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Old 03-11-2016, 07:58 PM   #1
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Abnormal Tire wear

What would cause the front two tires on a dual axle 5th wheel to wear abnormally? i.e. the inside tread of the tire is going bare, but the outside looks fine. On a vehicle that would tell me the camber is not correct. does a fifth wheel have the ability to adjust camber? I wouldn't think it does.

The picture below shows the tire wear I am talking about.

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Old 03-11-2016, 08:13 PM   #2
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I've been told that camber is adjusted during manufacturing by bending the center of axles, and not very scientifically, by using a fork lift truck. Don't know if this is true with all of them (or any), but that's the only way it could be done as axles from Dexter and others come from them completely straight. You should be able to tell if there's any, but I'd rather think you may have the two axles mis-aligned to each other.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:36 PM   #3
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How old is your fiver? How long have you had it? Wear on one axle shows it is out of alignment.
The axles come from the mfg with the camber built it--crowned in the middle--but the install of the axle may be the problem. As the weight of the trailer is applied, it will take some of the crown out and the tires should be flat to the pavement. Sounds like the axle is bending (bent) too much and the inside of the tire is bearing more weight than the outside.
Just find a competent spring/axle shop that can accomodate trailers, should cost about $250/axle to get it aligned, just a little less than 2 new tires...
Joe
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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Trailer axles have a pre-bend so that when they're loaded, they're fairly straight. Yours may be overloaded or the pre-bend is wrong. Possible the spindles are bent but I doubt it. If still under warranty, go to the dealer. If not, go to a truck spring shop for an evaluation.
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:51 PM   #5
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My fifth wheel is a 2013 Montana Big Sky. Just bought it recently and I am going through it to make sure its good for travel. I'm looking for a good axle shop near the Austin area. If you know of one, let me know.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:01 PM   #6
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Best thing to do is travel for awhile and monitor the tire wear--hopefully, the axles are ok at this time. Having the axles checked isn't as easy as on a car/truck, and I don't know of an Austin company. However, if coming to Ft Worth, Champion Spring/Axle shop on Henderson st in downtown FW is good for this, and also D&Y Welding in Alvarado, TX.

Just to have them checked is not easy as you need an appt and have to hitch up and tow it somewhere, and I don't know what the charge might be if no adjustment is needed. To adjust them can be around $250/axle.

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Old 03-12-2016, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McRod View Post
My fifth wheel is a 2013 Montana Big Sky. Just bought it recently and I am going through it to make sure its good for travel. I'm looking for a good axle shop near the Austin area. If you know of one, let me know.
I haven't used them, but there is this shop: http://www.atlasspringservice.com/
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by McRod View Post
My fifth wheel is a 2013 Montana Big Sky. Just bought it recently and I am going through it to make sure its good for travel. I'm looking for a good axle shop near the Austin area. If you know of one, let me know.
If the tires were on it when you bought it I would swap the rear axle tires to the front and monitor wear. Unless you know the tire history there's no way to know for sure if that wear happened on that rig. Someone may have slapped some used tires on it.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
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You can make some very basic checks to see if there is an obvious problem using this procedure:

Trailer Axle Alignment and Tire Wear Problems

But there is no substitute for having a local truck axle/suspension shop check it out for you. I was just at a shop yesterday due to my 5ver having some bent spring hangers needing repair and severe wear on the inside tread on the street side (similar to yours). Looking at $800 in my case but it includes straightening the spring hangers, adding a steal cross member for the center hangers so they don't bend again, camber and toe corrections to both axles (yes they bend them), reinstall of axles and full alignment performed. Just got new tires so I need to make sure they don't wear prematurely.
Good Luck.
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