Hi, I suppose this could be a dumb question.............. On occasion someone on the forum will make a comment about having axels replaced. I am planning on taking the trailer on a long trip next spring, so had the bearings packed. But now wondering about axels. What would be an indication to show a need for replacement? It's my belief that if I take the trailer to the shop they will tell me this work is necessary whether it is or not. 2002 Elite, 2 horse Thanks Joan
Posted 2017-11-12 9:30 AM (#170832 - in reply to #170831) Subject: RE: Axel
Location: Northern Utah
I drove down a long washboard dirt road in 2010 Elk hunting. Coming out I felt a large bump. As it turns out my spare had vibrated loose on the washboard and dropped under the trailer and it bent my axles as they bounced over it.. About 30 miles later I blew my first tire. Because the axle was bent, the tire was not running straight and was building up heat and excess wear causing the blow out. I discovered what had happened when I got out and went to get the spare to replace the blow out. With no spare and a blown out tire, I had to limp into the next town on 3 wheels at 2am. I bought a new tire in the morning when a tire shop opened and was on the road again around 9am. 30 miles later I blew the new tire. So I was pretty sure I had a bent axle when I was blowing tires every 30 miles.
I took the trailer into a shop and they put it on an alignment rack and with lazers and hydraulic rams they bent the axles back into alignment. They warned me that once bent and straightened the axle would be weaker and possibly bend again under normal use.
Six year later in 2016, I started having tires blow out. Since I had replaced all the tires with new Michelins in 2011 after my axle bending experience. The tires were all now 5 years old in 2016. So was it just the 5 year old age that was causing my blow outs or had my repaired axles started to bend out of alignment again? I didn't know, but it was time to buy new tires again, The brakes needed to be replaced and I frequently loaded my trailer to the axle weight limit. I also still drive a lot of Forest Service and BLM dirt roads and wanted a little more ground clearance and my trucks just keep getting taller, Causing my trailer to ride Nose High.
So I investigated getting the axles blocked. It was around $600. Rebuilding the Brakes was about $100 per wheel or another $400. I found a mobile trailer repair shop that would replace my old axles with new axles, new brakes and in the process put the Torsion Arm down instead of up which would increase my ride height and ground clearance for $1400. And I had him increase my axles from 6,000 lbs to 7,000 lbs axles, Which took care of my over loading the trailer.
I don't know that my old axles had gone bad and were destroying my tires. But the cost difference between raising my trailer and replacing brakes vs buying new axles was so small that I chose to replace axles.
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