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Old 06-14-2022, 11:50 AM   #1
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Tire wear, ?? axle?

Just replaced all four tires on 1993 Sunline T2053. Front passenger side tire with 1000 miles on it has extreme wear on inside, see pictures.
Cause? Axle? Advice?
Bought trailer in PA last fall, all new tires before heading home. Front passenger blew after 500 miles. Replaced at that time. Have driven about 1000 miles on this tire. Don't know if damage was caused from blowing tire or if blown tire was from a problem with the trailer. What is causing this wear?
Was planning to leave for 2 months next week. Looks like a major delay. Was just waiting on tires to load the trailer and leave.
Thanks
Patty
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File Type: jpg tire 2.jpg (102.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Tire.jpg (91.0 KB, 9 views)
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Old 06-14-2022, 02:53 PM   #2
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Hi Patty,

If only the one tire looks like this, that extreme wear points to the wheel toe angle is way out of spec and scrubbing hard against the road. Any new tire you put on is going to do the same thing. And it will create a tire blow out if left that way towing long distance on a hot summer day. The other tire locations may be out of wheel alignment also, just not as bad as the one in your pic.

Possible causes to create tire wear that badly, that quick are:

1. A bent axle spindle stub where it joins to the main axle tube. This can happen from hitting a curb hard or a large pot hole. It may have happened a long time ago before you bought it.

2. A combo of problems, the spring hanger in that location is welded on wrong from day one, then that combined with very worn spring bushings, and combined with some bend in the axle stub.

There are other combo's that can cause the excessive wear, but the above is the more frequent ones.

Now what to do. A few options:

1. If you have access to someone who does auto mechanic work with all the tools, there is a measuring process you can go through to find out what is out of alignment. Then, address the problem areas. If you have a bent axle stub, then pending what they have to work with, they can bend the tube back into correct location or replace the axle tube with a new one. This process will take time unless they are very trailer axle fluent, but can be done.

2. Find a truck repair shop that works on "trailers". Equipment trailers, cargo trailers, lawn mower trailers and campers all have the same basic setup. These special trailer shops have all the tools and parts to repair worn suspension, deal with spring hangers welded on in the wrong location and some have the equipment to align the wheels back in spec by bending the axle tubes after fixing the hangers and suspension. They will determine if they can bend to correct, or need to install a new axle tube.

Call around and ask the truck/trailer shop this: You have a tandem axle travel trailer with 3,500# axles with one wheel grossly out of alignment. Ask if they have an alignment machine or system to measure all four wheel alignments and do they have a system to bend align the axle tube back into spec location if needed. Ask if they can check and rebuild worn suspension.

Most RV dealers do not have this special type of equipment. The just buy and install new parts but some will not fix hangers in the wrong place, they sub contract that out to a trailer shop. And finding a RV dealer with time to do this, is even a bigger challenge right about now.

The truck/trailer repair shops deal with this all the time, if you can find one in your area. And the cost is most times lower then the RV dealer.

If you want to try option 1, I have a few posts on doing trailer wheel/axle alignment, including axle bending to correct a bent axle at the spindle joint. I'm glad to share all this, but it will take your helper a good deal of time unless they are setup up for working on trailers. Just ask, and I send you to the links on how to do this.

Hope this helps

John

PS, if you are heading out on a long trip, have you had the wheel bearings checked with a grease repack, and the brakes checked and adjusted? If you have not, ask the truck/trailer shop if they can do this service also. Most do this work too. Since you bought the trailer used, unless someone you know or hired did this maintenance since last fall, you can run into other issues on the road. Two months camping sounds like fairly long towing and this maintenance should be done before heading out. Have a great trip!
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Old 06-15-2022, 05:46 AM   #3
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Axle

John, thanks for all the info as usual. The tire installer referred to a local company. Others recommend him also. He is TWO months out, said he might be able to work me in and would get back to me. He said he didn't have any one to refer me to, maybe not supposed to go to Yellowstone this year, messed up axle and floods, should I listen to the gods?
Going to check around for a few other shops abilities and availability today. Wheel bearings were repacked in PA when I purchased the trailer, about 1500-1700 miles ago, how often should they be repacked? If trip happens will probably do more than 6000 miles. Updates to follow, thanks again for advice and info
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:50 AM   #4
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Have found shop that will replace axle but doesn't have alignment equipment, $600 to $800 with good reputation. Waiting on spring and axle shop to get back about scheduling. They can bend and align. Is it ok to do the replacement without alignment. At this point am I only assuming the axle is bent? Or is it just out of alignment?
Which if preferable, straighten or replace? Any advice appreciated.
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:15 PM   #5
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Hi Patty,

Sorry for not getting back to you until now, we were out camping for a week and while out, my phone died and I could not get back on the web until today when the new phone came.

To your first question,

Quote:
Going to check around for a few other shops abilities and availability today. Wheel bearings were repacked in PA when I purchased the trailer, about 1500-1700 miles ago, how often should they be repacked? If trip happens will probably do more than 6000 miles.
Dexter, (the axle manufacture) states/recommends in their axle manual to re-grease/pack and inspect the bearings every 12 months or every 12,000 miles. This is a general trailer axle recommendation as they have to provide some guidance.

In a camper situation, that recommendation can apply well or be off too. Many campers sometimes have very little mileage in a year, while other times a good number of miles, like your 6,000 miles.

I'll give you an opinion, this is my own and may not fit for everyone or every camper, but it is what I go by.

I pack my own bearings using high quality wheel bearing grease. I change the grease seals on every re-pack with double lip seals. Since I did the bearing re-pack I know how much grease I added and I did not cut corners trying to save grease and just get by. I also do not over grease filling the cavity, and I hand pack (use a bearing packer) each bearing by hand. The bearing inspection has to come out totally acceptable or the bearings get replaced. I do not use the EZ lube feature if there is one. This way, I know my hand pack will live up to the time and miles I will be putting on.

I normally repack every 3rd year. This is close to the 12,000 miles on that 3 years. If I will meet or come close to the 12,000 miles, I will repack early then the every 3rd year. I will especially repack early if I will overrun the mileage when on a long trip. I would just repack before the long trip so I do not run out while the trip. In my case, I have never exceeded 12K miles in less then one year.

Any time I have to pull a brake drum to deal with the brakes, if this happens on all brakes, I just repack the bearings at that time and reset the time clock on the grease/bearing inspection not regarding the miles. On our large camper, the T310SR which we use all the time, it has self adjusting brakes and it will compensate for brake wear automatically. When on non self adjusting brakes, they need to be tweaked in adjustment approx. every 2,000 miles to be back into top performance. I would not go much more then 3 years never pulling the drums to make sure the brakes still are all working.

In your case, if you had 1,700 miles a year ago and now putting on 6,000 miles, if the shop did a good job on the repacking, you could be OK with doing a repack "after" you come home before the next camping season. This is 2 years and about 7,700 miles, but it fits for your situation.

I would have the brakes adjusted and the suspension at least checked for heavy worn parts before a 6,000 mile summer trip.

As a standard rule, I always do a walk around the camper and "look" at the hitch, tires, suspension and everything else on every time I stop while traveling. If after a bearing repack or brake adjust, I feel the axle hubs for heat using an IR heat gun to make sure the hub temps are all OK. A hot hub can come from a few things and finding it in advance saves a lot of pain later. That goes for looking at anything on the camper. I have found a lot of things "before" they failed, just because I looked and dealt with it right then and there.

I'll answer the axle question in the next reply.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat55 View Post
Have found shop that will replace axle but doesn't have alignment equipment, $600 to $800 with good reputation. Waiting on spring and axle shop to get back about scheduling. They can bend and align. Is it ok to do the replacement without alignment. At this point am I only assuming the axle is bent? Or is it just out of alignment?
Which if preferable, straighten or replace? Any advice appreciated.
Having seen all kinds of trailer axle mess up's, it is really good to know for sure the total problem before just changing parts.

The shop who can change just the axle to a new one, should be able to check the camper suspension and make sure the equalizer, shackles and the spring pins are not worn to the point there will be an issue. This has nothing to do with the bent axle, but "could" be a part of the tire wear.

Your tire is worn so badly in such a short period of time, you can find that gross of a problem with a tape measure and knowing where to look. You can get good indicators that there is a bent axle. And if it is bent, then changing to a new axle is a prudent course of correction. But, this requires the shop to having some level of know how on how to do the measuring and what it means. I ran into this myself when my first set of axles on our camper was all messed up. Some local dealers just lacked the know how on how to measure and what the numbers meant. They where good at changing parts, that is what they did and did not get into a root cause investigation. So I learned how to do it and have done it on many campers there after.

These 2 links will give you some of the background. Yes, I'm "into it" but someone with a tape measure and a 4 to 6 ft long straight edge can find a lot of problem. It just takes some know how.

The first investigation, https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...next-9589.html

The fix and alignment. You may not get this level of detail from your change it out shop, the shop who does the alignment may have a aligning machine who can do all this is an hour and know exactly what it wrong and what to fix.
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ics-10043.html

I'm not sure what you have to help you or you do it yourself, but the tape measure and a 4 to 6 ft long straight edge of some kind can tell a lot. Let us know if you want to try some of this yourself.


Also, the shop who can bend to align, there needs to be a judgement call by the shop on when to bend to align, and when to change the axle as it is too far bent. And there are other parts in the system that need to be fixed before bending to align. The equalizer, shackles and spring bushings should all be in good shape, and the hangers welded on right before I would want to have an axle bent to align.

So where does this leave you?

Ideally, the shop who can check an alignment and do the repairs based on the alignment and inspection is the way to go. Hopefully they can give you some kind of idea on timing to help make a call on when something they can work you in.

The shop who just changes the axle with no alignment, should do more then just change an axle without at least looking at the suspension and doing a tape measure check. Changing the axle can correct a bent axle tube, but it by itself may not stop tire wear.

Ideally if you had many miles on the camper that you knew never wore tires and now does, can help give some idea the system at one time did give good performance. This helps lower the issue of the hangers being welded on wrong from day one and you are not up against worn suspension and a bent axle.

Hope this helps. This is not a easy answer.

John
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

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