Body lifting a boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-05-2007, 02:36 AM   #1
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Trailer: Boler 1700
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I just purchased a 17' boler but my chevy is too high for towing it. I have bigger tires on my truck so the reciever hitch is higher than it was when it was stock. What is the best solution to get the trailer higher off of the ground? Should i look into giving the trailer a body lift? Should i put bigger tires on the trailer? I know i could just get a drop hitch but i would like to raise the boler up because i go camping in the bush. Rarely do i camp on pavement.

If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm in a bit of a rush because i would like to camping on the may long weekend.

Thanks
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:39 AM   #2
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Trailer: Boler 1700SGH (Stage II twoftitis)
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I just purchased a 17' boler but my chevy is too high for towing it. I have bigger tires on my truck so the reciever hitch is higher than it was when it was stock. What is the best solution to get the trailer higher off of the ground? Should i look into giving the trailer a body lift? Should i put bigger tires on the trailer? I know i could just get a drop hitch but i would like to raise the boler up because i go camping in the bush. Rarely do i camp on pavement.

If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm in a bit of a rush because i would like to camping on the may long weekend.
The previous-previous owner of my Boler 1700 gave mine a spring-over. Basically, the axle used to sit on top of the springs. He cut the u-bolts, welded on a couple new spring perches on the top of the axle, and placed the trailer down on the top of the axle. So now the axle lives underneath the springs. Looks like it gave the trailer about 3 inches of lift. I figure it would probably take me an afternoon to fab up if I were doing it. Spring perches look like some 2 inch C-channel that he cut half circles out of. If I were doing it, I imagine I'd put the two pieces of C-channel together face to face. Clamp them together in a drill press, and use a hole-saw the same diameter as the axle to make the half circles.

The bottom of the frame at the axles is about 17.5 inches off the ground now. My trucks have offroad suspension and I have 285/75r16's and I use a 3 inch drop insert to get the boler to ride level.

My biggest problem now is to find scissor jacks to weld onto the rear of the frame that will extend far enough to stabilize the trailer. The only ones I can find are actual RV ones that are $130 _each_... On my Boler 1300, I bought some $5.00 Toyota scissor jacks at the wrecker and they were perfect.

If your truck is still taller than that, I imagine you could rotate the axle as well. It looks like the axle isn't in the center of the wheel; similar to a portal axle. I'm wondering if you could remove the axle, turn it left/right and then rotate 180 degrees. That should give you an additional 6 inches of lift and still have the brakes in the right position... I haven't done this, I think it would be too high for my needs.

I can take pictures if you want.
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:58 AM   #3
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Name: Dan
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Minnesota
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Don't lift the trailer; body lifting will not change the coupler height.

Lower the hitch ball with a new ball mount.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Don't lift the trailer; body lifting will not change the coupler height.

Lower the hitch ball with a new ball mount.

-- Dan Meyer
Here's one with a 10 1/4" drop!
Trailer Parts Superstore

If you're looking to lift the body, what you do is cut the axle off and place a spacer between the frame and the axle and reweld. That raises the body from the frame up, so obviously raises the coupler too. That with bigger tires would probably give you want you're looking for.
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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...My biggest problem now is to find scissor jacks to weld onto the rear of the frame that will extend far enough to stabilize the trailer. The only ones I can find are actual RV ones that are $130 _each_...
If you have the opportunity to go to US, you can find something affordable at Camping World.
My 17' Boler has springs over the axle, and I found there scissor jacks extendable up to 24" for 57 USD for a pair ! That was 2 months ago when coming back home from Texas.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
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If you have the opportunity to go to US, you can find something affordable at Camping World.
My 17' Boler has springs over the axle, and I found there scissor jacks extendable up to 24" for 57 USD for a pair ! That was 2 months ago when coming back home from Texas.
Wow! That's a bargain! Are they any good?
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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Wow! That's a bargain! Are they any good?
I put a pair at the back and another at the front. I got them welded on the frame, and I can jack up a wheel. Stabilisation is perfect from side to side. It keeps a small movement from back to front when moving inside the trailer, but more less than when I used oil pump jacks. They seem to me very acceptable for a 3000 pounds trailer.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:54 AM   #8
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I put a pair at the back and another at the front. I got them welded on the frame, and I can jack up a wheel. Stabilisation is perfect from side to side. It keeps a small movement from back to front when moving inside the trailer, but more less than when I used oil pump jacks. They seem to me very acceptable for a 3000 pounds trailer.
I see them on the camping world site now... Thanks for the pointer. I just have to figure out how to get some to canada eh....
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:12 PM   #9
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Trailer: Boler 1700
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The previous-previous owner of my Boler 1700 gave mine a spring-over. Basically, the axle used to sit on top of the springs. He cut the u-bolts, welded on a couple new spring perches on the top of the axle, and placed the trailer down on the top of the axle. So now the axle lives underneath the springs. Looks like it gave the trailer about 3 inches of lift. I figure it would probably take me an afternoon to fab up if I were doing it. Spring perches look like some 2 inch C-channel that he cut half circles out of. If I were doing it, I imagine I'd put the two pieces of C-channel together face to face. Clamp them together in a drill press, and use a hole-saw the same diameter as the axle to make the half circles.

The bottom of the frame at the axles is about 17.5 inches off the ground now. My trucks have offroad suspension and I have 285/75r16's and I use a 3 inch drop insert to get the boler to ride level.

My biggest problem now is to find scissor jacks to weld onto the rear of the frame that will extend far enough to stabilize the trailer. The only ones I can find are actual RV ones that are $130 _each_... On my Boler 1300, I bought some $5.00 Toyota scissor jacks at the wrecker and they were perfect.

If your truck is still taller than that, I imagine you could rotate the axle as well. It looks like the axle isn't in the center of the wheel; similar to a portal axle. I'm wondering if you could remove the axle, turn it left/right and then rotate 180 degrees. That should give you an additional 6 inches of lift and still have the brakes in the right position... I haven't done this, I think it would be too high for my needs.

I can take pictures if you want.
Thanks Herb,

Me and a buddy are going to do the spring over this friday. I was going to do this all along but i was just checkin to see if there was something better out there.

Derek
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:32 AM   #10
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Me and a buddy are going to do the spring over this friday. I was going to do this all along but i was just checkin to see if there was something better out there.
I took the tires off mine this weekend to check the brakes (and also have new tires put on, these ones are all dry and cracked) so had a look at the spring perches. Whoever did them, did a great job on them. They look identical to the stock ones (which are still there on the other side)... It really does look like a no-brainer job... You don't even have to worry about a pinion angle or anything.

I was thinking, if you're going to take this thing out on some trail, you might almost want to put some shocks on it while you're in there. Looks like once that baby gets to swinging left/right, there's not going to be anything to stop it. I'd certainly keep everything out of the upper storage bins until you get where you're going. :-)

Wonder if they Goodyear make MTR's small enough for the trailer. :-)
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:53 PM   #11
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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My 17' Boler is still at stock height, and that suits me, since I would not want the higher step up to the floor or inferior handling... but for some people raising the trailer suits them, usually for increased ground clearance.

Donna mentioned spacers; that's an effective approach for rubber torsion axle assemblies, but isn't the best or easiest way to go with leaf springs. Most B1700s have leaf-spring axles, and I assume that this one does.

The springover conversion is relatively common. It can be done without welding or fabrication, using a bolt-on kit from the axle manufacturer, Dexter. A conversion to springover configuration gains about 4", depending on axle beam diameter (should be 2.38"), spring pack thickness, and spring perch height.

I think a better - although more expensive - way to go is to replace the drop axle beam with a straight beam. Since the stock drop is 4", this provides a 4" lift. Unlike the springover conversion, is also gains the same amount of clearance under the axle beam, and should be both somewhat stronger and slightly lighter.

A number of FiberglassRV and Bolerama members have raised their B1700's, some by springover conversion and at least one with straight beam replacement.


The stock tire size is F78-14, or about 205/75-14, about 26" tall. I have not found real (LT) light truck tires in this size, but there are commercial tires around that size, in addition to the usual ST and passenger choices.
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:57 PM   #12
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...I was thinking, if you're going to take this thing out on some trail, you might almost want to put some shocks on it while you're in there. Looks like once that baby gets to swinging left/right, there's not going to be anything to stop it...
I agree. See [b]Shock Absorber Retrofit, Boler B1700RGH for my story of adding shocks.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:26 PM   #13
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I agree. See [b]Shock Absorber Retrofit, Boler B1700RGH for my story of adding shocks.
I just read your post on the shock installation. It was really good. Kinda low on time and money, but i will post how bad the handling is after the first excursion to the bush. Hopefully i can get the trailer high enough this weekend so i can actually use my equalizer hitch!

Thanks again.
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Old 05-29-2007, 12:51 AM   #14
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I took the tires off mine this weekend to check the brakes (and also have new tires put on, these ones are all dry and cracked) so had a look at the spring perches. Whoever did them, did a great job on them. They look identical to the stock ones (which are still there on the other side)... It really does look like a no-brainer job... You don't even have to worry about a pinion angle or anything.

I was thinking, if you're going to take this thing out on some trail, you might almost want to put some shocks on it while you're in there. Looks like once that baby gets to swinging left/right, there's not going to be anything to stop it. I'd certainly keep everything out of the upper storage bins until you get where you're going. :-)

Wonder if they Goodyear make MTR's small enough for the trailer. :-)
well, may long weekend was a hit for the boler. only a few problems to report.

first, i made sure before i left that i had power to everything and that my battery was fully charged. the first night we got out there i tried to turn the furnace on and everything worked except that the blower fan was noticeably losing power. it turns out that the few minutes that i had my blower on drained the battery! it was no big deal because we had lanterns and a portable cat heater but i was still angry that i did not have power. it was actually quite cold (-3 Celsius) and the cat heater didn't really get it to a comfortable temp.

anyway, i was thinking that on the way back my battery would get charged by my truck but when i got home there was still no power!

am i missing something? do you need to be hooked up to 110 when using the furnace? also, is there a problem with the electrical if my truck doesn't charge the battery?

by the way, the spring over worked really well and since i loaded the bed of my pickup with lots of stuff it actually lowered the rear end of the truck enough so that everything was pretty much level.

i'm heading on a two week trip at the end of june so hopefully i can figure out what's going on with the electrical.
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