Broken axle help in Lafayette, LA? (was: whee l fell off (mostly)) - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-20-2011, 11:48 AM   #15
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We went to 5200# after bent axle

After our Bigfoot 17 experienced a bent axle we upgraded to a 5200# Dexter drop axle, as our gross weight was approaching [and has now exceeded] 3500#. Now we feel much safer driving I-10 in Louisiana [where we were a couple of weeks ago] and all of the unpaved roads.

BTW, on that trip west we decided to get new tires before crossing the great lonely expanses of Texas. Before doing that we wanted to check alignment as one of our tires was chafed on one side. We called ahead to Able Axle in Baton Rouge, spent the night in their parking lot, and were moved ahead of their other work to get us back on the road. They seemed honest and professional.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:41 PM   #16
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Just a thought here... if the axle was that new, maybe it's under warranty? If so you might be able to get a free replacement. Sounds like it may have been defective. Unless you overloaded it, an axle that new should not break no matter how washboardy the roads are.

Another thing, was it the axle itself that broke or did it unmount (broken welds or bolts where it attached to the trailer)?

If the axle is believed to be too lightweight, of course I can then see the sense of buying one with a higher weight rating (like the Dexter mentioned previously).

I hope you can get back on the road again quickly. It's aggravating right now, but a year or two from now you probably will look back and laugh. It makes me recall the mid-80s trip we took to Colorado as a family in a rented U-Haul egg... a heater that would not work when needed most, a front window that leaked on the kids' bedding, cramped quarters for 4 people... at the time it seemed like h-e-double-hockeysticks, but now I recall the fun parts and chuckle at the not-so fun parts.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:08 PM   #17
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All of my repair info is in MA so I don't know the axle rating. I had it put on at Gervasi in Madison, WI, so I will contact them tomorrow. I do know that they looked for an axle and brake system that would use the existing 4 lug nut wheels so I wouldn't have to buy new wheels too. I had bearing buddies put on at the same time so overheated hubs shouldn't have been a problem. The axle broke just inside of the brake/wheel assembly, although it also had a bend in the center.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:18 PM   #18
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Sorry I missed the last two replies, will try to get better info on whether the axle or the welds broke tomorrow. Also the make and rating.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:09 PM   #19
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Celia---are you traveling alone???? If so, I can see why this experience would make you question your current condition! I would have been freaking out!!!

Hope you are doing better---will be thinking of you!
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #20
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Yes, I'm traveling alone. And pushing 60. Trailering is mostly a great fun adventure with "OMG, what am I doing?!" moments mixed in. My daughter's friend's parents took me cajun dancing this afternoon. I'm a terrible dancer but had a great time.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #21
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Hey, we're the same age (I'm pushing 59) You go girl! You got moxy---way to go! If you're ever in Omaha, the door's open-----
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:23 PM   #22
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I was hoping to go west, head up the Pacific coast, and visit Glacier National on my way to Michigan for Labor Day. So I might be near(ish). Thanks for the kindly offer!
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:29 PM   #23
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I purchased the Monroe retro fit shock kit and RV shocks through local Nappa dealer. Brian BP told be about the Kits.

(The 17' bolers came with a 3500 lb leaf spring axle, 10" brakes and 5 bolt? 14" wheels) Bigfoot is same size.

P.S. Thanks Brian BP
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:39 PM   #24
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Nice to know help is but a click away.
Once again great group.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:55 PM   #25
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Update: The flatbed driver said the spindle sheared at the hub, where the brake/wheel attaches. Because the wheel fell off at the storage yard he tack welded it on to transport to the repair company, I didn't get to take any pictures or even see it myself. The guy who built the axle is more upset than I am, he's never had an axle fail.
The only thing holding the wheel on was a weld at the top of the plate. I am very grateful I didn't kill someone with a runaway tire!
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:23 PM   #26
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I remember in the 80's a loose tire from an accident in the intersection crawled up the hood of my mom's station wagon, bounced on the windshield and took the luggage rack off. Our insurance company wanted to know if it had hit the ground first. That determined who which insurance company was liable, somehow.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:05 PM   #27
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Runaway tires really scare me and i had one come off a semi i was driving and i watched it go down the road at 60mph and run into the back of a stopped car and totaled that car.....luckily the driver was un-injured but she was tossed around in that car pretty good.
Luckily you and everyone around you where un-injured also.
Joe
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:31 AM   #28
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Update: I finally got a good look at the axle. The spindle didn't shear, the welds broke. I have a square tube axle with the spindle welded on top. In order to use the 4 lug rims, mount brakes, and keep the trailer at the same height, the end of the axle was cut back at a 45 degree angle and left open. The spindle itself doesn't look to be as long as the replacements I looked at in the shop. Just not enough good surfaces to weld to, plus the cut back axle may have flexed. I ordered a 3500lb axle, new brakes, and new 5 lug rims. Oh, shocks too. Trying to find a local welder to fabricate a heftier axle to fit the brakes and rims was just too hard. Lots of $$ but at least I'll have standard equipment. I'm hoping the guy in WI will pay for some/all of it to keep his good reputation.
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