Difference in tire clearance in wheel wells of Compact Jr. - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:08 PM   #1
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Name: john
Trailer: Compact Junior
Michigan
Posts: 237
Difference in tire clearance in wheel wells of Compact Jr.

Not sure if this is a problem or not. My tires were about 8 years old, still in good shape, but I decided I wanted to treat the trailer to new.

So tonight I jacked up the trailer on the axle and put in new tires and wheels.

Then I noticed that one tire sits back further into the wheel well then the other by an inch or inch and a half.

I've had the other tires off before for bearing service and never noticed this but that isn't to say it wasn't present then.

the trailer always pulls true and the old tires have even wear.

Is this much difference normal or anything that needs attention?

thanks!
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:29 PM   #2
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It seems your new wheels have different backspacing.

I would not like that on mine, but if you have adequate clearance all around, it should not be a problem.

Why not go get a wheel that is the correct offset and then they will all be the same? Or see if the spare matches one of them and use the oddball for the spare.

Typical trailer wheels are zero offset, which means the back of the wheel, the mounting surface that sits against the drum face, is exactly in the middle of the wheel and the middle of the tire.

Measure one of the original wheels to see where the tire is supposed to sit. And be sure to take into account the width of the wheels. For instance, you could have a 5" wheel with zero offset that would measure out different than a 6" wheel with zero offset, if you only measure the depth as shown in your pictures.

Whatever width wheel you have, zero offset means the mounting surface is in the middle of the tire.

The tire should sit in the center of the wheel well opening and safely away from the springs, shocks, wires or anything else.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:29 PM   #3
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john madill View Post
Not sure if this is a problem or not. My tires were about 8 years old, still in good shape, but I decided I wanted to treat the trailer to new.
So tonight I jacked up the trailer on the axle and put in new tires and wheels.
Then I noticed that one tire sits back further into the wheel well then the other by an inch or inch and a half.
I've had the other tires off before for bearing service and never noticed this but that isn't to say it wasn't present then.
the trailer always pulls true and the old tires have even wear.
Is this much difference normal or anything that needs attention?
thanks!
Just tossing this out, are the rims on the same side as before? One may have a different offset?
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:50 PM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john madill View Post
Not sure if this is a problem or not.
Is this much difference normal or anything that needs attention?
thanks!
John,

It looks like the bearing caps come out to different widths relative to the fiberglass, meaning that the fiberglass body may be what isn't centered.

It seems that in order to really determine what's going on you should measure from the fiberglass to the end of the hub where the silver-colored bearing cap bottoms out in the hub end. That's in case the bearing caps are different, which does occur when someone loses and then replaces one.

Of course measuring to the end of the hub assumes that the two hubs are the same. This seems a safe bet as they have to fit the same spindles, but I don't really know if it's possible there could be a difference there.

So, you might try measuring from the fiberglass to the trailer frame.

And checking that the axle is mounted the same on each side of the frame.

Is it something to be concerned about? I guess if the axle is secure on the frame, the bolts that hold the trailer body to the frame are sound (!), and the tire wear and towing are all good, then I can't think of why it would be a concern.

Personally, I would want to know what's going on too!

On edit: after looking at this, I (finally) realized the tape measure is on the tire. So, yes, check the wheel offsets too.
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
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Name: john
Trailer: Compact Junior
Michigan
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thank you all.....

before I saw civilguy's post I went back out for another measure.

I stood a yardstick upright against the trailer side and measured to the ends of the caps over the end of the hubs.

there seems to be about a half an inch difference there.

all this measuring is VERY unscientific.

I bought the first wheel and tire a year ago as a spare. then went back to the place of purchase for another wheel and tire.

tires are the same size and the wheels are the typical spoked white ones though one has pinstriping, the other is plan.

i'll talk to the tire shop Tuesday.

it was a real pain, literally, for this old body to lay on the ground moving that floorjack around on the ground. my ribs are really sore and I don't want to repeat it again soon.

it would be easier to put the jack underneath the frame but that part is at least a foot forward of the axle. is that a good spot or the correct spot for using the jack?

thanks again for the replies.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:10 PM   #6
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Name: Lyle
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My Scamp 13, 1999, also has different wheel clearances. It appears the fiberglass body is not centered on the axle. I was concerned about this, as I first noticed it after the axle had been replaced. When I noticed it, I asked the service person who had installed the axle (experienced at building and repairing all types of trailers) about it. He assured me it was no problem. Upon reading further on this and other forums, I am reassured that this is quite normal for Scamps, the body is offset.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john madill View Post

it would be easier to put the jack underneath the frame but that part is at least a foot forward of the axle. is that a good spot or the correct spot for using the jack?

thanks again for the replies.
John,

I hear the jack is always supposed to stay under the frame rather than an axle.

I had a bottle jack a little bit too far forward on the Casita's frame last year and it tried to lift the A frame. This would have quickly made things pretty interesting. It wouldn't be stable at all with all the weight on one wheel and the jack on the opposite side.

Fortunately, I noticed that it was lifting the frame at an angle before things got out of hand.

Let us know what the tire shop says or what else you learn. I'm always curious what the real story was.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:30 PM   #8
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Name: rick
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Colorado
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14" WHEELS

When I upgraded to 14" wheels, I found that the curb-side wheel well clearance was perfectly fine, but the street-side wheel well had to be trimmed back. Makes me wonder if Scamp is paying sufficient attention to centering the axle when they mount it in the factory. Nevertheless, I feel much safer traveling with the 14's.
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:39 AM   #9
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The key measurement is from the hitch point to the centre of the axle hub. That is difficult to do without putting the trailer on a lift. It can be approximated by measuring from the hitch point to the front centre of the tread of each tire. All these measurements need to be identical side to side for the trailer to pull properly, and not crab down the road. A measurement from the tire frame to the trailer body, or even the bearing cap means nothing, just that the trailer is not centred on the frame, or that the bearing caps are different.


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Old 06-02-2017, 03:20 PM   #10
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Name: john
Trailer: Compact Junior
Michigan
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must just be the nature of this beast.....

Today I jacked it up again. took of one new wheel and tire and put on the old wheel and tire.

it sat in the same position as the new one.

did the same on the other side, same result.

so the portside tire is about an inch further into the well.

I can slide two fingers between the trailer and the top end of the tire on one side, three fingers on the other.

no difference with new or old wheels. so it may have always been this way.

next week i'll take her for a drive. it always pulled smooth and true before, hope to see nothing has changed there.

thanks for all the responses!
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:38 PM   #11
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I know on the Boler the body is offset on the frame 1" to the kitchen side, this was done to make the kitchen slightly wider. This 1" offset is most visible when looking at the wheels in the wheel opening. This could be exactly the same on your trailer
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