Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: Broken Leaf Springs
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RobWNY

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Posted: 11/27/20 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have seen several videos on youtube recently about RVers having to deal with a broken Leaf Spring while traveling and getting the repair done. Some have done the job themselves, while others have hired a mobile RV Tech and still others have found a repair facility to get the job done. So how often do broken leaf springs happen and is it mostly due to overloading or is there some other reason for them to break? How far can you safely pull a camper with a broken Leaf Spring? Would it be a good idea to have a spare leaf spring if doing a lot of traveling? Most of these people mention how repair places don't have one in stock which means they have to wait for weeks in some instances.


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stripit

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Posted: 11/27/20 08:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I lived and traveled full time 8 years in a 36 ft 5th wheel and heard stories of others being stuck somewhere with a broken spring. I purchased 1 spring that was made for my trailer and carried it for 7 years, never needing it. But it was there if and when needed. I let it go when I sold the trailer and let the new owner know it was just there "in case" he ever needed it. Most folks were not able to move the trailer very far when they snapped their spring without doing damage to the tire or bottom covering. It didn't take up much room and was a cheap insurance to allow us to get back on the road quickly if need be.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/27/20 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've had 1 broken leaf spring. We've been traveling fairly extensively for 15yrs. As a kid, my Dad's camper had 100,000miles with no broken leaf springs.

The one that did break, it took out the adjacent tire, so it got replaced on the side of the road. Because it shredded the side of the tire, the tire wound up wound around the wheel hub and to get a guy out who had cut off saws on his truck to remove the tire. By pure chance, he had a spring on the truck of the right size from another job.

After we got back from the weekend trip, we had a guy replace all the springs proactively while sitting in our permanent site. While we were at it, had the axles flipped for more clearance, since he had it torn apart anyway. Took a couple hours.

It wouldn't hurt to keep a spare but unless you have an unusually heavy duty axles or are going very remote, the springs are pretty standard.


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opnspaces

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Posted: 11/27/20 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think I remember it being said that this forum has over a million subscribers. If we round that number down to an even one million you currently have a chance of one in a million.


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memtb

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Posted: 11/27/20 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that stripit may have the answer to broken spring issues......carry a spare! In the last 7 or so years I’ve had to replace 3 broken springs on our present 5 er. [emoticon] Our unit was full-timed in for 7+ years and had been towed untold thousands of miles prior to our buying it.

I only had the privilege of changing one set out here at home! [emoticon] Another was replaced in August in Mesa, Az. in an asphalt parking lot.....very hot is an understatement! [emoticon] The most recent, was in a truck stop parking lot, 50 miles south of Lincoln, Ne. on a low temperature record setting March morning. Brrrrr! I had to go to Lincoln for a spring replacement. I bought two spring packs while there.....still carrying the spare spring pack in the back of the truck. Having an available spare , may stop the breakage! memtb

* This post was last edited 11/27/20 10:01am by memtb *   View edit history


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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 11/27/20 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My gut says that spring failure is most likely caused by the manufacturer UNDER SIZING the spring pack to begin with.

If you are concerned, adding one additional leaf is cheap insurance.

memtb

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Posted: 11/27/20 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

My gut says that spring failure is most likely caused by the manufacturer UNDER SIZING the spring pack to begin with.

If you are concerned, adding one additional leaf is cheap insurance.


I would totally agree with your statement. However, in our case we’re running 3 - 7K Dexter axles. Not overloaded.....but had seen many miles and a few extremely rough highways and some off-roading! Of course, who’s to say that in 2004 Dexter wasn’t using some cheap imported springs! memtb

time2roll

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Posted: 11/27/20 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Inspection is key. Look for a nice arc or curve to the spring. If they are going flat time to replace and go up a bit in rating. Could be hard to tell as it may happen over 10+ years. Also look closely for a single broken leaf before catastrophe happens. If the roads have been rough it is a good time to take a look.

And for some things it is just going to happen and you have to deal with it. Don't let it make you crazy worrying about it. You are more likely to have tire trouble.

* This post was edited 11/27/20 10:58am by time2roll *


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/27/20 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

My gut says that spring failure is most likely caused by the manufacturer UNDER SIZING the spring pack to begin with.

If you are concerned, adding one additional leaf is cheap insurance.


Problem with this is it can't do it's job if it too strong.

The main purpose of the springs is to flex so you don't transmit every bump up into the frame and house structure.

RoyF

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Posted: 11/27/20 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How far can you travel on a broken leaf spring?

In 2011, I first noticed my trailer leaning to one side in Bosque del Apache, New Mexico. (I thought the campsite was just a bit off level.) I drove 850 miles to home with two camps along the way. Only when I got home did I notice a broken spring. (Was I just stupid? Yes, but then I was pretty new to RVing.)

I upgraded all springs from 6000 lbs/axle to 7000 lbs/axle (actual axle weight is just under 5000 lbs) and have had no more spring problems. I don't know what bumps feel like in the trailer, but at least it has shocks.

* This post was edited 11/27/20 02:37pm by RoyF *

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