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Old 02-28-2011, 12:05 PM   #11
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I don'tknow if this applies to your situation, but.... The white steel wheels that come on most TT these days are merely steel wheels that have the triangular holes punched out. They do have a tendency to warp and twist. Over time the paint will flake off where the twists occur. This eventually leads to rusting where the paint is gone. That is why I ordered my new TT with aluminum wheels.

Tom
Wow, Don and I didn't know that! We will definitely watch for flaking paint. Thanks
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:54 PM   #12
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I got spooked by the wheels looking out of alignment when I first noticed it, and even found a website giving step by step instructions on how to re-align the axles.

In the article (don't know the URL, sorry), it told how the loops in the ends of the leaf springs have plastic bushings inside that can wear. This is where the axle attachment to the trailer is made. The article said if the bushings wear, there can be more than usual axle movement.

After backing the trailer in, or when it is parked on unlevel ground I noticed more extreme axle mis-alignment. But if I stop the trailer when pulling in a straight line, the wheels all line up nice and straight.

The tires aren't showing any unusual wear patterns, so I came to the conclusion that the "looseness" of the axles must be a built in design factor. When pulling the trailer, the wheels naturally pull the axles into straight alignment, so there's no real problem.

However, if one of the wheels does warp, or if one or more ends of the axles bends a little, throwing the wheel(s) out of alignment with the axle, then I think that's when you'd see wear. Might need it professionally aligned, or the axle replaced at that point.

But I've decided that as long as the tires are wearing correctly, everything's cool. That would tell me the wheels are rolling true.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:09 PM   #13
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If you really want to see some wheel warp just look at a 5th wheel in a hard turn. I have alloy wheels but prefer steel because steel wheels may flex but alloy wheels can crack if too much stress is applied. Also lug nuts tend to loosen more on an alloy wheel.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:28 PM   #14
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That was something I was told by another friend that tows boats for a living... Avoid making U Turns or Hard turns with double axles or triple axles. It really hard on the trailer and the wheels.

So knowing this like if I got to turn around I use one of the large dirt turn outs south of the house. This is much more forgiving to the tires, rims, and axles. Bcause the tires can slip to a certain extent to relieve tension.

Kind of the same principal of turning tight with a 4WD truck locked in 4WD. The axles can't slip on hard pavement but in the dirt the front axle can slip just enough to allow for a some what tight turn.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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Wheel flex

Thanks all, for the helpful responses; you guys are great!
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #16
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Good info! Didnt know that...have to watch for it sometime - except no one else in my family will drive it and the DW (and her family, its genetic) can't back up to save her life so guess I will never have the chance

...and to think....I was freaked out when I first noticed my axles had a bow in them. I thought I bent them.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:49 PM   #17
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I don'tknow if this applies to your situation, but.... The white steel wheels that come on most TT these days are merely steel wheels that have the triangular holes punched out. They do have a tendency to warp and twist. Over time the paint will flake off where the twists occur. This eventually leads to rusting where the paint is gone. That is why I ordered my new TT with aluminum wheels.

Tom
The 32ft 5th wheel trailer we traded for our Jayco was an 03 and the wheels did not have any peeling paint or rust showing up. That is 9 years with no wheel problems. I prefer Steel wheels.
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