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Old 03-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #1
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Bent Axle

I have a 2013 Sunset Trail 290QB. Overall, things have worked well in it. This past summer, traveling home from PA, we had an issue with the power cord connected to the truck and found a repair shop along the way that was able to fix it. While we were waiting for it to be repaired, the manager pointed out that my rear axle was bent. He said the front one was fine, but the rear had an issue and that I should have it looked at when I got home. He pointed out the wear on the tires that was due to the bent axle.

I know that the tires on the rear axle have significant force on them when I turn corners, so much so, many people have stopped me to point out how badly the tires bend and twist, and each person says, "that can't be right"

Has anyone else had this problem? I have an extended warranty, but the adjuster said it was bent due to being overweight, and denied the claim. I really don't believe that it has ever been overweight, and plan on weighing it fully loaded to prove my point. I never drive with water/ww in the tanks and while I have equipment in there, I can't believe it even comes close to being that heavy.

Watching the tires bend and twist has to put a significant force on the rear axle, and since the front one does not do it, I'm really thinking the stress was what bent the axle and not being overweight.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:19 AM   #2
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Being a 2013,like mine ,you probably have 3500 lb axles. my back one also bent and were replaced with 4400 lb ones. New axles are made with thin walls and have a tendency of not being up to the rating. My TT was under the weight max .
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:41 AM   #3
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B-Cool that sucks. Did you argue the claim?

I would tell them to prove how I was overweight with axles installed by the manufacturer that are only rated to the minimum rating. I mean 7000 lbs worth of axle rating for a TT that has a GVWR of 7667 lbs is a joke. Those ratings are printed right on your trailer and axles and should be enough right there to force them to accept your claim and indicate the axles are underrated.

Plus I'd site the instances of bent axles reported here and on the internet by many CR owners due to their crappy design specs.

My 290QB is listed at 5880 lbs as it sits dry. I never travel with any water in the tanks. There its no way anyone is loading it with 1800 lbs of stuff to be over the GVWR. I have 2 yrs left on my extended warranty and just waiting for this to happen...right after it expires if course.

CR & Lippert should be doing a recall on these units and replacing our axles with 4400 lb ones at a minimum. But of course each one points the finger at the other to deflect blame.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info Harley & RoadDog.

I have not argued the claim as of yet. I wanted to get as much information to go after them with before I called, so I appreciate the information.

Harley, did they replace the axles under warranty, or did you have to replace them at your own expense?
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #5
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It was under warranty. Mine is a 25rb not 250rb. Bit heavier and all new 26 and up in the reserve line have 4400 lb axles. i think the 250and like lite series still uses the 3500.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:05 PM   #6
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Have you inspected the bend in the axle? If they hauled to the dealer rather than towing the transport driver could've used a chain or strap over the axle, that would leave a mark, they don't care as long as gets there. We had a couple new trucks delivered years ago that they chained down over the driveshaft, they shook your eyeballs loose.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:34 PM   #7
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Usually when the 'bend' they really straighten out.They are built with an upward crown ,so when they straighten out ,the tires start to wear on the inside edge and you can see the tires angled out on the top if you look from behind.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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With 3500 lb axles they are still legal with a 7600gvrw as a percentage of the trailer weight is on the tow vehicle. They are definately pushing the limit.it does not take long for the things we carry in the trailer to add up in weight. I just purchased a shock kit for mine and it adds another 46 lbs to the trailer
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:09 AM   #9
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Coupling a trailer that weighs 7667 lbs on a hitch ball does not negate gravity and does not miraculously remove the tounge weight from the equation. If you load your static trailer to the GVWR you are over the axle rating...period.

Some argue that using a weight distribution hitch will transfer some of that weight onto the truck. Ok but that doesn't change the fact that using 7000 lb axles for a fully loaded trailer to a GVWR of 7000 lb load (after calculating out the tounge weight w/WD) is a completely irresponsible decision by CR. I mean you are traveling with your family and how many others on the road with no margin of error for safety simply so CR could save a few bucks and rather than install the 4400 lb axles. If I had any idea of this issue ahead of time I'd have forced dealer to swap axles or wouldn't have bought this brand.

And none of us should be paying out of pocket after just a couple years of general use for new axles, not to mention any insurance claims from accidents caused by failed axles. Not should w be setting with the Extended Warranty folks when the ratings are obviously too close for comfort.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:49 AM   #10
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We have been down this road before. GVWR is not a number pulled out of thin air. It is determined by the rating of your suspension and pin weight. If the pin weight is 600lbs and the axles are rated at 3500lbs then the GVWR is 3500+3500+600. If the manufacture used 4000lb axles the GVWR would increase by 1000lbs. To say the manufacture is using the minimum axles required is looking at GVWR backwards.


Now The real problem at hand may actually be axles rated for more than they can actually hold. If a 3500lb axle can not hold up to a weight at or close to its rating, then there is a problem.


It is each owners responsibility to know what his trailer actually weighs loaded and to ensure they do not exceed GVWR. Also RV trailers do not distribute weight evenly. there is often more weight over 1 tire and or 1 axle and you can not just take a weight and divide by 4 to get wheel weight or by 2 to get axle weight. Individual wheel weighing is the best method.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw3jason View Post
Also RV trailers do not distribute weight evenly. there is often more weight over 1 tire and or 1 axle and you can not just take a weight and divide by 4 to get wheel weight or by 2 to get axle weight. Individual wheel weighing is the best method.
Agreed , I weighed each side individually and noticed the curb side weighed much more than the slide side,as the curb side had the fridge and out kitchen and all kitchen storage and pantry. Most storage is on curb side tires.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:03 AM   #12
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Not sure this applies here and I'm not an engineer but I have to assume there is a safety factor in those ratings. I know wire rope and shackles have about a 5 to 1 safety factor built. CR also has to make sure they don't put too heavy of a suspension so your rig doesn't get beat to death on the road or worse the frame bends. What doesn't give, breaks! There is always a weak link. Engineers try to make the weak link the easiest and cheapest to repair or in some cases just put up with. If you change the weak link things could get worse. They are also trying to keep weight down.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #13
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I don't mean to be thick, but hear me out. The ratings listed on my trailer say my GVWR 7667 lbs. My dry weight is listed as 5880 lbs, giving me 1787 lbs of load carrying capacity per the manufacturer. That is the maximum amount of weight my trailer can have on it at any time, but that it should be fine with that much weight. So to me that means my parked trailer can have 1787 lbs loaded on it and reach the GVWR of 7667 lbs and still be fine. However the axles are only rated at 3500 each, so they can only support 7K total. There's an issue there correct? Or am I missing something?

There is nothing in any literature I've found that says this should change while the trailer is being towed, so the same should apply. GVWR is a set # by the manufacturer, so to me they have to change their #'s or add larger axles. And if anyone is even loading 1700 lbs of gear and towing it (which to me is a lot of stuff) the axles with an alleged safety factor should NOT bend even if loaded to the GVWR. So why it happening if the axles are not underrated for these units?
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:13 PM   #14
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I don't mean to be thick, but hear me out. The ratings listed on my trailer say my GVWR 7667 lbs. My dry weight is listed as 5880 lbs, giving me 1787 lbs of load carrying capacity per the manufacturer. That is the maximum amount of weight my trailer can have on it at any time, but that it should be fine with that much weight. So to me that means my parked trailer can have 1787 lbs loaded on it and reach the GVWR of 7667 lbs and still be fine. However the axles are only rated at 3500 each, so they can only support 7K total. There's an issue there correct? Or am I missing something?

There is nothing in any literature I've found that says this should change while the trailer is being towed, so the same should apply. GVWR is a set # by the manufacturer, so to me they have to change their #'s or add larger axles. And if anyone is even loading 1700 lbs of gear and towing it (which to me is a lot of stuff) the axles with an alleged safety factor should NOT bend even if loaded to the GVWR. So why it happening if the axles are not underrated for these units?
No you are thinking correctly, but you are leaving out the 667lbs on the pin. 7000lbs on the axles and 667 on the pin which is carried buy the truck when traveling or by the front jack when parked. All the weight is not on the axles. I hope that helps clear it up.


Also 1700lbs of stuff is not much. I had 1500lbs plus once I packed food clothing and a third tank of water. Stuff adds up fast.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:51 PM   #15
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Ok good, I'm not that crazy then (yet). So is anyone else not feeling warm and fuzzy with a zero lb margin of safety with those 7000 to 7000 ratings created by CR?

Also un-hitched as I said, it should be able to hold all 7667 lbs as a static load. So if you choose to live in it at a permanent site the axles are then underrated.

And for anyone interested my tongue weight measured with a Sherline scale is around 750 lbs unloaded and 850-900 lbs loaded. The 667 lb is very conservative dry #, so I always try to spread my gear out over both axles when traveling.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:08 PM   #16
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Ok good, I'm not that crazy then (yet). So is anyone else not feeling warm and fuzzy with a zero lb margin of safety with those 7000 to 7000 ratings created by CR?

Also un-hitched as I said, it should be able to hold all 7667 lbs as a static load. So if you choose to live in it at a permanent site the axles are then underrated.

And for anyone interested my tongue weight measured with a Sherline scale is around 750 lbs unloaded and 850-900 lbs loaded. The 667 lb is very conservative dry #, so I always try to spread my gear out over both axles when traveling.
You almost answered your own question. If your pin weight is 850 lbs . Your total trailer including pin better weigh less than 7,667 lbs. and then your axle weight is only 6,808 lbs which is lower than 7,000lbs. The previous poster is right in pointing out that the 7,667 lbs is the total gvwr including the weight on the pin and calculated using the distribution of weight on the pin (because it's not all on the axles). Sounds like you load pin heavy so that means you take weight off your axles if you stay under 7,667 lbs for the whole trailer. And axles should have a margin of safety of 10% to 15% at 60 Mph. At 70 mph you probably have no margin of safety. And same being true for rough roads, probably 50mph exceeds the rating. If I'm towing and the sign says slow to 40 Mph on a highway, I slow to 40 mph or the axles may not take the rough stuff. I've been to Alaska with my trailer. You don't navigate faster than any posted reduced speed limit or you risk the safety of yourself and others when towing. The axles aren't designed for off road.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:13 PM   #17
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I don't believe that actual weight capacity of the axles is what's printed on them. I'm sure that there is a 10% factor built into them. If the axles were not underrated, we would see loads of rv's broken down on the highway and here on the forum more complaints about them. Remember, a lot of people post complaints and not "every things is great" about their rv's
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:30 AM   #18
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Right but un-hitched and parked the 850 lb pin weight is still part of the 7667 lb GVWR so it's over the axle ratings. That's my point.

And I've been out of college and the engineering field a while so my physics is a bit rusty, but it's my understanding that any overall loaded weight on the trailer will always be on the trailer until its removed from the trailer. So while I understand coupling to the trailer puts a upward force on the coupler thereby reducing some of the initial pin weight at the front axle, there's still a overall downward force of 7667 lbs on the trailer frame, coupler A-frame and axles. The fulcrum point at the receiver will reduce some of the load on the front axle and spread it to the trucks rear axle, but not so much for the rear trailer axle. It isn't until you introduce a WD hitch that you can redistribute the downward forces across some of the truck frame by creating an upward lifting force across the whole trailer frame thereby reducing some of the load on the axles (whew that was a mouthful).

This is where I think CR screwed up. So what if you don't use a WD hitch then? Then the total GVWR minus 50% of the pin weight is applied to the trailer axles. For exmple, I have a HD Ram with 12500 tow rating, 1200 lb TW rating, and 2920 lb payload rating. A WD Hitch isn't necessary for towing my TT. So let's say I reduce 50% of the pin weight once couped onto my truck making it 450 lbs. That means I can add only 1337 lbs to my trailer and reach 7217 lbs GVWR...but its still over the axle ratings. I'm just saying CR should never have used the calculation where pin weight/TW becomes a safety factor for the size axles they choose.

Ok i'm sorry for the long post again y'all. It's just frustrating that anyone of us should have to foot the bill for new axles when all we are doing is towing from point A to B without doing anything reckless or damaging. I didn't spend all this money, or take all this time maintaining it to have parts fail that should never fail when all I'm doing is towing it 7-8 times a year.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:59 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=RoadDog66;109205]Right but un-hitched and parked the 850 lb pin weight is still part of the 7667 lb GVWR so it's over the axle ratings. That's my point.

I think you might be missing something here.
It doesn't make any difference if the trailer hitch is sitting on the ball of your truck, or the jack is sitting on the ground. You still have said amount of weight out there. (850#) according to your post. The rest is on the axles.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:28 AM   #20
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Lloyd, so what you're saying is the jack or receiver becomes a 3rd axle per se and reduces/distributes the overall GVWR across those 3 points?

I never thought of it like that. I guess it makes sense but even lifting the front of the trailer would exert more force on the rear axle wouldn't it? Like when you lift a board off the ground by one end...the weight is forced and increased onto the part still touching the ground.
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