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Old 08-27-2003, 09:45 PM   #1
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My trailer's too tall!

I was hoping someone might haved some suggestions on reducing the clearance height on our 1965 Trade Wind. In order to get the trailer into our side yard it has to go through a portico. By shaving some wood from the portico and letting the air out of the tires, we were able to just pass under with 1/4" to spare. (we don't have a roof air conditioner).
Does anyone know how much we can lose by going to smaller radial tires? We currently are running 700 x 15 tires on 6 lug rims. As I mentioned, the tires need to be replaced and I am thinking new rims also. Is there anything else we can do physically (within reason) to lower the trailer by about 4"? Thanks
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Old 08-27-2003, 10:03 PM   #2
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Four inches is a lot of lowering. There must be a way to either raise the portico or lower the elevation of the driveway. Maybe even split the four inches between the two. Shorter tires will seriously affect ground clearance and revolve more than the factory specified tire size.

Don't mess with the existing stature of the trailer. It is a proven balance of height and weight with the least amount of wind resistance while traveling. I would look at alternatives other than the trailer.

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Old 08-27-2003, 10:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. Raising the portico (part of the roof of the house) and lowering the concrete driveway are major construction projects. I do have close to 18" of ground clearance which seems high to me - It's a big step to get to the step of the trailer. From what I've seen, it looks like earlier and later Airstreams sit lower to the ground. Maybe its just my imagination.
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:09 PM   #4
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If that's the case, could be a prior owner switched the axle/leaf spring configuation around. Check underneath and see if the axle is above or below the leaf spring. If it's below, could be that it could be returned to the top of the leaf spring. On your rig, I'm not sure what was factory. Any other mid sixties Trade Wind owners out there for clarification? This may be close to the four inches you are looking for.

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Old 08-28-2003, 12:11 AM   #5
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The ST225/75r15 radial tire is 28.3" outside diameter inflated. I have misplaced my table on your 700-15 but, am sure it is at least 29.3" . I had a tire dealer quote me the difference last week and I am sure it was 1.0" or slightly more.

I notice you have a 24' trailer. Mine is 29' and my problem is more height rather than less. Every little bit is one more place where you will drag. 24' may not be a problem.

There is a ST205/75r15 Load range C, which is 27.1" but, my chart tells me the load it can carry is only 1820# vs. 2100# or 2600# on the ST225 LRC or LRD. Check at http://www.goodyear.com/rv/products/..._marathon.html

I don't know your trailer weight but, if airstream put the 700-15 on it , I would think long and hard about going very much smaller.
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Old 08-28-2003, 12:22 AM   #6
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There is a ST215/75r14 LRC at 26.7" diameter and 1870# but, this is still a drop from the 2100# or 2600# on the ST225/75r15 LRC or LRD.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:25 AM   #7
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It use to be GM ran 14 inch 6 lug in the 60's Not sure it they would clear the drums though. Not sure where you find them. Be worth checking into what the LR is on 14 inch. I know my 22ft 59 is going to be around 3500-3700 range loaded so your really cutting it close going down below a tire rated 2100.
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:04 PM   #8
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Can you say approx 10 50 LB bags of sand

Load them in drag it under and unload, it will help burn off all the calories from happy hour!
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:08 PM   #9
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10 50 lb. bags of sand

Sounds like a good idea. I believe I'll have another martini and think about it. (two if necesary)
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:56 PM   #10
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225/75/15 are MUCH smaller than 7:00x15.
I just replaced the 7x15 with 225 Marathons. It is definitely not a clearance problem, unless you have bad torsion axles. Rotation speed is irrelevant in a trailer.
I am guessing that without deflation, you will drop 2 inches when going to Marathons.
I have 2 sets, 7:00x15, and 225/75R15. The smaller size Marathons seem to be much better, modern tires.
I'd say, check your axles, and keep your fingers crossed when you're pulling in your driveway.....
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Old 08-29-2003, 08:13 AM   #11
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Wingfoot

Thanks for the link for tire info and the additional comments. I don't think the 14" rims will clear the brake drum, but a smaller tire size radial on the 15" rim will probably help.
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Old 08-29-2003, 09:07 AM   #12
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Flyfshr

I checked and I don't have leaf springs on my trailer - I guess it's a dura torque axle. Reversing the leaf springs would have been a relatively easy fix - looks like smaller tires are my only answer unless someone comes up with another way to go. thanks!
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Old 08-29-2003, 10:08 AM   #13
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I know!! I know!!!

You could trade axles with me! Mine are sagged, so you'd be a couple of inches lower!
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:52 AM   #14
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I think I would find a way to lower the driveway area under the portico, or raise the portico. Once the AC is installed it won't fit under again, and changing tires upsets the physics and engineering of the balance and road clearances.
Or, you could find an RV Storage place to keep it....maybe find a new house and sell the one you are in and have somehting more compatible?
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:55 AM   #15
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Wink

"I know!! I know!!!
You could trade axles with me! Mine are sagged, so you'd be a couple of inches lower!"

The only thing worse than sagging axles are drooping drawers.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:09 PM   #16
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Just by going to radials will drop the height of the trailer. Not by 4" maybe 2.

The axle is one piece with springs (Rubber rods) on the inside. No changing the axle unless you no longer want to tow it.

I do not believe 14" wheels and tires will work at all. The capacity is light unless you bought some expensive high load tires. I had some 14" load range "E" tires on a van at one time. It was difficult finding replacements. There is the issue of clearing the drums and bolt pattern to the axle.

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Old 08-31-2003, 10:23 AM   #17
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My partner always complained about the height, hard for her to step in. Just replaced 700. 15's with new 225/ 15 Marathons on my single axle Globetrotter and it dropped 1.5 inches. I wouldn't try 14 inch rims, the 15s barley clear the drums. Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2003, 05:01 PM   #18
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Tom Nugler

Thanks, Tom. Had you cosidered or talked to anyone about going to 205's? Also, were you able to go to 225's with your existing rims?
Tom
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