Possible bent Axle on 2014 Scamp 16 ft - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-10-2016, 03:12 PM   #15
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Back in the old days we would "string out" a race car to make sure we were building the car square. The technique was to get the "cotton laser" AKA string and tape it to the back of the tire and wrap it around the side across the tire and bring it forward to the front.
When the string just touches the sidewall on the front of the tire this was the direction of travel of that wheel. Measure from the hitch to the string and write that down. Repeat on the other side and then compare numbers.
In a perfect world the distance from the centerline (hitch) to the strings should be the same indicating the wheels both line up.
Some manufacturers build in a little toe in by bending the axle in the middle and some build in some positive camber by bending the axle up in the center to correct for loading.
Your Dexter should be lined straight forward and the wheels plumb vertically.

You may have a bent trailing arm or axle tube, but instead of wondering borrow a little string and a helper and check.
If you have some jack stands to tie the string to so much easier.
This assumes relatively unbent rims and good tires. Or at least tires with uniform sidewalls on the outside.
If you were to jack up the tire and give it a spin and check for uneven sidewalls you could check this out.
Remember a little mis-alignment over 12 feet makes a big difference so don't expect perfect!
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:07 PM   #16
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Name: Chuck
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Washington
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Same problem, same tire, same trailer! (2014 Scamp 16' side dinette, shower forward). I've got a post in here somewhere with some pictures of my tire wear. I've got the third tire on it now. Kent, at Scamp, had the tire company send me a new tire for the first issue. I had about 6500 miles on the new one, and same problem. The folks to whom I took Kent's new tire to get remounted took one look and said "separated belt, this new tire will fix it." Well it didn't. I've also had the trailer to a (different, local) trailer manufacturer, and their remark was the the axle was in spec ("Not great, but ok," whatever that means). My next step, which I will do in the next couple weeks, is to take the trailer to another outfit for a complete bearing check, etc. and also get their advice about alignment.

A lot of people tried to tell me I'd hit something, and that it is typical for that to happen on the passenger side, where the driver has less visibility. I don't remember hitting anything, but I supposed it was possible, until the problem recurred.

Interested to hear what you find out ...

Chuck
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:51 PM   #17
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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I've done a lot of axle alignments and toe-in adjustments on big trucks and trailers. Before doing the measurements we always moved the vehicle as far as we could in a forward direction so that the suspension was loaded as it would be in normal driving
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:14 PM   #18
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
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This type of tire wear can be wheel bearings .to check the axle jack up the bad side and spin the wheel and while it is spinning place a jack stand beside the wheel an check for true this will rule out bent wheel .Then remove wheel repeat same on hub if hub wobbles might be bent or bearings replace bearings to and check again .This procedure will give you your answer Happy Trails Mike
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:57 AM   #19
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Washington
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Talking Weight balance

"When observing hoofprints, think horses, not zebras."

Have you checked the weight distribution side to side?
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:57 AM   #20
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Name: Charles
Trailer: Scamp 16
Ohio
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I have inside wear on the roadside tire. Two long time reputable alignment shops. tol me that a torsion axle cannot be aligned. I just keep rotating all 3 tires each trip. Its cheaper than a new axle.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:33 AM   #21
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
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When you get inside where like you described on the inside . replace the wheel bearings . had same problem with a trailer . when the bearings are loose or worn what happens as you pull the trailer. they splay out an causes the tires to scrub on the inside .on mine we did all of them problem solved .PS. Use bearings made in America as the off shore ones don't last . Happy Trails Mike
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:41 AM   #22
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
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All so if you want to check your axle when you do your bearings .Put a tape an check from axle end to center of tong and compare with other side. If it is with in 1/8" its will be fine .If it is lots then you have axle problems .i have bent axles on trailers you will notice right away .Happy Trails Mike
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:23 AM   #23
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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When I installed the new axle on my Scamp I used a wire as a gauge to get the thing square with the direction of travel.
A little difference in where the frame lines up is less important than where the wheels are in relation to the centerline as defined by the hitch!

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 01-18-2016, 02:07 PM   #24
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Name: Chas
Trailer: Escape 21 - previously 16' Scamp
Washington
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I had the exact same problem with my 16' floor model 6 Scamp. I always check the tires often and would estimate that the damage occurred in less that 300 miles - from no damage to "thumping" bad.

A lot of things complicate the issue. Beside the above mentioned items (axle, tire/wheel balance, etc) add to it WDH and sway bar - both of which SIGNIFICANTLY affect the trailing characteristics. The WDH also adds significant weight to the trailer axle - and not necessarily equal across both wheels.

New tires and new vehicle (no WDH, but still sway bar), and no problems yet, but you can be sure that I check both tires before and after every outing.

CVZ
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Old 01-18-2016, 02:59 PM   #25
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvanzan View Post

A lot of things complicate the issue. Beside the above mentioned items (axle, tire/wheel balance, etc) add to it WDH and sway bar - both of which SIGNIFICANTLY affect the trailing characteristics. The WDH also adds significant weight to the trailer axle - and not necessarily equal across both wheels.

New tires and new vehicle (no WDH, but still sway bar), and no problems yet, but you can be sure that I check both tires before and after every outing.

CVZ
I do not think many here actually use a WDH on a 16' Scamp. Not something someone communally sees on such a small light trailer.

As you say WDH can add a whole new chapter to problem issues - particularly if the WDH has a max weight rating well over the actual weight of the trailer & not set up correctly ... which can happen pretty easily with many of our relatively light trailers.

There is a gentlemen who is well respected in the hitch install industry who has written in publication about how a WDH that is over rated for the trailer or incorrectly adjusted can/will do more damage to the trailer than good. Trailer frame fatigue on light framed trailers and pooping rivets are two such items.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:48 PM   #26
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Name: Chas
Trailer: Escape 21 - previously 16' Scamp
Washington
Posts: 16
Carol -

I totally agree with you (and the experts) that WDH with 16' Scamp can cause overloading of frame/wheels/tires and axle. It's very possible that the WDH tension was set incorrectly (I'm innocent - dealer did the setup). However, the owner's manual for my previous tow vehicle (2003 Odyssey) stated that WDH was mandatory for any trailer the weight of the Scamp. ....and I ALWAYS follow the rules - haha - not so much. In the event, it certainly handled much better with the WDH.

I take this issue very seriously. The degradation of my my tire was so severe and so sudden, that a catastrophic failure was imminent. I'll be sure to post back if the tire degradation reoccurs in my current configuration. I've got about 2500 miles with the new tow vehicle (2003 4Runner V8) and new tires and I don't see any wear indication that the wheel alignment is awry.

Cheers,
Charlie VZ
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:11 PM   #27
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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From reading the 1970's studies on trailer towing the researchers stated that air shocks ( or bags) gave approximately half of the benefits of a WDH without the chassis and trailer stress.
They actually recommended using both with the air being set to it's maximum abd then the WDH being adjusted to level the rig.
The majority of the rear lift from the air bags.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:22 AM   #28
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
California
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If the axle tube was installed out of square to the frame it would cause the trailer to "dog walk", which is where the trailer would follow the vehicle off center. The off center would cause the tires to scrub laterally producing heat and uneven wear. (wear on outside of one tire and inside the other). A trailer manufacturer like Scamp would likely use a jig fixture to locate the axle centered and square to the axis of travel. The torsion axle spindles swing on the axle tube centerline, and are likely square and parallel when manufactured. The spindle could be damaged from hitting a pothole, which could cause camber and toe problems which would lead to tire wear and trailer handling issues. As mentioned above, simple string alignment can reveal toe problems. An alignment shop should be able to check the camber (tire leaning in or out) with a gauge.
Russ
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