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Old 09-22-2021, 08:40 AM   #1
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2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
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Ultimate LIFT KIT... and 3 inch Dexter

Our Airstream Dealer installed the Dexter 3 inch Lift Kit and our Solar as options to our 27 foot International in 2019.

I upgraded our wheels to 16 inch Sendels and 16 inch Michelin LT225/75/R16 Agilis CrossClimate tires. I may go to 235 inch width when these tires wear out, but not necessary to most. I removed the 15 inch Goodyear Endurance E Rated tires and wheels, which sold immediately on Craigslist. I cannot recall the price received, but about 50%+ of my 16 inch upgrade. The buyer was upgrading his flat bed trailer tires and wheels...

We travel heavy for two or more weeks, Off the Grid Boondock and need every bit of security of traveling uneven roads in the National Forests and BLM roads.

With the lift there is no difference in towing. No sway. Not any stiffer than without a Lift Kit.

The steps are about 3 inches higher from the ground. We use a folding Ramp that our Blue Heelers use to access the trailer... as well as ourselves.

Would I do it again? You 'betcha'... Lots of advantages. NO disadvantages. The Airstream now has more clearance and this does not affect the towing in cross winds, head winds or 'rear winds'. The body profile has not changed. There is also more air flow beneath the trailer... as the only visible difference... to us.

If someone has 'stability issues with the lift'... it is their Hitch and Tow Vehicle... NOT the lift. Not the 16 inch wheels. No service station Plowing the Asphalt nor dips in a road. You are NOT IMMUNE to everything... as you will recognize situations where the passenger will watch the rear bumper clear any contact with the road. If you are that close to NOT Clearing... you will see it from experience.

Call us Happy and not Dragging our Arses on simple entrance and exits from knowing there are limitations of NO LIFT and Three Inch Lift with the extra 1/2 inch, or so... with 16 inch tire upgrades.

YOU WILL NEED TO READJUST YOUR HITCH ADJUSTMENTS. Even changing from one tow vehicle to another... needs attention. Experiment with the changes and also everyone carries different weights and cargo.
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:48 AM   #2
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One Way IN... NO WAY OUT

Remember... Service Station ingress and egress can be your biggest challenge to dragging your rear bumper.

This is a visual caveat. You look for Drag Marks of most often, hitches. In the asphalt. This can also be a rear bumper... for Airstreams. The Airstream has a DRAG the BUMPER angle built into the design of the... low profile aspect of suspension. (Thus the three inch lift kit does improve YOUR odds of NOT dragging an expensive bumper into an ARCH. The center of the bumper to the angle of a 'dip' at a right angle... worse than taking the exit / entry at an... angle.)

You may easily drive into the Service Station, but to exit... a different angle that maybe an issue. Having the passenger exit and watch, giving you signals to STOP... or maintain a slow exit works best.

You can also BACK OUT... if no other options exist. Nothing to be embarrassed doing that... unless you have a replacement bumper... and possible bending the Skid Plates on BOTH SIDES, as well. Maybe damaging the Rear Storage Compartment...

This is the FATAL DESIGN OF THE LOW PROFILE aspect of Airstreams. The Lift kit saves you the cost of a rear bumper replacement. I was able to bend my rear bumper on the 25 foot that dragged on a modest, unpaved road leaving a campsite.

It is all angles. Sure... you are an expert. I thought I could judge the clearance by an inch... all it takes is one spot that is not clearing by one inch.

This may seem trite and not important. Most modern Service Stations have better drainage design and are... safe for your Airstream, and other SOB in tow. Older, small town Service Stations may be a risk.

Also when off the asphalt.

Angles IN are different that the Angle Out at the same location. Driving in with both axles parallel IN, may not work with them parallel going OUT.

Think. If you have dragged your skid plates on the rear frame. You got off easy... that time. The will not support the weight of future drags, no better.

Shank Drag... is another example of a poor setting up your Shank to Trailer. The shank can be Flipped 180 degrees... but then needs to clear your Tail Gate when dropped. These DEEP Gouge in the asphalt at Service Stations are often Shank Drags.

Your bumper bending... leaves only a ruined bumper and you have learned to be more careful. If you do not care... you will provide entertainment for others... watching your being hung up and need to figure out how to use leveling blocks to get out with your ego being picked up as parts and pieces into the Tow Vehicle... Be careful. I learned... and managed to save my bumper. Once... was all it took.

If this is too long... what is your experience in Bumper or Shank Drag in less than 100 words?
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:32 AM   #3
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Now that your solar is that much closer to the sun, do you see a charging performance increase?
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:02 AM   #4
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Clear Air at 7,200 feet Elevation... :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
Now that your solar is that much closer to the sun, do you see a charging performance increase?
I like it when members think outside their Airstream.

Many lock themselves out of creative options and do not consider if you do something to 'improve' your Airstream's performance... there could be a negative aspect.

A lift kit is positive. Solar is positive. Michelin 16" tires are positive.

Staring into a clogged Black Tank from the toilet's portal towards a soft landing... could use some sensitive advice, but leave that to the experts. Anything on this Thread will be of no use. Try diverting toilet tissue into a disposable bag... and adding more fresh water before use. Sunshine is optional... but a negative choice.

Does anyone think about astronauts and their options? Solar. Leveling. Disposal of... other Earthly items? You are in your personal Airstream Space Craft. It has limits that require some initiative on the part of the owners.

At 7,200 feet elevation... our trailer is capable of selling excess battery charging capabilties to those who cannot plug into 50 amp RV Park outlets, before darkness and mayhem come knocking.

Those without Solar... park next to someone who does. When their batteries are in the 90% to 99% range... why let any Sunshine be wasted and offer to walk their dog as payment?
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:31 PM   #5
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No interest, so one negative lift kit problem and bye bye

Your Airstream is less than 10 feet tall. From the ground to the top of the AC Unit covers. Standard garage doors are 10 feet tall. Our RV Garage door is 14 feet off the driveway and a 10 foot to enter the back yard.

Our 25 foot and 27 were 9 feet 9 inches. (check, my memory is like money in my wallet. Comes and goes.) This, no doubt, is why Dexter Axles are used. So you can walk around the interior, but able to fit into a garage with current 10 foot standard doors.

Add 3 inches... makes 10 feet. Hmmmm.

Sixteen inch tires add .5 inch and now 10 feet and a half inch. Hmmmm.

Probably easier to increase height of the Garage Door to 10 feet six inches or 11 feet if you want to enter or pull through the other door.

How to measure your Airstream's height. Get onto a ladder with a four foot level. Have someone below with the tape measure. They hold the tape onto the floor and you raise the level to...level and read the tape on the bottom of the level. This should be your highest point. (If the parking spot is uphill or at an angle...then you have more to work with.)

Some older homes many 4x4 3/4 and 1 ton pickups are... too tall. Yep, true.

We can no longer back out our Airstream into the back yard paver area as we did with earlier, shorter models. Just keep that in mind. We did, but it was worth doing what we did and I can increase garage door opening height, if necessary.

**** Measure to top of AC Unit, or double check. Closest towards the axles. Or the vent cover over Fantastic Fan if it is higher. If trailer is not level... then work it out. If your garage entry is not level, another issue. Check it out if it is important to you. If you store your trailer at an RV Park... I would not read this Thread either.
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Old 09-30-2021, 04:58 AM   #6
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Glad you mentioned aboot the garage door. I was thinking one with the extra panel is needed. It might be 2.

We be hopin' to move in that direction next year. Planing on building a Cleary or Morton if we can.
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Old 09-30-2021, 06:57 AM   #7
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Great advice on the access and departure angles. I picked up our '34 footer during the summer of 2020. While leaving the yard over a farm road around a tight turn the rear bumper hooked on the stem of an alder we had cut to accommodate the tail swing, and now no bumper or rear compartment or contents. Lesson 1 during mile 1 on tail drag. The hitch was set up as well as it could be but the height of the truck, and the saggy suspension of the trailer resulted in a slight incline toward the rear. It's been downhill from there lol. Axles were tired. New axles have the 32 degree down angle, are slightly heavier, and the trailer will be lighter (850 pounds of ceramic tile taken from the side bath to the dump). Where the reviews for a lift kit on the triaxle are mixed, we'll start with the down angle.
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:16 PM   #8
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I have a 3" Dexter lift on my FC19CB. 'm moving up to a FC23FB and was going to ask the forum about lifting it as well. Your (and claymanjack's) posts saved me the trouble. I will follow in your footsteps.
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Old 10-22-2021, 05:43 AM   #9
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This is an issue that I have wondered about. New GT27FBT on order (2 Dec delivery date). I have never owned an Airstream. Some of our favorite camping destinations are in the Ozark and Ouachita mountains.

Campsites on the rivers and lakes can be very steep and hilly. It has never been a problem with standard slide outs (as long as you have 4WD) but I am concerned about dragging with the AS.

Ray, will lifting 3" have an effect on your stabilizer jacks?
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:51 AM   #10
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I wouldn't think so. You'll just have to lower them more.
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Old 10-22-2021, 10:27 AM   #11
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Hillsboro , Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Our Airstream Dealer installed the Dexter 3 inch Lift Kit and our Solar as options to our 27 foot International in 2019.

I upgraded our wheels to 16 inch Sendels and 16 inch Michelin LT225/75/R16 Agilis CrossClimate tires. I may go to 235 inch width when these tires wear out, but not necessary to most. I removed the 15 inch Goodyear Endurance E Rated tires and wheels, which sold immediately on Craigslist. I cannot recall the price received, but about 50%+ of my 16 inch upgrade. The buyer was upgrading his flat bed trailer tires and wheels...

We travel heavy for two or more weeks, Off the Grid Boondock and need every bit of security of traveling uneven roads in the National Forests and BLM roads.

With the lift there is no difference in towing. No sway. Not any stiffer than without a Lift Kit.

The steps are about 3 inches higher from the ground. We use a folding Ramp that our Blue Heelers use to access the trailer... as well as ourselves.

Would I do it again? You 'betcha'... Lots of advantages. NO disadvantages. The Airstream now has more clearance and this does not affect the towing in cross winds, head winds or 'rear winds'. The body profile has not changed. There is also more air flow beneath the trailer... as the only visible difference... to us.

If someone has 'stability issues with the lift'... it is their Hitch and Tow Vehicle... NOT the lift. Not the 16 inch wheels. No service station Plowing the Asphalt nor dips in a road. You are NOT IMMUNE to everything... as you will recognize situations where the passenger will watch the rear bumper clear any contact with the road. If you are that close to NOT Clearing... you will see it from experience.

Call us Happy and not Dragging our Arses on simple entrance and exits from knowing there are limitations of NO LIFT and Three Inch Lift with the extra 1/2 inch, or so... with 16 inch tire upgrades.

YOU WILL NEED TO READJUST YOUR HITCH ADJUSTMENTS. Even changing from one tow vehicle to another... needs attention. Experiment with the changes and also everyone carries different weights and cargo.
Would you mind sharing the details on the folding ramp you use? We have a lifted GT and 2 pugs that need help getting in and out.
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Old 10-23-2021, 08:49 AM   #12
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Stabilize What? Three inch lift is wonderful, when needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolecox View Post
This is an issue that I have wondered about. New GT27FBT on order (2 Dec delivery date). I have never owned an Airstream. Some of our favorite camping destinations are in the Ozark and Ouachita mountains.

Campsites on the rivers and lakes can be very steep and hilly. It has never been a problem with standard slide outs (as long as you have 4WD) but I am concerned about dragging with the AS.

Ray, will lifting 3" have an effect on your stabilizer jacks?
*****

Maybe wearing High Heels would be a better option to get a sense of the height change. Duck as you go into the trailer. It hurts...

You will not notice the trailer rocking when inside. It takes skill to walk in High Heel Hiking Boots... if they are available for the Modern Hiker? I have not been stabilized for Decades. Time has done it slowly... So will you and the Lift Kit will not notice not having them used.

Some use a battery operated socket on their Stabilizers. We saved ourselves money by not using them at all. Reminds me of the training wheels on a bicycle. I needed them on a tricycle, but I was ornery and hard to civilize as a kid.

Getting in and out of the Lifted Stairs. We carry a ramp that folds so the Blue Heelers can easily get in and out... and for us... to get OUT, when they come IN.

I have not used 'stabilizer jacks' on any of our Airstreams. But... I would suggest a 12" x 12" x 2" block of pine lumber for the ground to be stable under the pad. Many do not and the trailer still rocks. Crank it too much and the trailer will... squeak louder.

When we sit or sleep... we don't need stabilizers. Nothing to stabilize when you are outside the trailer in a folding lawn chair. We spend very little time inside our trailer.

I really do not know why we take the Airstream along with us. When we return home, the cleaning the dust and unloading everything takes a few days, if not more. A tent you pick the whole thing up and SHAKE. Nothing to stabilize, but empty it first. The Tent.

I will have to reconsider having a trailer. A leaf blower needs 120 volts... not in Wyoming on a tree or some towns... yet.
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Old 10-23-2021, 08:16 PM   #13
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Ray,

Do you mind sharing the ramps you use for your dogs? Or maybe I'm not cool enough for you to respond.
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Old 10-23-2021, 10:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolecox View Post

Ray, will lifting 3" have an effect on your stabilizer jacks?
Just put an extra Lynx block or 2x6 under the jacks.
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Old 10-24-2021, 06:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarden View Post
Just put an extra Lynx block or 2x6 under the jacks.
There you go..

No high heels required.
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Our Airstream Dealer installed the Dexter 3 inch Lift Kit and our Solar as options to our 27 foot International in 2019.

I upgraded our wheels to 16 inch Sendels and 16 inch Michelin LT225/75/R16 Agilis CrossClimate tires. I may go to 235 inch width when these tires wear out, but not necessary to most. I removed the 15 inch Goodyear Endurance E Rated tires and wheels, which sold immediately on Craigslist. I cannot recall the price received, but about 50%+ of my 16 inch upgrade. The buyer was upgrading his flat bed trailer tires and wheels...

Call us Happy and not Dragging our Arses on simple entrance and exits from knowing there are limitations of NO LIFT and Three Inch Lift with the extra 1/2 inch, or so... with 16 inch tire upgrades.
Thanks for this report Ray. I am about to add the lift kit and would love to if all TT's can take the larger tires?
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolecox View Post
Ray, will lifting 3" have an effect on your stabilizer jacks?

We have the lift on ours and I don't see any change. Now, we had those big round red Anderson jack cans that were left over from when we had of our toy hauler that we are using.


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Old 10-24-2021, 10:09 AM   #18
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Petstep folding Pet Ramp for Uncool Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpath View Post
Ray,

Do you mind sharing the ramps you use for your dogs? Or maybe I'm not cool enough for you to respond.
******

It is Pet Step. Six feet long and folds down to 3 feet and 17/18 inches wide.

Bought it ten or more years ago.

With Inflation... I see Amazon has them at $120. Petstep Original Folding Pet Ramp. Works well for uncool people, like myself. You will find it very stout. Put a small step stool under the fold for extra support.

I have talked about this a number of times in posts. Maybe this post, as well? I find a lot of Post Skippers and they miss everything from #1 and go to #56.

Rated at 4.6 dogs out of 5 dogs.

It is heavy. Lowes has a light colored one for $160.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:17 AM   #19
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Uncool and Warm Pet Owners

Those towing with 3/4 and 1 ton trucks... and have a dog or two.

The Pet Step is very handy. We use it to have our Blue Heelers GET INTO their Pet Porter on the back seat. We use it to have our Blue Heelers GET OUT.

Having a dog jump out from the back seat can injure their shoulders or create other accidents. It takes no time at all for a Cool or Uncool Pet Owner to set this up. I did... and Uncool since the last Ice Age.

I fold it up and put it into the back of the Pickup. Our Blue Heeler Pup took no time at all to figure this one out. A dog is smarter than a Human Bean when it comes to Four Foot Drive. How do I know? Try climbing up the ramp and getting into a Pet Porter. It can be done... but not by me. I am just no very Cool, at all.
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