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Old 11-13-2017, 10:11 PM   #1
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Bending Axles 2014 395 AMP

Axle issues

We have a 2014 XLR Thunderbolt 395 Amp and like you love our rig but are really upset with the axle and weight misguiding issues. After reading your terrible story of your trip in NH I wanted to share our story and find out how you resolved it. We live in NY and travelled down to Fl to visit some colleges with my son the summer of 2016. On the way down in a gas station I noticed that my tires were wearing bald and that it looked like my rear axle was bent. The trip ended up being a nightmare and we have not truly enjoyed our trailer since. There is way too much to write but in summary basically we have gone through purchasing 7 new tires, had 2 bent axles and finally had my 3 6,000lb axles replaced for 3 7,000lb axles. Even after all of this thinking the dealer had solved the problem, I just took the trailer down to Fla again to find that my rear tire was wearing bald again and that my axle was bent. The sticker on my trailer says the dry weight is 15,233 and my GVW is 18,000lbs. It also states the tires are ST235/80R16E and the inflation on the label says 95psi which is impossible since that is an E rated tire because the max is 80psi. All the new trailers have approx. my same dry weight and are all set up with 21k. FR told our dealer that because the axles bent (or it was noticed) after 12mos (we had only done short trips before this) that there was nothing they could do because we were out of warranty. Anyone with any information that could help us resolve this information would greatly be appreciated.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:03 PM   #2
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Man I hate reading stories like this. I hope you find a solution to your axle problems.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:50 PM   #3
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Thank you and me too!
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:11 PM   #4
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:41 PM   #5
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AXLES

At 1,200 miles on our 32' Wildwood, we had a blowout and Camping World said both of our axles were bent and replaced them. We have since replaced one of the "new" axles. We now have an appointment with an "expert" to realign both axles. We replaced all the Chinese tires after the first blowout,and at about 9,000 miles are going to replace all tires again once the axles are realigned. Since 1974, I had never replaced a tire, had a blowout or a flat until this 2014 Wildwood. Who's to blame? I don't have an answer!
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:04 PM   #6
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We currently own a Keystone product, not Forest River, but IMHO, most manufactures of a particular price point RV supply minimally rated tires and running gear. To complicate things, most owners load their RV much heavier than they think they do. The first thing you should do is get the rig loaded for a trip and weigh it. That lets you know exactly what you are dealing with. If you can get individual axle weights, you can even tell how evenly balanced you are. I think you will find you are very close to the maximum rated weight. While I am not a transportation expert, I am an engineer, and I personally am not comfortable with the running gear being loaded at more than about 80% of it's rating - that is about how all our other vehicles were designed. Our trailer is smaller (max. weight rating of 8800 lbs) and came with D rated 15" ST tires. One tire blew after two years, so all 4 were replaced with quality E rated tires. Two years later, the tires were showing excessive wear on the inside, indicating the axles were overloaded and had lost their chamber. We had the original 4400 lb axles with 6000 lb axles, and 2900 lb springs, wet bolts, bronze bushings, premium equalizers, and replaced all four tires with USA made Goodyear Guardian LR E tires. I think we should be good to go.

Unfortunately, most low to upper middle priced RV seem to come with marginally adequate running gear.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tcpoggioli View Post
Axle issues



We have a 2014 XLR Thunderbolt 395 Amp and like you love our rig but are really upset with the axle and weight misguiding issues. After reading your terrible story of your trip in NH I wanted to share our story and find out how you resolved it. We live in NY and travelled down to Fl to visit some colleges with my son the summer of 2016. On the way down in a gas station I noticed that my tires were wearing bald and that it looked like my rear axle was bent. The trip ended up being a nightmare and we have not truly enjoyed our trailer since. There is way too much to write but in summary basically we have gone through purchasing 7 new tires, had 2 bent axles and finally had my 3 6,000lb axles replaced for 3 7,000lb axles. Even after all of this thinking the dealer had solved the problem, I just took the trailer down to Fla again to find that my rear tire was wearing bald again and that my axle was bent. The sticker on my trailer says the dry weight is 15,233 and my GVW is 18,000lbs. It also states the tires are ST235/80R16E and the inflation on the label says 95psi which is impossible since that is an E rated tire because the max is 80psi. All the new trailers have approx. my same dry weight and are all set up with 21k. FR told our dealer that because the axles bent (or it was noticed) after 12mos (we had only done short trips before this) that there was nothing they could do because we were out of warranty. Anyone with any information that could help us resolve this information would greatly be appreciated.


I would recommend taking it to an alignment shop that does work on trailers/ commercial etc. They will tell you 1 if your axles are bent again. Or 2 if it just needs an alignment. Moo
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cathcartww View Post
We currently own a Keystone product, not Forest River, but IMHO, most manufactures of a particular price point RV supply minimally rated tires and running gear. To complicate things, most owners load their RV much heavier than they think they do. The first thing you should do is get the rig loaded for a trip and weigh it. That lets you know exactly what you are dealing with. If you can get individual axle weights, you can even tell how evenly balanced you are. I think you will find you are very close to the maximum rated weight. While I am not a transportation expert, I am an engineer, and I personally am not comfortable with the running gear being loaded at more than about 80% of it's rating - that is about how all our other vehicles were designed. Our trailer is smaller (max. weight rating of 8800 lbs) and came with D rated 15" ST tires. One tire blew after two years, so all 4 were replaced with quality E rated tires. Two years later, the tires were showing excessive wear on the inside, indicating the axles were overloaded and had lost their chamber. We had the original 4400 lb axles with 6000 lb axles, and 2900 lb springs, wet bolts, bronze bushings, premium equalizers, and replaced all four tires with USA made Goodyear Guardian LR E tires. I think we should be good to go.

Unfortunately, most low to upper middle priced RV seem to come with marginally adequate running gear.


After I loaded my trailer and tow I went to the weight station and I was overloaded.... got rid of everything not necessary. Went back and had it weight again. Now I was good. I kept the weight records in case they were needed.

The people who saw me doing this said I was paranoid. ďNobody does that ď...just load and go....

Everyone should weight their rigs...
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by guardingliberty View Post
After I loaded my trailer and tow I went to the weight station and I was overloaded.... got rid of everything not necessary. Went back and had it weight again. Now I was good. I kept the weight records in case they were needed.

The people who saw me doing this said I was paranoid. ďNobody does that ď...just load and go....

Everyone should weight their rigs...
I live in Bradenton Florida and have looked everywhere for a place to weigh my TT rig and tow. Nothing in this area at all which blows my mind. I'm told I have to get on I-75 and travel north to the Tampa area where there is a Flying-J Travel Area or something similar where they weigh semi's etc. So like a lot of people I'm just going camping and not worrying too much about it -- although I'm a worrier!! We don't have a lot of stuff in our camper - just a few clothes, small TV on the wall and a few dishes but everything else in what came in it. I don't travel with water. I have a conversion van that I use to tow and I put stuff in that too and may have too much weight in the van. But I don't have any problems towing in Florida because it's all flat terrain and we don't go far to a campground (mostly State Parks). Reading all these terrible stories makes one really question whether we should be doing this routine at all!!!

Mo
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:45 PM   #10
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I live in Bradenton Florida and have looked everywhere for a place to weigh my TT rig and tow. Nothing in this area at all which blows my mind. I'm told I have to get on I-75 and travel north to the Tampa area where there is a Flying-J Travel Area or something similar where they weigh semi's etc. So like a lot of people I'm just going camping and not worrying too much about it -- although I'm a worrier!! We don't have a lot of stuff in our camper - just a few clothes, small TV on the wall and a few dishes but everything else in what came in it. I don't travel with water. I have a conversion van that I use to tow and I put stuff in that too and may have too much weight in the van. But I don't have any problems towing in Florida because it's all flat terrain and we don't go far to a campground (mostly State Parks). Reading all these terrible stories makes one really question whether we should be doing this routine at all!!!



Mo


Well... your rv sounds like you donít have much at all.

I found a scale at a gravel cement yard. 5 bucks only. Some places want ten bucks. Thatís Minnesota prices.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:04 PM   #11
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Can uou send a pic of the tire?? Sometimes tell a lot
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by guardingliberty View Post
After I loaded my trailer and tow I went to the weight station and I was overloaded.... got rid of everything not necessary. Went back and had it weight again. Now I was good. I kept the weight records in case they were needed.

The people who saw me doing this said I was paranoid. ďNobody does that ď...just load and go....

Everyone should weight their rigs...
X2^^

We took our to a CAT scale and after weighing the truck/camper and then the truck alone we found the camper is about 80 lbs under its max gross.

We had a E rated Goodyear Marathon tire blow a year or so ago and replaced all the tires with E rated Maxxis 8008s. No problems since.

When it is time to replace the Maxxis tires I am going to purchase some G rated tires to increase the "cushion" between what the tires are rated to carry and what the camper actually weighs. Believe it or not, the G rated tires are less costly than the Maxxis 8008 E rated.
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:35 PM   #13
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In my first RV (2008 Cardinal) I had the same problem with my rear axle tires. My first set of tire lasted approximately two years with ~8k miles. I didn’t realize what was on with my first set of tire, but notice the unusual wear in the second set with same result as the first. I took my trailer and had the wheels and the axle aligned. No more problem after alignment. I had the same size tires as you do. It’s not that expensive.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:50 PM   #14
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Bending axles

I have followed this thread and have a question about axles being bent. First of all, I'm surprised that axles are being bent! Is it from being an under rated axle for the weight of the trailer? Of is from hitting something or running over something causing the axle(s) to be bent?

With all of this in mind, I have checked out (but not purchased) a device that you put under your axle to lift the axle allowing you to change the tire on that axle. I was even told you could use two of them to lift both axles (on a tandem axle trailer) on the same side of the trailer. These devices are placed under the axle, near the wheel in question, and then you drive forward or backwards allowing the device to roll with the trailer lifting the axle at the same time.

Wouldn't these devices tend to bend the axle???? If so, I would think the industry should take them off the market. But having said this I have seen quite a few companies that offer this product (or variation of it) so there's not just one site that offers it.

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this!!??

Mo
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:01 AM   #15
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Hi Mo,

There is a set of scales at the Pilot/flyingJ? pretty much right when you pull into Lazy Days off of I4. It should be really close to you seeing you are in Bradenton.

Its not the station on the Ford dealer side, its on the Lazy days side...


Dale
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:53 AM   #16
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Hi Mo,

There is a set of scales at the Pilot/flyingJ? pretty much right when you pull into Lazy Days off of I4. It should be really close to you seeing you are in Bradenton.

Its not the station on the Ford dealer side, its on the Lazy days side...


Dale
Dale- Great info- many thanks! I will look into it!!

Mo
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:21 AM   #17
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No problem!

Also, you can google something like "Bottle Jack Cradle" to help disperse the jack pressure on the axle if you need to jack up a tire off of the ground. The really nice toy is the "Ultimate off road jack" but that's pretty spendy.

Have a good day,
Dale
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