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DCKiefer

Axle Change

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I believe we are one of the few that had an improperly align axle with too much camber. Received our replacement axle from Oliver this week and will be switching it out Sunday. Very noticable difference between the old and the new. The new axled has no curver or arch to it at all. With ours so off camber I wonder how much that lead to the tire failure we had last month.

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I have to admit, I'm wondering if the cambered/'kinked' axle is going to cause problems for me in the future too. Even when fully loaded, the camber doesn't flatten out, and that concerns me a little. I was led to believe by another forum member that the problem was a defective axle, not an improperly speced axle. This is the first time I've heard that the replacement axle is a straight axle. I'd be curious to know if it carries the same 5,200 lb. rating as the original one.

 

Herm

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It is the same rating. I think the orginal axle I had was either way out of spec of possibly bent. I put a straight edge to the old and new and there is a noticable difference. I have look at a lot of other trailer axles and know had as noticable an arch as the old one. I'll let you know how this works out.

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Our original one was also quite arched - and it was presumed to have caused our uneven premature tire wear. The one they replaced is much more straight. We have about 3000 miles on the new axle, and no unusual signs of wear on the tires.

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How many miles did you have on your Oliver's before you noticed a problem with the axle? I only ask because I have #34 and noticed that axles have been replaced on #33 and #38, not sure what number DCKiefer has. We have under 2,000 miles on ours and the tires look fine with no wear although they have some odd dents in them. The axle looks straight. I'm a bet concerned because our warranty is up this month. Thanks, Pam

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Greetings,

 

We recently bought #35 and they changed the axle out shortly after we first got it due to unusual tire wear on the outside of curb side tire. I just put a set of new Maxxis tires on and don't have enough miles on the new tires yet to tell if there is any difference in tire wear.

 

Charlie P

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The first time we noticed tire wear.. we didn't actually notice it. The folks doing our bearing repack did - so it was around 5000 miles when it was caught (we had other warranty repairs to be done, so we opted to have the bearings repacked early as we were about to start a cross country jaunt). (It was also on the curbside tire). So they rotated the tires for us, and we noticed the wear within about 500 miles on the previously ok streetside tire (which was now curbside).

 

It lasted us fine (although we were quite nervous and checking the wear every time we stopped) until we got to Hohenwald for our axle change out - about another 2000 miles.

 

- Cherie

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Pam, I've got #38, and it has the original axle. I don't have unusual tire wear after about 2400 miles, and it's not obvious to me whether or not the amount of camber is within tolerances. When I pointed out the axle camber to my local dealer a few weeks ago, he seemed to think it looked "normal". I may need to get in touch with Oliver in order to determine whether I have an issue or not.

 

I will say that my axle appears to be symmetrical, with equal camber on both wheels. It sort of sounds like the defective ones had excessive camber on only the curbside hub. If I'm reading things correctly, it also sounds like the replacement axles aren't exactly straight, but rather have a very minimal amount of arch/camber to them, which could possibly appear straight once installed on a loaded trailer?

 

Herm

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After looking closer we do have a slight camber in our axle. I am wondering if the problem isn't the GVWR/Axle Rating. The original brochure (July 2008) we received stated that the GVWR/Axle Rating was 3500 lbs. The specs located on the side of our Oliver states GVWR 1814 (KG (4000 lb) and GAWR ALL 1814 KG (4000 lb) per axle with 15 TIRE 15x6J RIM. (I'm going to crawl under the trailer at some point and see if I can find the rating on the axle, so I'll know for use.) The new specs on their website state the axle is 5200 lb. Our trailer weighs 3700 loaded (tanks empty). I'm wondering if the trailers having problems didn't have the 3500 lb. axles on them or even the 4000 lb axles. It wouldn't take much for someone going on a long road trip to load their trailer over 4000 lb. Only a thought....I'm new to all of this but I'm going to pay attention to how much I load in the trailer and hope that if their is a problem down the road due to the axle that Oliver will deal with it even though my warrenty is up. I can only assume that Oliver now puts the 5200 lb axle on the trailers because they realized the 3500 or 4000 lb axle wasn't adequate. Regardless still love our Oliver and would recommend it to anyone trailer looking.

 

Pam

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We have had the 5200 lb, 6-lug axle on our trailer for over 8,000 miles. (By the end of this trip, it will certainly exceed 10k). Although we previously thought this was a "straight" axle, further inspection last night by Paul and Herm on both their axle and ours revealed a very slight camber. Herm crawled under both trailers and measured both, and they're basically identical, with same model number imprinted on the axles, and similar slight camber.

Our load range D tires show no exceptional wear with this axle, just normal road wear for 8,000 + miles. No scalloping or wear on inside or outside edges. We do travel, normally, in cooler climates, with a mix of interstate and local roads. Our Duro tires are normally inflated to around 60 psi.

 

We have not yet invested in an infrared thermometer or sensor for the hubs. (One less thing to carry.) One of us checks each time we stop by placing the back of the hand close to (but NOT touching) the hub to check radiant heat level from the hub. If no unusual heat is detected, (which has always been the case for us), then we can touch with fingertips only to insure that heat level is completely in the normal range.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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:o Do NOT, repeat, DO NOT touch them their hubcaps with ANY part of ya'lls body :cry: ! ! Can be very painful to your health !! :P i found out the HARD way. :o # 13 now being checked by putting hand/finger CLOSE but not touching the hubs !!!!

Ya'll be good up there in Canada and plan to be in St George Island, FL Jan 1st!!

Chuck n Geri n the critters

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Just to add to Sherry's comments about the axle comparisons Paul & I made on Monday, it sounds like the defective axles were manufactured with way too much camber. And the replacement axles are likely the same product, just built with the proper (minimal) amount of camber. That's my understanding at this point.

 

Our two trailers did in fact have the same axle product numbers; however, there was a subtle difference in wheel camber. Seadawg's tires met the pavement perfectly square, while mine are slightly leaning out at the top. Since the trailers weren't sitting side by side, it was difficult to compare axle camber in a meaningful way, but it appeared to me that Seadawy's axle was just a tad straighter.

 

It seems that I don't have anywhere near the amount of excessive camber that those with blown or unevenly worn tires have experienced. And it's entirely possible that my axle is within an acceptable range of camber. Only time will tell, and thanks to everyone here, I know what to watch for.

 

Herm

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It would also be interesting to be able to measure the axle camber with both trailers empty, then loaded. One likely difference in the camber is the load we're carrying. Herm's trailer was empty; ours was loaded for camping, including about 30 gallons total of water between the grey, black and fresh water tanks, six gallons in the hot water heater, and all our camping gear, food, clothes, etc. My estimate on our gear and water would run about 500 pounds or more. In theory at least, the camber should be lessened by the load, allowing the tires to hit the pavement more squarely. When we weighed our trailer last year, (loaded for weekend camping, less water, less gear) we had about 420 lb tongue weight and about 3500 lbs axle load distributed to the tires. At that load, the axle is only seeing 65-70% of its 5200 lb capacity. I suspect that if the axle were loaded to its full rated capacity, the camber in the axle should disappear.

 

I don't think the defective axles allowed that to happen, as the camber was too great, and/or did not flex properly under the average load our campers carry, resulting in uneven tire wear.

 

Sherry and Paul


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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The wear appeared after about 2000 miles, but did not seem severe. It really showd itself on our last trip after about 4000 total trailer miles. I am thinking ours was an extreme case. When looking at the trailer on a level flat surface it was very easy to see how much the tires were sitting on the outside edge. I believe this is likely what lead to the tire failures at about 6000 miles. At that point the tread area that had unusual wear had no tread left, no wires showing, just no tread, was planning on changing to the spare at the end of the day. The opposite side of the tire was normal to very little wear. When I put a 36 inch strairght edge at the center of the orginal axle there was about an eighth of an inch gap between the straight edge and axle. This would clearly translate into a much bigger difference out at the ends. The new axle have virtually no difference when using the same straight edge. I believe our problem is solved.

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