Trailer Axle Kit
June 29, 2023
Trailer axles are one of the essential parts of your trailer. A problem with the axles can cause any trailer not to function correctly. Understanding what axle repair entails is a foundation for all other aspects of trailer maintenance.
We’ll tell you how to use trailer axle kits and whether you can upgrade your vehicle’s axle. We’ll also discuss the different qualities and sizes of axles.
If you’re getting an axle kit for your trailer and want to find a store that sells them, you can check out AreaGuides.net. Its online directory lists stores, restaurants, or parks around your area.
To choose a suitable utility trailer axle kit, you must consider how it will be used and the weight of the cargo to be hauled.
Utility trailer kits are available in multiple styles and types to fit virtually any trailer. The same goes for boat trailer kits. The type of suspension used in a trailer often dictates the kind of axle kit required when installing new axles onto it.
Consider a specific type of trailer tire, and pick an axle that will allow your chosen setup to be used on the trailer. If you want to place a trailer axle kit on your light-duty trailer, you can do so with a single-axle version that uses small, lightweight tires and wheels.
Trailers for occasional use around the yard can be fitted with a trailer axle kit using wheels fit onto an axle shaft, secured by a cotter pin. Because they aren’t designed to carry heavy loads or sustain prolonged use, these axles should be used only for very light applications.
For medium-duty trailers, the leaf spring axle kit is the most common choice to be used with suspension. This axle is sturdy and reliable, making it a good choice for medium to heavy loads.
A trailer axle kit designed to be used without a suspension system must be heavier than the suspended design so that it won’t fail while absorbing the stress of bumps encountered when loaded.
The axle components for heavy-duty trailers are similar to those of medium-duty leaf springs. This axle uses a high-speed wheel bearing, and it can include a braking system.
For a trailer that is expected to carry heavy loads or travel long distances, you may want to install braking systems on its wheels. This type of system offers the best benefits and uses in general.
Single Axle Trailer Kit
Single axle trailer kits are an affordable way to build a trailer customized for your needs. The single axle kits are available for use as undercarriage kits for general trailer axle and spring replacement.
Understanding the purpose of a single-axle trailer kit begins with understanding what exactly a single-axle trailer is.
Single-axle trailers have one set of wheels. These wheels make it easier to tow and maneuver in a tight space because they have fewer wheels. They also work well for smaller loads, such as transporting furniture.
Single-axle travel trailers for camping range from 16 to 22 feet in length. In comparison, the average car is about 15 feet long, while trucks are around 20 feet long.
Axles are crucial to these trailers because they transmit weight and power from the wheels. This seemingly short shaft may be the most complicated part of this trailer. If the load is balanced correctly, the trailer is also stable so it won’t sway from side to side or tip over.
The presence or absence of axles under a motorhome determines whether it’s a single or double-trailer axle. A single-axle trailer has one set of wheels, while a tandem axle trailer has two sets. A tandem trailer would require a tandem axle kit.
How Strong Are Mobile Home Axles?
Most mobile home axles aren’t designed to withstand the wear and tear of regular highway use. Hubs and drums may wear out prematurely if used in a trailer driving long distances at high speeds.
A wheel hub assembly is a pre-assembled unit with precision bearings, seals, and sensors. A vehicle’s wheel hub assembly is an important part of the steering system, contributing to safe and predictable handling.
A brake drum is a cylindrical part that attaches to the inside of car wheels, rotating at the same speed as they do. The drum contains brake shoes, which are covered with a material that creates friction.
When you push the trailer brakes, these shoes are pushed outwards against the inner surface of the brake drum. This action generates friction and slows down your car’s speed.
Some states prohibit using mobile home hubs on standard highway trailers because they are unsafe due to the abrasion from regular use. Mobile home axles are designed to be used sparingly and will break if overloaded.
You can find hubs, drums, and trailer hub components for the specific spindles you have on your axles. However, due to the non-standard sizes of mobile home axles, finding replacements can take a lot of work.
Can I Upgrade the Trailer Axles?
You can improve the axle rating on a trailer by replacing its axles with stronger ones. For replacement axles, you’ll need to measure the distance between hub faces and spring seat centers.
An axle spring seat is a small brace that attaches the axle to the trailer springs and keeps the axle from falling out.
The trailer’s suspension system keeps it in proper alignment. It also acts as a shock absorber, dampening the bumps on rough roads. The assembly is made of tough, solid metal and does not require much maintenance.
The axle spring seat forms part of a larger axle assembly. This includes two or more leaf springs and hangers. Sometimes, there may also be an equalizer in this assembly.
You should consider upgrading your trailer suspension system for several good reasons.
1. Increase the trailer’s payload.
Upgrading individual components can increase the weight capacity of your trailer. Upgrading leaf springs, coil springs, and shock absorbers allow greater load-carrying capacity.
When choosing a suspension, ensure its load rating is as close as possible to what you’ll be hauling with your trailer. An example is fitting 900 kg (1985 lb capacity) rated springs on a trailer with an aggregate trailer mass of 750 kilograms.
The aggregate trailer mass (ATM) is a trailer’s total mass carrying its maximum load. The ATM is measured when the trailer wheels aren’t touching a surface and rests on its jockey wheel.
But, as counterintuitive as it may seem, bigger isn’t always better. Installing 2,000-kilogram springs on the same trailer will likely cause poor performance because of the premature wear on the tires and bearings.
2. Make the trailer more efficient.
The increased suspension can help your trailer handle rough terrain. When you go off-roading, your vehicle needs extra clearance and suspension travel to handle rugged routes.
If you want your trailer to handle uneven terrain and corrugated roads easily, a rubber torsion axle is a way to go for TK trailers. It has fewer trailer parts overall, and each wheel moves independently. You can do away with shock absorbers, as this axle’s design ensures a smooth ride.
Changing the geometry of your trailer could cause a change in the tow vehicle and towing mechanics, which would be reflected by changes in tow ball mass (TBM).
The tow ball bass is gravity’s force on an RV using its coupling on another vehicle. The vehicle and trailer manufacturers specify the maximum weight of the ball being towed.
3. Make the trailer more reliable.
Upgrading uncoated springs and axles with galvanized or zinc-plated ones will increase the life of your trailer.
A galvanized, rubber torsion axle has few moving parts and should last a very long time. Some of these modifications must be approved by the state, and re-registering may also be necessary.
You’ll need an engineer or mechanic accredited by the relevant authority to inspect and certify any modifications you make to your vehicle. You’ll need to weigh the trailer so a certificate can be issued.
If you want to build your axle kit, you might want to consider some components for your trailer:
- Trailer jack
- Double eye springs
- Hanger kit
- U-bolt kit
- Safety chains
- Brake axles
- Electric brakes
- Axle shackle kits
- Trailer and hose connectors
- Winch accessories
- Wheel and tire combos
You can easily find most of these products online. Check these products on Amazon, and if you’re lucky enough, you might see some special offers for trailer parts at the checkout.
Dexter, a well-known brand for trailer supplies, also rebranded Rockwell American. They are famous for manufacturing fender products and leaf springs for trailers.
Investing time and money into upgrading your trailer suspension can help ensure that it lasts longer, drives more smoothly, and feels safer.
What Size Axle Do I Need for My Trailer?
There are several ways to determine which axle is best for your vehicle. The first and simplest option is to check the trailer’s neck and tongue.
If you bought a manufactured trailer, there should be a tag with its vehicle identification number (VIN), weight, and capacity information. It should be located on the driver’s side of the trailer.
A second way to know what size axle you need is by measuring the diameter of your existing wheel hub. Hub face width is measured from the base of one wheel stud to the base of another on the opposite side.
The spring center is the width of your trailer. The measurement is taken from one side of the center of a spring seat to the opposite side.
Another way to identify your axle is by the bolt pattern, which is how the lugs are configured on the hub. The bolt pattern for a five-by-four and half, or a five-by-five, is common.
Typical axle diameters are based on the load-carrying capacity of the axles.
- 1,000 lbs to 2,000 lbs axle: 1 and 1/2 inch diameter, 1 and 3/4 inch diameter, or 2 and 3/8 inch diameter
- 3,500 lbs axle: 2 and 3/8 inch diameter to 3-inch diameter
- 6,000 lbs to 7,200 lbs axle: 3-inch diameter
- 8,000 lbs axle: 3 and 1/2 inch diameter
- 9,000 lbs axle: 4-inch diameter
- 10,000 lb axle: 5-inch diameter
Are Trailer Axles Solid or Hollow?
Axles are critical to a vehicle’s performance, but they receive little attention than other parts. Understanding the axle’s function and purpose can help ensure good vehicle care.
It would be best if you also learned how to identify when your axle is broken and what you can do about it. It would help if you first understood how the axle functions in a vehicle.
All-wheeled vehicles rely on axles for steering, driving, and braking. Axles are parts of a car or truck that transfer power and torque from the engine to its wheels.
Because it bears the weight of passengers, cargo, and other items in addition to that of the vehicle, an axle must be strong enough to carry these loads.
The axle must withstand the force of acceleration and deceleration as it transports a vehicle forward or back.
There are two types of axles used in automobiles. The first one, called the drive axle, is connected to the driveshaft. The driveshaft is a solid rod that extends into the vehicle’s transmission, connecting with the engine.
Next is the dead axle, which has no connection to the engine. The dead axle turns when the vehicle is in motion, which is controlled by the drive axle. Dead axles support your vehicle’s weight.
Trailer axles are hollow and prone to rusting. So, when examining the axle for damage, you must examine its top and bottom surfaces. If the axle is damaged, it must be replaced.
Because of the enormous weight axles must bear, they should be strong and durable. Still, they can wear out over time. Axles can weaken and eventually need replacing.
Signs that your axles may be due for maintenance include:
- A clunking sound that accompanies an attempt to shift gears signifies trouble with the vehicle’s axle, or it could also be bushing wear.
- If you feel vibrations throughout the vehicle when moving, that could indicate an axle problem.
- If your car sounds like it’s running fine but won’t move, the problem is likely with the axle.
You should take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic as soon as possible if you suspect that the axle is broken.
You can check out AreaGuides.net to find a nearby repair shop. With this helpful navigation tool, you can locate the nearest repair shop in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Detroit, other cities and get information on other essential locations, such as hospitals, restaurants, and parks.