Off brands may be cheaper. That is the main decision to make. Do you pay extra for the top brand and its parts or do you take a risk and go with the cheaper competitor. You might save $100 or so going with the off-brand but will you be able to get a replacement quickly?
The company has been in business for over 60 years and many leading RV makers are using their axles. The company must be doing something right to have that large of a market share. The company also has a very good reputation and their axles last a long time.
To learn more about this topic just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can make the right decision for your travel trailer or RV. Dexter does make good axles, the question is can you afford them?
This is an axle style made by Dexter that has a unique independent axle suspension that is supposed to provide you with a smoother ride and a better towing experience. The torsion arm suspension is completely self-contained within the axle tube.
This design is supposed to improve suspension by using 4 specialized rubber cords inside the axle beam. The good thing about this design is that it does not need a lot of maintenance done to it once it is installed.
All you have to do is inspect the fasteners to make sure nothing is wrong with them and you can forget about the rest of the axle. Once installed, these axles are supposed to cut down on the road shock transfer making it safer for your cargo.
Plus, the rubber cords help cut down on metal-to-metal contact, helping the axle to last longer and drive safer. Installation is easy and they are covered by a 10-year warranty. Dexter makes several different models going from 600 pounds up to 8000 pounds.
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Torsion axles will wear out over time and due to handling heavy loads but that is the nature of things in this life.
Usually, it is the rubber parts that will deteriorate and when that happens the axle and trailer will start to sag or get a little bit lower. Or you may see that your wheels are toeing out a little bit. When you see that you know it is time to repair or replace the axles.
If you do not see those two signs, then you may see the results of the rough ride when you enter your trailer and see cupboard doors open, dishes tossed about, and so on. Dexter says that if you see the axle move about 10 degrees from the original setting, then your axle is wearing out and needs work done to it.
If you are not sure about the 10-degree movement, jack up your trailer and watch the wheels. If they do not move down 1 1/2 inches once the weight is lifted off, you need a new axle.
The company provides its customers with a 10-year warranty. That should give you an idea of the expected life expectancy of these axles. Not every one will make that ten-year mark and many will go beyond it.
Some axles have been on a trailer for 15 to 20 years, some without incident, and some have sway issues. When the latter takes place, you know you should replace your axles. Swaying is a sign that they have gone bad.
How long yours will last will be up to the weight of the trailer and cargo you are hauling. Then if you do not distribute the weight of the cargo, you may be wearing out the axle faster than it should.
Another issue that should be of some concern is that the installation may not have been done right and the axle will not last longer than 2 years. It is not always going to be the axle but how it was installed.
The company and the axles have a good reputation. No one is seriously complaining about them on any of the websites we checked. Most owners are reporting that they are satisfied with this brand of the axle.
The one major complaint we saw was about the EZ lube models. These are growing more popular each year but the EZ lube process is not the best in the world. Owners state that at the 12K bearing check, you should repack the bearings instead of using the EZ lube method.
There is some problem with that system and at least one owner had to replace their brakes because the system failed them. Other than that, most owners have reported great service from these axles and have enjoyed using them for years.
What may work against Dexter and its products would be how the axles and their components are installed. Some shops do things on the cheap and that will expose the axles to difficulties they should not have had to face if installed correctly.
There are few people with anything bad to say about the Dexter Torsion axles. Over all and when installed correctly, owners are very happy with their ride and performance. Plus, they are easy to install which makes owners very happy.
The one real issue one owner had was when Dexter used to make wheels for their axles. They used to make the old-style 4 on the 9.4” bolt pattern which was hard to get replacement parts for. Since about 2000ish Dexter sold that wheel-making aspect of their company and went to standard bolt patterns.
The change made it easier to get replacement wheels and owners are very satisfied with that design change. In the end, you will find that Dexter is a very reputable axle company and very respected in the industry. You could do a lot worse than Dexter axles and the company seems to stand by their warranty.
If they didn’t we would have come across complaints by now and none have surfaced during our research.
Both companies make good axles. That goes without saying. If they didn’t, neither company would have a large market share for axles and their accessories. The word is that while Lippert is good, Dexter is better.
Dexter axles are considered to be the best product in the world today so you will not go wrong if you choose that brand over Lippert. The quality is just not found in the latter as it is found in the former.
Dexter axles are supposed to be American made while Lippert assembles their axles in America. There is a big difference between those two options. The latter option means that the parts were made in other countries and may not be up to the manufacturing standards of those parts made in the USA.
While Lippert will place their own specs for the design, this does not mean that those manufacturing companies are meeting those specs with top-quality raw materials. Dexter has an edge in this comparison and it is probably the best option of all the axle options out there.
Their 60 years of experience does have them working out all the bugs in their axles long ago.
You are not going to like the news we have to tell you. While some companies do list the price for the Dexter axles, others refuse to place a price n their ads. Instead, they ask you to fill out information before they will even give you a quote.
That is not very good news and it is hard to determine if you want to do business with the company or not. The other bad news is that the one company that we found willing to list their prices for these axles, had about 24 different prices for axles in the same weight class.
Their price range went from almost $600 to almost $1000 and these were the discounted prices. You won’t get any price break from the company as they do not sell directly to the public. Their website will help you find a distributor near you but that is about the extent of help you will get from the company, prices wise.
The best thing to do is to shop around to see who has the best price in your area. That will be the only way to save a few bucks when you make your purchase.
All Dexter axles are covered by the limited warranty offered by this company. When you get to the warranty page on their website, you will find that different components of the axle have different coverage under the same warranty.
Some parts are covered for 1 year while other parts get coverage from 2 to 10 years down the road. Also, the warranty is only valid for the original owner or purchaser of the axles. You do not get any warranty coverage if you buy a trailer with these axles already in place and bought by the previous owner.
While this is a one-page warranty, there are 12 exclusions you need to read to make sure you get full coverage. It is a very easy-to-understand document so there should not be any complaints from owners when they read it.
Then if you need a manual for your axles, the Dexter website has a link to get to the one you are looking for. You just have to go to their website and click on the resources link at the top of the page.
Once you do that, the drop-down menu appears and the word manuals are about halfway down. Click on the word manuals and you will be taken to all the booklets the company has online.
The company does post a service manual online to help you out with your maintenance duties. On page 80 you will find a maintenance schedule to help you make time to look at all the parts and do any necessary work.
Most of the axle parts are to be maintained at 12,000 miles and the schedule tells you what you should be doing at those times. If there are problems then you should take the appropriate action when you spot the issues. Do not delay taking care of any issues as those will just grow into bigger problems that are more expensive to fix.
Also, the service manual provides a checklist of items to check after your trailer has been in storage for a long period of time. There are 11 things you need to check and do before you start getting ready for your trip.
Plus, the manual provides a trip preparation checklist as well. This list helps make sure your trailer is road ready. There are 12 points in this list. The checklists are found on pages 78 & 79. If you do not have a service manual, just click this link to get to the one that the company has placed online.
You can certainly do worse than Dexter axles. You can’t do better as this company is said to be the best in the world when it comes to this part. The company also has some good competitors and using their products will not put you at any risk.
With the easy installation, many owners are very happy with how fast these torsion axles are installed and how long they can last. To know when it is time to change the axles just make sure to keep an eye out for the very obvious signs we already mentioned. Also do some comparison shopping to get a good deal.