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Old 01-24-2016, 08:21 AM   #15
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Not the best pic, but it gives an idea of how the axle and 15" conversion looks on a 23FB. While the larger tire is somewhat noticeable (especially if you're used to the stock 14"), the difference in clearance doesn't really jump out at you. It doesn't look much higher, and I don't notice any difference in how it tows. And we had no problems with the fit in the wheel well. There is less room than before, but everything works, and there's still enough room for us to use our X-Chocks.

Dan
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:02 PM   #16
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Looks great. I think we'll go with the taller angle. I'm often tempted to get adventurous and having a bit of extra clearance will be helpful.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:10 PM   #17
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If you are comfortable asking, I'm curious what kind of investment that was cost wise and who did the work for you?

I'm slowly working my way through my own "Ultimate Boondocking" Airstream and the idea of better axles is very appealing.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:26 AM   #18
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The left image is street side on the 2015 23D after installing the 15" Michelins. The curb side front gap is about half of this even after timing it.

It is painfully obvious that the sheet metal was not cut symmetrically on the wheel openings at the factory. One might wonder if the trailer body is out of square?
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:52 AM   #19
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Axle, alignment

I can attest to the fact the axles on my Serenity are not inline, about 1/8" off from the front center line jack. I have not noticed any unusual tire wear, but on a car or truck this would make the handling horrible.

Also, in my research, the only place to get the alignment corrected is at a shop which aligns semi trailers....of which we have several in my area.

But, this is another project to be completed, possibly before the 2016 travel season begins.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
If you are comfortable asking, I'm curious what kind of investment that was cost wise and who did the work for you?
The work was done by Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations, Plattsburgh NY. All told, with axles, wheels, caps, tires, shipping, and installation it was about $3K. One other nice thing about the new axles is that we can now lube through the caps (assuming you buy ones with the removable plug), instead of having to take the wheel off.

Dan
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:41 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by VTSmitty View Post
The work was done by Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations, Plattsburgh NY. All told, with axles, wheels, caps, tires, shipping, and installation it was about $3K. One other nice thing about the new axles is that we can now lube through the caps (assuming you buy ones with the removable plug), instead of having to take the wheel off.

Dan
That's much lower than I was expecting. This is going on the wish list to do more research.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:18 PM   #22
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The black and grey water valves and discharge port are a bit low on the 23. You might look into a skid plate to protect them and review the need to protect the tanks as well. Good luck with your camping. Stay safe. Pat
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:25 AM   #23
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When we put the 15" Michel;in tires on the 23D, the trailer was raised 1.1" which helps the ground clearance on the rear plumbing fittings. A skid plate might be a good idea along with a heat tape for freezing weather wrapped round the fittings along with insulation since it just "all hangs out" back there.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:52 AM   #24
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A skid plate might be a good idea along with a heat tape for freezing weather wrapped round the fittings along with insulation since it just "all hangs out" back there.
Another reason why we love the Nature's Head: even in a worst case scenario all we're spilling is gray water.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:10 PM   #25
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Lots of good comments here - I appreciate all the insight.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:15 AM   #26
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I would very much recommend the 15" wheel + better tires recommendation switz made. I have a 2011 23FB and upgraded to 15" wheel and yokohama tires (which I'm not sure I would recommend). It made a big difference, specially when I saw that two of the marathons were starting to have the ominous bubble.

Before you do more than that (and maybe even before you do even that) I would recommend you take your trailer onto some dirt roads. Pick a spot ~miles into a dusty dirt road. After the adventure is over consider how much is worth doing and what your priorities are :-). The first thing I had to do was to seal every opening I could find, and there are lots! (I think I posted photos a few years ago.) Such as under both the left and right tall cabinets, behind the bathroom sink cabinet (an area that is impossible to reach without unmounting the entire cabinet), etc. After all this we only find a little dusting in our trailer after dirt roads as opposed to shovel fulls... Oh, and then you need to figure out how you keep the cabinet doors closed and the valence under the sink in place. If you are still looking forward to the next off-road adventure with your AS after that spend the $$ on the lift kit :-).

Our attitude is that while we don't want to unnecessarily abuse our AS we do want to use it fully and if that means it gets some dings and scratches then so be it. But I believe most AS owners baby their trailer more than this.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:42 AM   #27
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I have a 2011 23FB and upgraded to 15" wheel and yokohama tires (which I'm not sure I would recommend).
Slight thread drift, but can you elaborate on what you don't like about your Yokohama's? I assume they are Ry215's. Seems like most I've read is positive. I've been contemplating between Michelin's and these, but thinking the narrow tread may not be idea for rocky roads and soft surfaces. We plan to tow onto the beach where low PSI float is king!
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:00 AM   #28
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The 15" Michelins have a wider foot print than even the GYM 15" ST tires which makes for better braking. In the "Images" link under my avatar are side by side photos of the stock 15" GYM ST and a 15" Michelin as well as with the 16" Michelin. I did not take a comparison photo of with the 14" GYM ST tires.
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