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Old 04-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #61
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There are potentially two problems - wheel camber and sway.

Camber can be easily checked at any alignment shop (see pic) or can be checked with a home made device (see link). I would suggest an alignment shop. If the camber is off then you can get written proof.
[url=http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=325556]

I doubt that the sway is being aggravated by camber if in fact it is incorrect. Flipping the axles, as suggested, would raise the trailer height and potentially make the sway issue worse. It is important to note that the sway could be in the tires and not the suspension. Using a higher rated tire (d or e) with stiffer side walls might help the sway problem. Obviously an "e" rated 10 ply tire with 90psi would flex less then a "c" rated.

Since the "new" hitch is free it's certainly is worth a try. If that doesn't help you could consider a sway bar which is a bar with a pivot on each end that attaches to the frame on one side and the axle (usually the spring axle mount) on the other side. (Typical addition to motorhomes)

I can see the possibility of the sway wearing the tires unevenly. Sway would cause more wear on the outer edges of the tires.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:16 PM   #62
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I would be taking the unit to an axle and spring shop to have them check the axles. I would also have them check the shackles to see if the are the proper size for the TT. The sway could be caused by improper installation of the E2 hitch.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:05 AM   #63
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They did measure the camber, and it apparently measures within the allowable 2-2.5 degrees. My mechanic suggests flipping the axles as well, or at the very least getting it checked. He suggested that if the axles are flipped, drop axles could be used to adjust the height. After speaking the dealer yesterday, FR has washed their hands of the whole thing, saying there is nothing wrong.

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Old 04-09-2014, 11:57 AM   #64
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Apparently 2-2.5 positive or negative camber is allowed. You now have that in negative camber and once the axles are flipped you will have it in positive camber. The assumption is if the axles are flipped the weight of the trailer will decrease the then "upward bow" in the axle and reduce the camber to a more reasonable level. That may or may not happen. If it doesn't happen you will have the same but opposite problem. Typically in most trailers the "bow" would be upward figuring the trailer weight would compensate and decrease the upward "bow".

Ideally you would like to have 0 camber when loaded. It's kind of a crap shoot at this point. I think I would try the "new" free hitch first. Once it is installed take a spray can of white paint and paint a line across each of the tires. Now drive a few miles and take a look at the stripe, it should show how the tire is going to wear.

Flipping the axles requires axle removal - brake and backing plate removal and re-installation - rerouting associated wiring - etc, etc. I would be my last choice. I think I would rather have a frame shop "tweak" the axles to give close to 0 camber. This way you know it is zero.

(There is a consideration - Can the axles be flipped without re-welding the spring perch).
Here is a excerpt - "The 3K axle is typically a .188 tube wall and often Dexter used a thinner tube with higher carbon content and a higher camber arch. You would not want to weld a continuous bead around that beam. There are also considerations as to trac/spring center which can stress that point even more.

As for alternatives, if no brakes, just idlers, you could probably get by with a spot weld on the outside of the perches to keep them in place. That would only be workable with no brakes."
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:03 PM   #65
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Your situation is the result of TT manufacturers building units with frames, axles, suspension, shackles, bushings wheel bearings, and tires on the edge of destruction. They come from the factory loaded to their limits and in some cases over their limits but they won't tell you that. You have no margin for error or extra stress. The results in many, many cases is tires that are cambered negatively or inward, axles that are permanently bent inward because of the overload. I know how alignments are done and I don't believe that 2-2.5 degrees of negative camper is acceptable. Why would anybody accept that their tires are tilted inward that far. You are asking for inner tire wear. They can say it's OK because they can but they are wrong. Your proof is that the tires are wearing incorrectly.

When most of your parts are on the edge of their limits and in your travels your hit dips or bumps you are putting stress that they are not designed to handle. They can carry the weight while just setting but not traveling down the road. Now consider that just maybe your wheel loading is off or you are actually over your weight limits and you have many problems waiting to surface. They will tell you that you're within limits but you are not.

Why do most TT manufacturers recommend that you travel with little or no fresh water in your holding tank??? MH manufacturers don't tell you that. I even had guys tell me that their holding tank straps were very loose from the factory so when they sagged from having water in them they would support the weight. That's a crock of crap. Our TT holding tanks sagged 7" from water that the dealer put in just to check the system for leaks before they delivered it to us.

TT suspension, tires, bearings, bent axles etc, etc are talked about a lot on the forums. I can't tell you the number of guys that have simply spent another 10-12 thousand dollars to upgrade their axles, suspension, tires, rims, brakes so they would feel safe traveling. That should not have to happen but it does.

Find me a listing for a TT that has axles rated to carry 1,000 lbs of weight more that the maximum they are listed to carry. If a TT is rated for 7,000 lbs find one with axles rated at 8,000 lbs. GOOD LUCK ON THAT CHASE !!!

Your choice is to upgrade your axles, suspension, tires, rims shackles, and bushings or sell it and find something that is built better if you can.

Most TT tires are not balanced from the factory. If you balance the tires your plastic shackle bushings will last a lot longer. Why would they not balance a TT tire??? Why don't they install bronze bushing with grease-able shackle bolts, usually called wet-bolts?? Why don't they offer to install shock absorbers to reduce road sway and impact on the frame, suspension, tires etc. ??? OK maybe it would drive the cost up to much. Why don't they offer those things as an option??? Their buying power is much greater than ours so it would not cost that much.

Our last TT had the Tor-Flex axles. I really liked them. The independent aspect of those axles prevents transferring back and forth when hitting bumps. But those axles still need something to dampen the bumps and that's shocks. I have been told that Air Stream is the best pulling TT on the market. They come from the factory with shocks correctly installed.
We had 3 TT's and have had 3 MH's. We will never have another TT for the reasons mentioned.
JMHO
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:11 PM   #66
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Interesting and good information from cadman99. I find it shocking that a manufacturer is relying on the amount of bend that occurs on an axle after loading to correctly set the camber to a better angle. I realize the dynamics of alignment but as said, "It seems like a crap shoot to me."

What happens is when a TT is made to such low standards when certain variables come together in the wrong way you have more failures, issues and worn parts. If they increased their quality by say 10%across the board some or many of these issues would go away.

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Old 04-09-2014, 12:13 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by cadman99 View Post
...Flipping the axles requires axle removal - brake and backing plate removal and re-installation - rerouting associated wiring - etc, etc. I would be my last choice...
IIRC, the pictures/thread showed/said the bow down and the springs mounted under the axle. It would be simply dropping the rear spring shackle, unbolting the axle and turning and set the springs back in the original perches and reattaching everything. No wire change or anything and the axle bow would be up in the center instead of down. JMO
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:49 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by cadman99 View Post
Apparently 2-2.5 positive or negative camber is allowed. You now have that in negative camber and once the axles are flipped you will have it in positive camber. The assumption is if the axles are flipped the weight of the trailer will decrease the then "upward bow" in the axle and reduce the camber to a more reasonable level. That may or may not happen. If it doesn't happen you will have the same but opposite problem. Typically in most trailers the "bow" would be upward figuring the trailer weight would compensate and decrease the upward "bow".

Ideally you would like to have 0 camber when loaded. It's kind of a crap shoot at this point. I think I would try the "new" free hitch first. Once it is installed take a spray can of white paint and paint a line across each of the tires. Now drive a few miles and take a look at the stripe, it should show how the tire is going to wear.

Flipping the axles requires axle removal - brake and backing plate removal and re-installation - rerouting associated wiring - etc, etc. I would be my last choice. I think I would rather have a frame shop "tweak" the axles to give close to 0 camber. This way you know it is zero.

(There is a consideration - Can the axles be flipped without re-welding the spring perch).
Here is a excerpt - "The 3K axle is typically a .188 tube wall and often Dexter used a thinner tube with higher carbon content and a higher camber arch. You would not want to weld a continuous bead around that beam. There are also considerations as to trac/spring center which can stress that point even more.

As for alternatives, if no brakes, just idlers, you could probably get by with a spot weld on the outside of the perches to keep them in place. That would only be workable with no brakes."
to me cadman sounds the best to start with it's just a pure shame that FR will not stand behind there product. It also sounds to me the cadman99 has done some research on this issue. Seems it never ends with FR. Good luck on you choice, but I would want a letter from them stating they are correct to begin with, never trust a dealer
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:00 PM   #69
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if the axles were installed wrong FR should foot the bill for this even if its out of warranty. problem with the tires is grey wolf's come with 14" rims. I upsized my tires to get a little more capacity (had 205/75/14 to 215/75/14). load range d's aren't available for 14" . can you get 15" rims with the same bolt pattern?

I think the op should weigh his trailer. that model grey wolf only has 1001 lbs of ccc best case. I know my grey wolf came 205 lbs heavier then what the specs say on the web. then add propane, batt, TV, maybe slide toppers. not much ccc left. the axles could be overloaded.
Kumho makes 14" D-rated trailer tires. A Korean company, but they have - or are in the process of building - a U.S. plant. Available through Tire Rack. I have had them and liked 'em.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:42 PM   #70
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I spoke to the service manager at my dealer again and he says the first thing they checked is the axle bow. He says they bow up as they should. I have requested a written copy of all their measurements for our own peace of mind. Hopefully they will prove useful and accurate.

As for trying the new hitch, I will be heading to the dealer a week from Friday (it's over an hour from home so scheduling time to get there is tough) to see what I can. Maybe they are right about the constant swaying being the problem and the hitch will solve it. I am skeptical, though. I will likely have my mechanic take a look when I get the thing home, if we don't decide to trade it because we don't trust it.
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