Axle question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #1
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I didn't know where else to put this, so I'll start it here.

Being as I don't yet own a camper (looking for a Scamp 16), I can't go out in the driveway to look. Can someone please explain why you'd replace the torsion axle with another torsion axle instead of using a straight axle, and leaf springs. It just strikes me that the longevity of the torsion isn't as good as leafs, and replacement costs are much higher.

I only ask because this is something I'm considering if the axle on the Scamp I purchase needs immediate replacement.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:28 AM   #2
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it could be the design of the frame lends itself more to one type of axle than others, My trillium 1300 had torsion axles, my trillium 5500 has springs

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Old 02-24-2008, 09:53 AM   #3
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I have 6 years on my trailer now with torsion axles. I love them they ride tremendously smooth. It's basically 4 wheel independent suspension. As for the rust issue I have no visible sighns of rusting through. The axles are well worth the money.
from this website: Visit Topic: TORSION BAR AXLE VS. SPRINGS

Here's another boat forum basically saying the same thing: Readers Ask

Lastly, here's an article from AmericanRV: AmericanRV - Axles

from this bit of research it appears Torsion axles are the way to go.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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In case it isn't mentioned elsewhere, Dexter warrants new torsion axles for five years and leaf springs for only one. Airstreams have been using torsion axles almost since their beginning.

The problem of having the axle welded is the main reason there are so many axle posts on egg forums. If the manfs spent the extra bucks to use the bracket (weld bracket, bolt axle to it) we would likely see a lot fewer posts.

Feel free to put leaf on but trailer's COG will go up because the springs are beneath the frame instead of on same plane.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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Can someone please explain why you'd replace the torsion axle with another torsion axle instead of using a straight axle, and leaf springs. It just strikes me that the [b]longevity of the torsion isn't as good as leafs, and replacement [b]costs are much higher.
In a word, Ride. Or rather, the smoothness of the ride. Pete Dumbledon posted a comparison chart a long time ago which had a graph of the ride characteristics of:
  1. Plain Leaf Spring Suspension
  2. Leaf Spring PLUS Shock Absorber Suspension
  3. Torsion Axle Suspension
The plain leaf spring suspension had the harshest ride.
The addition of shocks to the leaf springs improved the ride somewhat...
But the torsion axle had the smoothest ride.

My Fiber Stream has a plain Leaf Spring Suspension, and I can attest that it has a lot of vertical "bounce".
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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It has been mentioned in the other post, but I wanted to add to the point of a major negative of leaf springs. My Compact Jr. has its original leaf springs and they work okay. However, I tow with a very critical eye for objects in the roadway because the clearance of the beam axle is 5 1/2". I would never take the trailer off-road for obvious reasons. If I ever hit something heavy with the axle, it will need to be repaired or replaced.

Tom Trostel
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the replies, I see I have some more reading to do. I no longer have reservations about replacing a torsion axle with the same thing, but I will be doing more research to give me a better grasp on the why.

Once again, thank you to this knowledgable group.
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