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Old 06-08-2014, 11:35 AM   #1
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Newbee with a T-1700

Hi,

I'm from Virginia, Northern type and just bought a used RV Trailer. I ran across this forum on Sunlines and found it very helpful. I have been lurking for awhile now and thought this would be a good time to jump in.

This is my first rolling camper. Up until now, my only camping experience has been a pack on my back, a tent and cooking over a campfire (wifes camping experience is stopping at a Holiday Inn) I just turned 70 last birthday and now those "good old days" are behind me. I thought I would bring my bed, kitchen and pottie along with me from now on. No more sticks and stones poking me in the middle of the night. Not to mention no more squatting over a hole in the ground. Memories, memories, oh well, enough of that!

Back to why I'm here. The TT I purchased is a '92 Sunline Saturn T-1700. The camper needs some minor repairs but is in reasonably good shape. So far I've rebuiilt everything on the A-frame. De-rusted and painted both tanks white. De-rusted the tank holder and the whole A-frame. New Regulator, Pigtails, main LP line into trailer, new battery box (with chain lock), a new breakaway switch and a White plastic Tank Cover to top it all off.

Now, I'm getting ready to redo the brakes and wheel bearings. I have no idea when they were last looked at. Here's my predicament, I do not know what brand axles are on the camper. I was hoping somebody here could tell me something about this. I've checked around and someone thought they might be Dexter's but I want to be sure. The silver tag on the axle is there but unreadable.

My other problem is the AC blows really good on all three speeds but NO cold air. Just wondering if it is wired in with the thermostat or not! It has controls on the unit in the ceiling so I figured it wasn't wired into the wall thermostat, but maybe I'm wrong. I have it hooked into the house at a 30amp wall socket with 25' trailer cable and 25' extension cord (both 10-3 wire). If it just needs a recharge, Is it a big deal to recharge these units and about what would the cost be (ballpark)? Can any HVAC guy take care of it or is it a special RV thing?

That's all for now. I'm sure there will be more in the near future.

Any replies will be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:59 AM   #2
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They most likely are Dexter axles (mine are) if you need brake parts try- Trailer Parts Superstore - Shopping Index The backing plates are welded on so if you need brake parts they have to be bought individually be sure to check the magnets. They also used 10X1 1/2 inch shoes not real common. While you are in there it more than likely will need bushings and pins for the spring hangers. The A/C could be repaired by a HVAC shop it should have it's own thermostat right on the unit.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:29 PM   #3
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HI mainah, You were right, it does have Dexter axles. I think I have finally located all my parts. I took the right front wheel, brakes and wheel bearings apart. They were not that great, probably could get through the season but I might as well get it done now because I'm going to do it down the road sometime anyway. As soon as I get these brakes and bearings done I can attack the AC. I'm hoping I can get an HVAC guy to come and look at it. Thanks for the reply, much appreciated
Happy Camping!
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Man View Post
HI mainah, You were right, it does have Dexter axles. I think I have finally located all my parts. I took the right front wheel, brakes and wheel bearings apart. They were not that great, probably could get through the season but I might as well get it done now because I'm going to do it down the road sometime anyway. As soon as I get these brakes and bearings done I can attack the AC. I'm hoping I can get an HVAC guy to come and look at it. Thanks for the reply, much appreciated
Happy Camping!
The lining on the brake shoes is not very thick brand new (about half the thickness of car brake shoes) so unless they are paper thin I would leave them alone. You can check the magnets by pulling the safety pin all four wheels should lock up. When I bought mine I went all through the brake system and the suspension 2 brakes worked one maybe 20% and the other not at all 4 new magnets fixed that. The bearings were good but dry and I ended up replacing the plastic bushings on the spring hangers and the pivot triangle. All though the bearings don't take the beating small trailer wheels do they still turn pretty fast to keep up with pickup size wheels I do mine every spring. The A/C unit is not very hard to remove and being over 5 years old the gaskets are most likely squished flat I have been told by the guys in the know they are good for about 5 years. The A/C unit does not have to be mounted on the camper to be serviced.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:35 PM   #5
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mainah, I thought I had the brakes under control but SuperStore e-mailed me and said the shoes were on back order. I guess I'll pay a little more and get them locally. My bearings and seals are on the way so I'll get that done over the weekend. On the AC. How much does that thing weigh?. My hernias would probably pop out and this 70 year old back would pop out for sure.LOL. I'll check those mags as soon as I get these brakes together. The one I looked at looked pretty flat so I will probably use them.Thanks for all the good info. Every little bit helps. Thanks a million.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:42 AM   #6
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Unless a Dexter dealer has them they are really hard to find. I tried several local places and no one even had a listing. Dexter 10" x 1-1/2" Electric Brake Shoe Set #K71-046-00 I don't know if they have them in stock but they are one of the few that even list them. I'm 68 and I did the one on my old motor home but I could stand on the roof it's not some thing you would want to carry too far but doable. Maybe you could find a shop that will work on it and just leave the camper there for them to fix. I would bet some one like Camping World would tell you that it needs to be replaced. You can check the magnets with an ohm meter but I prefer to actually see them work. The ones I replaced on mine looked fine but they were nothing more than a door stop.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:57 AM   #7
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I don't know where you are in VA but there are several RV HVAC shops listed. Your right in the middle of A/C country (I'm originally from MD!)
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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Hey, Problem solved on the AC. I was trying to use the wall thermostat like my house thermostat and it doesn't work that way. At least this one doesn't. Instead of setting it on 60 or so to get it to come on, I had to set it to all the way to the coldest temperature. Like 40 deg or so. Then I turned on the ceiling unit and lo and behold cold air began pouring forth. I don't know if that's the way it's supposed to work but this one sure does. Ordered my brakes from eTrailer and they will be here next week. Would you happen to have the part number for those bushings on the axle pivots? The bolts are so rusted up on those I may have to use my cutting torch to get them off. I'm not going to start on them until I'm sure I can get the right parts. Thanks for being so helpful.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:32 AM   #9
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Good deal on the A/C that makes your life a little easier. The nuts should come off maybe just heat them with the torch. You will probably find that the plastic bushings are long gone and the bolts are worn, the only place I was able to fine them was a Dexter dealer. One edge has a nut a the other side is pressed into the bracket so both have to be removed at the same time. In a perfect world the bushings would be bronze and have grease points I actually thought about drilling the triangle for greases fittings.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:04 AM   #10
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Buffalo Man, you seem to know what you’re doing—I’m 69 right between you and Mainah so have learned a few things over the years too. Just in case you haven’t done the spring bushings before, JohnB started a long thread on the procedure to not just swap out the bushings and bolts, but a full blown upgrade to Dexter E-Z Flex, bronze bushings and wet bolts. My nylon/teflon bushings on the 2499 were totally destroyed in less than 20,000 mi. I just finished my new trailer and at only 5000 mi. the centre pivot on the equalizer had excessive play, the spring eyes were still ok. My guess is that between 10,000-20,000 mi. these plastic bushings really go south—once they start wearing, they’ll wear faster. Every step costs more—the work is about the same—so you need to decide how far you intend to tow and how long you’re keeping the trailer whether to stick with plastic or go with bronze or even the E-Z Flex if it fits your trailer.

Just to add to Mainah’s post, the spring eye bolts are serrated and pressed into the spring hangers and shackles so the bolts won’t turn and wear out the hangers instead of the bushings as the trailer bounces down the road. You need to hold the bolt tight as you turn the nut so as not to strip out the serrations which will enlarge the hole in the hanger—not real easy to do while you’re hammering away with an impact wrench. I put a big wrench on the bolt and propped the handle up on my car’s scissor jack—allowed me to dial in the exact tension I needed on the wrench handle and freed up both hands to hold the impact.

When I did the Sunline, it was more me helping my brother, but he’s not able to do this heavy lifting anymore and so I was short a couple of jacks too. Most people don’t have as many bottle jacks as JohnB so I did the Fox one side at a time and think that’s actually easier—all the eyes remained perfectly aligned during disassembly and assembly and I didn’t have to lever and wrestle anything back into place. Also made it a no brainer for these old bones to just do one side per day.

On the Sunline we pressed the bolts out and back in again using a c-clamp. Doing it myself this time, I bought the ball joint press which is a real HD tool and made the job much easier for one person. You can sometimes borrow/rent these at auto parts stores or buy a cheap one at Harbor Freight.

Also, doesn’t really matter which way the bolts are inserted. Sunline put the nuts on the outside and that’s the way we re-did the 2499. Having the nuts outside makes disassembly and assembly somewhat easier, but the zerks on the inside makes greasing more difficult. Arctic fox puts the nuts on the inside so this time I re-did it that way too. Makes for more work on the back—disassembly wasn’t bad because the trailer was too new for anything to be rusty. However, with the nuts on the inside, it meant using a torque wrench lying on my back and it was all I could do to come up with 70 ft. lb. even with a long handle, ratcheting, click stop torque wrench. Makes greasing much more convenient though and we tend to travel 10,000 mi./yr so do have to grease at least 2x during the year.

This is a photo of the basic setup and tools. Don’t be too concerned about the lack of wheel chocks—the trailer is securely hitched to the truck and there’s another axle stand on the frame to the left of the photo.
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:59 PM   #11
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I'm not positive the smaller axles have the metal bushing kits they did not when I did mine. If they are available I may just do mine!
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:00 PM   #12
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Henryj, Wow that's a lot of good info. I believe I 'm just going to do the bushings this year, if they need it, and maybe next year I'll get into some heavy axle work. Right now I'm just trying to get it ready to go do some camping. I've already spent a small fortune (by my meager standards anyway). Way more than I intended. If I keep spending I'm not going to have any money left to camp LOL. I'm not complaining though. I got a pretty good deal on the camper and I'm satisfied with it. Seems like when I take something off I find something else that needs fixing, there's no end to it. LOL I'm going to file away your info and save it for when I get back from my trip.

I know what you mean about those serrated bolts. When I was doing bodywork I used run into that sort of stuff. It was challenging at times but I was always more stubborn than the bolt. BTW, leaving the trailer hooked up to the truck is a pretty good idea. It never occurred to me.

I'm sorry I'm not going to get that involved in the axles this year. I'm sure there will be other trials and tribulations as I go along. There always are.

Thanks for the great post and thanks for the great link to JohnB's stuff. I've been reading a lot of his posts. Bunch of good stuff there.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:01 PM   #13
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Mainah, If I can't find the brass bushings. I'll have to settle for the nylon/plastic ones. Next week is going to be in the nineties so it's going to be fun out in my driveway. I'll have all my parts by Wed-Thur and also have by drums back from the machine shop. At least I'll have an air conditioned camper to take my breaks in. lol. Thanks again.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:22 PM   #14
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Hi to anyone, I almost forgot. Here's a link I ran across in my travels across cyberspace. At eTrailers.com there's an article called "Double-Eye Trailer Suspension System Review".

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-Double-...on-Review.aspx

It tells you a bunch about trailer axles. Enjoy
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