How do I fix my leaning trailer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-17-2017, 07:37 AM   #1
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How do I fix my leaning trailer?

Our Compact II noticeably leans to one side. I'd like to fix that before we tow it across several states this summer. I can see underneath that the original axle is on top of the original springs, and that one side is lower, but I'm not sure what the solution is. The springs on the side that is lower seem to be deflected less than the springs on the other side but I didn't measure. Obviously springs should be expected to sag over time. Is there reason to do something in addition to replacing these springs?
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:43 AM   #2
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I'd take it to a trailer repair place, (even ones that sell horse trailers or farm trailers,) and have them just swap out both of the springs on the axle.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:44 AM   #3
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You may have a broken leaf spring on the low side,a close inspection should tell.
It is also possible to have springs rearched to give more support.

R.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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Springs can be re-tempered and become equal, i have done this many times on drag racing vet's
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:49 AM   #5
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Not sure what stores are in your area, but farm supply stores usually carry light trailer axle components at reasonable cost. You should be able to get direct replacement springs which can be changed with ordinary hand tools.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:20 AM   #6
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Hi Brian
If you determine that you need to remove the spring sets, the first thing I would do is to liberally apply a product like wrench EZE, liquid wrench etc, to the nuts on the spring shackles at the ends of the springs and to the bolts that hold the spring seed to the axle. To make it easier to change I would use an impact wrench to loosen the nuts, if you don't have one, try to borrow one. The nuts rust up pretty tight so soaking for a couple days makes removal a lot easier.
Dave
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:19 PM   #7
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Thank you friends. This is all very helpful. I have a farm supply store nearby and I'd like to try replacing the springs myself. If that doesn't work out, I will take it to a shop I know of. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:14 PM   #8
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Leaf Trailer Spring 4 Leaves, 3500-Lb. Capacity/Pr., Model# 12523 | Trailer Springs| Northern Tool + Equipment
Replace both sides for less than $70 USD.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:27 PM   #9
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I had a similar situation years ago- it wasn't the leaf spring itself, but the piece that it attaches to (and I'm sorry I can't remember what it was called). One piece was stuck. A trailer place (commercial, not RV) replaced it for me, no problems since.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:31 PM   #10
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Second pic down, it was the part that is supposed to move that wouldn't. Check that on yours. My springs were fine- just one of those parts was frozen.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...xle-75895.html
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I had a similar situation years ago- it wasn't the leaf spring itself, but the piece that it attaches to (and I'm sorry I can't remember what it was called). One piece was stuck. A trailer place (commercial, not RV) replaced it for me, no problems since.
Bobbie, maybe that piece is called a shackle?

Darwin, thank you for the link. That looks just like what I need.

You all are great. I hope as I gain trailer experience I can be helpful to someone else.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:59 AM   #12
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Yes, a shackle. (Sounds familiar, anyway!)
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
the first thing I would do is to liberally apply a product like wrench EZE, liquid wrench etc, to the nuts on the spring shackles at the ends of the springs and to the bolts . . . The nuts rust up pretty tight so soaking for a couple days makes removal a lot easier.
Dave, you were exactly right. Below is the picture of the shackles and spring before I started. I used my favorite lubricant (PB Blaster) and sprayed liberally twice a day for 4 days. After that, all of the rusty bolts came off with an ordinary 1/2 inch socket wrench. I was very surprised I didn't need my impact wrench or even a breaker bar. I ordered my new springs this morning.

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Old 04-25-2017, 07:25 PM   #14
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If you're replacing the springs, also replace the shackles and bushings.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:27 PM   #15
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Grease zerks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
If you're replacing the springs, also replace the shackles and bushings.
Hey Donna
Remember when manufacturers put a grease zerk everywhere there was repeated movement or friction? Those old Chrysler products in the 50s had about 25. But if they had been greased regularly you could take them apart and fix whatever. Ball joints, tie rod ends, spring shackles, and the clutch and brake petal just to get started.
We greased cars for $1.75 7 cents a zerk plus treated all the rubber bushings. Now, nothing but planned obsolescence.
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:49 PM   #16
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Planned obsolescence is a relative thing. Car manufacturers quit putting Zerks on cars because John Q American didn't use or value them, and they cost money.

I recently put the last of four new ball joints on my fine, vintage 1999 TV and guess what: the replacement Moog Problem Solver ball joints all have Zerks. So does the replacement idler arm. And yes, the waste grease from the joints does indeed help with undoing things later on, but then so does living in Virginia.

As an old car guy, I have a lever grease gun with a good synthetic base high moly grease in it. I tend to hit the front end on the TV with it whenever it's convenient, which usually works out to twice a year or so.

In the case of the trailer spring shackles, I'm guessing that there are nylon bushings on the shackle bolts. They tend not to like grease. If you want to switch to greased joints, you'd need hollow shackle bolts with Zerks on the end. I suspect they exist, but couldn't really say (I have a Dexter Torflex, so nothing similar there).
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:35 PM   #17
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Iowa Dave.

I worked for Sohio (Standard Oil of Ohio) in and after HS for a while and we greased cars for $2.50 and that included checking all fluids, hoses, tires, bulbs, oiled door hinges and lubed weatherstripping around the doors. If the brakes needd adjusted that was extra.
Lube Oil and filter with the premium oil was about $20 and the customer was good for another 1500 to 2000 miles And we did pickup and deliver and you could get a wash while it was in.

Now you can get coffee after you pump your own gas

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Old 05-07-2017, 04:33 PM   #18
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Success!

My trailer doesn't lean noticeably anymore. Springs cost me $63. All new fasteners: $66. Rust inhibiting primer and paint: $16. I tightened the shackle bolts until the heads were flush against the shackles and hangers. Then I backed off the nuts a little bit because I think over-tightening might be detrimental. Thank you to everyone who offered advice.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:48 PM   #19
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I bet you have a good sense of accomplishment from that project. Make sure and check those nuts after a trip or two just so they do not loosen up.
Iowa Dave
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