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 > Leaf Spring Replacement

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TECMike

Texas

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Posted: 02/11/21 05:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is it necessary to replace leaf springs on a travel trailer as preventive maintenance?

Our small Sunnybrook travel trailer is twelve years old, been a joy to own without any major problems. I estimate my wife and I have pulled it about seventy thousand miles since we bought it new.

Should I give consideration to replacing its leaf springs? They seem to be fine, other than being old. But I do not want to have a spring to fail in the middle of nowhere.

Would appreciate advice from seasoned RVers. Thanks in advance.

Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 02/11/21 05:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TECMike wrote:

Is it necessary to replace leaf springs on a travel trailer as preventive maintenance?

Our small Sunnybrook travel trailer is twelve years old, been a joy to own without any major problems. I estimate my wife and I have pulled it about seventy thousand miles since we bought it new.

Should I give consideration to replacing its leaf springs? They seem to be fine, other than being old. But I do not want to have a spring to fail in the middle of nowhere.

Would appreciate advice from seasoned RVers. Thanks in advance.
IMO, no it is not necessary. In fact I have seen more fairly new springs fail than old ones. It all has to do with the quality of the steel they were made of. With the use you describe, it appears yours were made with good steel... Now all springs will eventually wear out and sag. But that is not a failure that will sideline the TT. I would just watch for sagging and replace them when/if it occurs. Of course the bushings will wear out as well, and that is a more common issue.


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Lwiddis

Death Valley NP

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Posted: 02/11/21 05:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree. Not in my opinion.


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TECMike

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Posted: 02/11/21 07:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Huntindog, for the response. I had wet bolts installed when I bought the trailer, so perhaps that has helped, along with the Equaflex suspension. No sagging at all, just old OE springs with a lot of miles on them. Yes, perhaps the steel was better back in 2009.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 02/11/21 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As long as they look good with no cracked steel and have a good arc you are good for a long time.
Although anything can happen on the road you should not worry about your springs.


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SDcampowneroperator

South Dakota

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Posted: 02/11/21 08:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep the wet bolts greased regularly, an eye on the arc of the springs, wear on the bushings and shackles. A dry bolt will wear out the nylon or bronze bushing eventually turn in the shackle, elongating the hole then tearing out.

Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 02/12/21 01:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TECMike wrote:

Thanks Huntindog, for the response. I had wet bolts installed when I bought the trailer, so perhaps that has helped, along with the Equaflex suspension. No sagging at all, just old OE springs with a lot of miles on them. Yes, perhaps the steel was better back in 2009.
A note about the bushings: I have replaced quite a few of them. The center equalizer bushing takes the most abuse and always shows more wear. Fortunantly, it is usually the easiest one to grease. I recomend greasing it a lot more often than the others

Vintage465

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Posted: 02/12/21 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would think with as many miles as you have on yours and they have good arc, your springs are "proven". I had a spring break with about 30,000 miles on our trailer. It was a right rear spring that broke 4" from the rear-most eye. The axle slid forward and the two tires started rubbing together and incinerating at about 60mph....pretty exciting time there for a few minutes, but I managed to get it off the road before things went catastrophic. That caused me to buy 4 new springs and up the spring capacity from 1750's to 2500's. I noticed two things about my springs; one, there was a very visible flaw in the manufacturing that caused the failure. two, the distance from the eye to the next leaf in the "spring pack" was about 6". On the new springs the distance from the eye is about 2". I like that better. Also, I did a ton of research and calling and as far as I can tell, there are no springs for trailers made in USA. You can have springs made, but it will be about $2000.00. All trailer springs are made in China or India. So I would say....since I think it is a gamble buying anything from China or India, If what you have is working, keep it til it starts to look iffy cause it's hard to be certain you'll get a good set of springs.


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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 02/12/21 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Sunnybrook is a 2004 and is still on its' original springs. I too have wet bolts and Equaflex suspension equalizers. Ours does not get towed anymore though and just sits on those old springs waiting for my wife and I to arrive. [emoticon]
Barney
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BadgerMcAdams

Phoenix, AZ

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Posted: 02/12/21 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the springs are basically in good condition, and they are just a bit flat from the years of use, one possibility is to have them re-arched.

MANY years ago, I worked at a truck repair company in Amarillo Texas called Tow Brothers. (NOT a recommendation for them, Hell, I don't even know if they are still in business, this was 36 years ago) They did just about every kind of work on truck and trailer suspensions. One of the things they did was take old tired springs, disassemble them, and re-arch them to factory specs.

As I said, this isn't an endorsement for the company, but a possibility of repair if you need your springs redone. I am sure that there are many places across the U.S. that will do this for a much cheaper price than buying new.

Just a suggestion, your mileage may vary...

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