Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Travel Trailer Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
sushidogchip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 16
Has anyone added an axle?

I was recently thinking about adding carrying capacity to a travel trailer by replacing the factory axles with higher rated ones, but I got to thinking (a dangerous thing I know) how about simply adding a third axle of equal size and capacity in front of the other two (as all of my added weight such as batteries, mini-split AC and solar goodies would be in the front of the trailer), like I've seen on Airstreams, toyhaulers, boat trailers, etc.. It would seem that adding a 5,000 lb axle assy. would be cheaper and easier than replacing the 2 existing ones, not to mention being capable of carrying more weight. This would spread the trailer load on a larger area of the frame, for greater frame support (less flexing). It would make for a more stable ride too, with less front to rear weight shifting and tongue bounce. Plus I would add an extra pair of brakes for improved stopping ability too. Now, I don't think it would support the full 5,000 lb axle load rating, (as frame strength would now be the limiting factor, though the TT I'm looking at does have a rather beefy 10" frame) nor do I have any intention of adding even 1/2 that weight, just another 1,000 - 1,500 lbs of boondocking equipment.

Now I realize that it wouldn't affect the CCC or GRWR assigned by the manufacturer, but I've had a couple home built trailers with no weight stickers whatsoever, so I don't believe that this is a legal requirement for home builders/modifiers, only manufacturers. I'm only concerned with the actual capability of the trailer to safely carry a little more weight.

My question is, has anyone added an extra axle to a TT or 5er, or known of anyone who has? If so, how did it work out.

Chip
__________________

__________________
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." Robert Heinlein
sushidogchip is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-18-2014, 09:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
wingnut60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wherever the Suites is
Posts: 2,982
It would work, if you can pull it off with the frame and trailer floor design. You have to have room in the shell for an extra axle/wheel. If the trailer has slides on both sides, then that might make it easier to place an extra axle.
But I will bet that it would be WAY cheaper to replace the axles, brakes and springs with higher-capacity units, than to add an axle.
Joe
__________________

__________________
'15 38RSSA Mobile Suites
'05 36TK3 Mobile Suites--retired but not forgotten
'17 F450--trying one more Ford
'09 F450--died, replaced with '10--retired
wingnut60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2014, 07:59 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
sushidogchip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 16
Thanks Joe,

I should check out the cost both ways. I just thought adding one axle, with brakes, and the wheel/tire assy and welding on the appropriate brackets would be cheaper (and provide more load capacity) than adding a pair of axles, springs, wheels, brakes, etc. I hadn't considered the wheel wells - that might be an expensive problem to fix. Plus I need to consider the extra rolling resistance and long term cost to my fuel mileage of the extra pair of wheels.

Chip
__________________
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." Robert Heinlein
sushidogchip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
wingnut60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wherever the Suites is
Posts: 2,982
Well, for a maximum cost estimate--I recently had the 7k axles upgraded to 8k axles on my Suites (already had put the 8k springs in place couple years ago) and the entire swap cost $2672. New axles, hubs, NevRLube bearings, drums and brakes, u-bolts and plates---everything. Very siimple job for a competent spring/axle shop. You may be overthinking this just to get more carrying capacity--and don't forget that whichever way you go, you can't put more weight on the axles than the tires are rated for.
One other detail to consider--if you put TOO MUCH spring capacity under the trailer, you will end up with a stiff-riding trailer that may cause excess bounce/movement of stuff inside the trailer.
Joe
__________________
'15 38RSSA Mobile Suites
'05 36TK3 Mobile Suites--retired but not forgotten
'17 F450--trying one more Ford
'09 F450--died, replaced with '10--retired
wingnut60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2014, 06:08 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
sushidogchip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 16
Here's another hair-brained idea which may be cheaper yet, if it's feasible. Since I really only need another 1,000lbs load capacity, - all of which will be in the front of the trailer, near the tongue, how about if I just upgrade the front axle and springs - since the front axle will be carrying all the additional weight? I can get a custom width, 6,000lb axle locally for only $349. 6,000 lb leaf springs are only $29 a pop. Can you mis match axles and springs? I think I would at least need to get 6,000lb springs for the rear axle too, for the trailer to sit level and the linked suspension to function properly. I should be able to reuse the hubs, but would have to go to 16" tires and wheels to handle the load (15" load range E tires will still put me 400 lbs short.) This would require buying 4 new tires and wheels - my biggest expense at about $245/wheel assy (with Marathons). The trailer I'm looking at has a wide stance axle spacing so there shouldn't be a tire clearance problem. Just a 1/2" higher reach to that first trailer step.

The parts total just under $1,500 and I could probably do the job myself. (I removed and relocated the axle forward on my Aliner and installed the brakes myself in one afternoon.)

However If I add a 3rd axle, I can get a 5,000 lb axle assy with brakes, hangers, etc., for about $400 add a pair 15" wheels and tires for about $215 ea this brings the parts total in the $850 range. I would need to have the hanger brackets welded on the frame, and while I'm at it I might as well have them do the install too, just in case it's not as straight forward as I suspect. Assuming I don't have to create wheel wells I'm looking at about $1,000 vs $1,500 for the single axle upgrade. Heck while I'm at it I might as well upgrade both axles for only $350 more, doubling the axle load carrying capacity for a total cost of about $1,850 if I do the 2 axle job myself vs $1,000 bucks for the 3 axle mod - if it's feasible after measuring things for clearance, etc.. Decisions, decisions.... With these costs in mind, what would you do?

Even though it will cost more, I think I'm leaning to the 2 axle/16" wheel mod because there will be less towing resistance (though it will sit 1/2" higher) of 4 rolling wheels vs 6, and MPG is important for a FT trailer. There should be less tire scrub in turns for longer tire life (and a lower cost of replacement too.) Plus, no welding is required, the installation will be simplified, and it will be hardly noticeable for a casual observer, compared to the triple axle design. It will be cheaper on toll roads that charge by the axle too .

Chip
__________________
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." Robert Heinlein
sushidogchip is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Outdoors RV Creekside 23rks Mods List LBZYA Outdoors RV Owner's Forum 44 06-17-2015 10:20 AM
Journey 40U rear axle capacity D Lindy Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 33 11-20-2014 09:05 AM
Axle problems smatth Travel Trailer Discussion 9 06-29-2014 12:29 PM
Axle weights, few questions smlranger Country Coach Owners Forum 8 06-20-2013 08:42 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.