Old U-Haul - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-29-2006, 10:37 PM   #1
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I am looking at an old 13' U-haul that needs new suspension among atoher things. Has anyone had experience wth this. How involved and what was the cost?
Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks,
John
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:23 AM   #2
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Hi John,

I know nothing about repairing a suspension - just wanted to say "welcome." I'm sure someone will come along soon and give their "two-cents' worth."

Nancy
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Old 09-30-2006, 07:55 AM   #3
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John,

Roughly two years ago, I installed a new Dexter #10 22.5* down axle with brakes rubbered at 3500 lbs and ez lube bearing option on a Burro 17'. The axle was about $250 delivered to Midwest Wheel in Cedar Rapids, IA and it was about 200 to have it installed.

Any competent welder should be able to do it. The UHaul axle will be a little more challenging because of the frame configuration, but there shouldn't be any problem. Yours will be somewhat less expensive because you can easily get by with a Dexter #9 axle rubbered for 2200 lbs. I would opt for brakes though. The best side benefit is that your wheels and bearings will be industry standard rather than UHaul standard.

Roger
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:13 AM   #4
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Hi John. I purchased a new Dexter axle from Redneck trailer supplies for about 360.00. 2000 lb tortion axle with brakes. I wish we could get them here in So Cal for that 250.00 but I couldn't find one. I think shipping from the mid west figures in. There are Redneck TS in Fowler and Mira Loma. I'm sure there are other trailer supply stores closer to you in Bakersfield.

Is the trailer leaf spring or tortion axled?
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Old 09-30-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Is the trailer leaf spring or tortion axled?
I am assuming it is tortion as it is sitting so low the tires are almost rubbing on the top of the wheel wells. They had just watered the area where it sits and it was all muddy the day I was looking at it.
Thank you all for the input. At least now I know what I am dealing with and can make her an offer.
Thanks again,
John
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:04 PM   #6
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In a previous discussion in this forum, we learned that the U-Haul axle has one unusual feature: the bolt-on straight tongue runs all the way back to the axle, and bolts to a bracket which is welded to the axle cross-tube. Since rubber torsion axles assemblies are sensitive to welding heat (too much ruins the rubber), this poses a problem in replacement. This may not be true of all U-Hauls, but is was in that case and is was for the one 13' U-Haul which I have examined.

Sorry, I don't remember which member did the replacement, and I think the topic was lost last fall to the hacker, but maybe someone remembers and can supply the final solution.

Regardless of what was done before, I expect that a bolt-on bracket could be fabricated to make a stock replacement axle work, but I would also expect some extra work or expense to do this.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:58 AM   #7
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.....bolts to a [b]bracket which is welded to the axle cross-tube. Since rubber torsion axles assemblies are sensitive to welding heat (too much ruins the rubber), this poses a problem in replacement.
We had a similar discussion over on the teardrops forum when somone suggested a lightweight frame consisting of just a single tongue piece welded to a torsion axle! I did some searching and found several examples of torsion axles showing that the rubber rods do not reach the centre of the axle. Here is a photo of some Henschen axles (probably for an Airstream):


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and a drawing of a Flexiride axle:


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The normal welding of torsion axle brackets to the frame occurs very close to the rubber. So I think it would be possible to weld a centre bracket to the axle without damaging the rubber. Obviously John should try contacting the manufacturers to see if any of them think this is reasonable. However, since the amount of heat put into the axle will depend on the welder's skill and care, I imagine most manufacturers would say that this would invalidate their guarantee.

Andrew
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:15 PM   #8
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It's my considered opinion that welding the axle brackets to the frame involves a lot less heat transfer to the axle beam than welding something to the axle beam itself, plus the center of the beam is likely to be a point of very high stresses on rough roads -- I would be far more inclined to fabricate a bolt-on bracket (plus it would be far easier to replace an axle in the future should that be needed).

For that matter, I would also be looking into the bolt-on brackets that can be welded to the frame so the entire axle is easily replaceable in the event the running gear is severely damaged in future.
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