Thinking about changing axles? Think it all the way.
I think it is time to add to this post. I want to share my experiences to help others in their efforts. In other words, try to not make the same mistakes that I have.
I have heard on this forum that people and trailers gain weight in their old age.
Well, I know I have gained the weight and decided to take the trailer to the scales (fortunately only 5 blocks away at the local lumber yard) to see if this is true. (And because my new axle was showing zero angle).
My worst fears were realized when the weight was shown. I was 300+ pounds over my maximum axle rating with an empty pickup and not everything in the trailer. Could it be from the larger water tank I installed? Could it be from the larger water heater I thought I needed? Could it be from the larger propane tanks? Could it be from two batteries instead of one?
It must be from all my wife's clothes and all her other stuff!
Seriously, one additional weight I had not considered was the transfer of weight to the trailer axle with the weight distribution hitch. And this will increase if you have additional weight in your pickup (more than usual) and you do not compensate with your WD hitch.
My new weights with the pickup and trailer "loaded for bear" showed 3820 axle weight and 420 tongue weight for a total of 4240.
So............I bought a new Dexter axle rated for 4500 pounds. Installation was almost "easy" considering that it seems like I had just done this. The ride is now smooth as a silk, the trailer sits up where it should be, and I can cross deeper creek beds than before without hitting bottom.
The moral of this story............. don't get in a hurry to make things right. Take your time and be sure to get them right. Consider all things involved, especially like that pesky fact that a weight distribution hitch actually distributes weight!
I hope this revelation will be valuable to someone getting ready to do the axle upgrade.
And now, is there anyone who would like a hardly used 3500 pound axle with mounting plates for their trailer? I can make you a pretty good deal! Before you answer, have you considered all things?