What goes up; can it go down? - Fiberglass RV


View Poll Results: What goes up; can it go down?
Yes, return to the original stance for looks. 5 29.41%
No, Raised clearance is desireable for resale value. 1 5.88%
Yes, lower Tow Vehicle should mate with Lower Trailer. 5 29.41%
No, leave well enough alone. 6 35.29%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-21-2006, 11:55 AM   #1
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Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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When I bought my Fiber Stream, it had already had it's Leaf Spring suspension modified to raise the trailer about 4". Normally the springs are mounted below the axle tubes; mine are mounted above the axle tubes. I have read here that this is a popular modification, and I have hesitated to scrutinize it too closely.

I tow with a Honda Odyssey. It's hitch receiver sits low below the bumper, and the minivan's stance is lower than the trailer's. I had to buy an adjustable ball mount and set it pretty high to get the trailer to ride level.

I have since seen several other Fiber Streams with the axles set lower, and like the look better.

What do you think?

(old picture enclosed)
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1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:15 PM   #2
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Name: Gina D.
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It's not broke.. don't fix it.

You have more options with it lifted, and it looks fine.
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:37 PM   #3
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I vote to lower it... but for a different reason... If the original ground clearance is sufficient for the plumbing underneath to clear road hazards, the lower center of gravity is desireable for towing stability.

Roger
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:16 PM   #4
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I agree with Roger (surprise!). Both sway and wind resistance will be greater with the raised egg. As long as you have sufficient ground clearance, lower is better.
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:20 PM   #5
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As well as improving stability, ease of access and (to my distant eyes) looks, lowering the trailer would also reduce drag and so improve fuel economy. This is particularly true for you, as your tow vehicle's underside is lower than you could ever get the trailer's underside, so there is no chance of blocking airflow under your tow vehicle.

If you're not thinking of making the change right away, how about sticking a 4" block under the lowest part of the rear of the trailer, to see if you ever knock it off - this might tell you if lowering would cause any problem. I'm thinking of a piece of 2x4 held on with zip ties - rocket science not required!

Andrew
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:24 PM   #6
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Oregon
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I'm with Gina on this one...but, Frederick you and Robert towed the Stream, what? over 7,000 miles in a marathon jaunt back and forth across the country last summer. How did the trailer tow? Was the fuel mileage acceptable? If it towed like a pitching whale and the fuel mileage was waaaaay low...then I'd consider lowering. But either way, it looks like your trailer is going to have a roof height much higher than the tug. Spend the money on better tires or snazzy chrome wheels
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:19 PM   #7
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Put a lift kit on your Honda.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:31 PM   #8
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In my experience, 90% of all clearance concerns are centered on the plumbing. If it will clear, lower it. If not, leave it.

I have to take it pretty easy leaving and entering some gas stations with my Bigfoot. I'd love to have another 4" height, but too lazy to change.

Try Andrew's idea to really test your situation.
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
but, Frederick you and Robert towed the Stream, what? over 7,000 miles in a [b]marathon jaunt back and forth across the country last summer. How did the trailer tow?
For the most part, the trailer towed straight and true... I didn't need the anti-sway bar, thanks mainly to the dual axles. (don't even mention road tolls with 4 axles ) However, Interstate 44 across Missouri was so rough, the constant bouncing broke the metal Battery box loose, and cracked the shell above and below the access door!

When towing 75 mph to make time, ( I know, I know) I got about 12 miles per gallon.

I kept wondering if the height was amplifing the bounce?
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
In my experience, 90% of all clearance concerns are centered on the plumbing. If it will clear, lower it. If not, leave it.

I have to take it pretty easy leaving and entering some gas stations with my Bigfoot. I'd love to have another 4" height, but too lazy to change.

Try Andrew's idea to really test your situation.
Unlike Casita, which exposes their plumbing drains to a lot of road hazards, Fiber Stream [b]raises the bathroom floor inside. Plus the Bathroom is across the back not the front. Only the Gray & Black holding tanks, and the dump valves, are below the floor between the rear axle and the bumper. Just forward of the bumper are 2 skid casters to prevent damage to the exposed plumbing, or the bumper.
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Unlike Casita, which exposes their plumbing drains to a lot of road hazards, Fiber Stream raises the bathroom floor inside. Plus the Bathroom is across the back, etc., etc.
The arrangement sounds much like my 21' Bigfoot, only I don't have a raised floor.. Looking more closely at the picture, the rear overhang is likely less, too.

Lowering may work fine!
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:23 PM   #12
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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I have considered a tire change which would raise my Boler slightly, which I would likely accept for ground clearance. I would not overdo it, because I strongly believe that lower is better, for all the reasons given above:
  • better roll stability (and thus better yaw stability - sway)
  • easier access (lower step-in height)
  • lower air drag (assuming bottom of trailer is not below bottom of tug body)
  • less pitching tendency
Appearance is relatively unimportant to me, compared to everything else. My Boler has one additional complication - if it were much higher, intereference between the tongue jack and van hatch would be a problem.

Depending on exactly how the spring-under to spring-over conversion was done will determine the cost to go back: it might be no more than a set of U-bolts and an afternoon's work.
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:52 PM   #13
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Whether the spring pads are welded on to the axle or not would govern the amount of work req`d to try the drop.....if they are welded on you would want to leave the existing ones and weld a new set below the axle...you could always go back to raising it again if you didn`t like the lower set up....I personally like a lower riding trailer because of plusses already explained by others....Benny
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:27 AM   #14
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Besides, Frederick, lowering will change the look of your rig. Right now, she reminds me of an old lady hoisting her skirts as she tiptoes through a puddle.
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