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Old 01-22-2021, 01:28 PM   #1
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Backing up and tweaking axles.

I have a FR DBH 23, 26 footer. Question: When backing a travel trailer, often times, the double axels and wheels which are aligned in front of each other get pushed to a point that the wheels and axels are way out of alignment while making a sharp backwards turn. This is not a problem in soft soil but when you are backing on rough asphalt, I'm concerned that I might tweak the axels or even bust a wheel off the drums. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:35 PM   #2
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I think under normal conditions, it's not a big problem as long as you're not jackknifed and exerting a lot of lateral strain on the wheels. If possible, after you've got the trailer aligned where you want it, pull it forward about 10 feet to straighten the wheels out and then back it straight in where you want it.
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike Sedillo View Post
I have a FR DBH 23, 26 footer. Question: When backing a travel trailer, often times, the double axels and wheels which are aligned in front of each other get pushed to a point that the wheels and axels are way out of alignment while making a sharp backwards turn. This is not a problem in soft soil but when you are backing on rough asphalt, I'm concerned that I might tweak the axels or even bust a wheel off the drums. Any thoughts on this?
This is not usually a problem however the spring hangars and frame may twist or bend under extreme conditions.

The lack of proper side support on the spring hangars often leads to misalignment or cracked/broken welds. The spindles and wheels are much stronger so the weaker parts give up before breaking a wheel or bending a spindle when making tight turns.


The usual solution, depending on each specific trailer, is to add a cross brace at each hangar so it's prevented from bending sideways due the extreme turning force when backing and wheels aren't turning to relieve the pressure.

With Torflex axles this is not as big a problem as each torflex axle had the cross brace I'm referring to.

FWIW, I used to own a 1972 Prowler and later a 1995 Terry, both with conventional spring suspension and hangars welded to the frame with no cross member to brace them. In all the years I owned both I saw the tires/wheels in my rear view mirror during parking looking grossly out of alignment. Once driving back in a straight line all was well and the tires never showed any sign of wear. My new trailer has Torflex axles and they stay pretty much in line.
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:09 PM   #4
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You'll not hurt the tires. I have a 44' triple axle toy hauler and have had to do some ugly maneuvers to get it into spots. Watching the tires scrub on all sorts of surfaces make me very very sad, but I've yet to have tire issues from it.

You should definitely keep a watch on the spring hangers. They have issues regularly.
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:17 PM   #5
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https://www.morryde.com/products/x-factor-crossmember/

I put these on our travel trailer.
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:39 PM   #6
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A good addition as long as it can prevent this:



It's amazing that the designer of travel trailer suspensions couldn't see this problem developing eventually and reinforce the brackets in the design/manufacture.
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:47 PM   #7
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It's amazing that the designers of travel trailers can't see many of the problems the consumer has to deal with. I wonder if they have ever stayed in their units at all!

Should be a requirement of employment that they camp 2 weeks a year in the units they design.
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:28 PM   #8
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A good addition as long as it can prevent this:



It's amazing that the designer of travel trailer suspensions couldn't see this problem developing eventually and reinforce the brackets in the design/manufacture.

It can't hurt to have them. I feel better having them.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:44 PM   #9
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I have a very sharp turn (lots of tire side load) backing into my driveway at home. Before backing in, I sprinkle a light layer of sand where the tires scrub. The sand acts as a lubricant dramatically cutting down on the tire wear and tire/suspension side load. Others use a spray of water for the same effect. This of course is easiest at home though you could take some with you for backing in tight spots.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:54 PM   #10
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The spring hangers are the weak point of most trailer suspensions. I've had them tear loose. I finally welded in gussets front and back on my old trailer, and 2 inch square tube between the front to center, and center to back spring supports to keep them from breaking. It worked. My new trailer doesn't give me more confidence. I put the X Factor support on the center supports, and I plan to add them to the front and back ones as well. I may also gusset the front and back supports as well.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:55 PM   #11
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A good addition as long as it can prevent this:



It's amazing that the designer of travel trailer suspensions couldn't see this problem developing eventually and reinforce the brackets in the design/manufacture.

Oh trust me they can see it, they just don't give a crap.

Just like the China Bomb tires and the peeling sofa and chairs.

The poor workmanship of the holes in walls chewed through with sawsaws and Stanley knives.

We replaced the weak love seat in out chachman TT with a electric recliner. The new recliner was just a little tight on the slide out so I trimmed off about a quarter inch off the frame of the slide out trim.

GUESS WHAT THE TRIM WAS MADE OUT OF? Pressed cardboard just the same as the counter tops.



These company's laugh all the way to the bank as to how they legally cheat us out of our money.

But what cha gonna do?

They regulate themselves with no regulation.

For God sake you cant even get a schematic of your TT because they have no idea where they are going to put thing because they JUST WING it.



Usually at this point of a rant I say "Darn, I feel Better". But not this time because I still feel disgusted with all TT manufactures.

When you purchase, one hang on because it will most likely be a wild ride.

From the Dealership with misinformation and false promises to leaks, shorts, mislabeled anything and everything to the infamous statement,
"Well that's just how they make them now a days".


Anyways try to
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:22 PM   #12
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I make it a point to observe "Aircraft Nose Gear Protocol" when backing. Never push at an angle greater than 70 in either direction when backing. NEVER EVER jackknife! The suspension, frame and tongue are not built to withstand that type of sideways stress. If after backing the tires/axles appear canted, pull straight forward to relieve the stress, then back up straight.
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:38 PM   #13
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I would also suggest keeping the tires near full inflation, (do not over inflate). My brother in law backed his rig in at a sharp angle where one tire burst the bead and almost did a complete dismount. After checking his tire pressure he found that two had low pressure.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:35 PM   #14
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I think under normal conditions, it's not a big problem as long as you're not jackknifed and exerting a lot of lateral strain on the wheels. If possible, after you've got the trailer aligned where you want it, pull it forward about 10 feet to straighten the wheels out and then back it straight in where you want it.
If you can't go back and forth to relieve the torque, jacking one wheel at a time will relieve the stress.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:43 PM   #15
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Axles

Part of this is due to the Torflex axels. My 27.5 VSL was doing the same. Frame shop told me to measure the space between tires when straight, then check in a tight turn. If more than 2 1/2" difference, there is a problem. I had about 3 3/4-4" difference. It was more on 1 side than the other. What I found on mine was the brace behind the axels was bent. I took it to a frame shop and had the brace cut out replaced w/ thicker square bar material. The original material was not 1/16" thick. He showed me he could twist it by hand. I suspect someone had put a floor jack on it and had bent it in the past. This solved my problem, less wiggle towing. Also, my inside trim quit working loose, as much anyway. The Moryryde reinforcing rods seem like a good idea. Another example of where they could spent $20 more and build a better trailer.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by D W View Post
I make it a point to observe "Aircraft Nose Gear Protocol" when backing. Never push at an angle greater than 70 in either direction when backing. NEVER EVER jackknife! The suspension, frame and tongue are not built to withstand that type of sideways stress. If after backing the tires/axles appear canted, pull straight forward to relieve the stress, then back up straight.
X2
I've seen tires rolled off wheels, center spring equalizers flip and an axle tear loose from the frame when someone has tried a 90 turn on asphalt with a heavily loaded R/V.

That's why I don't understand folks with 5ers all up in arms about needing a hitch that will allow 90 turns. If they ever seen what 90 turns will do to a suspension, they'd never do it.

Have you ever watched someone pull out of a spot on Sunday where you watched them back into days earlier? Seldom do they make the same sharp maneuvers pulling out that they tend to make backing in. A lot of them just can't visualize that arc going backwards.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:19 PM   #17
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X2
I've seen tires rolled off wheels, center spring equalizers flip and an axle tear loose from the frame when someone has tried a 90 turn on asphalt with a heavily loaded R/V.

That's why I don't understand folks with 5ers all up in arms about needing a hitch that will allow 90 turns. If they ever seen what 90 turns will do to a suspension, they'd never do it.

Have you ever watched someone pull out of a spot on Sunday where you watched them back into days earlier? Seldom do they make the same sharp maneuvers pulling out that they tend to make backing in. A lot of them just can't visualize that arc going backwards.
Sometimes it's entertaining enough when they back in to grab a cold drink and pull up the lawn chair to watch.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:28 PM   #18
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The ST tires on a trailer have more sidewall flex than LT tires used on trucks to allow for this movement, but you don't we t to overdo it. Pull forward and back to relieve the stress and don't leave them in a strain.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:19 AM   #19
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I've been watching my axles doing the pretzel thing on multiple trailers for years, and none have ever had noticeable damage. I put it in the don't worry category.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sedillo View Post
I have a FR DBH 23, 26 footer. Question: When backing a travel trailer, often times, the double axels and wheels which are aligned in front of each other get pushed to a point that the wheels and axels are way out of alignment while making a sharp backwards turn. This is not a problem in soft soil but when you are backing on rough asphalt, I'm concerned that I might tweak the axels or even bust a wheel off the drums. Any thoughts on this?

Lots of debate about beefing up the spring shackles. Im a welder/fabricator hobbiest and enjoy making great things. I have a monster TT a 2020-32 BH forest river vibe with spread axles. Its 39 hitch to bumper. 9,100 lbs loaded. I have made a bunch of tight turns going backwards with no damage yet. Spear axles are even worse for side load.
When the shackles are reinforced the pressure is sent to the frame and these frames are thin and hard which equals cracks. Id rather my shackles bend than my frame crack. I inspect mine after every trip. The pressure on the wheel bearings is tremendous when backing at a sharp angle so hub inspections are very important. I see lots of cracked RV frames and fixing them can be a pain. Never ever allow someone to weld vertical up on your frame. Ive had to reinforce so many failures because of that bad mistake. A frames strength is from the side rail thickness, temper and height. Manufacturers get away from using heavier more expensive frames by adding hardness. That makes any excess stress cause a crack
Just saying...
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