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Old 08-02-2020, 12:46 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
Height after new axles

Hey everyone!
My wife and I have finally gotten to the 71 Safari on our to-do list. We know it is going to be an awesome project and are already looking forward to the day when we take it out!

I have been a spectator on this forum for a few years and have learned much and I am quite appreciative of all the wisdom and information that has been posted.

Let the project begin.....😃

We are going to remodel an existing barn structure to house the Safari permanently and during the restomod; this will entail raising an existing second floor (not structural or safe to use as is) to accommodate the height of the trailer. I have two questions regarding this:

1). We measured the existing height of the Safari at 9’3” to the top of the ac unit. When we replace the worn axles (original equipment) with 32.5 degree axles how much additional height can I expect to add? I need to get a fairly good idea so I get the new floor height in the barn correct.
2). I am sure this is a matter of preference, but how much extra height would you add for clearance? I will be backing the Safari in, it is a level and straight shot so there will not be any other issues to encounter. I can only go about 10’6 maybe a little more in where I can place the new floor. I am thinking that anything more than 2” should be sufficient. If I decide to do a frame off job I will have to build gantries and do that outside the barn.

One other question: this is a dual axle double bed configuration (optional in 1971) and I cannot find trailer specs for original weight or tongue weight. Everything I have seen is for the single axle model. I know the restomod will change things but I would like to stay in a somewhat similar ballpark. Maybe someone knows where to find this or already has it.

I have not taken any pictures yet but I sure will document the process of the restomod - those posts with pics of the work have been most helpful in deciding what to do.

Thanks in advance for answering my questions!!!!!
Ted
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:55 PM   #2
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,084
I’d go as high as you can. 10’ 6” does not leave a lot of clearance.

You may need to work on top roof edges of the Airstream whilst in the barn. Most Airstreams sitting on good axles need about 10’ clearance minimum. If you ever put a lift kit on it or new axles with a different down angle you will need all the clearance you can get.

On my 2007 I have a couple flexible antennas including FM radio and the like sticking up higher. Now you’re reminding me I need to check my real clearance height and make a note of it...
__________________
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'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:04 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
Thanks for the reply. I may be able to get up to 11’ but won’t know until I can clear out some more junk. I’ll always be able to work on the roof outside the storage area.
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:12 PM   #4
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1990 29' Excella
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTDSilver71 View Post
1). We measured the existing height of the Safari at 9’3” to the top of the ac unit. When we replace the worn axles (original equipment) with 32.5 degree axles how much additional height can I expect to add? I need to get a fairly good idea so I get the new floor height in the barn correct.

I'm trying to do the math for exactly those questions myself on a '90 Excella.


Dexter has excellent applications guide that has diagrams of the changes in height vs. starting angle. But your question will be "how much height change from existing 9'3" on old axles" which would require you to measure "frame above ground" height - and then you add the results from the new axle configuration.



Pay attention to the notes regarding top- vs side- and high profile measurements. https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...rsn=7c21eb48_0



Plan for changes/variables/maintenance in your building design and future AS gear: Are you going to use 16" wheels at some point? Add 1/2" for just that, assuming 15".



Do you plan on working in the maintenance barn, e.g. repacking bearings? Then you need to know the max height when on jacks sufficiently high to pull tires with "healthy" axles that swing.



For the building: a roll up door? Or swing entry doors? How much clearance for a door header, or hardware? Overhead lighting?


10'6" seems pretty tight for a 9'3" trailer on old axles.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:55 PM   #5
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
That Dexter guide is what I have been looking for! Thank you Joe in Sat! My take on getting the right numbers is this: measure existing ground to frame and find the difference as if I had a new 22.5 axle and add that to my current overall height. Then I would add the difference between the 22.5 and 32, then add for the 16” tires and add for the taller extended bracket. If this is right then I should have a quite accurate height measurement for a loaded trailer. Is this how you were figuring it?

I’ll have to take her out to a paved lot to get accurate measurements. That will have to take place in a week or so.

As for the barn doors I will probably do swing doors, though an external mounted roll up door would be ideal. It will come down to cost and availability when I get to that. I was also thinking I would mount the overhead lighting just above the bottom of the joists or to each side of the trailer.

As much as I would prefer to be able to work on all aspects of the trailer inside the barn it looks as though I’ll have to compromise on a few things. I would rather put the extra money into the Safari rather than the storage. I have a large level grassy area that can always be used for work even if that work takes extended periods of time. I am blessed with the room to do what I would like out here in the country.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:58 PM   #6
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1990 29' Excella
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 13
That approach sounds right.



22.5 degrees is about 15" ground-to-top of bracket, loaded per the guide - for low, top mount brackets. 32 degrees is about an inch higher - and that cross checks with common citations in numerous threads. Going from 15" to 16" tires adds another 1/2" - assuming same tire sidewall; i.e. 225/75R15 to 225/75R16.


I would be cautious about expecting "quite accurate" numbers since the guide states at full load in one table. No-load to full-load numbers also change about 2". But they should give you a good idea of how much change to expect - probably somewhere between 3-6" from your current 9'3", I'd guess.
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Old 08-27-2020, 12:31 PM   #7
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
So it took a little while longer than I expected due to company arriving, but I now have what I hope to be the more accurate numbers for the new trailer height after replacing the axles.

I brought the trailer to a paved and mostly level lot a couple of miles from the house. I decided to also measure the front and rear wheel fenders and the top of hitch ball both hooked up and unhooked. Now there is a WD hitch, I think it is an old Reese, but I did not use the bars this time. This is with the trailer ‘dry’. So here are all the measurements:

Top of AC unit - 9’6”
Pavement to bottom of frame between the axles: 12 1/8”

So, if I calculate this correctly according to the Dexter charts above if I replaced the current axles with 22.5deg I would gain approx 2 5/8”. I plan to use 32deg axles which would add another 1” along with the high profile bracket for another 3/4” and 16” tires add 1/2” for a grand total of 5 7/8” increase of overall height to the trailer. In a perfect world. Adding this approximate 6” to the height bring the trailer to 10’ even. I believe, after cleaning out the barn a little, I should be able to get a full 11’ of height - that should work for storing the trailer, right?

Now for the other measurements:
With trailer attached distance between tire and front fender 9” and without trailer 8 3/4”
Attached at rear fender 8 3/4” and without trailer 10”
Attached hitch height 21 1/4” and without 23 1/2”

These measurements are without any WD. The TV and trailer sat quite level see picture attached. It will be interesting to see what all these measurements are after the renovation.
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:39 PM   #8
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1990 29' Excella
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 13
2 5/8 + 1 + 3/4 + 1/2 = 4 7/8, doesn't it?


You might have an inch to spare.
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Old 08-28-2020, 10:18 PM   #9
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1971 23' Safari
Windsor , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
My bad on the adding! So that should bring the clearance to 13 inches.

Joe - what have you figured for your new height?
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:15 PM   #10
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1990 29' Excella
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTDSilver71 View Post
My bad on the adding! So that should bring the clearance to 13 inches.

Joe - what have you figured for your new height?

I haven't looked at the overall height. I was trying to figure what I'd gain with new axles and a spacer. I put everything on the back burner for travel.


Coarse measurements since the trailer isn't level put the frame at 14 1/2 above pavement, with a "high" bracket. But the axles have failed and they've adopted a sag and a set. At rest, with tanks empty and the interior largely removed the axle centerline is below the wheel center by about an inch, or a 12" axle center on a 15" tire with a 13" center.


If a fully loaded standard axle @ 22.5 degrees is 14.8", plus 3/4 for high profile, then I'll gain about an inch from where I'm at now with just an axle refresh, if I were at max gross weight for the axle. I'll throw in an extra 1/4 since the axles will be 3500# instead of the stock 3200#.



Add in another 2 7/8" for the lift kit and I'll have raised it about 4" total; or a new frame height of about 18 3/8", loaded. I would have thought it would be higher. It might be higher in an unloaded condition with the new running gear.



If your frame height above ground is only 12 1/8", then how high are the arms above the axle 3-9 line (horizontal)? I'd guess pretty significantly.
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