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Old 04-22-2014, 07:49 AM   #1
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Bent Axle

I have a bent axle and bent spindle on my 2012 Forest River wildcat Sterling Edition. I was told at dealership I probably over loaded it an hit a pot hole. The dry weight of RV is 9300# with a load capacity of 3200 #. It has 2 axles which I was told by a local trailer manufacture are 10,000 # axles . First I have never had a 1 1/2 tons of cargo n this RV ( 5,ver) just wondering if my axles are the right weight limit .just wondering is bending axles a big problem with most RVers.i don't want to replace it with same axle if its just going to bend again . Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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10,000 lb. axles ?????????? I doubt it. Best guess is 6000. For a dry weight of 9300 and a capacity of 3200, that's 12,500 total. That would be within the capacity of 6000# axles given the pin carries some of the weight.

As to how did the axle get bent. Was there any abnormal tire wear prior to you noticing a bent axle. Did some buffoon jack up the rv by the axle during some maintenance to tires, brakes, bearings?
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
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Yes the tire was wearing on the inside , that's why I carried back to dealer to see what was wrong? They sub out there axle and wheel work out to a local trailer co. That's who told me the spindle was bent. He also told me the axles were 10,000 lb . Not sure now .
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:51 PM   #4
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Seriously, the axles are not 10,000#. With that kind of misinformation from the sub contractor, I would be cautious as to what information they give you. Just because they are a local trailer company does not mean they know how to jack up a fifth wheel.

Did anyone to your knowledge do any brake, bearing, or tire changing prior to you noticing the tire wear. That is my best guess. The pot hole theory sounds like a responsibility avoidance statement. But in the end, the axle is bent and will need replaced. If your dealer used the local trailer co to do some maintenance I would drop by and ask them how they jacked your 5er up. If it was not by the frame, but by the axle, you got your answer. If you want to verify your axle capacity, call customer service at Forest River. You are most likely riding on a Lippert frame with Dexter axles. They'll be 6000# or possibly 7000#. I'd also think about finding another place to do the replacement.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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5000 pound axles derated from 6000 pound is what you probably have. So the guy was technically correct. 5000 X 2= 10,000 New axles are relatively cheap. Order a pair of new 6000 pound axles install them and go camping. While it is quite possible that it was faulty from the factory I suspect you jumped a curb, hit a pot hole or are grossly overloaded. Have you ever weighed your fiver?
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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I agree that the axles are not likely 10,000 pounders given RVmakers' well know just-sufficient capacity practice in that department.


Given that the trailer came with 16" LRE tires, four of which would supply 14,000 pounds of carrying capacity my bet is that the axles are in the 7,000 pound range.
Specs given at this page indicate you've got a Dexter E-Z lube, and I'm betting it's one from this 5500-7000 pound capacity page.

Did the trailer guys that made the "diagnosis" actually look at it first? If so, I'd be looking for another place to have it worked on, especially if you want to end up with the new axle matching the remaining original one. In fact, you might in any case get a second opinion altogether since if only one side of one axle is affected you MIGHT only need the spindle replaced. (This last assuming it's an ordinary leaf spring axle and not a Dexter Torflex, which spindles are not replaceable.)
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thank for your comments, we bought this RV new and as for as I know it has never been jacked up. I have the lippert hydrolic stabilizer ( 6 ) and can lift all 4 tires off the ground. I'm still very confused about axle capacity the axles are Al-Ko according to the dealer I bought it from. They are working with Forest River on the issue , the service manager did tell me that this was the first RV with this kind off axle damage they have seen so apparently it's not a common problem. I have not weighed our RV loaded but can't believe I have put 1 1/2 tons cargo in it.i just want to make sure if I have replace this axle I put the right one in it so I don't have this problem again. Again thanks for all your help. ( We have approx. 8-9,000 miles on it).
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:47 PM   #8
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I'm still very confused about axle capacity the axles are Al-Ko according to the dealer I bought it from.
.
I think we were typing at the same time so you probably missed my earlier post, but:

The link I posted to specs for your trailer clearly gives your axle brand as Dexter . And I checked the brochure date just now, which was November of 2011- surely right around when your 2012 was built. Link to brochure

Dunno if you've got yer crawlin' around pants on, but if you do, you might take a look on the axle itself- there should be an identifier stamped on it about mid shaft.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:07 PM   #9
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Thanks Franseco, I was going by what the tech at dealer told me, I'll be meeting with them tomorrow . I looked at the brochure but did not fine the axles on it .
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrollander View Post
I have a bent axle and bent spindle on my 2012 Forest River wildcat Sterling Edition. I was told at dealership I probably over loaded it an hit a pot hole. The dry weight of RV is 9300# with a load capacity of 3200 #. It has 2 axles which I was told by a local trailer manufacture are 10,000 # axles . First I have never had a 1 1/2 tons of cargo n this RV ( 5,ver) just wondering if my axles are the right weight limit .just wondering is bending axles a big problem with most RVers.i don't want to replace it with same axle if its just going to bend again . Thanks for any help.
On the forward, left, external section of your trailer you will find its federal certification label. Among other things it will list your trailer's axle ratings (GAWR). No matter what the axle manufacture says their load capacities are the value listed on the certification label is the official value.

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Old 04-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #11
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Thanks Franseco, I was going by what the tech at dealer told me, I'll be meeting with them tomorrow . I looked at the brochure but did not fine the axles on it .
I went back and looked again and noticed that while the brochure doesn't use the name "Dexter", it does say the trailer has "EZ lube axles", a proprietary Dexter term.

Al-ko does make a similar lubrication system identified as the "AG hub".

It may well turn out that you've run into what some folks refer to as marketing creep- the use of one mfr.'s term to describe an imitative function cobbled on by another manufacturer. A common practice in the RV marketing world, where so much information centers on the frou-frou inside the rig and so little is offered about the components that get it down the road. Let's face it: more people would be indignant if they didn't get Genuine Corian Countertops than would if they wound up with supporting components dissimilar from those they thought were advertised!

Yours might in fact be an Al-Ko- just one more reason in my opinion to specifically identify exactly what you have for purposes of matching the remaining still-functional axle.

Good luck to you!
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:14 PM   #12
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Thank you for your information Francesca, I'll be meeting with dealership tomorrow and now at least I have more information. I can buy a axle for around $250.00 but I want to make sure I buy the right one.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:12 PM   #13
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I'll be interested to hear the outcome...

I hope you're able to verify the exact axle(s) you have, along with carrying capacity. If as it turns out you do in fact have two five thousand pound axles:
In my mind that would constitute a manufacturing flaw, since their combined capacity is well below the stated gross weight of the trailer.

Point being, if they're that small and one's bent/damaged due to having been "overloaded", that condition would have been caused by lack of sufficient capacity to begin with, and through no fault/error of yours.

Keep us posted!
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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To know EXACTLY what axle size and rating you have under your trailer is very simple. Crawl under your RV and look. There will be a small metal tag afixed to each axle. It will give you mfg and rating. So simple, why rely on someone else to tell you something when you can KNOW for a fact.
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