Tandem wheels skidding while turning - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-03-2015, 02:52 PM   #1
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Tandem wheels skidding while turning

We have had our Escape 19 for 4 months now and have logged 32 nights and 3300 miles. We store it in our "side yard" so I have to back it up the driveway (it's sloped) then make a left turn to get it into the storage space. I have noticed some skid marks on the driveway. I assume these are due to the sharp turn with the tandem axles which causes one wheel to have to skid a little while the other turns.

Of course, it would be best to not do this but we all have to back our trailers into tight camping spots and I am sure I have left some rubber on asphalt surfaces before but it's much harder to see there. The concrete driveway makes it more obvious.

I will be doing this a lot over the years and wonder if there is a significant negative impact on the life of the tires, wheels, or bearings, and what to do to minimize the impact.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:04 PM   #2
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It's just a fact of life; not much you can do. Believe it is the rear wheels most responsible. Was looking at completing a circular driveway and my contractor was saying how this was going to happen and asked how many times we come in & out. "Lots" we said. We opted to keep things as they are. The rubber does go away after rains we've noticed- not that we've had much.
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:06 PM   #3
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Because the axles are fixed and not articulating this is normal, it happens basically every time you make a turn.

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Old 10-03-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bdornbush View Post
I have noticed some skid marks on the driveway. I assume these are due to the sharp turn with the tandem axles which causes one wheel to have to skid a little while the other turns.
All wheels rotate, and none of them steer. Since they all point the same direction changing direction means something needs to slip sideways, and that's all of the trailer's tires.

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Originally Posted by bdornbush View Post
Of course, it would be best to not do this but we all have to back our trailers into tight camping spots and I am sure I have left some rubber on asphalt surfaces before but it's much harder to see there. The concrete driveway makes it more obvious.
I agree that the concrete is the reason it is noticed.

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Originally Posted by bdornbush View Post
I will be doing this a lot over the years and wonder if there is a significant negative impact on the life of the tires, wheels, or bearings, and what to do to minimize the impact.
It scrubs the tires, but many people replace trailer tires based on age before they wear out the tread, so it might not matter much.
This is so little of the trailer's time that I doubt it matters to the bearings.

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It's just a fact of life; not much you can do.
I agree - just minimize how sharply you turn, but that's limited by the location.

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Originally Posted by bdornbush View Post
Believe it is the rear wheels most responsible.
If the tires on one axle are skidding more than the other, the trailer isn't level. If the trailing (rear) tires are skidding more, they have less traction, which means that they are carrying less load, which means that the rear is very slightly higher than the front, which means that the tongue is a little too low. Raise the tongue enough and the leading (front) tires will skid more.

Since the world is never perfectly flat, even a perfectly setup trailer and tug will still have slightly uneven load on the axles, so one pair of tires will skid at least a little more than the others.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:20 PM   #5
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I have the same scenario but mine are on asphalt so the marks blend in, but I also have a 5" lip and part of the time both rear wheels are suspended while I back in and position the trailer. Have not had any issues as the trailer is designed to carry, if need be, all the load on one axle.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:34 PM   #6
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I too have left skid marks....
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:51 PM   #7
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... I also have a 5" lip and part of the time both rear wheels are suspended while I back in and position the trailer. Have not had any issues as the trailer is designed to carry, if need be, all the load on one axle.
Temporarily and while not hitting bumps, yes. Even the empty trailer weight exceeds the rated working load capacity of one axle, but that working capacity allows for bumps. I don't see a problem with maneuvering, but jamming into a bump while on one axle would be undesirable.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:58 PM   #8
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My instructor/rv tech at the weekend course I recently took did not like the idea of a)curbing tires nor b) skidding them. Take that as you will.

To be more precise, he loved the work it sent his way.
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:16 PM   #9
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Because there is flexibility in the tire sidewalls, there is some radius of turn which can be accommodated by just tire flex, without skidding. If you can get everywhere within that limit that's great, but there isn't always enough room to turn so widely.
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Because there is flexibility in the tire sidewalls, there is some radius of turn which can be accommodated by just tire flex, without skidding.
It also occurred to me after posting this that one way to allow tighter turns without skidding might be to lower the tire pressure - still within the allowed range for the load on the tires and only temporarily during the slow parking maneuver - allowing more sidewall flex and thus tighter turns.

An Escape 19 carries between 2400 pounds and 3600 pounds on the axles (depending on loading), so if it is level and evenly loaded side-to-side each tire is carrying 600 to 900 pounds. According to ST load-inflation tables, the ST205/75R15 tires can carry even the high end of that at only 15 psi.

I've never had enough concern with skidding while parking a tandem-axle trailer to try lower tire pressure, but for someone with light concrete and a noticeable issue it might be worth a try.
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