Any warnings about swapping the travel trailer leaf springs to over the axle?

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clalso

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Mar 28, 2006
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Hello Friends. 

I have a 24' TT that bottoms out in the back while passing over street gulleys in my neighborhood.  This has caused the metal brackets that protect the rear bottom of the TT to break.  A friend suggested I have someone move the leaf springs over the axle.  I did that a few days ago and had the two rear metal bracket welded back in place by a highly recommended TT repair facility. It raised the trailer six or seven inches though I was told by the owner of the dealership where I bought the TT it would only be about four inches. My trailer now reminds me of a 4x4 truck with a lift kit installed.  Guess I'll get used to it.

I noticed that my drive home with TT "seemed" to take a little more truck power, but that it could've been my imagination as there was a good head wind which I've not driven in with this rig before now.  One other thing I noticed is the kitchen drawers were all popped open / out upon arriving home.  I'm guessing that is because there's more bounce in the TT now.  One good thing I've noticed is the TT appears to not push down as much now on the hitch.  After the swap the TT and the truck all look parallel to the ground.  Previously the TT was a few inches lower in the rear even though the truck was parallel to the ground back then. 

I would like to know if I anyone has had any problems after switching the leaf springs on their TT to over the axle, any warnings I should heed now that I've made the change, if it is normal for the axles (two of them) to both look slightly bent upwards in the middle?

Thank you ...

Cliff  :)
 

John From Detroit

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Well, I do have a few cautions,  One, this Will affect your towing height, You want the hitch to be level, That is when it's hooked up and ready to roll you want the frame of the trailer as level as possible and by level I mean parallel to the ground. (So park on level ground)  If the trailer slopes up or down control is lost, big time.

Second you will now have a slightly higher center of gravity I don't know how you drive but if your name was Andretti, M. I'd worry about cornering :)
 

clalso

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John, Thanks for passing along your thoughts.  I thought about the higher center or gravity too.  I figured that woud affect me in high windows more and with cornering.  I don't drive fast, probably a bit too slow most times  :) 

The whole rig is completely parallel to the ground now that the TT is raised.  Before the rear end of the TT was a few inches lower than the front of the TT. 

Mostly I'm concerned about the raised TT causing too much bounce thereby harming appliances, my slideout, etc.  Also, now that I can easily see under the TT I noticed that both axles are bowed just a little up toward the TT.  If it was just one axle I'd be more concerned. Since it is both axles I am thinking this is normal but just in case it's not I thought I'd ask here.

Cliff
 

John From Detroit

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High winds are an issue as well however the type of suspension you have means a lot here, and since I have not crawled around under your rig I can not comment.

I've driven where I was told to be cautious cause they had high winds... And never even felt wind load on the rig I was driving at the time (Dodge hi-top maxi van, this was 18 inches longer than a regualr work van and tall enough that I could stand up on tiptoe and not bang my head... I'm 6'2")

Ride had excelent shocks though and a very strong suspension system
 

clalso

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Mar 28, 2006
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Spoke with the repair facility this morning.  They indicate the curve in the axle is "camber" and is normal. Helps to avoid improper wear and tear on the tires once the trailer is loaded.  They also mentioned the drawers may have came out during the move of the leaf springs as they have to tilt the trailer on one side then then other. Hopefully the seemingly harder to tow I noticed driving the TT home was just the headwind.

Thanks for all the advice John.  Really appreciate it!

Cliff :)
 

Carl L

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Mostly I'm concerned about the raised TT causing too much bounce thereby harming appliances, my slideout, etc.

If you are, you might consider an add-on shock absorber kit for the trailer.  I believe that Monroe makes one.
 

clalso

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I didn't know they made an add on shock absorber.  Good to know.  Appreciate that advice :)
 

ElginRinger

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Elgin, Tx
clalso said:
I didn't know they made an add on shock absorber.? Good to know.? Appreciate that advice :)

Hello All, I'm a rookie to the TT world but I have to tell you so far, it beats some of the deer cabins I've stayed in over the years by leaps and bounds.

I'm having the same trouble as clalso in that I'm bottoming out.? I have a 1977 Yellowstone 24'.? The sewer runs out the back left of the TT and only sits 6-8 inches off the pavement so you can imagine what happens on rough spots in the road and deer lease roads.? I have a WD kit installed, and I pull with '01 F250 4x4.

I've tried adjusting the WD hookup but it seems that the TT just sits too low to make any difference.? My question is how labor, and $ intensive is flipping the springs on the TT ?? I don't really want to spend a ton of money and would really like to be able to do it myself if possible since I only pd 2k for the trailer a few months ago and plan to upgrade at some point in the near future.? Problem is that it's about to need to go to the deer camp for the upcoming year and I just don't think the plumbing will stay intact.? Thanks for your help, insight, and time.

And lastly, I have a metal holding tank for water.  The previous owner used a tire inflator, similar to what we all keep in our vehicles to supply water pressure.  Is that okay to use and if so, does it run off the batter or electric.  It looks as though there is a switch below the bed that may be used to turn it on and off.  Thanks again.

 

clalso

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ElginRinger, Hello. The place I had move my leaf springs over the two axles charged about $225 - $250  I can't say exactly as I had other work performed too (sway bar installed and welding of the broken metal brackets in the back of the TT from bottoming out).  They had to replace some of the bolts which cost a few dollars more or it would have been closer to $200.  I have a grey water opening in the same place as your sewer opening, back left.  Mine hit a few times too.  That and the metal protective brackets breaking was enough to get me to reverse the leaf springs. I understand there may be other options too like adding spacers instead of reversing the leaf springs.
 

clalso

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Mar 28, 2006
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oops, forgot to mention I have no idea how to answer your question about the water pressure.
 

ElginRinger

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clalso said:
oops, forgot to mention I have no idea how to answer your question about the water pressure.

Ahh........spacers, never thought of that.  I'll see what I can find out about them.  I'm now struggling with trying to find the correct cord to go from the TT to the new generator I bought.  I'll be going to RV Outlet Mall in Georgetown, Tx today at lunch so I'll ask them about the spacers.  Thanks very much for your help.
 

2006F350

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Memphis TN
If your axle is over the springs, spacers will only lower the trailer. You could replace the spring shackles to longer ones which might effectively do the same as flipping the axle to under the springs, but if I had to do it, I would flip the axle.

Larry
 

hankpac

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Oct 27, 2006
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The pressure tank system is an old style method of pumping water, pressurizing the entire tank. the tire valve fitting was for running it up at the gs station so you didn't have to run the trailer mounted pump (the switch). You can also use your tire pump (either hand or 12 olt) to run it up. Check for wear, and aging.
My front window looks out on the highway, and I see  every form of modification to travel trailers and MH's, that you can imagine and some few surprises. Lots of hunters pass this way, and lots of their rigs are lifted by swapping the springs to on top of the axle. Seems smart for back roads, risky for highway winds. On a new rig or with a touchy insurance company or adjuster, any mod like that could void a warranty or violate the terms of the insurance as a dangerous mod. I also see what looks like overly heavy loads attached to the rear bumper of trailers. Ice chests and tool boxes are bad enough, but yesterday, I saw an ATV hung back there!
Heavieswt huntingload I saw this year: two quads side by side, above the rails, with the bed completely crammed with gear, towing a 35 foot conventional trailer, with extended tongue that had a big tool box attached, and a big tool bosx on the rear bumper. Pulled by a Dodge. Felt sorry for the poor truck. Pulled strong,a nd rode leverl, though.
 
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