How often are y'all actually replacing the axle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-14-2021, 12:08 PM   #1
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Name: Dub
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How often are y'all actually replacing the axle?

The dexter axles should be replaced every 10-12 years. Wondering if everyone follows this rule, or otherwise cares to share some thoughts/tips on knowing when you must replace the axle.

I know fiberglass cracks and busted cabinets are a giveaway that your axle is all dried up. What about loud squeeking when towing?
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:15 PM   #2
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In 2011 I bought a 1977 Scamp which was on its second axle.

After a while, I learned it was likely completely worn out when I bought it.
In 2019 I replaced the axle, so it has has three axles (at least) in 44 years, so that's about 22 years-per-axle.

There are a few YouTube videos and websites that talk about how to tell if your torsion axle is worn out so you can do the experiments and determine for yourself if it's time for a new one.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:08 AM   #3
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When to replace axle

It's time to replace the axle when the top of the tires starts rubbing on the fender.

On my trailer the spindle cracked. It's not a replaceable item. The first hint was the brake shoes were dragging, smelling and getting hot.

After the new axle the silverware drawer didn't get re-arranged after every trip.
Axle should be bolted on so the next one doesn't have to be cut off.
Welding is not the safest thing to do around fiberglass since it is flammable.

With the higher lift I could use 15" tires. That also helps the ride, and the 205-75's are cheaper.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:32 AM   #4
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We have 2002 Scamp 16 on original axle and it is still good. However I have always parked it with weight off the axle when it is not being used. Perhaps that has extended its life.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:22 AM   #5
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I’m guessing 10-12 years is more appropriate for trailers in commercial service with daily hard use.

With small molded trailers, 20 years or more is common. One issue is deterioration tends to be so gradual it doesn’t get noticed. I have yet to hear of anyone replacing a 20+ year old axle that didn’t report a marked improvement in ride quality.

Storing the trailer on jacks may help slow the gradual sag in ride height, but it doesn’t prevent wear from use and abuse (potholes, curbs, rocks…) nor the gradual deterioration of the rubber cords as they age.

Absent any indications of a problem (unusual tire wear, excessive bouncing, or rubbing in the wheel wells), around 15 years is a good time to evaluate the axle condition of your small molded trailer, and periodically thereafter.

A loud squeak sounds more like a leaf spring axle issue. If you have a torsion axle I’d be looking at brakes, bearings, coupler, anything that moves.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friz View Post
It's time to replace the axle when the top of the tires starts rubbing on the fender.
But if your trailer has been lifted!
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:23 AM   #7
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Good question Parmm. I had mine lifted 4".
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:43 AM   #8
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Ride height is an unreliable indicator of axle condition.

A worn out torsion axle will typically exhibit inside tire wear. Impact damage can produce other patterns of uneven wear. Both can be confirmed with an alignment check.

Finally, an aged-out axle with brittle rubber cords can be diagnosed by raising the trailer on one side and checking how much the hub drops. It should drop several inches. Little or no movement indicates a “dead” axle.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:45 AM   #9
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https://www.boler.ca/2017/05/19/torsion-axle/
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Old Yesterday, 07:41 AM   #10
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I don't know where this folklore of you have to replace your axle when it is over a certain age came from. I bought my Scamp new in Y2k, and the 21 year old axle works as well today as the day my wife and I towed the camper home.

While I do agree that the axle will someday need to be replaced, exactly when the axle will need to be replaced depends upon individual circumstances.

--Dan Meyer
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