And the road goes on forever...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Our Pony is Getting New Shoes

Our RV has grown long in the tooth traversing America’s highways and it hasn’t always been a sweet ride for her. Unquestionably overloaded, and subjected to not only some very rough pavement but off-road boondocking, this baby’s undercarriage has suffered mightily over the years. It finally came time to perform some major surgery to prolong her life, so we bit the bullet of a major expense and ordered up three new sets of axles and brakes from Dexter Axles, all custom made to specs Marc figured he needed.

The difference between the old and new is not merely striking; it is astounding. Whereas the others were three inches (light duty) in circumference; the new ones are five (heavy duty). The brakes go from two and one quarter inches to four and the weight bearing capacity of each axle jumped from 6,000 pounds to 10,000. These axles also enjoy an oil bath so will mitigate the maintenance headache of wheel bearing greasing.

Knowing we planned to do this project this winter, last summer while in Virginia working, Marc bought the higher capacity heavy duty tires and wheels that would be needed to go along with the new axles. After all, your axle may hold 10,000 pounds but if your tires won’t correspondingly hold that, you will be constantly blowing tires. It was a slight leap of faith, given that the axles hadn’t been measured and manufactured as yet so one of the first orders of business after unloading the axles and wheeling them onto the lot was checking to see that, indeed, the new tires and wheels would fit. Success!

Next will come the hard part of doing the installation by himself. That’s my guy!