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Old 11-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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HELP: 2006 Rockwood frame bending

Purchased new in 2006 Rockwood 8318 ss ultralight travel trailer. I noticed last week that the rear end of trailer is about 3" lower than the front and middle. Above the rear wheel the frame on both sides has buckled inward causing the rear end to sag. I suspect the only thing keeping it from busting in half is the roof and sidewall. Has anyone had experiance fixing this problem? I am thinking of lifting the rear of the trailer untill the wheels are off the ground, cutting the frame where it is buckling, and welding a new frame member to the old on each side about 12 feet long extending the new one 6' beyond the bend to the front and rear. I have previously replaced the 3500 lb. axles with 8000 lb. axles so the additional weight should not be a problem. Also, with the underside exposed will I be able to fix the sagging floors? The floor seems to have supports about 2' apart and drop about and inch when you step between the supports. From underneath the floor appears solid but I was told the floor system is a piece of styrofoam sandwiched between two pieces of 1/4 inch osb and what I am seeing underneath is the bottom piece of osb. I cannot simply add new flooring on top of the old because of the slideouts. Any advice for tackling this project will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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Location: michigan
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I can be of no use here. I am not that technically inclined. It sounds like major structural issues, therefore, I would consult 2 people:

1. A collision/body repair facility that works on RVs.
2. My insurance co. !!!!!!

Good luck and God Bless.

Lynn (1 of 2 Bodzcampers)

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Old 12-01-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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You typed in the original post "I have previously replaced the 3500 lb. axles with 8000 lb. axles so the additional weight should not be a problem."

I want to get this straight. You removed two, 3500 pound each axle. Total weight capacity of 7000 pounds. You installed two, 8000 pound each axle. Total weight capacity 16,000 pounds. That is what I am reading.

Question is, did you change the springs also? What is the Gross Weight Rating on your camper? (A new 8319 ultralight is around 8,000 pounds). Did you put a hitch on the back of the trailer, and if so, what kind of hitch, what are you hauling back there?

Now, where am I going with this? If you are overloaded, you might fix what is broke now, but it will break somewhere else. Why the axle swap? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:10 AM   #4
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Windrider, I am thinking along the lines of you too!
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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rockwood frame bending 8000 lb axles

Yes I replaced both 3500 lb axles with two 8000 lb axles. The trailer is listed as a light weight but weighs almost 7000 lbs empty. When we travel we are about 8000lbs. After replacing 5 or 6 wheel bearings, usually done when my wife was out of state(hired mechanic although twice I drove 150 and 200 miles one way to rescue her myself) and numerous blown tires I realized there was just too much weight on the 5 bolt wheels with 15" 2600 Lb tires. I even tried timken bearings as I thought the problem might be the foreign bearings. My original axles were dexters with rubber centers and no springs and I replaced them with dexters with rubber centers also. Since then I have had no tire or bearing problems and yes I repacked the old bearings often. The new axles have a hole drilled through the spindle with a zerk on the end which allows the grease to flow to the inner bearing.) They are 8 bolt wheels with 235/80 R16 tires load rating E(3420Lbs/tire). I am planning on bringing it in my farm shop next month to go after the floor and frame problem and I will let you know how it goes. It seems to be bending more on the passenger side which makes sense as the rear bedroom slideout is behind the axle on that side. The fiberglass is cracked on the sidewall above the slideout due to the frame letting go. Also you might be interested in hearing that the 30 gallon fresh water tank fell off the first year we had the trailer. I was inside the trailer with a hose filling the water tank( in my driveway thank goodness and not going down the road) when I heard a load noise only to come out and find the black underbelly cover and the holding tank on the ground. The tank was only supported with thin bed angle irons which gave way. At least the grey and black water tanks have lips on them and are supported from above. I love the layout of the trailer but would never buy a smooth side again. The fiberglass panels on the slideouts have air pockets behind them and I hear there is no way to fix that problem. Also with aluminum sides I could pull off a panel to fix some of the problems. Did I mention that the front panel of this trailer has also pulled loose? The bottom on both sides has separated about 1 inch from the upright aluminum support under the fiberglass. Any suggestions as to securing this back to the sidewalls? Thanks for your interest.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:49 AM   #6
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Most of your problems likely come from putting such heavy axles under your camper. They will be so stiff that any rough road bumps will be transfered right through to the camper and frame, almost like you have no suspension at all.
The soft floor is what it is, as the lightweights do have crappy floors. If you stomp around on them, they will give way.
If I were you, I would get some mice and throw in there. Write it off and get a heavier-built unit.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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How long had you owned the trailer before you started having bearing problems and blowouts? Approximately how many miles had the trailer been towed before experiencing ANY problems? Which came first, the worn bearings or the blown tires (as both were reoccurring as per your post, “5 or 6” bearing changes and “numerous” tire blowouts? With those tire blowouts, you probably experienced some fiberglass damage? Had you experienced the worn bearings and/or tire blowouts before the fresh water tank fell off the trailer? How long had you owned the trailer before you changed the axles? Can you post a picture of the trailer in its current condition? From the reoccurring problems you have described, the image in my mind is that this 5 to 6 year old trailer has got to look terrible and did so in a short amount of time?
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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I suggest after the frame is straightened that you add 3/16" reinforcing to the vertical prortion of the I-beam extending from the front to with in 2 feet of the rear of the frame(I suggest going to the front of the frame the reduce the possibility of frame problems occuring due to the rear portion being reinforced).The reinforcement should have 2-3" welds every 1-1 1/2 feet top and bottom.The reinforcement will need to be sealed to the frame to prevent moisture from getting between the frame and the reinforcement.I agree with crocus that the axles are too stiff.The axles should be repaced with 5200 lbs axles(if you get the right bare axles you would be able to use the brakes and hubs from the 8000 lbs axles).I would also run the tire pressures at 60 psi because of the rating being so much higher than the loaded weight of the trailer.


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