Axle/Tire problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-18-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
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Name: Tina
Trailer: Casita
Full-time wanderer with SD domicile
Posts: 7
Axle/Tire problems

Less than a year old and getting ready for my 3rd axle!

I have a 2016 17' Freedom Deluxe with high lift suspension. I am 65 year old female who is living in the Casita full time since June. I LOVE my Casita and have had nothing but good experiences except for my axle/tire issue. The trailer weighs in at 3550# fully loaded. Tires are Goodyear Marathon ST225/75 R15.

I picked up the Casita in Texas last December. By July my RIGHT tire was almost bald on the outside 25%. A shop, who could not do the replacement, measured using the Visualiner system and found Camber was .98. Toe was -0.65. He said the axle needed to be replaced. He also said that the tire wear indicates the problem has been happening from day of purchase. Upon replacement the axle was found to have a small dent but no one knows where or when the dent may have occurred. When the axle was replaced it was simply switched out and no balancing or measuring was done.

Now, in November my LEFT tire is showing the same wear with miles from OK - KY - Sioux Falls SD - FL Panhandle on it. Dexter has agreed to replace again and have asked the shop who will replace to look at it and see if they can figure out what's wrong. It will be replaced in December in the Fort Myers FL area.

Dexter has been good to work with but they are suggesting they won't replace again. I did insist that the 3rd axle have a full warranty though.

I have found nothing suggesting this is a problem for anyone but me. Casita says they have never had anything like this happen. Dexter finds it very strange and would sure like to blame me. I don't think I've done anything to cause it. The underside of the Casita shows no signs that I hit anything and the axle is pretty well boxed in with braces, plumbing and tanks. The tires are not scraped or show any damage other than the wear.

Questions:
1. Has anyone heard of anything like this?
2. Any thoughts on cause? Is it just bad luck?
3. Should the tires have been balanced and/or tires measured when the first axle replaced? It is a Torflex axle so I don't think there is much adjustment that can be done.
4. Also, now need to replace 2 tires. What's the latest from people with a configuation like mine?

Any help on this would sure be appreciated!

Tina Nauman
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:09 AM   #2
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,645
Obviously, you've GOT to find a reputable shop that knows what they're doing! Not saying the other one didnt..but I sure wouldnt take it back there.

It sounds to me like, your trailer is GROSSLY out of balance from side to side! (Not blaming it on you...but there HAS to be a "cause"). Are you going back with the same tires every time? Just curious.

I would DEFINITELY take and have the trailer weighed on EACH wheel separately. I did this at a local CO-OP. This would be a start and at least you know if the balance is playing a part or not.

Since this is rather unique...please let us know if you get it resolved...and HOW... good luck!
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:49 AM   #3
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita 17 LD
Kentucky
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Actually you are the second person that I have heard of that has had multiple problems with tire, bearing and axle on a late model Casita. To me the first clue is the trailer weight - 3550 is over the axle's rated capacity. Do you use a weight distribution hitch? If so you are shifting weight from your tow vehicle to the trailer axle that is already over loaded. Where in Kentucky are you located? If you are not too far from Richmond I would be willing to take a look at it.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #4
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Name: Tina
Trailer: Casita
Full-time wanderer with SD domicile
Posts: 7
BIG typo! Weight is 2550# NOT 3550#.

I drive a GMC Yukon with all the towing packages. I do not have a weight distribution hitch though.

I am from Lexington KY and will be back for awhile in the spring/early summer but in Florida until then escapting your non-existent winter (so far).

Can you give me more details on the other issue you know of?
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Old 11-18-2016, 12:47 PM   #5
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Old 11-18-2016, 01:10 PM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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Which tire are you using the C rated or D rated tire? What tire pressure are you running? If you are going to buy 2 new tires I would get the higher rated D tires and watch your tire pressures closely. Your current tires if they are C rated use up to 50 PSI and if you use D rated tires the max pressure is 65 PSI That's assuming you stick with the Goodyear Marathon.

You really want to measure axle weights at each tire with all tanks full and your normal contents.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:17 AM   #7
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Minnesota
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I would guess that your axle is fine, and the only issue is you need a good wheel alignment by someone that knows what they are doing when it comes to trailer wheel alignment. Ask the folks at Dexter if they know of a good shop *anywhere* in the country, and go there for the work. Dexter might have their own shop as well.

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Old 11-20-2016, 12:57 PM   #8
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Short of reinstalling, what can be adjusted to align a torsion axle?
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
Short of reinstalling, what can be adjusted to align a torsion axle?
If the axle is properly installed and the frame is in good condition, minor bends can be made to the axle to correct alignment issues.

--Dan Meyer
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:47 PM   #10
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Name: Tina
Trailer: Casita
Full-time wanderer with SD domicile
Posts: 7
Axle replacement update

Update to my axle issue.

I took my Casita to American Frame and Axle in Tampa to get measurements of the frame and tires. What a great place and I wish my axle had been shipped to them for replacement. They said the frame is good. I would have had to take the Casita airborne to cause the issues it has. They believe it is a quality control issue at Dexter Axle and I got unlucky with two of them. They also say Dexter Axle is among the better axle companies. Camber on the right is 0. Camber on left is -.25. It is toeing in 3/8 inch and they said that is the problem. This place is the only place in Florida that has the equipment to bend an axle and he said that is something I could consider in the future if I continue to have issues and Dexter quits replacing them. They are T.A.R.A Certified and say that anyone with that certification should be able to help people with axle or frame issues.

Took it to the place in Cape Coral for the axle replacement and was very disappointed. He said they were hired by Dexter to replace the axle and that was all. He did not, and maybe could not, measure camber and toe of the old axle or the new. No alignment done. He took the old off and bolted on the new. Job done.

On my way back to the campground I heard a noise I had never heard before. It started at 55 mph and seemed to be a flapping noise. Obviously, I was quite concerned and drove slowly to the campground. Luckily, in this tiny campground of 30 campers, I had run into Bob Heebler (sp?) who is an active forum member. He was my hero when he rode with me and tracked the noise down as being my car's back license plate that decided the day I had my axle replaced was a good day to start flapping. He had some extra screws and all is now quiet. Don't know what the chances are of running to into someone who had read this thread and when I mentioned axle issues asked if I was the person who had posted but sure glad we met.

Hoping that 3rd time is a charm for getting a good axle.

Thank you all for your help and advice on this and I hope that any further news I post is good news!

Tina Nauman
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