Casita axle dilemma... - Fiberglass RV



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Old 04-04-2019, 12:07 PM   #1
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 42
Casita axle dilemma...

Need some advice from y'all...

Our camper is a 1994 Casita and it's time to replace the axle

I contacted Dexter to get a new axle a while back, send them a picture of the axle (serial number) that is on there and it is rated at 2000lbs... then talked with Casita, they said it is fine to run the 2k rated axle but they only sell the 3,500lb rated axle. I talk again to Dexter and they are saying if it's rated for 3500lb and the camper is 2k lbs then the suspension is going to be too stiff. Long story but I end up ordering the exact replacement (with the 10 degree angle for a lift and brakes) that was on there figuring if it was good enough then and 22 years later it's still working (although not very well).

I figure... Well, i might want one of those fancy dampener suspension kits too while we are at it, talk to a vendor and they basically made it sound like I made a $600 mistake by ordering the wrong axle. Now I'm sweating it and can't let it go that I might have ordered the wrong one.

The way I figure I have two options:
1 - stop worrying about it, run the dang 2k axle and be done
2 - you know you can't let it go and just order the 3,500 axle from Casita instead of Dexter directly and try to sell the 2k axle that you now own

what would y'all do?

and does anyone want to buy a dexter torflex axle with a lift and brake setup cheap?
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
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Name: bill
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I would take your trailer to the closest truck stop and weigh it. Data = sweat reduction. Ignorance = maximum sweat.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:47 PM   #3
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Name: Jamie
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I would take your trailer to the closest truck stop and weigh it. Data = sweat reduction. Ignorance = maximum sweat.
Now that is a smart move.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:47 PM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA
Pennsylvania
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New axle

Larry Gamble, recently retired from shop work, has replaced hundreds of Casita axles. You might contact him through the Casita forum. In fact, the Casita forum might be a great place to pose questions since you are the owner of a Casita.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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Agree about getting a fully loaded weight, adding, say, 15-20% margin, and working from there. A Dexter #10 axle is rated for 3500#, but it can be de-rated at the factory for lower trailer weights, down to 2500#. Next step down is a Dexter #9, max rating 2200#. It can also be de-rated, but probably not for any Casita I have yet met.

You never said which Casita you have, but since it's a 1994, it must be a 13' or a 16'. The 13' might run on a #9, but the 16' needs a #10 for sure.

Casita no longer makes 13'ers, which explains why they no longer stock the #9 axles.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:06 PM   #6
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Trailer: Casita
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Jon, we have a 16' Casita
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:35 PM   #7
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I'm have a hard time imagining any 16' trailer weighing under 2000# loaded. But before you write off that 2000# axle, do load it up as you do for travel and take it to a CAT scale* (truck stop, refuse transfer station, sand and gravel yard, grain and feed lot...). They may charge a nominal fee. Then you'll know.
*certified auto and truck scale
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
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Exclamation Axle Issues

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.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:44 PM   #9
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Name: Jann
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Colorado
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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.
We have a 2007 17' Casita with a 3500# axle. We have taken it on dirt roads to a lake and have had no problems with rivets, axle problem or any other problem. This dirt road is not smooth either. We do drive slow on it. I think 5200# axle on a 16' would be to much. The only problem we've had is the tires wore out after about 2,000 miles because Casita didn't get the axle straight from the factory and we had to have it moved about 1/4 of an inch on one side. That was 11 years ago.
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:01 PM   #10
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Name: Eddie
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The #9 Dexter has only 7" brakes and smaller bearings but it can be ordered with a 2.2K lb. rating. The #10 has 10" brakes and larger bearings. A #10 axle rated at 2.5K lb. is a much better axle than a 2.2K lb. #9.
IMO
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
The #9 Dexter has only 7" brakes and smaller bearings but it can be ordered with a 2.2K lb. rating. The #10 has 10" brakes and larger bearings. A #10 axle rated at 2.5K lb. is a much better axle than a 2.2K lb. #9.
IMO
Eddie
Agree, especially for a 16'er.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:33 AM   #12
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Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
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Just my two cents, but if you purchased the same size axle as was originally on the trailer, and it had worked for 25 years; I would install it, forget about the fancy suspension kit, and go camping.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:28 AM   #13
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As Stephen correctly observed, some older trailers had significantly underrated axles. Early Boler and Scamp 13s, for example, rode on 1200# axles. They had a stove, icebox and not much else. Even then, fully loaded, many ended up well over 1500#. No wonder they acquired a low rider look fairly quickly! Scamp later changed to a 2200# axle, reflecting the ever-growing list of options and upgrades.

Even if the OEM axle was correctly sized when new, modifications and additions over 25 years can change things.

Only way to know is to weigh it.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:17 PM   #14
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Name: John & Gloria
Trailer: Bigfoot 21RB
Florida
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A 2000 pound rated axle is at its' maximum recommended capacity when there is 2000 pounds loaded on it. I sure wouldn't consider a 2000 pound rated axle the correct axle for a 2000 pound trailer. Will it do it for a while?...Yes. Is it going to handle crappy and show deterioration early?...Yes.

This is just every owners choice when replacing equipment.
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