New 17' Bigfoot - Questions on axle - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-25-2016, 02:15 PM   #43
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I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

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Old 02-25-2016, 02:33 PM   #44
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Well, the results look fine. Just what did you do?

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Old 02-25-2016, 03:25 PM   #45
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I think You'll like it even more when you put 15" wheels in it. Hurry up and wear those 14's out so you can replace them. I did the same change on the axle and 2 years later went to 15 inch wheels. I was very pleased with both changes. I went to 225-75-15's, but 205 would have been fine too.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:33 PM   #46
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The big advantage of 225s is you can get them in load range E, well worthwhile.
I like Carlisle Radial Trails, but the are other good choices.
So you accomplished the axle upgrade? Thought so. Well done.

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Old 02-25-2016, 05:34 PM   #47
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Yep. The guy did reuse the old springs, though. I was excited about new springs, but I guess the Dexter kit came with 4 leaves, and my old ones have 5 leaves. He thought they looked fine still and that if it came with 5 I should stick with 5 and he didn't really like the idea of welding my frame for whatever reason and it saved me a little over $100.

But yeah, Dexter 3500# straight axle, easy-lube, new bearings and brakes.

I will go to 15" eventually but didn't want to have to buy new wheels right now, too. Once I'm working again there will be more improvements to this, but for now I just wanted it safe, and not rubbing the wheel wells.

Funny thing is...now my bathroom door actually latches. It wasn't before without some trick the previous owner showed me, which I hadn't been able to replicate yet. But now it closes. I'm wondering if with the sag the frame was a little twisted out of shape and is now sitting more straight? I don't know. But I won't complain.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:32 PM   #48
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Looks great, that trailer with the Tacoma is pretty much my dream setup. Well done.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:09 AM   #49
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Thanks. I think it's going to work well.

It towed home from Canada pretty well when I first bought it. I'm sure a Scamp or Casita shaped trailer would tow even better, but this is worth it for me with all the extra space.

The added height after the new axle seemed to help with tongue weight, too. At least on the drive home from the trailer shop, there was a lot less tugging and pulling against my truck from the trailer, which I had a lot of when I first bought it.

I was using a 4" drop receiver before, but went to a 2" drop and I think with the extra height of the trailer now, it's leaning just slightly forward (I think still within what's "normal" but I'll make sure), so it's putting more weight on the tongue. Seems to be more stable.

The lift that the straight axle gave me pretty much lines up the bottom of the trailer perfectly with the bottom of my truck. Hopefully the wind resistance before and after are a wash. I've got more surface sticking up above my truck now, but none at all hanging down below it.

And I wired a brake controller into my truck last weekend and it's definitely way nicer pulling the trailer with brakes! That'll help save the little Tacoma brakes.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:44 PM   #50
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Zach, could you list the specs of your axle, or if there's a number on it, share it? I might go this route in the future. My axle is below my springs right now. It sits up fairly high, but is pretty rusty.


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Old 02-27-2016, 03:11 PM   #51
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I will, but it won't be for another week. I'm out of town all this coming week.

Mine is a 3500#, straight axle. 84" from hub face to hub face. Springs, not torsion.

Only thing you'll need is the weight -3500# if you're going "stock"- and the width of your current axle, hub face to hub face. So just take off both wheels and measure outside edge to outside edge.

On mine anyways, there's some wiggle room there. Easily 3-4" space inside the wheel well, and as long as your wheel well is high enough up, you can go out as wide as you want. Plenty of room inside and outside the wheel well for a slight more narrow or slighter more wide axle.

My measurement was 85", I think. But that was by myself with duct tape holding one end of the tape...so not completely accurate. Dexter sells an 84 and an 86". I went with the 84" because there was slack in the tape, but I was afraid if I pulled it any tighter I'd pull the duct tape off holding the other end...so I figured if I got 85" and they only had 84 and 86, it was probably 84 since I had some slack. But if I had it to do again I'd go with 86". The guy who installed it said it was a little more narrow than my old axle. So now I'm 4" higher off the ground, and an inch or two more narrow...It's possible that my axle actually was 85". But Dexter doesn't sell in that width so you've got to go either more wide or more narrow.

But looking at it, it looks "right", and I don't think that small amount will make it dangerous. But obviously wider would have been better.

I'll post more when I can look at the axle, but that's all the info I needed to order the axle. Weight capacity and width.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:20 PM   #52
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As far as I know, this is what I have


3500SB
This 3500lb single brake axle kit has the following parts:
1- 3500lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle (dropped axle available at additional cost)
2- 8-247-5 Dexter hub&drum with 5-4.5" bolt circle
2- Dexter 10" electric brakes (hydraulic available at additional cost)
2- 72-42 4-leaf springs with 1750 lbs cap. each
1- 3500HKEZ bearing kit / HK-1 hanger kit / UBK-238 U-bolt kit
Specify what length axle you would like when ordering. Please email or call us with any questions.


Dexter 3500 lb. Axle with Brakes
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:18 PM   #53
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Thanks Zach, that's a big help. I'll reference this post once I'm done all the plumbing repairs and let you know which way I go in terms of the axle.


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Old 03-08-2016, 05:07 PM   #54
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I wish I had taken a photo...but I took off the propane/battery cover today, for the first time since getting my new axle. And what did I find...but a cordless phone sitting there on my frame!

The guy at the trailer shop was happy to get his phone back, two weeks after "losing" it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 10:21 AM   #55
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Haha that's pretty funny. I'm sure he was grateful.


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