How often do leaf springs fail? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2008, 09:48 AM   #1
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I am wondering whether to carry a spare leaf spring for our dual axle B19 Bigfoot. I do carry a spare bearing set . Being weight conscious I would rather not carry the spring but on our recent tour of the Southern states we hit some very rough roads , construction areas Etc. Has anyone had a spring failure?
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:32 AM   #2
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I am wondering whether to carry a spare leaf spring for our dual axle B19 Bigfoot. I do carry a spare bearing set . Being weight conscious I would rather not carry the spring but on our recent tour of the Southern states we hit some very rough roads , construction areas Etc. Has anyone had a spring failure?
I am quite sure you don't need to worry about leaf springs on a tandem set up most smaller single axle trailers that have leaf springs have problems because the springs are lite and don't stand up to severe braking Such as improper settings on the controller.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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Gosh, I'd think this is one of the last things I'd worry about.... but that's me. I've never seen a broken spring on a trailer, tow vehicles..yes, But it's usually not the spring that breaks, its the shackle, or eye bolt, or hanger that lets go. And I doubt you'd want to carry all that stuff as spares either. Springs usually will fatigue over time (like 40-50 years) or faster if stressed by weight... alot of weight.

Most major cities have a spring shop... and springs are springs are springs (just different lengths and weights). You don't need to purchase "RV" springs.

Eastern Marine RV Springs
compared to:
Benz Spring Company
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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My 35 year old trailer has its original leaf springs and there is no sign of fatigue or failure.

Tom Trostel
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:23 PM   #5
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How often do leaf springs fail?

reminds me of : How often do airplanes crash?
Just once!

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Old 01-03-2008, 03:35 PM   #6
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Well I guess the answer to the question " has anyone had a spring fail" is non (so far). Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:04 PM   #7
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Leaf Springs are made of some of the toughest steel ever made. On my old Toyota pickup I would load rock on that thing until the mud flaps drug the ground and it still didn't hurt the springs. You really have to go out of your way to make them go bad. Should U think they are bad, you can get a leaf spring helper kit from www.jcw.com that you can bolt on to the existing springs so you don't have to replace the whole thing.


Want to make a great knife, make it out of a truck leaf spring.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:01 PM   #8
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Leaf springs make excellent crossbows too!
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:07 PM   #9
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Talking

Quote:
Has anyone had a spring failure?
I have.

Read about it Here.

They were the original equipment that were installed on the trailer 29 years ago.
I have since replaced every component in my running gear except for the actual axle tubes.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:20 PM   #10
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Ive had two leaf spring failures twice on my old single axle Jayco 16', when the trailer was about 15 years old, both on really bad paved roads where the curb wheel was dropping into potholes.

Interestingly, Dexter warrants new torsion axles for five years but only warrants leaf spring axles for one year.

What I would do in your shoes, since failure is not likely, and if it happens you still have the other axle to rely on, is to find out what the replacement spring would be and how common is it? IOW, if it likely to be stocked so you can get a new one (or a set; likely both sides should be replaced at the same time) easily or not.

You might also look and see where failure is most likely so you can make a roadside repair to limp in (did that myself both times).

Asking around of those who had had leaf spring failures, before I got torsion axles, it seemed it was usually on the curb side. Likely that's because that side takes the abuse of hitting curbs and cutting corners too close.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:17 AM   #11
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I can't tell you how OFTEN they break but I can tell you that it WON'T be at home where you have a trusted mechanic who will fix it and not cheat you!!! I've had two break. One on a box trailer loaded with booth supplies. That one road in OK is so bad that I will no longer travel on it, I take a different route. Fortunately, THAT time, there was a repair place close, and they were decent, honest gentlemen who didn't "take me to the cleaners" and got me back on the road after about a 3 hour delay. He told me they repair LOTS of leaf springs because of the bad road.

The second time was on my very heavy toy hauler. When the spring broke, it shoved the axle over to one side which just blew the whole center out of the tire on the opposing side from where the spring broke. I didn't realize the spring had broken. I KNEW I had a blown tire. When the guy arrived to replace the tire, he wasn't going to block the tires on the other side before raising it up to pull the tire (or what was left of it). I went around to the other side to block it and said to myself, "self. What IS this metal thing hanging down under here?" Holy Schmolies. THAT is what used to be the leaf spring. Needless to say, we were in "Podunk" and the guy who hauled us in and repaired it took me to the cleaners. To add insult to injury, he replaced the springs with the WRONG springs and my husband had to replace them with the RIGHT springs once the trailer got home. To this day, I can't drive through that town without gritting my teeth and saying "naughty words". But, I firmly believe in the saying, "What goes round comes round". Just wish I could be there to witness it when it happens to that Jerk!!!

Wendy
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:40 PM   #12
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Something to remember when replacing leaf spring stuf is that very often the threads and nuts on the UBolts, etc., are special locking ones and if they aren't the kind with the nylon inserts, they will destroy the threads when removed. So, don't remove them without replacements on hand.

I have even had a welded spring hanger shear off my frame, which required finding a place to weld it back on on a Sunday in Quebec...
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