Torsion suspension - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-11-2012, 06:29 PM   #15
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 322
You have a leading arm torsion axle Lionel, as appears to be the norm in most of the older Boler, Scamp trailers. My 1984 Scamp 13 had the original axle like that which I replaced last year with a new Dexter #9 Torflex with brakes & a 22.5 degree down angle, leading arm. Raised my towing height over 4" which I wanted. Your second pic shows that most of the original mounting bracket may still be present (I'd like to see a clear pic of the other side of the axle - the same wheel from other direction). The latest pic shows a better angle of the part that was torched off & it appears the flame may not have gotten into the axle tube itself; still that much heat is bound to have had a detrimental effect on the rubber inside the tube, as evidenced by the substance between the end of the tube & the torsion arm. I'm gonna go out on a very short limb here & say, IMO, that's more'n likely a primary cause of your toe-in. I'd sure have that looked at by a professional trailer builder/repair shop before I did any more distance towing.

I agree with Roy in TO, I'd like to see a couple of good clear pix of that axle mounting configuration both front & rear and/or the opposite end of the axle. It has obviously been 're-engineered' at some point & probably by someone who didn't know (or maybe didn't care?) much about the integrity of the rubber suspension...

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Old 08-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #16
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Name: Garry
Trailer: 13 ft Boler
Posts: 32

#79 is a front to back view of the wheel on the door side of the camper.
#80 is a back to front view of the other side. (truck driver's side)
#81 is a front to back view of the other side. (truck driver's side)
Hope this is what you asked for.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #17
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Wow, that 'damage' is symmetrical so I guess somebody did it intentionally, but why? Maybe trying to bend the axle tube to correct its condition?

It certainly looks like replacement is the best action.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:32 PM   #18
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 322
Lionel, those new pix just confirm what I said yesterday. I believe someone has deliberately cut (torched) away the rear section of each lower mounting bracket (the bracket should surround the square axle tube). I've no clue as to why such would be done but, in so doing it is my opinion that the rubber inserts in the axle that provide flex in the suspension were destroyed or severely damaged by heat from the torch as evidenced by the substance that has apparently 'squeezed' out of the axle tube at each end where the torsion arm stub protrudes. This may well have allowed the torsion arm stub to assume a 'skewed' position inside the square tube, causing or contributing to your toe-in condition. While probably not as immediately dangerous as I first thought yesterday (I don't believe the axle will separate from the chassis), that much toe-in (I'm still not clear whether you have a total of 1" toe-in or 1" on each tire??) will be very destructive of your tires & may (probably?) cause other stress on the 'running gear' of the trailer. Assuming the axle is otherwise 'square' with the coupler, while you're towing each tire is 'scrubbing' rubber off the outside part of the tire tread with each rotation.

The more I look at your pix, the more it appears to me that your mounting configuration may be original, save the 'surgery' on the rear of each lower mounting bracket. The upper brackets appear to be a 'factory' installation as I can see no visible welds or other mechanical fastening devices. I've never seen that set-up before but as I mentioned previously it's a perfect set-up to allow easy replacement of your axle with a new bolt-on unit that has brakes. Would be a good opportunity to change the torsion arm start angle also, depending on how low your trailer sets/tows. Betcha with that suspension damage you don't have a lot of clearance between the top of your tires & the underside of the fender well.

Also, I'd be surprised (shocked??) if your suspension could pass the 'jump' test. My guess is that the only 'flex' you're getting from your suspension is the sidewalls of the tires. An easy check is to lie down in a position where you can watch the hub end of the torsion arm, have someone (a relatively heavy person, 200# or more) stand inside the trailer directly (more or less) over the axle & jump up & down several times. With a 'good' axle you'll see the hub end of the torsion arm move upward (flex) each time the jumper's weight comes down on the trailer floor, & return to its normal resting position. I'm guessing you'll have little if any flex other than the tire sidewalls.

Here's a pic of the old axle on my '84 Scamp before I replaced it with a new Dexter #9 w/7" electric brakes & 22.5 degree down angle leading arm, & the same side with the new axle installed -
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