welded vs bolted axle - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-27-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
Cutting out an axle and welding in a new one your going to have to get everything much higher up. so its more work. If your 45 years old and cutting in and welding in a new axle it isnt too big a deal job wise. But doing the same thing 25 years later is a big deal at that age and getting someone to help you replace a bolted in axle is much easier. I dont know about you but the kids and young adults these days are not as cross trained and handy as the older folks were at the same age years ago. They dont seem to mind paying for everything that they should have learned to do. There is alot less talent to draw from.
Sage commentary, which would certainly apply to the second axle replacement... However, adding bolt-on brackets is about equivalent to a weld-on application.
Would you expect to do this more than once?
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:09 PM   #16
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...One label which is read on a frame of 18 wheeler manufacturing...DO NOT WELD ON THE FRAME.....If you pay attention to heavy truck chassis assembly, I bet a few welds would be found...It must have a...reason.....Just my input...
That's due to heat treating. We aren't dealing with 180,000 psi frame rails on our campers. Besides, plenty of people have cut and stretched them (raises hand) with no issues.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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I have a welder, torch, plasma cutter, cutoff tool, and several other things…none of which do me the slightest bit of good if a bad bearing spins and welds itself to the spindle along the road.

There's no way welding is easier to swap out. It took several hours to get the axle off. I could have this one off in 5 minutes.
WOW! You actually carry a spare axle?
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
WOW! You actually carry a spare axle?
No, but I can get the old one off and fixed, or have another one made like it at the next town. Been there, done that.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #19
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Assuming the bolt-on brackets are already installed?

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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Sage commentary, which would certainly apply to the second axle replacement... However, adding bolt-on brackets is about equivalent to a weld-on application.
Would you expect to do this more than once?
That's only the case if the manufacturer did not follow Dexters installation procedure which "recommends" the brackets. Not following the recommended installation procedure is also grounds for not honoring the warranty.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:47 PM   #20
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That's only the case if the manufacturer did not follow Dexters installation procedure which "recommends" the brackets. Not following the recommended installation procedure is also grounds for not honoring the warranty.
Why then does Dexter want to know which way you plan to install when ordering? Why not "require" instead of "recommend" the brackets.
Never let a warranty stand in the way of improvements.
I have not said that bolt-on brackets are bad at all.I just wondered what all the fuss was about...Still wondering
Appears to be more or less a distinction without a difference.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:11 PM   #21
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While a torsion axle may not wear out for 10 or 20 years they can get damaged. If you weld the bolt brackets on and ever have a damaged axle those brackets will end up being cheap insurance.

I also think it provides some slack in who can replace an axle. A really good welder is not found in every shop so if you pick a good one to do the inititial welding of brackets, future replacement of bolts can be done by someone less skilled.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Why then does Dexter want to know which way you plan to install when ordering? Why not "require" instead of "recommend" the brackets.
A question for Dexter. Let me know what they say.

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Never let a warranty stand in the way of improvements.
If you're buying, I won't

Quote:
I have not said that bolt-on brackets are bad at all.I just wondered what all the fuss was about...
Still wondering
Appears to be more or less a distinction without a difference.
I think the question of why some would prefer the bolt on axle has been answered. My trailer has the axle bolted, yours is welded. We're both happy. Ain't it grand Raz
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:27 PM   #23
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Does the bolt on axle make it easier to "raise" a scamp a couple of inches? I've never noticed (never looked and can't right now as it's stored) if my 16' Scamp 2011 is bolted on axle or not. Darn!

When I changed the axle from a weld to a bolt on, I had the welder install it a couple inches higher. Welded on a 2 inch riser then welded the brackets to the riser then bolted the axle on.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:40 PM   #24
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Assuming the bolt-on brackets are already installed?
Yes, I thought that was the scenario. For the first installation of the side-mount hangers ("bolt on brackets"), it's a welding job just like a straight weld-on, plus a couple more pieces to deal with. As Eddie said at the beginning, making the installation bolt-on is to benefit the person doing the next replacement.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:49 PM   #25
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RV trailer frames are not stress relieved...
They are not stress relieved, but that wouldn't be a problem for welding anyway. I assume you meant "heat treated" to a hardened state, Floyd.

Some trailer frames are hardened, but generally not our North American moulded fiberglass travel trailers, and I assume generally not any trailer frame assembled by welding... it would be too expensive to heat treat the assembled frame.

Big truck frames are different story. Some are hardened, some are hardened only in the flange areas (which is nice: they're strong, yet brackets can still be welded to the web). Watch out for heat treatment of pickup truck frames, too, when mounting hardware such as fifth-wheel hitches.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:54 PM   #26
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In my experience it does not matter if the axle is welded or bolted, removing the axle after 20+++ years still requires cutting either the welds or the bolts.
Interesting... I have not found that I have generally had to cut 20-year-old bolts off of auto suspensions, although an impact wrench is sometimes required. I would still rather grind off a bolt head than grind away all of the welds to the frame, and I would rather install a new bolt than arrange to have an axle welded on; that's a personal preference, and may be affected by my distrust of a relatively thin automotive structure surviving grinding off brackets.

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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
Having the ready ability (i.e., not owning a welder) to move an axle back a bit can have a very positive effect on trailer sway control as well. I would always prefer a bolt on axle.
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The only difference in my mind is that a bolt-on installation allows for easier future adjustment to the axle position either side to side or front to back if needed.
I don't understand how this front-to-back adjustment is supposed to work. The Dexter side-mount hanger is the the size of the axle bracket and has holes which align to the holes in the axle bracket; it is not a long strip with a series of mounting holes to choose from. Even if one custom-fabricated hangers with the intention of allowing adjustment, the requirement for a notch to clear the cross-tube of the axle would keep this from having any significant range, and the spacing structurally required for those large bolt holes would keep it from having fine adjustment capability.

I also don't see the freedom in a typical moulded fiberglass travel trailer body to significantly re-position the axle longitudinally (e.g. further back) due to wheel well position and size. More conventional travel trailers that run the floor over top of the tires without a wheel well would be in a better position to accept a modified axle position.

For side-to-side positioning: even without any bolts installed, the side mount hangers prevent any lateral motion of the axle, whether intentionally (for adjustment) or unintentionally. If the hangers were installed originally with spacers between the hanger and axle bracket (not as directed by Dexter), then those shims could be changed later to move the axle slightly in the lateral direction; has anyone done this, and would there be any significant benefit even if is structurally acceptable?

This is not like U-bolting axle brackets onto a modular boat trailer frame, or sliding a fifth-wheel along mounting rails.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:56 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
While a torsion axle may not wear out for 10 or 20 years they can get damaged. If you weld the bolt brackets on and ever have a damaged axle those brackets will end up being cheap insurance.

I also think it provides some slack in who can replace an axle. A really good welder is not found in every shop so if you pick a good one to do the inititial welding of brackets, future replacement of bolts can be done by someone less skilled.
Good points all!
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:14 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
They are not stress relieved, but that wouldn't be a problem for welding anyway. I assume you meant "heat treated" to a hardened state, Floyd.

Some trailer frames are hardened, but generally not our North American moulded fiberglass travel trailers, and I assume generally not any trailer frame assembled by welding... it would be too expensive to heat treat the assembled frame.

Big truck frames are different story. Some are hardened, some are hardened only in the flange areas (which is nice: they're strong, yet brackets can still be welded to the web). Watch out for heat treatment of pickup truck frames, too, when mounting hardware such as fifth-wheel hitches.
Quote from "Stress Relief Basics" by Andrew Cullison...
"The most commonly used method of stress relieving weldments is by postweld heat treatment. Its effectiveness is dependent on the control exercised in bringing the component to temperature and then its subsequent cooling."...

If you like we will just call it "heat treated", I guess using that term came from 35 years of hearing it and seeing it on weld relateds and work orders in the refinery.
I do understand that there are "non heat" forms of stress relief as well... such as shot peening, but not in the case of truck frames.
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