created by Airstream to affirm the "new" numbers.
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Old 04-29-2022, 08:38 AM   #92
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Lots of CAPS, no need to SHOUT!

You can build a SRW Ford F-350 with a GVWR of 11,400 with the same options as the 10,000 GVWR truck.

The trucks, as configured, are the same. Only the sticker is different.

I am not sure what’s proving to be so difficult about this fact.
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Old 04-29-2022, 11:22 AM   #93
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Lots of CAPS, no need to SHOUT!

You can build a SRW Ford F-350 with a GVWR of 11,400 with the same options as the 10,000 GVWR truck.

The trucks, as configured, are the same. Only the sticker is different.

I am not sure what’s proving to be so difficult about this fact.
Yep; that is just what we did ... derated to 10K#.
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Old 05-07-2022, 12:22 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Introduction: Newbie to the RV lifestyle, but lived in a 21ft travel trailer full time for 5 years during college (1980-1985) and owned a 28ft sailboat for 15 years. So I'm not completely ignorant about portable living :-)

Have a 2022 Globetrotter 27 FB Twin on order. Manufacturing starts today 4/18/2022 (Yay! ). Hope to take possession sometime in late June or early July 2022.

Tow Vehicle will be 2016 Porsche Cayenne S. Yeah, I've read the 1200 posts in the epic Cayenne, Audi Q, VW Tuareg towing thread, but that's not why I'm engaging the experts here (self declared and otherwise ).

The topic of the day is Globetrotter carrying capacity (or the lack thereof).

Goal: I want to be able to install a 1200ah LiFePO4 battery bank, 3KVA inverter, ~800W of solar, and also have Ultimate Airstreams install their Grand Lounge+Custom Cabinet+wardrobe upgrade and still have a budget left over for the weight of any personal gear I might need (such as food, clothing, fresh water, folding chairs, gas grill, etc, etc).

Now for some math. The information below comes from a photo of the factory supplied sticker on the side of a GT 27FB Twin that is identical to the one I have ordered (i.e. same options, same floorplan). This information "is not" from the factory brochure.

GVWR = 7600lbs

GAWR Front = 3800lbs
GAWR Rear = 3800lbs

So, GVWR = 2 * 3800lbs = 7600lbs (as it should be)

The dry weight of the trailer as manufactured with factory installed options (w/2nd A/C, battery, propane, etc) = 6674 lbs.

The max cargo rating on sticker = 926lbs. This is exactly = GVWR - dry weight = 7600lbs - 6674 = 926lbs. This is also exactly correct.

Note:
Fresh water tank = 39 gallons * 8.3lbs/gallon = 324 lbs
Grey water tank = 37 gallons * 8.3lbs/gallon = 307 lbs
Black water tank = 39 gallons * 8.3lbs/gallon = 324 lbs

Let's assess a few trailer load scenarios:

Load scenario #1:
If someone is forced to travel with all 3 tanks full for some reason, the total weight would be 955lbs.

This would exceed the GVWR of the trailer "without" any additional owner cargo (food, clothing, kitchen equipment, camping chairs, portable gas grill, etc)

Load scenario #2:
Only the fresh water tank is full = 324lbs
New lithium battery bank (four 300ah LiFePO4) batteries = 83lbs/battery * 4 batteries = 332lbs
inverter + solar cells + heavy wiring would be additional weight on top of the battery weight
Planned Seating and cabinetry upgrades = ~300lbs

Total is much greater than 956lbs without including any owner food, clothing, kitchen equipment, camping chairs, portable gas grill, etc.

Scenario #3:
Fresh water tank is full = 324lbs and no other modifications.
That would leave 926lbs - 324lbs = 602lbs for owner gear.

Only scenario 3 works within the safety rating published via the sticker on the side of the trailer, and even it doesn't leave much room for gear (600lbs or so give or take).

Scenario #1 with a reasonable set of owner gear on board would be prohibited within the weight rating documented by the sticker on the side of the trailer. And I know for sure that there are times when owners have to drive with all tanks full and then dump at their destination or somewhere along the way.

AXLE UPGRADE:

So, I started thinking that an axle upgrade was in order since the GVWR is being defined by the GAWR * 2 (for dual axle trailer) = 3800lbs * 2 = 7600lbs.

I spent quite a bit of time studying Dexter's catalog this weekend.

#10 axles are available with a weight rating range of 2300-4000lbs.

#11 axles are available with a weight rating of 4100-6000lbs.

With a published GAWR on the sticker attached to the Airstream = 3800lbs, the logical conclusion is that the 27 FB Twin GT is using a #10 axle.

So, I contacted the dealer to find out if Airstream could upgrade the axle for me during manufacturing.

I expected the answer to be "No" and I wasn't disappointed as that was their exact reply .

What I didn't expect was that the Airstream contact indicated that all Globetrotters that are dual axle (e.g. >=25ft in length) use #11 axles.

Huh?

I ended up talking on the phone with someone from Airstream (I didn't ask if it was ok to use his name in this thread, so I'll refer to him as the "Airstream Guy").

We went round and around on the topic on the phone.

The Airstream Guy said that they are definitely using #11 axles on dual axle trailers and have many trailers on the road for many years without any problems. My position is that information is irrelevant. What matters is what the GVWR is and the measured dry weight of the trailer plus the weight of the load that the owner puts in the trailer. If the dry weight + owner gear weighs more than GVWR, then it's game over.

GVWR for GT 27 FBT = Axle weight rating * 2 (for dual axle trailers) = 7600lbs, so the axles are definitely determining the GVWR weight rating based on the math at the top of the email above.

The Airstream Guy was confident that Globetrotters that are dual axle (25ft and above) are using Dexter #11 axles and that Airstream is using an intentionally conservative rating. He doesn't know what the actual GAWR rating is for the #11 axle that is installed, but is relying on the axle weight range that Dexter puts in their catalog = 4100 to 6000lbs to try and reassure me that everything is going to be ok. Well, I know for a fact that Dexter will custom fabricate axles with lower weight ratings than the ranges published in their catalog for a given axle (e.g. #10 vs #11, etc). So I can't really rely on fuzzy assurances from the Airstream Guy (no offense intended) that the axles are definitely #11 and have at least 4100lb GAWR per axle. And, I really need to know what the exact GAWR rating is for each axle.

I have a hard time with this argument given how much prospective owners scrutinize GVWR in order to choose the right trailer for their tow vehicle limits and intended owner loads. If they were conservative in their published ratings, they become less competitive in the marketplace for RV's.

So, my next challenge is to find someone that has access to a 2022 globetrotter 27 FB twin and take pictures of the Dexter axle serial number and any other markings or stickers on the axle so that I can call up Dexter and find out which axle is on the trailer and what the exact GAWR is.

If you own a GT 27 FBT could you please post the information requested above along with a photo of the weight rating sticker on the side of the same trailer?

I also need to know what tires are installed (the manufacturer, model, and max speed and weight ratings) as those can be limiting factors too.

This is definitely a safety issue.

As you can tell, I'm an Engineer and I firmly believe that the numbers really do matter :-) As does anyone who happens to be on a bridge when it collapses due to a misplaced decimal somewhere.

Can any of the current owners chime in and help gather the axle and tire information requested above? Thanks in advance.

Please be gentle, this is my first posting on airforums
I was hoping to be able to edit my original posting as I made an erroneous assumption in that posting. I'm afraid that others might read it and miss the error.

I don't see a way to edit the original posting (if you know a way to do it, please let me know).

Instead, I'm going to attempt to document the correction here and hope that others read this far into the thread and see the update.

The hidden assumption in my original posting is that the GAWR determines the GVWR for the trailer. This is INCORRECT!! (sorry for the capitalization, but I wanted the emphasis).

Airstream engineers start with a chassis/frame with a specific weight rating (as provided by the subcontract chassis manufacturer) and then design a shell that matches that specification for GVWR. Subsequently, airstream engineers order axles with a combined GAWR that matches the GVWR rating (for ride comfort? and/or to avoid confusion as to how much weight the trailer can handle? Or a combination of both? Who knows, LOL).

So, to summarize ... the chassis + shell engineering determines the GVWR and the axle ratings are subsequently chosen such that they match the GVWR.
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Old 05-07-2022, 12:55 PM   #95
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Now for an updated summary as to where I stand on this journey with respect to trailer GVWR and axle GAWR.

The 2022 Globetrotter 27FB Twin is rather heavy as delivered from the factory (dry weight = 6674 lbs vs the trailer GVWR of 7600 lbs).

I plan to honor the GVWR specification for the trailer and limit the total loads (tongue weight + unhitched trailer axle weight + owner cargo) to 7600 lbs or less.

However, given the high probability that I'll be pushing up against the GVWR, it means that I'll be trying to tow an airstream that is also close to the combined GAWR rating for the axles. That's really not a great recipe for longevity/reliability of the axles and for the quality of the ride (there is a higher probability of bottoming out the suspension when dealing with road "imperfections" :-)).

Multiple sources (Inland RV) and a couple of vintage airstream restoration shops have confirmed that increasing combined GAWR by 10% or so for the axle ratings does not increase the ride roughness as long as the trailer is load is a reasonably high percentage of the GAWR rating). The airstream restoration shops have also indicated that when axles wear out (around 10-15 years of age), many owners will install axles with higher GAWR ratings and higher downward angles.

Airstream factory has confirmed that all airstreams with two or more axles use #11 axles from Dexter. #11 axles come with 12 inch brakes and can be configured with 4100 lb - 6000 lb GAWR ratings. However, for the Globetrotter 27 FB Twin, airstream specified a custom 3800 lb axle GAWR rating.

So, my plan is to upgrade the axles to identical #11 axles that have a 4200 lb rating (10% higher than the 3800 lb factory supplied axles), providing a combined GAWR rating of 8400lbs.

This will provide a 10% load margin on the axles if I load the trailer up to the airstream GVWR spec of 7600 lbs.

I also want to install a 2 7/8" lift kit to provide some rear bumper clearance for ruts in the road, or gas station or home driveway inclines.

I have 3 dealer quotes for lift kit parts and labor = $1400 - $1500.

I have 3 dealer quotes for axle upgrades ranging from $5000 to $10000 (yes, really a dealer quoted $10K).

Dexter says that a complete axle (brake assembly, hub, axle, etc) is around $1400. Labor at dealers to install is around $1000. So a quote for $5000 for a dual axle upgrade at a dealer isn't that far out of line.

So if I go with a dealer, the best deal I could get would be $6400 for dual axles plus lift kit installation.

However, I decided to check with a couple of airstream restoration shops as they are changing axles frequently as opposed to dealer service departments (all three service departments told me that changing axles isn't that common for their service departments).

The restoration shop that I decided to go with says that they can order the axle tube separately and reuse all of the attached hardware (brake drum assemblies, axle hubs, etc). That cuts the dexter axle upgrade price to $925 per axle. Installation would be $700-900 in labor per axle depending on the time it took to move the attached hardware from the original axle to the new axle tube.

The restoration shop also says that new axle tubes can be ordered with longer mounting hardware at "no" additional cost, such that the new axles would have a built in 3" lift. This would save $1500 bucks on this upgrade project!

In addition, since my axles would be new (only a couple of hundred miles on them since I will go directly from the dealer to the restoration shop after taking delivery of the trailer), the restoration shop could provide credit for the original axles since they can reuse them as new equipment on someone else's vintage trailer restoration project.

Net cost for upgrading both 3800 lb to 4200 lb axle upgrade at the restoration shop "with" a built in lift kit is $1968 vs the best dealer quote of $6400 for the same upgrade.

Guess it pays to look around and find knowledgeable 3rd party repair/upgrade shops

Wish me luck
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