Originally Posted by Windjammin
I had axles that I thought had failed because the tires were rubbing on the fender wells. FR replaced the axles. The new axles have a 22 degree down angle unloaded. With the empty weight of the trailer on them they are almost horizontal (0 degrees). I talked with a technical representative from Dexter and was told this is normal. The axle should be 0 degrees when fully loaded (4000 pounds per axle).
The problem that I had was no tire clearance. I believe that was caused by the wrong axle bracket installed on the trailer. Dexter has 3 bracket sizes for my axle. I must have originally had the low bracket which provided little clearance. I now have an axle with the tallest bracket which provides much more clearance. Dexter recommends a minimum of 3 inches for bump clearance to allow for flex when going down the road.
I believe this sheds light on some misunderstandings which I've seen repeatedly on several threads here and which were starting to cost me sleep.
It seems that some posters seem to think they are supposed to have the "22 degrees down" when their trailer does not contain their adult beverages and house slippers. However, would not "loaded" (4000 lbs per axle) include the "load" of the "empty trailer weight" which Windjammin has referenced (which is likely 80 to 90 percent of the 4000 lbs for most of us)? If so, then the description "fully loaded" would include the empty trailer weight, PLUS our adult beverages and house slippers. If so, a nearly horizontal torsion axle arm (close to zero degrees, aka parallel to the ground) is probably normal for most of us as the TT sits in the driveway, right?
Against that backdrop, the clearance issue is be better understood as an axle installation issue, as suggested by Windjammin here, which would explain how the addition of manufacturer engineered spacing brackets or lift kits might be the required and appropriate fix. I have the Al-Ko torsion axles, not the Dexters discussed in most of these threads, but am similarly concerned about what appears to be inadequate clearance margins on my own trailer (although there has been no "rub" in my case yet).
Help! I need someone to save me from myself, so please critique!