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Old 09-22-2017, 09:17 AM   #1
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My custom 4" lift

We recently transitioned from a FC 30 to a 23D. We thought the 23D would have more ground clearance, being a smaller trailer. WRONG! We had a dexter 2 7/8" lift on our 30 footer, but I wanted even more ground clearance, so I ended up building my own lift for our 23D.

This raised the tariler 4", and allowed me to run 16" wheels with 225/75 r16 michelin tires. for an additional 1-1.5" of ground clearance. I also decided to swap the hubs to 6 lug hubs in case I ever decided to upgrade the axle.

Here's a video of the process:







Before:


After the lift:






After 6 lug hub conversion and 16" wheels/tires:





So much more ground clearance. Now we will not only avoid scraping in gas stations and awful parking lots, but we can get off the beaten path more. This isn't for everyone, and most people won't want to do it, but i wanted to share my experience and my ideas to hopefully inspire others.

hub swap video coming soon.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:25 AM   #2
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I relize the pics aren't amazing. 99% of our media is video. We snap an occasional photo for instagram from time to time, but the videos tell a better story.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for this! Found out this AM that if we want to lift our '05 Safari 30' with Henschen axles, I'll need to fabricate my own lift. Thanks again for taking the time to document it, many of the thoughts/concerns you had during the build are similar to those rolling around in my head. Looks awesome!

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Old 09-22-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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Cool! Best if luck to you Dave. It's a pretty easy task for tgose with fabrication skills. I know there are others who plan to use 2x3 tubing. It'll be interesting to see how those turn out. So far we have 3000 miles on this lift and its going great.
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:06 PM   #5
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1971 31' Sovereign
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I follow you guys on YouTube and have already commented on your video. This is definitely something I want to do to my 1971 Sovereign 31'. I have some 1/4" thick C-channel left over from a previous project and was thinking about using that.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:48 PM   #6
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It should work well. The biggest constraint is the amount of space between the axle mounting plate and the frame.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explore more View Post
Cool! Best if luck to you Dave. It's a pretty easy task for tgose with fabrication skills. I know there are others who plan to use 2x3 tubing. It'll be interesting to see how those turn out. So far we have 3000 miles on this lift and its going great.
Not trying to High jack you thread. I'm using 3x3 square tube.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ml#post2012384
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:19 PM   #8
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I need to do that on mine. It is a 31 footer and I may have trouble getting it on some new property. I think my axles are bolted to the frame and the axle mounting plates. I don't know why the redundancy there. I expect the top bolts won't come out so they may have to be torched off.

Perry
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:20 PM   #9
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Following, I like the clearance. Nicely done.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:11 PM   #10
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I'm really happy with it. It's a BIG step up into the airstream with no stairs, but when we have the stairs out, it feels like it should have come this height from the factory. Wally byam would be proud. This trailer now has enough clearance for an expedition in Africa.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:49 PM   #11
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Fred looks happier with the AS lifted......
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:33 AM   #12
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Thanks for the excellent videos.

I'm looking at doing to something similar if I want to lift my 2006 16' which has a Henschen axle. I have to do something custom, as the Dexter lift holes won't align. I was thinking of 3" C-channel, because all the lifts are about that.. But now you have me thinking should I go higher, if I have to custom build it anyway...
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:34 AM   #13
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Great job Steve! And, as always, great job on the videos. Have fun with the lift and don't get too crazy with the places you guys go! Fun to watch from my couch though!
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:36 AM   #14
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Oh, and what model are those wheels? They look great. Are the Sendels?
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:58 AM   #15
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Thanks. They are not sendals. Sendels are great, but I wanted to be unique.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:14 AM   #16
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Steve, did you have to modify wheel wells or trim at all to fit the 16's??

I am wondering if the Dexter lift kit alone would allow the addition of the bigger wheels/tires or if your 4 inch lift was a major factor in the fit?
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:02 AM   #17
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This is great. But one question, does anyone know why in the first place Airstream even uses 14 inch tires and wheels? Other than THOR saving a few pennies, why Airstream doesn't put 16 wheels on everything except maybe 16 foot Bambis. We have a Babi Quik Silver, our choice in none other than Chinese tires. Our lack of choice in 14 inch tires is really bad! Hey Airstream, are you listening??
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:08 PM   #18
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This is great. But one question, does anyone know why in the first place Airstream even uses 14 inch tires and wheels? Other than THOR saving a few pennies, why Airstream doesn't put 16 wheels on everything except maybe 16 foot Bambis. We have a Babi Quik Silver, our choice in none other than Chinese tires. Our lack of choice in 14 inch tires is really bad! Hey Airstream, are you listening??


All newer units that are 23 or leather now come with 15 inch. More options, but still I plan to go to 16 once these wear down.
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Old 09-24-2017, 02:27 PM   #19
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No modifications needed for mine to fit. I dount they'd fit with zero lift, but they might fit with a regular dexter lift.

You habe to keep in mind that they not o my have to fit at ride height, but that they also have to have sufficient clearance at the top of their uptravel.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explore more View Post
We recently transitioned from a FC 30 to a 23D. We thought the 23D would have more ground clearance, being a smaller trailer. WRONG! We had a dexter 2 7/8" lift on our 30 footer, but I wanted even more ground clearance, so I ended up building my own lift for our 23D.

This raised the tariler 4", and allowed me to run 16" wheels with 225/75 r16 michelin tires. for an additional 1-1.5" of ground clearance. I also decided to swap the hubs to 6 lug hubs in case I ever decided to upgrade the axle.

Here's a video of the process:







Before:


After the lift:






After 6 lug hub conversion and 16" wheels/tires:





So much more ground clearance. Now we will not only avoid scraping in gas stations and awful parking lots, but we can get off the beaten path more. This isn't for everyone, and most people won't want to do it, but i wanted to share my experience and my ideas to hopefully inspire others.

hub swap video coming soon.


Love your setup! I worked in the off-road world for a while with Robby Gordon. Youíve inspired me
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