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CeliaL 03-19-2011 03:15 PM

Broken axle help in Lafayette, LA? (was: whee l fell off (mostly))
Help please! I'm just west of Lafayette, LA on I10. I've called a flat bed for the trailer but I really could use any info on local repair shops!

Ray N 03-19-2011 04:07 PM

Oh...wheel fell off! Not whee...I fell off (something).

RSchleder 03-19-2011 05:01 PM

Depending on what actually caused the wheel to come off, the type of shop you need will/could be quite different. Was it simply loose lugnuts? Did the bearings freeze up and snap the hub? Did the axle break? Might help someone in giving you good repair shop info if they had additional info. good luck.

CeliaL 03-19-2011 06:11 PM

The axle broke. I had the old drop axle replaced with a straight axle 18 months ago so I could put brakes on it. Apparently the new one was not sturdy enough.
Sorry about the space in wheel - was a little unnerved at the side of the road.

Joe Z 03-19-2011 06:49 PM

Sure hope you got to a safe spot..... I'm way too far to be of any help to you but if you could replace that axle with a 3500lb dexter the little extra would be well worth it...... hope your okay and you get traveling soon.

CeliaL 03-19-2011 07:15 PM

Thanks, I'm fine. The tow truck owner does repairs (don't know how well) and was going to get a new axle on Monday. I'll pass your suggested replacement on to him. I think the trailer bouncing up and down with every expansion joint in the concrete was what did it in. Any tips on keeping it from bouncing so much? I front load as much as I can.

floyd 03-19-2011 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by CeliaL (Post 240868)
Help please! I'm just west of Lafayette, LA on I10. I've called a flat bed for the trailer but I really could use any info on local repair shops!

My brother was a long time resident of Lafayette, and a competent welder and diesel mechanic. My first impulse was to give you his number...
He passed away in November, but his presence lingers on in my memory.
My loss is now, in some small way, yours as well... Sorry we can't be of any help. :reye2

honda03842 03-19-2011 07:51 PM

I 10 is one of the worst Interstates, unusually choppy.


Greg H 03-19-2011 08:51 PM

That sucks!

CeliaL 03-20-2011 08:06 AM

Thank you all for your replies and help. My daughter's high school friend's parents now live in Lafayette and they have recommended a good repair shop for me. I'll try to go with the dexter axle and shock kit. I am beginning to wonder if touring the country in an inexpensive antique trailer is really wise. I love the size (not tall) and the campground comments but I have to say I was ready to pull the plates and IDs off and drive away yesterday!

RSchleder 03-20-2011 10:19 AM

Sorry to hear you are having a problem while on the road. I don't wish to sound flippant here, but issues/problems on the road with any model/type of RV is pretty common. We've been camping since 1970 and can assure you, this most likely will NOT be your last issue/problem. Even with an occasional problem, camping is a wonderful way to travel and IMHO, well worth the occasional interruption. Good luck with your repairs, the 3500 Dexter axle is a very good recommendation.

Greg H 03-20-2011 10:33 AM

I want to know why an 18 moth old axle broke, was it made in China?

melissab 03-20-2011 10:39 AM

And I'd like to know what the axle is rated at since we travel I-10 regularly. Dont plan on driving it while towing if we have plenty of time but if we need to get to TX in a timely manner (aging relatives there) we may be forced to use it and dont want any surprises.

Maybe you have a warranty on the 18 mo axle?

Kevin A 03-20-2011 10:39 AM

Good luck with the repair! It is well worth fixing your trailer and enjoying it for many more years to come. We purchased our 1986 UHaul VT in spring 2007 and had a couple first year road-repairs (blew a tire and found the spare was the wrong rim size, and broke a hub in Wyoming but found a replacement by dumb luck in Cheyenne). No road problems since but we know they may be coming since it is an old trailer. We wouldn't trade it, though, because it is such fun and takes us places we never considered before. Hang in there and we're thinking of you!

Tim D. 03-20-2011 10:48 AM

We went to 5200# after bent axle
After our Bigfoot 17 experienced a bent axle we upgraded to a 5200# Dexter drop axle, as our gross weight was approaching [and has now exceeded] 3500#. Now we feel much safer driving I-10 in Louisiana [where we were a couple of weeks ago] and all of the unpaved roads.

BTW, on that trip west we decided to get new tires before crossing the great lonely expanses of Texas. Before doing that we wanted to check alignment as one of our tires was chafed on one side. We called ahead to Able Axle in Baton Rouge, spent the night in their parking lot, and were moved ahead of their other work to get us back on the road. They seemed honest and professional.

Mike Magee 03-20-2011 11:41 AM

Just a thought here... if the axle was that new, maybe it's under warranty? If so you might be able to get a free replacement. Sounds like it may have been defective. Unless you overloaded it, an axle that new should not break no matter how washboardy the roads are.

Another thing, was it the axle itself that broke or did it unmount (broken welds or bolts where it attached to the trailer)?

If the axle is believed to be too lightweight, of course I can then see the sense of buying one with a higher weight rating (like the Dexter mentioned previously).

I hope you can get back on the road again quickly. It's aggravating right now, but a year or two from now you probably will look back and laugh. It makes me recall the mid-80s trip we took to Colorado as a family in a rented U-Haul egg... a heater that would not work when needed most, a front window that leaked on the kids' bedding, cramped quarters for 4 people... at the time it seemed like h-e-double-hockeysticks, but now I recall the fun parts and chuckle at the not-so fun parts.

CeliaL 03-20-2011 01:08 PM

All of my repair info is in MA so I don't know the axle rating. I had it put on at Gervasi in Madison, WI, so I will contact them tomorrow. I do know that they looked for an axle and brake system that would use the existing 4 lug nut wheels so I wouldn't have to buy new wheels too. I had bearing buddies put on at the same time so overheated hubs shouldn't have been a problem. The axle broke just inside of the brake/wheel assembly, although it also had a bend in the center.

CeliaL 03-20-2011 01:18 PM

Sorry I missed the last two replies, will try to get better info on whether the axle or the welds broke tomorrow. Also the make and rating.

Vickie B. 03-20-2011 04:09 PM

Celia---are you traveling alone???? If so, I can see why this experience would make you question your current condition! I would have been freaking out!!!

Hope you are doing better---will be thinking of you!

CeliaL 03-20-2011 04:55 PM

Yes, I'm traveling alone. And pushing 60. Trailering is mostly a great fun adventure with "OMG, what am I doing?!" moments mixed in. My daughter's friend's parents took me cajun dancing this afternoon. I'm a terrible dancer but had a great time.

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