What type of axles does Grand Design use?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What type of axles does Grand Design use? We will explain the advantages of the type of axles that Grand Design uses on their latest RV models. We will also explain why it is important to have the best axles on your travel trailer and how they work. 

What type of axles does Grand Design use?

Grand Design uses Dexter axles and a Dexter electric drum brake system. Grand Design offers the 8K Dexter axles upgrade at $7,439. The main advantages of the Dexter axles are:

  • Dexter axles can handle more weight (about 8,000 lbs), and are easy to connect to the trailer as standard axles. 
  • Dexter’s tour flex rubber torsion suspension axles mean a smoother ride for your trailer and greater peace of mind for you. 
  • Dexter’s tour flex suspension system is a torsion arm type of suspension that is self-contained.  Within the axle tube, it attaches directly to the trailer frame adding strength. As the load-carrying cross member, the Dexter axle provides improved suspension characteristics over leaf-spring axles due to the unique arrangement of the steel torsion bar and rubber cords. 
  • Dexter utilizes a solid heat-treated inner bar that is surrounded by four rubber quarts. The wheel hub spindle is attached to the torsion arm which is fastened to the rubber encased bar. As load is applied the bar rotates causing a rolling compressive resistance in the rubber courts.  This action provides the same functions as conventional sprung axles, but with several operating advantages.

The result is a ride quality that many have tried to imitate, but only Dexter

has mastered. Here are some other advantages of the Dexter axles compared to sprung axles:

  • independent wheel suspension and self-damping action rubber cushioning;
  • eliminates metal-to-metal contact;
  • less transfer of road shock for better cargo protection;
  • heat-treated solid steel inner bar;
  • forged torsion arm for maximum strength;
  • rubber chords compounded for dependability;
  • the axle can be used as a load-carrying cross member easy installation with less overall maintenance;
  • high profile availability for maximum road clearance;
  • single tandem triple and extreme duty axle assemblies;
  • iso 9001 certified; 
  • plus it’s backed by a 10-year limited warranty.

Now that’s really what the Dexter difference is all about. The tour flex system is low maintenance – except for a periodic inspection of the fasteners that attach the axle to the frame. No other suspension maintenance is required. Of course, we recommend you still follow the maintenance and inspection procedures outlined in the Dexter operation maintenance service manual.

Why is the type of axles used by Grand Design important?

The type of axles used by Grand Design is important because the axle is a centrepiece of the trailer. It is intended to support its chassis. Arranged transversely under the trailer, it supports a wheel at each of its ends.

The trailer axle is made up of several components:

  1. shock absorber: it absorbs shocks and vibrations from the road,
  2. bearings: device attached to the axle intended for the rotation of the wheels,
  3. hub: designed to support the wheel, it can be with a brake drum in the case of a braked axle.

There are two types of axles: depending on the type of trailer. The trailer axle is available in two versions, intended to support a load of 3000 to 3500 kg depending on the type of trailer, namely:

  1. braked axle with trailer braking system,
  2. the unbraked axle without the trailer braking system.

What is the difference between braked and unbraked trailer axles?

Unbraked trailer axles are for those trailers that carry a light load, a motorcycle or quad on top, or your camping trailer with a simple hitch to the car.

Braked axles are used so that the trailer does not put so much pressure on the car when you brake. Because the more weight you carry, the more pressure it exerts and by inertia the longer the trailer will need to break. The axle with brake gives you a plus in safety. It can be carried by trailers of less than 1,650 lbs (without registration) and you do not need any special permission for this category of trailers.

A user cannot modify a trailer without a brake to a trailer with a brake, it must always be done by the manufacturer. Of course, braked axles will save you many scares and you will force the car less.

How do you know if your trailer axles are in good condition?

At the beginning of each season, we recommend that you check your trailer from head to toe. And to check the axes and control their condition, every year, do the following:

  • Raise each trailer axle with a jack and spin the wheels freely. If they move without noise, without irregularities, without lateral play on the axis and without suspicious friction, everything is fine.
  • Check the welds from the axle mounting bracket to the main chassis.
  • Inspect the suspension (signs of excessive wear, hole elongation).
  • If you detect any anomaly, and you are a little “handyman”, disassemble the shaft, clean it and grease it again. If not, take it to a workshop to have a professional look after.
  • In more serious cases such as breakage, oxidation, deterioration or dangerous wear, replace the axles with new ones.
  • Repairs must be carried out by specialized personnel. A workshop equipped with the necessary technical means and specific instructions to be able to intervene safely and guarantee the results.

The correct operation and life of the equipment are highly dependent on how preventive maintenance is performed. The use of spare parts and ORIGINAL material is essential.

In addition to reviewing the axles, we advise you to:

  • Grease the hitch head every 6,000 miles or 12 months with multipurpose grease, as well as keep the hitch ball clean and greased. In this way, you can prevent the appearance of slack that could have serious consequences for safety.
  • Check the tightening torque of the wheel fixing bolts.
  • Grease the axle hub bearings at least once a year.
  • In case you have an inertia brake, also check the correct condition of the brake shoes and that the brake cable is correctly tensioned.
  • Periodically check the tires, checking that the inflation pressure is correct. The depth of the drawing must be the regulation, as well as that they do not present damages.


The axles are the main elements of the trailer since they support the dragged load and at the same time are the guide of the rotation movement. They help you drive with greater comfort and safety since, in addition to the suspension function, they also fulfil the role of a shock absorber.

The trailer axles that Grand Design used are Dexter axles. They guarantee greater security of your travel luggage and comfort while on the road. 

Do you have any other questions about the content? Let us know!

FAQ on What type of axles does Grand Design use?

Why buy a Grand Design travel trailer?

Grand Design is a manufacturer that cares about the quality of its RVs and whose mission is the satisfaction of its customers. Their products have won numerous awards since the start of the company, including the 2019 Trailer Life Readers Choice Gold.

Is Grand Design better than Keystone?

If one compares Grand Design to Keystone, we can definitely say that Grand Design is better when it comes to comfort, amenities and insulation. Keystone, on the other hand, is considered to have better layouts overall.

Can I tow a twin axle trailer?

You can tow a twin axle trailer, as long as the total weight of your trailer+car doesn’t exceed the legal towing limit. Towing a twin axle trailer is harder to manoeuvre than a single axe. 

How should the axles be positioned on the trailer? 

If your loads are uniform, we recommend that you position the centre of your axle or the centre of the dipper, at 55 or 60 percent of the length of the platform (this measurement should be taken from front to back).

How to calculate the distance to place the axles of a trailer?

Start by measuring the length of the cargo box on the trailer or bed, but do not include the tongue of the trailer. Multiply this length by 0.4. The resulting number is the distance from the rear of the cargo box to the centre of the axle.


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