Floyd ,y thoughts exactly... about the axle. It's 27 years old unless it's been replaced and if it hasn't it probably should be. Changing tire size is only a band aid.
Actually, after much time on the phone with Dexter Axle's techs, and reading everything I could find on the subject,plus personal experience, I am of the opinion that more servicable axles are replaced than than worn out or broken ones.
I guess that everyone should convert to bolt-on axle
attachment, then simply replace the whole unit[tires,brakes and axle] every five years.
Then drop off all the take-offs at my house!
It's funny, but my first set of tires
lasted 5 years from purchase [6 from manufacture] without any sign of age or cracking, yet my new tires
had one crack beyond use while under warranty and was replaced by the tire shop.
I say check everything, replace the bad stuff, keep the good, and use the calendar to remember family and friends on their birthdays and anniveraries.
This has worked well for me, my last problem was a bearing failure on a borrowed trailer over thirty years ago.
Of course,as you seem to say, new stuff is usually more reliable than old!