Bad Alignment?

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aguablanco

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Jul 20, 2015
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238
Location
Mesa, AZ
In 2017 I noticed that the tires on the rear axle of my trailer looked splayed out. Took the trailer to the local frame shop and was told the camber was way out of spec. I paid them to bend the axles and then bought new tires for our upcoming trips. Took a couple of short trips and thought all was good. Upon arriving at Sequoia NP, approximately 1050 miles, I noticed that the rear tires were wearing unevenly on the inside, basically the same problem I thought had been fixed. By the time I reached northern Idaho I was forced to stop and have the trailer repaired by installing both new axles, leaf springs, shackles, bushings and new tires. The trailer towed like a dream on the way home and the uneven tire wear seemed to disappear. Did about 4000 miles in 2018 and all seemed fine. This year did about 2000 miles early and could see a bit of uneven wear on the left rear tire. Now I see that the left rear camber is out of adjustment again and I am back to the same issue, looks like the camber is off. This trailer weighs 4400# empty with a 1600# cargo capacity for a total of 6000# gross. I have weighed the trailer a couple of times and am certain that I have never exceeded the gross weight rating. Tow speed is 60-65mph and have never "curbed" a tire. What the heck is going on? I use a Curt 10K WDH with 1K Bars and really like the set up. Trying to figure out if I am doing something wrong. Hope the knowledge here can help me.
Thanks in Advance,
RichH 
 

SpencerPJ

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Nov 1, 2017
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4,028
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Midwest
Puzzling indeed.  Looking at your avatar, it looks like the TT rides pretty level.  On mine, similar weight specs as you,  I know it seems that the bulk of my extra weight is in one larger compartment in the right rear.  My guess, maybe the new tires were junk?  Maybe you should upgrade one weight class in tires for next purchase? 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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76,118
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West Palm Beach, FL
The axle GAWRs should be shown on the weight placard - can you get that data?  A 6000 lb trailer requires a minimum axle capacity of 5400 lbs (90% of the GVWR). That would probably be two 2800 lb or 3000 lb axles. You are probably running close to the axle limits and the tire limits too. It doesn't take much of a bump in the road to bend an axle when it is already stressed to near max.
It's common for RV makers to go cheap on the axles and tires to hold the price down. So much so that the federal DOT put minimum safety specs in place back in 2008. That resulted in the RV makers adhering to the minimums, but that doesn't mean they can't get bent easily.
 

lynnmor

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May 14, 2013
Posts
1,586
You didn't mention the axle rating, it should be on the axle tubes.  I suspect that they are marginal and easily bent.  I installed heavier custom axles on my trailer so that I am no longer near the limits.
 

aguablanco

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Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Posts
238
Location
Mesa, AZ
I took the trailer to Rucker Trailer Works in Mesa, AZ today for an assessment. Neil, the owner, took a good look at it and decided that the axles have too much axle outside the spring hangers. He likes to see no more than 4" and I am over 8". Since this how it came from the factory I have to assume they did this. I have 3500# axles on now. We will be changing the pipes to 3500# heavy duty axles which are bigger diameter pipes than the standard pipes and cutting them down a bit to move the wheels closer to the mounting brackets. Waiting on a call for pricing and will update when I get that. BTW, I run LRD tires rated at 2540# each with an 81 mph speed rating.
RichH
 

aguablanco

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Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Posts
238
Location
Mesa, AZ
Spoke with Neil this afternoon and the quote to replace both axles is $985.00 for parts and 6 hours of labor which includes bearing service. Will need to buy 2 more new tires as well. Does not seem out of line to me. Anyone think differently?
RichH
 

lynnmor

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May 14, 2013
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1,586
aguablanco said:
Spoke with Neil this afternoon and the quote to replace both axles is $985.00 for parts and 6 hours of labor which includes bearing service. Will need to buy 2 more new tires as well. Does not seem out of line to me. Anyone think differently?
RichH

The bare axles should be about $450.  If brake parts are added, the price goes up.  U-bolts and mounting hardware need to be added as well.  Six hours is a bit much, but if they are meticulous about their work, that is OK.  Without having complete information, I will say that the bill is on the high side of average.

I would take this opportunity to get rid of the cheap Chinese bearings and install Timkens.  Yes, that will add to the bill but it will head off future bearing problems.  I learned the hard way when I did a similar axle upgrade.  I thought it might be anal to toss new bearings, so I used the cheap ones only to have them fail after just one real long trip.  Junk!
 

aguablanco

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Posts
238
Location
Mesa, AZ
Actually, the pipes are about $300 or so and the labor is just over $600 for 6 hours. You are correct that the bill could increase with any brake work. I usually do my own brakes, and inspect each year for issues, so I don't expect there to be any additions as they looked great this Spring. Will need new u-bolts since new pipe is a larger diameter, but that shouldn't be much. I am really looking forward to towing and not having to worry about the axles, tires and suspension for a while. Just got back from Burning Man last Wednesday and almost done cleaning gear. Going to Rocky Point, MX next month to get the trailer buffed, waxed and detailed. May even have them look at the front cap which has some glue delam issues. Oh , and while we're in MX there may be Tequila, cerveza and guacamole involved. Thanks a lot for your input, I really appreciate it.
RichH
 

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