LilScamper's New "Shoes" plus Axle Replacement Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #1
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LilScamper's New "Shoes" plus Axle Replacement Question

Thanks to toledo2tokyo, my little Scamp has some new shoes. Looks much better than the old axle hubs sticking out. Gave them a silver rattle can paint job. I even like the little dents from previous owners pounding them on...it's like a little history.

But speaking of old axle hubs, I'm thinking I might need to replace the old axle. I used my fist to determine there's about 2-1/4" clearance between the tire and wheel well. When I took a trip to Watertown SD in September, the Scamp bounced a lot on the concrete interstate. Even a knob came off one of the cabinets. Tried moving stuff forward and back, but didn't seem to make much difference. Might've had something to do with tow wheel length/trailer length and concrete section length, but it was quite worrying to me. Other road surfaces were much smoother.

I called Scamp and a new 4-hole axle costs $310 ($535 if they install it. Brakes only available on 5-hole). I have a friend who welds for a living, has built a hot rod and teardrop trailer, who will install it for me.

I'm thinking I'll stick with the four-hole so I won't have to buy new rims. It's made it 28 years on the original axle, and I kinda like the original look of the old rims. It should last the rest of my lifetime, and whoever of my three sons wins ownership when I'm too old and fragile to camp anymore, can replace it with whatever they choose.

So is that a good price for an axle? Is there something better/less expensive I should be looking at? I am axle-illiterate, so please use small words and speak slowly. I wouldn't even begin to know what to ask for from, say, Dexter.

Thanks for any and all input. And now, Baby's new shoes...
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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Lil, If it was me I would go for the axle with the brake option as without it, it limits what you can tow the trailer with in the future. Many of the newer smaller tow vechiles with the good gas milage require brakes on trailers over 1000lb or some 1500lbs. I know when I first started to look for a smaller trailer I wallked away from a number of them as I didnt want to have to put a new axle on them right off the top if they didnt need one and I have seen many folks here who are in the looking stage have to say no to many for that reason as well. Just something to consider if as you say your kids may be taking the trailer over in the future or if you ever think of changing your tow vechile.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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My 2 cents is that I'd go for an axle with 5 lugs and brakes. It is so much easier to tow and safer to have trailer brakes. Wheels are not that expensive and maybe you can put some funky hub caps on the new wheels to keep the look.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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Is it possible to add a brake unit to the 4-hole axle? Like an aftermarket addition? Also, my TV only has 4 prong wiring hookup. Would I have to change that as well to be able to use the brakes?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lil M. View Post
Is it possible to add a brake unit to the 4-hole axle? Like an aftermarket addition?
I think the answer is yes. You would need to order the axle with the brake mounting flange but no hubs. Then install the brakes onto the axle with the 4 lug brake drum hubs. Your handyman guy can help make sure you get the right ones.

7" Electric Brake Assembly for 2K Axles - LH Dexter Trailer Brakes 23-47
Trailer Hub & Drum Assembly - 2,200 lbs. Axles - 4 on 4 Dexter Trailer Hubs and Drums 8-173-16UC3

You can still get the old style wheels in 5 lug with the hub cap nubs.
http://www.etrailer.com/Tires-and-Wh...r/AM20214.html

Quote:
Also, my TV only has 4 prong wiring hookup. Would I have to change that as well to be able to use the brakes?
You would need to add a brake controller and an additional wire to the tow vehicle and change the plug to a 5, 6 or 7 pin plug. That shouldn't be that expensive to do.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Lil the problem is if the axle doesnt have the brake flange on it there is nothing aftermarket that will fix that as there is nothing to mount the brakes to. What I think Scamp is say is that the 4 lug axle doesnt have the brake flange just the 5 lug does. Call them and double check that as I could be very wrong on that! Its been known to happen ;-))

You dont need to actually add the brakes when you add the new axle - just make sure that which ever axle you get has the brake flange so if you or a new owner wanted to you can add brakes in the future. Although as Tom says having brakes on a trailer is a big plus.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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I agree with Carol's clarification. It might be cheapest to go with a new axle with brakes and new wheels. As I mentioned, you can still get wheels with the same classic look that take hub caps.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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Tom is right check the prices carefully. It may cost more to add the brakes later - I dont know what Scamp includes with their axles - hubs as well? Are the hubs different with or without brakes? Suspect they may be. If they come with the hubs and brakes you still dont have to actually connect them until you are ready to.... there are more than a few trailers with brakes on them that arent connected out there.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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try theses guys http://www.redneck-trailer.com/Porta.../files/A.pdfse I'm getting a new axle by spring and where I can get one orders from them, there out of ST. Cloud MN
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil M. View Post
I called Scamp and a new 4-hole axle costs $310 ($535 if they install it. Brakes only available on 5-hole). I have a friend who welds for a living, has built a hot rod and teardrop trailer, who will install it for me.

I'm thinking I'll stick with the four-hole so I won't have to buy new rims.

So is that a good price for an axle? Is there something better/less expensive I should be looking at? I am axle-illiterate, so please use small words and speak slowly. I wouldn't even begin to know what to ask for from, say, Dexter.

Thanks for any and all input. And now, Baby's new shoes...
How far away from Backus are you? Is there a local trailer place closer to you?

I just had a new 4" drop axle (Leaf Spring suspension) with 7" brakes and a 4 on 4 wheel bolt pattern made for my Compact Jr. which I ordered through my local trailer place. They hemmed and hawed a lot when I first proposed the idea, Telling me that 7" brake drums were hard to get, and 10" brakes and 5-hole wheels were more standard. (I'll bet that's what the axles Scamp sells are.) In the end they delivered what I wanted. And it was made by Dexter.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
How far away from Backus are you? Is there a local trailer place closer to you?

I just had a new 4" drop axle (Leaf Spring suspension) with 7" brakes and a 4 on 4 wheel bolt pattern made for my Compact Jr. which I ordered through my local trailer place. They hemmed and hawed a lot when I first proposed the idea, Telling me that 7" brake drums were hard to get, and 10" brakes and 5-hole wheels were more standard. (I'll bet that's what the axles Scamp sells are.) In the end they delivered what I wanted. And it was made by Dexter.
Backus is less than 50 miles from where I'll be camping the weekend before Halloween, so I thought I'd drive up a day early and pick up the axle. As far as trailer places, I called around to repair shops and tire shops, and nobody knew of one in the area. When I talked to my friend, the welder, he volunteered to do the welding, but I didn't get a name of a trailer business in Fargo. I'll have to ask him again.

Is there a website that has pictures of the difference between the two axles? Maybe pictures would help me understand what everyone is talking about. I'm a little confused.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:21 PM   #12
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If you search Google images for "torsion axle" you will see lots of examples.

The square plate at the back of the spindle (bottom photo) is where the brake assembly bolts on. A trailer with no brakes will not have this square plate.

The bearing hub is integral with the brake drum on a trailer (this is where you bolt up the wheel). A trailer with no brakes has a hub with studs but no brake drum. The top photo is of a trailer hub with integral brake drum.



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Old 10-11-2012, 08:36 PM   #13
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LIl,
you could try these guys.... Pioneer Rim & Wheel
3453 7th Avenue NW, Fargo, ND, 58102
Phone: 701-476-0600 Toll Free: 800-666-1670 Fax: 701-476-0683
Pioneer
Sells Retail, Sells to Dealers, Stocks Axle Beams
I know when I switched to radial tire my trailer ride improved 100%, and basically my trailer parts dealer told me if the axle is free (ie not stuck) and your not getting any weird tire wear, or it doesnt wobble on the spindles the axle (mine) which doesnt show any of these signs is probably good. We spent about a hour talking about loaded angles, shock loaded angles and how much shock it would take to get the axle to move ect. Actually if the online price is correct, Scamp price for mine (3500#) is only about 20.00 more than what he quoted me for mine.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #14
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Before I go any further, I want to thank you all for trying your best to educate me on axles with and without brakes.
Well, I just got too impatient to wait/investigate further. No time to be able to go into Fargo to have someone help me figure out what exactly I needed. Plus I really, really wanted to keep those cool hubcaps so....
I had a last-ditch camp out planned last weekend at Gull Lake COE Campground north of Brainerd, MN with a couple and their 11-year-old son. I drove over Thursday evening so I could get to Backus 40 miles away early Friday morning and they installed a 4-lug axle (no brakes ) which raised the trailer up about 4". I also asked if they could replace three rivets on the outside where the cap receivers had broken off. The guy ended up not only fixing those three, but replacing ALL the caps while removing the caulking that a previous owner had swiped around each of the caps. Charge: 40 caps x .10 = $4. Axle ended up costing the quoted $310 but labor was almost $100 cheaper. Total with tax @ $465. I'm happy with that.
So, it's done. He said that with the 13' the brakes are good for driving in snow, but..phfffft..who's gonna be driving when it's snowing??....by Sunday, it was me.
Trailer pulls much smoother and more level, takes the bumps much, much better. I'm happy with how it turned out.
Now I can take it south this winter if I want and not worry about axle failure. Here's hoping I made the right choice.
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newaxle1.jpg   snowgull1.jpg  

snowgull3.jpg   snowgull2.jpg  

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