Lowering Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-27-2009, 06:48 PM   #1
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft
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I have a 1980 Bigfoot 17 with the axle below the leaf springs. The bottom of the axle is almost the same height as the bottom of the tire rim. I am vertically challenged and want to bring my trailer floor height down closer to the ground so I don't have to work so hard to get in and out. Has it been done? Can it be done? Look forward to some great tips. Thanks!!!
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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I have a 1980 Bigfoot 17 with the axle [b]below the leaf springs.
The standard installation practice is to put the axle [b]above the leaf springs. Yours may have been "flipped" by a previous owner to gain more ground clearance. IMHO it would be equally OK to lower yours as it would be for others to raise theirs.

I have a similar situation. My Fiber Stream was raised 5" from it's original stance. I had sought to lower it back down to make it easier on my knees getting in and out. [b]BUT in my circumstance, I chose not to; because there would not be enough clearance for my trunnion-style Weight Distribution Hitch components, that hang below the hitch triangle. Check it out in your circumstance: not only will your TRAILER be lower, but your WHOLE hitch assembly would be lower as well by the same amount.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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Denise...I think "Coast Spring" over in Langley can get you sittin where you want to be, no matter how LOW or high it is!!! Worked wonders for us n our Plymouth n Trillium!
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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post some pics. as long as you have enough room for the axle to artculate without rubbing the tires in the fender wells your fine. and if they do rub a little at full load and at full axle stuff you can allways use Polyurethane Bumpstops to keep them from rubbing. any decent shop can raise or lower with little effort. especially with leaf springs.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for your tips so far. Hopefully there is a photo attached here if there are any more suggestions.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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hmmm.. its allready got a drop axle on it. and by the look of it id say that axle is supposed to be undersprung. most axles are designed with a slight curve in one direction or another depending on whether its going above or below the leaf springs. id take it to a shop. it looks to tight to just swap the axle above the leaf. it would be hitting the frame constantly. you could probly get a dexter torsion axle and drop it down lower. id get some advise from a good suspension shop. i think it may be a lot less trouble to just get a good stool.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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How about adding a step like this :

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/...form-step/35640


But shop around and see what size and price is best for you.

That way your trailer can still cross over boulders unscathed.

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Old 03-29-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
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One reason I always RAISE my trailers is to protect the waste water piping. Although I work very hard to make sure i tow level, I have seen way too many trailers out there towed high at the hitch, which lowers the rear bumper, and therefore the waste water piping where a good bump can take it all out. I've seen it happen to a friend, what a mess!!

Our fiber Stream is now a very big step to get in and out, so we purchased one of those collapsible white resin step stools. It works beautifully, and we just fold it up and leave it just inside the trailer door when we are towing.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/produ...step-stool/3807

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Old 03-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #9
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I think a step is great! When I replaced the axle on my Scamp... it went waaay up. I had a pull-out single step welded to the frame under the door. But, this may be better....
from Joy A
"I made a step made out of 1/4 plywood and 1x6 pine, with a lid. The step holds my fake grass mat that is about 6x9, maybe a little larger. I fold it and store it in the step. The step also holds the pegs for the mat and awning, plus a few other odds and ends. The step resides just inside the door for travel. "
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
I had a [b]pull-out single step welded to the frame under the door. But, this may be better....
Denise says in her title that the trailer's floor is 2' off the ground, which is 24"...
IMHO too high for any single step. Most building codes call for each step to be between 7" and 8" high.
My Fiber Stream is 18" off the ground when it sets on it's wheels, and the door is often 21" off the ground when the trailer is leveled up. I have purchased a pull-out double step, and need to have it installed...
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:24 PM   #11
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I saw the two feet. The hitch height for my Scamp is 21-1/4" Even with the single step I have to be careful pulling in and out of driveways. I've already had to have the step repaired once because it ended up scrapping the pavement (and yes it was folded in). If I was going to do it again, I'd build a box like Joy's. But, it looks like Diane really wants to lower the entire trailer, not figure out how to get into it as high as it is

Here's a website shows: Lowering the Axles. Which raises the trailer. hummmmm
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:33 PM   #12
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I've already had to have the step repaired once because it ended up scrapping the pavement (and yes it was folded in). If I was going to do it again, I'd build a box like Joy's.
That is part of the reason I have procrastinated on installing my double step... For MY application, a 2-step version of Joy's box may be the answer. Anybody wanna buy a pull-out double step, still in the box???
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:12 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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Thanks for your tips so far. Hopefully there is a photo attached here if there are any more suggestions.
Denise, your axle has been "flipped", the spring perches have been removed and rewelded on the top of the axle and the axle located under the springs. All early (pre 2003) 17 foot Bigfoots had a 4" drop axle perched on top of the springs (underslung) from the factory, but many people found the trailer too low and modified the axle in this fashion. If my memory is correct, this raised the trailer by approximately 5".
Most spring or trailer fabrication shops could easily reverse this by removing the spring perch and attaching a new perch in its original position under the axle. The axle could then be bolted on top of the springs as it was in the first place. There would be sufficient clearance assuming your springs are not worn and sagging.
This would also be a good time to carefully check the springs, bushings, bolts and shackles for excess wear, but from the looks of your picture they appear original. Considering the vintage of your Bigfoot, I would strongly advise just simply replacing them as they are really not that expensive, and a failed spring or shackle could really ruin your day.

Steve.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:44 PM   #14
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hehe, didnt i say that? if i had the money id replace it with a dexter torsion axle, or at the very least all new leafs shackles and bushings. etc. you can also see that those leafs have started to go flat. so dont just swap it without addressing the leaf sag. it will hit the frame from the look of it in the pic. or you could even have a custom leaf pack put together so it rides like a caddilac fully loaded.
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