Don't get towed this summer

Nothing ruins a camping or cross country trip more than having to get towed to a repair shop after hanging out on the side of the road for a few hours. So, before you’re head out on the road this summer, make sure you are traveling safely and get your axle and chassis beefed up or checked at a professional garage for any potential damage.

Below are some of the most common reasons why axles and chassis need repair including an overweight motorhome, rumble strips and large bumps, and how the damage to your motorhome happens.

Overweight motorhomes 
On average, a quarter of all RV’s weighed have loads that exceed the recommended capacity of their tires. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common problems that can cause not only tire damage, but axle damage as well. If the tires are under-inflated it could not only make a blowout occur, but it could also do major damage to your axle. If you overstress your axle, especially with an uneven weight distribution, it could bend and even break your axle with the stress.

It might be a little too heavy...

By law a data plate is required on all vehicles and on that plate will be a Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) that will provide you with a maximum allowable weight for each axle. If you don’t exceed this weight, then your axle will be in a better position to get you from point A to point B.

‘Wake-up’ rumble strip

Look out for the bumps! 

Although it may not seem like it, the ‘wake-up’ rumble strips on the side of the road could actually cause damage to your motorhome. These bumps mercilessly vibrate your leaf springs which can cause fatigue to your axle system, especially if you accidentally drive on them often. Essentially, it’s causing a mini-earthquake throughout your motorhome while you continue driving on the rumble strip stressing out your entire system.

If you’re not confident exactly where your rig is when you are driving, there’s a quick and easy test that you can do to correct your driving. On a more deserted highway with no one for miles, it’s good to stop when it’s safe, get out, and look at where your RV is in the lane to see how you can correct. Once you’ve established a visual of where you need to be driving, you should be able to stay in the center of the lane and avoid having to get axle chassis repair.

Hitting those large bumps fast

Avoid the bumps if you can

Just like hitting those terrible rumble strips, hitting large bumps too fast can cause major damage to your chassis, especially if your motorhome is overloaded. When you hit a bump, all your suspension parts come into play and if your shocks don’t control the compression, it can allow for more shock to not only go up the steering column, but put extra stress on the chassis and axles.

The best way to prevent axle and chassis damage is to avoid the bump. But, if you can’t do that, then the next best thing is to slow down before the bump if you know the area, or if you see the bump before you come up to them. If avoiding it and slowing down aren’t options, then try hitting the bump head on instead of at an angle and make sure to get it checked out when you get home from your trip if you can’t feel any major damage or changes from hitting the bump.

If you think you might be having axle chassis problems or are about to go on a long vacation, it’s always good to get your motorhome checked out. While we don’t do brake inspections on coaches, at Torklift Central we offer subframe chassis inspections and free safety inspections* for your trailers that you’ll be hauling.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting your chassis beefed up, contact us today to learn more!

*Free with a scheduled service

Torklift Central
315 Central Ave N Kent, WA 98032
[email protected]