6" lift to fix 2014 ParkLiner wheel well clearance issue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2020, 08:58 AM   #1
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
Posts: 21
6" lift to fix 2014 ParkLiner wheel well clearance issue

Hello, I purchased a 2014 Parkliner a few weeks ago, having read about the various afflictions that the early models of this trailer suffered (I think our model is somewhere between #80 and #110...not certain).


The trailer had some minor tire marks in the wheel wells, but no actual wear on the fiberglass, so I thought I'd tow it home (about three hours from where I purchased it) and address the issue with a slight lift and new tires. Unfortunately, I didn't make it home safely. The passenger side tire rubbed through the fiberglass and exploded on I-95 South around St. Sebastian River State Park. Luckily, the spare tire held and allowed us to limp home via A1A.


I decided to go big with the fix, just to be certain that the issue is resolved, and I thought I'd share it with any other ParkLiner owners, or would-be owners, so here goes. I took the trailer to a local shop, Oceanside Truck & Trailer, in Tequesta, Florida. These guys are awesome--they fixed the fiberglass perfectly and fabricated a 6" lift to create the clearance this this trailer should have had from the factory.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:27 AM   #2
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Was the axle sagging from old age? or from too much weight in the trailer?
Were the tires oversize?
With the 6" lift, did you adjust your hitch ball height to keep the trailer level, or slightly nose down?
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:29 AM   #3
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
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I thought that there was a way to add captions to these photos, but I'm not seeing it, so I'll just add a little description here.


The first photo is of the damage to the front of the wheel well after the tire blew out on the way home. The back of the same wheel well was also damaged, although it didn't burn all of the way through the trailer shell.


The second photo is of the wheel well after the fiberglass repair. It looks brand new...I'm really pleased with how it turned out.



The third pic is just to show the dramatic increase in clearance after the lift was installed. The guys up at Oceanside said it best: "It looks like it should have in the first place."


Pic #4 shows the trailer prior to the lift...the tires were tucked up way too far into the wheel wells.


Pic #5 is just to show the stance after the lift.


Pic #6 is of one of the axle mounts prior to the lift.



Pics #7 & #8 show the fabricated lift and how it's attached, if anyone is interested in something similar.


Pic #9 shows the clearance after the lift.


I towed it at about 60 mph on the way home from the repair shop. It's perfect.


These might be subjects for new threads, but I'm getting ready to address some other defects and deficiencies with this trailer, and would appreciate any feedback or direction on these topics. I know there are some historical threads on here that touch on a couple of these issues...
  • The batteries, both brand new, don't seem to charge properly. I'll probably go buy a nice battery charger-conditioner, but I wonder if I should also upgrade the factory battery converter? Any thoughts on this? I also plan to install a kill switch, to avoid any vampire-type draw that might be occurring.
  • The factory AC doesn't cool the trailer in any noticeable way. It appears that there are are least two issues: the door isn't anything close to sealed (I figure that some good weather seal strip can resolve it) and the factory box for the AC unit allows the cold air and the AC exhaust/heat to commingle inside the AC box. The heat seems to pour our of the seams and the seat lid access above the AC. My plan is to rebuild the box to properly package and seal the AC, and possibly to install a power fan to remove the exhaust (heat) from the "exterior" portion of the AC (the portion that would normally hang outside of a window on a building). If this doesn't fix it, I plan to remove the AC and install a small mini split system, but I'm hoping not to incur the extra expense.
  • Back to the lift... By adding 6" lift blocks between the frame and Torflex, I've slightly increased the center of gravity, which of course makes the trailer slightly more tippy. I'd also like to upgrade to 15" wheels and go with a meaningfully bigger tire (wider and larger diameter), but there's currently not enough clearance. The real issue is the upward angle of this particular Torflex configuration. I'm thinking about ordering a new Torflex with a 25-degree down angle, and also going wider (probably 4" wider overall) to create the clearance for a bigger tire. I'm not in a hurry for this, having just purchased three new tires. My thought it that this is an upgrade for about two years form now when I'd be looking to replace the current tires. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance for any and all feedback. I'm impressed with how friendly and helpful everyone has been so far in the forums! If anyone is currently dealing with the wheel well clearance issue and would like more detail, please let me know. I'm happy to share what little I've learned about it so far.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:40 AM   #4
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
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Hi Wayne,


My best guess is that the Torflex was sagging a bit--and that the tires were dry-rotted just enough--such that the combination finally caused them to come into hard contact with the wheel well. Either way, this model of ParkLiner is known for this issue. I believe that the manufacturer switched to a Dexter Torflex axle around maybe trailer #25, and that new angles allowed that dangerous contact. The manufacturer's "fix" was to bu new smaller tires for some folks who complained. I don't consider smaller tires a fix.



The trailer had the proper factory-sized tires on it: 205/75 R14. To be cautious, I replaced them with the same size, but radials. I'd still like to go bigger, but more lift would be required to do that safely, I think.



My tow vehicle is lifted, so I had a slight drop on the ball hitch prior to the trailer lift. I was able to flip the ball to the other side of the hitch, in order to lift the ball height about four inches, which appears to carry the trailer at almost dead level.



Cheers,
Keith
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:44 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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6" lift to fix 2014 ParkLiner wheel well clearance issue

For future reference, you can mingle pictures and text in the same post. Here’s how:
(1) Choose and upload your pictures.
(2) Return to your post and compose the text.
(3) Place your cursor where you want a photo, click the down arrow next to the paper clip icon, and choose the picture you want. If you don’t see the list it’s still uploading, so wait a little longer.
(4) An attachment number will pop up in your post.
(5) Repeat for each picture.

You can go back and add more pictures if needed (there’s a limit, maybe 10?). When everything’s done, you can hit the preview to see what it will look like before submitting the post. Sounds harder than it actually is, but it does require using the full website version to access all the tools.

As an FYI, the registry and albums have provision for captions, but since those forum features are not available on the app or mobile skin, they’re not much used any more. Putting them in a regular thread gives the best visibility.

Your trailer looks great, and you sure didn’t waste any time. Thanks for sharing your solution, as I’m sure others will benefit.

Happy camping!
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:45 AM   #6
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
Posts: 1,072
See notes after your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringa View Post
I


These might be subjects for new threads, but I'm getting ready to address some other defects and deficiencies with this trailer, and would appreciate any feedback or direction on these topics. I know there are some historical threads on here that touch on a couple of these issues...
[LIST][*]The batteries, both brand new, don't seem to charge properly. I'll probably go buy a nice battery charger-conditioner, but I wonder if I should also upgrade the factory battery converter? Any thoughts on this? I also plan to install a kill switch, to avoid any vampire-type draw that might be occurring.
YES, a disconnect switch will help during long storage periods. I added one to ours, but it has a tendency to stick in the ON position, (it uses a spring to disengage) so I have to give it a rap with a tool, to be sure it opens. (use the porch light as a signal)


[*]The factory A/C under the side dinette seat? is a joke …… Best go to a roof mounted A/C Do you have the MaxxFan vent?



Thanks in advance for any and all feedback. I'm impressed with how friendly and helpful everyone has been so far in the forums! If anyone is currently dealing with the wheel well clearance issue and would like more detail, please let me know. I'm happy to share what little I've learned about it so far.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:06 AM   #7
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
Posts: 21
Hi Jon, thanks for the instructions on how to post captions with pics. That's definitely helpful.



Wayne, yessir, the factory AC under the side dinette. I'm hoping a little modification can fix it, but you're probably right...the factory design for the box that holds the AC is so poor...the only fix might be a different AC approach altogether.



I do have the MaxxFan, and I thought about going with a roof-mounted AC. What I dislike about this approach is the extra weight atop the shell. I wonder how it might affect the shell over time, such as extra stress cracking, etc. Maybe it's not that big of a deal though. Have you added a rooftop AC to your ParkLiner? Details would be greatly appreciated.


The reason I'm leaning toward mini split is that I could locate the exterior unit on the front or rear of the frame with a little modification, and mini splits get seriously cold while operating highly efficiently. My thought is that the dual battery storage might need to be relocated to the rear of the trailer on a new receiver carrier basket, which would allow room right next to them for a generator. This would free up just enough room--I think--to fit the mini split behind the propane tanks up front (the propane tank mount would need to move forward about three inches, which ~looks~ easy enough to do...not having actually done it :-)


It sounds like the kill switch is a good idea. Any thoughts on the factory converter? I've seen mixed reviews of it online, but I have to think that it is the main culprit of the lack of proper battery charging. I'm a noob to fiberglass trailers though, so I don't really know.


Does anyone have any thoughts on these chargers?


https://www.westmarine.com/buy/proma...rger--14152151


https://www.lowes.com/pd/Schumacher-...ger/1000579363


https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/battery-charger
(Looking at the Digital 1200 model)



I wonder if I were to replace the factory converter with a nice upgrade, is that perhaps a better fix than an external charger/conditioner?



Cheers,
Keith
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:55 AM   #8
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Parkliner A/C & Batteries

I think the main prob, as you know, is there is not enough airflow around the outside half of the A/C. PL has a row of holes in the underside next to the frame rail, More holes would help but how to get at it? And, the heat exhaust vent on the side is too small. Putting a powered fan in there might help.
The first time we put the air to the test it was 90 deg and 90% humidity. After running the AC for hours, it was still 90 deg inside the trailer. The wall of dinette seat/AC box, gets very warm.
The problem with window or mini-split A/Cs is they may not be made ruggedly enough to hold up under the shocks and vibrations encountered on the road.
An RV rooftop unit should be up to it. And it just makes sense that the cooled air should enter from above. Parkliner did do Rooftop A/Cs. But wanted to offer a lower profile — like we wanted to fit under the eaves beside our garage.
i agree, the mini split is a good system. We have one in our house. But, a self contained unit, low profile, roof mount is best. After all, a million RVs have them. As long as you're not limited on overall height.

As to the batteries, I don't know anything about the converter/charging systems. Are your two batteries 12 volt, or 6 volts each? 2- 12V must be connected in parallel, 2 - 6V would be in series… which are more likely to not charge evenly if the cable connections are not clean. 2 - 12Vs should charge evenly, in parallel.
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Old 03-28-2020, 02:14 PM   #9
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
Posts: 21
Wayne, thanks for the insight on the rooftop AC being preferable for purposes of vibrations and ruggedness. Do you know the brand and model of rooftop AC that was a factory option for these early ParkLiners? What did you end up putting on yours to get it cold inside, if you don't mind me asking?


Here's a look at the battery box. Now that I have it open, I see the white connector wire wasn't attached to the second battery, which would surely explain the lack of charging. Ha!


So, here are the batteries. They're both SuperStart #24DCMs (12 volt).


https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b.../24dcm/4742398


I'm hoping that I can simply attached the white wire to the obvious terminal to have them properly connected in parallel?
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:57 PM   #10
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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No, I don't know what brand, and have not done anything with ours, except study on it. If I were to get one, Perhaps a Coleman-Mach ultra low profile, Mach 8 pus 13,500 BTU, $980. or the Mach 8 Cub Plus - 9200 BTU, $826, for smaller, more compact RV's …. this from the Camping World Catalog.
You will want to check on the depth of the indoor shroud to be sure it will not hit your head. And figure out how to get 120V wiring to the roof.
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Old 03-28-2020, 04:31 PM   #11
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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RE the Parkliner A/C; a few years back, could even be 5 years or more, a former Parkliner owner, Brian M in NY made a modification to his A/C unit that improved it somehow. I know he posted it here so maybe you could find that thread.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:32 PM   #12
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Parkliner 2013
North Carolina
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Parkliner AC

My 2013 ParkLiner is about #20 and the AC is in the position as originally designed: exactly where yours is. The roof mounted AC came later (2016?) and required strengthening the shell to support the additional weight of the unit. So take care if adding a roof-top AC. Regarding the battery & electrical system, I think I'd postpone these changes until I can see whether or not correctly connecting the battery solved the problem. I've had zero electrical problems with the set-up as it is.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:43 PM   #13
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
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Hi Mary and/or Bob, I'll search for this thread, thank you! That's my first thought...that perhaps the existing under-seat AC setup can be modified to make it work sufficiently. It would certainly be the less expensive option. South Florida summers are a test for any AC system, bit I do like the idea of the I expensive window unit as a simple solution.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:47 PM   #14
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
Florida
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Bill, thanks for the detail here. I wondered whether or not the roof is really designed for a rooftop AC. I appreciate the word of caution.



Re: the battery charging issue, I think you're right. I'm going to install a kill switch and invest in a multi-stage battery maintainer, but based on my voltage tests this morning, I'm thinking that the batteries are fine and that the converter might be perfectly sufficient for what it needs to do.



Cheers!
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:37 PM   #15
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Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
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Fujitsu makes a 9000 BTU mini-split that a couple of Escape owners have installed in their trailers; been on the road for a couple of years and no reported problems on the Escape forum. It's also a 120V model, so wiring is pretty straightforward and could be run from a generator. Also heats at 10,000 BTU.





https://www.fujitsu-general.com/us/p...l/asu9rl2.html
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:49 PM   #16
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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The tire rub issue; as I recall Brian M also had that problem and I think he had the wheel wells modified to provide more tire clearance. I believe it was done by a shop that specialized in Corvettes, and Parkliner paid for it.
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:53 PM   #17
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Hi Charlie, thank you. That's my backup plan...I think it's a good one. It seems like a number of travel trailer owners have found small mini splits that hold up well. First, I'm going to rebuild the existing wall-mount AC set-up and see what that does. A bigger, powered vent and a properly installed and sealed AC unit might just do that trick. After all, the trailer is the equivalent of an approximately 90 sq. ft. room. The BTUs are there already...just need to get the install right.

Bob, I did see that. In my case, repairing the one damaged wheel well costed almost as much as the 6" lift. I think the lift is less expense and provides more clearance versus trying to open up both wheel wells. Both would be a nice option, but I'm hoping to avoid the expense of any additional fiberglass work...with one exception...

Over the weekend, I removed the three bolts that hold the spare tire onto the back of the trailer. I'm going to get these holes glassed over like it never happened...keep the spare tire weight off of the shell.
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Old 03-30-2020, 04:41 PM   #18
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I thought about putting the AC on slides so it could be pulled out and fit much like a window ac would. The 2 problems that stopped me from trying it out were:
  1. It required cutting the fiberglass to enlarge the opening where the vent is
  2. There would need to be some type of duct work with a fan to bring the cool area from under the seat into the trailer.
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Old 03-30-2020, 05:18 PM   #19
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Keith,

The underneath side of the floor looks brand new. Nice.

Are you sure the old torsion axle is still working? If not, the lift will only give you ground clearance, but not properly working suspension travel.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:14 PM   #20
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Name: Keith
Trailer: ParkLiner
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Hi Huck and John,

Huck, that's a cool idea. I did consider pushing the AC unit out of the side, but I agree that even making it retractable seems to introduce some difficult challenges. I love that creative thinking though. I think that it is possible to make the AC a sealed exterior feature with some good fiberglass work, but that might cost as much as a mini split :-) I'm about to dig into that mess. I'll post pics if I make any progress with it.

John, thank you. It appears that trailer the has had little use and has been stored thoughtfully. While pulling the trailer, it had the amount of suspension/shock absorption that I expected, but I did ask the guys at Oceanside about it. They sort of laughed and said that I won't need to replace that axle any time soon.

I haven't researched it yet, but I'm not a fan of the up-angle on the torsion arms. It seems to have been selected by ParkLiner to fulfill their low-rider trailer vision, but I'm skeptical that it provides a similar quality of ride as would the same axle with a comparable down-angle.

Here's my novice understanding of low-travel suspensions: the tires provide much of the effect. In this case, the torsion arms probably have a couple inches of upward travel. Even the little tires on it have more deflection. What this trailer really needs is some bigger tires. That's a 2022 project, I guess.
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