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Old 06-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
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Axles under rated?

We are only 2 years into RVing, and I am begining to feel like Dorothy in the haunted forrest........Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY.........Tires, and Breaks, and Axles OH MY.

We have a 2012 Dutchmen Denali, 33 Ft from tongue to bumper. GVWR 9680. I looked under the trailer yesterday to see if we have shocks and what the axles were rated at. No shocks...no big surprise there. The stickers on the axles (we have 2) say 4,400 lbs. Am I missing something, or are the axles too light for the trailer??

Thanks to everyone for all the valuable information shared here........even if it makes me crazy sometimes.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:19 AM   #2
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The axles don't have to carry the tongue weight of the trailer. If that runs 12% of the fully loaded GVWR (9680 x 12%), then that's 1161 lbs on the tongue. 9680 - 1161 = 8519 left for the axles to carry. Are they marginally sized at a total GAWR of 8800 lbs? Perhaps. Are they inadequately sized? Technically, no, since their rating wouldn't be exceeded with the trailer loaded to rated GVWR.

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Old 06-24-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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Thanks, Rusty for your reply.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:00 PM   #4
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I'll agree with him. Even not hooked to a vehicle, a trailer never rests solely on the axles. The tongue is always taking some load. It's either on the ball or on the jack.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
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We looked at Denali 5th wheels and that was one issue I didn't like. The whole suspension looked inadequate. Looking at the advertised CCC I'm guessing your almost maxed out on the axles. Dry weight around 7600lbs and add 1000lbs for stuff your at 8600lbs. Axles are rated at 8800lbs total. My advice is to keep an eye on your tires for wear from over loaded axles.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:32 PM   #6
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Also, FWIW, if you were to weigh your trailer, the axles and wheel assemblies and tires are unsprung weight and not actually weight resting on the axles. At least, that's my take on it. So that will be a few hundred or more off your total minus tongue weight.

Experts please correct me if I am wrong.

From my own recent experience on a new trailer, they design the frames to the absolute minimum and maybe less than that. There aren't even any mandatory safety/design standards they have to comply with. If I were you, I'd look at your frame, spring hangers, U-bolts, etc. to see if it's all in alignment and the frame is not distorted where the hangers attach, or even for possible frame cracks. I trust the ratings assigned to axles. Look at AlKo's website as one example. Axles are built for many applications such as horse trailers, cargo trailer, boat trailers, etc. and I doubt they fudge the numbers. It's the frames made by one particular manufacturer that are questionable. I *think* what RV trailer manufacturers do is assign a GVWR that is slightly less than the axle ratings and they *may* factor in a reduction for the tongue weight, but there is no frame rating that is factored in. It's all so confusing and difficult to make sense of. If anything you see does look questionable, I'd take it to a frame shop. Hopefully yours all looks just fine.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #7
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Thanks to all of you for your input!!
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