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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Question re axle replacement

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rfloyd99

Florida

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Posted: 04/04/19 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2016 Jay Feather RBM23 which I bought new. The tires were wearing unevenly (edges of tread wearing more, not uniform from one tire to the next). Of course, they are the cheap original equipment ones, and I had about 18,000 miles on them. I was very careful to keep them at the recommended 50 PSI, BTW, so I don't think the wear issues are related to low pressure.

When I took it in at the end of the warranty period (two yrs) for them to take care of a handful of minor issues, I asked the dealer if they thought I had an alignment problem, bad or improperly installed axles, etc. that could be causing this. Lippert made the axles, IIRC.

They took a lot of measurements, and said they'd get back to me. Months later they did, and wanted to come to my home an hour away to measure again. They did, and a couple of months later called and said the new axles had come in.

I have three questions:

1. Should I even have them change the axles? I know doing warranty work generates lots of money for the dealer, whether it's needed or not. They somehow got Jayco to replace the largest window and a small one under warranty when the only problem was that they were a little stiff to open/close. If there's nothing wrong with the axles replacing them could be worse, if they don't do it right.

2. Do new axles come with the bearings and brakes already attached, therefore giving me new ones along with the axles? (again, 18K miles, so new would be a plus)

3. If I do it, should I replace the yellow Equa-Flex (Lippert, I think) suspension part while they are at it? Again, consider the mileage. It seems the Equa-Flex is already an upgrade, but is wear a problem?

As always, thanks in advance!

Riley

* This post was last edited 04/04/19 02:52pm by rfloyd99 *   View edit history

MFL

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Posted: 04/04/19 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a thought...is it possible that the axles/tires could be overloaded, causing the wear? Many times RV manufacturers use just barely capable axles/springs/tires. If overloading may be the issue, same size new axles would likely show the same tire wear.

In any case, if changing the axles, I'd change out the spring bushings while apart.

Jerry





K_and_I

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Posted: 04/04/19 03:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's hard to see it from this distance, but I had a problem with tires wearing on one edge. I laid a straight edge across the middle of both tires and found one wheel towed in quite a bit. After a little reading, I thought I must have bend a spindle, so I replaced both axles (Dexter no longer made the axle I had so I had to do the pair). There is some good info here:
Axle Problems


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mosseater

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Posted: 04/04/19 05:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trailers are notorious for bad axle alignment/installation. If you ever read the specs from Dexter or Lippert, I believe you'd find that axle installation measurements are supposed to be very precise. I had to have mine aligned and they ended up moving a spring hanger over 1/2" inch. Tires wear nicely now.


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Charlie D.

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Posted: 04/04/19 06:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would want to know what the dealer is planning to do and if I would have any out of pocket costs.


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Huntindog

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Posted: 04/05/19 03:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is a fact that axle hangers are often installed wrong..... But since you got 18K on the tires, that can be ruled out... Reason being: If they were misinstalled from the factory, then they would have been wearing bad from day one. Since you got 18k before noticing it, my money is on something that happened later.

Perhaps you overloaded it one or more times. Or hit something that bent them. Those are the most likely things. It is easy to do, as manufacturers put the lightest (cheapest) axles on that they can. At any rate, an axle swap is easy, and they should be able to handle it just fine.... Do get it weighed ready to camp, before you take it in... Just to be sure you are not overloading it. Be a shame to bend the new axles on your first trip.

Inspect the equalizers, as they are a wear item. If they show any signs of wear, this would be a good time to replace them.



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Tacky

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Posted: 04/07/19 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My previous TT had a tire wear problem and Lippert provided my replacement axles, which I installed myself. They did not come with brakes or bearings, but included a hardware kit which included U-bolts and wheel bearing seals. If your dealer is prepared to replace them, I would get it done. I don't know what tires you have, but I would put a decent radial on when you replace them, radials seem more forgiving of minor misalignment issues.


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ksbowman

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Posted: 04/07/19 08:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had to replace both axles on our last 5th wheel due to bent axles and terrible tire wear because of that. As said above most of the axles are borderline as being sized right and when loaded just hitting a curb or chuck hole will bend them. If the cost of the replacement axles is on the manufacturer and not you I'd have them replaced with a heavier axle if possible. The ones I replaced had a rating that was significantly higher than the original axles.

allen8106

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Posted: 04/08/19 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take the rig to an trailer/axle shop and have the wheels aligned. I take mine in to an axle shop every two years for an alignment check and adjustment if necessary.


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gregmisc

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Posted: 06/05/19 04:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had uneven tire wear on my original tires and contacted the dealer. The dealer said he doesn’t align axles and sent me to a truck shop. The truck shop said they are not adjustable and could not help me. I finally found a shop that said they could do the alignment but they found both Lippert axles were bent and needed to be replaced. The owner said the Lipperts were not made as well as Dexters so he ordered larger capacity Dexter axles for replacement. I hope this solves my problem.


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