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Old 04-03-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 213
What a difference new axles and tires make

Back in first half of 2013 I installed new 5200 lb axles w/ 12" brakes on the Sovereign at the recommendation of a torsion bar axle design engineer and pulled it once for about 20 miles and could tell an immediate difference in the ride. Shortly thereafter I was got rear ended which messed up shoulder, neck, hearing and was knocked cold so wound up with a Grade 3 Concussion.

I knew I was in no shape to hook her up for a trip to Ohio in August of 13 and was still having after effects in August of 14 but now I figure I can drive so I hooked her up as we want to go to the NRA Show in Nashville next week

Started getting her ready and took her out for a spin and stopped on flat ground and noted she was low in the front thusly I had to adjust the load leveling hitch up to the next set of holes and pulled her some more and could tell a difference.

I noted when I got back that there was still stuff on the fold out tables that had not hit the floor. The old wore out axles made it ride so rough that nothing could be left on galley counter or the fold out tables.

I took her out again and noted the stuff was still there so this morning I had to go get ice for a eating session with inlaws so I placed stuff on the tables and I pulled it 13 miles to our FD and upon arriving photographed the material as I found it. Got the ice and 13 miles home. Two lane highway/country road/ and uneven dirt drive here and at FD.


These pics taken prior to leaving.



These pics taken at FD.



These pics taken back at home, total 26 miles.

I don't think I could ask for a smoother ride.

New axles, E rated LT tires.



I used a bubble level center of aisle just forward of front axle and it indicates level so I guess we are good to go.

I am ever so glad I upgraded to the 5200 lb axles as the ride is so much nicer than it was with the worn out 3500 lb axles.

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Old 04-04-2015, 06:49 PM   #2
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That's the right kind of surprise, isn't it?

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Old 04-05-2015, 02:13 PM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
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What no Jelly Beans on the table?

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Old 04-05-2015, 02:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
That's the right kind of surprise, isn't it?
Wow!!! I agree! My "surprises" are usually quite different!
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:17 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 213
Pulled her 31 miles today, went to town to gas up for Wednesday, stuff stayed on tables just like yesterday. Also wife left plastic drain board& dish rack etc on top of galley. Still there when I got back.

She put out 3 air fresheners on top of hutch next to fridge. The are still there.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:22 AM   #6
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2005 28' International CCD
San Jose via Winnepeg, Toronto, Orlando, Saratoga and Groton , California
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I'm not sure which axles I've got but I can probably guess. I could never leave things like that on the tabletop.

If I have a 7300 GVWR, then I'll bet AS installed the 3550# rated axles. I'm an engineer, and counting on the variable TW still does not seem to leave much margin.

Question - is there a noticeable difference between the lower and higher rated torsion axles for a TT of about 7000# ? The above post seems to indicate so.
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:51 PM   #7
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1972 27' Overlander
Penokee , Kansas
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What lots of people don't know is the shock load a TT or tow pickup axle takes and handles with pot holes or bridge seams.. For a millisecond a axle might have to handle a 8 or 10G load or other wise a 56,000 to 70,000 lb. load.

Years ago the FAA use to allow one to tow a airplane with the wings taken off backwards by its tail to transport them around on the hiways. But after a few years they had to many airplanes crash as there was frame damage too them from pulling a 12G rated airplane over a normal black top hiway.

Now just picture a loaded 80,000 lb. semi truck and trailer and how abusive it is to hit a pot hole or bridge seam with them!.. And we wonder why we cant hold a wheel alignment on our TV,, or blow out near new tires..

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Old 04-06-2015, 05:04 PM   #8
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1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 213
Call Dexter and talk to a torsion bar axle design engineer like I did which is where I got the poop. My GVW is 7100 and all during school up until now the rule of thumb was load would be between 50% and 66% of the axle(s) rated capacity which in my case is now 10,400 worst case and still be within the first 22°. At worst case I am at 68%.

I don't remember who I talked to but tell them I am ever so thankful for the guidance.

Also you don't need shocks.

I am assuming the school you went to would not have concurred with 7000 lb axle capacity and a 7100 GVW which is what mine came with.

Then again I am not in the business of selling axles or installing them though I did mine and I think I did OK there after I thought through how to do it and got all the tools together for the job.

If the Dexter guy had said 5500, that is what I would have bought then again I have a 8000 axle on a 1100 lb trailer and it wants to bounce a tad empty but a little weight on it and the suspension starts to purr.

The original axles did not break, the springs did not break but I did snatch the ends off the spring shackles on Rt 22 out of Easton PA going to Stroudsberg. Got them replaced with heat treated tool steel and they did good till I lost a bearing on the 7th trip moving here from Alabama I lost a bearing. Only reason I did not repair it was it was getting hard to find mobile home wheels w/ tires as the industry started recycling.

If I had to do it again and a 8000 lb was available I would do the same all over again.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:49 PM   #9
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1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 213
Just got back from 1106 mile trip to and from Nashville from South Carolina. On the way up it was 88 miles to the Interstate System (26) and from there to I-40 and Asheville, Knoxville and Nashville.

I 40 out of Asheville to Knoxville was rough, the road has deterriorated badly since I last drove it. The staple gun fell off the table, everything else stayed. There was one section pulling into Knoxville that was very rough. Got to Nashville (455 miles) and rest of stuff was still on the table.

Left out yesterday morning and put a Greenlea Multimeter and a Glasafe glasses case on the table and both are still there.

As I left the new brakes were jerky but the shoes have now seated and stopping is good.

Interesting temps though, I check tires in grooves and the hubs and three of the four got to between 115F and 120F. The right rear tire or hub never got above 99F.

Another AS was in campground and I got to talking to them and he came over and crawled under for a looksee. I estimate the down angle now is about 5 degrees. Nicest trip I have taken with her.

Got email when I got home asking me for the installation information for the axles and he is going to order new ones for his so I sent him the pics and info I had.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:17 AM   #10
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1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 213
Figured my mileage on the road. 11.22 going up and 11.33 coming back which I think is outstanding.

I got advise from a professional camper trailer hauler and he recommended never going over 60 MPH as it was much less traumatic if something happens at 60 rather than 70 and that is what I have done. He said other deliverers would pass him and chide him on the CD for going too slow and on several occasions he would find them 30 to 75 miles down the road rolled over. I figured if it was good enough for a pro driving 90,000 miles a year it would be good for me and so far it has been fine.

Though on this trip she rode so smooth that I had to really watch it as I would catch the speed at 65 and up to 70 and did not realize I was running that fast. I couldn't use cruise control as the uphills want to kick down in passing gear so unless I am on more or less level ground I don't use it.

As well I could meet 18 wheelers on two lane road and never feel them when we passed. When I first towed her in 2010 it was a terror with the factory rims and original tires as when we got passed on the interstates she would suddenly shift a foot to the right when the 18 wheelers started coming by which made for some trying moments. The 10 ply LT tires took care of most of that but the worn axles made the ride very rough which I did not realize at the time having never pulled a AS before but now the ride is quite nice on decent roads.

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