Axle winterizing... To lift or not to lift??? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-17-2002, 07:48 PM   #1
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Axle winterizing... To lift or not to lift???

I have been debating if I should lift my axle a bit for the winter or do as Charles does and just take her for a ride once a month to exercise the axle. This brings we up to my new poll… Do you lift your Casita during the winter months or while in storage or not. If so which method works best for you and if not explain why and what you do during storage if anything for the axle.:o



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Old 10-17-2002, 07:59 PM   #2
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To lift or not to lift

:wiggly Is this a question specific to Casita keepers? I've been reading the discussion and thought about my Trillium, whether I should take the weight off the axle, at least a bit. I had thought I might do that, with stationary jacks in the rear, just to that point where the wheels have very little weight on them and the tires are virtually round. I can't count on taking her for a little spin every few weeks because we can get lots of snow here in Newfoundland. Anyhow, I assume the question is pertinent to all our "unique little trailers".



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Old 10-17-2002, 08:08 PM   #3
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Lift?

Floy,
You need to take off the wheels and put skis on that trailer.
Then you can camp all winter.

I lift the Burro, all year, I figure its 21 years old and any help it can get is good. But I can't take the poll cause its for Casitas.
I use those jack stands from Wal-Mart, one in each corner of the frame. The wheels spin so I can check the bearings too!



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Old 10-17-2002, 08:31 PM   #4
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lift or not

I thought I'd take the poll and vote no lift as I don't because I don't have one. :) (but I didn't) Now whether I lift my Surfside or not, I dought it. This is my first winter with it, so who knows what I'll do. :m



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Old 10-17-2002, 08:33 PM   #5
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Axle

We use our Casita at least once a month so I don't worry about it.

If I was going to store it I would probably follow Dexters instructions.



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Old 10-17-2002, 08:33 PM   #6
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To lift or not to lift???

Actually pjanits, this goes for all kinds or campers that have the same type of suspension as the Casita. I just said Casita because I was thinking of what I have.

PS - I have the same jack stands from Walmart and right now I just use 2 for the front area to keep that more steady. I think if I do decide to lift it I will find some rail road ties and get right in back of the axle to lift it by lowering the front, placing ties right in back of axle and then raising the front and then also place the same 2 jack stands in front for extra support.

But as of yet I still do not know if I will lift or just drive her around now and then.

Decisions, decisions.



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Old 10-17-2002, 08:47 PM   #7
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Tongue jack

It looks to me that lifting the wheels off the ground using the tongue jack would stress the frame and also the jack. I will be in Rice next week and will ask Chuck or Jay if I can remember. I guess if I was planning on doing it I would call the 800# and ask them.



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Old 10-18-2002, 05:38 AM   #8
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Steve

I'm sure Steve meant the poll to cover any molded fiberglass trailer instead of making it Casita specific.

Everyone should feel welcome to vote how they treat the torsion axle (if they have one) on their trailer!

Unfortunately, I don't think Michael or one of the moderators can edit the poll ... so we're going to have to make do.



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Old 10-18-2002, 04:37 PM   #9
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poll

I knew that Charles, but I had to pick on Steve just a little. :wiggly
anyway, I don't know what kind of axle I have. :sad



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Old 10-18-2002, 05:39 PM   #10
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I voted anyway

Steve I figured that's what you meant but I just had to get snotty about it.;)



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Old 10-18-2002, 07:20 PM   #11
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man oh Man

We have a touchie crowd here today! I think it must be pick on Steve's week or is it just pick on Steve Colli's DAY!?

Anywho, I am asking this question on all Travel Trailer owners who have the same type of suspension as us Casita owners have. I think I might go hide in my hole now till the bombardment is over.:P



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Old 10-18-2002, 07:31 PM   #12
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As long as you come back, soon!

:wave Okay Steve! I think the coast is clear...

We all know you didn't mean nuthin' by it. We can just blame it on a bug in the software (Michael's off camping, so he can't be offended). We're all so accustomed (already!) to editing stuff that doesn't quite come out right. Who knew you (we) wouldn't be able to edit a poll?

But, now we know; we'll all be more careful in future.

(We could delete the whole thing and start over... but is that really necessary? We could make a poll about it. What do y'all think? Should we redo the poll or not? Should we make a poll about whether to redo the poll?)

Cheers, everyone.



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Old 10-21-2002, 06:09 PM   #13
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Axle winterizing... To lift or not to lift???

I think --- if you don't mind having to replace your axle periodically, you don't have to worry about getting the weight off it. Driving it around once in a while doesn't help prevent sagging from the constant load applied to the rubber in the torsion axle. I keep most of the weight off mine whenever possible. (As recommended by the Scamp factory) Ed



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Old 10-21-2002, 06:56 PM   #14
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OK Ed, but periodically what does that mean? I mean if you say just bought a TT and never even used it (not even once) how long would you say the axle will last? 2 years, 5 years, 10 years??? I would have to say this would be the worst case scenario (I think not only for the trailer but for the poor owner who never enjoyed their many fun times they could be having).

Even with normal use how long do these types of axles last? Personally, I have no clue but I am sure someone out there (ahumm... Charles) would probably know this. Seriously, I am curious what would be the shortest time these would where out in. Also would it be worse to take the trailer down dirt roads eveyday giving the axle a major workout or to have it sitting in your driveway for a few months out of the year.

Plus, being that my driveway is quite the slope I don't know if even lifting would be an option becuase it is not like you could get a lot under the frame to support it becuase of the slope the wood would be at. You would only get the top portion of the wood due to the slope of the driveway and possibly maybe this would/could be even worse then lifting the frame a bit. Like I said I bring this up for people in the know to tell me... I don't know and freely admit it.:o



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Old 10-21-2002, 07:46 PM   #15
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Axle lift during storage.

The Scamp manual recommends lifting 1/2 of trailer weight off axle during storage. I guess one must measure ride height of trailer and then jack till tire just clears surface, measure and then split the difference. I do this and use four screw type frame jacks at heaviest part of frame, then lower front boggy wheel and rear slide jacks for stability only. Just my "SWAG" formula, tho, Fx.



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Old 10-22-2002, 03:09 PM   #16
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Axle winterizing

I owe an apology to all for my previous response.

Scamp states in the manual I just received to remove ALL the weight from axle by jacking at heavy frame members near axle and stabalizing. Then they say to reduce tire pressure to 10-15 lbs. during storage.

As a pilot I failed the first Scamp test, Read and understand the manufactures POH. At least this crash altitude was near the ground, Fx.



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Old 10-25-2002, 09:01 AM   #17
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trailer storage

On another computer (far away) I have a tire care website, I think it was michelin, which recommended for storage over 2 months to:

1. Get the tires off concrete, (temperature and moisture transferrs thru concrete) resting em on a wood block helps.

2. Jack em up to relieve pressure on the 'flat spot'.

3. Cover em to protect from UV rays.

(This is a 'what SHOULD be done' thing.)

I've taken the liberty to word this as remembered, obviously it's not a quote.



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Old 10-31-2002, 09:00 AM   #18
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Dexter warranty

Ok, new Dexter axles come with a five year warranty on the torflex axles ... so to cut through the chase, I contacted Dexter about folks being all concerned about taking the weight off the axle. I wanted to know ... what was the affect ... and what, if anything, would void the warranty or hurt the axle.

I just heard from one of Dexter's product engineers, Duane Belisle who wrote:

Dexter Axle's Torflex axles do not require "unloading during storage" to retain the warranty. Torflex axles are manufactured with a preset start angle at the trailing arm. It is normal for the axle to take some permanent set(3° to 5°) after a year or two of loading. (example: initial start angle, 22.5° down; normal set 19° after year of loading). This does not hurt the axle but does cause a slight loss in deflection movement.

The normal set and the aging of the rubber make the axle stiffer.

This normally takes many years (decades) before it is measurable and is generally not noticeable.



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Old 11-20-2002, 02:09 PM   #19
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Dexter says: it helps the tires, not the axle

Warranty is one thing, long term wear is another. I also asked Dexter for advice. Here's what I asked:

-----
Should I put a 2500 pound trailer with a single Torflex axle on jack
stands to take the weight off the axle:

(a) when storing it for the winter
(B) when I don't plan to use it for a month
© any time it's parked in one spot for a week or more
(d) all of the above
(e) none of the above

Please include reasons. I've heard many different answers. Thanks!
-----

And the reply, from engineer Christine Bachman:

-----
Dexter Axle recommends that a trailer be jacked up and placed on appropriate jack stands if the trailer is to be stored or unused for an extended period of time (i.e. over the winter).

So the answer would be (a) but not because it is our Torflex axle. The reason for this recommendation is NOT to "preserve" the suspension but more because of the tires. The suspension is not damaged by sitting still whether it be our Torflex or our leaf spring suspension.



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Old 11-20-2002, 03:16 PM   #20
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Ah

Ah ... so it's for the tires ... and long term storage. The axle or suspension isn't hurt one way or the other!

So if we all go camping every three weeks or so ... to exercise the tires. Alright! Everybody hook up and go!



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