Torsion Axle advice - Fiberglass RV
RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-12-2020, 08:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Torsion Axle advice

Going to replace the torsion axle on our 1300 Trillium while we are doing the frame off restoration, any and all input welcome . Should we install a 2000lb axle or 3500lb ? Where is a good place to purchase a good quality axle ?
Thanks for your help .
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
floyd's Avatar
 
Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
Posts: 7,794
Registry
the lighter capacity axle will provide a smoother tow.
One point....Dexter will build a custom rating for your torsion axle so you could buy a 2500# rated axle which would be a 3500 with shorter rubber..
In my opinion, an average load of around 10 to 20% below axle rating would be the sweet spot.
Also your next tire should be a "C" rated radial.


My experience with Trillium 1300s would be to go light on axle rating as they tend to have an "Odie" complex when towing. also run it a bit tongue heavy(see below) and maybe a friction sway bar to top it off.


floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 06:59 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Thank you for the information. I will look into a dexter axle .
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,746
Registry
Dexter makes a #9 torsion axle. I believe its max rating is 2200#, but can be de-rated as Floyd describes. The 2200# #9 was standard on Scamp 13’s for many years and works well on my lightly optioned ‘08.

Next step up is a #10, max rating 3500#, can be de-rated as low as 2500#. That’s what Scamp now uses on their 13’ers (since 2019), a recognition, perhaps, that many people now order them with bathrooms and lots of options. It’s becoming more common to cross the 2000# mark. The #10 has stouter components and larger brakes (10” vs. 7”). It’s also heavier and costs more. The 2500# rating might be a bit stiff on a lighter vintage Trillium, yielding a bouncier ride.

If the loaded weight of your Trillium is around 1800# with 200# on the tongue (typical), the axle is carrying around 1600#. Adding a 20% margin to account for variations in loading and unequal left/right balance puts you right at 2000# as a target axle rating for optimal ride quality. I vote for the #9 unless you do a lot of mountain towing, in which case the larger brakes might outweigh other considerations.

Lippert is another manufacturer of torsion axles with similar offerings. Scamp switched from Dexter to Lippert some years ago. Floyd might know why. I have read a few reports of defective Dexter axles, but I don’t know if there’s any statistically significant difference in quality between the two. A shop that builds utility trailers and buys lots of axles might be able to point you one way or the other based on their recent experience.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 08:54 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Hi Jon , thank you very much for the detailed reply , that is great .
Moving forward i am going to try and souce a 2200 lb axle , if we cant get one up here in Canda i will go with a 2000lb as this trailer will be as light or lighter than original when it is completed.
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 11:34 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,102
I bought a Flexiride that was made to specifications as to mounting and spring rate.
I had the 3500 lb. axle "softened" to 3000 lbs, closer the the weight of the loaded Scamp SCV heavy duty unit.
I bought the Flexiride because the axle angle can be adjusted to set ride height and the axle stubs and arms are replaceable.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 11:50 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,281
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
If the original is welded, do not weld the new one on. Bolt it on so it can be replaced easy the next time. On our Scamp I also raised the camper a couple of inches.
Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 12:33 PM   #8
Member
 
Name: Mark
Trailer: 77 Beachcomber
Hilton Beach
Posts: 33
My recent experience choosing a new torsion axle

Lloyd, i just went through the process of researching and ultimately choosing a new axle for my 77 Beachcomber. I too was struggling with a choice between 2000# and 3500# I wanted to consider both Flexiride and Dexter as they are both easily available in Ontario.
Both manufacturers will offer to de-rate the axle during the fabrication process to as low as 70% of rated capacity, so for a 3500# axle, they can go as low as 2500#.
I took a look at the anticipated dry weight of my trailer after rebuild and estimated that is would come in at 1600# plus provisions and accessories for a total weight of 2000#. I learned from the engineering folks at Flexiride that allowance should be made for impact loading caused by road bumps, heaves or potholes and that the allowance recommendation is 25%. Therefore, i needed an axle with a load rating of 2500#.
Now I needed to evaluate Dexter vs Flexiride. The torsion absorption technology is basically the same for both manufactures. Dexter uses rubber cords in the core of the axle to absorb load induced flexure while Flexiride uses a solid rubber core which is bonded to the axle shaft. I didn' t see any advantage to one approach over the other.
One difference between the two offerings was the method by which the trailing arm angle is established on the axle. Both manufacturers ask you to specify this angle when ordering. Dexter welds the trailing arm to the axle core during fabrication and it cannot ever be altered. Flexiride positions the trailing arm onto a splined core shaft end in order to give the requested angle. This angle can be adjusted by the purchaser at any time thereafter to adjust ground clearance if desired or to achieve the ideal loaded trailing arm angle of zero degrees. I saw this as a significant advantage.
There is a significant difference in price between the two manufacturers. One Ontario business, Cerka Axle, sells both brands and their price difference was approximately $200 in favour of the Flexiride for axles of the same specification. Another Ontario Business, Canadian Axle Inc., sells only Flexiride but their price was substantially lower than Cerka for the same axle.
I whole heartedly recommend sourcing your axle from Canadian Axle Inc. They are located in Inverary, Ontario. I ordered my axle from them on Tuesday of this week and it arrived 4 days later in Sault Ste Marie.
By all means private message me if you require any more specific details of my Axle Replacement Project.
Mark
The Cac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 12:56 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
brendadave's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Alberta
Posts: 234
I just replaced my axel on my 76 Trillium 1300 with a #2000 axel.

I got the required information here https://trilliumrv.wordpress.com/vin...um-repair-faq/

Found the Dexter axel company near me (link on page above) and had it installed. I talked to a few axel guys, and they indicated that if you go too stiff(#3500) it could shake and break the fibreglass. In error they put on a #3500 first, and driving down the road the trailer bounced all over the place, suspension was non existent as it was so stiff, then replaced with the #2000 pound as I had requested and it rode so much better, no bounce going over bumps etc.
brendadave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2020, 11:30 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: Trillium 1300
British Columbia
Posts: 23
I had a #2000 flexiride axle installed om m 13' trillium and love the fact that I can adjust the ride height of the trailer. If you install larger tires and need more wheel well clearance or if you need ground clearance for some mild off roading then it is a simple process.
The way that flexiride makes there torsion axles is also different in how the rubber "shock absorbers" are implemented. As an armchair engineer it appears to be a good design.

Bill
Material Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2020, 07:04 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Material Guy View Post
I had a #2000 flexiride axle installed om m 13' trillium and love the fact that I can adjust the ride height of the trailer. If you install larger tires and need more wheel well clearance or if you need ground clearance for some mild off roading then it is a simple process.
The way that flexiride makes there torsion axles is also different in how the rubber "shock absorbers" are implemented. As an armchair engineer it appears to be a good design.

Bill
My Flexiride has performed well and I am well pleased with it and as I had modified many aspects the ability to adjust was necessary. I was able to set the axle where the ball. with the trailer level, was exactly the correct height.
I also like the design and while I did not use it I wish I had used their bracket to mount the axle to the frame instead of welding. By the way the 4' spacing of the frame, side to side, is an approximate thing and you need to carefully measure YOUR frame and make sure the axle is mad to fit your trailer.

As to the rubber in the Flexiride it is a great design as it is in torsion and hot compression. I have no idea if this really makes any difference, but there is no way to get any air in to the main part of the rubber to hasten the hardening and deterioration. I quit worrying about the possibility of the rubber slipping on the shaft many years ago, but originally I thought it might happen, eventually.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2020, 05:39 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Hi Mark
Thank you for your information, Inverary is only about 2 hours east of me so i have submitted a request for a quote for a flexiride axle with and without electric brakes
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2020, 05:47 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Thank you everyone for all your advice , it has been very helpfull this is our first fiberglass trailer so we appreciate any and all advice .
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2020, 10:18 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I bought the Flexiride because the axle angle can be adjusted to set ride height and the axle stubs and arms are replaceable.
We had to replace both Dexter axles on our Escape. Apparently they were welded/assembled on Hangover Monday. I talked to a number of axle frame straightener shops and none felt a Dexter could be properly re-aligned. Only one would attempt it and they would offer no warranty on their work. They all agreed the spindles were probably welded incorrectly, but occasionally it's the trailing arm that's bent.

It seemed foolish to replace the entire axles, but since both were replaced within 6 months of purchase, Dexter covered the replacement axles, labor, and two tires under their two year warranty.

Because of our experience with Dexter I would purchase a Flexride so you can replace just the spindle or arm.

Food for thought.

Perry
__________________
2018 Escape 5.0 TA - 2019 Ford F-150, 3.5 V6 Ecoboost,

Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we also regret selling
Perryb67 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2020, 11:47 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Thanks Perry.
We are just in the process now of ordering a Flexiride axle from Canadian axles , opted for the electric brakes.
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2020, 10:45 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,102
While you can replace the spindle and arms they are so beefy that I think that is is unlikely to be required from mechanical damage.
It might be nice if a lube failure caused a bearing to spin and ruin the axle, however.
With the EZ LUBE axle and hub I also doubt there would be a problem there either since these are not boat trailers that submerge the bearings every trip and then are ignored for years.
The arms on the Flexiride are slightly shorter than the Dexter so some adjustment might have to be made for that, but there is not a great deal of difference so it might not matter, but check.
I have been well pleased with my Flexiride axle on my old Scamp and the only thing I would do different would be to mount with the brackets available from the company.
I doubt I will live long enough and travel in this camper long enough for it to ever be a problem for me.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2020, 12:50 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Trillium Jubilee
Maine
Posts: 10
Removable axle

Here is an example of converting from welded-in to bolt-in axle. In my case, this was part of a 15' Trillium Jubilee structural rehab where the rear half of the frame sagged causing body damage. But the photos below of the axle mounting concept might be helpful to others.

I made cardboard templates of the available space before removing the shell. This helped in positioning the new axle with the body off. The goal was to center the new spindle in the the available space to allow for larger wheels/tires and clear the body with the swing arm in motion.

Powder coating the frame meant that the axle had to be removable since the axle could not be oven-baked to cure the coating without damaging the torsion rubbers. So a side-mount #10 Dexter axle was configured with a #2500 lb. reduced load rating with removable spindles. The specified width allowed the side-mount brackets to align with the INSIDE dimension of the tailer frame. These mated up to the new reinforcing plates welded into the frame. I also increased the height slightly with a 10 degree down-angle on the radius arm vs the zero degree original.

From the axle rearward the old bent frame was replaced with heavier 3/16" wall tube, and as the photos show, an additional angle crossmember under the floor step and tapered gussets to further support the cantilevered frame. The new axle brackets were slightly wider than the frame so a piece of 1/2" bar was added on the outside to fully support of the axle.

From my experience, I learned that the best source of technical support is directly from the Dexter company. There are many variables in specifying an axle and local dealers aren't always the best resource for custom situations.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_2980.jpg   IMG_3487.jpg  

IMG_3613.jpg   IMG_3614.jpg  

Mique is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2020, 05:42 PM   #18
Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
Hawaii
Posts: 66
Torsion vs. Leaf Spring Axles

With a really large Jayco Pop-up, we did a lot of mountain off pavement (I.E. graded fire roads, reasonable jeep tracks). Twice in eight years the torsion axle failed. Both times while on the highway running at posted speeds. Despite inspections and routine maintenance, the axle would get out of alignment and eat a tire. My first warning was a bald flat tire, usually far far away from an axle shop.

My solution was to replace the torsion with a standard leaf spring and surge brakes set-up. It did require adding additional steel to the frame, but it resulted in less worry, less maintenance, and I could easily see "issues" before they became on the road "problems".

This solution may, or may not be applicable to your trailer, but it sure worked well in our situation.
Geronimo John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2020, 08:43 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Jan Dyke's Avatar
 
Name: Jan
Trailer: boler
British Columbia
Posts: 160
I went with a 2200 flexride with arms set up 10 degrees for my 13 ft boler. Where in Canada are you located
Jan Dyke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2021, 11:32 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
I am in Ontario , just took delivery of my 2000lb Flexiride axle with electric brakes from Canadian Axle in Inverary Ont . This is a great company to deal with . My frame goes in for sandblasting tomorrow . then i will have it strengthened and the new axle installed.
Lloydcamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
axle


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help need advice on torsion suspension Microdad Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 7 05-07-2018 09:25 PM
How much flex should a torsion axle flex, if a torsion axle could flex flex? JeepScamp Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 5 08-10-2014 05:03 PM
Torsion Axle vs. Leaf Spring axle camper1887 Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 9 10-01-2012 05:32 AM
Torsion Axle Lifespan David Schroeder Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 14 01-25-2007 05:25 PM
torsion axle lifetime? Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 17 07-10-2003 07:46 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.