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Old 03-08-2007, 06:51 AM   #1
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Down angle

Anyone know how much the height changes of the trailer if you increase the angle say 2, 5 or 7 degrees greater than the 22 1/2?
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:28 AM   #2
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Leo, what I'm trying to ask is if I have new axles made with an angle greater than 22 1/2 standard how much will the height under the belly or axles increase at various increases in the torsion arms?
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:50 AM   #3
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Bob, the 22.5* axle will deflect with weight as will the other angles. It's difficult to say how much gain you'll have in ride height as the axle GVWR and your trailer weight will influence that as well. I don't think anyone can give you a definitive answer of "5.75" inches for example.

Andy may be able to give the best estimate as he does this all the time and he may have some "norms" figured out.

Depending on how worn out your current axle is though, you may see an increase in bottom-of-coach to street height of several inches with a new 22.5* and perhaps up to another two inches with a 45*, again depending on the way the axle is rubbered.

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Old 03-08-2007, 07:55 AM   #4
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Bob,
Using some basic geometry the important number in the following formula will be the length of the articulating arm. (the connecting arm from the center of the wheel to the axle beam) I did not go out and measure but for our example we will use 12".

example: if the articulating arm is 12”
you multiply 12" times the sine of 22.5 degs (.38268)

The sine of 22.5 deg. is .38268 multiplied by 12 equals 4.59"
The sine of 24.5 deg. is .41469 multiplied by 12 equals 4.97"
the sine of 26.5 deg. is .44619 multiplied by 12 equals 5.35"
So… each 2 degree increase will give you a rise of .38 inches.

To make the example work in real numbers you need to know the actual length of the articulating arm.

I think...

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Old 03-08-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
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The other consideration that influnces the height of the trailer is the load rating of the axles. I just changed mine from the original 2800 lb. axles to 3200 lb. axles and raised the trailer about 3 in. I my case the the original axles had gone to a negitive angle because they were under rated when originaly installed at the factory.

If you are using Henschen axles they can give you good advise on angles and loading.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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Ok, great info that what I was looking for.

I think I'll add 4 degrees to get about 3/4" more ground clearance than stock.

Who knows it may extend the point in time they need to be replaced again????
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:48 AM   #7
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I was told going from 22.5 to 32.5 raises the trailer about an inch....about an inch for a 10 degree difference.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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Changing from stock to 35 degrees raised our 30' about 1 1/2 - 2 inches, but we had failing axles when I first measured. Henchen has charts (or did) on their web site which you can use to calculate the lift. The axles are only available in standard angles...you can't specify the number of degrees you want (or so I was told).

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Old 03-09-2007, 09:14 PM   #9
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I went with 32.5 down angle, and it raised my 63 Overlander an approximate actual 1.75in.
This is hard to answer precisely, since the axle rating and load in the trailer also change the ride height. But for a given set of weights in a given trailer, exoect an ride height increase of about 1.5in for a 10degree increase in down angle.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
I my case the the original axles had gone to a negitive angle because they were under rated when originaly installed at the factory.
I don't remember the dates exactly, but I think around 1980 or so Airstream changed the down angle of their axles from the old 22.5 degress to something like 10 degrees. This lowered the trailer heights relative to earlier years. And since axles are rated for the unloaded angle, once the trailer (and contents) are put on the axles, their resting angle changes quite a bit (I think more than 10 degrees is typical). Anyway, I mention this, because I have never seen a 1980's or newer Airstream with a positive axle angle, even pretty new ones. They are all negative and yet the amount of tire showing in the wheel well looks correct. I do not believe the old adage that "your axles are shot if they have a negative angle" applies to 1980's and newer Airstreams. That of course doesn't mean that they are not shot if the angle is negative, it just means that this method of determining if they are shot is not valid. If you put a 22.5 degree angle axle under a 1980's or newer Airstream, I think you will raise it above the original factory height. You can verify this if the ball height ends up more than 18.75" with the trailer level. As I remember it (didn't check recently), either the Henshen or Dexter web site lists both original and loaded angles for their axles.

In any case, since your trailer is a 1991, the angle may not have indicated that your axles were shot. Of course if they were over loaded, they may have sagged more than usual.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:06 AM   #11
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Another fact to consider is that some Airstream axles had high profile axle brackets, which raised the frame about 1in over the axle tubes. This might not apply to trailers built after 1980, because I have only seen these brackets on late 60's and early 70's trailers.
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