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Old 02-23-2019, 09:57 PM   #1
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1988 29' Argosy
brookdale , California
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Lift Kit - Do It Yourself or Get a Mechanic

Hi All

We have a 1988 29' Argosy Airstream that we are restoring. We plan to put a lift kit on it.

My husband is very handy is is doing all the restoring but has never done this before. He has watched videos and it seems pretty simple.

In your experience would you recommend doing yourself or mechanic? For those that have done this themselves, about how much time did it take you? If I am missing a topic on this forum that answers all these questions, please don't hesitate to link me over there.

Also, have any of you gone to a larger wheel and tire along with the lift kit?

We just made the decision to sell our home and have a leave date of July or August of this year to full time. EEK and exciting at the same time. The reality of all that still needs to be done is a bit overwhelming so making some realistic lists of time frames and expenses.

Any input on this topic would be great and thank you all so much.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:37 PM   #2
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I wouldn't hesitate to install the lift kit if I were about 10 or 15 years younger. I had an RV service guy come do it in my driveway and I played the role of his gofer. Given the right tools (I had an air over hydraulic jack and he had air tools) it went fairly quickly, around 4 hours. It would have been quicker but the pans protecting the tanks were obstructing access to the bolts. Download the installation guide from Dexter and check to see if you are going to have good access to the bolts. That was the only problem we ran into. I had already modified the pan when we replaced the axles several months ago but new problems arose with the lift kit.

Al
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:40 AM   #3
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Sharon Springs , NY
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Lift it!!

We had a lift kit added to our 1989 32' AS Excella. Colin Hyde(Plattsburgh, NY) a well known AS restorer did the work when he replaced our trailer's axles. I had envisioned doing the work myself, but glad I let the professionals do it. It took Colin and his crew 6 hrs +/- to complete the task. They had to reroute the L.P. lines and some wiring. Our trailer, according to Colin was in very good shape underneath and everything went smoothly. However, the factory does have variations on how things are routed, so each trailer can differ (Colin's words not mine) a bit. I was very happy with the results and while we had upgraded to 16" rims w/LT tires earlier, we had much better wheel well clearance. I can now easily get under the trailer to visually inspect, etc. Have to raise your hitch ball to tow it level, but it doesn't seem to tow any different, no sway at all!! Hope this helps, good luck and safe travels!! Jim
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:46 AM   #4
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Do it yourself. If well planned out and all tool available it can be done in under a day. I made my lift block myself but this can be applied to store bought kits also. Here is a link to my Blog post with the details.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...lift-kit-2901/
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:04 AM   #5
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Lift it!! 2

I do agree with those that say "just do it" as it appeared to be pretty straight forward. However, there are the "what ifs"(which we had) but if you have a well researched plan beforehand, you should be fine. I am still glad we had a professional do it and I was able to watch. I would recommend replacing your axles/shocks based on the age of your trailer and since you are going to have take them off anyway. I think our axles (2) were $1300 +/-(Dexter) , the shocks were $50 (Monroes) and the lift kit was $175+/-(Dexter) plus you get new brakes(we went with drum brakes for ease of replacement) with the new axles. Colin recommended to get the servicable bearings versus the sealed ones, which we did. To order axles, Dexter will need your VIN and other data plate info (Colin ordered ours and they were delivered to his shop). Good luck!!
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:03 AM   #6
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Do it...not a bad job...scribe a line to keep the axles lined up...
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:23 AM   #7
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1988 29' Argosy
brookdale , California
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Thank You

Thank you all so much ~ Freedom ~ your responses are incredibly helpful. Much gratitude!
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:32 AM   #8
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1959 24' Tradewind
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I wasn't really going for clearance, but I raised mine by adding the same type of axle with lead springs. I put the springs on top instead of underneath the axle.
Originally the clearance was 15-17 inches (I forget). Now I have 22.5 inches. We're still in the restoration phase so I haven't taken it out. I may have to drop it back down depending on how she rides. Anyway, here's a couple photos.
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:18 PM   #9
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1988 29' Argosy
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Talking

Wow ~ thank you for the info Tony. I actually asked my hubby about leaf springs the other day ... the other thing he is working on is where to put our 500 lb BMW motorcycle. He’s looked at racks for the back of the trailer but it rides so low already that 500lbs on the back is most likely not going to work ~ we are not sure what the plan is at this point.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottandMoni View Post
Wow ~ thank you for the info Tony. I actually asked my hubby about leaf springs the other day ... the other thing he is working on is where to put our 500 lb BMW motorcycle. He’s looked at racks for the back of the trailer but it rides so low already that 500lbs on the back is most likely not going to work ~ we are not sure what the plan is at this point.
Here we go......... DO NOT mount a rack for a 500lbs motorcycle on the back of you Airstream. It will destroy it and likely kill you in the process.
Lot’s of info on the forum about this.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:13 PM   #11
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Yes read about it all today before seeing this kind of sarcastic post .... but thanks anyway.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottandMoni View Post
Yes read about it all today before seeing this kind of sarcastic post .... but thanks anyway.


Hi and good luck with the lift kit. I love Argosy trailers - there’s a great thread in here about showing off your paint job - tons of gorgeous pics there!

On the 500# bike comment - I don’t see any sarcasm in the post warning about weight on the back of a trailer. It’s a very serious problem both in terms of the construction of AS/Argosy trailers and the physics of sway. There are many threads here on that topic. Many opinions too. I find the general consensus by those who know far better than I do is to avoid that at all costs.

Good luck and happy camping! Please post some pics of you haven’t yet!
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:29 AM   #13
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Yes read about it all today before seeing this kind of sarcastic post .... but thanks anyway.
No sarcasm intended. There are some real structural and safety issues with mounting anything to the rear frame of an Airstream/Argosy. I too, though it would be a great idea to add a receiver to the rear of my unit. Turns out, it’s not......

I ment what I said and I said what I ment, you will destroy your trailer 100%....
(Sarcasm)
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:38 PM   #14
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1988 29' Argosy
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Thanks all for the input it really helps. The bike is going to have to ride in the bed of the truck. As for the lift kit.... after several phone calls and expert conversations we decided to replace our axles. The ones we have are old. So upgrading with new axles, 16” wheels and tires ~ according to a specialist vintage trailer restorer that should add about 4” of height to the trailer. My husband has remodeled and rebuilt many things in his life ~ but this is a first! Will post some pics in a few days on the Argosy thread ~ maybe progress pics.
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