Some of you may have already read this on my trip log, but I thought I would share this here as well.
After picking up the trailer in Denver, I took it to get the bearings packed, have the axle and frame checked, and the tires inspected. I was told that all was well. That was on Monday. Fast forward to Wednesday. I was leaving Taos, NM, gathering up my jacks and getting everything road ready. The camp sites were especially nice, with two cement drive tracks that you pulled onto that were level. I remember half sub-consciously remarking how nice and level the trailer was sitting. Really I was thinking more about how nice the campsite was, as I expected the trailer to sit level! But later that day, after getting gas, I walked out of the station, approaching the trailer from the rear and noticed how un-level it was sitting. I got underneath to inspect. I didn't know the names of the parts, but I could see the difference in the angle of the shackles (I would have called them hinge-thingies
Here's a picture of Captain leaning left. Below that is the shackle on the left and on the right. You can see the difference in the angle of each.
Last Edit: Jun 27, 2012 16:05:02 GMT -5 by ModernMe
So, from what I understand, (and please someone step in if I don't have this right), The shackle is the flat bar piece that connects the leaf springs to the frame. There's a bolt that holds it at the top and the bottom. The bolt slides through the bushing, which has a cushioning tube of rubber around it to presumably absorb some of the impact or friction or Here is a picture of what my bushings looked like. The rubber was completely worn through and it was metal on metal.
This picture is pretty dark, but I'm wondering if someone could give an opinion as to how the axle and/or leaf springs compare to other shasta trailers. It is definitely not the original, and the mechanic felt that it was quite beefy for a travel trailer. I do know that the PO took this off road to camp and hunt. There is even a tow ball and running light set-up on the back of the trailer that he hitched a cargo trailer to full of atvs, dirt bikes, and extra gear. I don't plan on ever towing an extra trailer! But I do love that this sits high and doesn't scrape going in and out of driveways, etc. Someone mentioned that these weren't designed to sit high and that you could have a problem with upsetting the original engineering of the weight distribution etc. I can't say that it ever felt tippy or that there was any kind of problem. What should I be looking for as far as signs of a problem?
Post by universalexports on Jun 27, 2012 19:12:18 GMT -5
I have toyed with the idea of welding in a pair of spring sliders to replace the shackles, its a hotrod trick, works the same but less chance of twisting to one side or the other. and you would also end up with the camper about a half inch lower due to the design.
We have the same trailer (18' Super). Ours is set up like UniversalExports but when I saw a pic of Cap he looked to be sitting as high as ours. Ours does seem to set higher than other models. I'm not an expert by anymeans, but if it is pulling ok and you don't mind the little extra height, does it really need to be changed?
Well, I notice yours has only three springs while Universal's has five, and that his are curved more than yours, so I guess yours must be beefier. Your axle is also larger, and round. So if you two have the same camper, I'd say your suspension was replaced with something more rugged at some point. Yours is probably a much stiffer ride, might bounce a bit more if you go too fast down a dirt road, and probably doesn't bounce as much when you walk around in there. You still have a curve in your springs, so I don't see a problem if it tows ok.
@universal, I've never seen those hot rod slider shackels! Thanks for your picture, it shows things much better than mine.
callie, I was looking for a picture of your trailer to try to put ours side by side so I could try to see how they compare in height. I meant to measure from the ground to the bottom of the trailer and forgot before I dropped it at the shop.
cowcharge, Thanks for guiding my thinking. What you are saying matches with the mechanic, I had it backwards. I was thinking that because I only had three instead of five, that it was less. But I get what you are saying. I'll take heed on the dirt road, but it towed great. I didn't have any issues and I didn't have to baby it getting in and out of awkward gas station driveways. One less think to worry about. (PS, the 2nd axle pictured is Universal's. His isn't the same model as mine, but probably a good example of what might have been original.)
Everything on his looks more spindly than yours. It would make sense for thicker springs to not be bent as much because they're harder to bend, look how flat the spring (1!) on that hot rod is for its length.
Post by universalexports on Jun 28, 2012 7:34:51 GMT -5
yeah, several hot rods just run 1 monoleaf spring, they are also thicker, Calvert Racing sells some awesome monoleafs,
I really dont think my camper needed that many leafs, but back then they did not have the techknowledgy to figure out exactly what would be sufficient and i'll bet they did not spend much time worrying about that, they were not worried about saving every penny possible like companies now. I figure they just threw 4-5 springs under it and said that will be more than enough no matter what they haul in the camper and sent it on it's way.