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Axel Replacement?


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#1 justus2

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 10:11 AM

I have been told that my 1997 Casita 16 has an axel with a life cycle of 15 years. Obviously I am well past that. The factory recommends replacing it with the same axel they use on their new construction. How much of a pain am I looking at to get the old welded on axel off? I hope/ assume that the new axel would be held by shackle bolts? If I do replace the axel what other changes, if any, should be made at the same time?

Just as a point of information we are looking at putting on about 7 thousand miles this spring.

 

Thanks all for you help.

Bob



#2 Dutchman

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 04:15 PM

Bob, It's been many years but I had my low axle replaced at Casita factory with a high axle which allowed me to mount larger wheels which could handle higher weights. From what I recall there was no problem taking the old welded axle off and replace it with a bolt on new axle. I can't recall the removal procedure but I was told it did not involve high heat.  I have a 2003 17SD.

 

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#3 JerryC

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 05:00 PM

Look for a reputable farm or utility trailer dealer for the work. They do it all the time. Stay away from camping world at all costs.
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#4 Euphoria

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 06:29 AM

To replace the older welded-on axles, (which was done until around mid 2004,) they just grind off the old weld beads to separate the axle from the frame, and if you're "forward thinking," you don't want the new axle welded back on after the old one was removed. Get the newer axle "bolt-on kit" so that you can readily change the axle out in the future without the need for anything except a few wrenches. All the axles installed for many years now do not weld the axles on anymore. I would also suggest that you add a couple of pieces of 1 1/2" square channel tubing under the frame where the axle mounts to the frame to recreate the "high lift axle" configuration currently used. That would allow you to run on 15" wheels. Much better ride, higher load capacity and more, (and better,) tire options than you can find available with the older standard 14" trailer wheels. Your ideal replacement would be a Dexter #10 Torflex axle. If you upgrade the frame with the added square channel "lift kit" you should go with the one that has the 10 degree down angle.

 

The Dexter Torflex axle specs for all the "bolt-on" axles that Casita now uses:

 

65.5" hub face

51 " outside to outside bracket spacing

5" on 4.5" Lug Nut bolt pattern

Electric Brakes

Camber

EZ-Lube Hubs

AP166 Mounting Brackets

And the "start angle," (in degrees of angle,) of your choice: 10 up,  22.5 up, or 10 down, or 45 down.

 

What Casita calls "low rise," (aka, the old axles with no lift kit,) is the 10 degree up angle. And the currently installed high rise, (if you raise the frame height by adding the 1 1/2" frame lift kit I mentioned above,) is the one with a 10 degree down angle.


Edited by Euphoria, 07 January 2021 - 06:43 AM.

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#5 Meadowlark

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 09:06 AM

How does one know when it's time to replace the axle? Is it dependent on the number of miles one has put on the camper? I can't even begin to remember how many we've put on ours.  Or is it in how the trailer handles when being towed? Is it something as arbitrary as the age of the camper, even if said camper has done nothing but sit for years?


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#6 Euphoria

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 10:23 AM

The rubber torsion bars inside the axle itself, (like all things made of rubber,) tend to break down over time. Usually they can last for a good 20 years, and maybe a bit more, but they can also deteriorate in a shorter time frame due to heavy usage, chronic overloading and contact with many different rubber-destroying elements in our environment. The easiest way to check your axle is to jack up the wheel until it clears the ground and see how much of an angle you have on the torsion arm. Then lower it back down and look at how much the torsion arm goes up. If it looks to be quite a lot, and if you notice that your suspension doesn't bounce, and your ride has become stiff and hard, (as in the rubber is shot and has lost its flexibility and pliability,) it's probably time to think about having it swapped out at any utility trailer repair shop. I would recommend taking it to a shop that works on utility and horse trailers over any "RV" repair shops. These farm and utility repair places do replacement axles all the time, and won't charge you near what an "RV" or a "Travel Trailer Service" place would soak you for a new one. People who transport livestock want their critters riding on a trailer with a good suspension, so they usually swap out axles with a greater frequency than those of us with travel trailers do. They will know what you need and generally their prices for the axle should be around $600-$700, and maybe around $100 for labor to remove the old one and replace it with a new one.


Edited by Euphoria, 08 January 2021 - 10:24 AM.

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"If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

Sir Isaac Newton

 

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2008 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe

Casita Club # 2754


#7 Meadowlark

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 08:35 AM

Thanks, Euphoria. I trust my local feed/trailer shop when they work on my Casita's brakes/bearings. I've definitely used them for horse trailers.  I know the crew there by their first names. They know me not only by my first name but also for my 'cute little fiberglass camper'.

I learned my lesson very early on in my Casita owning 'career' about RV 'repair shops" and worst of all, Camping World.

 

Thank you for the info!


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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."