16' Casita - lower high lift axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-18-2021, 11:39 AM   #1
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Name: Brian
Trailer: 2015 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe
Washington
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16' Casita - lower high lift axle

Does anybody know the level of effort required to return a 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe with the high lift axle package to the standard axle/height? Can a simple modification be made or is a whole new axle and brake package required?

I recently purchased a 2015 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe with a factory installed high lift axle. I swear I measured a million times but when I got it home, the top of the vent was between 1/2" to 1" too tall to fit in my garage. While I'm sure I could shave some height by releasing air from from the tires or remove the vent cover for Winter storage, I'd really just like to be able to easily store our new trailer in the garage year round.

We really don't need the high lift axle as we're not really going off-road anywhere and it would actually be nice to be able to get in and out without a step. But really the main thing is easily getting it in and out of the garage. The only driveway space we have to park our trailer blocks our water view. As much as I love looking at the side of my Casita, I'd like to be able to take in the water view instead.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:00 PM   #2
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Unless Casita does their lift differently than Scamp, they use the same axle and add a spacer under the frame rail to create the lift. Assuming it's a bolt-on axle installation, it should be pretty straightforward. They'll unbolt the axle, cut off the mounting bracket and spacer, re-weld the bracket to the frame without the spacer, and bolt the axle back on.

Take it to a metal fabrication shop or a utility trailer shop that does custom work- not an RV shop- and have them take a look at it.
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:03 PM   #3
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Name: Madeline
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[If it is brand new, put about 500 miles on it. It will settle some. Also try a lower profile tire. QUOTE=BurienBrian;817296]Does anybody know the level of effort required to return a 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe with the high lift axle package to the standard axle/height? Can a simple modification be made or is a whole new axle and brake package required?

I recently purchased a 2015 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe with a factory installed high lift axle. I swear I measured a million times but when I got it home, the top of the vent was between 1/2" to 1" too tall to fit in my garage. While I'm sure I could shave some height by releasing air from from the tires or remove the vent cover for Winter storage, I'd really just like to be able to easily store our new trailer in the garage year round.

We really don't need the high lift axle as we're not really going off-road anywhere and it would actually be nice to be able to get in and out without a step. But really the main thing is easily getting it in and out of the garage. The only driveway space we have to park our trailer blocks our water view. As much as I love looking at the side of my Casita, I'd like to be able to take in the water view instead.[/QUOTE]
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:04 PM   #4
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Give it time and miles. It will settle some. Also lower profile tires.
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:30 PM   #5
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Name: Bonnie
Trailer: Casita
Massachusetts
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Where is the high point of the vent located relative to the axle center? Could you raise (vent is located behind the axle line), or lower (vent forward of the axle), the hitch to gain the clearance you need?

Our 17 foot Casita with high lift option does not use spacers between the axle and frame. The rubber torsion blocks within the axle are tapered at a different angle to hold the axle arms at a different height. Yours is a 2016. The blocks (presuming not leaf springs) would have completed any settling by now.


What size tires do you currently have on it? I'd be contemplating a "minus 1" arrangement of a smaller diameter rim and a smaller tread diameter tire. This will maintain much of the current sidewall height. Just watch the weight rating to be sure they tire you consider is up to the load.
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Old 06-18-2021, 02:26 PM   #6
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Bummer. If that's the case with the OP's 16'er- different arm angle rather than a spacer- it's not so easy (though it's actually the better way to lift the trailer). Smaller wheels and tires could be a possibility, although a 1" reduction in tire diameter only nets a 1/2" reduction in height, and you have to be careful of the weight, as noted. I like lots of margin on the tire weight rating. You also have fewer tire options in smaller sizes.

It's a long shot, but maybe you could find someone without the lift that wants to swap axles. It's more common for people to want to raise their trailer than lower it. Casita could probably tell you if there are any compatibility issues among different model years.
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Old 06-18-2021, 02:26 PM   #7
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On our 2009 Casita, the axles were different. The standard axle was 0 degrees and the high-lift was either 10 or 15 degrees from horizontal. When we had our axle replaced the shop originally installed the standard axle and had to reorder a high-lift and do the job over.

It does make about 3" difference in height, which would make the difference for you. As I recall the cost to the insurance company was about $1200 including the install (2010).
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:02 PM   #8
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Two thinks:


Crawl underneath and see if it's a bolt-on life spacer. If so, remove.


Call Casita, give them the VIN number and they can look up the build history and tell you what was involved.


Personally I would just do the first one first.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:44 AM   #9
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Name: Brian
Trailer: 2015 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe
Washington
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Thanks for all of the insight. This has been really helpful. I actually reached out to Casita via their contact us page earlier this week and haven't heard anything back yet.

I crawled under the trailer and didn't see any spacers so I read up a bit on how these trailer axles work. Casita uses a torsion axle with what's essentially a spring loaded arm going to to the wheel hub. The starting angle of that arm is all the determines the lift. This post has some really good info.

Quote:
A torsion axle’s start angle affects the trailer’s ride height. Setting the start angle is only done when ordering an axle. It is not something that can be adjusted later.
From the factory, Casita’s stock axle is a 0-degree start angle. It provides a neutral ride height without any extra ground clearance.
Casita offers an upgraded “High Lift” axle, the same Dexter Torflex torsion axle, but with a 10-degree down start angle. This downturn start angle essentially pushes the tires down and lifts the trailer providing increased ground clearance. It also offers extra room between the tires and the wheel wells.


As far as I can tell, the axle start angle is set once at the factory and, due to how the rubber tension system works, can never be changed. Unless I hear otherwise from Casita, this sounds like a no go without a full axle replacement.

Next time I have the trailer hooked up I'll back it up to the garage and take a picture of where the trailer is too high. Where I originally messed up was measuring the door opening rather than the lowest point of where the door rests when open and the arm of the opening mechanism. I could probably disengage the opener and push the door back further and maybe disconnect the arm, but again, that's a giant pain to do every time.

I'll give an update on what I eventually end up doing. Thanks again.
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Old 06-19-2021, 01:28 PM   #10
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Name: Ron
Trailer: Casita 17' Spirit Dlx
IN
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Standard axle was 0° with 14" tires ( as is my 2001 Sprit Deluxe 17') and high lift is standard now at 10° down with 15" tires, both on Dexter 3500lb axle.
You could go to 14" tires as the fastest and cheapest route to verify height and not jeopardize any safety concerns.
Your axle should be a bolt on and be easy for a trailer shop to adjust height.

If you were local I'd give you a set of 14" tires and wheels that I have in the garage!
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:10 PM   #11
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Name: Brian & Mary
Trailer: Casita
Illinois
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Bolt on axle swap is easy, just have to resplice the brake wiring. I’m sure costs have gone up, but, I believe I paid less than $750 per 5000 lb. axle (with brakes), 5 years ago, for a Rockwood trailer.
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:47 AM   #12
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If you only need an inch or two to clear the garage door opening, try letting some air out of the tires.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:40 PM   #13
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Name: Randy
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD
Duluth,Minnesota
Posts: 53
The only way I can get my 17' casita sd with a 3.2 inch lift in my garage is to swap out the 15 inch wheels and tires with 13 inch and then let 1/2 of the air out of those. Then I put a ladder up by my garage door so I can lift it up above the door header trim and lock it up there with a vice grip and then I can get it in without scraping. Kind of a pain but it works.
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