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Old 01-21-2015, 08:08 PM   #1
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How to gain more clearance

Has anyone installed one of these Dexter Lift Kits on a late model Airstream? This one would give us about 3" more clearance. Seems like low cost way to gain more clearance which we could use when going to some out-of-the way dry boondocking places we would like to go try.

Here is the link to the Dexter kit.

Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - #11 Torflex Lift Kit (K71-724-02)

What would be the downsides??

AL
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:05 PM   #2
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Yep. Been there, done that on our 22' sport. Love it. There's a post somewhere on here with photos. Only downside is a bigger 1st step into the trailer.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:43 PM   #3
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I installed the lift kit on my 19' Bambi. I'll post picture tomorrow. The extra height along with the 16" tires/wheels allowed the installation of two-folding steps. The new steps are Tread Lite aluminum and are so much more substantial than the stock steps. Made by Kippers. Again, I can post pictures if interested.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
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Pictures, please!
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
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Pictures!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Before Lift Kit.pdf (4.13 MB, 680 views)
File Type: pdf After Lift Kit.pdf (4.86 MB, 961 views)
File Type: pdf New Step.pdf (6.10 MB, 439 views)
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
I installed the lift kit on my 19' Bambi. I'll post picture tomorrow. The extra height along with the 16" tires/wheels allowed the installation of two-folding steps. The new steps are Tread Lite aluminum and are so much more substantial than the stock steps. Made by Kippers. Again, I can post pictures if interested.
Not Kippers; Lippert!
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:39 PM   #7
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Steamy, thank you. I have this fear of ripping the exposed plumbing out. Care to go into your install process. Difficulty level, issues, etc.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:43 PM   #8
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I like remote places too, but, a higher trailer is a less stable trailer. It would increase air resistance, thus lowering gas mileage. How much difference it makes at highway speeds I can't say, but it must have some effect.

Calling all engineers—am I right?

Gene
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:44 PM   #9
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Regarding axle lift kits, has anyone installed a lift kit on a tandem axle trailer? I can envision a couple of problems.

With single or tandem axles: the higher centre of gravity would affect towing characteristics. Significant? Has the process been vetted by Airstream?

With tandem axles: the need to adjust the ball upwards three inches to maintain trailer at level may require new hardware and interfere with operation of tailgate etc.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:58 PM   #10
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With tandem axles: the need to adjust the ball upwards three inches to maintain trailer at level may require new hardware and interfere with operation of tailgate etc.
That too.

A high quality extension for the hitch receiver to raise it will cost around $150. This will lengthen the hitch assembly and make the assembly less stable. It is better to be closer to the axle than further away.

If you are still within warranty, there may be a problem with that too.

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Old 01-24-2015, 01:03 PM   #11
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Spoil sports! Some folks can find the negative in everything.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:07 PM   #12
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A few comments;
  • The install was fairly straight forward; just make sure to use proper jacking points. There is a previous thread with pictures but I think he may have used the stabilizer jacks to hold the body up, which should not be done. I jacked up one side at a time, removed the wheel, then supported the frame with jack stands; removed the two bolts connecting the axle to the frame, lowered the axel with the hydraulic jack, inserted the lift spacer, bolted it to the axel, jacked up the axel until it met the frame, and bolted the spacer to the frame. Not really too complicated, but it was work.
  • Have traveled to Moab, Yellowstone, Glacier NP, Maroon Bells, since the install, and no concerns about stability.
  • I believe there is sufficient mass below the center line of the trailer that it is just not a problem, including the weight of the propane tanks on the hitch.
  • the extra lift is useful when going to National Park campgrounds, removing wheels, particularly if you have 16" wheels.
  • this upgrade, in my opinion, ranks right up there in one of the better improvements we have done. One of the reasons I am reluctant to sell it.
hope this helps.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:22 PM   #13
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Also, look at the lift that others have done to SOB box and fifth-wheel trailers. I just do not think 3" is a problem.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:28 PM   #14
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I've crawled around under our trailer enough to know that another three inches of clearance would be wonderful. I'm hoping I can be convinced that it's a totally safe upgrade!!
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