To re-axle or not to re-axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1986 Scamp 13 ft
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....that is the question. Yesterday I pulled home an '86 Scamp 13 thanks to member Bill White, of Marfa, TX. I am looking forward to beginning the project. I have spent ample time reading through past posts ie, 2 Borax washes, maguires cleaner, a light wet sanding [at] 1200 and 1500, more cleaner then Maquires wax should make it much shinier than it's current chalky appearance. Everything else is straighforward except the axle question. The logic of going to a new axle and 14 or 15 in. wheels means wheels don't spin as fast less axle and bearing wear. The downside is higher profile and more wind resistance. Also I would be doing preventive maintanace on a 24 year old axle, which I view as a plus. What am I missing? Anybody have a handle on cost?

Thanks
Greg

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Old 04-26-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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The logic of going to a new axle and 14 or 15 in. wheels means wheels don't spin as fast less axle and bearing wear. The downside is higher profile and more wind resistance. Also I would be doing preventive maintanace on a 24 year old axle, which I view as a plus. What am I missing? Anybody have a handle on cost?

Thanks
Greg
I have 15" tires on my 1988 Scamp. Maybe it was raising it up or just a newer axle or something but the fuel mileage increased slightly. Bearing and axle wear will be negligible between 13" and 14" and 15"... a non-factor as far as I'm concerned. No matter what size tires you still need to do regular bearing maintenance.

It's doubtful a 24 year axle is still 100% good if it's a torflex, in fact it may be totally toast but you didn't say. I've seen prices range $200-$500, plus welding depending on location, need to ship and owner abilities.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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Trailer: Boler 1984
Ontario
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The axle on our 84 Boler was causing the trailer to lean badly to the kitchen side and a replacement axle raised the trailer about 1 1/2-2 inches. It rolls better. It tracks better, and the bounce has been significantly reduced. If yours is still on an even keel then regular maintenance and a new set of wheel bearings when necessary may be all you need.
After a good waxing in the spring I use Mothers California detailing wax after a wash job or the rain has left it streaked. Spray it on and wipe it off. It's that quick and keeps the trailer looking good all summer.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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I totally concur with Donna. Thanks to her info/recommendation I upgraded the axle on my '88 Scamp 13. Now I sport 15" wheels and have the added benefit of electric brakes. The ride is perfect. And, IMHO, my trailer looks better with the bigger wheels and tires. My cost for the Dexter Torflex axle and installation was under $500. I intend to upgrade the axle (to include brakes) on any future renovation project over 15 years old.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the info. I am getting an estimate for the new axle this week and will also install a new 2" ball receiver. Robert, your step by step and end result for you project is great and should be a model for anyone pursuing a Scamp 13 redo.

Greg

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Old 04-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the info. I am getting an estimate for the new axle this week and will also install a new 2" ball receiver. Robert, your step by step and end result for you project is great and should be a model for anyone pursuing a Scamp 13 redo.

Greg

Thanks, Greg. Please let me know If I can be of any help.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:22 PM   #7
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Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Do yourself a great big favor and be sure to convert the axle to a BOLT ON instead of a welded on because you can change the axle any time you need to in the future all by yourself if it is BOLT ON. To change a bolt on, you just jack the egg up, unbolt the old axle and bolt on a new one (If they are the same model.

Also, should you want to go to a larger tire size, when you install the new axle you can have a spacer welded to the frame to lift the egg up enough so your new BOLT ON axle tires will nor RUB on the egg when hitting a pot hole.

I would also make sure the new axle have the flanges on it so you could add brakes now or in the future if you so desire.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1983 Burro 13 ft
West Virginia
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....that is the question. Yesterday I pulled home an '86 Scamp 13 thanks to member Bill White, of Marfa, TX. I am looking forward to beginning the project. I have spent ample time reading through past posts ie, 2 Borax washes, maguires cleaner, a light wet sanding [at] 1200 and 1500, more cleaner then Maquires wax should make it much shinier than it's current chalky appearance. Everything else is straighforward except the axle question. The logic of going to a new axle and 14 or 15 in. wheels means wheels don't spin as fast less axle and bearing wear. The downside is higher profile and more wind resistance. Also I would be doing preventive maintanace on a 24 year old axle, which I view as a plus. What am I missing? Anybody have a handle on cost?

Thanks
Greg
Go with a Dexter, Greg. Go to their website for a phone number. Get accurate measurements of your frame width and decide how much start angle you desire. I suggest their high profile (adds 3/4 inch to heighth) side mount which will come with the weld-on bracket that welds to the frame and allows the axle to bolt in place. On my Burro 13' I selected an 1800# axle with a ten degree down start angle and electric brakes. Total was less than $450 including freight to WV. When placing the order, ask to speak to engineering....they'll confirm all your measurements with their engineering drawings. Mine was delivered within ten days of my order. Great people to deal with! I went with 14" wheels with my new axle and had lots of clearance all around. I did the welding and reinforced my frame....so I can't speak to any labor costs for the install. Haven't towed it yet. I'm finishing a complete frameoff restoration since my Burro purchase last fall....new floor, reinforced frame, new axle and wheels and a full-size bed in the rear.
I might add that this site is great and the help and suggestions are invaluable.
Best of luck...
Mike Shackelford in WV
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:56 AM   #9
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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When I spoke with the engineers at Dexter they recommended going to the maximum weight possible (2200#) on the #9 for our trailers. The 400# difference in specs makes little difference in the ride. This provides an axle that works in it's usable loaded range without overloading it.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:00 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1983 Burro 13 ft
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Greg, I'm on Bunner's Ridge....just outside Fairmont.
Mike

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Old 05-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #11
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 1983 Burro 13 ft
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When I spoke with the engineers at Dexter they recommended going to the maximum weight possible (2200#) on the #9 for our trailers. The 400# difference in specs makes little difference in the ride. This provides an axle that works in it's usable loaded range without overloading it.
I didn't question the Dexter folks about load rating, Roy....probably should have. When I decided to replace the original axle (leading arm Henschen), I found it was rated at 1200 lbs. which was obviously too light for any safety margins. My goal was reducing weight and making the shell watertight during my frame-off rebuild. I removed the 'fridge and stovetop, both of which were not only heavy but sources of water infiltration from their outside vents. With the Coleman camp stove in place, new glassed-in floor, new axle and tires....everything but bedding and minus food, etc...I can easily lift by hand one side of the trailer off the floor in the garage. I'm going to hazard a guess at its dry and empty weight of around 700 pounds....??? I'm going to weigh it at the local truck stop the first time I tow it.

The things we get into in our pursuit of "fun".
Best wishes,
Mike
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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The only difference with capacity within a line (e.g. #9) of Dexter axles is the length of rubber used inside. A 2200# axle will have more rubber than a 1200#.
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