How common is a broken frame? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:15 AM   #1
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Name: Rick
Trailer: 1999 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Lawrence
Posts: 45
How common is a broken frame?

I'm a new Casita owner (20 year old unit). In the last week, I've seen several videos about broken frames on Scamps and Casita trailers. It had never occurred to me that could be an issue.

How common is that? Any suggestions for what to look for and how to inspect my (new to me) 1999 Casita?

R.
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:53 AM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
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It's not too common, but it has happened to some trailers. I'm not sure about Scamp frames, but Casita uses a pair of 3" mild steel "C" channels for the two main frame rails. Generally if there is a frame problem it will usually be in the vicinity of where the frame rails are bent inward, at the front of the trailer shell, as they form the trailer tongue A frame. Those bends create weak spots in what I would consider an already structurally undersized frame. That area would probably be where you would find any cracks, if there were any.
As old as your "vintage" Casita is, it wouldn't hurt to get a rolling creeper and visually check the whole frame. It has probably seen some wear and tear in its 20+ year life. Since your trailer was built in the early days, when they still welded the axles directly to the frames, that would be another area I would check over well. Later model Casitas have their Dexter axles bolted on now, which makes them much easier to replace.

Another point to consider is also that your axle is well past its prime. Due to it's age, you probably have lost most of the suspension due to deteriorated rubber in the axle, and may want to consider having a new one installed. For a couple of hundred bucks, you can have a new one installed at any horse or utility trailer repair shop. They do them all the time.

Here's the axle specs that Casita uses. (If you have them cut the old axle off, and while it's off, have them weld a couple of 1 1/2" X 2 ' long sections of square channel under the frame where the axle is mounted. It will give you a little more height underneath.) And have the new one bolted on, not welded. Easy enough for the shop to bring it up to date.

Here are the Dexter 3,500 Lb. Torflex axle specs for all the"bolt-on" axles that Casita now uses.
65.5" Hub face
51" outside-to-outside bracket spacing, (where it mounts to the underside of the frame.)
5 Hole on 4.5" bolt pattern for wheel rims.
Electric brakes
Camber
EZLube Hubs.
AP166 Mounting brackets, (for mounting the axle to the frame with bolts instead of welds.)
And also the "start angle" (in degrees,) of your choice: 10up, 10 down, 22.5 or 45 down. What Casita uses now for a low rise or standard axle is 10 degrees up, and for their high-lift axle, they use a 10 degree down.
If you don't want to add the 1 1/2" square channel, then use the 10 up, if you do add the square channel, then get the 10 down axle.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:37 PM   #3
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Name: Rick
Trailer: 1999 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Lawrence
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I can't thank you enough for your extensive and thorough reply. Really (I mean REALLY!) helpful.

What would you guess the cost would be to replace everything per your specs?

R.
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Old 06-13-2020, 01:12 PM   #4
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Name: J
Isle of Wight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post

......If you don't want to add the 1 1/2" square channel, then use the 10 up, if you do add the square channel, then get the 10 down axle.
Say what??
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Old 06-13-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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Originally Posted by widgetwizard View Post
Say what??
That's what Larry G says...
Standard axle, (frame mounted axle with no frame lift kit,) is 10 up.
Hi-lift axle, (as in axle mounted to the lift kit,) is 10 down.
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Old 06-13-2020, 04:12 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
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Almost all broken frames are on Trailers from the 1980s or earlier.
Of course anything can break, even brand new.
Early Scamps were made of a much lighter gauge steel than newer ones.
As for Casitas, I can only surmise the same is true, since nearly every cracked frame I have seen on any fiberglass trailer was from the early years.
Twenty years ago would still be "Modern" (read not prone to breakage.)
These trailers like any product can succumb to abuse when subjected to it, but it is certainly not a common weak point.
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Old 06-13-2020, 04:14 PM   #7
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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Originally Posted by thunderworks View Post
I can't thank you enough for your extensive and thorough reply. Really (I mean REALLY!) helpful.

What would you guess the cost would be to replace everything per your specs?

R.
Here's a couple of links to some axle info. There are others, and you can probably find a better price than the factory quote at any trailer repair shop. I would just recommend calling a nearby stock and utility trailer sales/repair place and let them give you a quote. They know those axles pretty well.

https://bendtrailers.com/dexter-10-3500lb-torflex-axle/

https://www.storesonlinepro.com/stor...page/249824203
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