Help a total noob with an axle problem. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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Name: Jeff
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Utah
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Help a total noob with an axle problem.

Thanks in advance for entertaining the questions of a total noob.

First, I am an avid motorcycle camper. Not by choice, but for economic reasons. But my mother bought a 1986 Scamp 16' trailer. Since my mom is retired and I love my mother, I have volunteered to bring this thing up to spec.

Being a motorcycle camper, I have no experience with camp trailers, but I have decades of experience as an engineer; it has been entertaining to delve into all of the different technologies that make this thing happen.

But I am perplexed by the axle, HELP!

The problem is that we have no idea what we are starting with.

The trailer wears tires on the very inside; we had them turned around because the tread on the outside was almost brand new. Not only do they wear on the inside, but they have a "wave" pattern in the tread. Some spots are almost new tread, while between those spots the tire is almost worn out. The only explanation for this I can think of is some kind of "standing wave" being set up on the tire surface.

The tires have a definite slant to them, when viewed from behind the trailer. The tops of the tire are closer than the bottoms.

We have only put about 300 miles on this trailer. The previous owner says that the axle has been "flipped," but I am not sure what he means. Which way was the axle turned?

I saw an '84 with a torsion axle. I don't know what we have on this trailer. Take a look at the pics, first tell us are we dealing with a stock axle? Has it been flipped? Can the angle of the tires be fixed, or do we need a new axle?





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Old 07-06-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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BTW, I called Scamp about this problem. They never called back.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:47 AM   #3
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Welcome. It looks to me that you have a torsion axle that has been rotated 90 degrees and mounted on springs. Normally the axle would be welded directly to the frame. I don't know if scamps ever came with leaf springs but I can tell you what you have "ain't natural". Be patient, lots of scamp folks here. Raz
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:35 AM   #4
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That thing is cobbled together. The torsion axle should NOT have been hooked up to a spring system. One or the other, but not both. If it were me, and it's not... I'd get the torsion axle backets and have those welded to the frame, then bolt the torsion axle to the brackets. If that doesn't totally fix the problem, the axle is shot and needs replacing, but at least you'd already have the brackets ready to go and replacement is simple.

BTW: I believe in 1986 the torsion axles were leading arm.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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The axle is not a torsion axle. The spindle mount is welded directly to the axle tube. I suppose it may have been a torsion axle at one time, but not now.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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You need torflex axle and brackets .Then have the brackets welded to the frame.
Look here http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/1080235/f/..._Lbs_12-10.pdf
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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Well whaterver you have it needs an alignment, both toe-in and camber. This would be your cheapest alternative if you have a good shop nearby. A new alex would always be nice if money is not an issue.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:28 PM   #8
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At this point if it where me I wouldn't go to the torflex axle if it's already switched to springs. I would attempt to have the axle straightened if its not to cost prohibitive. I would think you would need a body shop where they can strap the axle down out near the wheels and jack it up in the centre to straighten. We did this to a boat trailer when I was a kid at the dealership my father managed. Worked well and after it was straight we welded a length of angle iron on the round axle tube to hold it in position.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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I see flanges, does it have brakes? Hope so, it's a 16 footer...
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:12 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies, here's where we are:

Scamp called back and verified that no scamp has ever come with leaf springs, verifying what was suspected by all.

We can pick up a new axle and bolt it to the existing springs. This would be the easiest option.

I have heard that we will get better performance with a torflex axle. My concern there is finding someone who can correctly install the new brackets. I have no idea exactly where they should be welded. The frame is very rusty, but I spoke to a couple of welders yesterday that say rust should be no problem.

Right now we are leaning heavily towards the torflex option. I am attempting to source one locally.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:41 PM   #11
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Looking closely at the picture of the frame and I can't see any evidence of where the old axle was but if Scamp never made a trailer with leaf springs then there must be a sign of where it used to be. That would give you an idea of the correct placement. Just a thought, Raz
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:17 AM   #12
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Thank you to all for the advice.

For now the trailer has been put back together. My mom will wait until next year to replace the axle.

To answer the question: yes it does have brakes. The left side locked up on us and needed to be replaced. Having it off gave me a good opportunity to take some pics.

There are a few remnants of the old brackets, spots where someone got careless with the torch. I don't think that there's enough left to go off of.

I followed her out of town on my motorcycle. The wheels sit a a screwy angle but don't seem to flex and don't seem to have any excessive tow-in. I think she's good until those tires wear out, then it's a new torflex axle & brackets.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:24 PM   #13
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Nobody's mentioned it, but by the look of the tires, they have some age along with the wear. Rubber gets old-I wouldn't recommend your mother go very far until they are replaced.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dennis Clinton View Post
Nobody's mentioned it, but by the look of the tires, they have some age along with the wear. Rubber gets old-I wouldn't recommend your mother go very far until they are replaced.
I agree. In my opinion, they are shot. But I cannot get my mom on the same page as me. The best I can do is try and be the one driving, and make sure she has a good spare.

Thanks for the input! It is much appreciated.
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