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Old 03-02-2016, 09:07 PM   #71
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1975 31' Sovereign
Twin Falls , Idaho
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I installed new torsion axles on my vintage '75 from Mr. Hyde in '13 but forgot to ask for an torsion angle increase. My question is that since I do drag that 31' trailer, even on many 45 degree approaches, was the original Airstream engineered design build for dragging? I have seen many post that discourage adding HD castor wheels to the rear skid for a variety of reasons, but I haven't really read or heard of whether or not the original design specs accounted for multiple rear end drags on angled approaches. Appreciate any input to ease my mind prior to scrapping the new axles for a higher angle or buying a lift kit since a larger tire diameter will not fit. Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:03 AM   #72
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My rear-end drags. I will be adding a lift. Possibly caster's too. Definitely a lift. Maybe 16 inch rims.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:59 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by KimberlyA View Post
My rear-end drags. I will be adding a lift. Possibly caster's too. Definitely a lift. Maybe 16 inch rims.
A lift kit is OK to use. Or, you can simply add some 2 inch wide channel steel, of a variety of different dimensions depending on what you need to have.

Casters are an ABSOLUTE NO NO.

The casters will roll, no problem, BUT, when they do, they in turn will lift the rear end, IMPROPERLY, which will damage the rear quarter panels, guaranteed.

Keep in mind that while the lift kit will raise the trailer shell, it in turn will not increase the ground clearance at the axle tubes.

Andy
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:39 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Keep in mind that while the lift kit will raise the trailer shell, it in turn will not increase the ground clearance at the axle tubes.

Andy
It's what we would call in the truck world a body lift. Not a suspension lift. The axles, on the other hand, are a suspension lift.

Considering I just dinged up another set of steps, we are going to consider the axles for our lifestyle and camping preference.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:59 PM   #75
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Dexter Torsion Axle Lift Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
A lift kit is OK to use. Or, you can simply add some 2 inch wide channel steel, of a variety of different dimensions depending on what you need to have.

Casters are an ABSOLUTE NO NO.

The casters will roll, no problem, BUT, when they do, they in turn will lift the rear end, IMPROPERLY, which will damage the rear quarter panels, guaranteed.

Keep in mind that while the lift kit will raise the trailer shell, it in turn will not increase the ground clearance at the axle tubes.

Andy

Andy-- can you explain why casters could cause damage to panels when they roll, but the rear end dragging won't. Trying to understand the difference....because the force is generated on the small point of the casters? That said, if the rear end drags isn't the force focused on the part of the frame that hangs down?
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:20 PM   #76
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Opinion only, but when you drag a wheel it's quiet. The rasping sound the skid makes (or anything else dragging) tends to alert you, assuming you are paying attention.

I have a rear quarter wrinkle from dropping a skid when the wheels hit s low spot. Wheels on the skid would not have helped.


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Old 03-08-2016, 12:18 AM   #77
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1996 25' Excella
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Dexter Torsion Axle Lift Kit

Hello All,

Given the content of this thread, I thought this info may be useful to someone.

I bought my first Airstream a month ago, a 1996 Excella 25'. I dragged the back end going into a parking lot on my way home from picking up the trailer, and decided to look into a way to increase the clearance. I actually saw this thread, purchased the Dexter #11 lift kit, and installed it this past weekend.

I haven't had the chance to take the trailer out on the road, but I can at least speak to the installation process, which seemed to go fairly well. I had a minor issue with the vertical mount hole alignment (photo #1, sorry I don't know why the photo loaded upside down), I had to remove the gas line which ran through both axles on one side (photo #2, should be rotated 90 degrees), and I had to shorten the mounting bolts adjacent to the shocks to prevent interference (photo #3, left bolt). Once I worked through those issues, the installation was straightforward, although it was a good bit of work.

Photo #4 shows the difference between the front axle (left) which has the lift already installed and the rear axle (right) prior to installation of the lift. Photo #5 shows the completed installation.

To remove and install the mounting bolts, I needed two 15/16 (or 24mm) wrenches, closed on one end and boxed on the other. Getting the wrench on the bolts once the lift is in place can be a bit tricky. I also used a 24" breaker bar with a pipe to loosen the bolts and deep socket (15/16 or 24mm). I soaked the bolts with WD-40 a few days prior.

Haven't had the chance to test drive, so I can't claim victory, but I thought I'd put the information out there.

John
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:15 PM   #78
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looks great! thanks for the writeup and the pics.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:26 PM   #79
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My kit is in the mail, should be here in a couple days. I'll make sure tonfilm a video when i install it this weekend.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:03 PM   #80
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Dexter Torsion Axle Lift Kit

Video would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for considering it!


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Old 03-21-2016, 05:24 PM   #81
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Great pictures! Personally, I would always leave the wheel/tire on I the axle I was not working on while under the RV. I had a mate killed when a jack failed and he was under the car (a professional mechanic no less!) and have naturally been ultra cautious since.


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Old 03-25-2016, 10:19 AM   #82
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I'm halfway done installing my lift blocks. It's going pretty well, but with my configuration, the blocks have to be run backwards, with the "opening" of the block facing in, towards the centerline of the Airstream (just like jwgilesjr's pics above).

Due to the placement of my freshwater tank, that meant I couldn't get a wrench on two of my bolts. I imagine it was possible, but it was NOT easy. So I decided to weld some tabs to them to keep them from spinning. Kinda like this, only a lot uglier.



To be honest, if half the bolts and half the nuts in the kit came with this setup, it'd save a lot of time, as there's not a ton of room in there to work.

Sorry about the lack of pics, it got dark. I'll take more pics tonight, and the video will be up in the next week or two.

Overall, I'm more impressed with the kit than I thought I'd be. 3" inches is more lift than you'd expect, and this should be perfect for my needs.

I'm thinking I'll probably have to get an alignment on the trailer after this, since there's room for adjustment. Has anyone else had an alignment on their trailer before?
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:10 AM   #83
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Cool dexter lift kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
A lift kit is OK to use. Or, you can simply add some 2 inch wide channel steel, of a variety of different dimensions depending on what you need to have.

Casters are an ABSOLUTE NO NO.

The casters will roll, no problem, BUT, when they do, they in turn will lift the rear end, IMPROPERLY, which will damage the rear quarter panels, guaranteed.

Keep in mind that while the lift kit will raise the trailer shell, it in turn will not increase the ground clearance at the axle tubes.

Andy
I def. agree with Andy about damage to rear quarter panel. I do not have rollers but drug rt. rear entering gas station and canned rt. rear corner, luckily only winkled skin no damage to frame, caulked wrinkle above rub rail so far so good.
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:32 AM   #84
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Explore More, welding the tabs on the bolts is a good idea. I had difficulty with the freshwater tank being in the way on the front axle as well, but I was finally able to get the box end of the wrench on the bolt to allow me to torque it using a socket from below.

Looking forward to the pics.
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