Hi, getting ready for fulltiming.... - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
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ajfixit's Avatar
Name: AJ
Trailer: Looking
Posts: 6
Hi, getting ready for fulltiming....

Hey All,
I am AJ, now in east central Florida.
Just bought a 1998 14' Thor Citation FG laminate trailer.
I jumped on it as the interior height was tall enough for my 6' height. In most other small trailers I bang my head on the A/C.
Lots of things to modify and replace, but my first concern is the axle. This trailer when level has a 14" hitch height and it drags the rear skids when looking at a bump. Occasionally scuffs the front prop and I always crank it up all the way.
Also am having a wear problem on the curbside tire, on the inside. All the mechanics I have talked to say the axle is likely bent. It's a #9 Dexter (those folks are so helpful, if you have an axle question, call them) originally 10 degree up, 2000#. Dexter was able to mail me the original specs after I provided the s/n (from a tag on the axle).
Since the only weight spec I have found on the I-net is from Kelly's Blue Book and it is 2,160#. I need to weigh this locally, still working on that. Anyway, I was concerned about the weight but Dexter said you have to allow for the hitch weight in order to get a proper ride.
So, what I am trying to decide is how high to get the new axle, I am leaning towards a 22.5 degree down which should raise my hitch to 17" (Dexter says about 1" for each 10 degrees). This should give me enough clearance for driveways and such. Any thoughts?
Before I actually order an axle I need to weigh the trailer and inspect the axle behind the wheel, haven't gotten to that yet.
I have attached a couple of pics, one is the tire wear, the other is the trailer itself, ragged awning and all.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and HI!
Attached Thumbnails
thortire01.jpg   thor03.jpg  

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Old 08-17-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Trailer: 1988 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
Posts: 25,697
Hi AJ. Although we may be able to help you, you've stumbled on a forum for owners of all molded towables. The build for our style of towables is very different from your own.

You may have better luck, on a forum for owners of your style. I'd suggest: iRV2 Forum | - RV Forum Community and RV News. You'll find lots of kind and helpful people there too.

Best of luck!
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,861
First the good news. It looks like you have bolt on axle brackets.
The installed axle looks to be a high lift axle so unless you use bolt on or welded spacers, axle angle change is the way to get more height. Dexter has on line data on angle/height change data but one inch per ten degrees is about right.
Like you said you need to weigh the trailer, your book figures seem low to me and don't forget you camping stuff weight. You can order a #9 axle up to 2200 lbs. A #10 can be down rated to 2500lbs if that is what you need to carry the load. A #10 axle has 1" wider mounting brackets so the issue you may have if you upgrade to a #10 is the mounting bracket to hub face limit. It looks like your frame rails are really close to the wheels, this spacing may be why they used a #9 axle in the first place.
Hope this did not confuse you. If you did not have the tire wear issues you can get bolt on 3" lift spacers for about $100 to raise the trailer. But with the age, weight of the trailer and tire wear issues a new axel is more than likely in order.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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Name: AJ
Trailer: Looking
Posts: 6
Supposed to be an Ultralight

If anything, I think that quoted weight is high. This tows very easily with my 4 cyl. Toyota and I was told a previous owner weighed it at around 1800#.
Dexter was very helpful and they will be consulted before doing anything.

Thanks for the referance, I will check them out.
Although not molded, this is a lightweight fiberglass trailer. From what I can see around the A/C hole, it is built with laminated panels with fiberglass on the outside and styrofoam in the middle and fiberglass on the inside. And a plate by the door says it has an aluminum frame.

Axles and running gear are Dexter Torxflex, just like many here. Was hoping to get more useful info for lightweight trailers as most local info is about heavier trailers. Not much knowledge about lightweight RV's at dealers here.
The nearby parts distributor couldn't understand why I just didn't put a 3500# axle in (on?) it.
To him, that was a lightweight axle.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19
Posts: 6,015
A 3500 lb axle will ride more stiffly and will bounce the trailer more (cushion the bumps less).

Once you load up to the way you would for camping and then weigh it for yourself, then you will know for a fact what size axle you need. Don't order the axle and then weigh afterward! My feeling, having a 16' trailer of similar construction (I had a molded FG egg but sold it, and I never left the forum) to yours, is that I would be surprised if it really were under 2000 lbs. with water, LP and everything on board. More likely I would think around 2500 lbs, just eyeballing it. Which might be why you have a bent axle right now. Call me a skeptic on that 1800 lb claim by the previous owner.

Flexiride makes axles that let you change the angle after you get it, I believe. Just another option.

On the tongue end, I am a fan of the swing-away jacks, either bolt-on or weld-on ones, because they swing up parallel to and alongside the frame. Nothing to scrape.
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