Torflex suspension for off-road trailer

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 01, 2005 at 23:21

Muddy 'doe (SA)

Hi All and a Happy New Year to everyone,

Do any of you on the forum have experience with Torflex suspension on trailers?

I am looking at having an Off-Road Camper Trailer built and my father recommended a rubber Torsion Bar suspension system that he uses on his boat trailer. The rubber component is mounted inside the axle beam and connected to the hubs via torsion bars. It is totally silent and maintenance free with no metal to metal contact at all. It comes in a number of sizes from 600lbs to 8,000lbs and you bolt your trailer straight onto the bracket which is supplied attached to the axle beam. It is effectively an independent suspension as the axle does not move at all relative to the trailer.

More info is at the web site http://www.dexteraxle.com/torflex_axles

I am interested in opinions as to whether this would work OK on a camper trailer. It works great on the boat trailer as there are no springs to go rusty and it seems extremely robust and simple and maintenance free. My only concern is the amount of wheel clearance height and articulation on rocky tracks.

Would love to hear from anyone that has this system installed.

Cheers
Muddy
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AnswerID: 90981   Submitted: Sunday, Jan 02, 2005 at 08:17

Peter 2 replied:

I came across this system on a friends camper years ago, worked well but was wearing out from day 1 when we started taking it outback in sand, dirt and mud.
Eventually after a few outback trips it 'swung over' on the Oodna track, we had to cut logs and wire them in to stop the wheels rubbing. That camper weighed 600kgs loaded wringing wet and the suspension was rated for twice that from memory. Apart from doing the log thing there was no way of repairing it, had to be replaced, we fitted leaves when we got home, cheap, easy bush repair/replacement.
Would be fine on a trailer that was used in suburbia/civilisation but questionable outback on rough tracks/roads as basically the suspension is two bits of square tube with rubber between which gives the limited movement and is being worn out all the time.
The modern system may be better sealed to stop water and grit ingress but I'd be sceptical.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome
2005 F250 4x4 Super Duty with Real Lite slideon (in USA)
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AnswerID: 90982   Submitted: Sunday, Jan 02, 2005 at 08:20

Bob&Deb replied:

G`day Muddy`doe; Have had experience with a very similar concept of trailer suspension.We use AL-KO independet axles under the off road trailers we build.We built a new chassis for a bloke with a Dove pop top to which we fitted an AL-KO,we were told the GVM would be 1700kg.Unfortunatly the true figure was 3000kg,any way they made it three quarters of the way around Aust. before the rubber on one side let go. On this trip he had had the bushes in his Land Rover`s springs replaced replaced twice before the AL-KO let go.This is the only drama we have had with this type of suspension,[ make sure of your weight range before ordering your axle].
In operation on rough terrain , trailers fitted with these independent axles look very similar to the motion of a duck waddling.The trailer doesn`t bounce and rattle like what happens on a straight axle with springs.With the right coupling and the same diameter wheels as the car,trailers with this suspension are much kinder on the towing vechile.If you have any questions give us a bell on 0428300357.
Keep wandering
Regards Bob
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FollowupID: 349602   Submitted: Sunday, Jan 02, 2005 at 21:16

Member - Darryl posted:

Muddie, i concur with bob!
We have had our trailer since 98 ,it has round tubes not square as pete said .We have done 30000km off road , i mean the tourturous gunbarrell ,gibb river rd and gammins ranges and mid west areas of WA and a pleasure to tow.We do not overload and take it easy like anyone should do when towing off road.We have dobinson springs and munroe gas shocks to acompany the set up .We are heading back to the kimberly this year and down through the middle and i have no hesitation about its condition. .Like any suspension setup springs included they look fine but can break any time.
Anyway its your choice but ive put my two bobs in,

Cheers

Darryl
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AnswerID: 90986   Submitted: Sunday, Jan 02, 2005 at 09:50

Truckster (Vic) replied:

I can only think paper mache' would be worse than rubber bushes, on an offroad trailer that gets beaten around about 100000 trillion billion zillion willion times more than a boat trailer...

Springs dont go rusty overnight on campertrailers, its over yrs, and depending how well treated, you could remove them once a yr and repaint them if required...

ymmv
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AnswerID: 90994   Submitted: Sunday, Jan 02, 2005 at 11:21

Bob Y. - Qld replied:

Happy New year, Muddy,

There used to be a caravan, made with this type of suspension, and the story goes that it didn't complete the round Oz trip. Spent some weeks in Alice, waiting for new axle.
We have similar axles(not my choice) fitted to a gooseneck, for 4-6 horses, and while we haven't had any probs yet, there is limited wheel travel, in off road conditions.
Feel Peter's example gives you an unbiased view on this choice.
Have seen the independent set-up on Campomatics, and reckon this is the way to go. Okay, say you break a coil spring, they cost bugger all, and are lighten enough to cart a spare.

Let us know what you build?

hooroo...
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AnswerID: 91004   Submitted: Sunday, Jan 02, 2005 at 13:31

toymn8r replied:

Muddy
I have been warned off this type of suspension by quite a few reputable mechanics.
I live in Alice and the corrugations destroy these setups very quickly.

Cheers
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