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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Leaf Spring Failure - Replace the Others?

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CarnationSailor

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Posted: 01/03/23 04:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last summer I experienced a leaf spring failure on my 2015 Crossroads Rushmore Springfield. The driver's side rear spring snapped in two about 2-inches from where it attached to the frame. After being alerted that the tires on that side were rubbing together, I pulled to the side of the interstate. I had just entered the highway about a mile back, so I was lucky to discover it so soon, and there was no damage to the tires or the trailer. I was very lucky!

AAA got me to a nearby RV repair shop that happened to have a used leaf spring off of a 7000# axle, and it fit my trailer (My axles are 7000# too.) The used spring that was installed appears to be heavier duty than the one that failed. The used one has 7 leafs and each leaf is about 3/8" thick. The one that failed has 6 leafs and each leaf is about 11/32" thick. (1/32" thinner.) Both springs are about the same width.

The tech that installed the used spring recommended that I replace the other 3 leaf springs with heavier duty ones when I got back home. Although the episode could have been a lot worse, I still wouldn't want to go through it again.

Should I replace them, or just consider this event to be an unusual occurence that is not likely to happen again?

* This post was edited 01/03/23 04:47pm by CarnationSailor *


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fj12ryder

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Posted: 01/03/23 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are the weights on those axles? That's the first thing you need to know. That would determine whether you need to increase the capacity. I did that with my 5th wheel. I went from 3,500 lb. springs to 4,000 lb. springs. I have 7,000 lb. axles but didn't want to spring for the 8,000 lb. axles. More money than I cared to spend. The 4,000 lb. springs really seemed to make the trailer ride smoother, but hey, it's hard to tell.

Look at the springs, and see how flat they are looking. If they're very flat, they'll almost look like a W. Mine were shot.

But, honestly, with a broken spring on a 7 year old trailer, the others need replacing too. Just need to determine capacity.


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rk911

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Posted: 01/03/23 05:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i'd replace the other because, a) if one side is bad maybe the other side is also bad. (that's why I always replace both headlight and other bulbs, shocks in pairs, brakes in pairs, etc). and b) because the leaf springa are not of equal weight bearing load. i'd also have your shop examine the "new" spring to see if it's a keeper.


Rich
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time2roll

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Posted: 01/03/23 07:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would replace all four so they match. Yes I would also go up 250 to 500 in rating.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 01/03/23 10:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Absolutely replace all 4 with springs of equal capacity. You don't know the condition the used spring that was put on and the other 3 may be near the end of their life also.

So what are the weights when you took it to a CAT scale? I would take it there and then decide.
- If you are at 6000# each, I'd probably stick with the original spec.
- If you are at 7500# each, I would look at how I can trim at least 500# because you are overloaded.

Also, make sure the weight between the two axles is pretty close. If one axle is at 7500# and the other is at 6000#, you are probably not running level or something else is wrong.

If you want to move up one notch in weight capacity, it's likely not a big deal but don't go crazy. Stiffer suspension transmits more force to the frame and everything else in the RV.


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ronharmless

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Posted: 01/04/23 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How many RV’s are on the road that have never experienced a spring failure? Yet somehow you believe you got 4 bad ones. I say replace them all, then send the old ones to me for proper disposal.

jjj

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Posted: 01/04/23 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never had a failure but my springs did start to sag very badly. I replaced them all from 3000 lb. to 3500 lb. springs and the trailer sat and rode better then it ever did. I would replace them all with higher rate and better quality. just my 2 cents. Good luck


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joebedford

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Posted: 01/04/23 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You mean like this:

BROKEN SPRING

Yes.

Despite the axles, tires, rims, springs etc. being nominally rated for the load of my 5er, the manufacturer replaced EVERYTHING between the frame and the ground.

CarnationSailor

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Posted: 01/04/23 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

joebedford wrote:

You mean like this:

BROKEN SPRING

Yes.

Despite the axles, tires, rims, springs etc. being nominally rated for the load of my 5er, the manufacturer replaced EVERYTHING between the frame and the ground.


The photo of your broken spring looks just like my broken spring, and the chain around the axle looks like the way AAA rigged my suspension so I could tow it to a repair shop.

Why did the manufacturer replace everything?

CarnationSailor

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Posted: 01/04/23 08:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ronharmless wrote:

How many RV’s are on the road that have never experienced a spring failure? Yet somehow you believe you got 4 bad ones. I say replace them all, then send the old ones to me for proper disposal.


I don't think I have 4 bad ones nor does anyone else who responded to my post. I'm just trying to understand what I'm dealing with, and what would be prudent to do. (Maybe you should read the thread again.)

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