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Old 12-11-2018, 03:38 PM   #1
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Lifting my triple axel limited?

Hello friends, I was following the thread about lifting a double axel with a Dexter lift kit.
Has Anyone raised a triple axel airstream?
I am very interested in hearing from anyone who has raised a triple axel and how it worked out, any special problems encountered etc.
I have a 2011 Classic Limited triple axel and I am considering that upgrade.
Any experiences or comments will be appreciated.
Thanks, Bill
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
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I asked this same question just a few days ago in a different thread. (I suppose the one you mention)
The only thread I am aware of for a triple axle change is this one, that does not talk about lifting >
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...rs-143529.html

ps: I sent a request for information to Dexter asking if they have a kit for a triple axle. There has been no response.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:48 PM   #3
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I would believe no I’ll consequence would come from lifting you tri-axle trailers. I have towed my double axle unit 20000 miles without any noticeable difference in handling. I can see a huge benefit to your 34’ trailers in the rear clearance.
I did a custom 3” lift.
Dexter only sells sets of 4 lift blocks, but you can buy two sets and sell the extra pair to a Bambi owner for 1/2 the cost of a kit. No problem
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:48 PM   #4
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One look how things bolt up, no way I would do that. I would not buy one that had been lifted because “I” believe the change would add more flex and torsional stress to the frame.

When I replace ours I did add some “downturn” / angle down. That had effect of lifting the AS about 3.3”. This effect was due to the change in angle, 3500# axles replacing of worn standard 3200# axles. I measured at the axle to fender lip and the step height from ground. After 3 years this past November 2018, the axles have “settled” about 3/16” as best I can measure.

I know that is more than you asked, but please take it as only my opinion based upon my expand observations.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:07 PM   #5
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How would it add more stress. ( I’m really asking, not being smart butt) The lift block bolts the the frame with the same holes the axle did and then the axle bolts to the bottom of the block. The block is resting in and on the frame and the axle is simply dropped down the thickness of the lift block. The axle can not torx/ flex under Torsional stress because the block is in the way, and would have to be crushed in order for that to happen.
The side force would be no different than stock and the lift blocks can not torque that way because the axle mount is welded on the inward and outward sides.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:39 PM   #6
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As an engineer, I don't believe lifting a 3 axle trailer to materially be any different form a 2 axle trailer, or a 1 axle trailer for that matter.

There shouldn't be materially more flex/stress to make any difference here. So long as the the axle blocks are matched to the axle capacities (Dexter makes slightly different blocks for different capacity axles), i.e. #10, #11, #12 and so on.

A 3" lift also is more than it would sound. Not that this is a negative, but a 34' trailer would have a lot more "presence" and look more imposing with a lift. That I surely noticed even with my 27FB.
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:47 AM   #7
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Hi, on a 34' trailer being lifted, I could see some frame flex. Instead of six lift brackets, I think one three axle lift bracket per side [two total brackets] would be the way to go.

Actually all axle lift brackets should be only one piece per side whether your trailer has one, two, or three axles.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:02 AM   #8
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Thanks

Thanks to you all for your input.
I would feel pretty comfortable installing a pre-manufactured lift kit but am hesitant to try to make my own. I can see how there might be more side to side stress because of leverage but agree that frame flex should be exactly the same with or without the lift. Am I missing something?
Looking forward to seeing more thoughts from you.
Thanks again, Bill
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:49 AM   #9
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I think stress on the frame from adding 6 brackets on a 3 axle would be substantially different than it is on a single or tandem when the trailer was turned sharply, like pivoting when backing into a parking space. My trailer will pivot on the center axle and slide the tires sideways on other two. The force on the rear axle would be opposite the front when this happens. Thinking of the forces on the tires, leverage will increase the horizontal force applied to the frame during this type of move. (by increasing the length of the lever beam by ~3")

I think I'm going to agree Channing (post #4) and not add the brackets to my 34' trailer. Instead, I'll add some down angle when I replace the axles. (and keep a few $ in my pocket )
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:11 PM   #10
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I lifted my 31' and have noticed no difference in pulling other than ground clearance is better.
Since AS axles are bolted directly to the frame whether lifter or not the axles can't flex or cause frame flex.
All the flex is, I'd guess you'd say "outward" of the rubber isolation/flex "springs" things and into the spindles, spindle arms, and tires.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:17 PM   #11
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3” Lever would if it existed increase the torque force by 25% (Right?).
Torque measured in foot/lbs = 1 lb of force, 1 foot away from the axis point? Adding 3” the the “lever” would increase the force 25%?

I’m not an engineer, I’m asking......

If that’s correct, and if there is an appreciable amount of force the added force would be low.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:41 PM   #12
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I'm asking too, since I don't know>
How much force does it take to slide two tires on an axle sideways (not roll) on the ground/pavement/etc., while at the same time the tires are bearing ~3,000 lbs per axle?

I'll guess the two opposing forces, front and rear axle, on a three axle trailer would be measured in hundreds, maybe thousands, of foot pounds.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:21 PM   #13
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3" is not a big deal and well within the structural margins that exist in any design like this.

To the person considering adding down angle. That is not necessarily the magic bullet either. Increased down angle means the suspension arm is no longer operating in its optimal stroke. With every suspension stroke now causing dramatic forward to aft motion and bump steer in the tire as a result of the arm operating in a more extreme angle. This would certainly cause more dynamic impacts than a block lift. And practically the same leverage loads as a block lift.

Personally, thinking as an engineer, I'd do the dexter block lift and call it a day. Block lifts are done all day long even by OEMs in just about every type of vehicle/trailer. That proud standing F250 or SOB... block lift.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:02 PM   #14
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Colin Hyde, axle expert, of Plattsburg, NY, says to go with more down angle rather than lift blocks because of frame flex. However, I would think that a single tube on each side for all three axles would make the frame stiff enough to handle the added turning stress. Just my opinion as I contemplate how to lift my 35' slideout. I have one of the last trailers built with Henschen axles.
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