Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-29-2003, 02:48 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3
19' Bambi ground clearance/"lifting"

We travel on pretty rough dirt roads on our fishing trips. Is there any way to get better ground clearance on a '04 19' Bambi? Frequently, there are tire ruts on the road with lots of rocks in the middle to take out and scrape up the goods underneath.

Thanks
__________________

__________________
Glenn Hansen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 03:24 PM   #2
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
I had a similar exp with my Bambi in the u.p. of MI. I just went really, really, really slow and I took most of the ruts on an angle. You have to be careful of the tank discharge in the back. It tends to have some close calls.

Also I brought along some 2x6s to place in some of the ruts.

Eric
__________________

__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 12:00 PM   #3
Site Team
 
Janet H's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,447
Images: 90
An alternative...... learn the fine art of "riding the ridges". Straddle the ruts!
__________________
1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

.
Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

AirForums Custom Search
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 12:52 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3
There has been some discussion about flipping the axle on other travel trailers to obtain an extra 2"-4" of ground clearance. I haven't heard any discussion about this being possible on the Bambi. The dealer said not to do it becasue it would possibly alter the towability of the trailer. He wasn't even sure if it was possible at all, and that's where we left it with him. I'm particularly concerned when the dirt road turns into a narrow cliffside road on my way to this hidden fishing spot that took me years and years to figure out. This portion of road is strewn with ruts and rocks bigger than your fist, and rocks fall from the cliff onto the road frequently which you'd have to clear. To have the Bambi parked in the flat spot next to the pool where the big ones are would be sublime, and well worth raising the ground clearance on the Bambi. I'm dubious that driving slowly, although it would help as we pick our way along, and avoiding the high spots, would work.
__________________
Glenn Hansen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 01:04 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
19' Bambi ground clearance/"lifting"

Greetings Glenn!

Welcome to the Forums!

The DuraTorque axle, unlike the straight or dropped axles used by many other manufacturers does not lend itself to modification of mounting. Reading the information on Inland RV's site about the Dura Torque may answer some of your questions regarding this particular axle:

Inland RV Dura Torque Axle Article

The other issue that you would encounter with a nearly new coach is the likelihood that such modifications would result in voiding the manufacturer's warranty.

Typically when you read of axles being flipped or spring mounts being changed to gain clearance on an Airstream it involves a pre-1960s trailer that had a straight dropped axle with leaf spring suspension rather than the Dura Torque axle(s) that were adopted in the 1960s.

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 01:20 PM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3
I knew I came to the right place for the information I needed. Thanks for your replies. It might be time to search out another fishing hole that is more accessible...or hike a mile or two.

Glenn
__________________
Glenn Hansen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 01:42 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
3Ms75Argosy's Avatar
 
1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,341
Images: 7
tire clearance

How much tire clearance do you have - can you put a taller (not wider) tire on it? Two other ideas - if possible, you could put air bags on the axle- and pump up for the rough stuff gaining the sag inherent in the beginning of the axle travel - however, you probably would "lock out" your axle, making for a very stiff ride for the trailer over the bumps.

The dura torq is bolted to the chassis- it might be possible to weld a lengths of square tubing to the bottom of the chassis rails, and then bolt the axle to this. Again, one does not know what that would do to the towability of the trailer - it would raise its CG above where it is now.

One last idea is to skid plate the bottom of the trailer from the front to the back (attaching to the frame, not the bellypan). Just "slide" over the bumps!
Good luck with the spot!
Marc
__________________
3Ms75Argosy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 01:52 PM   #8
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Marc,

I didn't think that air bags were possible given that the trailers use torsen axles, plus, even if you could place a skid plate on teh bottom you'd still have the exterior dump plumbing to contend with coming up and down at certain angles.

The tire idea isn't bad, but it's been my exp that the ruts in some of these dirt/gravel roads can be pretty bad. You'd need some really tall tires and I am not sure they will fit all that well in to the wheel wells unless you do some serious mods....

Eric
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 04:22 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
3Ms75Argosy's Avatar
 
1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,341
Images: 7
Airbags

Now, I haven't seen any personally, but Dexter does mention some for their brand of "Torsen flex" axles - I'm not sure if they'd work the Hensions, but, an idea nonetheless.

If the ruts are THAT deep that they'd take out the plumbing even with skidplates, I guess I'd forget the trailer - the twisting would work wonders on the bodyshell. I'd like to see an Airstream Hummer edition
But really, I've seen some of the pictures that Wally (Gyum!!) and his carvan went through, and I'd think, with some careful pulling, the shorter trailer could probably get through almost anything a non-modified truck could get through. Some of the trailers (24 ft +) were "lowcentered" on the front and rear bumpers in the dunes of Egypt, and just pulled through with their Dodge Powerwagons. That's some serious off roading! Empty the tanks, and just slide that trailer through.
Marc
__________________
3Ms75Argosy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 07:56 PM   #10
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
The Henschen Dura-torque axle cannot be "flipped."

There is no room for air bags. Air shocks won't fit.

A kit can be made to lift your rig from the ground about six inches, and still keep the axles in alignment.

However, you still will have the axle tube for a low point.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 08:05 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Tin Hut's Avatar
 
2005 28' International CCD
Pagosa Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 800
Images: 1
outside the box

Get creative. Forget about messing around under the trailer. I picture a cylinder of helium mounted between propane tanks with a hose leading to a small blimp mounted on top. Inflate and float over the ruts. Just make sure you've got your safety chains on.
__________________
"would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?"

Tin Hut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 10:03 AM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
1969 27' Overlander
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 26
Does Inland sell the lift kit? Or have a design spec for sale?

thanks dean
__________________
Deano69LY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2007, 12:04 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,369
Janet. You obviously have Rockdocked! The ONLY answer that you can offer when off the asphalt road. Excellent advice. Reread Janet's entry on the forum.

I would be more concerned with high centering the trailer bumper or tow hitch when crossing a creek or small ravine, which is not a major concern with a 19 footer. A deep rutted road is traveled by running your trailer off the ruts. The trailer tires track outside the tow vehicle's tire tracking. You have to watch for "bush whacking" on the sides of the trailer when off center. The best alternative to finding your way on a rutted road is to have a "spotter" watching the clearance. Your spare tire will be the first indication you need to STOP. Dirt is more forgiving than a gravel/bouldered dirt road.

Experience will be your teacher. If you tend to hit boulders in the road, high spots, loose lumber on the highway and have not developed a sense of clearance, take it easy for awhile. I have seen too many "been doing this for years so buzz off with the advice" leaving expensive parts on their trips. Look for tow hitch grooves in the dirt or spots where others have been dragging their trailers.

The AS has a low center of gravity when "watered up". Jacking the trailer up with any new axle will still leave you with the axle dragging. Your wheels determine the maximum clearance... Since the AS plumbing is on the driver's side, you watch that side very closely. The majority of other low clearance "parts and pieces" can be more forgiving.

Good luck and keep Rockdocking.
__________________
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2007, 08:11 AM   #14
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund
Janet. You obviously have Rockdocked! The ONLY answer that you can offer when off the asphalt road. Excellent advice. Reread Janet's entry on the forum.

I would be more concerned with high centering the trailer bumper or tow hitch when crossing a creek or small ravine, which is not a major concern with a 19 footer. A deep rutted road is traveled by running your trailer off the ruts. The trailer tires track outside the tow vehicle's tire tracking. You have to watch for "bush whacking" on the sides of the trailer when off center. The best alternative to finding your way on a rutted road is to have a "spotter" watching the clearance. Your spare tire will be the first indication you need to STOP. Dirt is more forgiving than a gravel/bouldered dirt road.

Experience will be your teacher. If you tend to hit boulders in the road, high spots, loose lumber on the highway and have not developed a sense of clearance, take it easy for awhile. I have seen too many "been doing this for years so buzz off with the advice" leaving expensive parts on their trips. Look for tow hitch grooves in the dirt or spots where others have been dragging their trailers.

The AS has a low center of gravity when "watered up". Jacking the trailer up with any new axle will still leave you with the axle dragging. Your wheels determine the maximum clearance... Since the AS plumbing is on the driver's side, you watch that side very closely. The majority of other low clearance "parts and pieces" can be more forgiving.

Good luck and keep Rockdocking.

The position of the axle "torsion arm" actually dictates maximum ground clearance.

Ground cleance can be increased by increasing the starting angle of the torsion arm.

Airstream used 22 1/2 starting angles.

In time, that decreases to zero, or even less, by the torsion arm going uphill.

We replace the axles with a starting angle of 35 degrees.

Andy
__________________

__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.