Leading Arm or Trailing Arm - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2016, 12:59 PM   #29
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You can and should get leading arm with some down angle, especially with brakes. I would have to dig into an old post but Al-Ko said they would only put brakes on a leading arm if it had X amount of down angle or more.


I always thought the dance floor was the raised part. To do trailing you have to move the axle mount point forward. On why it was changed I have no idea but which way did/does Airstream mount there torsion axles?


One other thing to consider if moving axle and that is torsion axle tube is structural. It is a frame cross member. I don't know how critical it is to the structural integrity of the frame but adding strength by becoming part of the frame is one of the advantages of a torsion axle.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:10 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
On why it was changed I have no idea but which way did/does Airstream mount there torsion axles?
According to this article, they use a trailing arm set-up.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Just for clarity… I thought "dance floor" usually referred to the raised section under the rear dinette, no?

If so, a trailing arm axle would not be mounted under the dance floor, but under the center drop-floor, which is why it requires an up-angle to maintain the original ride height.

Am I misunderstanding the terminology here? I'm not into the nightclub scene, so I'm not sure whether a dance floor is usually lower or higher than the seating area…
Ha! Jon, most likely you are right. I just thought the only place wide enough , in my 13'Scamp, for me to do one of my great square-dance moves would be in the center drop down near the sink!

However, it's been some 20 years since I tried such moves, so maybe it would be better to find a real dance floor!

Today the trailer mfg. co told me to bring the Scamp in on Monday, and they will inspect it and tell me what options I have. Sadly costs will play a role in what I have done.

Bill
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:04 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
If you mount an axle in leading arm it must be positions so that the arm is "up".
If it is down when you hit that pot hole it may not ride up over the lip and that would be bad.
The trailing arm the wheel will ride up and over the lip with less shock passes on the the trailer and wheel and hub.
If you want the arms leading then up it is.
I would like having a trailing arm axle installed.

I should find out the first of next week if this is possible...and whether or not I can afford the cost!

Bill
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:11 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
You can and should get leading arm with some down angle, especially with brakes. I would have to dig into an old post but Al-Ko said they would only put brakes on a leading arm if it had X amount of down angle or more.


I always thought the dance floor was the raised part. To do trailing you have to move the axle mount point forward. On why it was changed I have no idea but which way did/does Airstream mount there torsion axles?


One other thing to consider if moving axle and that is torsion axle tube is structural. It is a frame cross member. I don't know how critical it is to the structural integrity of the frame but adding strength by becoming part of the frame is one of the advantages of a torsion axle.
Roger. I have thought that maybe the trailer co would just cut off the arms and leave the old axle tube attached to the frame...for the additional strength, if it is possible for them to installing a trailing arm axle.

Should know for sure Monday or Tuesday. Thanks for all your help.

Bill
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:23 AM   #34
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If your axle brackets are welded on through holes in the top then cutting the arms off is about the only easy way to grind off those welds anyway. So at that point you essentially have the axle tube as a frame piece only.


The bracket is sort of a channel with the bottom of the "U" against the frame and open side down. Mine had a couple of holes in the bottom of that channel, sort of like bolt holes that would allow bolting to a frame, welds had been run in them and getting a grinder up into the inside of that bracket to grind them off was difficult. However since they did not want to destroy my old axle in case the new one did not fit they decided not to cut off the arms for easy access to the bracket.


I'm sure they can install a trailing arm, a lot of folks have done exactly that. For a good trailer fabricator adding some attachment points should not be too hard. Thing is I think old and odd ball jobs make them nervous. Too easy to have something go wrong and make the job a losing proposition or big headache for them.


Knew Airstream used torsion axle did not know which way they ran the arms, thanks for that article Jon. Seems the Scamps work as leading arm fine, brakes work well so IDK maybe an engineer needed to justify his paycheck by changing something? Or maybe it is related to some other innovation someplace in the manufacturing process.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:28 AM   #35
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just a update on my axle replacement project.

I took my 1978 Scamp 13 to a LARGE horse trailer manifacturing plant this morning. When I say large...I mean really large! The facility must cover 20 acres, with the main building at least 4 or 5 acres in size

I'm amazed that the gaard at the gate would even let me tow my little trailer on the grounds. Sure looked tiny, and somewhat shabby parked next to those $100.000 trailers! Horse trailers are big business!

I received a phone call a few minutes ago, and the service manager asked why I thought I needed a new axle? After, I explained my limited bouncing tests, he told me that he didn't believe the axle was defective, but would get some heavy guys and check it again!

Hey, wouldn't that be great if the axle was OK? Stay tuned for the next report!

Bill
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #36
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Good luck that would be good news if the axle is ok.


The square axle shaft forms a diamond with two points horizontal to the frame when it was originally installed in the arm. Looks like this <> A worn or shot axle will no longer be aligned like that, either will have been pushed up or sagged down when inspected with wheel off.


It should take a pry bar to move the axle arm against the torsion rubbers with the wheel off and the trailer on stands. Another check is can you get a fist (about 3 inches) above the tire between tire and wheel well.


Could just be a case of needing to eat more cheese cake or drink more beer in order to have the weight to make the trailer bounce. That would be swell, and they can check out the frame for you while they are at it.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:24 AM   #37
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Good luck that would be good news if the axle is ok......
Could just be a case of needing to eat more cheese cake or drink more beer in order to have the weight to make the trailer bounce. That would be swell, and they can check out the frame for you while they are at it.
Roger, I'm afraid if I gain any more weight. i won't be able to fit through the Scamp's door!

I learned this morning that it will be next week before the trailer shop might be able to work on my trailer! They have back orders on horse trailers, and my trailer is at the bottom of the list. Which I understood would be the case, when I took the Scamp to them.

But, I'm so bad about waiting!

Bill
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:02 PM   #38
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Good News & Bad News!

First the Good News.

Late yesterday afternoon my friend, at the trailer shop, was able to have the axle on my 1978 Scamp 13 tested, and it was determined that it was working just fine! He reassured me that the rubber in the axle tube had not deteriorated. Maybe some PO had the original axle replaced?

He recommended that I not replace the axle, but have metal blocks installed to raise the trailer frame & body two-inches. I'm considering doing that, but haven't decided yet.

As much as I like the idea of a new axle, it does seem foolish to spend money to replace the axle, when advised to do otherwise, by a friend who has years of trailer experience, and is someone I trust.

The Bad News:

Because of their back log building in new horse trailers, they might not be able to work on my trailer for a couple of weeks. Sob!

Actually that's OK, because I Kept the lower kitchen cabinet in my work shop, and can work on the drawers for it. Besides, it's still cold here in OKC!

Bill
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:26 PM   #39
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So they are talking about basically planning to do the same thing that THIS kit does??? If so, note the instructions on that page.. it will give you an idea of what is involved to do it.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:27 PM   #40
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So they are talking about basically planning to do the same thing that THIS kit does??? If so, note the instructions on that page.. it will give you an idea of what is involved to do it.
Gordon, Thank you! I really didn't discuss it in detail, however, my friend did say they would install two-inch "blocks", so i would guess it would be similar, except on my Scamp the blocks and axle would be welded in place, and not bolted..

The cost of two pieces of 2" sq steel tubing, to be welded, would cost a great deal less than one Casita lift kit! Maybe $5.00.

The Casita lift instructions did, i noted, state if welding was required, it wouldn't be worth the cost...or something like that.

I would guess the time for installing the blocks, would take about the same as installing a new axle.

Scamp Co. installs a new axle in about two-hours, so I have read. Previously my friend had told me it would take from two to three hours to install a new axle at their plant.

Bill
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:59 AM   #41
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Good news on not needing an axle. You can't beat a knowledgeable and trusted professional who is able to examine the situation.


If the rubber is good then it may well be that the axle was replaced and if it was with an axle having less down angle it might appear to ride low. I don't recall the difference in angle to make an inch difference but going from 0* to 22.5* down was at around 2 or 3 inches of height change as I recall.


New axle with 10* or 22.5* less down angle would drop the trailer ride height some. But then Scamp 13's do sit low. Low enough they don't have a step in the doorway. Just ground to floor in one step.


Couple of inches of ground to skirt clearance won't hurt when going down a rough back road but don't forget the axle tube is still the same height Frame is lifted 2 inches not the axle tube.


Just a thought but you might want to see if those "blocks" can run along the frame far enough forward to become mount points for a future trailing arm axle. May not be relevant or useful but if it is just a matter of running the new tube further along the frame..... maybe worth considering.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:48 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Good news on not needing an axle. You can't beat a knowledgeable and trusted professional who is able to examine the situation.....

Just a thought but you might want to see if those "blocks" can run along the frame far enough forward to become mount points for a future trailing arm axle. May not be relevant or useful but if it is just a matter of running the new tube further along the frame..... maybe worth considering.
Roger, that is a good idea. However, I hoping to get the shop to change the axle now from a leading arm axle to a following arm axle. However, I'm not sure if they can do this with my axle. I don't know enough to know if the degree of up or down settings on the arms on my axle would permit this or not.

The only problem that I can see with running the tube further down would be the extra welding time involved. I'm trying to hold the costs down...with the thoughts of a new paint job in the future!

Thanks for you comments.

Bill
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