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Monday, April 12, 2010

Broken 5th Wheel Springs

I had to replace the two front springs on my fifth-wheel travel trailer. They both broke and bent and now it appears the entire load is on the front axle and tires. Is there a way to adjust the springs to equalize the load? Any tips on what to check out? Walter, (Calgary, ONT)

Walter, since I discerned your problem may be a weight issue, I presented your question to the Executive Director of the RV Safety and Education Foundation, (www.rvsafety.com), Walter Cannon. They specialize in weight and safety education with all types of recreation vehicles. Here's what he had to say:

"There is no definitive way to adjust the equalization on the front or rear springs on your towable Walter, other than by hitch or pin adjustments,I.E., raise the nose and weight will transfer rearward. Take care not to get too far out of level! Another option is to move the load in the trailer to a more equitable positioning. My first suggestion would be to check the installation very carefully; I have often seen the rockers (mounted between the springs), get stuck in position. Or perhaps they were just not installed properly to begin with. Another possibility is the new springs are physically different than the existing rear springs. All said, if both front springs broke there is indeed a weight safety issue. Perhaps the addition of an aftermarket air suspension system may help, but until each specific wheel position weight measurement can be obtained, I cannot ascertain the severity of the problem or recommend a definitive course of action."

By the way, the RVSEF is sponsoring a RV Lifestyle, Education & Safety Conference to be held in Bowling Green, KY in June. I've mentioned it here before, but for details, go to:

http://www.rvsafety.com/LESClinic.html


I hope to see many RV Doc readers at the conference!

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