Burro frame weakness - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2016, 08:27 PM   #1
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Name: jerry
Trailer: BURRO
Missouri
Posts: 25
Burro frame weakness

I read on here about the Burro in Wyoming with the broken axle, 13 ft. recently saw a 13 ft Burro at a salvage sale and it also had a broke or bent axle, was laying down low in the front and axle was bent upwards, I have a Burrow but it is a 17 ft. wonder if maybe I should reinforce the axle, wonder if 17ft have larger axles? mine is made of box tubing 3 in. x 2 in. wide, any one on here have a Burro 13 ft, if so what is yours made of? any one heard of other axle problems with the Burros?
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:41 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Arizona
Posts: 4,879
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Are we talking about the axle or the frame?

Many makes of molded fiberglass trailers have lightweight frames that can be weakened over time by rust and repeated flexing. Toward the front near the tongue seems to be a common failure point. In some designs bending creates a weak area.

If you are concerned, have a good welder do a careful inspection. In many cases, unless it's really far gone, the frame can be reinforced without removing the camper body.

You can then follow up by removing surface rust and repainting the frame with a rust-inhibiting product.

Axles are a maintenance item. Keep the bearings lubed and replace the whole axle when the rubber wears out . 15-20 years is considered a normal lifespan for a rubber torsion axle, though many remain in service well beyond that. What happens as they age is the rubber inside loses its flexibility, so the axle arms no longer move freely. You end up with a buckboard ride (which probably adds more stress to the frame, among other things).

It's fairly easy to check. Jack up one side of the trailer and watch to see if the axle arm and wheel drops down as the trailer rises. Little or no movement means a dead axle.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:17 AM   #3
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Name: Talia
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
USA
Posts: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post

If you are concerned, have a good welder do a careful inspection. In many cases, unless it's really far gone, the frame can be reinforced without removing the camper body.
A good friend of mine has been a professional welder for nearly 40 years. He says that fiberglass needs to be a minimum of 6" away from any area to be welded.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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Many models have wood, not fiberglass, underneath, including, I think, Burro. In order to retrofit a Scamp rear receiver my welder installed a new frame cross member flush against the resin-coated OSB floor of my Scamp without issue. I doubt it was by the book, but he was experienced and careful. I think he used some kind of shielding against the wood.

I know Norm (Honda03842) had a broken frame on his Scamp 16 repaired on the road without separating the frame from the shell.

I won't guarantee that it is possible for every situation, nor that every welder would be willing to do it. I only know that it has been done.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:29 AM   #5
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Name: Kris
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
Posts: 1
cracked frame

Our 16 foot Scamp is a 1990 and on a long road trip the front triangular
frame just in front of the fiberglass fatigued and started to separate.

I wouldn't have noticed except from a side view it was suddenly, visually sagging in front. We were half way to our gulf coast destination in farm country. We were able to
find a welder who came out and put in a piece of iron and welded it back together as best he could. A temp. job to be sure, but got us back on the road.
I can only imagine the catastrophe had it totally separated and dropped in high speed traffic!

The weld was so hot that it did almost ignite the white fiberglass exterior. Wet rags stopped that.
WE had a major weld job done after we returned . Lots of stress to both sides
after 15 years plus of bouncing a 3000# around on the roads and highways. Always inspect your undersides pre tripping!
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:37 PM   #6
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Burro 1983 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 120
I just ordered a new axle last week. The street side had
dropped about 2" the axle is 33 years old. I am getting
one from Dexter thru a trailer dealer. Burro trailers
had their axles mounted backwards so the dealer and
Dexter recommend that the new one be mounted
correctly or the warranty would be void.
The cost of a new axle removing the old axle and
brackets, cost of new brackets welded to the frame,
Etc. will be about $700. This place has been around
for a very long time and has a great reputation .
They were replacing an axle on a 16' Scamp and
working on a Happier Camper while I was there.
They said my Burro was very well maintained and
except for the axle in very good condition including
the frame.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:28 PM   #7
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Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Tennessee
Posts: 877
As a point of interest my 1986 Burro 17" had a 1000 lb axle from the factory. This was a dance hall version ( no bathroom) I was pretty surprised it was so lightweight. I replaced it with a New 3500 # Dexter (with brakes). Bolt holes were almost perfect ( I had to make them bigger for the new larger bolts and grind about 1/8 inch to clear the front bolts on each side. Measure your axle and call Dexter the were very helpful.
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