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Old 10-25-2022, 07:56 PM   #1
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How does a shop align a tandem TT?

I called the RV dealer and specifically asked what actions he would do to align my tandem TT with leaf springs. I explained that I may have a bent spindle and one side of RV because the distance between the hubs on one side id 3/8" different than the other side. Also...one wheel wears uneven after about 12K miles.
Anyway...I asked if they actually bent the axel back straight? I asked him how they can adjust an alignment with the springs since they are on a hanger and are pinned into the center hole of the spring. He replied that when they perform an alignment they basically check the measurements and replace bad parts such as axels, bushings, etc.. and they actually can't "adjust" anything.
Sooo...is this correct? Are there any adjustments that can be made to align the TT or is it simply replacing parts? Are there other shops that can make adjustments?
Just trying to learn something about my chassis.
Thanks
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Old 10-25-2022, 09:11 PM   #2
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The term "alignment" is not correct and is misused. When the axle becomes bent, the camber is what is off.

RV dealerships don't bend the axles back into correct camber because the axle manufacturers don't recomend it. RV dealers will just replace the axles and hubs.

You will have to find a shop that can hydraulicly bend the axle back into correct camber. It may take a bit of searching to find such a shop. Start calling big rig shops, if they don't do it ask them if they know who does.
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Old 10-25-2022, 09:22 PM   #3
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I am not sure how they do it.

If I was doing it, I'd measure from the ball to the front hanger on both sides. The distance should be the same. Then I'd measure from the front hanger to each subsequent hanger. again the distances should be the same. Assuming someone didn't mismatch the springs it should be aligned. Another good check would be to measure between the axles at the springs, I am thinking the "pins" should be the same distance apart. If those are the same, and the hub centers are different, the axle is bent. No other explanation.
All that would need to be done on flat level ground after any lateral load from turning was relieved. The equalizers could mess things up if they are not in the position.

2 cents. Worth what you paid for it, maybe less...
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Old 10-25-2022, 09:39 PM   #4
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My current toy hauler needed both axles straightened. It's done by setting a laser/computer up from the A frame to each axle then bending the axle via chains/hydraulic ram to a correct position.
It seems to occur around the 2–4-year mark.


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Old 10-25-2022, 11:28 PM   #5
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Interesting. Same way they straighten frames.
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Old 10-26-2022, 05:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing this video because it good 'stuff to know'.
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Old 10-26-2022, 05:41 AM   #7
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So share with us again why you can't use a jack on your axle at the spring perch?
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:22 PM   #8
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Contact a quality truck repair shop they should be able to do it. they can bend the axle for caster and camber and tow-in and out. we have a shop here that does it for T/T and motorhomes.
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:48 PM   #9
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Contact a quality truck repair shop they should be able to do it. they can bend the axle for caster and camber and tow-in and out. we have a shop here that does it for T/T and motorhomes.
Jay D.
X2.
Rv dealers aren't set up like a big rig trailer repair shop to straighten frames or bring the trailer axles/suspension back to proper alignment.

One of my tandem axle gn flatbed trailers aft axle was 3/8" inch difference between the two axles on one side.
Aft axle is bent to simply follow the front axle (wheels) so no odd wear patterns ever came up in 374k miles I ran the trailer before retiring it from service. The repair shop says the trailer mfg messed up when welding the spring hangers to the main frame rails.
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Old 10-27-2022, 10:29 PM   #10
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I had unusual wear on the insides of the rear set of tires of a previous 5th wheel. I found a local shop that specialized in big trucks and semi-trailer suspension work. They showed me the before and after measurements and there was a difference, but I don't recall the specific numbers.
He explained to me that normal trailer axles have a slight curve/bow to them. It they aren't put into the hangers so the bow is correct, it puts the camber off and tires wear excessively.
I had the current travel trailer aligned before my trip this summer AFTER I put the morryde 3000 suspension kit in and new tires. There was a slight adjustment during the alignment. The tires appear to be wearing similarly/evenly after nearly 9800 miles of towing.
I hope you find a shop that can handle that in your part of Florida.
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Old 10-31-2022, 10:57 AM   #11
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First, do not have an RV place work on an axle, they can barely work on RV items to begin with. Find a trailer shop.
Second, if you bent a hub, then check to see if the hub spindle can be replaced.
or
Replace the entire axle if not, leaf spring axles are not that expensive. If you are handy then do it yourself and save hundreds. It will literally just bolt in the same way the old one comes out.

Do not bend the spindle unless it is just a tiny amount of movement. To bend the axle as shown in the video is fine, but not the spindle.

What will take you all day to do might take an axle shop only minutes, so it is worth calling them.
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Old 11-01-2022, 09:13 AM   #12
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I thought about replacing my bent axles. I contacted Dexter and gave them my axle sticker info. They said my axles were custom made for CRUISER RV and the lead time was 6 months.
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Old 11-01-2022, 06:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Toby Dog View Post
So share with us again why you can't use a jack on your axle at the spring perch?
What does this mean/imply? Please explain.
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Old 11-01-2022, 07:03 PM   #14
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What does this mean/imply? Please explain.
This is a 2 bladed sword.. Jacking a full loaded RV Trailer by the wrong spot or axle can bend it..
I have carefully under the spring pads lifted to change a tire,, no harm..

Getting back to axle correction...
Some times a bend is needed , not always recommended if due to slamming and object with tires..
Bottoming axles out against the frame is the biggest issue that screws one up/alignment,,

Many times loosing the U Bolts and resetting Tracking is needed.. The axles can slide a bit after some hard, off camber turns or jars...

Also the hangers and hardware need to be new and serviced regular..

No comments on weld, as it was done at event , on the ground with a HF welder running of my genny.. Got me back..
This is not a TT but a 7x16 that I towed loaded way heavy (5400-6300) on miles of dirt/unapproved roads.. My old Class C was a trooper.. (dont judge GCVW)
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