Concerned about new axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #1
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Name: Gina
Trailer: 1975 Boler
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Concerned about new axle

I finally got a new axle for my 75 Boler 13'. It took 5 weeks for the mechanic to finish it up. I did research on this site for my Boler when I thought I could tackle this. In the end I didn't feel confident in my welding abilities. So I paid someone else to do the whole thing for me. I told mechanic that I wanted a #9 Torflex axle 2200 with brakes and 10 degree down starting axle. Well I got my axle and this is what was ordered/installed: Capacity 1400 lbs

I really wish he would of consulted me about the change. I never heard anything about changing the axle weight rating.
Am I wrong about being upset? Did he do me a favor and order the right axle? Was I wrong about the 2200 lbs? My Boler paper still inside the cabinet says 900 lbs GVW but we all know this is not accurate. Plus with gear I may be close to the limit of the axle which I do not like at all. I'm concerned because the original axle was rated for 1200 lbs. My Fiberglass Rally in Moab in May is in jeopardy. Need advice. What would you do in this situation? I will tomorrow get a real weight of my trailer without my gear in it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:01 PM   #2
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Sorry, can't read the stamped information beyond "EXCLUDING", what does it say?
My Dexter came with a paper sticker and more information.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:08 PM   #3
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CAP 1400 lbs. All the stickers also say max cap 1400 lbs
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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You told him what you wanted him to do. He broke that contract without talking to you 1st. You are on the right track weighing your trailer empty, but you should also weigh it full of your gear & water as if camping for a week, to see if he actually did you a favor or not. Let us know the outcome.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
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OK on a different computer screen I can see EXLUDING RIMS WHEELS in the picture, is there anything beyond that?

You are right in being upset about specifying 2200 lbs and getting 1400. Weigh your trailer and get a printout. Then weigh the spare (rim & wheel) add twice that to the 1400 and you should get your max weight. Then go back to the mechanic.
You should be OK for your May trip, considering the original was 1200. But the rating specs may have changed over the decades.

You can also print off the chart in this post:
Trailer Weights in the Real World

Keep in mind that the axle weight (capacity required) is not the trailer weight.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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That's exactly what it says. Excluding rims wheels.
I don't understand exactly what you mean by "axle weight (capacity required) is not the trailer weight." What does this mean?
I see you have a 1972 Boler American what kind of axle do you have on it?
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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Some of the weight of your trailer is on the axle, some on the tongue. From the looks of it your axle says how much weight it is designed to handle on the axle minus the weight of rims and wheels.
So if you drive your trailer onto the scale and weigh from only the trailer wheels while it is on the scale, and the tow vehicle it hitched to off the scale, you will get your axle weight. Some scales are split, so you can get your tow vehicle on one and the trailers axle weight on the other.
You will notice in the chart I referred to earlier, it shows the weights of the trailer on both the axle and the tongue. The total weight is the two added together.

The scale guys will help you figure it out if you ask.

I put a Torflex #9 rated at 2200 Lbs. I did a little re-engineering to reposition the orientation to a trailing arm configuration because I was adding electric brakes. My choice, some don't feel it necessary.

Link to my axle swap: Replacing an Axle - leading arm to trailing arm

(Note to Moderators, Many of the cross referenced links I posted years ago are now broken)
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:30 PM   #8
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That axle is stamped "model 09R"...dunno what that means exactly, but it seems to me that since Dexter only makes ONE torsion axle for capacities from 1,000 to 2200 pounds- the #9- that has to be what you've got here. This assuming it IS a Dexter...

As to the meaning of that "1400 pounds"- have you asked the mechanic about it? Here's what I think may have happened:

Since all such axles are essentially "custom" jobs, it may be that this one was "derated" at the factory to something more in keeping with the original stated GVW of the trailer. This is a common practice among trailer axle suppliers- no change including a new axle can legally "change" a weight rating, so they'll often stamp the trailermaker's spec on a replacement axle.

The so-called "derating" involves no physical changes/downgrades to the axle itself.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:35 PM   #9
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Unless Dexter has changed, they did not use the method pictured of indicating specs. I'm thinking it's another manufacturer.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:00 PM   #10
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The weight rating is that of the axle, not of the trailer itself. I really doubt if an axle maker gives a rats patootie what it's being used on when rating the axle, especially one for an almost 40 y.o. trailer.

BTW: The wheels and tires are called "Unsprung Weight component" and are always excluded from the weight rating of an axle. But it's usually so little that it usually isn't even mentioned. If one is that close to the maximum rating they are to close.....

If you had a contract for a 2000 lb axle you mechanic has some questions to answer, maybe in small claims court.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post

If you had a contract for a 2000 lb axle you mechanic has some questions to answer, maybe in small claims court.
Again assuming the O.P's new axle is a Dexter, which so far he seems to believe to be true:
Dexter makes ONE torsion axle in this weight range- the #9. It's good for a range of 1,000 to 2,200 pounds. The next size "smaller" has a weight limit of 1100 pounds, as seen at this link. Clearly, this axle can't be the one we're looking at in the pic.

I continue to believe that this is simply a derating of a Dexter #9, as I said before a very common practice in the trailer axle world.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:01 PM   #12
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Maybe someone who has ordered from dexter and has received the torflex #9 2200 lbs axle can shed some light on the stamp portion. Here is another sticker left on the axle.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aznative View Post
Maybe someone who has ordered from dexter and has received the torflex #9 2200 lbs axle can shed some light on the stamp portion. Here is another sticker left on the axle.
I see by the pic that yours is definitely a Dexter axle.

If not satisfied with explanations given by the mechanic that installed the axle, my recommendation is that you contact Dexter directly with the serial number of the axle along with any questions you may have about it. Every replacement axle they put out is essentially a "custom job", and their internal registration will have all the details related to your particular axle.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
my recommendation is that you contact Dexter directly with the serial number of the axle
I agree, Dexter has a great customer service department. From the serial # they should be able to provide you with all the specs.

Somebody somewhere should be able to explain what happened. Were the wrong specs written down somewhere? Was the wrong axle delivered? Was the wrong axle installed?

In the meantime you can practice quoting Ricky Ricardo ... "you got some 'splainin' to do".
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