1983 Burro Axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
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Trailer: Burro 13 ft 1983
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I have to replace the axle on a 83 Burro 13. Can anyone advise on the make and specs? I've crawled all under the thing and can find no ID plate that I understand is usually located on the back of the axle.

James
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:41 AM   #2
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I have to replace the axle on a 83 Burro 13. Can anyone advise on the make and specs? I've crawled all under the thing and can find no ID plate that I understand is usually located on the back of the axle.

James

My 81' has a Henschen axle. I think the ID plate (sticker) is on the front center of the crossbar. I don't recall what it said.
I figured I would get a Dexter when it was time to replace. Henschen was still around last year google them.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:01 PM   #3
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Henschen makes the torsion axle for the Airstream, among others. I believe they are more $ than Dexter or Al-Ko.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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James, I replaced the axle under my '87 Burro with a Dexter. I'm not sure what the original was.

Although Henschen supplied axles for Airstream since 1963, Airstream changed to Dexter about three or four years ago. I haven't checked recently to see who is supplying Airstream axles today.

Go to the Dexter website and it will give you the instructions about how to measure your frame for the axle you need. I'd probably look at a #9 axle with brakes, rubbered for about 1600 lbs for a 13' 1983 replacement Burro axle. When I replaced my 17' axle, I used a 22.5* down angle, and it worked really well.

I ordered mine FOB Cedar Rapids IA from Midwest Wheel. There are lots of Dexter dealers out there. You ought to be able to find one fairly near you.

Roger
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Roger,

Could you elaborate on why you would choose a 1600# axle instead of, say, a 2000# unit. I realize that an axle that is too "large" would probably be heavier, more expensive, and bouncier than one would want -- in other words, overkill.

I'm guessing that is why you chose what you did, but I'd like to hear your reasoning (vs. my guesses). I seem to remember reading about a number of 2000# or even 3500# axles on the 13's for replacements

Thankfully, my axle seems really good, but it's the type of thing I like to "stow away" for future reference, and this seems like a good time to ask.



Raya
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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2,200 lbs is the current top limit for a Dexter #9 axle used under the Scamp 13'; the Scamp 16' uses the #10 axle with a top limit of 3,500 lbs. Rubbering can be done in 100 lb increments.

As Dexter changed the top limits, Scamp seems to have followed, at least with the 13'. A friend's late '80s Scamp was 1,200 lbs, my '91 was 1,600 lbs and currently they are using 2,200 lbs. Of course, the average trailer has gotten heavier with options.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
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Talking

I would reccomend the 2200# as our 83 Scamp weighs 1600# going down the road. This is with one propane bottle, 5 gal water, food clothes, no battery, no A/C........ So, a 1200# axle was definitely overloaded (must be why it wore out, huh?), a 1600# would be marginal... I put a 2200#, 22.5* down axle under it. Gave more ground clearance which I was after. Larry
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:06 PM   #8
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Roger,

Could you elaborate on why you would choose a 1600# axle instead of, say, a 2000# unit. I realize that an axle that is too "large" would probably be heavier, more expensive, and bouncier than one would want -- in other words, overkill.

I'm guessing that is why you chose what you did, but I'd like to hear your reasoning (vs. my guesses). I seem to remember reading about a number of 2000# or even 3500# axles on the 13's for replacements

Thankfully, my axle seems really good, but it's the type of thing I like to "stow away" for future reference, and this seems like a good time to ask.



Raya
Sure! An '83 Burro 13' (presumably without roof air) would weigh about 1200 lbs curb weight. Likely you're not going to squeeze too much more than a couple of hundred pounds of "stuff" into it, so 1600 lbs would be about right. Much heavier than that, and you're exactly right, your suspension won't work... you'll just bounce down the road; that's almost as bad as having an axle that's shot. The newer Scamp 13s typically have more options, so a heavier axle for them would be in order.

Trailers with baths and tanks can go as high as about twice the axle GVWR as a trailer without those as refrigerators, a/c units, and water tanks are heavy.

That said, I put a 3500 lb axle under my 17', but that's because it had a refrigerator, water tanks, two propane tanks, a bath, a water heater, and I'd intended to put a roof air unit on it, although I never got 'round to it. My '02 Scamp 16' CD had a 3500 lb AlKo axle under it.

Roger
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention that I put on a 2,200 lb replacement axle. My 91S13 scales at 1,700 going down the road with my FullTiming load, but part of that is tongue weight on the truck and includes the axle, wheels/tires and brakes, which are not included in the 'rubber-bearing' weight, so I likely have a harsh ride inside as a result.

I don't have fridge, converter (the old transformer kind were much heavier than today's electronic models), gray/black tanks, WH, etc., but did have a spare, battery and LP tank.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:38 PM   #10
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Ah, now there's something I didn't think of: That the weight of the axle itself (plus, I suppose, the wheels and tires?) and the tongue weight can be subtracted from the wieght you will have on the axle as it's going down the road. That makes a 1600# axle sound less like it's right on the margin - at least for a relatively basic 13-footer.

Just thinking out loud here; let me know if I'm going wrong:

All-up rig, basic 13-footer = 1800# (just to make it really heavy for figuring)
Tongue weight of above if 10% = 180#
Axle wheels and tires weight = 150# ()
Brakes if you got them would count along with axle and tire weight ("unsprung")

So total weight counting "against" the axle = 1450#

Since 1800# is probably pretty heavy for the rig, a 1600# axle is starting to sound quite reasonable. 2000# is sounding "heavy" for the above rig. That's interesting.

I've seen in the older Boler 13 brochures (mid-70s) that the most basic trailer came with a 1200# axle, and the two "fancier" versions came with 1600# axles.

If they rubber them in small increments, I guess I could see going up to 1800# in order to feel "ready for anything" but I guess there's no reason to go up to 2000# for a basic 13-footer.

Good to know.

Raya
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #11
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Generally speaking,
The weight difference in a #9 1200 lb. axle and 2200 lb. axle is minimal. With the exeption of the length of rubber used inside all the other components are the same.

Weigh your trailer, then add up everything you might carry. Food, clothing, camping gear, water, beer etc. and get a total. Now factor in what you might consider adding in the future. Batteries, solar panels etc. That will give a you a total. My discussion with Dexter engineers is that since we carry a variable load the difference in a few hundred pounds specs will make a minimal difference in ride. Keep in mind the recommended optimal angles suggested by each manufacturer as they provide the best ride and deviations are factored by the sine of the angle from optimum recommended.

In choosing angles and weights for a trailer that is designed for a specific purpose (e.g. jet ski) with little variability in weights one would choose axle specs based on actual weights. In our situation with variable loads it makes sense to select specs for the maximum anticipated load.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:55 PM   #12
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Hey all of you - Thanks for your expertise and discussion. I expect with a new axle the trailer will ride higher and I'll have to increase the height of hitch to level out. I'll probably go for the #9 rubbered for 1600 and a 22.5 down
With 30 inches of snow in the yard its going to be awhile before we dig out and launch.

Thanks again - James
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:37 AM   #13
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James,

I don't know what you need but if going with the # 9 - Dexter recommends the 10 down for best ride. The 10 down positions your trailer about 1.3 " lower than the 22.5 down.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:51 AM   #14
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James,

I don't know what you need but if going with the # 9 - Dexter recommends the 10 down for best ride. The 10 down positions your trailer about 1.3 " lower than the 22.5 down.

Roy,

Thanks for the suggestion. I have no need for additional height - but assume any replacement choice will raise the trailer some.
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