Lil Bigfoot 13' needs new axle - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
$875 is reasonable. Get ebrakes if you can.



I'm not familiar with the original axle setup on the 13' Bigfoot. Could you please take and post some pictures?

Is it a torsion axle?

I would love to post pictures but our trailer sits so low I can't even fit my head under it without scraping my face on the ground. I know because I tried


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
I think someone does not know what they're talking about Dena.
There is absolutely no reason for your trailer to set that high if they are replacing it with a torsion axle like you have now.
The reason you cannot but a new torsion axle today is the mounting brackets on the Lil Bigfoot axle were welded to the axle at an angle to fit the frame.
Todays axles are made to fit parallel frame rails.
My axle was a standard Dexter Torsion axle with brakes.
When I had the axle replaced on my Lil Bigfoot it raised it up about 5 inches from it's bottomed out height.
A Torsion axle does not set up between the frame.
It cost me about $650.00 dollars and that included a Dexter Torsion axel with 10" brakes and a frame modification so the axel could be added to non parallel frame rails.
I live in the Mountains of Central California so I'm not familiar with Canadian prices.
I am familiar with Lil Bigfoots as I completely gutted mine rewired it, added a solar panel to the roof and reupholstered the walls and reinstalled the interior.
Your price sounds like you may be going to an RV shop.
Any good welding shop should be able to replace your axle.
Mine was changed at a brake and commercial trailer repair shop.

Good luck Dena,
John


Hi John,
I am not sure about anything just posting what the guy emailed me. Yes it is an rv shop.the reason I am dealing with this company is because they are the only ones willing I do it. Got a lot of no sorry's over the phone and company #1 which forwarded my business on to his last company. I live in a small city that doesn't have a lot of options other than driving 5+ hrs to a bigger city lol. The conversion on 650 us would be about 710 Canadian. At this point I just want the axle fixed and to not bottom out over every little bump. I am sure the fact that I am a woman who knows zip comes into play here but as long as the end result is a trailer that has a good working axle then I guess I will be happy. Sure am glad I have all you guys to help educate me though. Wish you lived closer lol
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:55 PM   #17
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Would have added to other post but can't figure out how to edit original post lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
I think someone does not know what they're talking about Dena.
There is absolutely no reason for your trailer to set that high if they are replacing it with a torsion axle like you have now.
His reply to the axle type...

It will be a DEXTER TORSION AXLE with a 3500 lb capacity. Axle has been ordered. The design of the axle will be different but the axle will be the same style of suspension. No leaf springs.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by denabear View Post
I would love to post pictures but our trailer sits so low I can't even fit my head under it without scraping my face on the ground.
Tried a jack and blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by denabear View Post
His reply to the axle type...

It will be a DEXTER TORSION AXLE with a 3500 lb capacity. Axle has been ordered.
I'd be running to the next guy on your list. 3500 lb for a 13' bigfoot is overkill.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:20 PM   #19
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axle replacement

Instead of going to a different shop, why not just tell them you want a 2500 pound dexter torkflex axle with 7" brakes and drums. 2500 is common on 13' trailers and dexter will make just about any width with the plates for attachment to the frame.there are also options for the angle of the moving arm that will give you more or less height. The shop will need to measure carefully but if they replace axles, they already know the ropes on measuring. If you go to Dexters website you can see drawings of the different options for 2500 lb axles.
Steve
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:20 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by starbrightsteve View Post
Instead of going to a different shop, why not just tell them you want a 2500 pound dexter torkflex axle with 7" brakes and drums. 2500 is common on 13' trailers and dexter will make just about any width with the plates for attachment to the frame.there are also options for the angle of the moving arm that will give you more or less height. The shop will need to measure carefully but if they replace axles, they already know the ropes on measuring. If you go to Dexters website you can see drawings of the different options for 2500 lb axles.
Steve
They have already ordered the axle though.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:19 PM   #21
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There were 2 reasons I changed the axle in my Lil Bigfoot.
I went up an approach to a driveway and the back of the trailer dragged.
The second reason was when I hit a pebble on the highway everything in the trailer ended up on the floor.
With a 3500 pound axle you may have the same problem.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
There were 2 reasons I changed the axle in my Lil Bigfoot.
I went up an approach to a driveway and the back of the trailer dragged.
The second reason was when I hit a pebble on the highway everything in the trailer ended up on the floor.
With a 3500 pound axle you may have the same problem.
the current axle already bottoms out over the smallest bump, including our low curved driveway.It also throws things around when in tow. How would the 3500lb axle do same? Wouldn't a new axle fix those problems? I really feel like a dumb girl right now. A dumb girl who's being taken advantage of
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:43 AM   #23
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The higher the axle rating under a lighter trailer won't compress to absorb the bumps sence it needs the right weight to make it work properly. It will end up being like a worn out axle.....only the sidewalls of the tires are taking the compression like shocks with the torsion part not really moving. Example, my utility trailers have spring axles not torsion. Empty they are not on the ground all the time but work like their supposed to when loaded down. They are matched up to the work load of the trailer. This is the same info as Perry just told you. A proper rated axle with a bit more down angle will give you the lift for clearance but not tear it apart from bouncing down the road. No one on this site is pulling your leg, just giving you a few thousand years of expirience between us all
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
The higher the axle rating under a lighter trailer won't compress to absorb the bumps sence it needs the right weight to make it work properly. It will end up being like a worn out axle.....only the sidewalls of the tires are taking the compression like shocks with the torsion part not really moving. Example, my utility trailers have spring axles not torsion. Empty they are not on the ground all the time but work like their supposed to when loaded down. They are matched up to the work load of the trailer. This is the same info as Perry just told you. A proper rated axle with a bit more down angle will give you the lift for clearance but not teat it apart from bouncing down the road. No one on this site is pulling your leg, just giving you a few thousand years of expirience between us all

Just to clarify my saying I feel taken advantage of was in regards to the trailer shop people not anyone here. I feel you guys are the only ones really with my best interest.

So being stuck with a 3500lb axle is going to wreck my trailer? I am so confused. Why would he be so negligent in his order?


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Old 08-05-2014, 02:56 AM   #25
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Well Dena, seems anyone responding to you is saying a 2500lb axle. I have no idea of your trailers weight is but at 13' I wouldn't put anything more under it. The weight rating is one thing but they all can be configured at the factory with a down angle to give you whatever clearance you want. So yea, IMHO you may have a problem.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:12 AM   #26
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After rereading this thread, it is possible that people are getting confused.
The #9 Torflex is rated for 1000-2200 LBS
The #10 is for 2300-4000 LBS (I think it used to be 3500 LBS)

It is possible that a #10 is being referred to as a 3500 lb axle, yet it could be rubbered for 2500 LBS
For Dena that is new to this, the different axles are numbered to indicate load capacity ranges. Dexter then further sets the load capacity by installing different lengths of rubber inside the axle. More rubber = more capacity.

When designing my axle I spoke with one of the engineers at Dexter. He said our loads don't differ much from trip to trip as compared to a utility trailer that travels from empty to fully loaded. He indicated that I should be looking at what my trailer weighs loaded for camping and add a couple of hundred pounds as a margin for optimal ride. Too light a rating and you are overworking the axle for what it was designed for, too heavy and you lose the benefits of the spring and shock effect.

This is where Frederick's thread comes in real handy:
Trailer Weights in the Real World

The 7" electric brakes have a capacity of up to 2200 LBS, you aint goin to find them on a 2500 lb axle.
http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...nformation.pdf
http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...nch_Brakes.pdf
http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...nch_Brakes.pdf
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:47 PM   #27
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Lil Bigfoot 13' needs new axle

I asked this

...Why did you decide on the 3500lb instead of the 2500lb. The concern is The higher axle rating under a lighter trailer won't compress to absorb the bumps as it needs the right weight to make it work properly...

His reply

"The 3500lb axle won't fail. If the ride is too stiff you can lower the air pressure in your tires. All will be fine. I have done this countless times."

That's it.

And just to clarify, this is not a small unknown company and the guy I am dealing with is the Foreman/manager so one would expect him to know what he is talking about which is why I am losing my marbles here.

I am unsure what my options are now. Being as the axle is ordered am I not stuck with it now. I have not paid for it but he does have written email asking me to order it( although he wouldn't specifically give me the type of axle just said it needed axle and was going to order) Don't want to be stuck with something damaging for my trailer but also don't want to be sued.

What should I say/ask him specifically tomorrow? His response above was literally ALL he replied to me and I have yet to reply back because in all honesty I was a little pissed at feeling brushed off. I suppose he is probably a little pissed at some dumb girl questioning his choices. So what specifically should I ask him so he has to answer to find out all the unknowns you guys are talking about ???


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Old 08-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denabear View Post
His reply

"The 3500lb axle won't fail. If the ride is too stiff you can lower the air pressure in your tires. All will be fine. I have done this countless times."
...
What should I say/ask him specifically tomorrow?
Ask him to explain how lowering the tire pressure won't cause other problems, such as excessive tire heat, premature failure and blowouts. Not to mention decreased stability on a trailer that has already had it's center of gravity raised.




Run, don't walk away from this. Going to court will take months if not years. I can hear it now, Yes your honour I backed out before the litigant was able to make any changes to my trailer, feeling that his suggestions were unsafe.
  1. His modifications would have raised the trailer making it much higher than originally designed and altering the center of gravity affecting the trailers stability.
  2. Installing a torsion axle that was 40% overrated for the weight of my trailer would have greatly diminshed the shock absorbing features of the axle, potentially causing damage to the trailer and/or its contents.
  3. I felt that the litigants suggestion of lowering the tire pressure to compensate for an axle that was too stiff was an unsafe practice. Low tire pressure could lead to tire failure and could further alter the stability of a trailer that had it's center of gravity altered by raising it too much. In other words, I felt the work they were proposing would have made my trailer unsafe.
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