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Old 03-09-2016, 01:46 PM   #1
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2004 19' Bambi
Spreckels , California
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2
2004 19' Bambi Spring-Over lift possible?

Hi everyone, new guy here.

We've got a 19' Bambi and just picked up a new tow rig in December. I recently lifted that tow rig 3 inches and now have a decision to make in regards to keeping the trailer level and avoiding positive tongue weight.

The easy option is to get a longer drop shank for our hitch and that would be that, however we recently took a trip out to a 4x4 event called King of the Hammers that required us to pull our trailer a few miles off-road.

I had a lot of extra time to think while creeping my way over rocks, holes and whoops in an effort to keep our stablizer jacks, bumper and sewer lines from dragging on the ground and it occurred to me that it would be nice to have the trailer ride a few inches higher.

I'm new to messing around with RVs, however I do know that it's a common practice to lift certain 4x4s by performing a spring over lift. Basically bolting the leaf spring to the top of the axle rather than the bottom, which would create a few inches of lift.

Has anyone done this with their airstream? Does anyone make any kits? It seems like this would be a cheap and easy way to get the underside of our airstream up off the ground for those occasional off pavement camping adventures and get everything sitting level on the hitch at the same time.

Here's the before and after of our tow rig.
Before, sitting nice and level with about 700lbs of gear, toys and firewood in the bed:


After, about 3 inches taller:
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:26 PM   #2
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penticton , British Columbia
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you could gain a 3 inch easy by adding a dexter lift kit above your axle attachement. cost is around 100$ and not very hard to do if you are handy. There is a thread about this lift kit.

The other option to change for a new axles is much more expensive....
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
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We gained about an inch for our 19' Bambi by switching to Sendel 16" wheels and Michelin Rib tires. Not that the switch was to add height, it was simply an effect of the change.

Tim
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:46 AM   #4
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2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
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We have a 2008 Tundra CrewMax Limited, 5.7L, 2WD, TRD w/tow pkg; and a 2005 19' Bambi. So, basically, the same rig as yours, except 2WD.

I would replace the ball carrier to lower the tongue and level your Airstream. However, your TV looks a little low in the back; and the WD setup may need adjustment, or perhaps some items could be removed from the truck bed.

Please note that installing a lift kit on the Airstream's axles will improve road clearance for the trailer body. However, it will not raise the axle. To increase the axle clearance, a different axle needs to be installed. And, with this change, larger diameter wheels and tires could be used to further increase road clearance.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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I've noted in posts before, my Dakota was a little light in the rear spring department. I added an extra leaf and helper springs to kick in if over loaded. The extra leaf and re-rolling the originals gave the truck about a 1 1/2 inch lift in the rear, and now with the box fully loaded and the 25 AS on the hitch my equalizers don't need nearly as much pull to level the TV. I've never actually loaded enough to settle on the bottom "helper" leaf, but I'm sure it kicks in under extreme bounce. My cost was just under $300 which was cheaper than changing the hitch for something beefier and all the added structural supports.
JCW
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:59 PM   #6
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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Dexter lift kit....15 to 16" wheels is only 1/2 "
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:20 PM   #7
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2015 23' FB International
2007 19' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
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I installed a Dexter lift kit on our 19' Bambi. Though it does not increase the axle clearance but it does increase everything else, including the spare tire, holding tanks, drain valves, etc. Helps when backing in forest service campgrounds and you want to clear the curb-stop, and helps in dragging the rear end. I will soon install a lift kit on our 23' for the same reasons.

It is a great upgrade, in my opinion. There are several threads on this subject, along with pictures.

If you install the lift kit, you may also want to consider installing a two-step entry. Another great upgrade.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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2015 23' FB International
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I should also add that we upgraded to 16" tires and wheels.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:22 PM   #9
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2002 19' Bambi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
Dexter lift kit....15 to 16" wheels is only 1/2 "
Our change in tires added another 1/2" to the 1/2" of the new wheels. Result? A 1" lift.

Tim
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:50 AM   #10
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2004 19' Bambi
Spreckels , California
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Thanks for helping out the noob guys!

I've been looking into the dexter kit. It seems pretty easy to install and I'm digging the idea of getting the undercarriage of our trailer a little higher up off the ground. Bigger tires might be in the cards as well. What size is common to move up to?
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:11 PM   #11
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
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We put on Sendel T03-66655T 16" wheels and Michelin LT 225/75 R16 XPS Rib tires.

You can find a lot of discussion about such changes here on the Forum. For example: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ml#post1421921

Tim
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