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Replacement axle?

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Topic: Replacement axle?
Posted By: StephenH
Subject: Replacement axle?
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 3:52pm
Some time back there was a discussion about bent axles and replacement options. One stated that a 5,000 lb axle had been ordered to replace the 3,500 lb axle. I noticed today that the axle on our RP179 is apparently bent sufficiently that the inside of the driver's side tire is wearing excessively. I will be looking to get this addressed as soon as we get home which will hopefully be tomorrow.

If anyone ordered a 5,000 lb rated axle to replace the 3,500 lb axle, what were the specifications used? How has the 5,000 lb axle worked out? Did you have to get new wheels to go along with the axle?

p.s. I would like to get this taken care of ASAP as we have reservations for the R-Pod 10th Anniversary rally in October.


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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com



Replies:
Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 4:00pm
SH, just for info, did this have anything to do with the wearing tire and brake issue you posted before? My opinion wheel size is determined by bolt pattern and preference. If I went with a 5000 lb axle I would probably go with a 15" wheel. Just cause you can. Just inquisitive.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: marwayne
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 5:08pm
If you go with a 5000# axle you have to use 15" wheels, they do not make 5000# axles with 14" bolt pattern

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If you want something done right, do it yourself.
2011 RP172, 2016 Tundra 5.7 Litre, Ltd.




Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 5:09pm
Makes sense.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 5:11pm
Yep you will need new wheels and tires. I think, if you contact Lippert or Dexter with the specs off your current axle tag, they can hook you up pretty easy.

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Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.


Posted By: Happy Tripping
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 7:40pm
Sorry to hear of your axle troubles.

Is there a reason for your wanting this fixed ASAP?

Mine is also bent but rather than replace the expensive axle, I have chosen to replace the much less expensive tires on an accelerated schedule as their wear becomes excessive. 

If there is a reason why it's best to replace the axle rather than the tires, I also will upgrade to a 5000 lb unit.


Posted By: marwayne
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 7:46pm
When I was at the rally in Goshen in 2015 I talked with the Dexter rep, he told me that the heaviest axle they can make for 14" wheels is 4200#

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If you want something done right, do it yourself.
2011 RP172, 2016 Tundra 5.7 Litre, Ltd.




Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 9:21pm
4200# is better than 3500#.
Why replace? It isn't minor wear on the inside. It really is significant. We are returning from a trip and I noticed the tilt of the tire and then felt and saw the wear. I also had the brakes squealing. It sounded like it was coming from the tilted wheel, not the passenger side which is the one where the brakes seem to tighten up too much. I also was noticing that there seemed to be some increased heat at the axle that I will want to get addressed also. Before I spring for a new axle though, I will take it to a shop to make sure I am reading the symptoms correctly. I don't want to spend money unnecessarily.


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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: David and Danette
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2018 at 6:10am
   Our Vibe may have originally had the same axle as a r-pod 3,500 lb 14" wheel, it was replaced with a 4,400 lb axle 15" wheel. I think the manufacturer is Lippert. It too was bent tilted inward and thankfully was still under warranty, Lippert and Forest River replaced it with the stronger axle because the newer model Vibes were changed to the stronger axle.

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2018 Vista Cruiser 19BFD (2018-              
2012 Vibe 6503 (2014-2019)
2009 r-pod 171 (2009-2014)
Middle Tn





Posted By: lostagain
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2018 at 8:48am
StephenH, how did you bend your axle?  Was this something that happened in the accident you had a while back?  

If it were up to me, I'd take a look at that Dexter 4200# axle that will allow you to keep your 14" wheels.  The 700 lbs. of extra capacity is probably about all you'll need.  Is it really cost effective for another 800 lbs. of capacity to have to go to the expense of tire and wheel replacement when the trailer chassis is really built for the 3000 lbs. GVW?  

Asside from weight capacity, are the 5000# axles really that much "beefier" than the 4200# that they are less susceptible to getting bent under normal use?  If you're driving on really rough roads where there are rocks and such that could hit the axle, it seems to be focusing on ground clearance may be worth the effort.  Does the heavier axle provide significantly greater clearance apart from the change to 15" wheels and tires?  

Best of luck in sorting this out and let us know what factors you considered in making your decision.


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Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Sonoma 167RB
Our Pod 172
2004 Dodge Dakota 4x4 v8


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2018 at 4:22pm
StephenH, please keep us posted. I’m very interested in what you wind up doing and where. I’m in NC too, and my 179 is always heavy because I pretty much only use it only Boondocking. And I’m planning a set of solar/battery/inverter mods that will increase weight another 150-200 pounds. So i expect that its only a matter of time before my axle goes tango uniform as well.

And just as reminder to all, if you’re using a weight distribution hitch it can significantly increase the trailer axle load. So you may think you’re ok when you’re not.

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2018 at 4:29pm
OffGrid,

Appreciate the fact you said something many of us have insinuated before. A WDH transfers weight. I am not a fan of WDHs necessarily unless needed, the WDH transfers weight to the trailer axle. Sure of controvery, interesting.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: crankster78
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 8:50am
Greetings
I think the 5000 axle is a good idea, however what is the cost and can you recover any of it when you sell, trade the pod?   It would provide some comfort, however if you put on miles or travel on rough roads.  I like the idea of going to 15 inch rims.  
Crankster78


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Crankster 78 R-179 2015


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 9:32am
When I looked at them for a friend, it wasn't much $$ to upgrade the axle, but you do have to add in the cost of 3 tires and rims, but most consider that an upgrade worth doing either way.

BTW, the cost of a replacement axle shipped to a loading dock at a friends bike shop, was about $900 total, we did the work ourselves. This was working directly with Dexter.


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Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 12:01pm
What were the measurements and specifications for the axle your friend ordered? That would be helpful. I could probably find a business address to which I could have it shipped.

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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 1:08pm
Originally posted by StephenH

What were the measurements and specifications for the axle your friend ordered? That would be helpful. I could probably find a business address to which I could have it shipped.


I do not have that data.. and, well.. it wasn't for an R-Pod, but a Airstream Bambi.


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Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 1:35pm
Okay. It is interesting to know that even Airstreams have some of the same problems.

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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 2:01pm
They use the same style/type/brands of axle, as do many others, in fact, 4 TT's so far, we have never had a leaf spring axle.

Now, this particular Bambi was 30 years old and had logged almost 100K miles when it was decided the axle was about finished..


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Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2018 at 7:23pm
We've done two trips to AZ and NV, one trip from NC to AZ, NV, ID, MT, WY, SD, and returning through IL. Additionally, we've done three trips from NC to VT with side trips to NY, NJ, and PA before returning. One trip to the factory in Goshen, IN and return, and some shorter local trips both for camping and for service. A rough estimate is that we have over 25,000 miles on the axle. We have hit some significant potholes and a couple of curbs (low speed). When it is light, I will try to get some pictures of the axle and the tire wear.

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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 9:53am
mccarter, you might want to check out this wdh calculator. I also recently posted on an experiment I did with my rig and wdh that you might want to look at. With my loading and tow vehicle I need a wdh for sure, but the point is to be sure you know how you're setting it up and what its impact is on your your trailer axle and TV receiver. 

https://www.ajdesigner.com/apptrailertow/weightdistributionhitch.php



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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 10:17am
Thanks offgrid, I will check it out.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: Keith-N-Dar
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:36am
Originally posted by StephenH

We've done two trips to AZ and NV, one trip from NC to AZ, NV, ID, MT, WY, SD, and returning through IL. Additionally, we've done three trips from NC to VT with side trips to NY, NJ, and PA before returning. One trip to the factory in Goshen, IN and return, and some shorter local trips both for camping and for service. A rough estimate is that we have over 25,000 miles on the axle. We have hit some significant potholes and a couple of curbs (low speed). When it is light, I will try to get some pictures of the axle and the tire wear.


I truly respect you for this post.  Several others have said that the axle was not suitable from the factory, including the poder that bumped ,over a curb at 40 MPH and wondered why it bent.

Fact is that roads are getting in worse shape every year.  People usig their Pods will eventually have this trouble.


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Keith-N-Dar
Boris & Betty (Boston Terriers)
2011 R-Pod 177
2010 Ford F-150


Posted By: GlueGuy
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 12:37pm
StephenH, I thought you had a HRE? Our HRE 179 has 15" wheels/tires. 

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bp
2017 R-Pod 179 Hood River
2015 Ford F150 SuperCrew 4WD 3.5L Ecoboost


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 2:07pm
No, we have the Midwest edition since we live in NC. It came with 14" wheels/tires although it does have the risers that earlier model years didn't.

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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: Hotcorner
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 10:21pm
Are you getting your replacement axle from Dexter directly or through a middle man?  Mine is definitely not right on the passenger side of the camper.  For an exact replacement Dexter 3500lb #10 Torflex, I was quoted $425 plus about $150 to ship it to me from Indiana by the OEM Parts Store.  Three week turnaround.  

However, I would think 4200lb axle would be an improvement and could still run the same wheels.  

 Brake swap should be breeze.


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Matt
2013 RP-177
2007 Chevy Duramax CC
2009 Chevy Tahoe LBZ


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 7:13am
I too like the idea of a Dexter 4200 lb axle keeping my existing wheels. I have the same (I think) setup as StephenH, 14 inch wheels, 3500 lb Lippert axle. But, and pardon the dumb questions, do the tires and wheels also need to be upgraded to get a 4200 lb rating? Is it possible to swap the brakes from a Lippert axle to the Dexter? Is the Dexter axle a bolt up replacement or is some welding required?

Also, has anyone ever weighed the individual wheels on their trailer? It seems to me it may not be a coincidence that the drivers side tends to fail more than the passenger side, at least in the 179. That side has all the heavy appliances as well as the slide, it has to be carrying more weight.

Thanks!

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 7:18am
Many owners upgrade their tires to D rated or even E rated, (I do not think going E is a good idea, but that's just me) when they need to replace their tires. C, D, and E tires are all available in the proper 14" size.

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Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 7:55am
OK thanks furpod. A quick look at etrailer suggests the 14 inch d rated tires are rated at 2200 lbs so that is a close match for the 4200 lb axle. Higher tire pressure and stiffness should also reduce rolling resistance which should improve fuel economy a little. Any load limit issues with the wheels themselves?

Why don’t you like the e rated tires if I may ask? Too stiff resulting in more bump loading? I certainly don’t want to shake the trailer to pieces...I tow on unpaved roads a lot to get to those nice quiet dispersed campsites in the national forests.

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: Hotcorner
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 10:23am
Originally posted by offgrid

I too like the idea of a Dexter 4200 lb axle keeping my existing wheels. I have the same (I think) setup as StephenH, 14 inch wheels, 3500 lb Lippert axle. But, and pardon the dumb questions, do the tires and wheels also need to be upgraded to get a 4200 lb rating? Is it possible to swap the brakes from a Lippert axle to the Dexter? Is the Dexter axle a bolt up replacement or is some welding required?

Also, has anyone ever weighed the individual wheels on their trailer? It seems to me it may not be a coincidence that the drivers side tends to fail more than the passenger side, at least in the 179. That side has all the heavy appliances as well as the slide, it has to be carrying more weight.

Thanks!
You probably already know this, but the Dexter axles were installed on some RPod trailers from the factory.

I wonder if the axle itself is heavier on the 4200# or just the torsion spring. If it’s the latter, it won’t really help prevent bent axles.

177 is heavier on passenger side. Slide out, appliances, tanks are over that way.

I’m seriously considering trying to straighten it out and reinforcing the axle. Not much to lose but time.

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Matt
2013 RP-177
2007 Chevy Duramax CC
2009 Chevy Tahoe LBZ


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 11:19am
Originally posted by offgrid



Why don’t you like the e rated tires if I may ask? Too stiff resulting in more bump loading? I certainly don’t want to shake the trailer to pieces...I tow on unpaved roads a lot to get to those nice quiet dispersed campsites in the national forests.


Because I also run in the Airstream world, and there, it's been proven time and time again that E rated tires transfer way to much NVH to the trailer. Many owners report losing interior rivets on a regular basis after switching, and once convinced it's the E rated tires, and they switch to D's, the damage stops. IME, this is one of the few places where, more, isn't necessarily better.

Another thing, make SURE your tire mounting place, if you don't do them yourself, balances them. Every tire shop in the country seems to believe balancing tires for a trailer isn't needed..

Guess what the second cause of lost rivets after new tires is.. LOL

and no load issues with the wheels, if I remember right, they are rated at 2000lbs or there abouts.. it has been awhile since I dealt with Pod tires/wheels, at least a year anyways. Remember, you are upgrading for more overhead, NOT because you want to load the R-Pod over 3500lbs.


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Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 12:23pm
Yep, that's what I figured furpod, you have to have some sidewall flex if you want to keep your trailer from shaking to pieces.

BTW, based on the weight and balance of the trailer as currently rigged ready to camp, I expect to be at about 3920 lbs trailer GVW fully loaded after I complete my power system and A/C mods, and at about 3550 trailer GAW including the wdh loading. So, I would have slightly exceeded the axle rating, not counting the presumed weight imbalance between the driver and passenger sides. The 4200 lb axle will restore some reserve axle load hopefully without pushing up the GVW much. 


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: Happy Tripping
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 3:35pm
Concerning bent axles -  

Originally posted by Keith-N-Dar

Fact is that roads are getting in worse shape every year.  People using their Pods will eventually have this trouble.

As Spock would say, "Fascinating!"

If the GAWR of the 3500# axle is 3000#, and a 176 UVW is 2839 #, AND the roads are getting worse, shouldn't travel trailer manufacturers state something like, 

       "We expect you to have to replace your axle unpredictably. Have a nice day. Smile"




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"There comes a time in the affairs of a man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation" - W.C. Fields


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 3:55pm
Not if they want to keep selling trailers...99% of buyers don’t delve into it to this level. Do you know what they call a salesperson whose lips are moving? I’ll let you guess the rest, any present company in sales excepted of course.

GAWR is 3000 on a 3500 lb axle?

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: Happy Tripping
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 6:00pm
I don't want to highjack this thread.

I got the 'GAWR' term off a forum comment from 2016. I hope the terminology is correct. My axle just says "Capacity 3000 pounds" on a plate.

However, this is really just meant as an introduction to my next thread-relevant question - 

                    ??What is the rated capacity of the 4200# Dexter axle??

                                                   The World Wonders


Posted By: Happy Tripping
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2018 at 12:55pm
Amazing! No comments re 'rated capacity'!

So, I called Dexter at 864-263-3170 and talked to 'Justin', who seemed to know what he was talking about.

If I understood him right, 3000# capacity axles like ours have 3500# components but the rubber of the torqflex axle is tweaked to 3000# to better fit the requirements of the r-pod trailer's weight.

The next step up, the 4200# torqflex, requires 15" tires but is built more stoutly than the 3500# model. Presumably, the rubber would also need to be downgraded to 3000# capacity as with the 3500# one, but we didn't talk about that.

From my own poking around, for'ultralight trailers', I believe 3500# axles have been 'industry standard'. If indeed Vibes are now being upgraded to 4200# axles, that would be very good news if it became standard for r-pods. Having a bent axle of my own, in my opinion, 3500# axles are just too light.


Posted By: David and Danette
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2018 at 1:21pm
     It all comes down to cargo capacity! The Vibes are heavier than the r-pods and they were built in the beginning with 3,500 lb axles, the engineers were not thinking. After axles started bending they realized their mistake and the last two years the Vibes were built with a 4,400 lb. axle and 15" wheels. Some of the models if you filled the water tank to capacity you were left with about 100 lbs available for personal cargo. The Vibes were built for four years 2015 being the last year. I think maybe the Vistas or the Ascends in the beginning were built with the same problem very little cargo capacity.

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2018 Vista Cruiser 19BFD (2018-              
2012 Vibe 6503 (2014-2019)
2009 r-pod 171 (2009-2014)
Middle Tn





Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2018 at 4:52pm
Here is a picture of the wear on the tire. On the inboard side of the tire, there is a pronounced step. When the trailer isn't up on the jacks, it looks like there is more bulge on the inboard side of the tire (driver's side) than on the outboard side and it did look like the tire was tilted inward at the top. I did not have any way to measure to see how much, but the wear is what is concerning me.




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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2018 at 5:05pm
SH,

I think I sent this link to you before, maybe wrong, very informative and simple.

https://www.centrevilletrailer.com/how-tos/trailer-axle-alignment-trailer-tire-wear/

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2018 at 10:28pm
Thanks. I'll check it tomorrow.

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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 10:42am
Well...here is an interesting update.

I pulled the part number on the 3500lb Lippert axle on my 2015 179, and called Lippert to find out if they made a bolt up higher capacity axle. The sales engineer said they should be able to configure a 4400 lb axle for me that would still use my existing wheels, but he wanted to confirm the exact  configuration with his engineering staff.

He checked with his guys (more than one apparently, to be sure they had it right) and called me back a few minutes later. He said that when they configured the 4400 lb axle all the parts were identical to what I already have, except that the label would state 4400 lb and not 3500...

So, it looks to me like Forest River ordered an axle that could have been rated at 4400 lbs and rated it at 3500 instead.  Pure speculation but can think of a couple reasons why they might do that. One is that the trailer frame is really the limiting factor in the design but they didn't want to call attention to that, so they derated the axle instead. Another is that they didn't want to advertise a trailer GVWR that high in order to keep the rPods slotted into the "liteweight" position in their product lineup. 

Hmmm...Any comments? 


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 2:37pm
I don't know. Not sure what comment I would make. I have a Dexter axle and it's marked Surveyor. To date no issues with axle. I have a 2015 178. I do know it is a 3500 lb rated axle by the tags. If I was to order parts I would never check to see if another axle had the same parts to my knowledge there is no interchange info unless I stumbled upon it.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 2:42pm
It has been a few days and I got busy so I had not posted earlier.
It is interesting about the axle label stating 3500 lb when the parts support 4400 lb.

Looking at my tire again, it may be that the wear I am seeing is a factor of load rather than axle bend. Although the inside edge of the tire is showing wear, so is the outside edge, just not quite as much. We have had several trips on this tire. I had replaced the door-side tire due to what I thought was excess wear, so it has many fewer miles than the slide-side tire.

I jacked up the 'Pod to grease the axle and to check closer the situation. I noticed on the slide-side that the wheel has a very slight play in that I can feel a very slight movement when I try to move the tire right to left and up and down while the tire is off the ground. If what I have read is correct, this is normal. If I am mistaken, please let me know. OTOH, I did not notice this with the door-side wheel. The door side is the one where the self-adjusting brakes always seem to make the wheel too tight to easily turn by hand. When I grease the axle, I always have to loosen the brakes before I can turn the wheel freely enough to grease the bearings.


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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 3:02pm
Thanks Gents. 

My experience with wheel bearings is that a slight wheel play is normal but I'll defer to mcarter on this. 

StephenH, just for giggles, what axle do you have? Mine is Lippert variant number 165646. There is a really long part number as well, but Greg at Lippert used this variant number to look up the axle. Also, if I may ask, what load range tires are you running?

If the Lippert axles are really good for 4400 lbs, then the weak link is likely going to be the tires, right? I also have a bit more wear on the edges of my tires. I'm still running the original load range C tires. I keep them at the specified 50psi max. 

I'm really curious now what the actual loading is on the slide vs door sides on the 179. Anybody have any ideas how to measure this short of getting hold of an expensive load cell? 

Thanks


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 3:11pm
SH,

Interesting. I don't think you have an axle issue. It bothers me you say you have to release an auto adjuster to move a wheel and you have never reported heat. I think it is normal to see some play on the bearing with wheel attached. From a distance it's not easy to say why you don't see same on the faulty side. I am almost to point to come up and visit you in KY and see if we can figure this out. Sure we would have help. Let me know.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 3:24pm
Offgrid,

Just thinking load bearing. I wouldn't worry about the slide on a 179 (albeit heavy) in a retracted position. Pretty much centered across axle load. The tires are a weak link but not substantial, always better to go with a better rating, in this case why many of us went to Ds vice Cs. My mere understanding of loads is once we retract, we center. A generality in trailers with slides.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 3:44pm
Thanks mcarter.  

I was thinking also that the heavy appliances (fridge, heater, water heater), are also all on that side... I will for sure change out to D rated tires, Amazon has Carlisles for $50. Any brands you like particularly? 





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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 3:56pm
offgrid, tracking what you are saying, SH has issues on the other side???? I have Carlisles's but have read where Goodyear Endurance are also excellent, you will notice a difference with a D rated 14" tire.

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 4:01pm
The label on mine says Variant # V000165646. I replaced the load range C tires with Carlisle load range D tires inflated to 65 psi a while ago and have made two trips out west and at least 3 trips up north since. Yes, I still have not noticed any significant difference in heat between the two sides, even though the brakes on the door-side are much tighter. I plan on asking about this at the rally in KY since there should be a factory rep there.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 4:03pm
OK, let us know, offer to help is open.

-------------
Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 4:15pm
I'm thinking that the rally might be a good time to pull the hubs and look at the brakes and bearings to see. Since they have the Lippert EZ-Lube hubs, I have not pulled the hubs off. I don't feel confident enough to do that without help.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 4:16pm
cool

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Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 4:27pm
Thanks SH, so we theoretically have identical "3500 lb" axles. I'd love to hear what the FR rep has to say about the Lippert axle rating. please keep us posted.

On a different but related note, I think I've learned why we have the seemingly odd GVWRs on our trailer labels. In the case of the 2015 179 that number is 3785lb. The Federal NHTSA rules read: 

On RV trailers, the sum of the GAWRs of all axles on the vehicle plus the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tongue weight must not be less than the GVWR. If tongue weight is specified as a range, the minimum value must be used. 

If you look at specs for the 2015 179 tongue weight it s listed as 285 lbs, so 3500+285= 3785. So I suspect that what FR is doing is picking a tongue weight as close to the generally accepted 10% minimum of the dry weight as they can reasonably justify (in order to show a low value for marketing purposes) for each model, and adding that to the 3500 GAWR. If that's the case then we likely have more headroom in loading our trailers than I was thinking.. 




-------------
2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 8:24pm
Update: I purchased a set of seals and a https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JFL83Y/ - Lisle 56650 Adjustable Seal Puller and downloaded the Lippert axle manual (I probably have the hard copy squirreled away somewhere so downloading was easier than searching). I decided that I could tackle the job as it did not look too difficult.

Today, I did the slide-side which is the one with the tire wear. What I found was what I suspected when I was adjusting the brakes which was that the seal had failed and grease was covering a number of the surfaces inside the drum, albeit, the shoes themselves did not appear to be covered.

It was a job to clean off the grease. I went through a whole can of brake parts cleaner trying to blast the grease off the brake parts. I think I got almost all of it off, although there may still be some residue. Removing the old seal was the hardest part, even with the tool. I had to put the hub in the tire and put a couple of lug nuts on so I could get enough leverage to pry the old one out.

After cleaning the bearings and the spindle as well as the inside of the hub and races, I greased the bearings according to the instructions and reassembled. I did not have the proper sized socket for the castle nut so I had to guess at the 50 ft-lb that the instructions said to torque the castle nut to before backing it off and then making it finger-tight. I'm not 100% sure I got that right so I will check tomorrow when I have daylight. I don't know if I will tackle the door side just yet since I don't want to pull it now and then have to order a new set of seals before the rally in case I need to pull it off there to check the brakes.

Anyway, I'm glad I did not wait to check. The door side did not have any evidence of seal leakage, so I think it will be okay for now.


-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 4:40am
Interesting. I was about to pull my bearings and regrease them as well, so this it timely. Its a reminder not to pack the hub solid with grease. Too much can be as bad as not enough. I suspect I have a similar problem as my drivers side brakes have become very grabby lately.  

Your bearings are good so I don't think anything you've described would explain the uneven tire wear.

The 50 ft lbs pretightening is just a guideline to be sure you've set the bearings in the proper places on the races and squeezed out the excess grease before adjusting the play.  I'm sure you're ok. 




-------------
2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 9:00am
SH,

You may have solved the brake and hub tightening issue. The brake adjuster could detect the slip caused by the greasy surfaces and continue to adjust to max to compensate. Heat could be minimum because brake is not tight against hub and is slipping versus locking. I know you said shoes were clean but I would replace shoes now that grease issue is fixed, once contaminated they will never function right again. As far as castle nut, tighten with large vice grips or crescent until races and bearings are set, then back off to snug. Lock it. Good luck. PS - still thinking about tire wear issue.

-------------
Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2018 at 4:43pm
Well I followed in  StephenH's footsteps today and pulled both wheels to do a bearing repack and brake inspection. I now know why my drivers side brakes have been grabbing so much. I had a really tough time getting the wheel off that side. The brake linings were basically coming apart in chunks and the drum was very badly scored. Spindle and bearings were fine, as was the tire wear. The passenger side had some brake wear but nothing dramatic.

So, I'm getting 2 new hub assembles and two new brake assemblies. Hopefully Amazon will come through with Tues delivery because we're planning to leave Thurs morning for the mountains. The assemblies are supposed to come bolt up ready so it should go together pretty quickly.

I just bought this 2015 rPod in May and made the mistake of assuming that things had been properly maintained. Lesson (re) learned that you have to inspect all safety critical systems whenever you buy a used vehicle. 




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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2018 at 9:58pm
Originally posted by mcarter

SH,

You may have solved the brake and hub tightening issue. The brake adjuster could detect the slip caused by the greasy surfaces and continue to adjust to max to compensate. Heat could be minimum because brake is not tight against hub and is slipping versus locking. I know you said shoes were clean but I would replace shoes now that grease issue is fixed, once contaminated they will never function right again. As far as castle nut, tighten with large vice grips or crescent until races and bearings are set, then back off to snug. Lock it. Good luck. PS - still thinking about tire wear issue.
The problem is that the one that gets too tight is the door side which did not have the grease seal fail. Although I did find a lot of some kind of residue inside when I took that one apart. I also purchased a 1-1/2" socket so I could torque the castle nut to the 50 ft-lb specification before backing it off and making it finger tight and able to move slightly with the cotter pin holding it in place. I took it out for a  test drive and to see how it handles with the SumoSprings in the Frontier. So far, so good. However, I'm pretty sure the axle is bent as I still see the inside of the slide-side tire still has more bulge than the outside and it visually appears to be tilted in at the top. Front to back distances are okay as far as I can tell.

When we get to Kentucky and have a factory rep to ask, I will get a professional opinion about this. I will also have to tools to re-do the bearings and brakes if needed. The ones I bought for this job (seal puller, dead-blow mallet, bearing packer) all will be in my tools that travel with us.


-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 11:38am
SH,

Sounds like a great plan, know you will tell us outcome.

-------------
Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 12:12pm
StephenH, I would assume that the residue in the passenger side drum is just brake dust from the shoes, that is sacrificial material and is supposed to be there. The greasy side wouldn't have as much because the grease is lubricating the drums and shoes. 

I'm puzzled why that side isn't self adjusting properly. Was there any unusual wear (gouges, missing shoe material) on the passenger side drum and shoes?  Were you able to push the little locking lever out of the way of the adjustment star and back off the brakes on that side? 


-------------
2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 12:21pm
The thing I noticed is that there is wear on the surface where the magnet slides.  The drum where the shoes slide and the shoes themselves looked okay. I was able to lift the lever and back it off. I have done so after each of the past few trips only to find it tight again when I check. There still has not been excessive heat as both sides feel to be about the same. If it were generating excessive heat, I would think I would feel it when I check the hubs.

The surface of the magnet is not smooth but has some groves along with the corresponding place on the drum where it slides. While it is not worn down to the armature windings, I can see where I will want to do a brake rebuild. If I do one side, I will do the other also. I really would not mind if I could find a way to convert to disk brakes that would be cost effective.


-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 1:30pm
If there's not a lot of heat then the brakes on that side probably really aren't that tight. Could be the drum or shoes are a little warped. Do you have an IR thermometer? You can get them on Amazon for about $25. I think I bought this one

https://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Lasergrip-Thermometer-Temperature-Non-contact/dp/B00DMI62HM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1538416741&sr=8-4&keywords=ir+thermometer+gun

May I suggest running down highway for awhile on flat ground with your trailer brakes disconnected (so no brake use so you will only have heat from the drag on both sides), then pull over and measure the drum temps on both sides. If they're really about the same then the tightness on the passenger side is not significant enough to be causing any real drag issues. Otherwise you'd get differential heat buildup.

Because I need to get on the road Thurs morning and my drums are scored so I needed new hubs anyway, I just bought complete brake and hub assemblies. That way I get new magnets and all the parts, bearings and seals greased and installed.  All I have to do is bolt on, connect and heat shrink the wires, install the hub, adjust the bearing play, perform the one time brake adjustment, done.  For the price and time involved it just doesn't seem worth it to me to go through a brake rebuild part by part.

I dislike drum brakes too. They retain heat and water and grease and hide damage and corrosion from view. Just a poor design all around. I had them fade completely out on my old VW bus in my early days, very scary, and those were new properly installed brakes. I'll never forget it. If you find disc brakes for our rPod axles at a reasonable price let us know. But I think you need to convert to an electric over hydraulic system so its really spendy. 



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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 8:02pm
That is why I will not convert yet. It is just too expensive at this time.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 7:43am
Agreed, plus I prefer electric over hydraulic. The current brakes are sophisticated compared to drums of the 50s and 60s, the fact they are self adjusting in forward motion is an improvement. My other thought is disc brakes don't alleviate seals and hub bearings, that will always be an issue.

-------------
Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 8:02am
mcarter, have you or do you know anyone who has made the disc conversion on an rPod or similar size trailer? What parts were used, what worked and what didn't, what was the end product like, etc? Thanks



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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 8:31am
It looks to me as if the disc brake rotors and mechanism while not cheap are not the most expensive part, but the electric over hydraulic controller which costs $600 and up is.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: mcarter
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 12:11pm
I do know people who have converted to disc brakes, however they had a hydraulic equipped trailer. Have seen this on several occasions with boat trailers. In every case they went with a conversion kit. Which are available at etrailer.com. As SH said the conversion to hydraulic is a show stopper to me, to me it adds a whole other system to your TT. The parts are readily available should you want to go that way.

-------------
Mike Carter
2015 178
" I had the right to remain silent, I just didn't have the ability."


Posted By: Countrygent
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 1:34pm
Watching this thread.

I bent both sides toe-out pretty badly on a rough trip through Baja this Spring.  Roads were awful and unavoidable potholes and broken pavement in places, but I suspect it was some unmarked topes (those speed humps they have on the highways around towns)  that did us in.  Slapped on the brakes but still the trailer took to the air air once or twice, even though we were on the lookout ... best plans poor execution.  And the WDH no doubt made it worse.

Thought maybe just earlier tire replacement would be enough, but wore a set of new tires down to the cords showing after less than 5000 miles, so that is a no-go approach not just on cost and inconvenience, but also safety.  A preventable tire blow out is way too risky.

Not handy enough or mechanical enough to replace myself, so dreading the cost, but after looking around and researching I gather there is no easy fix but replacement, and the fact of the matter is these 3500# (or even if they are down-labeled 4200#) torsion axles are just not robust enough to leave a sufficient margin for typical unintended abuse over many years, whether from overloading or road hazards.  In my case we have never overloaded, but there just isn't a huge margin for vertical pressure on those spindles in any event.

I am developing a preference for better roads I think.  But have to say the axle did not pack it in until it had carried the trailer over some very rough terrain, we dragged it to some amazing places over the years.




-------------
Geoff & Tricia & Spud the Retriever
2012 177 HRE
Toyota Tacoma 6cyl
Little Bigpod


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 1:58pm
I have a preference for better roads, but sometimes the bad roads can't be avoided. I encountered some particularly bad ones this spring in Illinois.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 2:00pm
Countrygent,

Gotta love the topes in Baja....been "surprised" by those in the past too Embarrassed.  But Baja is just too nice to not visit just because of that. 

Sounds like you are shopping for a new axle.  For Lippert the load range we have is 3500-4400 lbs.  If so and you want to try to reduce the likelihood of a bent axle in the future, you might want to go for the next load range higher, which starts at 5200 lbs, otherwise is likely you'd be getting the same axle. The heavier axle has 6 bolt hubs, so new wheels would be required. Don't know about Dexter, but probably its similar. 

For me, I think I'm going to upgrade my wheels and tires to 15 inch load range D so that those will be good for 2500+ lbs. The axle will then last as long as it will last, depending on how lucky I get in missing the potholes and topes. At which point I can get a new axle. It doesn't sound like there are any cases of catastrophic failure, just bending and misalignments resulting in excessive tire wear. 


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: Countrygent
Date Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 11:04am
Thanks Offgrid.

The Baja roads are way better than in the good old days I gather ... but the portions of Highway 1 near the State border and Guerrero Negro were nerve-wracking and awfully narrow, crumbled and potholed.  Then we tried to cut up to the new road being built South from San Filipe on our way back North, which ended up being a 30 mile or so adventure over rubble and some really crazy rough patches more suited to rock-crawling 4x4s.  That road will be fantastic when completed in another year or so - they had a ton of crews and equipment working on it.

The trip was exceptionally interesting and exotic, there was beautiful solitude and camping right on the beach both on the Pacific side and Gulf of California.  We had only two slight negative experiences - out of the dozen or so military checkpoints one slow, surly search fingering stuff in our cupboards and drawers which was annoying, obviously intended for us to give some items away, but it ended with no problem.  Then a bad experience with town dogs in Santa Rosalia while we were walking.  Ended without any bites but I was definitely into fight or flight mode and do not like the way they let their very territorial dogs roam in some of the towns.

Sorry for any thread hijack ... our trip was actually an illustration of the “fake” marketing aspect of the HRE models made to appear as if they can be backcountry vehicles.  Not really.  The construction is too conventional and the bouncing, flexing aspects are not addressed by the engineering.  Even with the axle risers I have bent both rear stabilizers, bent the axle, broken some interior trim pieces, had drawers and cupboards fly open with ensuing mayhem and mess.  We have pushed the limits, true, but really the proper limits are well-graded gravel, and maybe very low speed last few miles to destination over less maintained roads.  

Will consider a 15 inch wheel - I gather it is far more common and there are a lot more tire choices, when I got caught with my tires wearing I found out there isn’t a lot of 14 inch choice readily available in the load ratings we require.  But maybe adding in new wheels and tires is too much expense.  I have to also figure I’m putting money into a 6 year old trailer that already has a list of to-do items as the components start to fail from age or use - broken electric switch on the water heater, broken support strap on the grey water outlet pipe, seals requiring their second major overhaul, new propane regulator, new TV/DVD player.  Last year we upgraded the mattress (great), replaced the rear curtain with a de-browned new curtain complete with black-out liner, new shower head, upgraded the dinette cushions ... repainted and de scaled all the exterior black steel ... I do catch myself looking at new Lances and, (lottery win required) Airstreams.  But I gather they all have their maintenance problems.  The Airstreams in particular leave a fair gap between the marketing position of being premium and the best, and a host of regularly occurring defects and failures, especially water infiltration, that’s disappointing to new owners.

Could be worse - I used to own a sailboat, and marine quality maintenance and repair was incredibly expensive compared to RV’s.  Love my Pod and the places it has taken us.






-------------
Geoff & Tricia & Spud the Retriever
2012 177 HRE
Toyota Tacoma 6cyl
Little Bigpod


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 11:38am
I love Baja, want to move permanently to the Ensenada area. Same climate as San Diego at 10% the cost.

If you think boats are bad try owning an airplane. Been there done that, can’t afford the FAA approved tee shirt...1 boat buck = 1 aviation monetary unit= $1k.

None of the pretty minor things you’ve listed would convince me to change trailers if I liked my rPod. All that can be fixed for a few hundred dollars. If you haven’t already, get a dual voltage TV when you swap it out, no more inverter use for watching the tube.

Just to be sure I’m being clear on the 15 inch wheels. If you change to a 5000 plus lb axle that is a different wheel than a 15 inch wheel for the 3500 lb axle. So, make your axle decision first. Good luck!

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 8:53am
StephenH, did you glean any new information on your axle issues and options at the KY rally? How did your brake and bearing problems work out? 

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2018 at 9:57pm
I found out that although the hardware is 4400 lbs, it is derated to 3500 because of the space between the axle arms and the mounting brackets. If it were closer, the rating would be higher. I did not get a good answer to either but I do have an appointment to take it to the dealer where I bought it where the axle and brakes will be checked.

I had cleaned and repacked the bearings and replaced the grease seals before this trip. I think the brakes worked pretty good. However, toward the end, I started to notice a little pulling, probably the door side where the magnet was showing quite a bit more wear than the one on the slide side. Still, the brakes on both sides did not seem excessively warm, even after some significant downhill grades today.


-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2018 at 4:00am
Interesting Stephen, I wonder if modified mounting brackets could be welded up? Did you get a contact info for the tech you talked to, I'd like to research that further?

Sounds like you have your brake issues under control. I'm still working on mine, I have about 800 (mountainous) miles on my new brakes and drums and am still learning and sorting things. There's more on my other thread for the that. 
  


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2018 at 11:50am
StephenH, I called Lippert back to see if I could get better clarification regarding the axle rating question. 

Instead, the new response I got just created more confusion. Josh in the sales configuration group said that the information I was given initially (that our axles could have been rated for 4400 lbs) was incorrect. John said that none of the 3500 lb series torsion axles can be uprated to any higher load rating. 

He also said that the 3500 lb series leaf spring axles could be uprated and that the spacing between the axle arms and mounting brackets would effect that. However, I doubt that the original person I spoke with could have been confused about the axle type as I gave him the same variant number, which he looked up and discussed with his configuration techs at that time. 

Finally, Josh said that Lippert could not provide a 5200 lb torsion axle (their next available higher rated size) that would fit to replace the axles we have.

So, the confusion increases. In any event, one way or another, at this point I think Lippert is a dead end. I'm going to put in a call to Dexter and see what I can find out from them. 





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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2018 at 6:01pm
Thanks for your research work. I look forward to seeing what you find out.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 27 Oct 2018 at 7:52am
StephenH, just as an update, I gave up for now on my axle upgrade research. I was working on it primarily because I had already made the decision to upgrade to 15 inch wheels and tires and wanted to be confident that I wouldn't need to then get a 5200+ lb axle and turn right around and buy yet another set of 6 lug wheels. 

But it just became too frustrating to get a straight answer from anyone and I also got sticker shock on the cost of a new axle plus new brakes and hubs, about $900.  And after all I don't have an axle problem now and I drive very slowly when I get on rough roads. 

So, I went ahead and ordered  15 inch 5 x 4.5 wheels and 225/75R15 LRD tires to fit the oem axle. The tires and wheels are rated at 2520 lbs so at least this will reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic failure on the road. Axle problems seem like they take time to develop and give  plenty of warning via tire wear, while overloaded tires can suffer blowouts. Time will tell if I made the right decision or not I guess.

I know you have your trailer in the shop now so I'm very curious to hear what they find when they inspect your axle and what solution you go with, so do please keep us posted.

Thanks!





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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 27 Oct 2018 at 11:03am
I'm waiting to hear from the dealer's service department. Hopefully, that will be soon.

-------------
StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com


Posted By: condensed
Date Posted: 08 May 2019 at 3:07pm
After explaining to the rep at Lippert that I had a bent axle he said that if I upgraded to a heavier duty axle it would affect the ride of the trailer body negatively with a rougher ride.

-------------
ohardyIII


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 08 May 2019 at 5:20pm
Originally posted by condensed

After explaining to the rep at Lippert that I had a bent axle he said that if I upgraded to a heavier duty axle it would affect the ride of the trailer body negatively with a rougher ride.

Whether or not you should get a heavier axle will depend on ow much weight you're carrying on it. if its not near its 3500 lb limit then it probably bent from hitting a pothole really hard or something like that, and a heavier axle wouldn't be either needed or desirable.  But if its at or near its load limit then a heavier axle would probably be an appropriate choice because replacing it with the same axle will likely just result in another bent axle, and because you'd be in the appropriate weight range for the next size up, so the ride wouldn't be a significant issue. 

Can you weigh your axle as you load your trailer currently? Try a public scale or your local wast transfer station.  If you use a weight distribution hitch,  leave that tensioned, it adds weight to the rear axle. 


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: lostagain
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 9:20am
I've been following the axle issues with interest.  It appears that strengthening the axle outboard of the frame rails is pretty good idea if you are carrying weight approaching the capacity of the axle or are traveling on roads that could stress that weakness to the point of failure.  The three designs by offgrid, Toyanvil, and marwayne all offer creative and viable solutions to reducing the risk of bending the axle while loaded under normal conditions.

On the other hand, I have my doubts about the value of going to a larger capacity axle.  Not that it wouldn't be stronger, but rather that that if you loaded the trailer consistent with the capacity of the axle you'd be overloading the basic frame and would just be moving the risk of failure to another weak point.  The frame and the axle, I suppose though I'm far from an engineer, function as a single unit and like a weak link in a chain all you are really doing by going to a heavier axle is moving the weak link to a different location.  

The Pod is a lightweight trailer that has its limitations and appeals to a specific market nitch.  It shouldn't be overloaded beyond its design capacity.  Attempting to increase its design capacity, in my opinion, is asking for problems.  If you are unsatisfied with the GVW of the Pod, a better solution would to be invest in a travel trailer that will handle the loads you wish to carry.  


-------------
Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Sonoma 167RB
Our Pod 172
2004 Dodge Dakota 4x4 v8


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 9:47am
I agree. I wouldn't suggest or consider a heavier axle in order to add load beyond the 3500 lb spec. I'd consider it f I have an axle failure at my current weight (just under 3500) even though I reinforced my axle. 

One of these days I'll take a look at the frame load again and see how much safety factor there is in that. But regardless of where the frame comes out you'd still be picking up liability if something bad happened and you were knowingly overweight on your trailer.  


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: marwayne
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 10:32am
I reinforced my  frame about 7 years ago. I took out all the screws out of the outer rails and inserted a 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" tubing and bolted them together.

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If you want something done right, do it yourself.
2011 RP172, 2016 Tundra 5.7 Litre, Ltd.




Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 11:42am
Originally posted by marwayne

I reinforced my  frame about 7 years ago. I took out all the screws out of the outer rails and inserted a 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" tubing and bolted them together.

Do you have a photo of what you did marwayne? 




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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: marwayne
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 11:47am
The tubing you see here goes all the way to the front.

https://postimg.cc/YG3yZzVk">


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If you want something done right, do it yourself.
2011 RP172, 2016 Tundra 5.7 Litre, Ltd.




Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 12:30pm
Ok, got it. Just to confirm, your 172 frame tubing is 2 x 4 x .01 inches, right? 

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: marwayne
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 12:38pm
My tubing is 2x4 1/8 wall, the insert is 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 1/8 wall. I added shims where ever it is bolted together.

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If you want something done right, do it yourself.
2011 RP172, 2016 Tundra 5.7 Litre, Ltd.




Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 10 May 2019 at 7:25am
Ok thanks marwayne, I recall my wall thickness was 0.1 inch vs your 0.125. I'll mike mine today and try to run an estimate of the load capacity of the frame. 

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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 8:23am
I finally got around to this this morning.

First, my frame tubes were 0.1 inch when I mic'd them, so marwayne, you might want to check your 1/8 inch number again. If FR/Lippert went from a 0.125 thick tube to a 0.1 thick one between 2012 and 2015, on a heavier rPod (179 vs 172) then that's truly annoying. 

I ran the load calcs on the frame. To keep things simple I  just assumed a uniform load from tongue to rear bumper. This tends to overestimate the weight on the tongue but I don't think that changes the end result too much, because the highest stress load on the frame occurs at the axle. 

Using my 0.1 inch frame thickness figure, I got a  bending stress at the axle of around 22 ksi assuming a trailer loaded to 3900 lbs. That only provides for a 1.65 bump load safety factor. Not real good. The other peak stress point is up front about 78 inches back from the tongue, but that point has an adequate safety factor of around 3. 

In reality, its not going to be that bad because the load on the frame from the axle is spread out somewhat and the trailer box will add stiffness. But either way, its a good idea to avoid putting heavy junk in the back of your trailer and an even better one to drive slow over bumps. 


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: dcholden
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 2:02pm
I do not see any posts about using leaf springs and axle to replace the torsion axle. Is there any reason why leaf springs and new a axle would not work to replace the torsion axle? We live full time in Baja Calif.,Mexico and most of our use is on very bad roads.


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 4:16pm
Originally posted by dcholden

I do not see any posts about using leaf springs and axle to replace the torsion axle.  Is there any reason why leaf springs and new a axle would not work to replace the torsion axle? We live full time in Baja Calif.,Mexico and most of our use is on very bad roads.

One of our members has suggested that but no one has tried it yet as far as I know. The only reason it wouldn't work that I can think of is that you might end up with a higher ride height than you would like. You would still have the same issue with a large overhang between the wheels and the trailer frame so a higher rated axle would probably be needed. 


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: GlueGuy
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 4:27pm
I also think you would have to put a doubler of some sort at the four points where the leaf springs attach to the frame.

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bp
2017 R-Pod 179 Hood River
2015 Ford F150 SuperCrew 4WD 3.5L Ecoboost


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 13 May 2019 at 4:30pm
Originally posted by GlueGuy

I also think you would have to put a doubler of some sort at the four points where the leaf springs attach to the frame.

+1


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: texman
Date Posted: 20 May 2019 at 10:06am

it looks bent to me.  also, i just hauled the pod to put up for a while and no trailer brakes.  my brake controller works fine on a flatbed trailer with a bargman connecter, so i dont think it is the controller.  I just reread this whole thread and i am still not sure what Stephen H ended up doing, replace or no? Anyway i guess i am starting down this axle replacement routine.  Please give me some guidance.  I think it is a Dexter axle. 


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TexMan 2015 182g
2018 Sequoia
http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=9122&title=texman-182g-mods - TexManMods


Posted By: offgrid
Date Posted: 20 May 2019 at 10:22am
Sorry to hear you're having problems. There should be a sticker on the axle which will tell you who made it and what the rating is. If its a Dexter, is the tube flat or turned as a diamond? Can you get the tube dimensions and thickness? 

The other thing to do is to see if its crowned (cambered) or not. Run a string line along the bottom and measure the gap in the center if there is one. 

Re the brakes, if both sides are out its most likely the wiring. If you've convinced yourself that its not a problem in the trailer connector itself, check the wiring to the magnets next.  The crummy insulation displacement connectors FR uses are pretty notorious for coming undone. You can also check for voltage at the brake magnet connections with your brake controller connected and energized (by taping the manual lever on or having a helper hold in on). 

good luck!


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2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander


Posted By: StephenH
Date Posted: 20 May 2019 at 1:49pm
Originally posted by texman


it looks bent to me.  also, i just hauled the pod to put up for a while and no trailer brakes.  my brake controller works fine on a flatbed trailer with a bargman connecter, so i dont think it is the controller.  I just reread this whole thread and i am still not sure what Stephen H ended up doing, replace or no? Anyway i guess i am starting down this axle replacement routine.  Please give me some guidance.  I think it is a Dexter axle.

The tires on mine were wearing with significant wear on the inside shoulders of the tires. The wheels and tires were definitely splayed out. The dealer where I purchased it did the axle replacement along with brake and bearing replacement. The door side had leaked grease and although I had cleaned it up, the magnet showed signs of excessive wear also so the whole brake assemblies were replaced and a new hub was installed on the door side. The slide side hub was okay. Along with the axle repair, a leak in the slide-out was repaired. The whole job cost me about $3,000.  Given how many miles I have been in the pod, it probably worked out to about ten cents a mile.


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StephenH
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,...

http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7712 - ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com



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