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Old 06-23-2021, 11:58 AM   #1
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1991 34' Limited
Tucson , Arizona
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Bent axles - How to know?

Okay, I was an idiot. I didnít know what I didnít know. 1991 34 foot Classic Limited. So I jacked up the trailer and placed jack stands under front and rear axles for the winter. Came back months later to broken patio tiles under three jack stands.

How do I know if the axles are bent?

Will be replacing tires soon and donít want to ruin a new set.
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Old 06-23-2021, 12:10 PM   #2
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I do not understand. (not unusual for me). Did it fall? Did you jack the axles in the wrong place? Did it have the wheels and tires still on it? Just cause the weight of the trailer broke some tiles under the jack stands would not make me suspect the axles are bent. Just that the load was too concentrated on the tiles. Think wooden pads under the jack stands next time. I think the only way to tell is to run it and watch for tire wear.

I just leave my trailer sit on the wheels and tires.
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I do not understand. (not unusual for me). Did it fall? Did you jack the axles in the wrong place? Did it have the wheels and tires still on it? Just cause the weight of the trailer broke some tiles under the jack stands would not make me suspect the axles are bent. Just that the load was too concentrated on the tiles. Think wooden pads under the jack stands next time. I think the only way to tell is to run it and watch for tire wear.

I just leave my trailer sit on the wheels and tires.


I jacked it up with a hydraulic jack on Nader the axle instead of at the jack points. Then I slid in the jack stands. Iím told this is a no-no.

The trailer also sits on its tires, but I had two valves go bad over the previous winter and I was concerned that the trailer would be flat on the ground next spring.
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:16 AM   #4
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If you're really worried take it to an alignment shop. The manual should show the proper angles for the wheels (toe in & camber). They can put their LASER alignment devices on the wheels and confirm. As long as things measure to spec you're good to go.
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:33 AM   #5
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The wear on your tires will tell you if you have a problem.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:42 AM   #6
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1991 34' Limited
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Thanks. Alignment shop. That’s a great idea. I’ll see what I can find around our summer spot in Show Low, Arizona. Small towns are sometimes a challenge.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:08 AM   #7
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Camber!

You could also go to a tool store like Harbor Freight and buy a cheap angle finder and check it yourself. Best to take the tire and drum off and place the angle finder against the machined axle face. As level as you can get it! You can look up the specs somewhere but should be between 1 and 3į positive camber meaning the top of the tire should be leaning out. Unless you jacked it from the center of the axle I highly doubt you bent anything. Unless you know and trust the alignment shop I discourage it. A degree out spec will have little effect on tire wear and you donít want these guys bending your axles unless it really needs it!!!
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:12 AM   #8
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You can buy a Camber gauge on eBay or Amazon for less than $20 that will tell you if you have excessive Camber on each wheel indicating a bent axle sahft.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:20 AM   #9
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Next time jack on the frame the axles are mounted on
Watched Dexter Axle tech change brakes on a 34 at the Int’l Rally in Escanaba. He jacked up one side at a time using the axle mounting frame and changed all three brake back plates while on the jack.
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Old 06-25-2021, 04:47 AM   #10
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1991 34' Limited
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Thanks for the suggestions. Iím feeling better about being able to check out any damage I may have introduced. $20 is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:47 AM   #11
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I am thinking that you jacked up the axles close to where they are bolted to the frame so that the moment arm that would cause them to bend hopefully was not enough to permanently bend the axles. Good luck.

Dan
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:47 AM   #12
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If you supported it real close to the mounting flanges there was probably no harm done. Those axles are THICK steel tubing. Still in the future I'd make sure to support it under the mounting flange jack points.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikingsolo View Post
Okay, I was an idiot. I didnít know what I didnít know. 1991 34 foot Classic Limited. So I jacked up the trailer and placed jack stands under front and rear axles for the winter. Came back months later to broken patio tiles under three jack stands.

How do I know if the axles are bent?

Will be replacing tires soon and donít want to ruin a new set.
More important...Are they still aligned?

We had inside edge,frt curb/side tire ware, checked alignment, excess toe-out. Assumed a bent axle, turned out to be the rubber torsion spring was worn out.

Bob
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Old 06-26-2021, 06:56 AM   #14
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Thanks for the heads up and the pictures! Very helpful.
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:03 PM   #15
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"I jacked it up with a hydraulic jack on Nader the axle instead of at the jack points."


??
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Old 06-30-2021, 05:00 AM   #16
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1991 34' Limited
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on Nader=under in autocorrect speak. Sorry I didn’t notice the mistake and now can’t seem to correct it.
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Old 06-30-2021, 06:10 PM   #17
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If you jacked at the outer ends near the hubs, you’re probably fine.
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