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Author Topic: Bent Axle  (Read 9614 times)


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Bent Axle
« on: September 23, 2012, 12:26:52 PM »
hi, everyone. i am new to the forum and hoping to solicit some input from everyone. i just bought a used 2011 eclipse milan 27 foot trailer and used it on a fantastic 3000 mile trip from CA to UT. When i got home, i saw that all 4 tires were worn on the inside edge. Further checking showed that rear axle was bent, but the front axle was still straight. i also noticed that the white water tank was touching/sitting on top of the rear axle. i never fully filled the white water tank and did not overload the trailer on this trip, but not sure what the previous owner did.

Could it be that the white water tank at one time (assuming it was filled up by the previous owner) caused the bent on the rear axle?
If the reax axle bent was caused overloading (again, assuming the previous owner overloaded it), shouldn't both the axles be bent?

i will get it fixed, but would like to know what could possibly cause this and become more trailer savvy.

thank you very much,


Lou Schneider

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Re: Bent Axle
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 03:21:05 PM »
Hi Brian, Welcome to The RV Forum!

Unfortunately, bent axles and the resulting tire wear are fairly common on travel trailers.  Many are built with suprisingly low load ratings - i.e. the trailer itself weighs close to the axle capacities. 

Towing the trailer nose-high, i.e. with a hitch mounted too high on the tow vehicle, will increase the load on the rear axle while removing weight from the front axle.  If the axles are close to their maximum ratings, this can be enough to bend the rear axle.

Keep in mind the trailer axles should look "bent" - they're not straight like a truck's front beam axle, they come from the factory with a bend in the middle so they can flex as the trailer tires drag sideways during a sharp turn.

The trailer's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and axle weight capacities should be on the VIN plate attached to the lower left outside corner of the trailer.

The best way to find out how much weight is on the axles is to go to a weigh station and see how much the trailer weighs.   Unhitch and weigh the tow vehicle first, getting weights for the front and rear axles.   Then hitch up again and weigh each set of axles separately.  If your equalizing bars are set correctly you should see equal increases of weight on the tow vehicle's front and rear axles.  Add these increases together to get the trailer's tongue weight.

Now weigh the trailer's axles to see how much load they're carrying.  It's OK to weigh both at once, just divide by two to estimate the load on each axle.

Some states leave their highway scales on overnight, so you could pull in and get the axle weights from the outside display.   Other places with scales are truckstops, gravel pits, household moving companies, etc.

The water tank should have been mounted securely enough to support it's weight while full of water as you drove down the road.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 03:30:09 PM by Lou Schneider »


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Re: Bent Axle
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 10:11:12 PM »
I have a 2008 Keystone Outback trailer that has a 7,000 GVWR.  The axles are rated at 3,500 each.  The original tires were rated at 1,750 each.  So the axles and tires were just adequate.  No margin for error.  My trailer weighed about 7,000 when we traveled.  Last year, after 3 years and a lot of miles, I had to have the axles straightened.  The tires had been wearing on the sides but not to the point they required replacement.  Don't recall what it cost but it wasn't significant.  Maybe $150.00 for both. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler