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Old 11-30-2021, 07:25 PM   #1
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Leaf Spring Failures?

I watched an episode of All About RVs recently and suggested carrying a set of leaf springs, wet bolts and the U bolts because he argued that if they fail on the road you are stuck without spares. I had never considered it.

So now I am curious, has anyone on here had a leaf spring fail?
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:50 PM   #2
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Leaf Springs UBolts and the associated bolts are normally a stock item at most trailer parts companies.
We had a spring flatten and just FYI Lippert warranty is 6 years.
They shipped us replacement springs
I believe Dexter is a 5 year warranty

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Old 11-30-2021, 08:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadrunnerII View Post
Leaf Springs UBolts and the associated bolts are normally a stock item at most trailer parts companies.
We had a spring flatten and just FYI Lippert warranty is 6 years.
They shipped us replacement springs
I believe Dexter is a 5 year warranty

RoadrunnerII
I think his point was that if a leaf spring breaks on a trip you are stuck on the side of the road until you get one. Even if they are a stock item at trailer parts companies you are stuck for days waiting to get one.

What I want to understand is how likely that is.
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:22 PM   #4
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I think his point was that if a leaf spring breaks on a trip you are stuck on the side of the road until you get one. Even if they are a stock item at trailer parts companies you are stuck for days waiting to get one.

What I want to understand is how likely that is.
Local to me trailer parts house they are stock items.
Not an RV dealer but a trailer sales and parts supplier. Same springs UBolts wet bolts used on tandem and triple axles used for all kinds of stuff
IMHO I'm not carrying spring Pak, Ubolt or wet bolts. I don't carry the jack stands and multiply tools needed to make the repair on side of road nor would I do it on side of road. Its too dangerous!
Going to limp in somewhere and hire a truck trailer outfit to fix
Just my humble opinion.
At home and it's broken sure fix it myself. I have the place, tools, and knowledge.
On the road nope!

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Old 11-30-2021, 08:23 PM   #5
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Havenít had one fail, but I carry a spare. The part number matching my Dexter axle wasnít one readily available online, having bronze bushing inserts for the wet bolts. I also carry a full selection of battery powered tools whenever traveling, including a heavy duty impact gun.
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:26 PM   #6
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If you carry a spare for every possibility, you'll need to have a large support vehicle to carry it all and the required tools.

On a trailer, I have not broken a spring. I have broken a center equalizer. We pulled it to the repair shop, and a few hours later replacements where installed. Bigger and heavier than the oem equalizers.

I noticed this summer on my utility trailer, the springs are flattening. Probably need to consider replacing them soon.

I have had a leaf break on my old 94 range. I noticed one corner was sitting a bit lower. It was one of the center leafs. Drove it to a buddies place. We grabbed a leaf from the scrap pile, cut it to length, and swapped it out. Less than 2 hours of work.
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:50 PM   #7
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Had a leave go a few years ago on a Saturday. Limped to the next safe place and Monday called a local (Peoria, IL) spring and axel company and was on the road in 4 hours. Don't know if they had one or made one.

I just don't have the spare weight carrying capacity to carry spares that I have a tiny chance of ever using.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
If you carry a spare for every possibility, you'll need to have a large support vehicle to carry it all and the required tools.

On a trailer, I have not broken a spring. I have broken a center equalizer. We pulled it to the repair shop, and a few hours later replacements where installed. Bigger and heavier than the oem equalizers.

I noticed this summer on my utility trailer, the springs are flattening. Probably need to consider replacing them soon.

I have had a leaf break on my old 94 range. I noticed one corner was sitting a bit lower. It was one of the center leafs. Drove it to a buddies place. We grabbed a leaf from the scrap pile, cut it to length, and swapped it out. Less than 2 hours of work.
I agree you can't carry a spare for everything, that is the point of this post. I want to understand how common leaf spring failure are, in the video he recommended carrying a spare and seemed to think them breaking was somewhat common.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:09 PM   #9
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Had a leave go a few years ago on a Saturday. Limped to the next safe place and Monday called a local (Peoria, IL) spring and axel company and was on the road in 4 hours. Don't know if they had one or made one.

I just don't have the spare weight carrying capacity to carry spares that I have a tiny chance of ever using.
The idea of this post was to determine how likely leaf springs failing is. In the video I saw he recommended carrying a spare and seemed to think them failing isn't that uncommon.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RoadrunnerII View Post
Local to me trailer parts house they are stock items.
Not an RV dealer but a trailer sales and parts supplier. Same springs UBolts wet bolts used on tandem and triple axles used for all kinds of stuff
IMHO I'm not carrying spring Pak, Ubolt or wet bolts. I don't carry the jack stands and multiply tools needed to make the repair on side of road nor would I do it on side of road. Its too dangerous!
Going to limp in somewhere and hire a truck trailer outfit to fix
Just my humble opinion.
At home and it's broken sure fix it myself. I have the place, tools, and knowledge.
On the road nope!

RoadrunnerII
First of all, I think you are still missing the point of this post, I am not saying you should or shouldn't carry them, I am just asking how common them breaking is.

Second, local to you doesn't help if you are far from home.

If I decide to carry a leaf spring and had to change it, certainly I don't mean literally on the side of the road, I would try to limp to a pull off or rest stop. I do carry a bottle jack, battery impact wrench and a bunch of wood blocks so I could see doing it somewhere if I had to. Maybe I will carry a jack stand as well, there are some portable options. I haven't decided one way or the other, I just want to know how likely it is to fail especially where you can't go far without getting it fixed.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:09 PM   #11
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Not common enough to carry a spare.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:09 PM   #12
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To answer your first question, no, we've never had a spring failure. At least not yet. There may be too many variables to find a really good answer. Some are how old is the suspension? Are the springs very rusty, maybe from road salt? Are they on an overloaded RV? How smooth or rough are the road that you frequent? The speed driven over those rough stretches of road? Has the suspension had normal service over its life time?

We do carry a few spares, but mostly for the things that would put a damper at a campsite. We do bring along quite an assortment of tools. Many of which have come in handy to help out fellow campers along the way. A new spring pack isn't anything I've considered a necessity for us, or where we travel to.

I do know someone that did snap a spring on the road once, but the trailer was very old and neglected as far as maintenance, he was driving WAY too fast and hit a frost heave in the road. Fortunately, it was right next to a good-sized city, and a spring shop fixed him up in short order. Just my .03 worth.
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Old 12-01-2021, 06:43 AM   #13
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Although it did happen to me once, I don't think it is very common. In my case, it was on an interstate in MA where there was some bridge work underway. A large expansion joint was left open, without any steel plate, and I hit it at about 50 mph. It was hard enough to snap the long spring. I had to stop ASAP and couldn't move off the shoulder. I was able to get mobile repair service and successfully replaced the damaged spring in about 4 hours total.
I don't carry a spare, but I do keep a very close eye on the entire suspension and running gear.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:26 AM   #14
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Many threads on here about it already. I had one fail on a trip to Vermont this fall. After spending several hours on the interstate at 68 mph, it failed in the driveway of the campground, about 300 feet from my campsite. Luckily I found a trailer store about 45 minutes away with a similar spring in stock with a slightly higher capacity. Unfortunately I had left my bottle jack at home by accident, so I had to buy a bottle jack to lift the trailer to replace. It was a bit of a chore to do by myself, but I got it replaced. As soon as I got home, I replaced the remaining 3 springs with the higher capacity spring. I also added wetbolts and new shackles, as I saw that my shackles were rounding out.

I now have a couple of "spare" springs. The problem is that they are quite messy, having been under the trailer for almost 7 years. I might wrap one in plastic and store it in the trailer.
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:16 AM   #15
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Scott, 3 different 5th Wheels and never experienced a failure. Not to say that it can't or will happen, just I have never had it. I do understand your concern after watching the video. I would suggest this; if my 5th Wheel was somewhat unique in that it had leafs that are not commonly found, then yes, I would have an extra. If not, then no I would not not carry a spare. Just my thoughts. Happy Driving and Camping. SKDAWG
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Not common enough to carry a spare.
X2

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Old 12-01-2021, 11:16 AM   #17
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Never broken a spring in 25 years of RV'ing. I do carry a portable air transfer unit in case I need to air up something on the road....
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Old 12-01-2021, 01:28 PM   #18
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I never have broken one, either. But, it does seem to be more common on the heavier units and the ones like mine, with triple axles. That's why I have an appointment at MORryde in Elkhart on Jan 3rd to get my entire running gear replaced with the IS system.
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:53 PM   #19
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I dunno, search the forum for broken leaf spring and there are several reports over the last few months. I’ve also seen various YouTube videos on failures, too. That’s what spooked me, and then I ran the part number of my springs and found that they were not easily available.

Unlike other types of rig failures, a broken spring is a sure show stopper. For the hundred bucks or so, and 20lbs of extra weight, I felt it was worth carrying a spare. Hope I never have to use it.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:18 AM   #20
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check them every spring.... you should see the issue before failure.. what is the age of the trailer when they fail? 10 years on average? if so then like tires at 5 years put on a new set of springs that will save all kinds of trouble...
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