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Old 02-18-2016, 09:43 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ijustlee View Post
I drag the hitch and rear frame at a lot of gas stations and keep stalling on a lift, I'd like to go up 2 inches and make entering gas stations less of a strategic exercise. I guess we're supposed to tow with a cadallic or big block station wagon, that's why Airstreams are so low. I would expect to lose a little stability with a 2 or 3 inch lift but I don't know if you could feel it. So far it's been easier to pass up some gas stations than to raise my trailer.
If you are refering to a 1973 trailer dragging some driveways, you should check out the axles.

Torsion axle rubber rods, last ball park 25 years. That 25 years can be shortened if the trailer was parked and never moved for a couple of years or more.

Those rubber rods must be exercised or they simply fail.

When they fail, the trailer drops about 3 inches from brand new.

If your axles have never been changed, then there is your answer.

One of the easy things to do, when pulling into or out of a gas station, is to do it at about a 45 degree angle.

Lift kits are nice, but they can easily be duplicated by using proper parts, primarily the steel channel. Steel channels having a 2 inch width, are available in one inch steps up to 10 inches. It then becomes a matter of how much lift is required.

When the trailer is elevated say for example, six inches, the ground clearance then is dictated by the axle tubes. However, elevating the trailer, to prevent dragging in driveways etc, has nothing to do with the those tubes.

Replacing shocks will not ever change ground clearances.

When replacing axles, the starting angle can be increased but never more than 32 to 35 degrees.

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Old 02-18-2016, 10:21 AM   #58
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Andy- how much can an Airstream be lifted before stability is affected?
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:40 AM   #59
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Personally I wouldn't go any more than the Dexter supplied kit. I have one on mine and haven't noticed any difference in towing but it sure makes a difference with tail dragging. But... I'm towing with a crew cab F350, so your results may vary!


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Old 02-18-2016, 01:57 PM   #60
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I've got a 31ft 1979 and will be putting new axles on this summer, which I'm sure will help with drag significantly. While adding the lift doesn't look like a difficult job, it would certainly be easier to do while I'm replacing the axles. That said, things may be fine without the lift, so I'm debating whether to wait and see, or go ahead and knock it out all at once...
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:42 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
I've got a 31ft 1979 and will be putting new axles on this summer, which I'm sure will help with drag significantly. While adding the lift doesn't look like a difficult job, it would certainly be easier to do while I'm replacing the axles. That said, things may be fine without the lift, so I'm debating whether to wait and see, or go ahead and knock it out all at once...
If you're ordering new axles consider buying them with the increased angle. I don't recall the specs but I think it's 30+ degrees versus the original angle of 20+ degrees. The increased angle will likely more than makeup for the amount of lift you might want.
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:01 PM   #62
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Yes, I'm definitely going with the 32 degree down angle. I've seen where some do that along with the lift though, so was wondering whether I might be better off doing the same.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:19 AM   #63
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Yes, I'm definitely going with the 32 degree down angle. I've seen where some do that along with the lift though, so was wondering whether I might be better off doing the same.
Do some math to see how much drop-over angle (?) you'll gain with and without the lift kit. The new axles with the 32 degree angle may be sufficient.

We recently had new axles installed at Jackson Center. I would have liked to do the job myself but we experienced a catastrophic failure while traveling. A wheel came off when the torsion bar broke right at the swing arm. Fortunately, no damage to the trailer as the wheel stayed nicely tucked in the wheel well and we stopped to check everything out. We were able to limp to JC and they had new axles (normal angle) in stock and a service bay to install them.

The new axles with the normal angle raised the trailer 2 inches. I guess it will settle over time. The 32 degree angle on your new axles will likely raise the trailer another 2 inches. You may not need the added lift kit if your existing axles were like ours.

Just for reference, our old axles were not worn out in the normal sense. The swing arms would return to a positive angle when unloaded and even with load I think they were nearly parallel to the ground. But the new axles have a positive angle even with the load.
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:16 PM   #64
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You have a good point, and I suspect you may be right that the 32 degree angle may be more than enough. That said, I wonder how many have added a lift to the 32 degree angle and if it was really necessary...
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:53 PM   #65
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maybe just get the 32* axles first and see where it sits. If it's not enough, then add the blocks later. shouldn't be too much extra work.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:18 PM   #66
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Seems strange that even on new models, AS models still has low ground clearance ...
it seems like the new ones have even less clearance, especially these big 30 footers.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:48 AM   #67
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Seems strange that even on new models, AS models still has low ground clearance ...
Go tow a large 30+ box trailer with all that wonderful ground clearance and then you'll understand why Airstreams tow so much better. The low ground clearance and center of gravity with the fresh tanks over the axles plus the aerodynamics creates real world advantages to towing.

I have never had so much as the slightest jolt from towing in the past year full-time. But I remember what it felt like to have semi's push a Jayco around.

What doesn't make sense is that the steps hang so low compared to the rest of the body.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:37 PM   #68
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Dexter Torsion Axle Lift Kit

How low is an Airstream with 2" lift compared to a box trailer?
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:45 PM   #69
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The aluminum steps on my Excella do not hang down below the belly pan. They are flush when folded up.
Your steps are the cheaper steel ones.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:46 PM   #70
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Looks good... I have had a new set of axles for my 1980 31ft International for some time and finally gettin time to install them, hopefully,
Got under it today to start oiling the nuts and bolts to hopefully make it a little easier to get them loose. I see 4 bolts on each side to loosen to get the axle to come down. The 2 on the side are no problem you can see the bolt and the nut and spray them easily, but, on the 2 on top that bolt to the frame, you can't get to the nut, or even see it. Did you have to go through the floor to get to them, or by some chance are they welded so that they won't turn when you try to loosen them?
I see that it makes sense to put a lift kit in when I put the axles in.
ANY ADVISE IS APPRECIATED
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