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Old 07-31-2006, 11:31 AM   #1
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Had a blowout last week. Tires 4 years old, about 20,000 miles on the tires, they looked good and the tread looked good from a casual walkby inspection. Should have inspected the tread wear pattern better. Today while new tires were being mounted we discovered the front axle was bowed. The middle of the axle is higher than the ends and the front tires do not line up straight with the rear tires. We are contacting Alco the axle manufacturer now. I don't really expect any financial return just want to report a defective part. We did a tight inspection on the rig when it was delivered but never even condisered that we needed to check the axles. You would think that Forest River would have checked the axles since they installed them on the frame. While tracking down a axle repair facility we learned that a friend and his son both had TTs that had warped axles. Is this an industry wide situation? Now I guess I have to learn how to measure tread wear or bug Bill to do it.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
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Had a blowout last week. Tires 4 years old, about 20,000 miles on the tires, they looked good and the tread looked good from a casual walkby inspection. Should have inspected the tread wear pattern better. Today while new tires were being mounted we discovered the front axle was bowed. The middle of the axle is higher than the ends and the front tires do not line up straight with the rear tires. We are contacting Alco the axle manufacturer now. I don't really expect any financial return just want to report a defective part. We did a tight inspection on the rig when it was delivered but never even condisered that we needed to check the axles. You would think that Forest River would have checked the axles since they installed them on the frame. While tracking down a axle repair facility we learned that a friend and his son both had TTs that had warped axles. Is this an industry wide situation? Now I guess I have to learn how to measure tread wear or bug Bill to do it.
Nancy
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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I know most of the trailers I have owned had a slight bend in the middle.They are made that way make up for the weight on the tire sides.Thats not to say you dont have a leginimate problem,just something else to look at.I imagine if on a dual axle trailer if one axle was arched more than the other it is a problem.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:32 PM   #4
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Most axles have camber built into them.

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Old 07-31-2006, 01:25 PM   #5
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I understand about the camber, but the rear axle doesn't seem to have the same "bow". Also the tires are not straight to each other the rear tire sets out about 1/4" or more than the front tire on each side. Is this normal? One tire was cupping and wearing on one edge. One tire had a significant tread depth difference on one edge over the other edge. All of this was discovered after the tires were removed from the rig, so I don't know which axle was showing the most wear on the tires etc.
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:33 PM   #6
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Limited options.First ask F.R. for help,worst they can do is say no. Get 2 new axles,not the cheapest solution but at least you will have it right.You can use all the other componants,brakes , etc.I dont have faith in axle shops retempering and arching axles, it may be cheaper though. Also ,why did it bend in the first place,loose bolts,accident,twisting frame??
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:44 PM   #7
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Who knows why? I just want things fixed right because this winter we will be going to Arizona (2,400 miles one way) and we want the rig in best shape.

BTW loved your since of humor at the rally. I will make sure we are at the same or next table next time.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:14 PM   #8
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Thanks, I havent gotton any nasty emails yet,except from the owners of the Great American Buffet, seems they have a 2 hour limit
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:29 PM   #9
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I believe the bowed up in the middle thing is normal, and they may not appear the same.

I think the best thing to do would be to take it to a good shop to have the trailer's alingment checked... If in fact it is out of whack, perhaps you could chat with the dealer about paying part or all of repair or replacement.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. The 5vr is at the repair shop now for repairs due to the tire blowout. Crisp RV in Washington, NC, has been in business many years and Greg Crisp's first impression is that the axles probably met the "minimum" requirements at installation. I think he may be right, and when you think of all of the potholes and expansion joints etc a weak axle would get out of kilter the same way a car gets out of alignment. (I am not a mechanic and this is just a woman's reasoning). I will continue to follow up and keep calling Alco the axle manufacturer until they answer the phone, as yet they have not returned any of my voice mail messages......
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:17 AM   #11
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Trailer manufacturer's use the minimum weight axle they can legally use in most cases. All the trailers I've bought have axles that are limited closely to the trailers GVW minus the hitch weight. My instance- i have a 15,000# GVW 5er, the axles are 7K each and one has been replaced already. I built a 24' flatbed trailer and used the next larger size to avoid bending one. If you must replace the axles, consider buying the next larger size.
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:22 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Cardinal 29WB </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">probably met the "minimum" requirements at installation </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Both may have... one max (or close) plus and the other max (or close) minus... and when added togather, OOPS!..

Good luck..
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #13
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Before I unbolted anything, or pointed the finger at any one component, I'd get it weighed. Loaded, as you would use it. Ice in the chest, mayo in the fridge. Everything. It may be that you do have an issue, but an axle issue is usually caused by overloading in most cases. If your overloaded, and you replace the axles, your going to see the issue come back.
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:10 PM   #14
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Thanks to all who responded. I finally talked with Customer Service at ALCO-KOBER and of course they started citing overloading.... The GAWR is 10,400 lbs (5,200 lb each). The CAT scales in March 2003 measured my trailer axle weight to be 8,460 so I had 1,940 lbs to spare. This measurement was taken with a fully loaded trailer, about 1/2 tank of water, and black/gray tanks empty.

We are going to get the axles realigned and watch tread wear closely. If we find unusual wear and the axles out of whack again we will change the axles.

I had read a lot about proper loading of the rig on this site prior to our purchase of the Cardinal so I was careful of where I stowed what. Stuff just happens sometimes even when you try to do everything the right way.
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