Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby alaska teardrop » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:48 am

tkteardrop wrote:Sorry guys this is the same trailer as I purchased in December of 2008 Item #125692 same price even.
It has 2 sections (front/back) that bolt together, like a HFT trailer. This is why I built the frame the way I explained in order to mount the torflex further back.
The bonus is it hasn't gone up in price and it is a great trailer (about 6000 miles)

    TK, It is the same number, but the design is different. The owners guide clearly shows the full length side rails & two short spring mounts on each side. Also, it is stated in the Questions/Answers that the trailer does not fold.
    :peace: Fred
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby tkteardrop » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:02 pm

Well you are correct, looks like they changed the rails to one piece. Sorry, I looked at the item # and compared to my receipt they were the same.
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby oldsmokey » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:24 am

I'm planning my first build and am leaning toward using the same trailer, but only replacing the wheels, not the axle. Couple questions for the group:

1. What do I gain by swapping out the axle to a Dexter as you've suggested?
2. Any problems with changing the wheels to 14 or 15"? Advantages/disadvantages? Does anyone know the bolt pattern for the NT trailer?

Thanks!
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:24 am

Welcome to the forum!

A torsion axle (Dexter, Flexride, and others) is an axle that allows each wheel to move up and down over bumps independent from the other. Each wheel is mounted on a swingarm that rotates inside of a rubber-filled tube. This rubber assembly acts as a shock absorber, kind of like a gas strut on a car. A standard leaf spring suspension (typical on all small utility trailers) has a full-beam axle that both wheels mount on, therefore bumps that the wheels encounter are transferred from one side to the other. The leaf spring suspension doesn't exactly absorb shock - it just allows the axle to bounce up and down.





Regarding the wheel size and bolt pattern of the stock trailer kit, I think you can upgrade to a 14" wheel, and maybe even a 15" but I'm not certain. And the bolt pattern is 5 on 4.5
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby oldsmokey » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:18 pm

Thanks Zach, that axle looks cool. Looks like I'm going to have to throw a few more quarters in the teardrop jar!
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby KCStudly » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:48 pm

Just some more points to consider.

If you are planning to stick mainly on road with only some gentle off road use (a service road here and there) that's a good choice. However, I have read at least one first hand account where an owner had a premature failure at the bond between the rubber and the axle shaft that he attributed in part to harsh use off road. He felt that it was compromised by heat buildup from the frequent cycling that can occur in off road use (similar to shock fade).

Some of the more hardcore off road adventurers prefer the traditional leaf spring suspension for it's durability and the fact that it can be cobbled back together more readily if something were to become damaged or go amiss in rough service. Whereas if there is a failure of of the rubber isolator, it pretty much means that the axle needs to be replaced.

Some really serious back country guys and a lot of Australian designs use independent trailing arm style suspension with air bag, coil springs, or even torsion bars. Usually shock absorbers are also fitted.

So it kind of depends on what type of camping you plan to do and where you plan to drag your camper.

I'm going to guess that a torsion axle may also be quieter than a leaf spring axle.
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby alaska teardrop » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:02 pm

Thanks for the link Fred! Yeah, thats the trailer kit. As far as I can tell, the NT trailer is identical to the HF trailer (but 12 inches wider). I've built both my teardrops (plus one for a friend) on the HF trailers, and they've held up well. Not sure about the weight, but when I finally get the trailer kit I'll try to get a weight for you.
    Hi Zack,
    I've been wondering if you've weighed the trailer without wheels, springs & axle?
    BTW - it appears that the #125692 trailer has been replaced with #37552.
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby pigcooker » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:19 pm

The side rails of the NT trailer I used were 8' long, however they are, Three sided or "C" channel, NOT, a tube,
so beefing the rail in that area might be necessary to attach the axel securely.

Just more $0.02 for the jar. Doug :beer:
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:35 pm

alaska teardrop wrote:Hi Zack,[/list]
    I've been wondering if you've weighed the trailer without wheels, springs & axle?
    BTW - it appears that the #125692 trailer has been replaced with #37552.


Still haven't bit the bullet yet, so I'm not sure what just the frame would weigh. I'm getting antsy though, looking for a new owner for my current teardrop. Apparently winters a tough time to sell. :oops:

pigcooker wrote:The side rails of the NT trailer I used were 8' long, however they are, Three sided or "C" channel, NOT, a tube,
so beefing the rail in that area might be necessary to attach the axel securely.

Just more $0.02 for the jar. Doug :beer:


The mounting brackets for the Dexter are 10" long, so I think they should spread the load far enough. Plus the final weight won't be anywhere near capacity of the trailer kit, and the body of the teardrop will spread the load out over the entire length of the side rail.

If the mounting brackets were smaller I'd definitely look into reinforcing the rails. :thumbsup:
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby Tobit » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:09 pm

Has anyone here put a Dexter torsion on a NT trailer yet? I'm seriously giving it some thought.
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:52 pm

Yup, on the first page of this thread, tkteardrop did it 5 years ago.

I just ordered my trailer kit about 20 minutes ago, and as soon as I can verify the outside frame dimension then I'll be ordering the Dexter #9 Torflex Axle with the high-mount bracket.

The reason I want to verify the frame dimensions is that the HF 4x8 frame is actually 48 1/2" wide. I'm assuming that the NT 5x8 is actually 60 1/2" wide, but I want to check that before I order the axle.
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby Tobit » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:08 pm

absolutsnwbrdr wrote:Yup, on the first page of this thread, tkteardrop did it 5 years ago.

oh yeah, I remember now. I was hoping someone had photos of one installed which he doesn't. I'll wait for your build, I've already been watching your thread. Thanks. :thumbsup:
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:11 pm

Tobit wrote:
absolutsnwbrdr wrote:Yup, on the first page of this thread, tkteardrop did it 5 years ago.

oh yeah, I remember now. I was hoping someone had photos of one installed which he doesn't. I'll wait for your build, I've already been watching your thread. Thanks. :thumbsup:


I'll be sure to have some pics up when that time comes. Getting antsy!!!
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby alaska teardrop » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:33 pm

    Zack, a suggestion that you might consider. Instead of ordering the axle now, build your new trailer on a roll-around dolly first, weigh it, order the axle with the proper load rating & then mount it at the best balance point.
    The dolly can also make it easier to work on the trailer without the axle to work around.
    Fred
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Re: Dexter Tosion Axle on Northen Tool 5x8 kit?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:54 pm

Definitely a good idea Fred! Only issue is that my sidewalls come down over my frame and are notched at the suspension brackets. :thinking:

I can use my CAD model to estimate the weight pretty closely, and I can also get an idea of balance as well.
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