Offroad washboard best axle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-01-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
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Offroad washboard best axle?

Hello Dirt Travelers

Broke a spindle off our 15ft Trillium out in the desert. Need a new axle.
We gingerly travel dirt roads in Baja, AZ, Eastern Sierras so I am tempted to raise the threshold on washboard and gullies.
Anyone put their egg through the torture test?
1. Springs vs torsion.. ?
Lift height?
Remove upper cabinets..etc.

Oscar
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:05 PM   #2
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
ex VT, now CO
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I have tortured my Scamp on several occasions. I think the worst was the access road to Chaco Canyon, NM. The second worst was the 500 miles of gravel in Labrador. Luckily no damage to the structure or undercarriage, as far as I can tell. Inside, it is a different story. Starting right after I bought it, I re-assembled all drawers and glued them with epoxy. Found a way to secure the grate on the three burner cook top. Before that, I would take it down and leave it on the floor. The exhaust hood above the cook top had to be reattached and big washers used where screws pulled through the fiberboard. One of the drawer guides (the one in the middle of each) popped out of its back support. That is fixed by a wire that ties the back support to the front of the cabinet (all is inside, not visible). In other words, I have gone after every failure one at a time and not just fixed, but tried to find a way to prevent it in the future. The oven, fridge and the food cupboard all have straps that prevent them from opening on a bumpy road. Various screws that came lose were replaced and glued in place, mostly with Lexel (caulk/adhesive sealer, clear). Some screws holding the oven together had to be replaced with larger of the same length, since the sheet metal was not holding any more. The Scamp is getting more and more robust after every trip and there is less and less to fix each time. Having my toolbox, duct tape and bailing wire definitely helped on that Chaco Canyon trip!

As far as the axle type, I do not know which would be better, somebody else might have real experience and better idea.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:14 PM   #3
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Name: RogerDat
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Several members have installed a Flexride axle that has an adjustable down angle. Allowing one to adjust the down angle of the torsion arm to give greater ground clearance when desired.

Can't speak directly to it's durability or ability to handle rough terrain, but it might provide a search term (google site search from the forum menu bar) to get more information.

There was also a recent discussion of an after market shock absorber mounting kit which might provide more rough road damping.

Since I replaced my axle already I just read those in passing and did not book mark them. I'm sure members who participated in those discussion will show up shortly with more detailed information.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:43 PM   #4
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Thanx Paul
You guys are quick to help..
Sounds like you have had some fun with your travels. Chaco is exactly my frustration. (An arc welder is not in my tool kit)
I have been a 4X guy since driving baja before it was paved but the sweet Trilla Villa has been spared temptation to go that 10% further.
So with the broken axle and a few booboos it is time to toughen up the Gentle Lady and explore where no Trillium has dared to go.
The welder 300 miles away says its road worthy with the reattached spindle but he lives and breathes desert metal work so making the most of opportunities is appealing.
The fun of thinking of having more options includes these items:
Dear Santa
30in tires
6in lift
receiver no drop
extended stinger w bike rack receiver clearing rear hatch
reinforce frame at axle and tongue
shocks
skid wheels at bumper
skid plate at rear
spare mounted curbside wall
extra gas front mount
receiver at bumper braced back to next cross support for raised cargo basket
channel for Honda CT70 wheels at tongue
new 2in coupler
not overly stiff, usually travel light
rock guard front
Oscar
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:03 PM   #5
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Name: Jack L
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Well, you said your spindle broke. That is a part that does not fail very often. I believe a spindle is the same on a torsion or solid axle. Changing to a different style axle is unlikely to make a difference. A heavier axle would have larger, stronger spindles but you would also need new hubs, brakes, wheels etc.


A substantial impact could partially crack an axle and you might not notice any problem for some time and the crack could lead to a total failure later. If you still have the axle, take a look at the metal at the failure and if part of it is dirty and part of the fracture is clean and shiny it probably is something that started earlier.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:27 PM   #6
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Yes Jack, It gave a clue of toeing out slightly for 200 miles of pavement. The original axle repair 5 years ago was bending the bar upward at the middle to straighten the splayed wheels. I thought it was just the old sag returning. The welder said is was now road worthy, although was concerned about melting the rubber at the end when first inspecting. It is time to change it.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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Name: Greg
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
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As this fiberglass travel trailer (caravan) can be imported to the US from Australia, here is a 5min video discussing their off-road caravan air suspension. At about 4min into the video they discuss washboard (corrugated) roads and tire air pressure.
Kimberleykruiser - Adjustable Height of Kruiser while camping and travelling

For import information see Kimberleygroup - Process for buying a Kimberley to import to USA
I have no connection to any rv manufacturer or dealer and I would assume importing the Kimberley Kruiser is quite expensive.

A google search on "off-road caravan suspension" shows many trailer images with independent suspension, air bags, coil springs and shocks. Some have disc brakes. Although Kimberley appears to have the only fiberglass body trailer, several other caravan manufacturers do have independent suspension.

I was also surprised to find a DIY independent suspension kit for travel trailers available in Australia.

DIY Caravans DIY offers Caravan shells and specialist trailers with choice of suspension types
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #8
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Wow Australia is loving the "Outback" with that great equipment. The airbag caught my attention. The ability to raise the trailer would be the same as the 3in up or down available in my 4Runner. (Lowering the SUV raises the back of the trailer and gives enough clearance generally)
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OscarD View Post
Thanx Paul
You guys are quick to help..
Sounds like you have had some fun with your travels. Chaco is exactly my frustration. (An arc welder is not in my tool kit)
I have been a 4X guy since driving baja before it was paved but the sweet Trilla Villa has been spared temptation to go that 10% further.
So with the broken axle and a few booboos it is time to toughen up the Gentle Lady and explore where no Trillium has dared to go.
The welder 300 miles away says its road worthy with the reattached spindle but he lives and breathes desert metal work so making the most of opportunities is appealing.
The fun of thinking of having more options includes these items:
Dear Santa
30in tires
6in lift
receiver no drop
extended stinger w bike rack receiver clearing rear hatch
reinforce frame at axle and tongue
shocks
skid wheels at bumper
skid plate at rear
spare mounted curbside wall
extra gas front mount
receiver at bumper braced back to next cross support for raised cargo basket
channel for Honda CT70 wheels at tongue
new 2in coupler
not overly stiff, usually travel light
rock guard front
Oscar

Max tow speed 30 mph.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GRC View Post
...I have no connection to any rv manufacturer or dealer and I would assume importing the Kimberley Kruiser is quite expensive....
With the name like "Black Caviar" - definitely!
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:23 AM   #11
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Name: Denis
Trailer: trillium 15
Ontario
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Hi we have the same trailer , and live in northern ontario , plenty of rough roads and bush roads , i personally would go with a tortion axle but perhaps a heavier type , nice trailer we really like it . Denis
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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Denis
Spent a few years in BC. Gold panning and fishing the high country on the weekends. Would have been nice having a "cabin" behind. Have you had to unhitch to turn around.
The Trilla was pristine and seemed little used when bought so lots of roads have been passed up. But now is the time to go beyond the cattle guards. The Flexiride axle w/ adjustable height seems to be high on the list - 15in wheels hopefully will fit. (14in in pic is snug)
Do you have a 3500# axle? I am thinking 2700# because that would not be too stiff. That allows 900# cargo- (maybe a larger dirt bike would be in the future.
Do you get rocks knocking on the bottom? Had ideas of insulation board with a metal surface attached underneath.
Oscar
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:40 PM   #13
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Trailer: trillium 15
Ontario
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HI Oscar , your probly wise in your choice , you know what your going to haul , and the weight . i think you should stay with the orginal tire size , rubbing on fender wells isnt nice at all , been there done that , have a great day , i try to stay away from rocks just to nasty .. Denis
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:20 PM   #14
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Name: Brad
Trailer: Beachcomber
British Columbia
Posts: 22
Go to etrailer.com and look up part# ASR3500S06. Its a axle-less suspension with 3500lb capacity and 4" lift. Reinforce your frame a bit and install stall those with brakes, and 30" tires on steel wheels, and I doubt you'll ever have an issue again, even with the bumpiest roads. I've dragged mine up a dried up river bed, and you can't get much bumpier than that!
Also, unlike what someone above said, the max tow speed will not be 30mph. Mine tows like a dream and I've taken it on 2500km trips.
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