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Old 10-31-2023, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default Axle replacement

Hi Im new here but hoping for.advice from like minded camper folks bought a 1975 totally gutted to turn into a vintage pop up shop, cause it literally pops up.. ha! Anyway, I tow my '75 with a 1990 G20, the van does great with a V6 but I'm having a lot of sway, I had some electrical work done when I bought it & the shop talked me into a new single axle and removing the break system altogether (said it couldn't be repaired or replaced) since I have gutted and remodeled to be a pop up shop, no living quarters it would weigh less.. I just put my merch in there and now cannot go over 35mph, I have shifted the load 3x now, weight over the axels 60% just in front of the axle and I can't get anywhere! Did they screw me over putting in the single axle and removing the breaks? Because I've sunk my life into this project so far.
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Old 10-31-2023, 01:37 PM   #2
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JEZEBEL, sorry you're having so much trouble.

I don't like the idea of replacing tandem axles with a single one, but if the axle and wheels will support the weight then it SHOULD work. I think you DO need trailer brakes on it though. They are probably required by your State's laws. They CAN be installed - you just put electric drum brakes in each of the wheels and connect the wiring to the brake electrical connection in your tow vehicle. You of course need a brake controller in the tow vehicle too.

If your tongue weight is correct, you should have little sway as long as you tow the trailer with the top down. It IS down when you are towing, right? The tongue weight should be between 10-15% of the total trailer weight and this should all be weighed on a scale.

Next, you should be towing a trailer of this class with a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) with sway control. Are you doing that?

Sway is VERY dangerous and it needs to be corrected. Don't tow a trailer that sways.

Edit: I deleted the other post you made on this subject in another thread. Let's keep this discussion here, so everyone that responds will have a complete picture

- Jack
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Old 10-31-2023, 05:18 PM   #3
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Jack,
Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, I have learned that I killed the suspension in my van. I did not have a weight distribution hitch, I just learned about those as well today. I paid this shop to get the lights working on the camper (they're not though) and the fact that they took the brakes out, knowing that I was going to fill it with furniture and other misc merchandise makes me think I want my money back for the labor or they can install brakes and actually fix the wiring. Do you think that is reasonable? I appreciate the help very much, I wish I would've joined this forum sooner!
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Old 11-01-2023, 09:51 AM   #4
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Brakes can certainly be installed and wiring can be replaced/repaired. It sounds though, like the shop you went to isn't very competent - I think I'd try somewhere else. And, I have no idea if you can get your money back - A reputable place might accommodate you, but I can't judge this one.

For what it's worth, I've found that RV repair places are somewhat "iffy" at best. I think they don't have much expertise at all in the workings of these things. I've discovered if I want to fix something in my HiLo, I do it myself.

- Jack
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Old 11-14-2023, 10:02 PM   #5
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Jack,
Thank you for the input, if I knew how to install the brakes and axle I would, believe me. It's out of my wheelhouse, unfortunately, but I am making a claim in small claims court if they don't agree to pay to fix it. I would like to add the replies from this post as unbiased testimony if possible. Again thank you for the reply.
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Old 11-14-2023, 10:53 PM   #6
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Default Small claims court.

Just had a case in small claims court that I probably lost. The judge said no hear say. You need to have the witness present. No reports on paper that have been notorized.
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Old 11-16-2023, 06:23 PM   #7
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there is another part not addressed here.
That is the weight that the axle can carry. Both our kids have brand new campers but now about 3 years old and both have had the axles replaced largely because the new axles are not heavy enough even though they say each is for 3500 pounds = total 7,000 pounds gross. So I understand you replaced 2 with 1 and unfortunate that is hind site now but no reason why the axle could not be replaced if the axle is not placed proper you will have either more weight on the vehicle or more on the trailer causing it to sway . If it was me I would put back in the axles designed for the camper and definetly have working brakes on it. I have seen a small trailer without brakes and it was overloaded and it pushed the towing vehicle into a ditch when they tried to avoid an accident and still hit the vehicle. Being a retired truck driver I know what it is like to try and stop a vehicle witha trailer and the trailer brakes not adjusted proper.
Our one kid has a Toyota pickup truck and it was brand new and had a problem with sway . He found out from the right RV guy that the tires on the pickup was for a passenger car right from the factory ( tire sidewall to soft ) and he put the right tires on but also insalled air bags on the truck. It did help a lot.
Good luck.
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