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Trailer Alignment

  • Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1868859

    Time to get the trailer aligned … anybody know who does trailer alignment in the Grand Rapids area? Called Rays Marine and they said go find somebody to check the alignment. TIA!

    JEREMY
    Participant
    BP
    Posts: 1381
    #1868865

    Not a whole lot to align on a boat trailer. Get out a tape measure and make sure the axle is in the right spot. Most all other tire wear would be from bad bearings. Unless you have some different style trailer don’t know how camber/caster would really be adjusted.

    mustangsally
    Participant
    Posts: 35
    #1868910

    Find a frame shop. Since brand new I have one tire that eats the outer edge but perfect wear on the other side so making sure the axle is located properly might not be your issue. The toe-in will cause the most rapid wear, camber will take a long time to show wear, and caster isn’t a tire wearing angle. Adjustment would most likely be done with a porta power by bending the axle into the specification. I figure trailer tires fail after the 5 year mark so i rotated my spare and will get new tires every 4 years. i could explain how to measure toe in accurately with a tape measure but you can’t easily adjust it yourself. Good luck.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1868916

    Thanks for the info. Both tires are wearing quickly and evenly on the inside. Outer half of the tires are almost like new, insides are smooth. I suspected a bent axle but Rays said I needed an alignment check to be sure. Nobody around here (that I can find) says they can check alignment and say it can’t be adjusted anyway. I’m ready to just get a new axle since they aren’t very expensive – at least the part is not too expensive. I could go through a set of tires each year if I travelled much, but have quit going far because of the tire issue. Hopefully I can get it resolved and get back on the road again.

    pete the catfisherman
    Participant
    Crawford county WI
    Posts: 65
    #1868922

    Sounds just like my four year old shorelander. I’d like to hear what you do about it. Been thinking about looking for a new trailer myself. Like you I’ve been staying close to home.

    poomunk
    Participant
    Galesville, Wisconsin
    Posts: 1415
    #1868935

    Thanks for the info. Both tires are wearing quickly and evenly on the inside. Outer half of the tires are almost like new, insides are smooth. I suspected a bent axle but Rays said I needed an alignment check to be sure. Nobody around here (that I can find) says they can check alignment and say it can’t be adjusted anyway. I’m ready to just get a new axle since they aren’t very expensive – at least the part is not too expensive. I could go through a set of tires each year if I travelled much, but have quit going far because of the tire issue. Hopefully I can get it resolved and get back on the road again.

    Had the same thing happening on my trailer, after measuring I suspected a bent axle, once it was off the trailer it was obvious to the naked eye it was bent, bowing towards the back of the trailer so no matter how you tried to align it one or both would be toe out. Installed the new axle and aligned myself, really easy job really. I’ve put somewhere around 1500 miles give or take since and now that extreme inner wear is gone (noticed it with less miles than that on last set).

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1868942

    Will keep you posted…

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 12944
    #1868975

    Thanks for the info. Both tires are wearing quickly and evenly on the inside. Outer half of the tires are almost like new, insides are smooth.

    Your description fits what I endured for a few sets of tires. 2 things I would look at before assuming its a bent trailer, since they are wearing evenly. 1. under-rated and cheap side wall tires 2. over-loaded springs. Most boats are sold with a trailer that is at near max capacity. By the time you add gas, gear,….over weighted.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1868992

    When I first bought the rig I went for many years/miles without any significant wear on the tires, so I think the trailer can handle the weight. Also, I always ask for the best, longest-lasting tires I can get in hopes of getting more miles. And I do keep a close eye on inflation …

    I do remember getting “snagged” when backing into a lake once … the trailer hit something, hopped over it and was difficult to get back out. Though I didn’t think of it at the time, I believe that may be when the axle got bent.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6241
    #1869055

    After running over my spare tire at 75 mph (trailer jumped 3′ high) I also wear tires the same and it is bent axel.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1869064

    Not sure what it is, but after the discussions of weight I remembered I used to pull the boat fully loaded with camping gear (weeks worth) up the bumpy gravel Echo Trail quite often. I wonder if maybe I bent the spindles carrying all that weight over potholes etc. Either way I have it in a shop for axle replacement … current axle has weld-on spindles so probably best to just get it replaced. I’ll find out what the mechanic thinks caused the alighment issue when I pick it up next week.

    pete the catfisherman
    Participant
    Crawford county WI
    Posts: 65
    #1869293

    Sounds like I’ll need a new axle too. Thanks for the posts everyone.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1869303

    FYI, I have the trailer at Southside Tire and Auto in Grand Rapids. They say they do dozens of boat trailer axle replacements a year … and they were pleasant and informative when I brought it over to them. That, IMO, is worth their business. They also do RV and Camper repair … so that might be a clue where to look for outfits who will replace a trailer axle. Nobody else I contacted in Grand Rapids wanted to bother with it …

    slowpoke
    Participant
    Perham Mn
    Posts: 200
    #1869319

    Had my axle realigned at OK Tire in Forgo ND. Its at the heavy truck shop not the tire store on main. Made a world of difference on tire wear. They charged me $60 and it took less than a half hour. Before I had it done I couldn’t ge 800 miles out of a set of tires. Since then I have thousands of miles on the same set. More than worth the time and $ to make the trip.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1869341

    Had my axle realigned at OK Tire in Forgo ND. Its at the heavy truck shop not the tire store on main. Made a world of difference on tire wear. They charged me $60 and it took less than a half hour. Before I had it done I couldn’t ge 800 miles out of a set of tires. Since then I have thousands of miles on the same set. More than worth the time and $ to make the trip.

    Can you describe how your tires were wearing? Mine were wearing on the inside – outer part of tread was looking fine – pretty much evenly around each tire. I never suspected balance.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1869632

    The general verdict is that over time the weight of the boat bouncing down the road gradually flexed the axle and spindles enough to throw wheels out alignment. replaced axle, spindles, brackets, hubs, etc. Was a bit more expensive than originally thought because the original axle style (square) is no longer available, so needed some new hardware to adapt. Also one hub would not release so replaced both. Everything between the wheels is new, and new tires. Just over $800 … but glad to have gotten it done and back on the road.

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 7715
    #1869641

    Out of curiosity, doesn’t anybody build a heavy duty trailer for boats?
    I would think if that was an option when somebody spending a lot of money on a boat that they would take the upgrade for the trailer also

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1869643

    Out of curiosity, doesn’t anybody build a heavy duty trailer for boats?
    I would think if that was an option when somebody spending a lot of money on a boat that they would take the upgrade for the trailer also

    I’m with you on that … I’d pay more for a more rigid frame, axle, etc. It’d be great to have that option. Some folks might not need it, others probably do.

    Kevin Yopp
    Participant
    Posts: 182
    #1869645

    I suspect one option, when buying a boat/trailer package, is to specify that you want the next size larger trailer. I’ve been told mine is borderline “too small” for my boat, although it was specified by the dealer. They (dealers) probably often go with as small as possible to keep the package cost as low as possible.

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