My flippin' axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-08-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
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My flippin' axle

My Compact Jr. has leaf spring suspension. It was designed to be low so it could be parked in a garage with a standard 7' overhead door. This also means it has low ground clearance, with the floor being just 7" above the pavement. I am totally rebuilding it so I have the floor removed. Here is a picture showing a standard leaf spring spring-under mount. The old solid square-bar axle is clamped to the springs with the springs under the axle:
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I bought a new axle that has brakes and is a round hollow tube; not a square solid bar. I decided to see what it would be like with more ground clearance, so I mounted this axle spring-over. The new round tube axle is clamped to the springs with the springs over the axle:
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ID:	52844Picture taken from the front window. (opposite direction)

This is what "Flipping the Axle" looks like.
The axle itself stays the same distance above the pavement, but the body of the trailer is now raised about 6 inches due to both the different orientation of the clamps to the springs plus the increased thickness of the round tube compared to the square bar. The body is now 13" above the pavement.

The down-side of doing this means that the body has now been raised too high to fit under a standard 7' overhead garage door.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:48 AM   #2
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Break out the golf cart wheels. Kind of a hassle changing them whenever pulling it in or out of the garage but could be used for long term storage.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
............
The down-side of doing this means that the body has now been raised too high to fit under a standard 7' overhead garage door.
It looks worse than that. Your whole floor seems to have disappeared.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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I had a Compact II and it also had the exposed wood between the frame rails. I just removed the rotted wood floor in a Mini-Rover (M-R) (East coast Trails West style camper). The M-R had an enclosed fiberglass bottom with a glassed in plywood floor. I am thinking about cutting out the fiberglass bottom on the M-R like Compact did on their shells. Enclosed bottom trailers are much harder to deal with if you do have leak and have a rotted floor.
Eddie
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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Break out the golf cart wheels. Kind of a hassle changing them whenever pulling it in or out of the garage but could be used for long term storage.
For sure, or I'm thinking if you just had an old pair of wheels that you don't care about damaging, you could put them on without tires to roll it in the garage for the winter.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
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Now I am going to have to go outside and crawl under out Compact Jr to see how the axle is positioned! It SEEMS like the clearance is greater than 7" Thanks for the info, Frederick, it is always helpful!

jan georgen
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
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One of the features of the Compact II and others of the same design is that when being towed by a small sedan or station wagon, they trailer is approximately the same profile to the wind. This makes them easy to tow, especially at higher speeds and the requisite increased fuel economy is of significant value also.

Raising the body six or seven inches would negate this considerable advantage. nevermind losing the ease of parking it in a standard height garage. I'd vote for leaving it stock height.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:49 AM   #8
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Frederick
Could you post the specs for the "new" round axle?
Thanks Don
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
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Red face oops

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwgeorgen View Post
It SEEMS like the clearance is greater than 7"
jan georgen
oops. My measurement was taken at the bottom of the 4" bumper; and the top of the bumper is at floor level. Please add 4" to my previously stated measurements.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
oops. My measurement was taken at the bottom of the 4" bumper; and the top of the bumper is at floor level. Please add 4" to my previously stated measurements.
I looked under our Compact Jr, springs are on TOP of the square axle. I think this is a good thing?

jan georgen
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwgeorgen View Post
I looked under our Compact Jr, springs are on TOP of the square axle. I think this is a good thing?

jan georgen
If you want better ground clearance... Your original axle has been "flipped".
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Your whole floor seems to have disappeared.
Yeah, and the door and windows are gone too...
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Well, Frederick... you have good ventilation. That's what we tell people they need for condensation problems
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:51 PM   #14
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It is custom built by Dexter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don'n'Deb View Post
Could you post the specs for the "new" round axle?
2200 pound capacity, with 7" diameter brake drums

I took the original axle in to have the shop take the measurements, so that the hub-face to hub-face, and the spring-mount center to spring-mount center distances match. It also has the same 4" drop as the original square solid bar axle. It has a 2-3/8" outside diameter hollow tube, and the brake wiring from side-to-side is threaded through holes to run in the center void. I had 2 sets of spring mount brackets welded on so that the new axle retains the reversibility that the square bar had: It can be mounted either spring-under or spring over. However the mounts stand away from the surface of the axle tube and the distance between the mounting surfaces is 3-1/2" which is twice the thickness of the original square bar. If I had realized this beforehand, I would have increased the axle drop to 5" to compensate for the difference in resulting mounting height. Live and learn; I'll just get longer spring links to compensate.
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