Surfside axle angle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-20-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Illinois
Posts: 9
Surfside axle angle

First post here on this rv.

Just got a '77 TM14. It's pretty much intact, but has no suspension travel at all. It was a _very_ rough right home. I've spent a couple days searching around including here and have not found any good info on what initial angle the torsion arms were set at. It's the first thing I'm going to have to fix and I'm expecting a call back after the inspection from a big trailer repair place tomorrow.

The Surfside literature lists dry weight around 1450; the axle is spec'd at 1650. I'm going to try to get a 1600# axle since I don't plan to load it up too much. But that given, I still need to spec the starting angle. "Standard" for this type of axle seems to be 20D or so (22?), although the range can be from 45D to -10D.

What concerns me is that the existing torsion arms appear to be "resting" at -22D (all the way up, compressed), but when looking at the trailer from the side the tires in the wheel well appear to be right where I would expect them to be - if the suspension were working right. IOW, my trailer appears similar to all/any of the photos I've seen of a Surfside. If I'm understanding the situation, a standard 22D (positive) starting angle would lift my trailer by at least 3" and probably more. Now I don't automatically have a problem with that but it would put the tires that much lower in the wheel well and on the face of it that does not appear to be what other trailers of this type have.

Does anybody have actual info on what the starting angle for a 1600# axle on this trailer is supposed to be?

Thanks for all thoughts.

Rufus
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,697
If your axle is like a Scamps axle look at this thread. In the first post is a picture of the axle where the inner part of the axle goes through the arm of the axle.

It is a square going through the arm. When the axle is in its proper place the square forms a diamond with its points straight up and down. So if your worn axle is rotated up then measure the degrees that it would take to rotate the axle back down until the points of the axle are vertical up and down. That will tell you how much your axle has moved up. You will need to jack up and remove both tires at the same time and cross check both sides of the axle.

Fixing rotten wood under rear seat
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:25 AM   #3
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Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Illinois
Posts: 9
Steve (and Brian)

Thank you!. Brian pm'd a link he wrote several years ago that explains w/pictures what Steve describes.

Now I have a way to ascertain the original angle which will help considerably when talking with the repair people. Haven't heard back from the shop yet and if the communication doesn't develop quickly I'll be looking elsewhere for the work and it's a great help to know what I'm talking about.

Again, thanks all.


Rufus
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlaggren View Post
First post here on this rv.

Just got a '77 TM14. It's pretty much intact, but has no suspension travel at all. It was a _very_ rough right home. I've spent a couple days searching around including here and have not found any good info on what initial angle the torsion arms were set at. It's the first thing I'm going to have to fix and I'm expecting a call back after the inspection from a big trailer repair place tomorrow.

The Surfside literature lists dry weight around 1450; the axle is spec'd at 1650. I'm going to try to get a 1600# axle since I don't plan to load it up too much. But that given, I still need to spec the starting angle. "Standard" for this type of axle seems to be 20D or so (22?), although the range can be from 45D to -10D.

What concerns me is that the existing torsion arms appear to be "resting" at -22D (all the way up, compressed), but when looking at the trailer from the side the tires in the wheel well appear to be right where I would expect them to be - if the suspension were working right. IOW, my trailer appears similar to all/any of the photos I've seen of a Surfside. If I'm understanding the situation, a standard 22D (positive) starting angle would lift my trailer by at least 3" and probably more. Now I don't automatically have a problem with that but it would put the tires that much lower in the wheel well and on the face of it that does not appear to be what other trailers of this type have.

Does anybody have actual info on what the starting angle for a 1600# axle on this trailer is supposed to be?

Thanks for all thoughts.

Rufus
Hi Rufus, can't add much knowledge. But i do have a 79 Surfside and I can send photos (frame only, loaded or gutted) if that would help you. It will be gutted again within a week. Click image for larger version

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Dave
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:07 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Illinois
Posts: 9
Dave

Any pics showing frame or suspension/wheel-position would be great. I'll pm an email if you don't want to post them here.

Looking at the frame pic above: Is that the original frame? Looks like it has a -10D (ie. upward) starting angle; but maybe that's because of the frame weight and that starting angle is really 0D standard... Not an expert here.

(edit to correct mistake viewing pic)

The initial report from the trailer shop noted a seriously loose ball/hitch fit w/no adjustment possible. Frame that's visible looks sound except the rear 4x4 bumper has cracked where it's welded to the frame. $250 estimate for new welded hitch and bumper welds w/welded caps added (no caps there now and I don't see needing to carry a dump hose).

Comments?

The bolt-on axle is off and at a subcontractor and price s/b in Monday.
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Old 07-26-2017, 05:17 PM   #6
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 51
Click image for larger version

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These photos might help.
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:31 PM   #7
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Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Illinois
Posts: 9
Hi Dave

Thanks for the pics. I have been around the bushes with the repair shop and finally talked with their axle subcontractor. The axle guy is morally certain that the existing axle is 3500#. As I understand it that is just not appropriate for this small 14' RV. After extensive discussion in which everyone was trying to ensure that their position was understand beyond doubt, especially as regards later complaints(!) I arranged to have them supply a 2000# axle (Dexter). The gent running the axle shop swore around the block that he _never_ installed anything less and that 2000# axle was flimsy enough for any small trailer.

I think I can live with that, especially compared w/what is there now. There _is_ a tendency for bloat in life. I also spec'd a 10D (down) starting angle in hope that loaded it will come up to about horizontal.

I am curious a little because he really was adamant that the existing was 3500#. He based that not especially on the axle itself (it is quite old and he could not figure out a manufacturer - probably Canadian) but on the spindles and brakes and bearings. I'm suspecting it might have 10" brakes (didn't try to explore the issue further since we had other things to straighten out). The #9 Dexters have 7" brakes.

The pic of your wheel hub looks like a brake drum to me. If that's the case, would you happen to know the (inside) size of the drum? Or the outside size might be just as telling.

Thnx

Rufus
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:47 PM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 51
They are definitely drum brakes, I can measure tomorrow but i think they are 7 inch.
D.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:37 PM   #9
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Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Illinois
Posts: 9
Seems like 7" is what the brakes should be. I think the drawn out discussions w/this repair shop are because they normally don't handle small trailers. Semi's are more their norm. A 1600# axle is just hard for them to envision...

Rufus
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