Dexter McOops. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
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Dexter McOops.

I recently ordered a new axle from dexter. The instructions to the dealer were to match the measurements to the old axle and add 7" brakes. The new axle is close but not quite. The inside of the brackets hits the frame. Measurements at all other dimensions appears to be correct. The inside measurement is out by 1/4" total. The question is now - what to do?

Photos show the frame, which has been removed from the trailer and is upside down. Also see old axle and new.

Old axle has an L shaped mounting bracket. New has a U shaped mounting bracket.

Photos...
Attached Thumbnails
axle 1.jpg   axle 2.jpg  

axle 3.jpg  
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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When we had our axle replaced last year by an RV repair shop, it took three tries before they got the right one. First eas not high lift. Second was too narrow. Third is good.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamourpets View Post
The instructions to the dealer were to match the measurements to the old axle and add 7" brakes. The new axle is close but not quite. The inside of the brackets hits the frame. Measurements at all other dimensions appears to be correct.
Who measured the old axle?
Does the problematic measurement match what was given to Dexter, or did they manufacture it wrong?
Was the problematic measurement specified to Dexter, or is it the result of other measurements (such as width across the outside of the brackets) and characteristics of the design (such as the bracket width)?

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Originally Posted by glamourpets View Post
Photos show the frame, which has been removed from the trailer and is upside down.
I don't see any photos. It would also be helpful to see the order form as sent to Dexter.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Who measured the old axle?
Does the problematic measurement match what was given to Dexter, or did they manufacture it wrong?
Was the problematic measurement specified to Dexter, or is it the result of other measurements (such as width across the outside of the brackets) and characteristics of the design (such as the bracket width)?


I don't see any photos. It would also be helpful to see the order form as sent to Dexter.
I took the actual axle to the dealer and told them to match it. THEY measured from the old axle. I never did see the order sheet. The dealer looked after that.

The photos should be there now. I had to repost them.

I think even 1/8 inch might be enough for the axle to clear. I don't think the frame can go narrower here due to its proximity to the fiberglass.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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Brian, I have thought more about your question. A significant factor here is that the old axle had a L shaped bracket. The new axle had a U shaped bracket. In effect, the U shaped bracket brings in a new dimension that formerly would have been less relevant.


Edit:
I put one axle on top of the other. The new axle is actually 1/4" smaller than the old one. The bracket shape is different, but its the same width. I guess they screwed this one up.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
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Seems pretty cut-and-dried to me...since the guy that ordered it did so based on his examination of the old axle, it's his mistake. If the new axle doesn't fit, he should take it back and get one that does.

Restocking fees if any his headache, of course.

Francesca
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #7
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Observation:
The new axle does seem to be wrong, but not by very much. I doubt many trailer axle fits are this precise. It looks like perhaps the interference could be fixed with some grinding.

Opinion:
Since the dealer handled it all, it's their problem to resolve, although the actual error could be theirs or Dexter's. But this is not so simple...

Technical issue:
The new axle brackets are incorrect for the frame, because the axle which was copied was incorrect. Perhaps even the original was not correct - Scamp built their 16' trailers with the same error for an extended period.

The problem is that the vertical side of the "L" bracket - or the longer vertical leg of the "U" bracket - must align with one face of the frame tubing. Since the 2" wide bracket is wider than the 1.5" wide frame, and the dropped section is right up against the inboard side of the frame rail, the bracket must overhang beyond the outside frame face. To make this work, the axle brackets need to be reversed, so the load-bearing side of the bracket lines up with the frame's inboard face.

The axle dealer should have known this, but if they saw only the old axle, and not the trailer, they would not have had an opportunity to catch the problem.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Observation:
The new axle does seem to be wrong, but not by very much. I doubt many trailer axle fits are this precise. It looks like perhaps the interference could be fixed with some grinding.
I did ponder this option. After putting the old axle on top of the new one, it appears that the axle is 1/4" too short. I'm confident in this measurement. I have come to the same conclusion from a few different approaches.

To make the axle fit, I would need to grind off 1/8" from each side. Removing this much metal would effectively turn the U shaped bracket into an L shaped bracket. The frame itself is less than 1/8", and metal removal on this frame side is unwise. The frame is in decent condition but these frames weren't exactly overbuilt. Since the fiberglass pushes up against the frame, reshaping the frame isn't really a good option.

One question that comes up - to what level of precision are these axles manufactured? Are they manufactured to the nearest 1/4 inch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
:
Technical issue:
The new axle brackets are incorrect for the frame, because the axle which was copied was incorrect. Perhaps even the original was not correct - Scamp built their 16' trailers with the same error for an extended period.
Its likely that this axle has been replaced at least once already. Who knows where the error was introduced. As I understand your explanation, the setup as-is does not balance the weight correctly over the axle bearings. Do I understand this correctly? On such a light weight trailer (in the 2000lb range), will it matter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Seems pretty cut-and-dried to me...since the guy that ordered it did so based on his examination of the old axle, it's his mistake. If the new axle doesn't fit, he should take it back and get one that does.

Restocking fees if any his headache, of course.
Fair comment. If this was a standard stock item, I could exchange it for a new one. Most major retailers will do this sort of exchange without many questions. These are axles custom built to order by the manufacturer. This sucks for the dealer as I don't know what they'll do with an oddball axle.

It appears that returning this axle is my next step?
Derek
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Returning it would certainly be MY next step, just as with any other item that I'd acquired based on a merchant's assessment of what constitutes a proper replacement for an item that I'd provided him with an original of.

If the dealer can't return it and doesn't want to get stuck with it, maybe he'll do the "make it fit" work in order to cut his losses.

That is, if it can be made to fit.

Francesca
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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looks like you need a shim between the axle and the frame to clear the frames step. If it were my trailer I would make a shim longer and weld it to the frame then weld the axle to the shim. might be better to make a mounting plate welded to the frame and bolt the axle in making replacement easier later.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by glamourpets View Post
As I understand your explanation, the setup as-is does not balance the weight correctly over the axle bearings. Do I understand this correctly?
No, nothing to do with the bearings... but if you meant brackets, then yes. With the main supporting side of the bracket hanging outside of the frame, axle loads tend to tear the bracket apart.
A topic on Scamp's troubles with this mounting defect, illustrating the problem:
Failure of Axle Brackets on Scamp 5W Trailers

The "L"-style bracket on the old axle is presumably the low-rise bracket. With the axle's square tube right up against the frame (no vertical space) problems with the bracket may have been reduced, but the new axle has the high-profile bracket, which transmits all forces through the vertical sides of the "U".
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
No, nothing to do with the bearings... but if you meant brackets, then yes. With the main supporting side of the bracket hanging outside of the frame, axle loads tend to tear the bracket apart.
A topic on Scamp's troubles with this mounting defect, illustrating the problem:
Failure of Axle Brackets on Scamp 5W Trailers

The "L"-style bracket on the old axle is presumably the low-rise bracket. With the axle's square tube right up against the frame (no vertical space) problems with the bracket may have been reduced, but the new axle has the high-profile bracket, which transmits all forces through the vertical sides of the "U".
OK. I get it now. The metal in the bracket rips because the forces on it are unbalanced.

My frame has a flat metal plate welded where the axle goes. The plate was equal in size to the bottom side of the old axle. From what I can see in the pictures in the other thread, the axle bracket overhangs the side of the frame. The overhang seems to be what makes these axle brackets fail. By matching these two metal pieces up against each other (like in my situation), has the problem been eliminated?

I also notice that this seems to be a problem on the 16' to 19' trailers. These rigs are heavier, and therefore put more forces against the axle brackets. Perhaps this is less a concern on a 13' trailer?

Derek
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #13
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If you measured it and it was off, you would have to eat the loss... when you pay for the work to be done and they order it, is on them to fix the problem. I looked at a 95 scamp 16 and the axle was beat... I would have taken it for a few quotes and then let them order the right axle and install it, just to save me the hassle of makin an oops!

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #14
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If you measured it and it was off, you would have to eat the loss... when you pay for the work to be done and they order it, is on them to fix the problem. ...........
deryk

+1. That is the deal. You pay to have it measured and they guarantee that the measurement is correct.

I wonder if the axle could be cut in half in the middle and re-welded with a thin spacer. I guess it all depends on where the internal rubber parts stop.
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