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Old 01-06-2020, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default DIY trailer axle ideas?

so, I picked up one of those camper decoration things from Target on clearance after Christmas with the plan of turning it into a towable camper. Step number one in making this a reality is to come up with a plan for an axle. Since that's too easy, I decided to add more constraints.

In an attempt to make this toy camper look and behave as realistically as possible, I want to use a leaf-sprung solid axle that allows the two wheels to turn independently. Now I need help figuring out the best way to do that.

If I just run some threaded rod through an outer tube with some captive bearings, I get my solid axle, but I don't get the independent wheel movement. I could just leave the wheel nuts a little loose, but I don't want to do that.

The next idea is to use a couple stub axles from the front of a B5M. This gets my independent wheel movement, but kills the solid axle requirement.

The last option that I thought up is to combine the two ideas by designing & printing an axle housing that consists of a top half & bottom half, with a vertical wall on each side that I can use to properly mount the stub axles. Then I could close up the halves and it will look and function like a full solid axle. This idea should work out just fine, but it seems overly complicated for what I'm trying to accomplish. Does anybody have a simpler, more straightforward way to build a solid trailer axle that allows the two wheels to rotate independently?
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Couldn't you just drill out the locker for the ring and pinion? It could be all intact but since there is nothing to grip the axles they would spin independently and everything would still be there to keep it all together.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

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Originally Posted by kincer View Post
Couldn't you just drill out the locker for the ring and pinion? It could be all intact but since there is nothing to grip the axles they would spin independently and everything would still be there to keep it all together.
I'm not talking about using something with a ring & pinion... just a straight non-drive axle like you'd see under a trailer. On a real trailer it's just an empty tube that's there to locate the wheels & provide something to mount the leaf springs to. On the ends are hub assemblies that freely spin independently from the axle. That's what I'm trying to reproduce.

Here's a full size one to show what I'm trying to do:
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Oh ok I get what your trying to do now. Sorry don't have any thoughts on that.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Following along!

I received the same camper trailer as a gift for Christmas. Iíve been trying to come up with some sort of axle that would work underneath of it.

I was just thinking about attaching an axle to the bottom, but I like your idea of using leaf springs to give it a more scale look.


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Old 01-06-2020, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

I got something like this "semi" axle for a trailer I started making. I believe mine was much cheaper, but that was at least a year ago. It has provisions for leaf springs. I believe mine is a solid axle inside, but you could cut the axle in half, or use stub shafts, and find a way to capture them inside if splitting the axle removes that functionality.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RC-Car-C263...QAAOSw1DtXHujp


You could also do something like a semi front axle and then just fab steering lockouts.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RC-Car-C248...gAAOSwkIBbA3Qy

Last edited by JatoTheRipper; 01-06-2020 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

To me, independently spinning wheels are more trouble than their worth, off-pavement and in miniature. I challenge anyone to eyeball whether the wheels on my trailer are fixed to the axle (they are). And as a bonus, I can turn tighter corners at full lock (it behaves a bit like a dig).

I am glad, however, that I included roller bearings and suspension. So, good ideas there.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
I'm not talking about using something with a ring & pinion... just a straight non-drive axle like you'd see under a trailer. On a real trailer it's just an empty tube that's there to locate the wheels & provide something to mount the leaf springs to. On the ends are hub assemblies that freely spin independently from the axle. That's what I'm trying to reproduce.

Here's a full size one to show what I'm trying to do:

New Project (for me) Page 9, post# 165, it ain't professional, but it worked fine on mine
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

I built an axle for my Bantam trailer with independently rotating wheels. I used various diameter brass tubing internally to create stop points. Then used shanked bolts for the axles with bearings inserted into the layered tubes.

Might be easier to create bearing hubs on the end of an axle. I'm not sure what scale your trailer is, or what size wheels you're going to use, but some old on-road pan car wheels or front buggy wheels, could be trimmed down to just the bearing hub. Then you could use the wheels, you're planning for the trailer, as a template to drill out the hubs for wheel bolts. Hope this makes sense, cause I think I just confused myself.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbyjumper View Post
To me, independently spinning wheels are more trouble than their worth, off-pavement and in miniature. I challenge anyone to eyeball whether the wheels on my trailer are fixed to the axle (they are). And as a bonus, I can turn tighter corners at full lock (it behaves a bit like a dig).

I am glad, however, that I included roller bearings and suspension. So, good ideas there.
I agree 100%, but there's no challenge in doing it that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JatoTheRipper
I got something like this "semi" axle for a trailer I started making. I believe mine was much cheaper, but that was at least a year ago. It has provisions for leaf springs. I believe mine is a solid axle inside, but you could cut the axle in half, or use stub shafts, and find a way to capture them inside if splitting the axle removes that functionality.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RC-Car-C263...QAAOSw1DtXHujp
I looked at variants of that, but because those use a solid axle, there's no easy way to split the axle and retain it. If I end up going with a single locked axle shaft, I'd prefer to try making my own, but I do have this one saved as a "maybe":
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-Non-p...r/142253730030

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Flea
http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/large...ject-me-9.html Page 9, post# 165, it ain't professional, but it worked fine on mine
Thanks. That's very similar to how I plan to do the axle if I just go with the standard solid style axle.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Slap burn! Plenty of challenges for me, figuring out all the other bits.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
I agree 100%, but there's no challenge in doing it that way.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
I looked at variants of that, but because those use a solid axle, there's no easy way to split the axle and retain it. If I end up going with a single locked axle shaft, I'd prefer to try making my own, but I do have this one saved as a "maybe":
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-Non-p...r/142253730030
Yes, that's the one I have! I couldn't find it in my search so I posted one as close as I could find.

For sure capturing the split axle would be the biggest challenge if you chose this option.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbyjumper View Post
Slap burn! Plenty of challenges for me, figuring out all the other bits.





Any more info on that axle of yours?


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Old 01-08-2020, 05:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

A 3/16 mild steel bar, threaded on both ends and passed through two 5mm ID roller bearings that used to be inside my AX10 transmission. Onto each axle end is a drilled out and threaded 12mm wheel hex. Next, the wheels go on, held with an M5 nut. The roller bearings are held in place by two L shaped brackets that together function like a motorcycle swingarm. Not at all intended to mimic the real world, rather to survive the rock crawling we do (and it does).

Best Off-Road Trailer Ever? Pulling the New Box Up Blackbear Creek

The "best ever" is tongue in cheek btw.

I can post some close up pics if anyone is interested.



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Any more info on that axle of yours?


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Old 01-09-2020, 12:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Please do!


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Old 01-09-2020, 08:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Will do.

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Please do!


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Old 02-05-2020, 10:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

As promised. Part 1 of 3

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Old 02-05-2020, 11:24 AM   #18
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Thanks!


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Old 02-05-2020, 01:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

I made a trailer axle out of some metric tubing, bearings and some Wraith/Bomber dogbone outers. Hardest part was finding the correct tubing since its metric. Another tricky part is CA-ing the outer bearing in without letting it into the bearing itself.

The outer most tubing is sized for the bearings and the inner tubing fits the leaf spring U bolts.


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Old 02-05-2020, 08:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: DIY trailer axle ideas?

Nice job!!! Love to get my hands on a set of those micro u-bolts, man.

You glued-in the bearing? Real men use fasteners.


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I made a trailer axle out of some metric tubing, bearings and some Wraith/Bomber dogbone outers. Hardest part was finding the correct tubing since its metric. Another tricky part is CA-ing the outer bearing in without letting it into the bearing itself.

The outer most tubing is sized for the bearings and the inner tubing fits the leaf spring U bolts.


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