Axle Replacement Ideas? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Gorky
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 13
Axle Replacement Ideas?

I just acquired a 17' 1984 Bigfoot Trailer. It has decent clearance and there's not a lot hanging down under it. Everything has at least the clearance of the center of the tires except for the drop axle, which is probably only 3-5 inches off the ground. So I'm thinking of updating the old axle and leaf springs for clearance, if not getting a little extra lift while I'm there.

If I was only planning to go off-road I could comfortably lift the trailer way up and use tall, soft suspension. If I only planned to take it on the highway and stay in paid campsites and RV parks I'd probably want to keep it about the same as it is, definitely not lift it and risk flipping it over on an unexpected 60mph corner.

Problem is I'm planning to use the trailer in both extremes; long distance highway driving followed in many cases by off roading to a free camping spot in the middle of nowhere on roads maintained accordingly.

Does anyone have any experience with an axle/suspension for this kind of situation? Maybe adjustable height? I've looked a little into Flexiride because height can be adjusted but I can't find out how easy it is to adjust on the fly. Looks like at least you'd need to jack each wheel off the ground. Airbags and compressors doesn't seem like it would work because more lift = more pressure = stiffer, which is worse for off-roading.

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Old 09-24-2016, 01:08 PM   #2
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Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19 on order
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 1,597
If there's clearance, you could install a straight axle. Put it over the springs, if there is clearance and you'd minimize the drop axle problem with minimal overall lift. Or you could look into a torsion axle with trailing links. That solves the axle tube clearance issue, but it must be adapted to your frame.

I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:36 PM   #3
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Yvon Chayer's Avatar
Name: Yvon
Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft 1992
Posts: 144
Straight axle

I just replaced the drop axle by a straight axle
Really a big améloration
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_0331.jpg   IMG_0336.jpg  

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Old 09-24-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
Senior Member
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Posts: 1,450
Most of the early Bigfoots with a 4" drop axle have had the axle replaced with a straight axle. I have not heard from anyone who made this change that was disappointed after the swap I changed mine which raised the trailer 4" then I changed to 225-75-15 wheels and tires which gave me another inch of lift I am very happy with the modification and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Also, welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:21 PM   #5
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Posts: 1,450
Can you post a photo of the inside of one of the wheels?
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
OscarD's Avatar
Name: Oscar
Trailer: Trillium 4500 Jubilee 1979
Posts: 56
Timbren Axle-less

Offroad washboard best axle? posted 12-01-2014
No regrets...
These work! A crowned dirt road or rock in the middle no problem! Washboard used to be a long slow painful torture.
Call the manufacturer, they were clear that they knew the answer or not.
4X sites have the info you need.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:33 PM   #7
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot FT20
Posts: 841
I installed this axle, worked great. 66" spring center, they welded the flanges. Fit perfect, used old parts and order new u bolts.

New Alko Dexter Trailer Axle 3500 Axel Beam 85" Hub Face EZ Lube 72" Wide Jayco | eBay
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:46 AM   #8
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
Posts: 588
Flexiride is a torsion axle. They are not made to adjust on the fly. You have to unbolt the trailing arm, pull it off the spline and reinstall at the new angle. Not easily done while traveling, but not too bad in a shop with jacks and tools.
I raised our Scamp 3", and it does very well at highway speeds and off road. No stability problems at all. Mileage is likely not as good, but I can't measure the hit nor tell the difference.

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