Flip Bigfoot axle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-18-2015, 11:19 PM   #1
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Name: Eleanor
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Flip Bigfoot axle?

We had our (new for us) 17 foot 1996 Gaucho Bigfoot axle flipped (It has a U shaped axle) so that the hitch would not be so low to the ground. There is a whistle like noise coming from both sides near the wheels after we hit 25MPH.

Please let me know if you have flipped an axle or considered this. Is it advisable? Have you ever encountered a problem like this?

We also had new brake linings and the bearings repacked and the tires replaced at the same time.

I appreciate anyone taking the time to advise or share experiences regarding this.

Thank you

Eleanor
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:15 AM   #2
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When you say "u shape" I suspect you mean drop axle. Most likely your trailer came with a 4" drop axle.


I replaced my original 4" drop axle with a straight axle and am very happy. If you remounted a 4" drop axle under the springs you raise the trailer body and frame but the ground clearance (distance from pavement to the bottom of the axle tube) remains exactly the same.


My objective was to get more ground clearance for use when boondocking.
I can't explain the whistling noise. hope this helps.
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:48 AM   #3
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Thank you very much. Where did you get your straight axle?
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:25 PM   #4
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axle pics...

I bought a 97 couple of years ago.....what was under there most probably wasn't stock....I broke a spring last fall...then put a new set of springs on (beefier, extra leaf)....here's some pics...maybe..(posting pics is problematic today for some reason)

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Old 09-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #5
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now that I look at 'em....

maybe that was the stock configuration....(not much was done to this trailer at all so it would make some sense).....looks like a drop axle (unflipped)...but don't have a lot of experience/knowledge about axles on BFs
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
maybe that was the stock configuration....(not much was done to this trailer at all so it would make some sense).....looks like a drop axle (unflipped)...but don't have a lot of experience/knowledge about axles on BFs
These photos show a drop axle that has been mounted under the leaf springs (some times called "flipped" but more correct terminology is "underslung") and it was probably changed after it left the factory. This modification would raise the frame and body but ground clearance would stay exactly the same.
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:32 PM   #7
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Thank you very much. Where did you get your straight axle?
I bought the axle at Six Robbles, a local Dexter dealer. They had it in stock. You should have a Dexter dealer in your area. Check the Dexter website for the closes one to you. Six Robbles had lots of axles in stock and they sell to RV repair shops, trailer builders etc.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #8
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got it....

thanks Jack.....man! it must have rode low when it came out of the factory then....

yeah I can see the ground clearance of the axle would be exactly the same....the hitch and rear bumper would be a little higher though (less grounding of back end in a compression/grade change
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
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Jack L and Franswa
Thank you so much. I went under it yesterday and found that the axle was not "flipped
over" I found the axle is attached to the lower side of the leaf springs. "underslung" as you said. Makes more sense now. .
This should prevent grounding at the front and back.
Are there any problems I should be aware of with this modification to my Bigfoot 17,
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:14 PM   #10
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If you have problems with the axle tube hitting things, then you would want to change to a straight axle and mount it above the springs. That would give more ground clearance while keeping the trailer and frame about the same height. Many Bigfoot 17 trailer owners have chosen this modification. I did not notice any problems when I did mine and I also changed to 225-75-15 tires which gives me another 1inch plus ground clearance.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:25 PM   #11
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Axle

Thank you again. Elleanor
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:47 PM   #12
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Out Lil'Bigfoot is a 13.5', but it definitely grounds out over a grade change, like the roll curb in our driveway (and elsewhere). We're getting some pretty impressive scrape marks in our concrete from the "casters" back there.

If flipping the axle doesn't do anything to change the frame height, is there any other option/adjustment (short of a new frame) that would ease this problem?

(I think towing with the tongue down would help a lot, but that's probably not the optimal solution!)
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
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Ellpea, your trailer has a torsion axle so 'flipping' is not an option. A new axle with spacers would raise the trailer body and frame but not the axle itself. Another option would be bigger wheels and tires if you have clearance.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:31 PM   #14
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Jack, we don't seem to have a problem with the axle, it is the back of the trailer... there are metal casters (rollers) there that protect the rear of the trailer from damage. THOSE are the things that constantly drag on an uneven surface; it would be great if we could manage a bit more clearance for that problem.

So, bigger wheels would (obviously) help, but a new axle with "spacers" would also be a solution?
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