welded vs bolted axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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welded vs bolted axle

There seems to be a preference among some posters here for bolted-on axles.
What is seen as the advantage to bolting the axle to the frame?
I would prefer welding and see it as more stable,less expensive, and easier to swap-out after more than a quarter century of use.
I do have a MIG, a grinder, and a box of cut-off wheels, but then... every job requires the right tools.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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On two later model Scamps I looked at it appears they are now using the bolt on brackets or at least the two I looked at. The brackets and bolt kits cost about $50 extra.
I recently replaced two axles. One with and one without the brackets. It takes the same effort to cut off an old axle about 1 hr. and to weld on a new axle with or without the brackets. I agree with Floyd I think the welded to frame axle is a more secure installation. But I think the mfg.'s prefer the bracket installation. I really doesn't matter to me I won't be changing out those two axles in another 25 years.
If you install brackets you are more than likely doing it for the benefit for the next owner. But you could also get a bad axle, in that case then you would see the return on your $50 investment. In another the situation where you desired to change your axle angle or change to a high lift it would made the change easier if using a Dexter or ALKO.
Eddie
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I do have a MIG, a grinder, and a box of cut-off wheels, but then... every job requires the right tools.
For a bolt-on, that's a couple of wrenches, plus the same jack and jackstands needed for the welded installation.

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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
If you install brackets you are more than likely doing it for the benefit for the next owner. But you could also get a bad axle, in that case then you would see the return on your $50 investment. In another the situation where you desired to change your axle angle or change to a high lift it would made the change easier if using a Dexter or ALKO.
I agree.

In the case of the original trailer manufacturer, that "next owner" is the first owner.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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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. Properly installed and torqued bolts will provide the same stability and strength as welding. 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.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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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. Properly installed and torqued bolts will provide the same stability and strength as welding. 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 agree wholeheartedly! 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.

Frank
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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If it is bolted on, you can change it yourself in a couple of hours. If it is welded on it will cost you several hundred dollars to have a professional welder to change it out.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #7
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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!

S.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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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!

S.
It depends on the type of axle. A spring axle can be flipped. I had a stickie that had been done to, and I reversed it to get it back to stock. I don't have any experience with torsion axles, so have no clue. To me, bolting anything makes it easier to work on!

Frank
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
It depends on the type of axle. A spring axle can be flipped. I had a stickie that had been done to, and I reversed it to get it back to stock. I don't have any experience with torsion axles, so have no clue. To me, bolting anything makes it easier to work on!

Frank
I agree with Frank that a leaf spring axle can be flipped. On a torsion axle spacer blocks can be installed between the frame and the axle mount to increase ground clearance
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
For a bolt-on, that's a couple of wrenches, plus the same jack and jackstands needed for the welded installation.
.
Assuming the bolt-on brackets are already installed?
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:48 PM   #12
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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...
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thinh View Post
...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...
A pure case of apples and oranges... Fiberglass RV trailer frames are not stress relieved, besides the bolt-on brackets for these little trailers are to be welded in place anyway.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
There seems to be a preference among some posters here for bolted-on axles.
What is seen as the advantage to bolting the axle to the frame?
I would prefer welding and see it as more stable,less expensive, and easier to swap-out after more than a quarter century of use.
I do have a MIG, a grinder, and a box of cut-off wheels, but then... every job requires the right tools.
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.
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