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· Mopar crazy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am needing to replace the axle on my trailer. I used this trailer to get a load of firewood last year and to make a long story short, bad things happened and I'm pretty sure I bent one spindle on this adventure. (Realized this after getting a load of firewood this year.) One side was really cambered in without weight on it. Not really doing a lot of thinking, I flipped the axle over and it was fine for last year's riding season. After getting my first load of wood this year, same thing, really cambered in on one side, and a little on the other without weight. (I don't remember which side was cambered last year.) I know some axles have a slight bend to them so they have a camber out and when there's weight added, they straighten out. To me it's a more extreme camber in than it should be. I'm wanting to replace it with a heavier axle so I can actually use it as a multipurpose trailer and because I'm a little nervous about using it this upcoming sledding season. We've got four wheelers, sleds, and I'd like to use it as a wood and garbage trailer. I'm not sure what weight rating the axle is under it now but I'd like to go with a 3500 lbs axle just to give myself a little cushion. My wife has a 94 Indy XLT and I now have an 08 summit. I know what the XLT weighs and I'm guessing the summit is probably a little under or close to that. The four wheelers weigh under 400 lbs and usually only 2 of them. I've had the XLT, my RMK, and an Indy Lite on this trailer before but that was only twice. This is a custom built ride on ride off tilt bed trailer. Seems very solidly built. It's 17 ft long. It has a straight axle under now. I'm wondering if I should just stay with a straight axle or if possibly going with a torsion axle would be a better idea. Also wondering if I should go with a lighter axle and just stop putting heavy crap on it. Thanks for your input and sorry about the long post
 

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If you're going to the trouble of replacing the axle, I would go heavier so the trailer becomes more usable.

Wood weighs a lot, a cord of dry lodgepole (4x4x8) will be 3000+ lbs. If you're carrying hardwood or wood that is wet, it can easily go 4000 lbs a cord.

It's definitely a good idea to replace the axle, being bent twice would really scare me.

Good luck in your decision!
 

· Mopar crazy
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I didn't think about the tires actually. That was actually what happened last year, blew 2 tires on the highway. One destroyed the tire and wheel, the other basically heated up the sidewall and slowly went flat luckily. The tire shop did warranty both tires and my wheel (pays to know people), they were less than a year old. They put 2 heavier duty tires on for me. That would kinda suck if I did have to change wheels and tires. I have a set of 4 (2 on, 2 spares) and I wouldn't want the expense to replace everything.
 

· Mopar crazy
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looking at the trailer just now, I'm also wondering about the springs. Should I possibly upgrade those as well. A heavier axle would mean more weight, but I'm not sure how the springs will hold up if I'm pushing closer to the limit
 

· Mopar crazy
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yet again I'm terrible about updates and responding back. I ended up getting a 3500 lbs straight axle last fall. Very reasonably priced and from a somewhat local place. ******* Trailer Supply, they've got locations all over the US. The people I dealt with were great. Very helpful, willing to do what they could to get the correct parts. I think I will end up getting new wheels and tires. The little tires I've got on it now almost don't hold up to the weight of a load of wood. Possibly going to go with 14 or 15" wheels instead of 12". That way I can get a more heavy duty trailer tire under it. Probably keep the little ones and run them through the winter.

I do have another question though. I'm needing to redo the deck on it. I replaced it when I first got the trailer 3 tears ago. It had plywood on it and that's what I used again. Put a coating on it that was supposed to be similar to a truck bed coating, just for wood. The coating lasted about 1½ years before it started coming off and of course the plywood is just more or less rotted. It's still intact for the most part but slowly falling apart. I've thought about using 1x6 boards instead of ⅝ plywood again. I just worry that might not hold up any better. I've also thought about just doing a complete metal deck with expanded metal as the grip part of it. That would give the extra support and stability for wood hauling. I'm just not sure which route I want to go. What would you guys suggest?
 

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If you do plywood, marine grade plywood will handle the moisture a lot better than outdoor rated plywood. But you still have to keep on it as far as treatment. If you use 2x6 material, consider pressure treated, as that will help the wood last a lot longer. I would get tongue and groove so that as the wood dries, the cracks that form will not go all the way through the deck. My son did a trailer with regular 2x6 pressure treated boards and it had a lot of space between the boards after a couple of years.


If you have metal, it will be stronger and may hold up to wear better, but you will still have to maintain it to keep from rusting. Weather is the killer for all things on wheels!
 

· Mopar crazy
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Where can I find marine plywood if I choose to go that route? I'm guessing not at a regular hardware store like Home Depot. Also what would you recommend I use for treatment? Painting or staining it?
 

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Since we're on the topic, what's the lightest thing that would make good decking material? My sled deck has some sort of plywood, and it's held up well, but it's showing some age. I also wouldn't mind taking off weight where I can. What comes to mind is something like aluminum sheet with a diamond pattern, but I'm not sure what thickness you'd want. That wouldn't be the most cost-effective option, BTW; looks like 1/16" 4x8' sheets are around $150... It'd probably last forever though.
 
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