Leaf Spring/Axle replacement for a Scamp 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-14-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
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I am wondering if it would be a good idea or not to replace my Scamp Torsion Axle with a Leaf Spring Axle?
I would need to get the shackles welded on but the rest seems easy.
Or to replace the torsion axle Do i need to grind off the welds of the old axles and then weld a new one on. I will confess that I have not looked at the job too closely but I am willing to bet that some of you have done this or thought about it.
My Scamp eats tires. I go through three tires every 10,000 miles or so- the Drivers side scarf up a tire about twice as fast as the passenger side. Is 10,000 miles a realistic figure for Carlisle radials?
Any thoughts are appreciated
Thanks

Dan

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:11 PM   #2
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The reason your tires are wearing is your original axle is bent. There are alignment shops that will straighten things out. Actually what they do is re-bend it to get the wheels parallel and in alignment. I had the same problem on my Scamp and after the alignment was corrected, there is little-to-no tire wear.


The original axle system has some advantages over going with leaf springs. One is a the axle is positioned above the wheel center and therefore is less apt to drag on something if you are off-road. With a leaf spring set-up it is often necessary to use a drop axle to get the ride height low enough. That puts the axle down where it could be more easily damaged.

Another is the rubber system is somewhat self dampening, i.e., it works reasonably well without auxiliary shock absorbers.

Most folks just order a replacement from Scamp, or from one of the suppliers to Scamp.


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Old 02-14-2008, 09:17 PM   #3
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Is 10,000 miles a realistic figure for Carlisle radials?




That depends on the amount of load being placed on the tires, Load range of the tires, the average temp they are opperated in, etc. etc. etc. etc.............


Short answer = NO 10,000 miles is unrealistic.

The bare minimum one should expect out of a radial tire, with optimum operating conditions and loads, should be around 28,000 miles. This isn't an exact but a remembered number from a training class provided by 3 or 4 tire manufacturers. It's been a few years since I took the class, but I've allways lived by the rule of 30K miles is my expected break even point on tires, anything more is doing ok.

That being said, if all your miles are highway miles on radials with no excessive load, then you should be well exceeding that number. An example would be the tires on a sales rep's lease car. All miles are at highway speed, but no load, and no hard cornering. 80K miles on one set of tires.While the little old gal down on the corner who just drives back and forth to church, the grocery store, the gas station, and home, and she averages around 24K miles.


To properly diagnose the tire wear problem we need to know what kind of wear you have. Is it chopping, scuffing, feathering, or any other kind of wear ???? I'll try to find some good pictures of these tommorrow if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:28 AM   #4
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What year is your trailer? Maybe the entire axle needs to be replaced due to age and wear??
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #5
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What year is your trailer? Maybe the entire axle needs to be replaced due to age and wear??

We have a 1980 Scamp. Its pretty well snowed in right now. The tires wear from the outside to the in. I will call around about getting them realigned.anyone have any suggestions for shops in the Minneapolis'St.Paul Area?

Thanks

Dan
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:54 AM   #6
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Well, Scamp axles typically have a life span of 15-20 years. The one on your trailer is 27 years old. You could certainly try to to have it aligned, but replacement maybe in your future.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #7
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Generally speaking, trailer tires should AGE out before they WEAR out, regardless of being radial or bias-ply.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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Generally speaking, trailer tires should AGE out before they WEAR out, regardless of being radial or bias-ply.

I called Scamp in Backus Mn. and they quoted $300 for a replacement Dexter axle- trailing edge- and about $200 to install. Is this competitve?
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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I called Scamp in Backus Mn. and they quoted $300 for a replacement Dexter axle- trailing edge- and about $200 to install. Is this competitve?

Depending on your location this price may or may not be competitive. All I can say to that is shop around.

As far as your tire wear, I have a link to a sight that has a pretty good all-around description of basic tire wear signs and what they might indicate. It's one of the first links I found without going to deep into a search. I'm not sure you can have a torsion axle aligned, particularly the way it's attached to your scamp with the welds. If you have a toe problem this would indicate a possible bent axle or spindles to me. The axle could be mounted onto the frame crooked and it wouldn't affect the tires in regards to toe because it's a single axle dragging behind a single pivot. The axle should automatically track true to the axle, not necessarily the body of the camper.

Here's the link to tire wear..... Radial Tire parts and wear patterns
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