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Old 05-31-2020, 11:54 AM   #1
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Winnie Drop 1790 Axle

Hello all,
We have a 2017 1790 Winnie Drop with slide out on the driver side (kitchen).
I was wondering if I am alone in this problem: The axle keeps failing. Only on the driver's side but to the point of the tire rubbing on the body. As I said, it is a 2017 that we bought new in 2018 and used for one season before the first failure. That took all summer to fix (another story) and we used it once last summer. When I pulled it around this year, I could see that the tire was leaning and took the picture you see.
I guess the question (s) I have is, " Is this normal? Is there a difference in axles on those with slides and without? Is the axle strong enough for a slide? Can I get a stronger axle?" all questions I have asked the dealer to no avail.

This is a good trailer otherwise.

Thanks,
Had to rant a bit.
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Old 09-26-2020, 07:54 PM   #2
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I feel your pain Jeff. We're on our 3rd axle now, but I believe we've solved our problem. We own a 2017 Winnie Drop 170S, which is similar to yours in that the kitchen slide out is also on the drivers side AND we had the same problems. After the 1st season, we had the same problem with negative camber on the drivers side and the rubbing as well. Even though the axle was past it's warranty, Lippert sent us a new axle however we had to install it. After season two, the problem returned. Here's my analysis on the problem.

Our trailer has a GVWR of 3800 lbs, and is equipped with a 3500 lb axle. Subtracting the 300 lb tongue weight, a fully loaded winnie Drop is right at the max capacity of the axle. Adding to this, is the fact that the axle to frame mounting points are almost at their maximum distance to the wheel hub, it's no wonder the axle bends. Also note, the trailer is heavier on the slide out side because of the additional weight of the slide, and all the appliances. I have found that our trailer, unloaded sags about 1/2 to 1" on the slide side. Regarding the rubbing issue, I also found our axle to be shifted 1/2" towards the opposite side.

Our fix.

I upgraded our Lippert axle to a 5200 lb Dexter Torflex unit. Additionally, we ordered it 1" longer to provide better wheel to inner fender clearance. Dexter "downgraded the axle to 4900lbs due to the excessive axle to frame mount point to hub distance, but 4900lbs is more than adequate. Because Dexter has a different offset mounting bracket, we had adapters fabricated from 1/4" steel plate to accommodate the 1" offset of the Dexter mount. This worked out well , as the adapters also provided us with the functionality of a 3" "lift kit". Also note, the new axle required us to upgrade the 14" wheels and tires to 15" units.

Was it cheap, no. But we are now 15,000 miles into this new configuration, and things are perfect. Tows like a dream, stops better with the bigger 12" brakes, and we no longer worry about dragging when exiting a gas station.

So your not alone, my friend.

BTW, Rpods, and Jayco Hummingbirds all have the same problem. I've noted that current models have higher rated axles now. Not the 4900lbs that I enjoy, but they do give a little bit more safety margin. And yes, I spoke to Winnebago about this and their response was, "your fine".
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Old 09-27-2020, 11:20 AM   #3
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Axle

Dewey,
Thanks for the reply. That was my guess from the beginning. The slide side is the only side rubbing. We just had the third axle put on (5200 lb) so I'll keep in mind the down grade from the manufacturer. Winnebago told us to quit overloading it. We also had to upgrade to 15" wheels. I've been reading a few books on building teardrop trailers and (the ones that I've read) they all recommend 15" wheels as a minimum. It usually means a better built trailer.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:15 AM   #4
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Dexter 5200lb axle upgrade.

Dexter 5200lb axle upgrade. What is the hub face
your hub face measurent on custom Dexter axle?
I want good tire clearance, since original axle on Winnie drop170s was also alowing tires to rub.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:17 AM   #5
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Dexter 5200lb axle upgrade. What is the hub face
your hub face measurent on custom Dexter axle?
I want good tire clearance, since original axle on Winnie drop170s was also alowing tires to rub.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:16 AM   #6
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Axle Dimensions

These measurements are what I ordered for my 2017 170S. I would advise, you physically verify your own measurements.

Hubface was 87" (1 inch wider than original, adding 1/2" additional tire-to-inner fender wall clearance). Even though it has not rubbed in 10K miles and If I were allowed a "do-over", I'd add 1.5-2"

Outside of brackets dimension is 62.375" As mentioned earlier, Dextor downgrades the axle capacity to 4984.57 lbs. That calculation is based on the (87-62.375)/2 = 12.3125" dimension. Note that adding 1/2-1" more to the axle length will decrease the capacity further.

Still far better than the original 3500lb Lippert unit.
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Old 12-29-2020, 09:29 AM   #7
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Thanks DEWEY! What size of tires did you put on the trailer. st205 75r 15?
I was thinking of 88" hubface with
ST 225 75R 15 but don't know if there would be clearance issues.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:46 AM   #8
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Tires

Morning dbax62

I upgraded to Goodyear Endurance 225/75R15 117E mounted on:

https://www.trailer-wheels.com/15x6-...ad_p_1248.html

The wheels have a 0 offset and are manufactured by Sendel (same as original wheels)

Even with the wider tires, I have not experienced any clearance issues.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:59 AM   #9
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1" Offset

Remember, although the Dexter axle brackets will bolt directly to the existing 170S brackets, the axle will be shifted an inch closer to the front and not centered in the wheel opening.

I addressed this with a set of custom fabricated 3" lift brackets with a 1" offset bolt pattern.

Also check with Dexter. Who knows, maybe they have a centered bracket option now.
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:33 PM   #10
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Dexter axle

Thanks soo much for sharing this information with me DEWEY. It helps answer questions that only Winnie drop owners can. I'm new to this forum but absolutely loving it so far. Again thanks for your reply!
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Old 03-21-2022, 12:40 AM   #11
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Caveat Emptor Incorporated IMO. We are facing an axel replacement now on our 2016 170. I am reading that Forest River did the same bull #^@Q under-spec engineering on their tear drops with putting a 3500 lb on a trailer and then telling the suckers that they are either driving too fast or overloading their 2800 lb dry trailer. Our drop has a 230 lb dry difference between the slide side and the door side so who ever did the specs on these and the way the manufactures are cheaping out on travel trailer axel specs is getting down right criminal IMO.

We are now getting wheel scub to fiberglass on both sides and the bend is getting worse. AND NO I do not over load the trailer or go around corners too fast fellow winnie drop suckers.

I guess our only option now is to rip off the cheap crap axle and put on a real one if we don't want to start creating "China Bombs" by scubbing the crap out of our six ply ST 14s on the fiberglass of our trailer.

Like I said Caveat Emptor Incorporated in the travel trailer business from a once very reputable firm is now the norm. Better to build your own and be safe going down the road than to rely upon CSA and American Standards specs that are controlled not by regulation but by the tight wad bean counters in chairs!

Now I know what happened to the a trailer that I watched flip over an embankment on highway 5 a few years back. The driver most likely scubbed and blew out a tire because it was so pathetically under-spec that the owner didn't even see that it had a bent axel. No wonder why our economy is starting to tank we are entering a new age of shoddy design for the sake of saving nickels and dimes.
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Old 05-27-2022, 11:09 PM   #12
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Old thread but an important one. We put the lippert lift kit on our 2016 because it was impossible to take some places and backing up hills with any incline at all would scrap the and hang the stabilizer making it impossible to take on some BC ferries unless it was high tide.
I though that the axle was suspect but it turned out that our spindles are still within spec than my lucky stars. We have been super careful not to over load the slide side and keep well within weight load. The trailer is 200+ lbs heavier on the slide side as built dry weight. This is not that much of a concern as all on needs to do is compensate by loading the storage on the bathroom/passenger side. I check the balance yearly to ascertain if things are getting out of whack when we pack and to make certain that we do not have a load of greater than 3200lbs total on the axel except when heading slowly to a sani dump.

Today we changed the drums and bearings, the shoes were fine and not a worry. But the bearings were at warn and at the end of their service life.

So to sum things up:

If you own a drop design trailer or any trailer with a 3500 lb single axel do not load up to the gross at all and if you are up at gross maximum DO NOT DRIVE ON THE HIGHWAYS AT HIGH SPEED and never drive on back roads heavily loaded with water, sewage and the trailer stuffed up over about 3000 on the axel.

Change over to load range d 14 or 15s and keep them fully inflated.

Check for wheel bearing play at least every year and change the drums and the bearings before they reach the end of their service life, never wait for them to start to fail. It goes without saying; always replace both drums and bearings and if you need to replace the shoes the same thing applies.

Above all ignore the 80mph nonsense speed rating on ST tires! Stick to being in the slow lane even if it means that you will not be the first to the campsite.

None of the trailers on the market are safe at the new speed ratings of ST tires. And indeed most travel trailers scrimp horribly on safety margins. So the owner must take this into consideration and drive accordingly.

It turns out that we have not bent our lippert axel but we have scuff marks on the fiberglass from driving on rutted back roads like the one to Bamfield BC. Even with load range D 14s and the tires up at over 55 psi the sidewalls flexed greater than factory spec tire sidewall to trailer outside clearance and rubbed on the fiberglass sidewalls.

On rutted back roads expect the sidewalls of even higher rated ST tires to flex enough to rub on the sidewalls. But if it starts happening on the highway at high speed that is a very dangerous fault that must be avoided.

Stop frequently to check for tire temps any signs of the wheel rubbing on the side of the Winnie drop. If there are any signs of overheating of the tires at all then check for wheel bearing heat on the back of the spindle where the brake wires go into the brake backing plate that attaches to the spindle mount.

I will be picking up an infra red gun to do the deed and do check the trailer's running gear at every rest stop or at the first signs of any problems with the trailer tracking while moving down the road.

If a trailer is built to minimum spec with the running gear as most of today's trailers are then it only makes sense to keep your eye on them for axel, bearing and brake issues at all times when on the road.
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:21 AM   #13
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Travel Trailers are extremely price sensitive. They are entry level RVs for the most part and even a few hundred dollars increase in pricing can lead to sales losses. Specialty models that appear unique, more rugged, etc do try to buck that trend but still are built to a low price threshold.

New TT buyers drive by a dealer and see one and start shopping without doing much if any research. These buyers assume a great dealÖ that frames, axels, tires, brakes are all up to snuff and they concentrate on two things - features and price. They donít know the manufacturer has minimized the specs to the absolute minimum in order to meet the price point competition from other brands all doing the exact same thing.

Itís a sorry truth but there it is.
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