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A word about axles

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gpokluda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gpokluda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A word about axles
    Posted: 22 Apr 2024 at 10:39am
If you have a single axle trailer, no need to read further unless you plan on getting a tandem in the future. Like myself, I know some folks on this forum have moved on from Rpods so I am posting to share some info I learned over the past few months.

A little over a year ago, we purchased an Escape 5.0, a small fiberglass 5th wheel with tandem Dexter Torflex 3500lb axles. Because of the HOA where we lived, we could not store the trailer at our house, so using the trailer required us to shoe horn it into our driveway which required a lot of tight turns with near 90 degree turns on pavement and concrete. During the time we lived in that home, we probably repeated the back in process almost 40 times.

So what does this have to do with axles? Over time, we noticed significant wear on the passenger side tires, to the point they were worn to the cords while the tires on the other side of the trailer were wearing normally. Well, as it turns out, tandem axles, especially those with internal suspension like Dexter Torflex and the Lippert Torsion don't like tight radius turns on surfaces that don't give, like pavement and concrete. According to the frame and axle shop that replaced my Dexter axles under warranty, the main axle tube is strong, but the spindles are the weak point and the forces of a tight turn and the wheel not being able to slip or skid. 

How do you prevent this? When having to make a tight radius turn, take it in small bites by backing and pulling forward and repeating until you get the trailer where you need it. Everyone wants to back in in one go like a boss and that's part of the problem. Take your time and your axles will love you for it.
Gpokluda
2017 Rpod 179(sold 2023)
2022 Escape 5.0TA
2022 Ford F150 4X4 3.5EB
Triumph T120
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2024 at 9:58pm
Fortunately, our Cherokee Grey Wolf has springs instead of torsion axles. I did add SumoSprings for trailers. They make a big difference. I also added them to our F-150.
StephenH
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gpokluda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gpokluda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2024 at 9:47am
Originally posted by StephenH

Fortunately, our Cherokee Grey Wolf has springs instead of torsion axles. I did add SumoSprings for trailers. They make a big difference. I also added them to our F-150.

The axle/frame shop that replaced our axle suggested that if our towing need required tight turns, they could convert from torsion axles to leaf springs and straight axles. Straight axles can be repaired/bent for alignment, unlike the torsion units.
Gpokluda
2017 Rpod 179(sold 2023)
2022 Escape 5.0TA
2022 Ford F150 4X4 3.5EB
Triumph T120
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