terryV and AWCHIEF: Thanks to both of your for your input.
I was thinking about just trying to tow with the ball only now that I have a more-capable TV. Even with my old minivan, I didn't notice ANY difference when I went from ball to WD/Sway.
I really like the idea of taking a proactive approach to maintenance on my trailer. I think I'll start working on putting together a short PM program that I can perform before and/or after each trip.
Finally, my wife and I have decided to have the factory make the cabinet repair, run through some checks, repair a few other little items, as well as possibly adding some improvements.
We've booked some time in October, and we'll hopefully get this tire, axle, hitch situation resolved.
Thank you to everyone for your help on this. It is nice to feel like you have a little support when things go wrong.