Mobile home frame trailer conversion


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Old 04-09-21, 08:36 PM
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Mobile home frame trailer conversion

I bought a 20' x 84" flatbed trailer. It has the mobile home jack, solid framing, but 2 mobile home trailer axles.

The trailer vibrates/bounces like crazy around 30 and 60 mph. Like it shakes the entire vehicle.

What would you think it most likely is?
wheel balancing?
axle bearings?
u bolts?
bent axle?

thank you for your help.
 

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04-10-21, 11:37 AM
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As said there are many possibilities.
Mobile home wheels in my area are made like a semi truck wheel.
They are circular shaped, open in the center and mount on several lugs.
Clamps then fasten the rims onto the lugs.
If you have this style of wheel and you are not carefull the rim can go on crooked with symptoms similar to what you are experiencing.
Rims could also be bent.

Another problem is trailer frames often have the wheels mounted in the center of the deck which is not the proper location for a utility trailer.
The wheels should be centered about 60% back from the front of the trailer deck.....not the hitch.
On a 20' trailer that would be about 12' from the front of the deck to the center between the dual wheels.
This axle set back then allows you to easily put 10% of the weight of the trailer and load onto the trailer hitch.If you don't have this much weight on the hitch it could also cause control problems and make your trailer quite unsafe.

There is more but if you check all our suggestions you might find the problem.

O.....one more thing.
You might want to check on the legality of using trailer axles and wheels in your area.
Here they are not legal to be on the road.
The axles are only made for short trip use and usually have a welded backing plate for the brakes.
Also the tires are normally stamped "Mobile Home Use" and are not rated for utility trailers.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 04:56 AM
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All of the above... inspect everything you listed except for the wheel balancing. 99% of trailer tires are not balanced but if you've got a wheel that's way out of balance you can balance or replace it. Most often with trailers the balancing is just a matter of rotating the tire on the rim.

Where is the axle located? How much tongue weight do you have? Does the trailer behave when it is carrying a decent load?
 
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Old 04-10-21, 10:19 AM
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You left off tires.
They use the cheapest possible tires knowing it just needs to make it from the sales lot to home site.
They also likely where sitting in one spot for years forming a flat spot.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 11:37 AM
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As said there are many possibilities.
Mobile home wheels in my area are made like a semi truck wheel.
They are circular shaped, open in the center and mount on several lugs.
Clamps then fasten the rims onto the lugs.
If you have this style of wheel and you are not carefull the rim can go on crooked with symptoms similar to what you are experiencing.
Rims could also be bent.

Another problem is trailer frames often have the wheels mounted in the center of the deck which is not the proper location for a utility trailer.
The wheels should be centered about 60% back from the front of the trailer deck.....not the hitch.
On a 20' trailer that would be about 12' from the front of the deck to the center between the dual wheels.
This axle set back then allows you to easily put 10% of the weight of the trailer and load onto the trailer hitch.If you don't have this much weight on the hitch it could also cause control problems and make your trailer quite unsafe.

There is more but if you check all our suggestions you might find the problem.

O.....one more thing.
You might want to check on the legality of using trailer axles and wheels in your area.
Here they are not legal to be on the road.
The axles are only made for short trip use and usually have a welded backing plate for the brakes.
Also the tires are normally stamped "Mobile Home Use" and are not rated for utility trailers.
 
aka pedro, I Mullins voted this post useful.
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Old 04-10-21, 02:37 PM
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Another vote for axle placement, as Greg mentioned, followed closely by the tires, as Joe mentioned.
 
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Old 04-12-21, 07:08 AM
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Thank you

I appreciate the feedback. Based on everything you all said it does look like just replacing would be the least worrisome and long term solution. Albeit, not the cheapest way.

around $1860 for 2 complete 7000# axles with 1 e braked.

that means I'd have a 20 feet x 86" trailer with a heavy duty front hitch with a GCWR of around 10000 pounds with an investment of $4300. Would you say that's a good investment?

Or should I just wait on some used axles that might cost around $600 ? I plan on keeping the trailer until I die probably, or until we have electric automated driving trailers haha.



 
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Old 04-12-21, 08:02 AM
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Start with the tires, they are almost certainly rejects - just good enough for 1 trip. Wheels could also be bent. Then the axles.

IOW, work from cheapest to most expensive, not the other way around.
 
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Old 04-12-21, 08:39 AM
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I have never understood why people will settle for only one axle with brakes on a multi axle trailer. If you need and use a tandem axle trailer spend the money and put brakes on both axles.
 
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Old 04-13-21, 11:04 AM
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I agree that one braking axle only is just asking for trouble.
In areas where this is allowed it is seen as money saving but if you ever tow that trailer at or near gross weight the pucker factor would be incredible!
IMO it is dangerous to not have full braking when loaded and really should not be allowed.

Does the price you mentioned include axles, springs, wheels and tires?
What are you hauling and what does your load weigh?
 
 

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