Snoozy axles - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
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Snoozy axles

6 days ago I had the misfortune to encounter a good sized rock with my passenger-side wheel on the Lil Hauley (cargo Snoozy). It dented the rim and blew the tire immediately. I got a replacement rim with tire from Tractor Supply and resumed my work.

Yesterday I had a rather long (225 mile) drive with the Hauley. At about the midway point, I was parking on some powdery dirt that clung to the driver's side tire, so it called my attention... and it did not look right. Looking more closely, I realized that the inside 1/3 of the tread was pretty much worn off. By the time I got back home, it looked really bad... and by now the passenger side tire was looking very similarly worn (after less than 500 miles!).

I called Alan at Snoozy, and he had Jeremy at Wesco get ahold of me. Wesco builds the frames and installs the torsion axles. The latter, Jeremy said, are made by Tie Down Engineering in Atlanta, GA. It became plain that my troubles most likely stemmed from hitting the rock and not from a manufacturing defect, but Jeremy offered to get another torsion axle shipped for a very reasonable price.

Unfortunately for me, I'm sure it would take a while for Tie Down to whip up an axle and ship it out. And I'd have to measure the frame and provide that info to Wesco, so if I measured wrong it would be my loss if the axle didn't fit. So I opted to take the Hauley to a local shop that is probably going to refit it with a spring axle.

In case any Snoozy owners happen to need a replacement axle any time soon, I thought it would be helpful to give this info about its origin. Jeremy mentioned a part # 50301A that many Snoozys may have been fitted with, but on my axle I found a metal band (about to fall off! ) with the part # 50064. Upon questioning this difference, Jeremy wrote, "We switched mounting types multiple times on the axles to accommodate or increase ease of assembly for the camper guys." So I think it will be necessary for anyone getting a replacement to measure carefully and to specify attachment info with as much detail as possible.

From a personal standpoint, I cannot afford to be without my cargo trailer for 2 weeks while an axle is made, shipped, and installed (if it fits). I was rather enamored with torsion axles, but much of that image has tarnished in my mind. I now think that I would favor a spring axle in any situation, given the choice. Even if the trailer were just a camper, what if the axle got damaged far from home? I could be stuck in that area for a long time while awaiting repair... unless I were willing to sacrifice a set or two of brand new tires to get home (or more tires, if the issue was worse than the one I experienced).

Also I find myself disenchanted with how far the wheels stick out on the Snoozy. They could easily, I believe, have been located 3 or 4 inches closer to the body. As it is, one must pay very strict attention to staying in the center of the lane on the narrow back roads... the type of road I was on when the tire wandered off the pavement just a bit and hit that rock. The local shop is working to get a narrower-wheelbase axle for the Hauley.

As a last observation, I'm thinking, "Who the heck is Tie Down?" Admittedly this was a hard hit on the wheel, but I never really thought that sort of thing would bend an axle! After towing for probably over 1/4 million miles, this is the first bent axle for me. I think I would feel more comfortable with a major-brand-name axle. The local guy is putting on a Dexter for me.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post

As a last observation, I'm thinking, "Who the heck is Tie Down?"
Sorry to hear of your problem. You asked the question so I did a search. Under "about" I found this:


Tie Down Engineering's commitment to excellence has taken it from a simplistic garage operation in 1971, to it's current, dynamic and sophisticated manufacturing position servicing multiple categories of industry in the primary metals market. Quality products, emphasis on customer service, technological awareness, high productivity and capital investments are the corner stones of the Tie Down philosophy.

The commitment to excellence by the Tie Down employee and management teams, when coupled with our "high operating leverage" investment philosophy, produces a manufacturing combination that will satisfy the most discerning consumer. We sincerely hope that you will join with Tie Down Engineering on our continued journey for growth and excellence.

C.J. MacKarvich
President


Looks like a small manufacturing operation perhaps originally geared to the marine industry. On the home page is a link to the management. There you will find phone numbers and email addresses. I would contact them. I'd start with the president, early in the morning or after 5:00.

Dean Samuelson
President
(404) 344-0000 Ext. 1113
dean@tiedown.com

They seem to have two presidents?

Good luck. Raz

http://www.tiedown.com/index.html
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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I was rather enamored with torsion axles, but much of that image has tarnished in my mind. I now think that I would favor a spring axle in any situation, given the choice.
The leaf spung beam axle will tilt on one-wheel bumps, tilting the wheels unlike the independent suspensions, so make sure room is allowed for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I find myself disenchanted with how far the wheels stick out on the Snoozy. They could easily, I believe, have been located 3 or 4 inches closer to the body. As it is, one must pay very strict attention to staying in the center of the lane on the narrow back roads... the type of road I was on when the tire wandered off the pavement just a bit and hit that rock. The local shop is working to get a narrower-wheelbase axle for the Hauley.
Usually the wheels-on-the-outside configuration is chosen to allow full deck/box width through the nterior, without wheel housing intrusion. Obviously, a travel trailer (especially without slides) doesn't need that. The more common RV configuration has the wheels set further in than necessary, and while that isn't good for handling it is good for reducing curb clearance problems, especially on turns.

I don't know how much the Snoozy wheels could come in, but I would be very careful to allow for suspension deflection and tire distortion in turns. How much space is there between the tire inner sidewall and the frame or body, and how much between the suspension arms and the frame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
As a last observation, I'm thinking, "Who the heck is Tie Down?" Admittedly this was a hard hit on the wheel, but I never really thought that sort of thing would bend an axle! After towing for probably over 1/4 million miles, this is the first bent axle for me. I think I would feel more comfortable with a major-brand-name axle. The local guy is putting on a Dexter for me.
Having a common brand would help if a replacement bearing, seal, hub/drum, or brake assembly failed on the road, but a structural problem - even just a bent spindle - requires complete axle replacement in the Dexter Torflex design, and no one is likely to have the right width, bracket position, bracket type, bracket orientation, and starting angle in stock... no matter how common Dexter dealers might be. Even the simpler beam axle on leaf springs needs to be the right width.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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C.J. MacKarvich
President
...
Dean Samuelson
President
(404) 344-0000 Ext. 1113
dean@tiedown.com

They seem to have two presidents?
...or C.J. MacKarvich was President when the web site's About page was built in 2007, and when Dean Samuelson was appointed in 2011 they missed the About page in the updates. An annoying error, but not uncommon even in larger companies.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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I wish I had measured between the body and wheel, but didn't. My best recollection is between 4" and 6". Probably any Snoozy owner could measure and tell us; mine is at the shop a good half hour away now.

Good point about the need for some tilting space with a spring axle. I hadn't thought of that.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:55 PM   #6
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Mike, when I replaced our 1990 Scamp axle with the leading configuration of the arm I had a Flexiride with a trailing arm configuration made up by a local trailer parts/repair place in Mesa Az. Flexiride can be adjusted by you anytime you want to raise or lower the ride. You also can just replace the arm if you damage one as you did. This place made the axle in a day. I think that any company that sells Flexiride could do the same for you.
Best of luck to you.
Dave & Paula
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The leaf spung beam axle will tilt on one-wheel bumps, tilting the wheels unlike the independent suspensions, so make sure room is allowed for that.
Could you elaborate on that, Brian? Both my Fiber Stream and Compact Jr. trailers have spring axles. Is there anything I need to pay special attention to with my Compact Jr. frame-off rebuild?
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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Both my Fiber Stream and Compact Jr. trailers have spring axles. Is there anything I need to pay special attention to with my Compact Jr. frame-off rebuild?
Not if you copy the original dimensions.

The risk is that if a trailer is designed to use an independent suspension (as the Snoozy is but Frederick's trailers are not), and the designer has arranged the tires to barely clear the body and frame (not the case for the Snoozy, Fiber Stream, or Compact Jr.), then there won't be enough space for the wheels to tilt over bumps unless they are moved out.

Mike runs no risk from this if he keeps the track the same, but he's talking about a significantly narrower axle, so he just can't go too far.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:44 PM   #9
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Flexiride can be adjusted by you anytime you want to raise or lower the ride. You also can just replace the arm if you damage one as you did. This place made the axle in a day. I think that any company that sells Flexiride could do the same for you.
Excellent points. I found when I looked into Flexiride a few years ago that the rubber cartridges could not be purchased separately by end users, but authorized distributors can make any axle housing they want and install the standard cartridge (plus attach arms) in them or whatever housing needs a replacement.

I think the Flexiride system would address Mikes serviceability concerns. Flexiride is typically somewhat more expensive than Dexter's Torflex or Al-Ko's similar product.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by David B. View Post
Mike, when I replaced our 1990 Scamp axle with the leading configuration of the arm I had a Flexiride with a trailing arm configuration made up by a local trailer parts/repair place in Mesa Az. Flexiride can be adjusted by you anytime you want to raise or lower the ride. You also can just replace the arm if you damage one as you did. This place made the axle in a day. I think that any company that sells Flexiride could do the same for you.
Best of luck to you.
Dave & Paula
That's interesting. Before deciding what to do, I looked at Dexter's and Flexiride's websites. Dexter listed 2 Tulsa area dealers, neither of which stocked any torsion axles. Flexiride did not have any way (that I could see) to look up dealers.

If I could have had a torsion axle made in a day, I would gladly have jumped on it. Still could, if I found something by early Monday a.m.

I don't think just the arm was damaged on mine, as both wheels were affected. The entire axle must have been kinked.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:58 PM   #11
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tie down

Tie down was mostly in the marine business years ago . They sell axcels ,brakes ,bearings ,just about anything for a trailer . If you cant find it at an rv place try a marina , or west marine stores . I have a friend bend an axcel just launching his boat so your not the lone ranger .I used to be a trailer rep and we carried tie down ,Kodiak , dexter ,and many other brands .I've forgotten a lot of the product by now

I think spring loaded trailers are easier to fix over torsion but torsion give a better ride for sure . Im looking at a snoozy trailer this week any other concerns for me ?
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #12
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Flexiride did not have any way (that I could see) to look up dealers.
I don't see it, either. When I was looking at these called UCF and they told me who distributed them here; I don't know if you can do that on Saturday.

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I don't think just the arm was damaged on mine, as both wheels were affected. The entire axle must have been kinked.
Even in that case, the square tube across the chassis can be quickly built when needed by the distributor, since it doesn't need a factory set up for the rubber component.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:24 PM   #13
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Here is some info Jennykatz

Lil'Snoozy owners : please contact me

and here

Lil'Snoozy owners : please contact me
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:49 AM   #14
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T Y for the information.
I stopped at Snoozyville last May on a way through S. Carolina and saw your near finished Lil Hauler.
I left with the impression that your trailer was especially equipped with heavier hardware than other trailers due to heavy loads of (I think) books that you must transport. If that is the case we may not have the same axles.??????????
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