Triple threat axle mess - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2019, 01:34 PM   #1
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Name: Su
Trailer: Triple E
Ontario
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Triple threat axle mess

Hiya fiberglass fanatics!



This is my surfside project! I will soon be posting about fiberglass repair no doubt, but in this thread I am looking for some advice on the metal frame/the axel.

I'm not sure what the lifespan of an axel is like. This thing felt ok towing and I don't see any rust holes but I don't want to overlook something so important.

Is it worth risking sandblasting, powdercoating and hoping for the best? or should I just invest in a new axel? What is peoples experience with old trailer frames?



I've pulled off what is clearly not original bumper, and am going to weld on a piece of angle with holes for mounting some cool thing I've yet to find.

Also the cross braces seem quite flimsy so I think I will reinforce those.

Lastly, the front of this frame looks like some sketchy home fix.. haven't quite decided what to make of it.



Ideas, thoughts, opinions most welcome!




Thanks!
Happy trailering!
-S
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:18 PM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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New frame and axle are the next step. Axle is way past useful life, frame patch is poor.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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Colorado
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To me it also looks like a new frame is in order. How old is this one? It was broken once and I agree, the patch is not good. Use this one as a pattern and have a new one made.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:44 PM   #4
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Trailer: Triple E
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Well looks like I'm building a new frame! Any tips on places to look for a leaf axle??
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:45 PM   #5
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The original parts of the frame would be from around 1977!
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:22 AM   #6
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Yikes Is that there instead of a fish plate?
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:36 AM   #7
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Personally, I would not use a leaf axle, I would get the appropriate torsion axle.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:43 AM   #8
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Triple threat axle mess

Speaking of which, the OP asked about the lifespan of an axle. Rubber torsion axles have a typical working life of 15-20 years. They can be safely used well beyond that point, but with gradually diminishing ride quality as the rubber cords inside the axle tube deteriorate and become brittle.

Leaf spring axles are cheaper and can last basically forever, but they often require maintenance along the way- a shackle here, a broken leaf there... The ride tends to be harsher, although that can be mitigated with an axle rating well-matched to the GVW and the addition of shock absorbers.

One reason most small molded trailers use torsion axles is compactness, allowing for a lower towing profile for better aerodynamics and fuel economy. They also give a smoother ride due to the independent action of each wheel. Airstream, most notably among larger trailers, uses torsion axles.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:30 AM   #9
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Name: Jack L
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Any shop with the capability to build a new frame should be able to configure it to use a torsion axle or leaf spring axle.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:04 AM   #10
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 1983 Casita & 1972 home-built
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Take a look at these very interesting trailer suspension upgrades. No axle to get hung up on rocks and etc. I used a Timbren overload bumper on my van and it worked great.



https://timbren.com/trailer-suspensions/


My 13' Burro buddy added a couple of c-channels to his original frame, extending the tongue and tail for a storage box and motorcycle, and providing mounts for leaf springs, which he has been happy with. The extra water, solar batteries, propane, fridge, motorcycle, and storage make for a much heavier rig than the original, but the ~5K lb axle w/brakes has no problems with it. He offroads a lot.


Etrailer.com has been a reliable dealer for me. I always check with the local guys and buy from them when possible, though.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:44 PM   #11
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I guess this was their version ?!
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:46 AM   #12
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft Freedom Deluxe 2006
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Frame and axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trill View Post
Hiya fiberglass fanatics!



This is my surfside project! I will soon be posting about fiberglass repair no doubt, but in this thread I am looking for some advice on the metal frame/the axel.

I'm not sure what the lifespan of an axel is like. This thing felt ok towing and I don't see any rust holes but I don't want to overlook something so important.

Is it worth risking sandblasting, powdercoating and hoping for the best? or should I just invest in a new axel? What is peoples experience with old trailer frames?



I've pulled off what is clearly not original bumper, and am going to weld on a piece of angle with holes for mounting some cool thing I've yet to find.

Also the cross braces seem quite flimsy so I think I will reinforce those.

Lastly, the front of this frame looks like some sketchy home fix.. haven't quite decided what to make of it.

Ideas, thoughts, opinions most welcome!

Thanks!
Happy trailering!
-S
You have the hard part done. That is removing the trailer from the frame. My suggestion is to replace the axle and frame, using state of the art axles and a heavier duty frame. Those frames were built on the lightest metal known to man and there are hundreds of cases where they broke while being towed. Some of them have been recounted here. A nice box tube 3/16 by 2 x 3 would be much sturdier, but I would use a frame maker to get the proper size for the weight. There was a reply here for a no-axle wheel hookup, and adding good electric trailer brakes would have you set to go for the future.

Safe travels.

Dick K
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