I have a 1988 Bigfoot B19 Deluxe and while I had the drop axles changed to straight axles when I first got it (because it was dangerously low to the ground), after reading the forums discussions about shocks, I have decided to go ahead add them since I have to replace the brakes
, bearings and tires
this year anyway. As this type of project is way beyond my skill level, I am very grateful to have an amazingly talented, extremely honest mechanic whose prices are always less than half of what any shop would charge, but he has not put shocks on a travel trailer before so I am doing the research to share with him and was so happy to come across your post, since you have the same size trailer as mine. I have a couple of questions - some related to the shocks and some related to your experience towing the B19, which is a fairly rare size. If you have a chance to respond, I (and my mechanic) would greatly appreciate your input:
1. Did you install the shocks facing in the same direction on both axles or facing in opposite directions to create counterbalance in movement?
2. Now that you've been driving with the shocks for awhile now, do you still feel it was worth installing them - did it improve the ride and handling? I will be taking mine on some washboard roads as well.
3. Do you use a weight distribution hitch when towing? I use an Equalizer bar which provides both weight distribution and sway control but I would SO love to not have to use it because the shank that attaches to the truck hitch is so awkward and heavy. At the same time, safety and handling is a top concern, so I wouldn't forgo using it if it's necessary. I know that many Casita
owners are able to do fine with just a sway control bar (which does not have a heavy shank like the weight distributions systems do) but I wonder what your experience has been? I don't know if it makes a difference, but my tow vehicle is a 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4, which has the off-road suspension.
4. Did you stick with the ST 205/75R14 tires and if so, what load rating did you go with or have you changed tire sizes since raising the axle and adding shocks? Are you happy with the brand of tires you have and if so, would you share what brand you went with? Have you heard of tires with heat rating? (since you're in Canada, that may not be a necessary feature, but I am in Arizona and heat resistance would be a really good idea).
5. Have you had to replace or repair any of the circuitry (electrical panel, etc.) - have you added any solar
panels? What type of battery
do you use?
Sure appreciate seeing another B19 owner out there. Thanks so much for your wonderfully detailed step-by-step description of your awesome modification and congratulations on doing such a great job!