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#1 Chris C

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:37 AM

Just returned from a trip from OK to OH.  Installed the shock kit and new 15" wheels and tires a couple of years ago.  Tires were inflated to 70 pounds.  Roads through Illinois and Indiana were atrocious and literally beat the cr@p out of our trailer.  List of broken/malfunctioning  parts by the end of the trip:

 

Freezer door hinges broken

Broken shelf in refrigerator

Broken hinge on lower cabinet door

Aftermarket internal 1500W voltage invertor knocked off platform (yes, it was bolted down)

Battery charger shorted out somewhere and kicked the circuit breaker

A/C outlets now fail to work.............though the oven outlet functions properly. (???)

Kitchen faucet was unusable (thread about this elsewhere on the forum)

Mounting screws un-screwed and allowed two of the window blinds to fall

Knocked off two of my adhesive backed reflectors mounted on the rear bumper

Every time we stopped for fuel, we had to put mattresses back on the beds and put things back in cabinets

P-nut butter jar lid came unscrewed and poured oil all over pantry carpet

Coffee grounds jar lid came unscrewed and poured it's contents all over the pantry

Margarita salt container also emptied it's contents in the pantry

 

I don't really mind working on all the "fixes", but my main concern is the inflated level of the tires.  The first half of the trip they were inflated to 70 psi.  Everything listed above was noted upon arrival.  Lowered psi to 60 pounds for return trip and had no additional problems.  Is there a recommended inflation level to use with these shock.


Edited by Chris C, 06 September 2018 - 08:37 AM.

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#2 Jim&Clare

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:52 AM

 

I don't really mind working on all the "fixes", but my main concern is the inflated level of the tires.  The first half of the trip they were inflated to 70 psi.  Everything listed above was noted upon arrival.  Lowered psi to 60 pounds for return trip and had no additional problems.  Is there a recommended inflation level to use with these shock.

 

 

What tires do you have?

How much weight on the axle?

Find the right chart for your tires....

I run at 50 psi with these tires on my BigFoot.

 

Jim

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#3 clairemr1

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:08 AM

& to ad to jim's questions, how old is your axle? they have a useful life of 10-15yrs per the dexter company


claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

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#4 Chris C

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:00 AM

 

 

I don't really mind working on all the "fixes", but my main concern is the inflated level of the tires.  The first half of the trip they were inflated to 70 psi.  Everything listed above was noted upon arrival.  Lowered psi to 60 pounds for return trip and had no additional problems.  Is there a recommended inflation level to use with these shock.

 

 

What tires do you have?

How much weight on the axle?

Find the right chart for your tires....

I run at 50 psi with these tires on my BigFoot.

 

Jim

 

Jim, I'm using Goodyear Endurance ST225 75R15 tires.  In all honesty, I've never weighed my trailer.  Casita says 2,480 pounds, but I know it's more with the items we add for each trip...........just don't know how much their additional weight comes to.  And to answer clairemr1's question, the trailer is a 2006.


Chris
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#5 clairemr1

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:08 AM

chris, it would be good for you to weigh your total trailer & tongue when it's ready for travel. casita dry weights are only the beginning before we ad our "stuff". for example, my 2013 13ft casita PD weighs 1880lbs, according to the factory. don't you believe it! it actually weighs 2700 lbs with 275 lbs on the tongue. recommendations are for tongue weight to be 10-15% total trailer weight for maximum towing safety. your axle is also a bit long in the tooth,it may be ok, it may not, but that might be part of the problem you experienced.

    hopefully jim's diagram will help you figure out the proper tire inflation pressures & weighing your trailer/tongue will reveal you are within the recommended ratio & below the axle limit of 3500 lbs. if your trailer ends up weighing much more than 3500 lbs, i'd check the health of your 2006 axle. best of luck, let us know what you end up doing once you get everything sorted out.


Edited by clairemr1, 06 September 2018 - 11:09 AM.

claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#6 Chris C

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:19 AM

Not sure exactly how I can weigh the trailer, but I'll see what I can find.  We add very little to the trailer itself when traveling............using the truck as our "closet" and for storage.  But I have no doubt it weighs more than what Casita claims. 

 

Is there any way to physically check to see if the torsion axle is worn out or still useful?


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#7 Jim&Clare

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 01:26 PM

 

 

 

I don't really mind working on all the "fixes", but my main concern is the inflated level of the tires.  The first half of the trip they were inflated to 70 psi.  Everything listed above was noted upon arrival.  Lowered psi to 60 pounds for return trip and had no additional problems.  Is there a recommended inflation level to use with these shock.

 

 

What tires do you have?

How much weight on the axle?

Find the right chart for your tires....

I run at 50 psi with these tires on my BigFoot.

 

Jim

 

Jim, I'm using Goodyear Endurance ST225 75R15 tires.  In all honesty, I've never weighed my trailer.  Casita says 2,480 pounds, but I know it's more with the items we add for each trip...........just don't know how much their additional weight comes to.  And to answer clairemr1's question, the trailer is a 2006.

 

 

Chris - even if you are at max weight for the axle (which I doubt) you need  less than 40 psi to safely support it on those tires (assuming a 50/50 split side to side).   Knowing nothing else - if it were me - I would put 50 psi in there.

 

On my Bigfoot I have ST205 75R15 tires and my weight calls for 45 PSI.  I  run at 50 PSI as I know that tires only lose pressure between checks.

 

You can weigh it at a CAT scale in Pilot/Flying J type truck stops where the trucks go...

 

 

Jim


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#8 Chris C

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 01:45 PM

Thanks, Jim.  Just checked on-line and there are a couple of CAT scales near me.  The next time I load up to go on a trip I'll weigh the trailer and then the tongue.

 

I used to carry 50 psi in my 13" Khumo tires...............just figured I'd need more air in these larger Goodyears.  Shows-ta-go-ya what I know!!!


Edited by Chris C, 06 September 2018 - 01:45 PM.

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#9 Carol Christensen

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 04:21 PM

Not sure exactly how I can weigh the trailer, but I'll see what I can find.  We add very little to the trailer itself when traveling............using the truck as our "closet" and for storage.  But I have no doubt it weighs more than what Casita claims. 

 

Is there any way to physically check to see if the torsion axle is worn out or still useful?

 

Hi Chris,  

 

Wow, what an awful experience.  I think checking your weights will be a big help.  It's possible for a rig to be within all the Maximum Weight Ratings and still handle badly just because the load isn't distributed properly.     

 

This thread explains why and how to determine the weights; trailer, tow vehicle, hitch and the load on the axel.  How to Weigh your Trailer and Tow Vehicle.  It's not difficult and (I think) well worth learning the "real" towing weights for both safety and ease of handling.

 

Good Luck, hope this helps.


Edited by Carol Christensen, 06 September 2018 - 04:25 PM.

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#10 Chris C

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 04:33 PM

Thanks, Carol.  Good info in that thread.  Very helpful.   I only have one problem that can't really be addressed:  I tow with a Honda Ridgeline and Honda specifically warns owners to not use a WD hitch attachment because of the all-wheel drive-train.

 

However, I might add that my trailer handles beautifully.  No sway, no problems.  Tows like a kitten.  I truly believe the problem is in the tire pressures, so I'll definitely ascertain my weights and inflate accordingly.


Edited by Chris C, 06 September 2018 - 04:34 PM.

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#11 Carol Christensen

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:00 AM

 

However, I might add that my trailer handles beautifully.  No sway, no problems.  Tows like a kitten.  I truly believe the problem is in the tire pressures, so I'll definitely ascertain my weights and inflate accordingly.

 

If your trailer is bouncing around enough to cause all the damage you've described, IMO you do have problems.  Most certainly tire pressure (and maybe speed) were a major part of the cause, but I believe redistribution of the loads your trailer would also make a difference. 

 

You may find damage you don't yet know about, I'm wondering about the axel.  You should check for popped rivets too, although I don't consider them damage.


Edited by Carol Christensen, 08 September 2018 - 08:06 AM.

Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#12 Chris C

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:16 AM

Thanks, Carol.

 

My traveling speeds are usually between 55 and 70 mph, depending on traffic.  The trailer didn't seem to "bounce around" all that much.  It was just the hard knocks from the terrible roads.  Before I installed the aftermarket shock kit, the trailer used to absorb those hard knocks and bounce up and down a little............but since installing the shocks, it's like I've no springs at all. Trailering before and installation of the shock kit is entirely different.

 

As far as loads in the trailer, all we add to the trailer for a trip is clothes in some of the cabinets and in the closet..............and then food in the fridge.  Most of the weight we carry on trips is relegated to the truck and not the trailer.  Not really much to redistribute.   I seldom travel with more than about 5 gallons of water in the fresh water tank so we'll have enough to flush the toilet while in route to the next location.  Of course, if we are planning on camping off-grid we carry a full tank.............but that's not often.

 

Thanks for the tip on the axle.  I'll try and find some way to check it.


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#13 Meadowlark

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 02:35 PM

Good grief, sounds like a pack of trolls had a knockdown dragout wrestling match in your camper.

Has this Casita been yours all this time or is it 'new' to you?

We run 15" Maxx8008 E's on our 2011 and the manufacturer says to run them at 80 psi. They hold the air pressure well, but I think from now on we'll put in 75. We installed Jim's shocks years ago and have never regretted it. Before Shocks, we'd find that Grus Egg had a pillow fight while on the road, throwing things everywhere, and now, After Shocks, that seldom happens anymore.

 

Like you, virtually everything except clothing and food goes on our tow vehicle, a 2011 Toy Tundra. We've never weighed it when it's packed to go but I don't think we're exceeding the weight limitations.

 

We don't have a WD hitch, either. Just the Curt Sway bar.
I really have to believe then that part of the problem is the horrible roads (thanks for the tip, I think I"ll avoid those states!!)  but...something else is amiss.

 

Early last month, August, (I think) I asked a question on the regular forum on how to know that one's axle needs to be replaced. Jim came out with the way to check the Dexter axle. I think I'll post this and then go looking and post again.

I think...and it's just my Humble Opinion, that something is wrong with your axle.


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#14 Meadowlark

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 02:42 PM

Found it! I asked "What are the symptoms of a failing axle" on 17 March 18 and Jim answered.  It sounds to me as if this may be your  camper's problem, especially with your saying it was like you had "no springs at all":::

(cut and pasted from an earlier post:)

 

Posted 17 March 2018 - 09:27 AM

Easier to show you than to explain here but....

After some time (about 15+ years with "normal" usage) the rubber seems to lose its "bounce" and take on a "set"

Ultimately the axle becomes rigid with no give.

At that point it has no suspension - and the shocks can do nothing (in fact they have a pleasant rest)

 

If you look at the angle of the trailing arm to the frame - on a "new" 10 degree down axle it sits at 10 degrees down with no weight on the axle.

With the weight of the trailer on the axle it goes to about 10..15 degrees up.    Then it deflects further with any road bumps.

If you take the weight off the axle completely it returns to almost 10 degrees down.

 

As it ages - it still sits at about 15 degrees up loaded - but doesnt deflect so much over bumps and if you unload the axle,  it will not return to 10 degrees down.  Ultimately it sits at about 15 degrees up and doesnt move.

This gives a very harsh ride.  The only suspension at this point is the "give" in the tires.

 

Yours sounds too young to need replacing - but always keep an eye out for unusual tire wear.

 

Jim


Edited by Meadowlark, 10 September 2018 - 02:43 PM.

These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#15 Meadowlark

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 04:37 PM

As an addendum...Jim's final comment is NOT regarding your camper.


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."