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Old 03-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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New axles may have a hidden bonus

I had new axles supplied and fitted by InlandRV last year and they work just great. Now my question is a bit weird... Bear in mind that I bought the trailer from a considerable distance away and before the axle upgrade so I'm not 100% what the old set up looked like. But I'm in the final stages of working out my new floor plan and I was looking at the wheel arches (outers) and can't see why I need them to be so big? It looks like the shock absorber is mounted quite differently now and as such I was thinking I could shrink the wheel well down a couple of inches and add a flange to extend back to the chassis rail. Just to clarify, the space between the wells is currently 58" and I'm talking about making the space 2 x 2" wider, or reducing the wells from 13 1/2" down to 11 1/2" in width.

I'm sure this all makes little sense to anyone not doing a frame off but I thought there's a chance I'm not the first to try and scrape an extra few inches back from the wells.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:20 PM   #2
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There are several factors at work here. You have to consider

1) Where the tire will be when the suspension is fully squashed?

2) What if you put chains on?

3) Will there be room for a foreign object such as a piece of wood or transport tire tread to go between the tire and wheel well? If you run over some debris on the highway.

4) What if you put on oversize tires for some reason?

5) Will you have room to take the tire out and put it back in past the wheel hub when you change a tire?

I wouldn't monkey with the factory calculations unless you have smaller tires or higher mounted suspension.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:22 PM   #3
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Two things to check before you do this:

1. Unless you have Marathons or LT tires mounted now, make sure you will have room for the widest tire you might ever want to use in the future.

2. Make sure you will have enough clearance to tip the top of the tire inward while taking wheels on and off. You need plenty of room to clear the hubs, especially if you're on the side of the road in a less than ideal jacking situation.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:11 AM   #4
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All good points, I'm glad I asked. I think I'll keep it stock, the thought of snow chains shredding my shiny toy doesn't sound good.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:43 AM   #5
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All good points, I'm glad I asked. I think I'll keep it stock, the thought of snow chains shredding my shiny toy doesn't sound good.
What are snow chains and why would one want to use them?
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
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Don't forget, what if you have a blow out? The PO had one in ours and trashed the inside lining.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:43 AM   #7
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I would leave the wheel well alone. It was designed at that size for a reason.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:10 AM   #8
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I think it was designed that way because the suspension arm and shock absorber were mounted high up above the frame, but now they are relocated downwards so there is more room. I think you're all correct though, the benefits gained from slimming down it that area may not balance well against the potential risk.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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Just asking here in case I missed something..Why would you put tire chains on a trailer?
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:39 AM   #10
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Just asking here in case I missed something..Why would you put tire chains on a trailer?
In case you want to travel on snow and ice, so that the trailer brakes would not cause a jack knife, or take your chances.

Andy
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:45 AM   #11
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Yeah, I've not had to use chains yet even on my truck, just winter tires, but I did have to use 4x4 on the final stages of the recovery mission last year. In fact I used all wheel drive on my quad when moving it around the yard yesterday!
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