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Old 02-11-2019, 11:13 AM   #15
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I doubt it. Heavier axles will have bigger spindles and brake assemblies. Axle assemblies are relatively cheap as it is so not much to be saved by going with bare axles. Make sure the heavier axles are ordered with the same bolt pattern as your current axles or you may have to bu new wheels.

Most manufacturers put the bare minimum axles on so going up a size in capacity is a good idea and going with Dexter rather than Lippert is also desirable.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_the_Rhod View Post
As Charliez posted above, sway is often a result of not enough weight on the hitch.
Yes I stand under that fact. But read the OP;

Quote:
Originally Posted by kginder View Post
I bought a 2017 travel trailer last fall and notice when pulling it has the tendency to sway even when there is little wind so I put a 4ft level against the side walls of the tires and they are nowhere close to being aligned with each other. I have found a semi trailer alignment shop that will realign (bend) the axles back or should I just replace the axles (4400lb lippert)?
I can't back up from the statement that axles don't line up, the trailer will not track!

Quote:
I totally agree that adding weight to the front seat, between the axles, will probably not affect towing, BUT if we were to add a tailgator or some such device onto the back of the toad and put 1000 lbs THERE, BEHIND the last axle, I think you would see a significant difference in the tow characteristics of your toad, don't you?

Well no doubt about that. You do stupid snot that will screw up the way it drives, it will also screw up the way it tows.


Quote:
Generally when an uninformed owner puts too much weight in the rear of the trailer, say in the garage, loads up the kitchen with stuff, maybe bikes and generator, etc, in a carryall on the rear bumper the tongue weight decreases, and the likelihood of problems increases significantly.
Normally, I would agree 100%, weight distribution would be the first thing to check. BUT
Quote:
I put a 4ft level against the side walls of the tires and they are nowhere close to being aligned with each other.
Quote:
As Charliez suggests, I would look heavily into weight DISTRIBUTION before I started replacing axles.

Note: I purchased an enclosed trailer BRAND NEW once that had twin axles. It tracked off to one side all the time. Further inspection revealed that the axles were fine, but the shackles (where the ends of the leaf springs attach) welded to each frame rail were almost two inches further back on one side as compared to the other. :
Like I said, the first thing to check is not replace axles, but find out what is out of line. It might be a bent axle, but a lot of other things are just as likely. If the owner does not have the skill to do the inspection, he needs to hire somebody...
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by keymastr View Post
I doubt it. Heavier axles will have bigger spindles and brake assemblies. Axle assemblies are relatively cheap as it is so not much to be saved by going with bare axles. Make sure the heavier axles are ordered with the same bolt pattern as your current axles or you may have to bu new wheels.

Most manufacturers put the bare minimum axles on so going up a size in capacity is a good idea and going with Dexter rather than Lippert is also desirable.

In my research on travel trailers under 27' with light weight 3500 lb axles is that the axles and springs are overloaded with loads that bend axles, stress joints and flatten springs over time. (a body in motion will remain in motion). The manufacturers cut corners in calculating what springs/axles are needed for a normal fully loaded RV and the condition of most highways. Think frost heaves, potholes and even speed bumps. The manufacturers cut it too close and most people overload trailers. It's amazing how quickly everything adds up and how much poundage one travels with. I use 200 lbs (propane and batteries) + 15% total weight for the tongue and tire weight of full fresh water tank with around 1000 lb for stuff and food. The more stuff you pack Ö. the more weight there is. I do a lot of boondocking and off road camping and have seen a lot of field tests failures.

I would replace 3500 lbs axles with Dexter's 4400lb axles for a trailer with 3500 lb axles. Thicker axles, bigger bearings, larger brakes and 6 bolt vs 5 bolt wheels with a better load capacity. The downside is having to buy new 6 bolt wheels. I would also consider MorDyne suspension upgrade with solid bushings and bracing on suspension joints.

The more I look into the trip to Alaska and NWT, the more complex it gets.
I've experienced and read too many horror stories over the years in my travels to really start to wonder my sanity. There is something to be said about hotels and BnB's.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
Do the tires seem to be wearing weird?
I had a TT with 4400 Lippert axles and had a couple tires wearing weird. Went to a frame shop and they bent them back into alignment. The repair guy said the axles were kinda soft so he put extra camber in them.
I also have AL-CO 5200 lbs axles on my current 5th wheel. I noticed the left rear tire wearing on the inside. Again took it to a frame shop and get them bent back into alignment.

4400 lb axles are the same thickness as 5200 lb ones. In fact I had 12x2" brakes on the 4400 which are standard for the 5200 lbs axle. Spindles and bearings are different. Both are 3"x3/16ths".
Most spindles don't bend. The axle bends so up grading to 5200 lbs won't gain you more strength just more load carrying ability because of the larger bearings.
My TT was under the GVWR by about 2000 lbs. My 5er is under it's GVWR by 4200 lbs.
So even with the huge cushion of the 5200 lbs axles I still managed to bend one.


After the frame shop bent the axle back were you happy with the job they did or would you just buy a whole new axle if you had to do it over again?
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by charliez View Post
Sway is a result of not enough load on the hitch. I would weigh it how you load it and correct weight distribution before doing anything with axles.


I doubt itís the tongue weight because I usually tow with water in my tank and itís located near the front of the trailer
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by kginder View Post
After the frame shop bent the axle back were you happy with the job they did or would you just buy a whole new axle if you had to do it over again?
I was happy with the 1st job. The 2nd is still to knew to really tell. I had the 2nd one done late last summer and haven't put many miles on.
Interesting note though, the 1st shop never gave me a print out of the final work. The 2nd shop did. It shows what each axle was at prior and what the results were. Even though the other tires were wearing fine, one of the axles was actually out more than the tire wear was showing.

Mo reason to think I won't get another 5-6 seasons out of the current axles is why I didn't replace them.

One thing the shop said and something that I've heard more than once is that most axles are out to some degree. The last shop said that when they replace axles they still check the alignment because most are not perfect.
Money grab? Maybe.

I'll also add that the shop that did the work does other big trucks as well but is a major RV frame shop. They were booked for a couple weeks just to get the alignment done. That tells me that it's a pretty common occurrence.
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