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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Air Shocks or Air Bags on TT

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Rbertalotto

Massachusetts

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Posted: 09/05/21 05:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Then you start having issues


Biggest issue is the propane refrigerator. Can not be more than 3-4% off level or it will be damaged over time...

As far as digging down to level.....Every place I've ever camped frowns upon that...and it would be difficult in a highway rest area....[emoticon]


RoyB
Dartmouth, MA
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JRscooby

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Posted: 09/05/21 07:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:



They do make stick on graduated levels that readout in inches.



They also make graduated round bubble levels.

Inch reading will take the guessing out of your setup at a much lower cost than rigging air shocks and may be more reliable.

No sense adding extra things to break, RVs break easy enough..


If you are backing up a ramp until level, there is no need for the inch marks. Building a ramp, parking on top, the marks are some help, but if using 2X8s they leave some to be desired, IMHO Off by 1 inch? When on 2X, off 3/4 other way, do use a block or not? And if using the interlocking plastic even more confusing because the 2nd and higher layers don't lift as much as the first. This is why I mark the level in blocks.
I had 2 issues with the little stick-on levels. First, the 1 mounted on the front was too small for me to read from driver seat. Found a much larger tube/ball level. 2nd, the 1 on the side for front/back level, over time the sick-on let it walk over time. Found my eye debating the bubble. Re-adjust, and a couple of screws cured that (I trust my eyes, but DW trusts hers. Best to have a bubble)


spoon059 wrote:

afidel wrote:

Maybe I'm just unlucky but in the first 7 months of owning my new trailer I've been on sites that exceeded the height of my Andersons 3x. I end up building platforms out of 2 stacks of 3x Lego bricks with another 2x as caps. I use the Andersons as ramps to get up onto and off these towers.

Situations like that I would either try to reposition my camper to be more neutral before leveling, or I would use my shovel to lower the high spot. I wouldn't want one side of my camper to be more than 4" higher than the other. Then you start having issues with the steps, access to outdoor kitchen, instability when stabilizing, etc.

If you have exceeded the height of your Anderson's (4") by 3 times, thats a foot off level over 8 feet wide. Are you camping on the side of a mountain?


You read he is a foot off? I read he had issues on 3 sites

By nature, over time most soil will settle to the point if there is a slope most water will run off. When you start digging you loosen the dirt. Water is more likely to carry the dirt away. And it is more likely to soak in, so the next person has a mud hole.

Carry a compressor? Dump the air out of high-side tires. At least no problem for others.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 09/05/21 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:



They do make stick on graduated levels that readout in inches.



They also make graduated round bubble levels.

Inch reading will take the guessing out of your setup at a much lower cost than rigging air shocks and may be more reliable.

No sense adding extra things to break, RVs break easy enough..


If you are backing up a ramp until level, there is no need for the inch marks. Building a ramp, parking on top, the marks are some help, but if using 2X8s they leave some to be desired, IMHO Off by 1 inch? When on 2X, off 3/4 other way, do use a block or not? And if using the interlocking plastic even more confusing because the 2nd and higher layers don't lift as much as the first. This is why I mark the level in blocks.
I had 2 issues with the little stick-on levels. First, the 1 mounted on the front was too small for me to read from driver seat. Found a much larger tube/ball level. 2nd, the 1 on the side for front/back level, over time the sick-on let it walk over time. Found my eye debating the bubble. Re-adjust, and a couple of screws cured that (I trust my eyes, but DW trusts hers. Best to have a bubble)




Your making it overly complicated.

Back into your site.

Get out of vehicle.

Read level.

Get out appropriate materials to level that add up to the marking you just read.

Get back in vehicle, pull forward just enough to place your leveling materials.

Get out and place leveling materials behind the rear wheel of the trailer.

Get in and back up onto your leveling materials.

Done.

No guessing, the level tells you exactly how much you are out of level and you simply can setup your blocking without a bunch of guessing.

As far as leveling materials goes.

2x? are 1.5" inches thick.

For less than 1.5" you can use what is called "5/4" boards which are typically used for decking and are dimensional 1" thick.

For less than 1", you can buy 1x? and those will be 3/4" thick

For very tall lifts, you do a "pyramid" with wider boards on bottom and narrower boards laid on top of the wider boards.

Eaze the edges you drive up on with a miter..

You can also do a cribbing log cabin style with say some pieces of 4x4 and a couple of 2x? planks.

For a 7+" lift, you are my hero for even parking there, I am not into that much work and like enjoying not having to prop up one side of my outdoor tables and chairs just to be able to use them.

Huntindog

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Posted: 09/05/21 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rbertalotto wrote:

Quote:

Then you start having issues


Biggest issue is the propane refrigerator. Can not be more than 3-4% off level or it will be damaged over time...

As far as digging down to level.....Every place I've ever camped frowns upon that...and it would be difficult in a highway rest area....[emoticon]
I think you misread it.... He said that leveling by that much with that method would cause issues with the steps, etc..... The fridge would be level even with those issues,.
And I have never seen anyone level an RV in a rest area... Typically they are pretty flat, and camping is not allowed.

I always dig to level.... But I always boondock far away from others... Nobody to frown except an occasional coyote.


* This post was edited 09/05/21 02:44pm by Huntindog *


Huntindog
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noteven

Turtle Island

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Posted: 09/05/21 06:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TrailerFlex is an aftermarket full air suspension. You could pipe it to provide leveling within the travel limits of the suspension.

afidel

Cleveland

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Posted: 09/06/21 12:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:



They do make stick on graduated levels that readout in inches.



They also make graduated round bubble levels.

Inch reading will take the guessing out of your setup at a much lower cost than rigging air shocks and may be more reliable.

No sense adding extra things to break, RVs break easy enough..


If you are backing up a ramp until level, there is no need for the inch marks. Building a ramp, parking on top, the marks are some help, but if using 2X8s they leave some to be desired, IMHO Off by 1 inch? When on 2X, off 3/4 other way, do use a block or not? And if using the interlocking plastic even more confusing because the 2nd and higher layers don't lift as much as the first. This is why I mark the level in blocks.
I had 2 issues with the little stick-on levels. First, the 1 mounted on the front was too small for me to read from driver seat. Found a much larger tube/ball level. 2nd, the 1 on the side for front/back level, over time the sick-on let it walk over time. Found my eye debating the bubble. Re-adjust, and a couple of screws cured that (I trust my eyes, but DW trusts hers. Best to have a bubble)


spoon059 wrote:

afidel wrote:

Maybe I'm just unlucky but in the first 7 months of owning my new trailer I've been on sites that exceeded the height of my Andersons 3x. I end up building platforms out of 2 stacks of 3x Lego bricks with another 2x as caps. I use the Andersons as ramps to get up onto and off these towers.

Situations like that I would either try to reposition my camper to be more neutral before leveling, or I would use my shovel to lower the high spot. I wouldn't want one side of my camper to be more than 4" higher than the other. Then you start having issues with the steps, access to outdoor kitchen, instability when stabilizing, etc.

If you have exceeded the height of your Anderson's (4") by 3 times, thats a foot off level over 8 feet wide. Are you camping on the side of a mountain?


You read he is a foot off? I read he had issues on 3 sites

By nature, over time most soil will settle to the point if there is a slope most water will run off. When you start digging you loosen the dirt. Water is more likely to carry the dirt away. And it is more likely to soak in, so the next person has a mud hole.

Carry a compressor? Dump the air out of high-side tires. At least no problem for others.


Correct, three times it's happened. However, the blocks are 1.5" high so 6 of them are 8-9" high so a foot isn't that far off. And yes, these were sites on hills in state campgrounds. One was even paved with that much slope!


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JRscooby

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Posted: 09/06/21 05:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:



Your making it overly complicated.



I'm making it complicated? After years of pulling end-dump trailers I'm pretty good at eyeballing a level spot/angle. Will we (wife) be happy with camper there? Is there a better spot where I don't need to raise right front? (Tall step is a problem).
I use interlocking plastic blocks under the low tire. Because of the way they interlock, adding to the stack only adds about 2/3 of the bottom. The level mounted to front is calibrated in the thickness of my blocks. I can back in, and without leaving my seat, tell how high to build the stack, and pull up to build. The second time I get out I'm ready to chock the wheels and unhook.
Now from watching others I know many people have trouble putting a trailer in the same spot twice. The less distance away from where they want it better. And many sites, if you need 2 inches here a few feet away it can be 4. This is 1 reason build a stack, pull on, stack wrong repeat.
To avoid most of this, I suggest this plan; Spot trailer. Use calibrated level, (Or level and ruler) to learn how high the stack needs to be. Build the stack so both tires will be on top of stack, but right beside tires. Put chock behind tire on the other side. Put TV in drive, fingers in ears, and pull forward just the length of ramp, the shift back to park. Slide the stack sideways, just the with of stack. Put TV in reverse, fingers back in ears, and back up to chock. More chocks, and your done. Now before you start thinking "My TV is not loud enough to need to protect my ears" that is not the reason. I don't know why, but many people want to screw with that big wheel. Moving this short distance you don't need to.
IMHO, the OP, wanting to modify suspension to solve a non-problem is the 1 overcomplicating it

goducks10

There

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Posted: 09/06/21 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Level Mate Pro. It tells you exactly how out of level the RV is in 1/4" increments. Plus it does front to back and recalls the coupler height for hitching back up. All from the comfort of your drivers seat.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 09/06/21 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:


IMHO, the OP, wanting to modify suspension to solve a non-problem is the 1 overcomplicating it


Yep, OP IS making there rig more complicated.

More complicated has more pitfalls.

The more non value added moving parts you add to a device, the higher chances you have of those parts failing or causing other parts to fail..

On of the greatest lessons given in Tech school was the K.I.S.S.(Keep It Simple Silly) method to things in life.

If you think this through a bit you would realize that air shocks will need air lines, valves, some sort of limiting devices/switches at a minimum.

Air shocks just like hydraulic jacks do tend to leak down, they do not stay at that extended height indefinitely, that is a given, OP if staying for a long enough time will need to check and refill the lost air to re-establish the height they desire.

Air fill valves do leak, just takes a small speck of dirt.

Air lines need to be protected from abrasion and potential damage caused by sticks and rocks and other objects that may be flung around while driving.

The elephant in the room is what happens to the spring mounts when you start forcing the springs past the design limits. As you force the springs, the ends now start pulling the spring mounts inwards towards the springs. Go far enough and you might find yourself stranded with no spring mount with perhaps a touch of damage to the frame as the spring mounts rip and tear off.

A few blocks of wood is all it takes, nothing more.

Blocks of wood have a much lower probability of failure or causing damage or failure to your trailer.

Blocks of wood do not lose air, have no hoses, valves or seals.

Blocks of wood are very cheap, easy to install and remove and will outlast the life of the trailer.

And like you, I can take a quick visual from my drivers seat and guess on the nose how much blocking is needed. Less experienced folks may need a helping hand, those graduated levels are what those folks need..

If you wanted to automate that, there are devices you can buy that are mounted to the trailer, connect via BT to your phone, tablet, laptop and read out directly in inches from your drivers seat.

While applaud the idea of thinking outside the box with technology, sometimes the less technology you apply to a problem the more reliable it is..

Folks now days over rely on technology, when the technology fails or leads you down a rabbit hole folks have no idea how to deal with the problems.

Technology and computer programs are only as smart as the one that built it or the programmer that wrote the programs.

Pretty much the same issue with vehicle manufacturers right now, way over the top high tech computer systems controlling everything that because of the chip shortages going on has shuttered quite a few vehicle plants with no end in site..

But yet, if they were still manufacturing vehicles with less computer integrated non value added stuff they would not be experiencing this issue to this degree..

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