Getting More Clearance - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-27-2006, 08:19 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1979 Trillium 13 ft / 2001 Toyota Tacoma DCab 4x4
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I have a 79 trillium1300. I want to raise it 3 inches for better clearance going into the mountain camps while hunting. Has anyone done this? Any suggestions? Does it screw up the trailer much?
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:56 AM   #2
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Yup. I did it to my 74 boler. I raised mine 2 inches but started out raising it 4 inches and decided it looked funny. So back down to 2 inches. I welded in 2x2 1/4 wall tubing between axle and frame. Rides exactly the same.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:39 PM   #3
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Raising the egg too much will cause your mileage to drop, and raise your center of gravity causing squirrely handeling. I'd stick with 3" max, 2 would probably be better. You could also check out taller tires with 2in. lift to get the 3" total lift. Raising is very easy for a good welding shop to perform. Also a somewhat inexpensive mod.
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Old 03-29-2006, 09:20 AM   #4
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Some of our trailers are so low to start with that 4" can really help rather than hinder. I had a new axle put on and it (and the 14" tires) raised it almost two inches I was going to have him add a spacer, too, but decided not to. After scraping the plumbing once after that, I decided that I'd go back and have it done. If I had done it at the same time, it would've save me a couple hundred bucks. That's okay, it was well worth it. It tows like a dream BUT my tow vehicle also has a pretty good clearance and I still have a substantial drop. So my opinion is that it depends a lot on what you're towing with. It is feasible that it could actually help your gas mileage IF it raises it to where it's more in line with your tow vehicle -- or at least that is what I've read.

The only (and I do mean only) thing that I don't like about it is that I have to carry a platform (that needs to be raised two more inches). Stepping into my trailer is now about a 15" step.
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:20 AM   #5
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You also have to determine if you're merely overcoming a dead axle that has sagged, or you're actually raising it over factory stock dimensions. I replaced my Burro axle and gained about 5" total height over the old axle. The old axle was shot, and I chose an axle angle that gave it some rise as well. It made a lot of difference in the ride and clearance of the trailer.

Roger
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:00 AM   #6
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Wow, Good response egg owners.

I think my axle is a bit shot, but don't think I can afford a swap out right now. How much should I expect to pay for swap out for a new axle, what you recommend.

I have a good friend that is a welded and I think we can weld in the spacers. Does anyone have any pics of what that should look like? That would be good so I can show my friend what I need done.

Also, for 14 inch tires. What brand of rims and tires are suggested?

Thanks

Rickster
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:52 PM   #7
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I replaced the axle on my Love Bug when I was doing the rehab. The old one was totally frozen up and would not move at all. The Bug was extremely low to the ground when I bought it and would scrap the back bumper on every driveway. I replaced it with a custom order Dexter. The original had a 10 degree up angle and I replaced it with a 0 degree axle and a 4' spacer. It's a long story but it worked beautifully. The trailer now sets perfectly behind my Astro. It tows much better because the bottom of the trailer is now even with the bottom of the van and the top is only a couple ofinches above the van. It is hard to tell that there is any extra wind resistance.

My Dexter without brakes was $165 delivered to the local Dexter dealer. I should have ordered it with brakes because it was only about $50 more. OH WELL. With a tow vehicle that weighs 5600 lbs and a trailer that is a whopping 1200 lbs, it does not affect the braking alot.

I installed the axle myself so it was a cheap fix.
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Some of our trailers are so low to start with that 4" can really help rather than hinder. I had a new axle put on and it (and the 14" tires) raised it almost two inches I was going to have him add a spacer, too, but decided not to. After scraping the plumbing once after that, I decided that I'd go back and have it done. If I had done it at the same time, it would've save me a couple hundred bucks. That's okay, it was well worth it. It tows like a dream BUT my tow vehicle also has a pretty good clearance and I still have a substantial drop. So my opinion is that it depends a lot on what you're towing with. It is feasible that it could actually help your gas mileage IF it raises it to where it's more in line with your tow vehicle -- or at least that is what I've read.

The only (and I do mean only) thing that I don't like about it is that I have to carry a platform (that needs to be raised two more inches). Stepping into my trailer is now about a 15" step.

Suz,

Do you have a pic of your rig from the side. I would like to see what it looks like if possible. What is the total lift you got with new axle and spacers? Does it tow ok still?

Rick
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:58 PM   #9
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On my 2005 Trillium, I replaced 2000 lb axel with 3500 lb and raised 3". Also stretched tongue 30" and put 3'X5' tilt-a-rack on rear. I now have a 19' Trillium Outback. I think raised 3" with stock tires looks OK. Bigger tires and wheels might look better.
Trailer rides a lot better and I don't get the freeway bounce from the seams in the concrete any more. Only a problem on badly poured roads.

Curt
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:57 AM   #10
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Suz,

Do you have a pic of your rig from the side. I would like to see what it looks like if possible. What is the total lift you got with new axle and spacers? Does it tow ok still?

Rick
I'll look, but I don't think I have a picture that shows it very well. It's hard to get a good one where it's parked, but I'll try one of these days. The way my trailer is made, it's difficult to get a proper perspective on it. The frame steps down in the front and back up in the rear. The rear has always had enough clearance; it was the front (i.e., plumbing) that caused me problems. But to answer you question, I think it probably ended up about 3.5" taller. Also, I don't want to misguide you. My trailer is not 15" off the ground, the doorway is (and I need to verify that). The outer frame is double 2" tube steel (I think that's what you call it) and it's beneath the floor.

When I first had it done I thought the rear end looked kinda funny sticking way up there. The rear frame step up is not visable from the outside on most of the small trailers, but it is on the 13' and 16' Casita. They also reinforced the rear portion of the frame because of possible stress due to flexing. All of this made for a very interesting look. It took me a while to get used to it, but I rather like it now.

Here's a crude drawing of the framework they added. The red is what they added, the blue is where the axle is welded.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:53 PM   #11
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Raising the egg too much will cause your mileage to drop
It's also possible to get better mileage by raising the trailer -- If one can align the bottoms of the tow vehicle and the trailer, or get the trailer higher, one can substantially eliminate the "air dam" effect between the two. It seems that reducing the air dam more than offsets the increased drag from the increased height. Depends on the trailer and the tow vehicle.

I did a springover on a 16' Jayco, plus larger diameter tires, pullled by a D150 pickup and got improved mileage and performance on the highway and no more dragging the rear bumper and undersides.
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