Raising a Compact II - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-17-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
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Raising a Compact II

This may go against the grain but I would like to see any photos of Compact II, or Jr, units that have removed the drop axle and replaced it with a straight axle and perhaps increased the size of the wheels.
My shop has twelve foot doors so no clearance issues for me.
I will also keep all the original parts so someone will have the option of putting it back to normal.
My unit is a 1974 Hunter I Compact II and it doesn't have a front window rock shield. I will also need some instructions on placing a photo within the text, so others can see my progress.

Dave Heffner
Roseburg, OR
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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First off Dave, welcome! Your trailer is one that several other members have. I don't have any wisdom on that score, I am kinda a Trillium fanatic.
I can however help with basic photo posting. When you created this thread, there was a button below the text entry area labeled "Manage Attachments". When you press this it opens another window. From this window you can select files to upload. Pictures four at a time, ten in total, per posting. Movies too. When you have selected the files, push the upload button that is in the box the file path is in.
The "Manage Attachments" button is not available when you use the Quick Reply box, but if you push the "Go Advanced" button below the text entry box, you will have it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response David. I'm looking over this REPLY format and not seeing anything except the 'Add Video' below the text.
Along the toolbar there is picture titled 'Insert Image', I'll play with that.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Compact II 002.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	76.1 KB
ID:	54468

If this works, this is my previous Compact II with a flipped axle.

Okay, I'm on my way.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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Dave, I am in the process of a frame off resort on a Compact jr. I have done exactly what you are thinking of doing. I replaced the axle with a straight axle, 3500# with 1250# leaf springs and 15 in. tires.

The reason I went with the 3500# axle it was the only one I could find locally with 5 lug hubs and break flanges.

There seem to be plenty of run in the wheel wells to accommodate the mods. (6 in. Above tire and 2 in. Front and back)
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Sorry, plenty of room

My plans are if I have to go to a 14 in. tire I have a utility trailer that the 15's will fit.

I didn't measure the frame heights but am guessing it raised it between 5-6 inches.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #6
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Tim, thanks for the pictures. I have always felt that the Jr. was just a little bit larger looking than the Compact II. What size tires did you use?
I like what you have done. We might have the same reasons for some extra ground clearance. But, did you notice any more stability from that side-by-side swaying that the original axle, springs, and tires give?
Here is my project:
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:08 PM   #7
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Per sway:

If you're talking about "oscillation", aka "tail wagging", it tends to get worse the more you raise the trailer/center-of-gravity.

Stiffer suspension may result in less bounce, though.

Francesca
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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Francesca, the trailer seemed to track behind the truck pretty well, when I brought it home. The trip was about 25 miles. However, I did notice that it would rock when one wheel would go through a low spot at low speed.
Today when I was starting to clean off the moss it seemed to rock quite a bit as I scrubbed. I'm hoping that the 13" tires are radial and probably not true trailer tires. I'm going to look into some 6 ply rated tires, plus new axle and springs.
I guess I rocked a little when I was 40 years old.
My previous Compact tracked pretty well with the axle flipped, but I was always worried about the ground to axle height.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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You're smart to start with tires- when I got my Trillium it had spankin' new "P" tires on it, and at that time I had no idea there was any difference among types. First time I got it up above 40 mph it swayed like crazy. I thought I needed a "sway controller" or something, but when I went to my local RV guy he took one look at my tires and told me that the only thing I really needed was to get those passenger tires replaced with bias-ply ST's.

An honest guy voluntarily giving up a sale...permanently, as it turns out! I went straight to Les Schwab and did as he advised. 40,000 tow miles later I STILL have no mechanical sway control, nor will I ever. (Maintenance side note: I've just begun on my third set of ST's...I'm very much a fanatic about replacing them at the proper intervals whether they look like they "need it" or not.)

The while-stationary "wiggle" you describe may just be normal- my Trillium is pretty soft that way, too. But in my case at least, it doesn't affect enroute trailer stability. That's more a function of the corrected tire type (properly inflated for the load), the right tongue weight number, trailer loading, and speed. Speed can't be overemphasized in its importance for preventing sway, which almost always begins as one approaches/goes beyond about 50-60 mph. Every tug/tow combination has its "sweet spot" in that department and with time you'll find yours...

Per ground-to-axle height, if you're talking about being off-pavement (Forest Service roads etc.): I've found that the sheer smallness of my setup solves that problem very neatly. The rig's so narrow that I can drive such roads with one wheelside on the center hump, and one side on the shoulder. That not only increases the clearance between my "underbelly" and the ground by placing it over the deeper ruts, it puts my wheels where most of the gravel is!

Of course, one must be prepared to accept that both tug and tow may come home from the adventure with the badge of honor known as a few "Sierra pinstripes" along the sides. But they haven't broken through the paint/gelcoat yet, so no problem as far as I'm concerned...

Francesca
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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'Sierra Pinstripes' that's a hoot.
I hope to have enough miles to someday say I'm on the third set of tires. A true merit badge for your dedication.

Dave Heffner
Oregon
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
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Whereabouts in Oregon do you call home, Dave? I'm an Oregonian by birth and am just curious. Though I now live in Washington I've camped all over my beloved Home State.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of my pinstripes were "earned" somewhere near you...

Francesca
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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I'm 10 miles west of Roseburg, in a community called Melrose. There is a wonderful RV campground near us called Twin Rivers.

My wife and I used to travel through Roseburg on our way up to Toledo, Washington with my folks, going to a family reunion. My mother's cousin lived on the Cowlitz River.

I knew right away where I wanted to retire. However, right now the high in Roseburg was 37 degrees, and that makes working on the trailer a little hard.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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I had "flipped" the spring mounting on my Compact Jr's original axle.
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Name:	Compact Jr Rear Closed.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	56.7 KB
ID:	54538

Even though the drop axle itself stayed low, I never really towed it on deeply rutted roads so I'm not aware of any issues high center scraping the axle would have. Mine was a solid square bar, so I felt it could take minor impact.

I'm in the process of a total frame-off rebuild. My new axle is hollow round tube with 7" brakes, rated for 2200 pounds. I couldn't put brakes on the old axle.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthwestOregon201 View Post
I'm 10 miles west of Roseburg, in a community called Melrose. There is a wonderful RV campground near us called Twin Rivers.

My wife and I used to travel through Roseburg on our way up to Toledo, Washington with my folks, going to a family reunion. My mother's cousin lived on the Cowlitz River.

I knew right away where I wanted to retire. However, right now the high in Roseburg was 37 degrees, and that makes working on the trailer a little hard.
Roseburg!

Oh, yes- We've camped along the Umpqua River a time or two. You'll know where by the busted branches alongside the F.S. roads- sorry about that!

Good luck with the project, once the weather warms up enough to get back to it...

Francesca
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