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Old 06-06-2014, 11:24 AM   #1
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Unusual tire wear pattern on 2011 A128?

After three years and over 20,000 miles I changed out my tires this morning and saw that the inner row of tread was worn much more than the other rows. This was true on both sides. When I would look at the tires before, just a quick glance to see how the tread was doing, all I'd see were the outer rows and they still looked pretty good. But I decided to change the tires because of age and mileage, not because of any perceived wear problem. Now I'm glad I did; I feel I dodged a bit of trouble.

A wear pattern like that tells me the wheels ran slightly splayed out, whether horizontally or vertically I can't say. The axle doesn't look bowed to me. I've always run the tires at 65# pressure and I keep the wheel lugs torqued to specs. The trailer always tows perfectly.

Has anyone else noticed a wear pattern like this on their Aframes? I'm willing to just live with it and change tires periodically, but I'm curious whether mine is the only unit to have this happen (what Consumer Reports would call a "sample defect") or whether others have noted it too.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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I have 8 to 12 K on my tires and no sign of wear. A lot of tread left. Got down on my hands and knees to get a close look. I only run about 60lb in the tires.

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Old 06-06-2014, 04:17 PM   #3
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You may be overloading the axle causing it to bow.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #4
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Inside wear on all 4 tires indicate the axles are bowed from possible overloading.
Is the trailer on springs or torsion axles? Either way, if the wear is significant, it calls for a reputable trailer shop to re-bend the axles.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:11 PM   #5
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Unusual tire wear pattern on 2011 A128?

A quick thanks for the suggestions and questions so far!

It's a torsion axle. I only have two tires on this 2200 lb. camper, not 4. The axle is at least three and a half inches in diameter so it's not undersized for the weight. And it's straight as a die. As former motorcycle campers, we pack light so the camper is always well under its rated max load. Its towing position is level.

I'm thinking that it may be caused by the offset ends of the axle, the L-shape parts, whatever they're called, that the drums and wheels bolt to, the parts that do the shock absorbing. Since they're mounted in rubber, if I understand torsion axle construction right, it could be that some slight degree of lean has crept in via those rubber joints.

Am I right that--if it were an alignment problem instead of a caster/camber problem--the trailer would track poorly (which it doesn't)?
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:15 PM   #6
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"it could be that some slight degree of lean has crept in via those rubber joints."
Possible yes, I have no idea.
Did you buy this TT new?
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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That's a possibility, but the axle can be bent up in the center by a shop that knows what they're doing. The arms should be just slightly down from horizontal when loaded and therefore if the axle is tweaked, the camber will be changed. The torsion rubber is only in the ends and in about 3', so axle bending is possible.

If the wear isn't that significant, I would probably just live with it & every 5-6000 miles take the tires off the wheels and turn them 180 and mount on the opposite side so the worn side is on the outside and the rotation is still the same.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:58 PM   #8
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Unusual tire wear pattern on 2011 A128?

I think living with it is the way I'll go. At my age there're not a lot of camping years left, so I'll want to camp more and fuss less. I like the idea of reversing them on the wheels and switching sides. Thanks for that. It's similar to what my mother used to call a Dutch washing--turn it inside out and wear it another day.

Anyway, I was just curious about whether any other Aframe style campers had the same thing going.

Oh, and yes I got it new in Jan. 2011.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:01 PM   #9
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I like your attitude - enjoy yourself - don't sweat the small stuff.
Pennies per hundreds of miles. It's worth it.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:44 PM   #10
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I have no real wear that i have noticed on my tires .. however I dont think I have gone as far as you guys have in the last 2 years .. most likely around 12 - 14 k miles. My previous popup had some major flat spots on the bias plys .. which was a problem .. but i changed those tires out for radials ... had them balanced and the problem was no more.
I would suggest that the wear that you have experienced is just the way things go ... most likely caused by way the torsion axle works ..
Trailer tires need to be changed out every five years anyways ... so i certainly see no issues .. but this is a good heads up for other Aframers.

d-mo
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