Casita axle dilemma... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-07-2019, 07:59 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 115
Exclamation Axle/Frame Issues

Average consumers have difficulty correctly evaluating complex gear. Small trailer axle and frame issues should be responsibly dealt with by the manufacturer. But nearly all of them focus on getting product out the door and what happens after that is of no interest to them (until they are sued, regulated or shut down by authorities). The history of automotive seatbelts is eloquent testimony to how manufacturers ignore consumer needs until forced to do so. I've done what Casita has failed to do: aircraft equivalent stress analysis on the frame and axle which come up grossly deficient for the repetitive stresses of boondocking operations. The strain gets transferred to every joint and fitting in the structure, none of which were tested or designed for it. The result is deterioration over time, much of which is not visible until failure. Structural failures are well-documented in small trailers which often result in economic loss of the trailer. Besides that, inferior components drive up operational costs far higher than they otherwise would be. One example is the pathetic servicing of wheel bearings which typically costs $1,600 over 100,000 miles. If you'd like to save $600 on servicing costs and inconvenience just increase your axle capacity and fit sealed bearings which require no maintenance for 100,000 miles. The axle is free, paid for by avoided servicing costs.
__________________

Stephen_Albers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 10:17 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 7,526
Registry
Casita axle dilemma...

And Casita should engineer to a boondocking/aircraft standard because...?

Iím glad they donít, actually. I canít afford an airplane, and I canít afford an expedition-grade RV, both of which can easily run six figures.

Many manufacturers, including Scamp and Casita, have made numerous upgrades to their chassis over the years based on the real-world use and performance of their products. Not every improvement clears the cost-benefit hurdle.

You want more. I get it. There are some things I would pay a little more for, too, like better 12V wiring. But I accept the limitations of an engineered-to-cost product.
__________________

Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 10:26 AM   #17
Member
 
Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 41
Well, I had a neighbor come by and talk through options. He's owned 3 Casita's over the past 30 years and had some good advice all around. Despite all the good advice we did not feel great about any concrete solutions. But I think it's safe to say we both agree I jumped the gun and bought this thing too quick.

He did connect me with a talented welder and I'm hopeful he will be able to fabricate a few things as well as help me get my axle on.

I will say he agreed that the 2k axle would roll fine, it has been upgraded to the 5 on 4.5 hubs with ez grease and I have 15" wheels sitting ready to mount.

I think the key thing for me to understand about trailer suspensions is around capacity weight vs optimal weight, what weight should a 3500lb capacity axle haul?
For motorcycles (yes, I know it's different) if you have a suspension that is set up for a 250lb rider and a 175lb rider rides it, the suspension does nothing.

All that said, it gets delivered Wednesday and I will probably post it on craigslist, if I can recoup 60% of my cost then I will write that up to a learning experience in research/patience.
saucesquatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 11:34 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 115
Exclamation Boondicking Standards

I apologize if I conveyed the wrong impression about standards. I did not mean to infer that ANY aircraft standard is appropriate for a trailer application. I meant to convey these points.

Trailer manufacturers do no meaningful standards testing of their products. Casita does not even maintain records to alert owners when defects are discovered that need correcting.

My stress analysis and the operational record clearly shows the Casita frame and axle are inadequate for boondocking operations. But some operators have experienced catastrophic failure even operating on paved highways like this example which happened twice:
https://youtu.be/Z1XUSmQ9gSk

The liability of a lane departure due to trailer structural failure reaches many millions of dollars. If, for example, a school bus is involved everyone will be sued. Do you want to risk your entire future to years of litigation to take your trailer out for a picnic?

In most cases, quality upgrades cost next to nothing in the production phase. The sealed bearing example I gave actually cost ~$60 and produces a safer bearing and four-figure ongoing maintenance costs saving for the owner.
Stephen_Albers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 12:41 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 1,851
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_Albers View Post
The axle is one of many things under-sized by Casita so most owners are operating overweight. Further, the standard axle and frame are not strong enough for boondocking which causes stress cracks and popped rivets.
Personally I would not buy a trailer with rivets for serious off road use. Since I donít camp off road, I am not interested in paying extra for such a build. If you look at the build and price of the expedition grade RVs, itís a whole different world.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2019, 06:31 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
ShelbyM's Avatar
 
Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
Posts: 350
Thumbs up

[QUOTE=Stephen_Albers;738358] I've done what Casita has failed to do: aircraft equivalent stress analysis on the frame and axle which come up grossly deficient for the repetitive stresses of boondocking operations. QUOTE] Stephen, sorry if I missed a post, been absent awhile. How did your boondocking mods from Texas Customs turn out? Is there a thread?
ShelbyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2019, 07:00 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 115
Question Casita Upgrades

Thanks for asking. I wish I had more specifics to report. There are at least six major upgrades underway. But none are finished just yet. The vendor is preparing detailed videos to show them at a future date. There are no specific reasons why the project can't come together quickly that I know of. But I'm sure a few will crop up in a custom project like this. So, there is no thread yet. And I stress that when information is published, it will be on fully functional mods that have NOT been tested yet. Unlike the manufacturers who demure on the costs, I LOVE testing. For example, I've contracted with a local international speedway to use the facility for speed trials. One of my targets is safe controlled towing at 100 mph, to include hard braking and swerves. If it will do that on a speedway, it is likely to be safe at any highway speed or emergency maneuver. Stay Tuned.
Stephen_Albers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2019, 07:14 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
ShelbyM's Avatar
 
Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
Posts: 350
ShelbyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 08:18 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
Name: P
Trailer: Casita
Washington
Posts: 185
Perhaps some clarification is needed here.

I understood the definition of "boondocking" to be camping somewhere in a dispersed area--non campground where no hookups are available or fee charged. You could be boondocking in a parking lot.

Now it seems to mean off road (bad road) camping. Apparently my trailer "boondocked" quite a bit if that is the definition as I used to live at the end of a very bad road in the woods and my trailer had to go up and down that bad road.

I am confused.
slowpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 11:34 AM   #24
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Casita 17 ft Freedom Deluxe 2006
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_Albers View Post
The axle is one of many things under-sized by Casita so most owners are operating overweight. Further, the standard axle and frame are not strong enough for boondocking which causes stress cracks and popped rivets. If your future plans call for anything more stressful than rolling down a paved highway, then considering an upgraded frame, axle, bearings, brakes and suspension would be appropriate. The Dexter 5,200# axle would be a place to start.
Yes, I totally agree with the above. I bought a Casita 10 years ago and only inspected the undercarriage after I bought it. When I realized that it appeared to me to be undersized, I could not wait to sell it. I could make the frame flex just by pushing on the trailer with my hand!
You can not go wrong by replacing the axle and frame. Then I think you would have a properly safe vehicle to pull down the road. Just my opinion of course.
Dick Kasnick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 01:18 PM   #25
Junior Member
 
Name: farm
Trailer: casita
Illinois
Posts: 1
Changed out my old torflex axle to a leaf spring conversion with downrated springs and shocks. Rides great, rivets are fine after 5k miles. Better ground clearance. Used 5k axle with 4200 springs. Total cost was the same as simply replacing the old torflex axle due to axle cost being much cheaper.
yfarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 03:56 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 115
Exclamation Symantics

You are quite right about needed definitions improvement. Off-road might be a better definition for my comments. But even forest service roads can be too challenging for factory units. Consumers need to have a serious think about their intended uses and conservatively purchase accordingly and then strictly adhere to the limitations of their purchase. Clearly many owners exceed their trailer's capability and suffer significant damage and downtime as a result.
Stephen_Albers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2019, 04:49 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 1,504
Towing at 100 mph?
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 03:52 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 115
Unhappy Yes, tested to 100MPH.

I'm glad you asked. Towing rigs get totally wrecked being blown off the highway all the time because they are unstable at +100MPH. Search YouTube for copious examples. Consider these scenarios. You are cruising up a valley highway at 50mph. You round a bend and encounter a wind gust moving down the valley at 50 mph. You do the math. Your rig is briefly operating at 100mph relative wind velocity. A rig can go ballistic in a heartbeat if it is unstable. And that includes any external accessories. Or, more common, you are cruising along a two-lane highway at 50 mph and a semi is coming the other direction pushing an invisible wall of air at 50 mph. You hit that wall. You do the math: again, 100 mph. I'd much rather verify safe operation on the test track to 120 mph. But I'm not sure I can get a tow vehicle that can achieve that speed. So, right now, I'll settle for my stated target of just 100mph. If I see anything I don't like, I'll find a way to investigate higher speeds. Stay tuned.
__________________

Stephen_Albers is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
axle, casita


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dog Dilemma Gleam B General Chat 78 08-08-2013 12:50 PM
Fiberglass Dilemma Tuanis General Chat 15 07-19-2013 11:21 AM
Wanted: Half of a Bed for Boler See Pic for Dilemma Bolerbandit Parts: Buy | Sell | Trade 8 10-05-2012 02:02 PM
The "screen door" dilemma... PaulOWindsor General Chat 6 07-19-2011 11:43 AM
Electrical Dilemma (Crossing fingers and not wires!) Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 13 06-06-2003 09:03 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.