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Old 08-05-2022, 06:30 AM   #1
jvbutter01
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Trip prep Lug nut torque

hello all,
I come from the auto industry. When installing new rims on a car/truck, we always tell the owner to come back few days later and have us retorque the wheels.

I just got a "RV news tip" email. it was telling the readers to recheck torque each trip you make. Why? do they loosen up more than autos do? i never check my truck or SUV before i drive it
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Old 08-05-2022, 06:47 AM   #2
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The Keystone generic owner's manuals improve each year. In the 2023 issue referenced below you'll find the lug nut story starting on page #22.

https://keystone-rv-dealer-app.cdn.p...l_2023_web.pdf
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Old 08-05-2022, 06:51 AM   #3
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In the posts I've seen here, some people do it religiously, others rarely, if ever check. I am sorta in between. If on an extended multi-day/week trip, I will visually inspect tires/wheels every day and check torque every 4 days or so of travel. I also follow the 3-stage torqueing described in the manual whenever removing a wheel.

Here is an excerpt from the Keystone owner's manual:


The axle and wheel assemblies of your RV are designed differently than those on your car. The overall size, weight and center of gravity of a recreational vehicle subject the wheels to pressures unique to trailering. During normal cornering, the tires and wheels experience a considerable amount of stress called “sideload”. Therefore, the lug nuts on your recreational vehicle require periodic torque maintenance.

These instructions will show you how to maintain proper lug nut torque by
following these important steps:

1. Check torque before every trip.
2. Use proper tools.
3. Follow the appropriate star pattern sequence.
4. Torque lug nuts in the correct stages and follow-up
intervals after any wheel reinstallation.
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Old 08-05-2022, 08:24 AM   #4
travelin texans
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For 40+ years I've done it as mentioned just like my vehicles, torqued when reinstalling the wheel then again in a couple hundred miles & not again til wheel is removed again, right or wrong but it's worked for me all these years.
I've seen those that do it EVERY time they stop, which is not a good idea when everything is hot, & have either crushed the lug nut through the wheel or broken the lug bolt off or both.
There is a proper procedure for retorqueing, it's not just get out & give it a few more clicks, that most don't know & don't do, Google or Utube the proper procedure.
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Old 08-05-2022, 08:26 AM   #5
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thanks all for the reference. Never thought about the trailer being oversized compared to a passenger car / LT truck. I still would like to see the engineering behind it. Might be time to get a good torque wrench. My current model is older and cant tell you last time it was calibrated.
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Old 08-05-2022, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvbutter01 View Post
thanks all for the reference. Never thought about the trailer being oversized compared to a passenger car / LT truck. I still would like to see the engineering behind it. Might be time to get a good torque wrench. My current model is older and cant tell you last time it was calibrated.
Can't beat this one from Harbor Freight, IMHO.

Works great and only $22.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:28 PM   #7
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My last TT purchased new in 2012 had instructions to torque then re torque a certain number of miles later but nothing more than that. I never checked them after that initial requirement was met and never had a problem. But when I was in the Navy, one thing that was drilled into us was that every procedure was written in blood. In other words, if there was a procedure that said check the torque every 500 miles, you could bet somebody lost a wheel (or something) at 600 miles (or similar). So now I've got a camper that has different requirements for checking lug nut torque. I've got several good torque wrenches and it's an easy thing to do on a camper. I'm down there checking tire pressure before each trip anyway.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by markcee View Post
Can't beat this one from Harbor Freight, IMHO.

Works great and only $22.
I have this one and have been using it for years.... Very good product.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:58 PM   #9
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For the most part I have been underwhelmed by Kolbalt tools from Lowes, but I did purchase an electronic torque wrench there about six years ago that has worked really, really well.
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:04 PM   #10
travelin texans
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Quote:
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Can't beat this one from Harbor Freight, IMHO.

Works great and only $22.
Been using mine from HF for 25+ years & have never lost a wheel.
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Old 08-05-2022, 07:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
Been using mine from HF for 25+ years & have never lost a wheel.
And I’ve been using mine for over 20 years building engines, haven’t had a customer come back.
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:51 PM   #12
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I too come from automotive and I agree on checking lug torque again when installing a wheel. I have in the past broken wheel studs because of side load due to the lug nuts being loose.

Almost every post has said they re-checked torque at some point. no one has said they needed to re-torque. So has anyone found lug nut torque lacking? How much and how often?
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:05 AM   #13
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I also use that HF torque wrench successfully for years. In the past I was anal about checking lug nut torque. I say in the past because for the last few years I've either become lazy or realistic depending on perspective.

Background: "back in the day" I was somewhat of a gear head, at least before marriage & children. '72 Grand Torino pulling a 22' jet boat with an Olds 454 on a trailer painted to match with matching wheels with the Torino. Yes, terribly overloaded but the aftermarket stereo did The Who justice.. Anyway, back then the aluminum wheels seemed to require torqueing after wide temperature changes, hard driving, etc. The motions became as second nature as washing the vehichles.

FF a few decades: I noticed that the wheel torqueing that had invaded my DNA wasn't necessary. I realized that after an initial install and 50 to 100 mile check the wrench just clicked indicating no backing off of the nuts. I suspected my wrench was out of spec. Checked it against a freinds calibrated and certified wrench and mine was "close enough". Still warey I used witness paint and sure enough, no movement. The alloy wheels of today a far different than the aluminum wheels of days gone by. Just my observations, YMMV.
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:27 AM   #14
wrvond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish-a-Palooza View Post
I too come from automotive and I agree on checking lug torque again when installing a wheel. I have in the past broken wheel studs because of side load due to the lug nuts being loose.

Almost every post has said they re-checked torque at some point. no one has said they needed to re-torque. So has anyone found lug nut torque lacking? How much and how often?
My camper was built February of this year and I purchased it new in Michigan. I didn't check the wheel torque when I towed it home, but before we left on our first trip to Tennessee I checked them and found they took about 1/8 turn to tighten to spec. When we got back from Tennessee I checked them again and they took about 1/16 turn. I took the camper to a local campground (about two hours each way) and checked them upon my return and they took about 1/16 turn to return to spec. I don't think we've gone anywhere since but I did put new tires on so when we do go next I'll put the torque wrench in the floor of the back seat and check them at the recommended distances.
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