Fixin’ that lean

When finding these diamonds in the rough, they are never a pretty sight. Most the time they are in a field, with trees and weeds growing under and around them. They are always filthy, so first things first, we took our little Rancho to visit the car wash to give her a little sponge bath!

Rancho get's a bath

When pulling the Rancho for the first time, we noticed it was leaning to one side. We suspected the leaf springs needed to be fixed. Sure enough one of the leaf springs was about 1.5 inches flatter than the other side.

REMOVING THE AXLE AND SPRINGS

In order to fix this problem I first needed to remove the axle and springs. To do this, start with a flat level surface; pull the trailer up on blocks making sure that they are very secure.

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Have you ever heard of the Berenstain Bears book called The Bike Lesson? Well in this book the father give his son a new bike but wants to teach him some lessons about safe practices, six in total…well most of the lessons end up being the dad crashing and him telling his son, “This is what you must never do. Now let this be a lesson to you.” 

 

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So this is my lesson to you. Don’t do as I do. Block your camper with safer things than I did.

Luckily everything turned out alright and I still have all my appendages!

With some persuasion fluid, good ole’ WD-40, I was able to work the rusted bolts loose.

Removal of the axle and leaf springs:

  1. LIFT TRAILER AND SUPPORT
  2. REMOVE WHEELS
  3. REMOVE EYE BOLTS FROM LEAF SPRINGS ON FRAME(Check for any wear on the shackles that may need to be replaced too.)
  4. PULL OUT AXLE FROM UNDER CAMPER
  5. REMOVE UBOLTS HOLDING LEAF SPRINGS TO AXLE

Luckily I had just had a conversation with Tiara’s cousin about him having to replace his leaf springs on his trailer and he recommended a place in Salt Lake called AAA Springs Specialists. All I can say is WOW! that is the best customer service I have had in a long time!

From the moment I walked in the door they were there to help! They listened and then found exactly what I needed! I didn’t really know what to expect as far as cost but it was better than I thought. As they were helping me I watched the interaction of everyone and thought this is a well run business. If I ever got into a business I hope I could have it run like they do! So if you live in Utah or any surrounding areas and need your leaf springs done, take them here and you won’t regret it!

I originally thought I would just have them bend back my springs into the correct arch but for a few more bucks I could get a whole new set. Considering they are 48ish years old, I went ahead and replaced both sides with brand new leaf springs, and new u-bolts. I have heard that it is very important to not reuse your u-bolts, just get new ones. With our first camper, the original owner had flipped the axles and while driving down the road a u-bolt broke and the whole axle slid back into the wheel well. SCARY!

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PUTTING THE SPRINGS AND AXLE BACK TOGETHER

New leaf springs? Check! Now it was time to put it all back together.

First thing I did was showed a little love to the axle. I washed the axle, took some steel wool to get rid of some rough spots and rust and then painted it black.

While I had the wheels off I also took apart the brake drum and repacked the bearings with grease.There were two bearings that came out fairly easy with a light tap tap tappity roo. I then put some grease on my palm and packed the grease into the grooves by continuously tapping the bearing against my palm until the grease came out the other side.

 

Installation of leaf springs and axle:

  1. Put axle back under trailer
  2. Install eye bolt into front of leaf spring
  3. join Ubolts on leaf springs to axle, torque to manufactures specs
  4. lift leaf spring into place and bolt other eye bolt to shackle
  5. repeat on other side
  6. Put wheels back on
  7. GO CAMPING!

Everything fit back together nice and she sits level and pulls perfectly now! Wahoo!

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