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 > Your search for posts made by 'JBarca' found 11 matches.

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RE: Bent Axle, or spindle welded on crooked?

The wear pattern in your pic, can come from the wheel being in an excessive toe angle condition. And I think it may be excessive tow in on yours. Tow in meaning, the wheel is tipped inward pointing towards the camper. Basically, the wheel is at an angle too far from spec and the tire is scrubbing the road with the trailer going straight. By eye, you said the other tires look OK, but they too may be wearing wrong if you measure the wear close enough, they just are not as bad yet. Tires start out true even in tread depth when new. And measuring the thread depth across the face of the tire tells how good or bad the wheels are in or out of alignment. Knowing all 4 tires in tread depth can tell a story on how the axle alignment is at all wheels. There are other reasons beyond the end of the spindle being bent or welded on wrong that can create that condition. The axle could of been made on the high end of spec for toe in, the rear hanger on that side and or the opposite side can be welded to the frame out of location, the U bolts were tightened with the axle seat and axle pin favoring tow in (there is clearance between the pin and the hole in the axle seat), and or the leaf spring can be made wrong with the hole location for the center pin. Or a little of all 4 adding up against you. Pending what tools you have to work with, and if you have the means and want to figure this out yourself, it can be done at home. Even gross checks to see where the problem may be. See this pic, this wear is like yours, just it is excessive tow out, and not toe in like yours. In my case, I had axle tubes made wrong from day one and I had hangers welded on in the wrong location. width=480 If you want to try and sort this out yourself, this post may help. TT axle alignment & install - Detailed (long lot's of pics) I looked up your camper, if this it? A 2016 170VBH? It lists a 4,000# GVWR, 21 ft long, with a 680# cargo capacity. And I'm assuming it is tandem axle. 680# is not a lot of cargo capacity for a 21 ft camper, while you are checking things, have you weighed the camper? Ideally you can get individual wheel weights, or at least each axle weight. Need to rule out a wheel loading situation. There are trailer shops that bend the axle tube to put it back into alignment. I myself am not a fan of that, but it is done often. The ideal first thing to do is, to find out what is wrong. Are the hangers welded on wrong, that wheel location too heavy, the axle made wrong etc. Once you know what is wrong, you can make better choices on how to fix it and not have this come back in the future. Bending an axle tube to correct a welded on hanger in the wrong location or other issue beyond the axle tube, is not the right fix. Hope this helps and let us know how you make out. John
JBarca 10/14/20 09:52pm Towing
RE: Dexter Nev-R-Adjust hub out-of-round

Thanks for reporting back. All 4 were over 0.015" TIR, yeh, the good ole trailer industry strikes again. Why they cannot machine the drums from new well under 0.005" TIR is just plain poor. The Auto industry can do 0.0005" TIR on disk brake rotors, they just have a different standard and spec. Your shop who did the work, for $12.50 each, that is a deal for good work. Glad you found them.
JBarca 08/08/20 12:22pm Towing
RE: Narrow Staple Gun

My trailer uses a lot of very narrow staples to hold things together. I have some repairs to do and would like to use the narrow staples too but I can't find a staple gun or staples as narrow as mine. I can find 1/4" staple guns but the staples used in my trailer are probably more like 1/8". Any idea where I might find a really narrow staple gun and staples? Sorry late to the party, but I think I have what you are looking for. I restore campers as a hobby and needed one for wall and ceiling board. The staple is approx. 3/16" wide, it is not 1/4" and the wire thickness is less than the common 18 gauge staples as I have one of them too. I searched and searched to find this, but I did find one. The stapler I found is called a “fine wire 22 gauge” stapler and often also called an "upholstery stapler". Mine is air driven. This is not to be confused with a “carpet” stapler, they are close, but not like the 22 gauge fine wire stapler. You will not find these at the big box stores, I tried Home Depot, Lowes, Menards and they could not match it and never heard of it as I brought them an old pulled out staple to compare. For what I do with it the 18 gauge it too big, it leaves to much of a depression, large wire to cover over. I was looking for what my brand camper manufacture used as the staples almost disappear into the wall board. Then use a blend stick and you cannot tell a staple was ever there. This is what I bought and it works excellent. This brand is higher end and the cost reflects it. I am doing enough camper work that I could justify it. And after using it, it works so nice the extra cost for a high quality tool is worth it for me. Model no. (Note: Mine is single shot. I did not want the automatic rapid fire. They do offer the auto ione if wanted) A pic of the size I have, they make them in different lengths. The number on the box of staples. I had to buy a box of them, 20,000 staples per box. Here are the specs on it from Senco To see the staple sizes, look under the Spec's tab on the Senco link. I bought it at ToolBarn. There are other places that sell them too. I bought the Senco staples on Ebay as they had them and ToolBarn had to order. Hope this helps John Sorry the 2 pics are rotated. Flicker is not working right today to rotate them.
JBarca 06/22/20 05:13pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Remote Fridge Cutoff Switch

What brand fridge do you have? I have an semi older Dometic RM2652 and this brand/model will re-activate the fridge when the power comes back up, assuming the button inside is pressed on. In my case, I have a disconnect switch on the A Frame header that kills the battery power inside the camper. At the gas station, I just turn off the battery disconnect, fuel up, pull away from the pumps and then a short ways away, get out turn on the disconnect and drive off. I have heard, (do not know if they are all this way) that on a Norcold fridge you have to go back inside and press the fridge on button. There must be a relay inside that has to be reset upon power up. The battery disconnect switch would not work on this brand like we wanted it to. If you have no battery disconnect switch, and your fridge brand/model will reset and turn back on when the power comes back on, then yes you can install a properly sized amperage 12 volt toggle switch in the incoming power line to the fridge. At the fridge vent on the side of the camper, take that vent cover off and find the 12 volt DC power line connection. Install the switch in that power line. You can then figure out where to mount the switch that is not affected by rain water and towing in the rain. Hope this helps John
JBarca 06/22/20 10:59am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Equal weights??

He just bought a new BH TT (brand I don't recall) and towing it with a burb. Has Anderson WD hitch and sway control. Says he scaled it out and then asked me if the weight on trailer axles are supposed to be the same as axles or rear axle on the burb. I could not give him an honest answer other than need to be level. Could you folks enlighten me and educate me please. Seems odd that a 5er yanker would be asking this. That is an odd question he has, not sure where he found that info or tried to rationalize it. You said the camper has "axles", meaning more than 1 axle. Assuming it is a tandem axle trailer (2 axle), those 2 axle weights are independent of the front and rear axle weights on the Suburban. And if he managed to split the trailer axles on 2 different scales, the front and rear axle on the camper can be different. They are not always the same, infact when using a WD hitch, often the front axle has more weight when the WD hitch is engaged and hooked up then when the WD hitch is not engaged/hooked up. On the Suburban, the front axle and the rear axle most likely will differ also. This all depends on the loaded tongue weight of the camper, how much cargo is in the Suburban and where it is located, and how the WD hitch is adjusted. While the camper tongue weight is held by the truck, the WD system helps remove some of the weight off the back of the truck added by the trailer and puts it back on the front axle. You mentioned the Anderson WD hitch, if it is this one And he has a heavy tongue weight, that style WD hitch does not move as much weight to the truck front axle as a more conventional spring bar hitch does. Not sure what your buddy is seeing on the weights and what he is trying to figure out. We would need more as to the context was of his question to help better. Bottom line, the truck axles have their own ratings for max load and so does the trailer have its own ratings for max load. They do not need to be all the same, and while not impossible, most all other times, all those axles have different loaded weights and that can be OK.(as long as all of them are at or under the mfg'ers ratings) Hope this helps John
JBarca 06/17/20 09:56am Travel Trailers
RE: Walkable TT roof

Have 2020 TT call manufacturer about installing roof access ladder. Was told there was no backing to support a ladder. Also was advised not to walk on roof with out a backing board to walk on. My question is when did manufacturers start building TT with non walkable roofs. How am you supposed to do roof maintenance? A long time ago, some brands had non walk on roofs to save weight on purpose. This was long before the current day "light weight" campers. If done right in the method of construction, the roof would hold the snow loads of the northeast US without issue. A non walkable roof done right, I have no issues with. Some may say having a lack of a walkon roof is low quality. That is a general statement and not accurate in all cases. I have restored several older campers with non walk on roofs, and the roof leaks that damaged the trailer had nothing to do with the non walk on roof feature. All those damaged campers died from the fact the owner was not aware or realized how campers die a slow death of water infiltration, how to spot it and how to prevent it. As to servicings the roof, this is how I do it. Start with a tarp, old carpet or other material to protect the roof membrane. Lay that out first from the side on a good well placed ladder. Then using manageable sized pieces of plywood 3/8" or thicker, place them on the tarp to span at least 2 rafters. I find wood sheets 24 to 30" wide x 48" long work for me. Be very careful when you transition on and off the ladder. Keep your body weight todays the camper as the ladder can be very tippy that high off the ground. See here for how I do it.: Personally, I do not like the RV weak ladders on the back of campers. That is a lot of weight and stress on those ladders for a 200# guy or gal to be getting on and off the roof. Especially if you are not sure the roof is sound under it. Use a good solid step ladder from the side when bringing tools and other things up and off the roof.
JBarca 06/13/20 06:52am Travel Trailers
RE: Atwood hot water heater -- Too darn hot

Howdy, How every one is holding up with the current situation. My how water is too hot. Thinking about getting the adjustable disc thermostat from Atwood. I've seen them for 35 to 50 dollars. Saw some folks added thermo conductive compound where the "disk" contacts the tank . Has any one used these to lower the water temp? Interested in all and any comments. Thank You Hi, I'll offer something not said yet. There is the possibility your heater may be overheating the water due to hard water scale buildup inside the heater. A quick way to know for sure what your water temperature is, is to actually measure the water temp. Do not assume the heater is working to factory spec. At the bath or kitchen sink, whichever is closer to the water heater would be better, run the hot water only enough that is it very hot and check the temperature with a thermometer you know is accurate. Cooking thermometers will work as they go high enough in temperature. They can be checked by testing when water on the stove boils, which is 212F unless you are very high above sea level. If you find the water is a lot hotter than 140F, it may be the scale build up in the heater. A buildup of scale over the years can slow down the rate at which the water temperature gets to the sensor on the outside of the tank and make the water hotter. If your profile is up to date, your water heater is from 2003. And if your water heater tank is still original, that is a good many years of potential scale build up unless you have a portable water softener. Which many or most do not. Atwood has a procedure on doing a vinegar boil out of the heater to help reduce the scale. I have done this boil out on 3 different water heaters since I learned of it a year ago, and every one of those heater now warms up and shuts down faster then the owners can ever recall. Point being, do some troubleshooting first to see what the problem may be. Installing an adjustable T stat or a water mixing valve may not be the right fix. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/25/20 11:47am Tech Issues
RE: Dexter Nev-R-Adjust hub out-of-round

This trailer is a 2018 Rockwood. I took 2 drums to a shop, and they were both out-of-round by 0.020-0.030. Dexter spec is 0.015 or less. I am concerned about "chamfer" centering reply above. What does chamfer mean? I can't find anything regarding chamfer and brakes other than slotted pads or rotors. confused. Qhote: (I had him shut the machine off. What we found was his machine used the the hubs chamfer to center the hub. The chamfer was turned off center at the factory. The chamfer did not locate anything but was for clearance only. I took the hubs and found a shop that use the hubs centers for machining.) Hi Timeking, I am the original poster from 2010 on this post who talked about the drums running out of tolerance. This post. Dexter Self Adjusting Brakes (long W/pics and details) Sorry I did not see this earlier to try and help. Reading the responses, there may be some confusion on what the real problem is. First off. Someone mentioned the drum issue can be found with a micrometer. Well, it depends what you are looking for. It will not very accurately explain how much the drum brake shoe surface spins in relation to the axle bearings. But, a micrometer could tell you if the physical brake shoe surface is out of round standing still. Out of round meaning the ID of the drum shoe surface is elliptical. The 2 checks are very different and tell different things. Both, can be a problem and both can cause the brakes to overadjust. However, I would say that the drum brake shoe surface being out of round/elliptical is less likely. And then there is talk of setting up a lathe to run true to a chamfer to use in turning the brake shoe surface. That shop did not do the procedure right. The lathe operator was inexperienced in trailer wheels or even auto wheels. The "chamfer" is a lead in angle to help the bearing race or the grease seal to get started into the hole. It really means nothing in relation to the brake shoe surface spinning true or the wheel bearings. Just forget about trying to use the chamfer. You stated, I took 2 drums to a shop, and they were both out-of-round by 0.020-0.030. Thats a boat load. The generic shop talk of "out of round" on a brake drums many times means, the brake shoe surface is not spinning true to the bearing surface. BUT, from the words posted you cannot tell if that meant, an elliptical ID of the brake shoe surface OR that the brake shoe surface did not spin true to the bearing mounting surface? Or a combo of both? Part of the problem is how a mechanic can easily check with an indicator on the trailer how much the brake shoe surface spins out of round with the bearings mounting surface. It is not quick to do this on the trailer itself with the actual brake plates still mounted. I happen to have a old axle spindle I kept just to do this check. You yourself can do this, if you have a dial indicator and remove the brake plate off the axle and then mount the brake drum with bearings in it on the spindle. Then set up the indicator mounted rigid to the axle or a leaf spring rigid to the axle with the feeling plunger on the brake shoe surface diameter. Zero out the dial on the indicator, sharpie mark the starting spot on the drum and slowly spin the drum 360 deg. Make sure you come back 0.000" on the indicator when reach the starting position. If the 0 marks moved, the setup of the indicator is bad or the bearings are bad/loose. Fix the issue of not come back to 0 and try again. Yes, that is a lot of work, it means taking the whole brake apart or at least unbolting the brake plate and leave all the parts on it. BUT, that test either on the axle or on your own test axle is the correct way to do this test. My drums, new and old that had a lot of runout (runout means a measure of distance 2 surfaces that are off center. A runout of 0.0000" means it is dead center within 4 decimal places) my drums where machined wrong from day one. If you are concerned if you shop turned the drums correctly, doing the indicator test I mentioned above would confirm they did it correctly. Even a harbor freight 3 decimal place indicator setup correctly will work. Or find a buddy who knows how to use one and he brings his and check them. But he will have to do it on the trailer. Curious, by chance do you know if your shop used a brake lathe or a conventional engine lathe? Both can be used, the setup is different but both when setup correctly can work well. I asked my local NAPA shop what tolerance they could hold on turning my brake drums? They said they would turn it within tolerance. I again asked, what is the tolerance? He did not know or could tell me and I thanked him for his time and left. Shops that know what they are doing, can do this right easily. Shops who don't know, are clueless. But I come from a machine shop background so I'm more picky and know how good they can be. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/07/20 02:41pm Towing
RE: Trailer hitch

So I found something that can help. My camper is only 2000 lbs, 200 tongue weight. MAXXHAUL 12" Tires 70225 Trailer Dolly. That will help a ton and get what I need done. I still want to learn to back up, but have problems. I guess I am just dense. You just told us some more about your camper. 2,000# with 200# TW. And you can push it by hand with a small non powered trailer dolly. This means a short length camper, single axle. Many of us here have long campers compared to yours. The long trailers actually back a lot easier. Especially if they have tandem wheels. While the principals of backing a long trailer or a short one are the same, there a few differences. Real short trailers seem to want to go right into a jackknife almost immediately. It magnifies the issue until you understand what you are doing wrong. Here are a few tips to help with backing a short trailer. Your not dense, just need some pointers and then practice. 1. What can help most is, first pull ahead and make sure the truck and camper are tracking "straight" in line with each other "before" attempting to back up. 2. Go slow, very slow and start backing up. Watch the back of the camper. As soon as you see the back of the camper starting to drift off of being straight, make a "slight" steering correction. Keep an eye on the back of the camper and if it continues to drift off further, do a "slight" more correction. When it comes back to center, keep proceeding back. When the trailer is not tracking straight aligned with the truck going forward when you pull ahead, it will instantly start turning against you when you start backing as it is already steering the path you left it in. Totally straightening up ahead going forward stops this instant issue wrong way issue. When you make a correction, starting out, most drivers over correct. Until you master how much steering adjustment to do, go in very small increments and keep watching the trailer. And go slow. The fastest way to back up well when learning, is taking your time and doing it right the first time. If you get too far off course, realize it, stop, pull ahead straighten out, and start over. Trying to back your way out of an excess too far backing turn, most times just make it all worse fast. Backing long campers with long wheelbase trucks can have still have issues. It is just that short trailers aggravate things many times faster. I have a 8 ft box, 12 ft long ball to bumper, 5 ft wide utility trailer. In my truck in my sig, I cannot even see the trailer behind the truck. It takes time, realizing the issues and then practice. Don't rush it and do small moves. I have to wait to see the tail light hanging off the trailer to appear while backing slow to start a correction while backing. If I cannot see the left or right tail light, then I'm going back straight enough. Hope this helps and good luck John
JBarca 02/07/20 09:22pm Towing
RE: Rear picture window model suggestions

I see you are from Canada, I have friends in Canada with this model, so they are up there. If you find one on good shape and well loved, you found a gem. Sunline T-2499, Non Slide, 7,000# GVWR, Dry weight, just under 4,800# GVW, length 25' 11" A few pics, width=640 width=640 width=640 If you want more pics, see my Flicker page here. We sold our 2004 but I later bought a 2007 I'm restoring. Sunline T2499 on Flicker The pics you see are maple interior. The 2007's had a cheery option if you are after the darker woods. You can find this model from 2003 to 2007. I would not rule out the 2003's or a 2004's. 2007 models will be the last year they were in business. Sunline built a quality camper. And with any camper, the owner needs to take care of it so make sure you check for signs of water intrusion in any used camper. Sunline made other rear living floor plans, however the camper is longer and heavier needing a 3/4 or 1 ton truck to tow. I left them out, but if interested I have more on them. A note to understand, rear living campers can have high loaded tongue weight due to the floor plan. They load with more weight to the front. Those 2 nice swivel rocker chairs in the back looking out the big window do not offset all the cargo stored ahead of it. This is a trait generally regardless of brand. Make sure your truck and bed load is capable of handling the floor plan. Good luck in your search. John
JBarca 01/21/20 10:38am Travel Trailers
RE: Suspension Enhancements for Single Axle Trailer

I have a Passport 153ML, which although a lightweight, is a pretty tall windsail, and sits high on a 5000lb 6 lug axle with traditional leaf springs. I am toying with the idea of converting it to a torsion axle to smooth the ride and maybe lower a bit. Worth the expense? I can't seem to find a suspension enhancement product rated for 5000lbs and made for a single axle trailer, all the MorRyde/Equa Flex/etc. are mostly for tandems. Gman Hi Trying to help. You stated you have a 5,000# 6 lug axle setup. Where did you see this listed? I agree 6 lug, you can see it on the wheel, but the 5,000# does not seem to fit, or Keystone changed your camper and not their brochure. Is this your camper? The 2018 Passport 153 ML in this brochure? They list the dry weight as 3,514# with a payload of 1,085#. That adds up for a 4,500# GVWR. What does the VIN sticker say your camper GVWR is rated for and do they list the suspension rating? Knowing Keystone, it is odd they put 5,200# axle tube with 5,000# of springs on a camper with only 4,500 GVWR. Keystone many times will put the suspension less then the GVWR on certain models and let the truck take some tongue weight. To save money, they could of put a 4,200# axle tube with 4,200# springs and let the truck hold 300# and meet the 4,500# GVWR. Aside from that, I agree with the others, adding shocks will help. I do not agree with airing down the trailer tires unless you know exactly what your wheel weights are and still have some level of excess tire capacity. Ideally 15% extra capacity over the heaviest wheel. The torsion axle needs a reinforced trailer frame above and beyond in most cases, then the leaf spring mount. This is what some posters were talking about adding the 2 x 2" tube on the bottom of the frame. But that may not work if the main frame is just too thin for a torsion setup. TT frames are not anywhere in the heavy duty cagatory, and ultra lights are even less duty. Lowering the camper, the tire bump clearance was brought up. Dexter axle recommends 3" of bump clearance from top of tire to inside of the fender well. While 2 1/2" will just get by in some cases, it would be odd for Keystone to add lots of extra bump clearance to allow you to lower the camper. You may not be able to do it. Check and see. If your wanting to lower it 2 to 3" or even 4 1/2" for getting better towing mpg, odds are it will not affect your towing mileage to where you can find it. The air drag is still too great. To your question, is it worth it to spend $$$$'s on a torsion axle to help ride and lower MPG, I would say no. Yes, add shocks, they will make a difference in trailer ride and help the entire trailer from frame excess flexing. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/05/20 09:35pm Towing
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