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Old 04-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
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Tandem Axle Wheels

I picked up my new 26BH from the dealer yesterday. It towed fine on the way home except one thing that has me concerned.. When taking corners I noticed in the mirrors that the back wheel on the tandem axle seemed to wobble/move side to side a bit in relation to the front wheel.. Is this normal? The dealership claimed they torqued the nuts and I can tell by the scuffs that they did. I've never owned a tandem axle TT before so I just wanted to get some opinions.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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Depending on the degree of TV turn, the TT "tires" will produce some irregular side-to-side flexing...., but there shouldn't be any wheel (rim) wobble or movement. I would check that the tires are at maximum psi, but if you still feel that it looks extremely odd take it back to the dealer and have it checked for proper wheel bearing adjustment and/or axle alignment.

Bob
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagman View Post
I picked up my new 26BH from the dealer yesterday. It towed fine on the way home except one thing that has me concerned.. When taking corners I noticed in the mirrors that the back wheel on the tandem axle seemed to wobble/move side to side a bit in relation to the front wheel.. Is this normal? The dealership claimed they torqued the nuts and I can tell by the scuffs that they did. I've never owned a tandem axle TT before so I just wanted to get some opinions.

Thanks,
Dan
Before moving the unit and potentially doing further damage, if you have a jack capable of lifting the unit do so and see if you can move the entire rim and tire at all. In and out top or bottom. Perhaps as mentioned by RE the bearing nuts are not tightened to specs or a cotter pin is missing allowing it to walk out.

If you don't have a jack a graduated stack of blocking wood under one tire will work to get one tire suspended enough to free it from the ground.

Sometimes on corners your rims will be inside the sidewall or outside depending on the axle location due to the turn pressures. I've had tires slide sideways on a real tight backing turn which I try to avoid at all costs due to the strains, but sometimes you need to do it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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If you really want to see how the rear tires twist then stand behind a trailer when someone is turning hard to back into their RV site. You'll think the tires are coming off the rims.
And that is why when you replace tires be sure to get "ST" (Special Trailer) tires. Their sidewalls are reinforced so that they can take the twisting..
You can get a good explanation here: http://www.trailertires.com/

Happy trails,
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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Ok, I was able to get the TT up on blocks and checked all the wheels for side to side motion.. They are all solid. I did notice the air pressure in the tires were at 45PSI. I remember the dealer telling me to keep them at max PSI which according to the sticker is 50. Could the fact that they were 5PSI lower than max be the reason?
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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I have never noticed your phenomenon when driving forwards, but then I usually am not looking at my tires at intersections.

I have seen my TT wheels flex a lot when backing up. This is normal. This is also why trailers need a heavy duty rims. I would guess (from looking in my mirrors while backing up) I have had 2-3 inches of side shift between the front tire and the back tire.

However if you are driving down the road and you see a wobble, that is a whole different story. Then I would guess the issue is loose lug nuts, a bulged tire, or bad bearings.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
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It's not the tire pressure that would cause what you described, 45 vs 50 PSI is not that much of a difference.

It is normal that the tires track off center from the front axle when turning.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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Just as a follow up to this, I broke down and bought a torque wrench yesterday. The lugs were only torqued to around 90 (manual says 90-120 is acceptable but calls for 115 as the ideal final torque). I'm not sure if that would be enough to cause the wheels to wobble, but I did learn a lesson about trusting the dealer when they told me they had been torqued properly. Maybe they only go to the absolute minimum for fear of damaging the studs, but after a few trips I'm guessing they could have loosened up a bit and then who knows what could have happened!
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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This is normal. Next time you are in a parking lot, make a sharp almost jacked knifed turn and stop and look at the tires. I did this once and noticed he amount of pressure on the wheels. You will see one axle looking like it has way too much negative camber and the other will look like way too much positive camber. The trailer pivots on a turn. This pivot point is between the two axles, so this puts lots of pressure on the sidewalls of the tires and wheels. This is why you need to check wheel lug nut torque often. This is also why I do not park at a sharp angle in the parking lots anymore.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #10
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Those crazy tandem axles. They sometimes make you think.


I like to keep a close watch on the torque of the lug nuts on aluminum wheels.
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