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Old 07-07-2017, 05:02 PM   #1
KnG
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2016 22' Sport
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Question Lifting the Suspension on a 22' Sport

Greetings Airstreamers,

We have a 2016 Sport 22, and we've had some problems with the trailer bottoming out. We've been looking into options for raising the suspension, including the Dexter Axle lift kit (~3"gain) or replacing the beam with the current 10 degree bars for a new beam with 45 degree bars (also ~3" height increase). A local mechanic is quoting us around $2000 for the either option, which seems pretty expensive. Does anyone have any experience with this or advice? This is our first Airstream, so we're flying a bit blind. We have some raw land where we'd like to dry camp, so we definitely need some additional clearance!

Thank you!!
Kim and Gary
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:31 PM   #2
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Hi

Part of the "zen" of an Airstream is the low to the ground design. That helps for paved roads. It is a bit of an issue for rough roads. The most basic answer is to buy a different design. That's much easier said than done.

Based on years of rough roads, I'd go for more like 6" than 3". That's going to involve steps in addition to lift kits.

Bob
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #3
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Message member "Boxite" here on the Forums. He has installed a lift kit on his 22 Sport.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:52 PM   #4
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Message member "Boxite" here on the Forums. He has installed a lift kit on his 22 Sport.


Yep there is a couple of threads on the subject. Even specifically for the 22. Google - Lift Kit Airstream. Also there is a good video from The More We Explore on the install on a larger AS.
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:08 PM   #5
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Hi

Just remember that as you lift it (even by 3 or 6 inches) you reduce the stability of the trailer. You can also reduce it in the same way by putting your $10M gold bar collection in the overhead bins

Bob
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:19 PM   #6
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$2000 is way too much to pay for this. The lift kit is less than $150 and it should take a professional mechanic with the right tools a few hours.
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:45 PM   #7
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Hi

I suspect that for a *lot* less than $2,000 one of the local farmers would be more than happy to smooth out a "road" on your land for you. Even if you boost the trailer, that might still be worth looking into.

Bob
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:44 PM   #8
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Hi

Just remember that as you lift it (even by 3 or 6 inches) you reduce the stability of the trailer. You can also reduce it in the same way by putting your $10M gold bar collection in the overhead bins

Bob
Bob...your imagination is running wild.
There's is absolutely NO detectable difference in that three inch lift. I've done it. I know.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:38 PM   #9
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I concur on the "stability" issue. No difference whatsoever in stability, handling or towing after the lift kit install. Also, $2k for that is mighty steep. It's about a 1.5 hr install at a casual pace and only about $150 in parts, and that's for a tandem axle kit. I sold my other half for half that amount, so look around on the forum, or go in with another Sport owner.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:46 AM   #10
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Bob...your imagination is running wild.
There's is absolutely NO detectable difference in that three inch lift. I've done it. I know.
Hi

Well there goes 60 years of now totally disproven Airstream marketing claims.

Bob
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:53 AM   #11
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Marketing speak does not have anything to do with engineering realities.
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:08 PM   #12
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Two things you may want to try.
1. Increase the wheel and tire size. I took mine from 14" to 15" granted the increase is minimal but it has the additional benefit of more reliable tires. Sell the Marathon tires if that's what you have and never go back! Try this out first and see if that clears most of your problems up. Discount Tire can help you with this, plus the service all across the nation.
If all else fails.
Step 2. The lift kit is a better option and anyone can do the work with 4 jack stands a floor jack and basic wrenches. Just drop one side at a time, install the lift then attach before going to the other side. May take the two of you 4 hours.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:00 PM   #13
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They were liftin a 22' at airstream Los Angeles with the 3" Dexter when I was there and they said it's just a few hundred dollar job when I asked. They spoke very highly of the lift and said their customers have all been very happy with the added clearance. Apparently they started stockin em cause everyone was bottoming out right there in the dealer driveway.

I had a hi lift dexter axle from the factory on my Casita and the difference between towin that and towin a regular height one was not noticeable. These airstreams are so dang stable, I don't see how a small shift in COG would be noticeable unless you're takin hairpin turns at 60, which I wouldn't recommend.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:15 PM   #14
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Hi

Well there goes 60 years of now totally disproven Airstream marketing claims.

Bob
Hi

If you run into an engineer who recommends increasing raising the center of gravity to improve stability ... check his credentials very carefully.

Bob
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