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Old 10-22-2018, 04:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Maryland
Posts: 22
Camper Tire and Leaf Spring Hanger Issues

Hi all,

I have a problem with our camper and hope for input from others.

The camper is a 2015 Premier purchased in May 2014. It has tandem axles. We have towed it close to 30,000 miles.

Here’s a timeline of issues.

1. May 2017 - Blew the right rear trailer tire.
2. April 2018 – Returned from a trip and discovered a pair of leaf spring hangers failed on the rear axle, left side.
3. August 2018 – Blew the right rear trailer tire again.
4. September 2018 - Arrived at a campground and discovered that the new leaf spring hangers had failed in the same location (left rear axle).

The tire pressures were monitored via TPMS and indicated correct pressures right until the tires blew. The tires’ treads were not punctured but had torn apart at the sidewall with tread flying off as viewed in the rear view mirror. There was no visible sign of uneven tire wear on the failed or remaining intact tires. After the second tire failure, I replaced all four trailer tires.

The leaf spring hangers failed in identical manner, as though the bolt that passed through the leaf spring had simply pulled through the hangers. The hangers were replaced with parts from a reputable online merchant. The bolt where the second hanger failure occurred was frozen as the plastic bushing (a “never fail”, extra-durable, self-lubricated bushing) had failed.

I have no idea if these issues are isolated or are a symptom of a bigger issue. I spoke with a local trailer repair person who simply thinks that part replacement will solve the problem. I reached out to a local RV dealer who has a large backlog of work and can’t take new work until mid-November. While cooling my heels, I thought that I would ask for your input.

Thank you in advance for any replies.


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Old 10-22-2018, 05:06 PM   #2
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There have been some reports of spring hanger failures. Lots of tire blow outs reported. What brand of tires are you running? You may want to consider upgrading to a wet bolt kit for the shackles. Good luck.

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Old 10-22-2018, 06:48 PM   #3
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I think your tire failures are independent of your hanger problems. We would need more information on your tires (DoT date, months in service, load ratings) to determine the cause of those blowouts. Remember, TPMS sensors wont provide much more than temps and pressures leading up to a instantaneous tread separation and tire rupture. 3-5 years of service life on a ST tire is the recommendation by many tmanufacturers. The integrity of a tire is unknown even after a visual inspection as stresses start internally. Older, higher mileage tires may still look good and even have significant tread life remaining.

As far as the hangers failing in redundancy, I cough that up to poor quality control and poor design. I read a few posts regarding hangers that break at a frame weld or twist. I, recently, had 2 leaf spring failures in a matter of weeks on a 2 year old coach with much less miles that what you have with your coach. The OEM springs were the single mono leaf type, that Keystone fits their budget Passport and Bullet lines with. In an effort to thwart off additional suspension, axle, or tire failures, I recently 'upfitted' these components from 3500 lb axles and mono springs to 5200 lbs axles and 5 leaf pack springs along with going from 1760 lbs LRC 14" tires to 2850 lbs 15" LRE tires and wheels. The axle and frame shop also welded in 3 steel supporting members from hanger to hanger in order to provide additional support on those hangers. These wide space axles tend to exhibit much more stress on the hangers in tight maneuvers, pretty much an ongoing occurrence at a campground.

My advice would be invest in a quality set of tires that provides a higher load range than what the OEM fitment was. Secondly, I would suggest having some a reputable axle/frame shop give you options on "beefing" up the spring hangers. A good fabricator may help you eliminate a future failure, especially when your RV mileage is higher than average.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:09 PM   #4
Ken / Claudia
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We can all guess, mine is because the tire failures where the first known event before the spring failures. It could be when the tires blew they also caused damage to the springs. Heck that rubber was spinning at what RPM and hit who knows what before bouncing along the roadway. I had a co worker who was standing next to a stopped truck and the tire blew up. His shirt was tore apart, he had cuts on arms and face. Dr said the bullet proof vest saved him.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:52 PM   #5
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Hi all,

I do not have much information regarding old tires as they are all gone now. The original tires were Trailer King, but the right rear suffered a tread puncture in October 2014 and was replaced by a model from China. When the replacement tire failed in 2017 I replaced it with a similar tire from China. Never again. The new tires are Goodyear Endurance with a higher load rating.

Tbos, I agree that an upgrade to wet bolts and thicker hangers may help if not solve the problem completely.

The force generated by the imbalance of a shredded tire could account for some centrifugal force and create axle issues. I spoke with an RV dealer located about 65 miles away. They can't check axle alignment other than to take measurements between the axles and frame to see if some symmetry exists. Once their work backlog goes down I may take the camper there.

Busterbrown, your upgrade sounds interesting. I wish there was a shop in the area that could make suggestions. At a minimum, some level of additional bracing could beef things up. I watch the tires when in tight spaces like campgrounds and gas stations and am amazed at how the tire sidewalls flex. No doubt that some of this stress is also felt by the suspension components.

Thank you all for your thoughts.

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