Part one of the Trailer Axle Alignment report.
After my first experience with excessive and uneven tire wear that eventually pointed to axle alignment as the cause, I took action to resolve my problem.
Since then, I have met many other RVers having similar problems or worst, such as:
My partner, KC was installing new tires on his RV after 23,000 miles (37,000 km) and since he had done work on his axles, he also got an axle alignment done. Trailer axle alignment is more than just aligning the two axles to each other. One needs to make sure that camber and toe-in are also set correctly.
This prompted us to speak with experts in West Kelowna, BC. They are experts at aligning axles for large trucks, Class A's, 5th Wheels, Trailers and even cars.
Protecting the investment in new tires that cost over $1,000 was important but more than that it was personal safety and others that was top of our mind. You can view KC's Axle Saga and see what he found with his RV trailer alignment.
After a long RV trip of 6000 kms (3800 miles) in the fall of 2012, I noticed that the rear driver side tire on the trailer was wearing on the outside. Since then I have gone on several smaller trips (less than 1000 kms) and the tire was needing to be replaced.
It is amazing how fast a trailer tire will wear, once it starts to wear incorrectly.
I have the Correct Track System on the RV but I didn't get the chance to recheck the measurements and make any required adjustment(s) to the alignment during the winter. It wasn't the cold weather but the snow on the ground, not the ideal conditions to do these types of adjustments.
I made an appointment for the following week.
My appointment was for 8:00 AM and I arrived ten minutes early, to my surprised they were ready and ask me to drive the truck and trailer to the rear of their complex where they guided the trailer into one of their service bays.
The front end of my RV was lowered, the alignment equipment is designed for semi trailers which are higher off the ground and lowering the front end of the trailer enables the equipment to be used with RVs.
The next step was to disconnect the truck from the trailer and attached the alignment rail to the front of the trailer, this alignment rail is squared with the RV.
The alignment guide attached to the front of the trailer which uses lasers for the alignment process.
This is the computerized alignment system which reports in real time any changes to the trailer alignment.
A look of the receiving sensor mounting bracket which is attach to a wheel.
Both driver side wheels with the mounting bracket and sensors attached.
The technician found that the passenger side of the trailer were align within specifications but the driver side was not aligned within specifications, which I expected as the rear driver side tire was wearing on the outside.
What I found surprising with the computer results was that the driver rear tire was aligned correctly; the computerized alignment system indicated that the driver front tire of the RV was the one out of alignment!
If I took the measurements manually, I would of been trying to adjust the rear tire as it was the one with the outside tire wear.
The technician said it was common for a front tire to be out of alignment and the bad tire wear showing on the rear tire.
With the Correct Track System installed on the RV the technician adjusted the front tire cam adjustment one setting and retested the alignment. All trailer wheels are now showing results within specifications.
I then had the rear tire replaced and since the alignment the rear tire is now wearing evenly.
The Correct Track System enabled me to correct the major alignment issues which I reported in part one but using a laser to make the final adjustments has proven to be beneficial over manually doing the measurements with a tape measure and a plumb-bob.
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