Don’t Forget the Leaf Springs!
Fall is in full swing, and many of you are thinking about putting your RVs into storage. Or maybe you are gearing up for some holiday road trips. Either way, now is a good time to do some preventative maintenance so that when you do hit the road, you can do so safely and with as few troubles as possible.
Most RVers know about the obvious potential trouble spots. We should all routinely check our tires, our battery systems and water tanks, and the seal on the roof. Failure of any of these systems can—at the very least—be an inconvenience, or—at most—be devastating in terms of cost and personal safety. But there is another area that is often overlooked, and is just as important. It’s your suspension. When checking the suspension on 5th wheels and travel trailers, the most common failure is in the leaf springs and leaf spring hangers. The leaf spring is what holds the tires and axle to the chassis. It is made up of three-to-five long pieces of rectangular steel banded together. The spring then attaches to the hanger with bolts and bushings. It is important that the suspension on trailers and 5th wheels stays in good mechanical working order so that the tires wear evenly. Proper maintenance of your suspension lessens the possibility of tire blow-out, which can not only cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your trailer, but also jeopardize the safety of you and your family.
How do you know when you have a suspension problem? It is not always the easiest thing to recognize if your suspension is off. If you notice that your trailer isn’t driving straight behind you and is bouncing a lot or trailing slightly sideways (which we call “dog tracking”), these are all signs that you probably need to have your suspension checked! Your mechanic or RV service center can assess the problem, get the suspension fixed before it leads to any other issues, and get you back out on the road in the blink of an eye.
Remember, being vigilant about your RV maintenance is the best way to prevent problems, so you can enjoy the RV life!