Lil Bigfoot 13' needs new axle - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2014, 01:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by denabear View Post
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
You're not dumb, your just into a situation you have no knowledge.
The axle also acts as a shock absorber.
A 3500 pound axle is designed for a much heavier trailer.
Your trailer will set higher but the stiffness of the 3500 pound axle will give your trailer a very stiff ride and you may end up with everything on the floor after spending $800.00.

John
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:13 PM   #30
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I asked what Roy suggested and this is the reply. It is a much more detailed reply,

"as for your axle, the axle on your trailer is rated at 2500 lbs from the manufacture but is in all actuality a 3500 lb axle that is down rated to accommodate the manufacturer's specs and avoid having to run elec brakes on the trailer to keep the initial cost low. The regulations change from state to state and province to province in regards to what sizes of trailers require electric brakes. If it was a smaller axle it wouldn't be rated anymore than 2200lbs because the 2200lb axles have a smaller axle beam.

As for the air pressure in the tires, YES running TOO low pressure will cause all of what you were told. But tires have a have a maximum PSI rating to never exceed but there is a variable where you can lower the pressure according to load. For example, you tires may have a max PSI rating of 50 PSI but you can safely run them at 28 psi. That is the good thing about radial tires.

As for raising the trailer, there really isn't anything I can do about that without major modifications to the frame which would shoot the cost sky high. We would have to cut a section out of the frame in order to recess the axle up inside the frame and that's would weaken the frame which in my opinion is bad.

I feel that what I am suggesting is the best and most economical way to go. If you are having second thoughts about this and wish to hold off or take the trailer somewhere else, that's up to you and completely fine with me either way. After all it is your trailer and your money.

I hope this answers your questions"

So, my fellow know much more than me's, does that make sense???


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Old 08-06-2014, 05:45 PM   #31
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:56 PM   #32
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Lil Bigfoot 13' needs new axle

Ok. Maybe this is what I should have done originally lol,

What do I need to be asking/telling the next potential axle fixer uppers lol? What is it that I actually am wanting?? I mean from my point I view I want my trailer to not bottom out over tiny curb bumps an to be in perfect working order. Brakes?? Our two vehicle isn't mine. How can I tell if it is brake ready?? Is that the little trailer button on the steering wheel?? Anyway if I am replacing anyways should brakes be the safest best method? If this was your trailer and you were not capable of doing the work yourself what would you pay someone to do to it to make it the best.


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Old 08-06-2014, 07:05 PM   #33
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Dena,
That video I included may help you gain a clearer picture of what all this stuff is about.

The stuff shop said about the axle being "downrated" is the reduced rubber so that part is good. He is saying heavier metal axle tube with less rubber inside to provide a softer suspension. Softer suspension = less slamming from road bumps.

Do not run your tires at 28 psi, soft tires run hotter than firm tires, heat degrades tires literally from the inside out. Can have good tread and tire just fails.

You should be closer to max than min air pressure especially if doing 55 - 60 mph for several hours traveling. A little under max is not a big issue but 28 psi tire pressure is part of the reason those Ford Explores would have a "comfortable" ride right up to when a tire blew and the vehicle rolled over because it sat high. Dealer told people to go with a lower pressure for a better ride. Trailer tires have a weight rating based on the tire pressure, reduce the pressure and you reduce the weight rating. Talk to a tire store to get better information.

Your trailer is going to sit higher than it did originally, how much depends on the down angle of the axle. Tire is mounted to an arm, the arm comes off of the axle tube that runs across the trailer. That arm can be level (0 down angle) or angled up by between 10 and 45 degrees (up angle) or angled down (down angle) by the same range of 10 - 45 degrees. Worth asking what angle the torsion arm was ordered at. I don't recall exactly so maybe someone will chime in who does but I think 5 degrees equaled about a half inch of height. So he may have ordered axle at a different angle than the original to compensate for some of that additional height from the bracket.

Here is a post that has a picture of the axle (you can see the arm angles down relative to the bracket by about 10 degrees)
Scamp Axle - Leading vs Trailing

This Dexter Axle video is even better but when they show the axle and tire moving at about 1 minute into the video you can see the arm is above the bracket (10 degree up angle)

Dexter Torflex® Suspension Axles - YouTube

If it makes you feel better a lot of people do increase the height when they replace the axle in order to be able to handle some rougher back country roads. You might need to get a little step to put outside your door to step up an extra 6 or 8 inches.

I do not know the particulars of your trailer but I do recall a long thread on replacing an axle (with pictures) where yes they cut the frame and then added some reinforcement to compensate. However that person was doing the work with a friend, if the frame broke it was all his own fault, a shop might well be reluctant to take that chance with a customers trailer. Paying a shop for that sort of custom work would add to the cost.

Hopefully they at least ordered the axle with the plate that allows one to add brakes later if desired. Those plates are not expensive when ordered as part of the axle, cost more to add later. If he did not order with brake plates it would be worth asking him to contact Dexter and see if the order can be modified, depending on the additional cost and your willingness to pay it. Ordered does not equal built, Dexter builds axles to order so there may be time to get this option added.

I am not impressed with the person you are dealing with at this shop. It can be a bit of a challenge to provide good advice and information so that a novice customer is making an informed decision. But hey that is part of the job, I did not go to med school so I expect my doctor to explain the condition and options so I can make an informed decision. People do that same explaining and advising on options for repairs or modifications to FGRV's all the time here on the forum.

Bottom line don't panic, but do not take this shop managers word as gospel either. And yes a lot of the experienced members will be annoyed at this person on your behalf and will tell you why but in the end I think even if not the optimal solution experienced person would have gone for it will probably be satisfactory.... as long as you don't run 50 psi tires at that stupidly low air pressure!
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:16 PM   #34
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Brake controller can be added to most any vehicle, no it's not the little button on the steering wheel. Some vehicles come with a pre-wired plug so the brake controller can just be plugged in, typical in vehicles that come with a tow package such as trucks and suv's. Some need to have a couple of wires run. No big deal.

Trailer Brake Controller Information | etrailer.com Read this and know more than many people hauling trailers ever will, even though it is a short article.

This page lists the different brake controllers the other page talks about. Notice the $124 Prodigy P2 has a boot type bracket. You can remove the controller when not towing. Or move it to another vehicle if you purchase a second bracket.
https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Brake_Controller.aspx

This P2 is a highly recommended controller, in any event a Proportional controller is what you want not a timed delay controller, except in really odd circumstances timed delay controller is not desirable.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #35
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I would seek out a utility trailer manufacturer (not camping type) and get a quote to do the job the way you want. All makers order their axles from the same sources.

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Old 08-06-2014, 11:27 PM   #36
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I would seek out a utility trailer manufacturer (not camping type) and get a quote to do the job the way you want. All makers order their axles from the same sources.

Charlie Y

this is a trailer company, not an Rv shop. Company #1 was an Rv shop and they sent me to the trailer company


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Old 08-06-2014, 11:32 PM   #37
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Hmm........maybe a different one? I suspect your options are limited in Saskatchewan.

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Old 08-06-2014, 11:40 PM   #38
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Hmm........maybe a different one? I suspect your options are limited in Saskatchewan.

Charlie Y

In all honesty I don't have a clue where to look next. I do know that I just do not feel comfortable moving forward with this option. I still do t know why he would order the 3500 over 2500 lb axle and apparently never will. I Will just have to pull out the phone book and go searching. Kind of sucks that there were some members from Sask here that May have had local info but they are no longer active.


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Old 08-06-2014, 11:53 PM   #39
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Hopefully they at least ordered the axle with the plate that allows one to add brakes later if desired. Those plates are not expensive when ordered as part of the axle, cost more to add later. If he did not order with brake plates it would be worth asking him to contact Dexter and see if the order can be modified, depending on the additional cost and your willingness to pay it. Ordered does not equal built, Dexter builds axles to order so there may be time to get this option added.

I am not impressed with the person you are dealing with at this shop. It can be a bit of a challenge to provide good advice and information so that a novice customer is making an informed decision. But hey that is part of the job, I did not go to med school so I expect my doctor to explain the condition and options so I can make an informed decision. People do that same explaining and advising on options for repairs or modifications to FGRV's all the time here on the forum.

Bottom line don't panic, but do not take this shop managers word as gospel either. And yes a lot of the experienced members will be annoyed at this person on your behalf and will tell you why but in the end I think even if not the optimal solution experienced person would have gone for it will probably be satisfactory.... as long as you don't run 50 psi tires at that stupidly low air pressure!

Thank you so much for all your information. It is very confusing lol but I am slowly weeding through it. .

I did ask if it would be able to have brakes installed at later date and he said yes but I suppose that doesn't really say if it comes with the plates does it???

I have a bad feeling in my gut. Not that the man is shady necessarily but just something is off. Why would a person want to install an axle that requires all these stupid "fixes" like lower tire pressure to make it hopefully work satisfactorily. Why would you not just install the proper axle from the get go??????????? Is it a price difference thing and he is trying to make some $$? Did he make an error in judgement? Does he just not care that I would have been none the wiser without you all and would have just drove off all oblivious and happy as can be with my monster truck Rv bouncing all over the road??? <--- maybe a tad dramatic lol, but maybe not.

I plan to email him in the morning and let him know seeing as he did give me the option to do so and the
Bottom line is I can not move forward with a company I no longer trust.


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Old 08-07-2014, 01:00 AM   #40
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Good move to cancel. I am a bit suprised that no one here with the same trailer as yours hasn't given you a model/maker or serial number of the original axle or the same info for a replacement they had done. Maybe they are all camping and haven't checked in yet.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:01 PM   #41
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Final response was.. " A 2500 lb axle doesn't exist. Any axle rated over 2200lbs is in fact a 3500 lb axle. The manufactures only give them the lower rating to avoid having to install electric brakes but they are still a 3500 lb axle."

To which he then suggested a different company that may be able to straighten my current axle???

What did he mean by there are no axles over 2200lb??


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Old 08-07-2014, 04:42 PM   #42
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Final response was.. " A 2500 lb axle doesn't exist. Any axle rated over 2200lbs is in fact a 3500 lb axle. The manufactures only give them the lower rating to avoid having to install electric brakes but they are still a 3500 lb axle."

To which he then suggested a different company that may be able to straighten my current axle???

What did he mean by there are no axles over 2200lb??


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I think he is saying the axle structure (metal tube, bracket and arms) is either one rated to a max of 2200 lbs. OR it is an axle structure that can be built to a max of 3500 lbs.

Dexter #9 axle can be built for between 1000 and 2200 lbs. of trailer weight. A Dexter #10 axle can be built from 2300 to 4000 lbs. I think he is saying that any 2500 lb. axle is a #10 axle, with the suspension tuned to a reduced weight.

To get a 2500 lb. axle Dexter uses the structure of a #10 (3500 lb.) axle but by reducing the rubber in the tube adjusts it down to have a suspension appropriate to supporting a 2500 lb. trailer. They can not put enough rubber into a #9 axle to have the right suspension for anything over 2200 lbs.

His explanation is lacking detail but essentially correct. Any Dexter axle over 2200 lbs. is the same axle (as far as the metal goes) as a 3500 lb. axle.

Were you able to watch that Dexter video? I see iPhone in your posts and I'm not sure if iPhone can view it. In that video you can see how going over bumps the arm the tire is on has to twist against the rubber inside the axle and compress it, more rubber takes more weight and force to compress the rubber. Less rubber takes less weight. Above 2200 lbs. you need a bigger axle tube to have enough rubber, the next size bigger tube can hold enough rubber to go up to 4000 lbs. (but 3500 is a more typical trailer weight which is probably why he calls it a 3500 lb. axle)

Above a certain weight rating the axle would have to have brakes, so he is saying the only reason that Dexter makes them with a reduce the weight rating (less rubber) in the 3500 lb. axle is so brakes are not required. In the case of our campers we want weight rating reduced to provide a softer ride than a typical utility trailer.

Can I add brakes later is not the same question as does it come with brake mounting plate. In technical stuff like specification the more specific the question the more specific the reply.

BTW - reducing the suspension rubber is often called "de-tuned" or "detuned" I ordered a 3500# axle detuned to 2500#.
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