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Old 06-21-2014, 11:22 AM   #41
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In essence you are proving my initial point. I am not going to go though the "song and dance" again of what does the sticker say, weigh both axles, call the factory. This shouldn't be an issue to start with. It's a recreational vehicle - I think we are taking the "recreation" out of the equation if you have to spend time fixing problems. The weight problems with mine are fairly obvious so why was it done this way to start with? (Please note that I think there is a big difference between bumper pulls and 5th wheels when discussing structure and weight.)

My unit is an 08 - I have had no basic problems with it and have upgraded to "d" tires will continue to use it as is. I am sure there are thousands of ultra-lites out there that are overloaded. Apparently there have been no or few catastrophic failures or we would have heard about them.

Old-coot - I don't care how the axles are attached it is still a point load and more susceptible to potential bending or failure. I have noticed that the torque axles are not nearly as compliant as the spring axles. Once the torque axles are loaded they don't move much. Mine has about 2" of upper clearance when loaded. If I drive one wheel on blocks for tire changing, transferring the total load to that wheel, that clearance doesn't change. It appears that the axle has reached its maximum compression. I think this results in a bit harsher ride on rough roads compounding the potential for failure.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman99 View Post
(Please note that I think there is a big difference between bumper pulls and 5th wheels when discussing structure and weight.)
I am sorry, I thought you had a 5th wheel like mine. I Google'd your model number and I thought it came up 5th wheel. I tailored my response towards a 5th wheel trailer; not a travel trailer.


As to:

"Old-coot - I don't care how the axles are attached it is still a point load and more susceptible to potential bending or failure. I have noticed that the torque axles are not nearly as compliant as the spring axles."

Do you have a source for this or is it opinion?
I would love to put the source material in my library.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:31 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman99 View Post
Old-coot - I don't care how the axles are attached it is still a point load and more susceptible to potential bending or failure... I think this results in a bit harsher ride on rough roads compounding the potential for failure.
Well, my friend you are mistaken, it is not a point load in any stretch of the imagination mounted on the 2x4 tube frame like they are. Spring shackles and walking beam anchors are point loads and the torsion suspension is a much more cushioned ride as it is very close to independent suspension where spring suspension is not.

Maybe the best solution for you is to buy new heavier axles, springs, shackles etc and just switch the complete suspension under your 5er and remove the torsion axles and the 2x4 tube frame work also and save some weight.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:12 PM   #44
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I do have a fifth wheel. 8285WS - I commented on bumper pulls because of the length of the tongue and the potential for more bending and flexing than 5th wheel.

Point Load - Springs have 4 hangers spaced 5' or 6' feet apart (I am guessing on the distance -I am sure someone will correct me)). This means the load is distributed along these four points. The torque axles have ONE attach point which would be defined as a point load. If you put a railroad track above it, it is still a point load and more susceptible to bending than four anchors spread out.

Torque axles - purely observation - I went through measuring the tire clearance when I was trying to up grade to larger tires. Decided that there was not enough clearance to go larger so I found "d" rated 205/75/15. So to mount the new tires I drove the front tire onto a couple of 2" x 8" boards to get the rear wheel off the ground. Once in the position I notice that the tire clearance hadn't changed with one axle taking the entire load. I also noticed that the rear tire had quite a bit of ground clearance. After playing with it for awhile I found out that I could almost, but not quite, get one wheel off the ground with one 2" x 8".

So simple observation says that the total travel of the wheel, from full relaxed to full load, is maybe 3" and once loaded the axle would not offer much upward spring motion. Remember it is a 3500lb axle already loaded to max. So as you go down the road there would seem to be a bit less "spring" available to cushion the ride.

Previous trailer had dual axles with springs. Totally different. It took 3 2" x 8" plus a bit more to get one wheel off the ground. Also a lot more total wheel travel and of course "bounce" associated with spring systems.

I am not saying torque axles are bad. Mine seems to tow very well and hopefully will not fail. I do think the manufacture and installation of torque axles is cheaper and simpler than spring which is why they are popular with manufacturers.

Sounds like you guys don't have much to do on Saturday morning!!!
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:41 PM   #45
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ive got a crap load to do today be I cant seem to get past this thread!
ITS like a train wreck and I cant look away !
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:19 PM   #46
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(chuckle) me too Turbs!

I'm just grinnin' from ear to ear here.

My bet's on that amazing brain of OC's. I'm bettin' your bet's the same as mine.

I'm on a learnin' spree today. Just watched that no shock zone webinar, now just read this whole thread.

Done learned (from OC, of course) we should put Goodyear Marathons on our 5er as soon as we get it back from the dealer. Nothin' like learning from those with decades of experience.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #47
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You are talking about what the frame actually sees as a load and a tandem axle spring suspension has 3 points that connect to the frame per side, not 4. Attaching points on the frame are at best 2" long and therefore would give you a maximum of 9 lineal inches of contact per side or a TOTAL of 18" for both sides. The torsion axle mounts are 9.8 lineal inches each for a total of 19.6 lineal inches of contact per side or a total of 37.2" for both sides to the 2x4 tube frame which is 48 lineal inches of actual frame contact per side or 96" total. Total travel of the torsion axle spindle from no load to max shock load is 7"min - 10.5" max, not the 3" you stated.

Bottom line, the load area on the frame itself with a spring suspension has a grand total of 36 sq. inches and the torsion axles mounted to the 2 x 4 frame has a total load area on the frame of 192 sq. inches.
BTW, if the torsion axles were mounted to the frame directly, there would be a grand total of 74.4 sq. inches of contact as opposed to the 36 sq. inches of contact for the springs.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #48
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Some more info on Al-Ko/Dexter torsion axles.

I kinda see where you might think the axle attachment is a "point" but in actuality the attachment angle (that is welded to the axle housing) is larger than the attachment foot that is welded to a sprung axle that the spring mounts on.

As they attach to the frame, they are bonded directly to a structural member for its entire length; not at "bolts" through the hangers like a sprung axle.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:26 PM   #49
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The chart you posted shows at a +20 degree start angle measurement unloaded is 5.0" from horizontal - loaded is 2.7" and shock load is .8". So total possible travel from unloaded to loaded is 2.3" since we are almost always loaded all we are left with is shock load which is .8" (It gets a better if you start at 40 degrees).

So if I am going down the road fully loaded and hit a bump the maximum axle travel upward is .8" - it ain't much. Once the .8" is used I assume the shock is transferred to the chassis. (I think your 7" to 11" is from the wrong part of the chart) Plus this was for 5200lb axles.

If you want to look at this one (http://www.al-ko.us/download/4000-4400IbRubber(2).pdf which is for a 4000lb axle you will see the same numbers. However if you check the one attached which is for 3500lb axles you will find this...

Starting angle of +25 degrees - 4.5" unloaded - 2.0" loaded and .5" shock load. Now if totally loaded we are down to 1/2" of travel if you hit a bump.

Anyhow this all started about axle ratings for ultra-lites. I am convinced that my trailer with it's rated GVRW should have had 4000lb axles and "d" rated tires but it didn't. I cannot load to rated GVRW without exceeding capacity. However I changed the tires because I hate changing tires on the highway, 1000 miles from home. So I will continue on as before and probably be a bit overloaded.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #50
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Gosh, I really hate trying to speak for the axle companies, but the torsion curve can not be linear since you are compressing three hard rubber "billets" inside the axle.

The more you compress, the harder it is to compress it some more. It may even take as much compression to close that last .8 inches as it did for the entire remaining range of travel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman99 View Post
I am convinced that my trailer with it's rated GVRW should have had 4000lb axles.
And there we agree. This needs to be fixed and not endured. As to the D rated tires, they are not "needed" (based soley on load rating since a C rated tire's load rating at 50 PSI will exceed a 4000 pound axle's rating) but going to D rated tires certainly is an option for increased speed and safety without decreasing your payload more than a few pounds. The tires weigh almost the same as C rated ones.

NOTE: My 4000 pound axles came from the factory with C rated tires (2150 pounds rated each - more than 300 pounds per axle extra)
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