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Old 08-29-2012, 07:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post
I have looked at several of these same type trailers. Pay particular attention to the area on the front where the brown stripe is. Where the front face makes that bend. Many that I looked at had lost their waterproof caulking at that point, water had gotten in and rotted the front of the trailer there.
Thanks for the tip, Cliffy. I will have my dad take a closer look around that bend for me (I'm back in Ohio and 600 miles away from the trailer now). I did look underneath the trailer, and was surprised at how "new" it looked. I didn't notice any "exit wound" that would have been evidence that water would have been coming out after flowing down through the walls at all.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:44 AM   #16
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Does anyone know anything about this type of axle (see attached photo of wheel)? I priced out new rims (thinking I'd get new rubber and have them mounted on new rims here in Ohio so I could just do a quick swap when I got to New Hampshire to pick it up at Thanksgiving), but these "vintage" 4-lug rims are $130 a piece to replace!! Current owner offered to remove old tires, paint these rims, and have new tires mounted and balanced before my arrival.

My concern is what I will need in the way of seals, etc. for repacking the wheel bearings.

I have never worked on this type of axle before, and I wish I had taken a closer look at it while I was there last week! I am thinking that it looks like there is no "grease buddy" type of fitting to just quickly add enough grease to get me home with. If I have to take the hub apart to grease it anyway, I may as well do it all the way, and make sure it's done right!

I'm still about 90% sure we are going to take this thing. If it turns out that these are real dogs of axles, and I would need to sink in hundreds of dollars on new, that may sway my decision....
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:49 PM   #17
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They are called dexter wheels. I am new to my camper also so that is about all I know about them. I have been looking for a spare
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:47 AM   #18
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"Generic" 4-lug wheels are hard to find. There are some available if you have 13" tires. If your current tires are 13" and not bigger, you can buy 13" tires and wheels both for $84 plus UPS.
http://www.southwestwheel.com/store/...40wswt11b.aspx

I don't know if a generic wheel will fit over the spider on your hubs, so call SouthWest Wheel and verify before you order.

I'm an old farm boy, so I know how to manually repack wheel bearings. But it's a very messy, nasty job, so I prefer to use a wheel bearing packer tool. I bought one for about $20 several years ago. Works great. The link is to a similar tool:
KD Tools , 2775 Wheel Bearing Packer - Hand
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:29 AM   #19
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update: status quo, second thoughts

I have Dexter axles on my utility trailer, although they are 5-lugs and much newer (2004 torsion-style axles, 3500# rating/each). They also have the "grease buddy" fitting that makes regular greasing a snap. From what I can tell, the axles on this trailer are also Dexter axles, but of a much older vintage.

I've never hand-packed bearings before, but it seems straight-forward enough, and I saw the packing tool available for about $20. Before I stick the bearings in the packer to load them up with grease for the first time, I would be sure to closely inspect them for wear before I tow it off the property.

They are 15" rims, and the best price I could find on new rims (I wanted a mounted spare ready to go) was $130. The dry-rotted tires on the travel trailer right now are F78-15ST, which I believe is the same size tire as the ST205/75R15 that my utility trailer takes. I'm not opposed to the idea of doing an axle swap if I need to, it would be nice to have interchangeable rims between the two trailers.

.....

I was in New England on business last week and took another look at the trailer. I haven't committed to taking it for sure, yet, and honestly, I'm having second thoughts. I guess at this point it is up to whether my wife's family is still planning on the trip to Lake Powell in 2014! If that trip is postponed for any reason, I may bide my time and save up to buy a trailer that will require less work.

I consider myself to be pretty handy, I don't mind getting my hands dirty, and there is something gratifying about knowing that you are enjoying the fruits of your own labor, when the project is done. But since I told this guy I was interested in the trailer last summer, I think that his "housekeeping" has gotten a bit sloppy. He's out of the trailer now and into an apartment, but the mice haven't moved out, yet! Just to get the smell out of the trailer would require a major deep-cleaning, and new upholstery (which would need to be done anyway, as it is worn and very dated!). I think there will be a major overhaul required to get this thing back to habitable condition, taking paneling off, sealing spots where critters have gotten in, re-insulating, not to mention the bathroom, all of the HVAC and refrigerator issues. Even though "free" seems like a great price, for as much as I will probably need to put in to this trailer in time and materials, I might be able to get one a little newer that is "ready to roll".

I have until April to make a decision, until then it will sit winterized at my parents' place in New Hampshire. I will post up here with any updates!

- Matt
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #20
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I have actually considered buying an old camper frame and taking axles off it to upgrade/change to a more modern bolt pattern? Has anyone tried this or can you just swap the hubs?
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:07 AM   #21
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I'm not opposed to the idea of doing an axle swap if I need to, it would be nice to have interchangeable rims between the two trailers.
Axle swap for brand new axles/hubs/brakes is relatively easy if your trailer has the normal leaf spring suspension, and the axle includes both hubs connected by the axle housing. Just be sure you correctly measure the length of the axle, per instructions on the Southwest Wheel website, and expect to have to use a cutting torch to remove the hangers (axle seats) from the old axle, and then weld them back onto the new axles. I linked to an excellent source for new replacement trailer axles in my first post in this thread last summer.

However, Dexter has made some weird stuff over the years (witness the wheels on your trailer), so your trailer may have axle stubs instead of full axles. Or it may have TorFlex (torsion) axles instead of leaf springs. In that case you'll have to find a different source for your axle replacement parts.

One of my trailers has Dexter TorFlex axles instead of leaf spring suspension. Those are available too, but I've never replaced a torsion axle so I don't know the gotchas. Here's a link to the Dexter instructions:
http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...ation_1-12.pdf
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:22 AM   #22
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I think your last post sort of answers your question. Is the effort to bring this TT up to snuff worth it? Given what you've related about the problems you can see I would walk away. Although I don't doubt your dads friends sincerity, he may be looking to unload the TT to simply wash his hands of it and not be responsible to move it. If you have doubts about what you can see, think about what you can't see. Its like an estimate always add 30% to the estimate. Same as this TT.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:20 AM   #23
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I have actually considered buying an old camper frame and taking axles off it to upgrade/change to a more modern bolt pattern? Has anyone tried this or can you just swap the hubs?
Depends on the brand of the axle. If it's a Dexter axle, then new hubs are probably available as long as you stay with the weight rating of the axle. But you may not be able to replace 5-lug hubs of a 3,500-pound axle with with 6-lug hubs from a 6,000-pound axle. So folks wanting to move up to 16" trailer tires on a trailer that came with 15" tires are probably out of luck unless they replace the entire axle/brakes/hub assembly.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:08 PM   #24
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my brother bought an 05 25ft ultralight last summer for 7500. it looks brand new inside and out. bought from an older couple who hardly used it. we live in canada and rv prices seem a bit higher here. it will hold its value for a few years and he could probably resell it for the same price or near. if you take an old unit and restore it for 3000 dollars, you would probably be lucky to get half that back. not to mention all your labour. these old campers if they have leaked are a can of worms once you start. tow it home and list it for sale and put the money toward on that doesnt need a lot of work. they have wood 2x2 frames and any water leakage translates into rotted out in a short period. it looks like over the door someone has attached a 2x6. if so they probably had a porch on it . might all be rotted behind that. dont want to rain on your parade, but like previous poster i think by the time you get this thing up to snuff you will be sick of working on it. good luck whatever you decide and happy camping.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:43 AM   #25
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If you want a "project trailer" there are a lot of them out there. Take mine for example, it is a 2002 Komfort 26' TT that up until a few days ago would have brought top dollar when I sell it, now it is worth way less because of electrolysis damage to the lower aluminum panels. This is pretty much my fault because I did not maintain the seals. The interior smells almost new and looks almost new, the exterior is in good shape, done some custom stuff to it and it doesn't matter because it is going to be expensive just to replace the siding, and there is no way of telling how much water damage is in there until the panels are removed. Most of the cost is labor, so look for a trailer that has been well taken care of and in good shape except for whatever reason(s) that has devalued the trailer to the point where it is not worth fixing it up to the current owner.
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