Raising a Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-06-2014, 06:17 AM   #1
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 1974Boler
Manitoba
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Raising a Boler

Has anyone raised their bolers/camper to provide more clearance. My 74 boler has a torsion axel but i have been contemplating putting a new spring. axel on it to rise it another 2-3 inches.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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Suggest you slow down and do your research first Greg. I looked at your pictures here: 1974 Boler
That boler has been heavily modded in the past. I'm not a fan of gut first, ask questions later. I prefer to do the research first then the work.

As for your axle, the pictures show that your current axle has really settled over the past 40 years. Compare those to the brochures you may have or here on FGRV. A simple axle swap with maybe the high lift option or changing the start angle may be all you need. Have you really thought about where you are going to attach the springs? On the door side, it will have to be very close to where the frame is cut for the door opening. Not a very strong area of the trailer on a light duty frame to start with.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:36 AM   #3
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Raising a Boler

Roy makes total sense what you are saying, this project is one I don't want to rush nor do incorrectly. The swapping out of the axel for a spring system was a thought but just that so i'm very glad you made the points you did because compromising strength isn't an option.

I was unaware that torsion axels angles can be adjusted this is something I will have to now investigate, if I can swap for a new torsion may be the answer then there is no cutting or adding.

Thank you
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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The Flexride axle is adjustable, but the swing arm is really short, this means less suspension travel, and the axle would have to be in a different spot to keep the wheel centered in the wheel well. Other axles can be ordered with the angle you want, they can't be adjusted later though.
Another issue is what direction do your swing arms face? It is my understanding that Bolers have a front facing swing arm. If you increase the angle too much, the next big rock you hit might want to pull the swing arm backwards, and up. I think that could be bad.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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Greg,
David has raised a few good points. You can start learning about torsion axles by reading my thread: Replacing an Axle - leading arm to trailing arm
Then check out the Flexride and Dexter Axle websites.
Then you might be ready to start asking specific questions that people can discuss or answer. Keep in mind that Flexride recommends, 24 degrees down, Dexter 10 degrees down.
What I've done, may not be right for all, it was right for me. My final choice required making a spreadsheet with various axles, angles and tires sizes to get the right combination for desired ride height.
Someone once gave a good analogy about leading vs trailing arms and obstructions. They had said imagine pushing and pulling a wheelbarrow over an obstuction. One is easier than the other. (The late Pete Dumbleton maybe?)
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #6
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Agree with David and Roy - just changing out the old axle will give you a big lift! As will putting a big drop on your hitch receiver to level out the trailer, greatly increase your rear trailer clearance as well.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Food for thought. The main beam of a torsion axle which joins the two sides does not coincide with the spindle position as it does on a regular leaf spring axle. Depending on the manufacturer, you can check their charts, you will need a 10 degree down or more to raise the main bar above the center of the wheels which gives you your ride clearance.
The main beam of the axle on a boler is typically tucked up and behind the lowered kitchen floor. If you keep the leading arm arangement, you have 4" of wiggle room via shims or lift options before the the main beam drops below the kitchen floor. Tire choice can give you an additional few inches over the original 6.000-13, but you will need to check the wheel well clearance.

I question how much clearance we really need for most places we might travel. Even off the beaten path. Then compare that to how low your hitch/receiver are (usually the lowest point on the tow vehicle).
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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Wow thank you all for the great info...appears i have some homework to do. I will though some pics up once i figure out the route I'm going to take. Need to start looking and sizing a few things up.

Greg
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:28 AM   #9
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Torsion axles are "rubber ride." Spring axles have no dampening. You'll want shocks to smooth out the ride. While springs are cheaper and more easily replaceable, you'll probably only replace the axle once.

Get brakes!
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:37 AM   #10
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Thanks Donna the more i read the links Roy and David have sent me regarding torsion axels this is probley the route i will go as i dont want to mod the frame to much. I didn't realize that the torsion axel came with different degrees. Im not looking to raise the trailer allot just an inch or two to give a little more clearance as it is sitting very low.

Thanks for the insight just more reinforcement of the better way to go.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:46 PM   #11
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CliveAlive posted some pics of a weird lift on a Casita in the sightings. I don't think this is the kind of lift you would want to do.
Sightings!

Lets hope this is only a temporary landing spot while a new frame is being made.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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Wow, no not even close. I'm more interested in 2-3 inches. This camper is like a hot rod trailer
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:09 PM   #13
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I think it is a temporary arrangement. But one of the other pictures (posted below) clearly shows what I mean that raising the body, does not necessarily raise your clearance.

If you look closely, it appears to be a torsion axle since he main axle beam is towards the rear of the rim and there are no leafs. The clearance height is similar to what one might experience using a straight axle on leaf springs. Which is where this discussion started.
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