New Axle Happening NOW - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2016, 11:09 AM   #1
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New Axle Happening NOW

The Lil Bigfoot got towed in this morning for the new Dexter axle installation. They expect the labor to only take about 2 hours.

"I'm so excited!
And I just can't hide it!"
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:33 PM   #2
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Sounds like you finally found the right shop! Nice!
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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Cool Super stopping power brakes

Well, as Gilda Radner used to say, "It's always something."

We had a call from the repair place yesterday, letting us know that our current brake drums will not fit the assembly on the new Dexter axle.


Because we really had no information about the proper angle for the trailing arm, Dexter recommended this "splined" axle which can actually be adjusted up or down with quite a bit of leeway. This sounded great... And although they knew we had 7 inch brakes and that's what the trailer needs, what came from Dexter is a setup for TEN INCH BRAKES.


They needed to know what to do... Install 10 inch brakes? Forego brakes altogether? Hubby went down for a meet and it was decided to contact Dexter to see if they could send another spline thingy. But the response from them is that THEY DON'T HAVE ONE, at least in this model, for 7-inch brakes.


So, I suppose we could cause a fuss, insist that 10 inch'ers are overkill and not what we ordered and they should have known better, but that would also mean ordering yet ANOTHER custom axle and waiting another 5-6 weeks.


Which, dang it, I don't want to do.


Soooo, they're installing ten inch brakes on this little 13 foot trailer.


I guess if we ever really overload our car or forget to keep our brakes in shape, that the little trailer will be really happy to just screech us up short, because I think she's going to be set up to do just that.


Still waiting for the call this afternoon letting us know it's ready to go, then we'll start thinking about some other, less pressing things like an awning track and fantastic fan.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:17 PM   #4
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This splined axle sounds like a pain for you, but for those of us not involved it is very interesting. Did they point you to any information online about it?

I'm looking to raise our trailer a bit when putting on a new axle, but unsure of how much. knowing that I could adjust it later without getting a new axle would be very comforting!
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Keith2000 View Post
This splined axle sounds like a pain for you, but for those of us not involved it is very interesting. Did they point you to any information online about it?

I'm looking to raise our trailer a bit when putting on a new axle, but unsure of how much. knowing that I could adjust it later without getting a new axle would be very comforting!
Keith, full disclosure -- I think I had worn myself out trying every avenue of information... And really finding very little. No blueprints existing, no specs anywhere. Getting a new axle, even on an unusual frame like a Lil Bigfoot has, shouldn't be that complicated. But details like the angle for the trailing arm were very difficult to get, and I did NOT want an accidental high water trailer!


(I need to clarify that people here were incredibly helpful. One former LilB owner even drove some distance out of town to the people who replaced HIS axle, trying to get details on what they ordered. Another lady just yesterday offered to take her trailer in somewhere to get measurements. The people on this forum ROCK!)


Once we were finally presented this option, it seemed like a godsend. Did I ask to see it online? Nope. I just said GET IT NOW! YESTERDAY! And we did go over the brake issue several times. It's hard to say who *exactly* made that miss, and at this point it doesn't really matter.


Hubby is driving over now to pick it up. My only request was that he get copies of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING related to measurements and the order. If someone else down the road has this same problem, maybe this info will help.


When I put all of this together to upload, I'll also dig into the Dexter site and try to connect the dots.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:54 PM   #6
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7 in. brakes are used on 2K or less axles and have limited stopping power. 10" brakes are used on 3.5K axles, most 16' and above trailers. 10" brakes are much better and the backer plate assemblies are really not that expensive considering everything is new. An unexpected expense but in the long run I think you will be much happier. Don't forget to order hardened brake mounting nuts/bolts from Dexter if your axle did not have any they don't come with the backing plates. oops. Forgot you will need brake drums too. That does add to the expense quite a bit.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:40 PM   #7
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.. oops. Forgot you will need brake drums too. That does add to the expense quite a bit.
Eddie
Do you think that this would be a fairly common item (used of course) in a boat or trailer junkyard? I am just guessing but it seems to me there must be a fair number of trailers that were in accidents but the drums are OK and maybe not too old.. anyway, just a thought to save some $$$$.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
7 in. brakes are used on 2K or less axles and have limited stopping power. 10" brakes are used on 3.5K axles, most 16' and above trailers. 10" brakes are much better and the backer plate assemblies are really not that expensive considering everything is new. An unexpected expense but in the long run I think you will be much happier. Don't forget to order hardened brake mounting nuts/bolts from Dexter if your axle did not have any they don't come with the backing plates. oops. Forgot you will need brake drums too. That does add to the expense quite a bit.
Eddie
No kidding. The out-the-door on this job, with new drums and the whole shebang (they also wired the brakes to the plug, etc.) was TOO MUCH, IMHO.


Around $1400.


In addition, we discovered when backing the trailer in that NOW we need to pay attention to that once-intact drain pipe over the driveway. OK, gotta little scratch on the upper street side rear corner. Geez. Of course, that's kind of what you get when you raise the trailer. At least the rear casters no longer drag on the roller curb when we back it in -- that used to bring all the neighbors out and start burglar alarms (not really).


So. We've got this job done, we have brakes, brake controller, brake lights, turn signals, life should be good. After a few more glasses of wine I might be dancing again, but right now am just kind of


Bleh.


Oh, and we've got virtually unused 7" brake drums and bearings which need a new home.


And I have to say, the DH is a real trooper. He was against the idea of a trailer a year ago, now he's as patient as a saint. A saint with a checkbook, thank goodness.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Do you think that this would be a fairly common item (used of course) in a boat or trailer junkyard? I am just guessing but it seems to me there must be a fair number of trailers that were in accidents but the drums are OK and maybe not too old.. anyway, just a thought to save some $$$$.
Gordon, If we'd had a bit of notice, I would definitely have done some searching. I just did NOT want to leave the trailer sitting down there for a few more days, and although we have a lot of auto wrecking yards in the area I haven't seen any trailer junk yards. If we'd been prepared, this certainly would have been a sensible, and less expensive option!
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #10
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I too spent a lot on a new axle, brakes, controller, wheels, tires, etc., etc., etc. when redoing my Scamp. Now after two years of hard use, (and no end in sight) I do not care in the least what I spent.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
I too spent a lot on a new axle, brakes, controller, wheels, tires, etc., etc., etc. when redoing my Scamp. Now after two years of hard use, (and no end in sight) I do not care in the least what I spent.
Tim, thank you for kind words. I'm sure I'll feel better soon. Maybe one more glass of wine...
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:58 PM   #12
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Do you have 5 lug wheels? I believe the hubs to accommodate 10" drums are all 5 lug. I've got my fingers crossed that your wheels will fit the new hubs. I think once this is finished, you will be very happy with the 10" brakes and the new axle.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:05 PM   #13
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Do you have 5 lug wheels? I believe the hubs to accommodate 10" drums are all 5 lug. I've got my fingers crossed that your wheels will fit the new hubs. I think once this is finished, you will be very happy with the 10" brakes and the new axle.
Jack, yes (phew), our wheels are 5 lugs. Having to get new wheels also might have just pushed me over the edge!

My LilB is sitting in the driveway now. She is a *bit* taller than she was before. We *knew* this had to happen. I'll just have to get used to it.

And have another glass of wine.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:12 PM   #14
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I know it's been an ordeal, but I think the set up with the adjustable axle and 10 inch brakes is going to preform very well. Expensive ? Yes but worth it in the long run.
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