Trailer axle alignment?

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UnclKracker

Active member
Joined
May 26, 2018
Posts
26
Location
Florida
I need new tires.  My tire dealer says the axles need to be aligned.  He suggests I take the trailer to Florida Spring & Axle in Fort Myers.  I talked to the Service Manager on the phone and he estimates worst case scenario cost around $800.  He said the axles could have been bad since the trailer was new.  Hitting a curb or pothole could also be responsible.
I am the original owner. We've traveled 10k miles with the trailer.  When we began our last trip there were 7,000 miles on the tires and in good shape.
Now, 3 out of 4 are wearing badly.  I'm sure I never hit a curb.  I do remember some bone jarring encounters with damaged Interstate roadways. Is it really that easy to bend the axles?

Next, I have to decide on a brand of new tires.  Ranier 235/80R16E are on the trailer now.  The GVWR is 14,270 LB, GAWR (each axle) 6,000 LB.
The wheels are 110 psi rated so going to G rated is doable.  Do I stay with E  or upgrade to G?  I hear good things about Maxxis but I don't see a G rated tire on their website.
Another popular brand, Sailun has a G rated in my size.
Goodyear Endurance?
I'd appreciate your reviews on these or any other brands.
Thanks.

 

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I purchased a pair of Endurance tires and have a little over 3000 miles and they show no wear.

I too had a axle misalignment 3 years ago. I took them to a place here in Lakeland and found they were way out of alignment. I just dug out my slip and it cost me $370.00 plus tax. It took them about 2 1/2 hours to do the work. The place was at Tampa Springs. They also have a location in Tampa. I am very happy with the results. They bend the axles here and there to get the Toe and Camber perfect. When I took it to them, my tanks were nearly full and of course we had all our stuff in the trailer because we're snowbirds and live in it for the winter.  $800.00 is way high. Call Tampa Springs and get a quote.
 
Depending on the the axle damage, replacement may be necessary and the cost would be much higher than a slight bending.  Just looking at your tire wear, it doesn't look too bad and may be a simple fix.  Trailer axles are weak and often the very lightest that the manufacturers can get away with, like yours for example.  Now you said that you didn't hit curbs, so explain the rub marks in the left photo.
 
"Now you said that you didn't hit curbs, so explain the rub marks in the left photo."

I know I brushed a curb in a Walmart lot but so lightly I didn't feel I could have caused any damage.  I say I didn't "hit" a curb to mean a hard jarring contact with one.  We encountered some pretty horrible holes on the interstates.  Maybe a rut or large hole had the same effect as a curb. Whatever happened it was to both wheels on the right side.

Rene T
Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll give the Tampa location a call.
 
Yes it is  possible for a chuckhole to bend an axle.

Several years ago when my trailer was new I was going over I40 Eastbound just West of Kingman Arizona.  There were chuckholes as large as a VW car and about 6 inches deep.  Because of the very heavy truck traffic I was not able to  miss all of them.

The result was my axle tube collapsed as can be seen in  the attach photo.

I was lucky still under warranty and Lippert did step up and replace the axle.


 

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Rv trailer axles are typically loaded very to near max capacity, so it's not unusual for a curb, RR track or chuck hole to push it to an overload condition. Further, you can bump over a curb without noticing much, if anything, in the truck cab, but that doesn't mean the wheel and axle hub wasn't subjected to some extreme pressures.

Another good company is Tampa Spring, which has a chain of locations in Florida.
 
UnclKracker said:
Is it really that easy to bend the axles?

Yes it is. And you know when? Often it's during slow speed maneuvering with a loaded trailer when pulling into or out of a camp site or even turning a tight corner with curbs on the roadway. As it works when the trailer is loaded for camping with lots of food and clothes and such you are already putting significant pressure on the axles and  wheels.  Then you wedge a tire against an immovable object like a curb, campsite log or rock, and now there is force from two directions, the weight of the trailer on top, and the object it is next to. 

Something has to give, and often it is an axle, wheel,  or the integrity of a tire sidewall.  You may not even have been aware when it happens. All of the above suggested fixes are spot on.  But it doesn't sound like it is major at this point. Check prices and shop reviews and get it taken care of.

And Gary beats me to the punch again! More great advice.
 
Speaking about pulling into a campsite, get out and check the trailer tire's sidewalls before you disconnect.  If your final movement was a turn, the tires will be scrubbing sideways and you'll see this where the tires meet the ground.  Leaving them this way stresses the axles and suspension the entire time you're parked.

The solution is to pull the trailer straight forward a short distance (5-10 ft), then back it straight in to the final spot.
 

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