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Old 01-17-2011, 09:49 PM   #1
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Backing up axle problem?

I am fairly new to the 5th wheel scene. A few days ago while my was backing the 5er into the site, I noticed that the wheel on the rear most axle was not at the same angle as the the wheel in front of it. I couldn't see the opposite side to see if it occurred on that side. Is this normal in a tight rear turn? We have to drive home tomorror and want to know if it is safe to drive. I had never noticed this before.

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Old 01-18-2011, 02:07 AM   #2
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The tire flex you saw is all part of the nature of a 5th wheel coach.
Unless you can identify something is actually loose; it is what they do when the pressure of a tight turn drags one set of the wheels.
You should be good to go.


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Old 01-18-2011, 05:51 AM   #3
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Travel trailers do the same thing too. I live in a cul-de-sec and I have to back at a very sharp angle to parallel (HA!) park in front of my house. There are times when the trailer tires look like they're totally out of alignment between the front/rear tire on the tandem; even after I've parked it.

As long as your trailer tracks well when towing and you notice no unusual wear on your tires, I don't think there's much to be concerned about.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:03 AM   #4
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Before unhooking, pull your rig straightforward several feet then back straight back into position again to unload the torque loads caused by the twisting on the tire/axel system you observed. Another rule that many of us follow is, no backing up without a spotter, low tree limbs, campground kids, their toys, animals and other objects have a way of jumping right into your blind spot.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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That flex is also the reason to check the torque of the lug nuts and make sure that have proper pressure. Ditto pulling ahead and then back to relieve the stress on the tires and frame. Good luck and happy camping
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies. Before we left the CG this morning I crawled under the rig. Everything looked good, so we hooked up and pulled out slowly. We drove home with no problems. I guess that is the nature of the beast. Again, thanks. It is great to belong to a forum like this.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
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Backing up axle problem

That is the nature of a tandem axle setup. Semi trailers do the same thing. Just straighten out before parking to relieve torque.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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This is normal side stress on the tires and wheels. In soft surfaces this more obvious than on concrete. All multiple axle trailers do this, an empty trailer is much less obvious than a heavy trailer.
This is yet another reason to keep trailer tires (ST tires) fully inflated to sidewall maximum. When less pressure is used it is possible to roll a tire enough to break the bead seal.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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The best thing to do is avoid very tight "jack-knife" turning, but some times you just can't.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:22 PM   #10
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Tho a tandem axle will "scuff" the tires in a sharp turn it is nothing compared to a triple axles which tends to "scuff" both the forward and rearward axles at the same time even when not in a sharp turn. Like quoted after in position just move forward/backward a few feet to relieve stress and every thing will be fine

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