Sheared off wheel on 2017 25RTW25 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:57 PM   #1
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 7
Sheared off wheel on 2017 25RTW25

Hi, everyone...we have one of Bigfoot's new rear twin trailers and have a pressing question.

We travelled from Grand Junction to Denver today and just before we pulled in front of our house, the front-axle passenger-side wheel of the trailer fell off. All five lug bolts were sheared off. While I would love to know why this happened, I really need to know how to proceed from here.

Do we have it towed? Can we drive it slowly to repair shop? Do we call someone to fix it here? Yikes!

We previously owned a Casita and never had this problem (and, we've never even had this happen to any cars or trucks we've owned, either.) We don't have experience with a two-axled trailer...we simply need some advice.

BTW...are we lucky or what? We were on I-70 going up and down mountain ranges and around curves during Friday traffic, yet we were less than 0.1 miles from our house going about 10mph when it fell off.

We'll figure it all out and get it fixed...we always do. But any advice would be greatlly appreciated.

Barbara
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:03 PM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 5,060
Either the lug nuts were over tightened and stressed the studs, or the nuts were loose allowing the wheel to move around and break the studs. In the case of loose nuts the holes in the wheel would be worn out of shape.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Florida
Posts: 1,751
E trailer sells Dexter hub assemblies for around $50. New lug, lug nuts, bearings and seals. You just need to know what size you have. Pack the new bearings and install the hub and tire. Like Bob suggested get someone to check the wheel for lug wear. It's an easy fix for someone if they can repack bearings. You were lucky.
Eddie
I would also remove all your other wheels inspect the studs and re torque the lug nuts.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:29 PM   #4
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 7
Thanks, Bob.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:30 PM   #5
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
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And, thanks, Eddie.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:39 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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If the remaining pieces of lug nuts are tight in their holes, they can be replaced. Auto parts stores sell them. Drive the old ones out with a hammer and punch, then the tightening process will draw them into their holes and seat them.

However, if they have wallowed out the holes (but I doubt this), more will need to be replaced. As far as the wheel rim goes, if those holes are enlarged like Bob suggests, a wheel is easy to replace too.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:43 PM   #7
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 5,060
A friend recently had a wheel come off his vintage camper trailer. I saw in his photos that there were rust streaks out from every stud hole on the wheel, a sure sign of loose lug nuts. But he did not recognize this sign as mechanical stuff is just not his thing. It is a single axle trailer and all the studs broke so he had to have it towed. It became a big project with the shop involved and went on for weeks. I advised him to suggest that they press out the broken studs and try to find new ones. Finally he got it back with a $600 bill for rebuilding the hub.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:44 PM   #8
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Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,244
Shearing off is not running loose and wearing the holes out to failure. Actually "shearing" off is not the same as snapping from excessive tension. Over tightening can snap the studs off, but the likelihood of all five suddenly snapping off at the same time while driving slowly is incredibly unlikely. Maybe the nuts were severely overtightened and failed one by one until you were down to two of them and then those broke off and dropped the wheel.

If they were overtightened on one side they were probably overtightened on both sides. Might be best to change both hubs and get a torque wrench to tighten the nuts properly. Lug nut torque is something many take for granted and they just tighten until the nuts are as tight as they can make them. Not a good plan and I've seen people snap them off with a lug wrench.

The studs can often be driven out with a 5 lb hammer and the new ones driven back in with a few solid blows.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:47 PM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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All the other lug nuts should be checked with a torque wrench. The question remains as to whether they were over tightened or loose. Almost a sure thing the nuts were tightened with an impact wrench
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:00 PM   #10
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Name: James Y.
Trailer: Companion
Ohio
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Last winter when I put on a new axle and new hubs, I had to install longer lugs as I was running alloy wheels and brake discs. The new lugs refused to be driven in so I to it to my uncles shop and used his press. Depending on the fit, it may be better to press in the new studs. Also, I torqued the nuts with a torque wrench to be safe.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:31 AM   #11
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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No ones answered your towing question, yes you can tow it on three wheels.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:26 AM   #12
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
No ones answered your towing question, yes you can tow it on three wheels.
I hesitated to answer that without more information. Leaf spring or torsion axle?, Chain up the axle to the frame if it is hanging too low?
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:17 PM   #13
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Name: J Ronald
Trailer: Currently shopping
North Carolina
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I once found broken lug bolts on a two axel 5th wheel, luckily I noticed the problem before they all sheared off. I think I caused the problem by stressing them a day or two earlier. Parking in a very tight site I got the tow and trailer 90 degrees and partily twisted the trailer into place. I did not do that again. Doing this with a two axel trailer is more likely to stress things than with one axel.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:29 PM   #14
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
Posts: 7,761
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Remove the hub, knock out the broken and damaged lugs.
Go to a local parts store with one of them to match it up.
Buy new lugs and nuts.
Simply push the new ones in place and they will seat when they are tightened. drive a few miles and retorque them ...Done!

I generally seat them with an impact and a lug nut installed backwards on the hub while it is on the bench (easier but not required).

It really is that simple, you will need about a 3 pound hammer, place the drum on a flat surface and whack each lug. If it is broken off flush, use a drift pin.
The whole job should be less than $10.

OH! and inspect the wheel for damage to the bolt holes.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:34 PM   #15
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
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Barbara,

First to contact your dealer you bought it from then you have to find out who they use to repair as it should be covered under warranty? Make sure it is all in order so that the warranty covers the repairs, and no I have owned 2-300 vehicles in my lifetime with never a problem like that but I have Had chev's where it takes up to 6 hours to get the rims off the vehicle with my laying on the ground under the truck with a 12# sledge hammer working the rubber tire and pounding till the cows come home to NA. By and By the rim will come off just have to find then it cools down enough. Would rather have my problem than yours just thinking if you were doing 60mph and that happened.
Stude
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:42 PM   #16
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
No ones answered your towing question, yes you can tow it on three wheels.
:but if at home remove the weight from the trailer then drive it to repair shop and have them inspect the rims to see the holes have worn any other than the round holes, I over loaded a trailer once and never did that again but I wore the holes on two of the tires lucky I did not have far to go to unload.
Stude
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:07 PM   #17
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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Let us know how it all turns out!
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:38 AM   #18
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16
North Carolina
Posts: 289
My neighbor had bought a new boat/trailer & after taking it out the 2nd time he noticed 2 wheel lugs had snapped off of one wheels. They were aluminum mag wheels & after inspection he found the shank portion of the lug nuts were too long and had bottomed out on the hub before they touched the wheel. The length wasn't off by much, maybe .030" but enough that the wheel didn't tighten on the hub. The boat dealer replaced both wheels & hubs at no cost.

I would be checking the other wheels before towing it any distance.
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