Trillium Suspension - Raise or Beef Up - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2003, 02:18 PM   #1
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Trillium Suspension - Raise or Beef Up

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We have a 1979 Trillium 4500 with 13 inch wheels, and are scraping the bottom of the trailer at least once-a-trip! We've also been adding improvements, translation, weight.

Our trailer has no leaf springs...I believe it's called "torsion bar suspension."

Has anyone out there increased wheel size, raised the darn thing, or beefed up the suspension on this or a similar trailer?
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Old 04-30-2003, 02:42 PM   #2
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The answer is, "yes". People have done all sorts of things. Basically, many of the older egg campers used a lighter-duty torsion axle, with the result being that loaded for the road, the axle was overloaded. Then, most campers sit in the yard loaded almost as heavily for the rest of the year, so the axle never got a break. Therefore, over the course of years, the axle has sagged. There are some real low-riders out there. Newer campers use a heavier axle, but the same thing can still apply, just to a reduced degree.

The recommendation is to put the camper on jacks when parked in the yard, to take the weight off the axle.

In your case, the best solution is to have a new, heavier axle welded on. Lots of folks have had this done, and I'm sure some will chime in with their experience. It seems to be a reasonable expense, and is generally considered money well spent on a camper that is otherwise in good condition. While they are at it, they can put additional lift in if you desire, and opt for larger wheels and/or brakes.
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:08 AM   #3
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Torsion bar suspension...

I haven't worked with torsion bar suspension on travel trailers, but I have on cars and trucks. Two possible options exist (without having to change the entire axle):

----Check the connection point of the suspension swingarm to the torsion tube. Often the suspension arms will connect using splines. If this is the case, the arm can be removed from the splined end, rotated downward one or more "teeth," then reattached, thereby increasing your ground clearance.

----Contact the trailer mfr., if available, or a local spring shop (specializes in coil and leaf springs). They may be able to order new torsion bars for your axle. They usually have access to a lot of different sizes of springs/etc., and might be able to source these. The torsion bars run inside the torque/torsion tube, and are straightforward to replace, if available.

Finally, doublecheck your trailer attitude when hooked up and make sure it is level. If not, raise or lower your hitch. See where your trailer is dragging. If the front/rear is dragging, and the trailer angles downward toward the same side, the hitch should be adjusted.

Also, any private auto garage can check your suspension. If possible, look for one that often has a racecar parked on the lot. They'll likely have lots of experience with towing, suspensions on autos and trailers, and will be superior in terms of finding non-traditional solutions that work well.
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:20 AM   #4
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New axle

Quote:
Orginally posted by Bonnie Copeland

Has anyone out there increased wheel size, raised the darn thing, or beefed up the suspension on this or a similar trailer?
I just did that. There are many, many options available, so I'm not saying this is what you should do, just letting you know what I did.

I have an '89 Casita. It's not that old in comparison to some others, but considering the prior owners usage and the fact that there wasn't enough clearance for 14'' tires, I decided to change it out.

The original was a 2200# torsion axle. That's pretty close for a 16' trailer, so for a few dollars more I upgraded to a Dexter Torflex 3.5 (3500#) axle with the EZ lube bearings. Of course this included the new electric brakes.

I stewed on this for about a year and finally gave in. Although I haven't taken it on a long trip yet, I don't think I will regret it. In addition to a higher load limit on the axle, my tires have a higher load limit and the welder reinforced the frame in an area that he felt could be a source for future problems.

Cost is based on many things, so mine is not relative to your situation. It is based on the axle you need for your trailer and the cost of a good welder (and he doesn't have to be expensive, just competent).

Some have kept their old axles and had them lifted. But since you have added a lot to yours, it might not hurt to upgrade.
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Old 05-01-2003, 07:29 PM   #5
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Torsion axle 14tm Surfside

I raised my torsion axle 4" i will send some pics
It was easy enough and really improved the rigs clearance.

Let me know if there are any questions.
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Tony

I raised my torsion axle 4" i will send some pics
It was easy enough and really improved the rigs clearance.

Let me know if there are any questions.
Do you notice any difference in the towing of the trailers? It doesn't want to fly up and sail over things like a kite? (exaggeration here, but you get the jest) :angel maybe a better way of saying that is - It doesn't get air born?
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