Fix for tire wear and positive camber - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-26-2016, 09:49 AM   #1
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Fix for tire wear and positive camber

We installed new tires on our '71 Boler this past year with what I believe is the original axle with no obvious signs of damage to the axle but we noticed that when looking at the tires at a distance from behind the trailer and on level ground the tires lean in toward each other at the top. The unit is not overloaded and I can feel some unusual "stepped" tread wear by feel on the tires and we have very few miles on them, probably less than 2K. While searching I found this photo on flicker and wondered if this is normal for Bolers and Scamps, mine is the opposite of the lower left image from the photo but knowing the axle was installed with a leading arm configuration (wheels forward instead of wheels backwards) this makes sense that mine tilt in instead of out. From looking at this picture it makes me think this is standard for this type of axle. Anyone else have this issue?
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:13 AM   #2
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I'm not a Boler owner, but I know a few things about axles.

If that is the original axle on your '71, most likely you are seeing the result of 45 years of wear. When the axle is made, leading or trailing arm, it will be built with positive camber. The camber can be reduced by a number of things; bent axle, bent spindles or worn internal parts.

I'm thinking that the rubber torsion components of that 45 year old axle have seen their useful life and are compressed upward on the outer end of the axle tube, giving you a negative camber. Your only option in this instance is to replace the axle.

You may want to find out from some Boler owners who have replaced axles how much higher their trailers rode after the exchange. I'm thinking that your wheels are pretty far up in the wheel wells.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Clif...is there any reason why I should stay with a rubber torsion axle as opposed to one with leaf springs?

Also if it was a trailing arm installed as a leading arm or vice versa would that make the wheel tilt in the opposite direction or does that not matter?
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply Clif...is there any reason why I should stay with a rubber torsion axle as opposed to one with leaf springs?
I'm not Clif, but leaf springs mean you'll need shock absorbers too. That means metal fabrication. Remember these trailers are like rolling earthquakes going down the road. A torsion axle has the dampening built in, with the rubber torsion.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
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Really don't know much about it, but I'm wondering if the frame cutout for the drop floor at the door will create problems with spring mounting points on that side.

As to leading versus trailing, up is still up, so positive camber isn't affected.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:50 AM   #6
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I'm not Clif, but leaf springs mean you'll need shock absorbers too. That means metal fabrication. Remember these trailers are like rolling earthquakes going down the road. A torsion axle has the dampening built in, with the rubber torsion.
Thanks Donna for the reply but you can have a leaf spring axle without them although it might be a rougher ride...

http://rsleafspring.com/images/Ident...s%20IG%201.gif
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:57 AM   #7
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Why would you settle for a rougher ride? I'd want the smoothest ride possible for a travel trailer. Easier on the trailer and all its contents. Unlike a cargo trailer, where the final loaded weight can vary greatly, the loaded weight of a travel trailer can be anticipated fairly closely and the axle tuned for the load.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:03 PM   #8
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Really don't know much about it, but I'm wondering if the frame cutout for the drop floor at the door will create problems with spring mounting points on that side.

As to leading versus trailing, up is still up, so positive camber isn't affected.
If you inverted the entire axle 180 from front to back instead was my thinking on reversing the camber...as far as the rougher ride I agree I would not want a rougher ride just clarifying that you don't have to have shock absorbers with a leave spring axle, many stick built trailers don't have them

Oh and yes the drop floor might post a problem but I thought about elevating the ground clearance to accomdate
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:06 PM   #9
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One of my reasons for the straight axle with leaf springs vs the torsion axle is the rubber torsion seams to be a weaker design to me and more prone to wear particularly of the rubber component.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:35 PM   #10
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Generally speaking, I think you will get a better ride with a small trailer by going with the torsion axle. Several folks have recently gone to leaf springs from torsion axle and have commented on how bouncy the trailer is now. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's as if a torsion axle had shock absorbers. The rubber torsion elements respond differently to compression than leaf springs.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:39 PM   #11
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One of my reasons for the straight axle with leaf springs vs the torsion axle is the rubber torsion seams to be a weaker design to me and more prone to wear particularly of the rubber component.
You have one which lasted 45years and you are concerned about strength and wear??
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:41 PM   #12
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Generally speaking, I think you will get a better ride with a small trailer by going with the torsion axle. Several folks have recently gone to leaf springs from torsion axle and have commented on how bouncy the trailer is now. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's as if a torsion axle had shock absorbers. The rubber torsion elements respond differently to compression than leaf springs.
Not just small trailers. Doesn't Airstream use rubber torsion axles?
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:47 PM   #13
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Man, I was thinking the same thing Floyd. There's an old saying, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Yes, stick built trailers sometimes have leaf springs... we know what those used trailers sell for. Leaf springs are cheaper to install and replace. If you're good with tools you can replace an axle in the driveway. Can do the same thing with a torsion axle if bolting to a bracket.


Both of my trailers have torsion axles. Heck, the 5.0TA has two torsion axles AND springs.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:50 PM   #14
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Judging by the number of pieces of broken trailer springs I have found at backcountry campgrounds, I don't think they are immortal, either.

This forum discussion has some helpful comments about the advantages and disadvantages of both: Leaf Spring vs. Torsion Axles. It's in the context of larger trailers and fifth wheels.

Here's more of a beginner's article: Leaf Spring Axles versus Torsion Axles
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