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Old 09-19-2010, 01:30 PM   #1
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ground clearance

Sometime ago I heard about a spacer that goes between the frame and axles giving more ground clearance. Anybody got any info on this? thanx Ziffell
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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Sometime ago I heard about a spacer that goes between the frame and axles giving more ground clearance. Anybody got any info on this? thanx Ziffell
Please don't believe to much of what you "heard".

If you use spacers, if not done correctly, it will mess up the axle alignment.

Next, the spacers, indeed, will give you more ground clearance for the shell, but not one fraction of an inch additional clearance for the axles tubes.

Spacers, will not help anything, if the rubber rods within the axles have expired. If the rubber rods are history, spacers will not stop any road shock.

The only sure way to increase the ground clearance of the shell and axle tubes, is to replace the axles, increasing the starting angle.

Ball park, new axles will increase the overall ground clearance by about 3 inches.

But beware, Airstream and Henschen both agree, to not have a starting angle in excess of 35 degrees.

Andy
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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i'm betting that is a metal shop project as you would also need to have brackets for the shocks too.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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I gained 4 inches in overall height.NOT 1 inch in ground/axle tube clearance.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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I gained 4 inches in overall height.NOT 1 inch in ground/axle tube clearance.
Roger.

Please check it again.

When the starting angle increase, it raises the axle tube, and the trailer.

If it raises the trailer, the tube must also raise, since it's attached to the frame of the trailer.

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Old 09-23-2010, 09:23 AM   #6
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Sometime ago I heard about a spacer that goes between the frame and axles giving more ground clearance. Anybody got any info on this? thanx Ziffell
On other Travel Trailers / untility trailers that use Torsion suspension systems, I've seen folks install steel spacer "square tubing" between the trailer's steel frame and the steel torsion mounting brackets. For example, 4" wide x 3" high square tube - to give it a 3" lift. If torsion axle mounting bracket is 24" long, their steel spacer is 36" long (or as long as it can be). If wondering, they get their local welding shops to install this 4"W x 3"H steel spacer.

As others pointed out, if torsion axle is 15+ years old, I'd replace the torsion axle (AS WELL). Many say their internal rubbers don't last more then 20 years. For some shops, they won't touch a torsion axle that is 20+ years old. Also, do NOT weld anything to the torsion axle tube. It contains internal rubber and it will melt. Only "bolt" the torsion axle to the trailer's underside frame - using proper grade bolts.

If unsure, perhaps you can tow your trailer to a few local welding shops and ask for their "give it more height" ideas. Many shops are experienced with tasks like this. If wondering, I've seen 3 x torsion trailers with 4"Wx3"H steel spacers and all look great. To me, their ground height looks better then factory.

For more details about Torsion axles, surf: http://service.airstream.com/files/l...22708290a0.pdf

For pictures of square tubes for raising clearance, surf:
http://inlinethumb05.webshots.com/21...500x500Q85.jpg
http://media.photobucket.com/image/t...k/P4290142.jpg

If wondering, I raised my previous 19ft Prowler trailer by re-positioning its axle under its leaf springs. Thus, allowing me to raise its chassis 4". I never regretted giving my leaf spring trailer more ground height. IMO, its factory build "sat too low" and it also needed a lift. Glad I gave it a lift...

Hope this helps in your "give it more height" research.

.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:30 AM   #7
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ground clearance

Thanx Andy..... What is the correct axle part # for this trailer? 1978 31 ft Excella rear bedroom. Also the factory GVW and axle weight class and $. Thanx...Ziffell...arnie@yousq.net

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
If you use spacers, if not done correctly, it will mess up the axle alignment.
Spacers, will not help anything, if the rubber rods within the axles have expired.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #8
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Don't forget that while raising the trailer will give you more ground clearance, it also elevates it's center of gravity. This in turn increases the likelihood of an overturn in an emergency maneuver. And you get to be the test pilot.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:20 AM   #9
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My old 1961 axels seem to be fine. I did raise the featherlite car hauler with great success. I did a little different. I used square tubing as shown in Spies' photo but I used one piece for both axeles- othere words Iused one long continuous piece for each side- seemed to strengthen everythin up alot. Also take note in that same picture I believe the axels to already be overloaded notice the swing arm in the positive position- which is probably why the owner felt he needed more clearance in first place.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:00 AM   #10
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Don't forget that while raising the trailer will give you more ground clearance, it also elevates it's center of gravity. This in turn increases the likelihood of an overturn in an emergency maneuver. And you get to be the test pilot.
According to Airstream and Henschen, as an example, increasing the starting angle from the original 22 1/2 degrees to 35 degrees, will have a minimal effect on the center of gravity.

However, they suggested that traveling with an empty water tank, has even a greater negative effect on the center of gravity then altering the starting anglr by 12 1/2 degrees.

They also suggested that a starting angle in excess of 35 degrees, such as 45 degrees, is asking for trouble, in more ways than one.

Shimming the axle to gain a greater ground clearance, absolutely will absolutely, ask for problems.

Further, shimming the axle/axles will not change the ground clearance of the axle/axles tubing.

Andy

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Old 09-25-2010, 11:06 AM   #11
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Thanx Andy..... What is the correct axle part # for this trailer? 1978 31 ft Excella rear bedroom. Also the factory GVW and axle weight class and $. Thanx...Ziffell...arnie@yousq.net

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If you use spacers, if not done correctly, it will mess up the axle alignment.
Spacers, will not help anything, if the rubber rods within the axles have expired.

Andy
The dollar cost is listed in our web site.

I am not at my office, therefore I cannot look up the original axle rating and changes that could be made, until Monday.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:35 AM   #12
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We changed our axles over to a 35 degree down angle and it made a huge difference! Our original axles were definitely shot as you can see in these photos.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:40 AM   #13
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We changed our axles over to a 35 degree down angle and it made a huge difference! Our original axles were definitely shot as you can see in these photos.
Very good, and nice too.

Now your Airstream will enjoy that "soft" ride.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:42 AM   #14
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another perspective

Before and after the axles were replaced.
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