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Old 10-18-2006, 12:32 PM   #1
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Raise ground clearance on 25', '91 Excella?

Recently purchased a 91, 25' with torsion axle suspension and I'm towing with a Dodge diesel 4X4. A couple of local RV shops insist they can raise the trailer to provide higher ground clearance and I would like to do that unless there is some compelling reason against it. Airstream said they have raised leaf spring models but not torsion axle models. I don't plan to use it for heavy 4X4ing but I'd like the option to get into less then perfect locations and minimize clearance issues. Like to hear from anyone who has experience or knowledge about this and recommendations for reputable RV shops that have done this type of modification succesfully. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:51 PM   #2
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1992 21' Sovereign
Oakland , California
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Hi Neighbor

Hey edfos2,

My '92 21' Sovereign also has very little ground clearance - this has been a problem. I have to be very careful pulling in and out of gas stations, especially when there is a high crown road with a deep curb. This also limits our ability to go dry camping in some remote areas. I have had to replace our dump valve after hitting bottom - this has made me somewhat paranoid. I would love to know how to gain some additional ground clearance. How do these RV shops think they can accomplish that?


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Old 10-18-2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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Most of them install a block between the axle and the frame of the trailer. They also have make some weldments to move the mounting holes for the axle down to the new location. If they have not looked at the construction methods used by Airstream, they may be thinking we have the more typical leaf spring axle which only requires you to install a block between the axle and the spring.
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:26 PM   #4
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Raise chassis?

One shop said they would remove the bottom skirt (sheet metal covering the bottom of the trailer) so they could access the framework and weld cross braces directly onto the frame to support the blocking (spacer). They said +6" was as high as they would recommend. They also said that the skirt would probably have to be eliminated since the braces would be directly welded to the trailer frame. I appreciate comments from anyone about these ideas, generally. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:40 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
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Find another shop, you're going to wreck this puppy.

6" is way too much, if you alter it that much who would ever buy it?

Think about new axles with more down angle you can get maybe 2-3" and it will act and look right.

There are others that can chime in on this issue.
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:45 PM   #6
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Raise chassis?

Thanks for your thoughts. Do you know where to get "down angle" axles?
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:07 PM   #7
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1984 34' International
1977 Argosy 24
Central , Georgia
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Finding axles

You can call AStream's cust. service 937.596.6111 and they can lead you to the original manf. of your axles.

You can also look at
there is a list of distributors in calif. One may be near you and can send you to a dealer and/or discuss the geometry issues with torsion axles.

Please do not "jack" your AS up with spacers. Your axles are old enough to have started to lose their stand-up resistance. My opinion is that you would be much safer and happier with the results if you work on an increase in the articulation.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:10 PM   #8
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Raise chassis?

I appreciate all your thoughts/ideas. Another reason owning an AS is rewarding.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:29 PM   #9
Frank S
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
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Hi edfos2--Thread "I am buying new axles for my 1973 Soverign....", has a lot of recent info that may help you. Posts #31 and #37 have pictures by "trevisgardne" that show how your axles are probably mounted.--Frank S
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:33 PM   #10
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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If the axles aren't shot and are working properly, I would be reluctant to raise the RV. Airsteams in particular are built a specific way. Looking at the owner's manual, they show a diagram of the perfect tow where the car and the Airstream are totally level. If the truck is too high, maybe getting a different hitch setup might help.

I've had occasion to be concerned too about the lower clearances, but in the end, one of the things from what I have learned about the axles Airstreams use, they are suppose to be a bit lower which I think is suppose to be part of what make it tow so well. Additionally, you may raise the center of gravity by doing so, which again, might not be the spec the engineers were looking for.....

Of course I might be way off base here, cause I'm going from memory on what I thought I recall reading on this forum from the pros.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:28 PM   #11
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Raise chassis?

Calling all kinds of axle/trailer shops and the opinions are as many as I've called. Questions: How do you know when you NEED new axles? If all I want to do is increase ground clearance, one shop said save my money, they can weld spacers up to 3" to use with my exisiting axles. Good advice? What about increasing tire/wheel sizes to increase height? Anyway, I'm still at the "more confused" part of my investigations. From what I'm hearing though, I wonder if buying a new 45 degeree axle is over-kill in terms of achieving the goal of more ground clearance??
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:29 PM   #12
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What go to 7:00 series bias ply tire.....2/3 inches? Is a 16" rim available?
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