Van clearance

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 13:25
ThreadID: 106263 Views:1616 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Is there any safe way to raise the axle on a caravan so that the chassis can clear rough roads etc?
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 13:57

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 13:57
There are drop axles or bigger tyres for more axle clearance but if you need body clearance, you can move the springs to the top of the axle! Michael
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:01

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:01
Actuallly drop axles will fix both problems and ALCO have a rubber bushed axle assembly that eliminates the need for springs and bolts up high so no axle sitting in thin air! Michael
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:18

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:18
I think it was on this forum that mentioned a bloke who inserts a 2inch piece of square tube between the springs and chassis, raising it by 2 inches. That is if you have stock semi elliptic springs.


Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 526576

Reply By: John and Regina M - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:19

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:19
However, as it is a suspension modification, and not a factory option (?) it may require an engineering compliance certificate. With the new vehicle inspection regs and inspections to be implemented this year it would be a good idea to check if a compliance cert will be required and if your insurer will cover the mod.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:42

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 14:42
There are planty of things that can be done..some of them sound engineering and other plain rough and butcherous.

Any type of axle spacer is rough and butcherous, and very much frowned upon by regulators in all states in all types of vehicles....like wise extended spring shackles.

If it is a plain spring and beam axle suspension it is possible on trailers to "spring over" the suspension....that is place the axle under the springs rather than over them.

Two of my three trailers are sprung over and have been since new, one of my boat trailers comes sprung under when fitted with 13 inch rims, if optioned with 14 inch rims it comes sprung over.

This will pick up arround 2 inches of chasis height...and its costs very little

another non butcherous thing is to increase the size of the wheels or tyres.

BUT....most axles are designed arround a specific wheel size...so an axle designed for 14 inch or less pasenger car wheels will have to be derated to carry 15 inch or 16 inch 4wd wheels and tyres...or a different axle fitted.

Moving from 13 inch rims to 14 inch rims will gain a few inches of height..if you have the clearance from the body work.....14 inch rims will also get you a better selection of tyres.

springing over and going from 13 to 14 inch rims, could yeild a good 4 inches....a relativly cheap mod...seen it done on those older style light camper trailers.

You could fit drop axles...but they present some engineering issues.

a better choice would be to have the suspension mounts lifted.
There have been plenty of vans rejigged by installing very much taller suspenion under the existing chasis...or a complete chasis under the existing

AND, remember if you are increasing the chasis heaight the coupling needs to be corrected too so the trailer travels level or close to it.

NOW as for the legalities...ahh well......the regs for trailers can be a bit vague....and there is a bit of a who cares attitude........official or not...and..there are certain things that are permitted or allowed that would not be for cars and trucks.

IF you have a later model trailer with a vin plate and tyre plackard....hmm you may have to get that...engineered.

Oh remember too the effects of increasing the centre of gravity.

If ya lifting the suspension it may be wise to add some shockies or otherwise improve the stability.

cheers
AnswerID: 526579

Reply By: awill4x4 - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 15:00

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 15:00
A riser bar welded underneath the chassis is probably the best engineered option.
I had similar issues with a van that was too low and although I went a different direction in fitting a full trailing arm/coil suspension system the pics below give an idea of how a riser bar could be fitted then the springs fitted to that bar.
In my case I went with 75 X 50 RHS section but it all depends on how high you want to go.
My van came with horrible slipper springs and the van tended to bounce down the road behind me but a more progressive eye to eye leaf spring would certainly make a more supple suspension option.
Regarding wheel size, yes an increase in wheel and tyre diameter will increase height but it also makes the brakes less efficient as the leverage of the larger size overcomes the factory brakes.
On my van in the old configuration the 10" drums were ok (just) but I've upsized the brakes to 12" drums and even with a larger rim/tyre combo my brakes are far better now then they ever were before.
Regards Andrew.



AnswerID: 526582

Follow Up By: Member - John - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:22

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:22
Andrew, some one has stolen my trailer..................... and your axle
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 17:55

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 17:55
Hey John, I've found a trailer in my carport.
Do you want to buy one cheap?
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