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Old 10-17-2016, 05:35 AM   #1
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Bent Rear Axle on 2009 Montana

Does anyone know if it is possible to bend a trailer axle by lifting (jacking up) a trailer in the wrong place? This spring, I had my 2009 Montana into our RV dealer to have them repack the wheel bearings. Last week when I was putting air in the spare tire I noticed both tires on the rear axle were worn down to the belts on the inside. The door side was much worse than the other side. It was worn about 3" wide (both ware spots were on the inside) and the belts were totally exposed. The tires (Firestone Thunderer St 235/80 R16) have less than 5000 miles on them. They only had about 200 miles since repacking the wheel bearings. Since the repacking of the bearings I have not hit any potholes or curbs. Service manager said it could be cause by backing up into too tight of a turn. (same turn I've been making into our driveway for some 7 years).
They claim the axle is bent.
Nothing else has changed since getting the trailer in 2009, same vehicle pulling it. Seems funny all of a sudden the tires are wearing. I appreciate any comments, suggestions.

Also, any comments on the tires? I was reading about the Firestone TransForce tires, are they better than the Thunderer??
Thank-you, Gary
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:55 AM   #2
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Yes, lifting the unit by placing the jack under the axle is the most common cause of bent axles. The tight turn theory has no merit, the force is absorbed by the tires, not the axle. The lateral force on the axle is not a cause for bending.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:00 AM   #3
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I don't think jacking would bend them it the direction to cause wear on the inside, more likely the outside. Toe out or the top of the tire tilted to far in, problems at the hub/axle weld or spring/shackles? I think the axles are arched a little bit, if so it could have rotated a bit in the clamps although there may be pins in the spring [broken?] to prevent that. This is all guess work of course. Good luck in finding and repairing the problem.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:12 AM   #4
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Believe the thunderer is a separate manufacturer, not a Firestone product. Made in Thailand.
Mike and Lorraine
2002 3655 FL, 2005 3650RK
2010 3665RE, 2015 3910FB
F350 crew cab dually 6.7
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
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For the inside of your tires to be worn by a bent axle, it would have to have been bent downwards & a cause toe out or / - \ kind of thing. To wear your tires that quickly, the bend should be quite visible. If they jacked from the center of an axle, it would cause toe in or \ - /. Something else has probably caused this over more than one season of wear (unless you've been traveling an awful lot).
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:35 AM   #6
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Like said ... you can bend an axle by jacking the whole trailer up with the jack say near the middle of the axle, how ever that would increase camber causing the tires to wear on the outside instead of inside. Many of us have jacked up a side of our fivers with a jack placed on the axle under the springs themselves without issue. Once in a while an axle will "go soft" and loose it's positive camber, but it's usually due to overloading or hitting something. I don't think they have "turned" on you as that would be near impossible and could readily be seen by the backing plates way out of position.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
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Could the wheel bearings but loose. That would cause the bottom of this tire to spread out and wear on the onside. They would haft to be really loose. You should be able to check this with a carpenters level.
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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What this really sounds like is, maybe the center of the rear axle made contact with a fixed object while backing. This would cause those tires to toe outward and cause the inside wear that was described. This would not easily be noticed from looking from the rear.
Bob & Becky
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:08 AM   #9
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I would suspect that somehow most of thr trailer weight went rearward onto the rear axle and result was bent axle that wasn't noticed until tire wear happened. Don't know if excessive front end lift would do it...my guess is suspension related. Time for new stuff, lots of new stuff. John
2012 F350 6.7 L dually, 2013 3800RE with 6 pt leveling, Sumitomo 17.5" load range h tires, Samsung 18 cu ft residential fridge, 8k Morryde I.S. with disc brakes. Full timing since 2012.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:09 AM   #10
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When my tires wore out the first time I had a broken rear shackle. Allowing the axle to move. The second time I hab a moreryde rubber center thing break. That wore the tire very quickly. That was the easiest fix the shackle took a little longer. But did both repairs myself.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:03 AM   #11
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My 2008 had inside wear on the tires and I was directed to a commercial truck and trailer repair shop. The owner was an rv'r and immediately took me into the pit where he pointed out the worn spring bolts,bushings, and oblongated bolt holes. Also the rubber morryde bushings where severely cracked. He changed all springs,bolts and replaced the morryde parts for a total of $1500 CDN. After 8000 miles there has been no further abnormal tire wear. We just traded it in on a 2017 Montana.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:33 PM   #12
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The best way I know of to check for a bent axle is to tape a string to one end of the axle and stretch it across to the other side. Do this on all four sides (top, bottom, front and rear)of axle. If there is a bend, the string will show where the bend is. If that doesn't show, CHECK the stabilizers to see if they bent in or out. The stabilizers may be the culprit. While you are at it, also check the wet bolts and sleeves. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:31 AM   #13
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Be aware that the axels on our 2009 came with an arch built into them so the string will indicate a bend that is normal. I am not sure but I think they are arched up in the center.

We have not experienced any unusual wear on our tires.

Phil P
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #14
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Just go to a heavy duty truck trailer suspension shop, not an RV dealer, and have them look at it. Could be worn parts, could be bent axles. In any event they can fix it or align it. RV dealers will only replace axles if the alignment is off and at a much higher price.
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