Torsion Axle Tire Wear - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2021, 10:48 PM   #1
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Name: Gary
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Torsion Axle Tire Wear

Hi All. I am looking at a 1975 renovated Trillium. Over all it looks in great shape, however, I did notice minor uneven tire wear on the inside of both tires. (It is as if the tires may be tilting inward from the top). Wondering if there is an adjustment to correct this uneven tire wear, or if it indicates a more serious problem. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 10-28-2021, 06:06 AM   #2
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There is no adjustment on torsion axles, and it’s possible this signals the end of the road for this axle. If it is original,, it has far outlasted the typical lifespan of around 20 years, so consider it normal wear and tear.

Factor a replacement axle into your offer and post-purchase budget. Figure around $1000 for parts and labor, maybe more in the current economy. It’s a good time to add brakes if it doesn’t already have them.

It is also a good time to inspect the frame carefully, replace shell-to-frame attachment bolts, and possibly reinforce the weak areas at the front tongue transition.

All this is pretty routine for a trailer if that age. You said “renovated,” but how deep did they go? Did they reseal the belly band and windows, two other common failure points on vintage Trilliums?
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Old 10-28-2021, 08:59 AM   #3
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measure the tread depth across the tread .
A new ST tire will have 9/32-11/32 of tread.
If the tread depth on the inside is only a couple 32nds shallower than the outer tread then you may not need an axle replacement just yet.
As the axle wears, it will develop negative camber which will cause more wear to the inside of the tread. If the inside edge of the tread takes more than a few years (3-4) to get to 3/32nds then your tires probably aged out before they wore out , even if the outer tread still has 5 or 6/32nds left.

Example... You buy new tires and plan to replace them in 4years...

After 4 years has passed you have 4/32nds on the inside tread and still have 7/32nds on the outer tread. The tires are still serviceable and safe at replacement time.
A torsion axle with half its life left will still have developed some negative camber and yet not be in need of replacement as of yet.
The anticipated miles towed per year will certainly be a factor .
A thousand miles per year might yield many more years at no more expense, whereas many thousands of miles might wear the tread before the tires "time out", thus justifying axle replacement.
Your offer might factor in the axle wear but it is probably no time to PANIC!


Also tread design and tire quality are factors as well and will affect the wear pattern.
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Old 10-28-2021, 09:28 AM   #4
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Name: Gary
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Hi Jon. Thanks for your helpful comments. Regarding the extent of renovations; the trailer frame had rust removed , additional bracing added and re-primed and painted in 2019 . (Looks like new). Belly band was reseated and windows replaced. (I have asked the current Owner if / when the torsion axles were ever replaced).
I am new to the Forum, however, if I can figure out how to attach some photos from my iPhone library, I will in my next replay. Thanks again for everyone’s input
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:40 AM   #5
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Trailer: Trillium
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Hi All. Just heard back from the current Owner, that the previous Owner replaced the Torsion Axles in 2020. I am guessing that the minor tire wear on the insides of both tires may have been from travelling with an overloaded trailer, or perhaps the tires are older than 2020, and were used on old axles, prior to the new axles being installed in 2020. Does that sound logical to everyone? As always, your comments are appreciated. Cheers
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Old 10-28-2021, 01:07 PM   #6
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I'd say most likely the second. You can verify easily enough by checking the date codes on the tires (WWYY).

Sounds like the renovator did all the right stuff.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:03 PM   #7
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Name: David
Trailer: currently shopping
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tire wear

It's possible that the recent renovation added enough weight that the axle is now overloaded. Be interesting to see a current weighing result, combined with the spec for the new axle.
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Old 10-31-2021, 07:03 AM   #8
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
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Torsion axle tire wear

Hi I just read your post . One thing you should do is check the wheel bearing adjustment this will certainly affect the camber if it's loose . Most adjustments call for tightning the nut as far as it will go and backing it off one flat to install the cotter pin . Check with the manufacturer for the procedure on your application. Hope this may help you ! Good luck and happy camping ! Duane
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Old 10-31-2021, 10:35 AM   #9
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Name: Gary
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Thanks again for everyone’s helpful comments and suggestions. So, here is what I know so far:
• torsion axles were apparently replaced in 2020 by previous owner, (they look new)
• both trailer tires are the same make & model, with the same minor inside wear. However, one tire is date stamped 1218, (12th week of 2018) and other tire is date stamped 3415, (34th week of 2015). I am not sure if this is “normal” to have tires dated stamped 2 1/2 years apart when purchasing and installing a new set?
My present deduction on what is causing the inside tire wear is either:
1. Tires were used on this trailer since 2018, before the Torsion axles were replaced in 2020, or
2. The wheel bearing adjustment is not up to manufacturers specifications and needs adjustment.

Plan to summarize all my pre-purchase notes over the next couple of days, then contact the existing Owner with an appropriate Offer.
If anyone has any last minute suggestions, as always, much appreciated. Cheers
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Old 10-31-2021, 01:36 PM   #10
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(34th week of 2015) - I'd say that is time for recycling!
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:46 AM   #11
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Torsion axle tire wear

I had just the opposite problem with my 1980 Trillium. It had developed considerable wear on the outside with relatively new tires. Took it to an alignment shop that also does trucks and they determined that it had a considerable amount of toe in. The repair which seemed a little dicey was to pull on the axle to straighten it out. The alignment worked and has not had wear since I replaced the old tires. So I suggest getting alignment to see how the tires set on the frame.
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:51 PM   #12
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Name: John
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
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Our 1998 Jayco USDT was a heavy pop-up camper on two small tires with a torsion axle (TA) . One of the problems with the TA's is that when they start showing wear at the tires, the wear rate can increase very fast. Result is you can go from OK to the side of the road in 400 miles. I know that for sure as I ended up outside of Reno on a Friday late afternoon of a four day weekend. Was not on our planned to stay list for the trip, but we sure had a great time in Reno and at Lake Tahoe over that stay.

If it is showing bushing wear, get it fixed before hitting the highway.

Concerning bearing adjustments mentioned above. Kindly add a recheck after 50 miles. I have more than once found that they were not fully seated the first time around. Was REAL glad that I checked at a safe location.

Enjoy your new camper and welcome to this forum.
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Old 11-03-2021, 08:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W View Post
I had just the opposite problem with my 1980 Trillium. It had developed considerable wear on the outside with relatively new tires. Took it to an alignment shop that also does trucks and they determined that it had a considerable amount of toe in. The repair which seemed a little dicey was to pull on the axle to straighten it out. The alignment worked and has not had wear since I replaced the old tires. So I suggest getting alignment to see how the tires set on the frame.
Oddly enough Toe-OUT is a normal consequence of wear along with negative camber.
Your axle must have suffered an impact at some point, like maybe a curb strike, to cause Toe -IN. If so... straightening would be a good solution.
If, for some weird reason, it was due to axle rubber failure, then only axle replacement would solve the problem.
Also... straight spindle axles can be subject to bending at the base, so before deciding to straighten the axle make sure the spindle is straight and unharmed, I have seen them get bent and then later actually break off, resulting in the loss of the whole wheel, tire and hub assembly.


This would be VERY rare( if even possible) on a tapered spindle which is much stronger for greater capacity.
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