Based on all this feedback I've come to a couple conclusions:
1) I'm leaning more towards sticking with the torsion axle
. Although it's more expensive initially, it sounds like the install is a little less complicated because the dimensions and contact points are similar to what already exists on the trailer.
2) I will likely not need near as much clearance as I originally thought.
3) I have SOOOOO much research to do and I'm a little overwhelmed with the technical side of this project. Wishing I had someone a bit more experienced in this here to walk me through it. I've a very visual person, and trying to understand all the specifications and terms is really hard without visually SEEING what it is we're talking about. The Dexter resource library has been VERY helpful!!! Thanks for the suggestion!!
For now, I am having a friend look at the trailer to evaluate the quality of the current axle
. If it's still in decent condition, I will probably just get new tires until I can invest the money in a new Dexter torsion axle and a little bigger tires. I'm still uncertain whether I should stick with the 22 1/2 degree down or go up to the 45 degree down axle (again, more research). I only have until September before I'm full-timing in it, so I need to make the most efficient, cost-effective decisions now.
Thanks for all your feedback!!