Tire wear - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2011, 10:33 PM   #1
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Tire wear

We just returned from a 4000 mile trip and I noticed that the outside sidewall of both tires was wearing smooth. The axle is a upgraded 3500# Dexter spring unit.

Can anyone tell me if the 1000 pound weight of the trailer does not flex the axle enough to set the tires at normal towing stance which causes the outside wear.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:52 AM   #2
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Not enough air in tires.(My guess)
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:39 AM   #3
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Ours is 2170 lbs at axle it has a 3500 lb drop axle; some curve is still showing at that weight. With water tank full and two full propane tanks we are about 2375 lbs still curve shows. It would take a lot of weight to get it to go strait.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Darrel Smith View Post
We just returned from a 4000 mile trip and I noticed that the outside sidewall of both tires was wearing smooth. The axle is a upgraded 3500# Dexter spring unit.

Can anyone tell me if the 1000 pound weight of the trailer does not flex the axle enough to set the tires at normal towing stance which causes the outside wear.
Is it the sidewall that is wearing or the edge of the tread? The sidewall should not wear at all. If the outside tread of both tires is wearing and the inside of the tire tread is not wearing, then it is not due to inflation. The toe in could be off, but that is not likely with a new axle, so my guess would be that there is not enough weight on the axle to flex the axle straight. If your trailer only weighs 1000 pounds, that is only 29% of the axle capacity. My Burro has a similar weight and when I replaced the axle I got a 2000 pound one, resisted getting the 2200 pound axle for the same price because I was wondering about this issue. Why did you get a 3500 pound axle? A 3500 pound axle costs and weighs more and the trailer frame could not handle that much weight without serious reinforcement. It also seems that the torsion suspension will not flex much with that little weight, so it may act more like a solid axle without suspension. You might be able to take the axle off and have it bent straighter with a hydraulic press, but there would be the possibility of screwing up the alignment if it was not done accurately.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:04 AM   #5
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Is it the sidewall that is wearing or the edge of the tread? The sidewall should not wear at all. If the outside tread of both tires is wearing and the inside of the tire tread is not wearing, then it is not due to inflation. The toe in could be off, but that is not likely with a new axle, so my guess would be that there is not enough weight on the axle to flex the axle straight. If your trailer only weighs 1000 pounds, that is only 29% of the axle capacity. My Burro has a similar weight and when I replaced the axle I got a 2000 pound one, resisted getting the 2200 pound axle for the same price because I was wondering about this issue. Why did you get a 3500 pound axle? A 3500 pound axle costs and weighs more and the trailer frame could not handle that much weight without serious reinforcement. It also seems that the torsion suspension will not flex much with that little weight, so it may act more like a solid axle without suspension. You might be able to take the axle off and have it bent straighter with a hydraulic press, but there would be the possibility of screwing up the alignment if it was not done accurately.
My bad. I said sidewall but I meant outside tread. I have beefed up the frame with 2x3 rectangular steel tube boxed main frame. The 3500# axle was used so got it for free. My reasoning is to stiffen and strengthen the frame for off road use. I have substantially lightened the fiberglass body by removing all internal wood furnishings and support framing and used minimal aluminum support framing instead. I think the body is somewhere around 1000 pounds estimate. The frame and running gear should be another 500 pounds or less.

Everything I have read and your suggestions is to straighten the axle so it will run true with the lighter weight sounds like the approach to take. I think a good alignment shop could to that without a problem.
Thank you.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:14 AM   #6
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More than you care to know about axles:

http://www.dexteraxle.com/resource_library_

Click on "Download" under "Helpful Product Resource Download..."
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:59 PM   #7
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Another possibility is that there is excessive toe-in set in your trailer axle. A good alignment shop can check all this out.
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