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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Road Armor vs CRE3000

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bogie514

Delaware, Ohio

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Posted: 01/24/23 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am planning a 5K+ mile trip this summer and want to update the suspension on my Travel Trailer (see signature). The two systems that I am considering are the CRE300 and the Road Armor - along with wet bolts, bronze bushings, and HD shackles. I am looking for recommendations and information from those who have done these upgrades before I make the purchases. And, of course, any other suggestions.

Thanks!

Tom


2021 Grand Design Transcend 240ML
2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 4wd, 5.3L, Crew Cab, Standard Bed, Heavy Duty Tow Package
Equil-I-zer hitch


Itakethe5th2011

Moreno Valley, Ca

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Posted: 01/24/23 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed the Road Armor but they are both a up grade to stock equalizers. Wondering Weekend has a youtube video comparing the two.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_vQnzGuwWY

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 01/24/23 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Comparing the two, I would pick the Road Armor due to the design. Lippert hit a winner with the concept as if the rubber disintegrates over time for whatever reason, the design will revert back to a standard rigid equalizer and not leave you stranded on the side of the road. Yes, you still have to deal with a busted-up rubber, but the camper is towable.

That said, the four areas below are what I have found to have issues on the Road Armor. Again this is my opinion, take it as that, only an opinion for you to review if it fits your situation.

1. They have wet bolt greaseable bronze bushings on the shackle pivot points but not on the center of the pivoting connection arm. Yes, the center hanger has a grease fitting, but not the connection arm pivot. They are using a sintered bronze oil-impregnated bushing that comes in the stock configuration as non-greaseable. The setup will and does work with the sintered bronze, the unknown is, how long will it last? The greaseable bronze that is greased as it should be would outlast the sintered bronze. I suspect the reason why they went with the sintered bronze was to prevent the over-lubrication by someone not knowing what excess grease can do to blow out on the rubber shock absorber members. But, the shackle bushings grease will still have some level of grease overflow onto the rubber.

2. The weight rating is high on the unit. It is rated to a set of 8,000# axles. That is 16,000# of trailer. The metal on the sides of the unit is thin. The thickness versus the rating seems, well, questionable. I have seen enough I-beam frame trailers bend at the hangers and frame web, that using metal that thin is under a good amount of side twisting forces in turns.

3. They list the unit rated for a 3,500# axle. I installed it on one of my campers with 3,500# Dexter underslung axles on 15" tires. The Road Armor will hit the ground on that combination. I did an axle over/under conversion to gain more ground clearance and the problem went away. They could have warned against this.

4. I still cannot find any printed documentation on the dimensions of the unit. I had to buy one and measure it, then make it fit with the camper. If you have a standard 33" axle spacing and not on an underslung axle, then it may not matter if you do not have dimensions. It would sure help to list the basic dimensions as there are many trailers not using a 33" spacing on the axles.

I have used the Dexter EZ Flex, (both the large and small ones) the Original Trail Aire (before LCI bought them) heavy unit, and the Road Armor. All three have drawbacks. That said, if I convert another camper to have a rubber equalizer I would pick the Road Armor over the other two and the MoreRdye as well. I learned how to deal with the 4 issues I listed above. The largest camper I would use one on is a 10,000# camper, partly due to that being the heaviest TT I have to use it on. Not sure I would go to a 16,000# 5er with it. Maybe someone with data or years of use at those weight areas can help give some guidance.

Hope this helps

John


PS. Tom, it just dawned on me, we are neighbors! Radnor is not very far from Delaware. Wow, that's close by on a national camping forum.


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


CharlesinGA

South of Atlanta, Georgia

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Posted: 01/28/23 08:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read a fair number of complaints about the MoRyde. Lippert has several different designs (sizes and shapes) and you need to pick the one that best simulates the existing rigid equalizer you have now.

I have not installed one due to the design of my equalizer vs what is on the market.

I have a Dexter equalizer that is identical to this one. It is unusual in its height and short distance between the front and back shackle bushings (six inches) The problem is, it is 4 inches high.

[image]

The closest fit is this Lippert Road Armor unit, but it is 3-1/2 inch so it would lower my trailer a quarter inch (half the amount it is shorter) and I already had to go with 2-1/4 long shackles to get the thick ones and longer bolts, as the only 2 inch ones were super thin, like I had originally. Cannot stand to have the trailer any lower.

[image]

For me, this one is way too small.

[image]

For me, this is the proper 4 inch height but an inch and a half too much spread, possibly a problem.

[image]

Nothing else comes close for me. HINT, Etrailer has these pics with dimensions added for most of their equalizers, some don't but they do give the two critical dimensions in those cases (mostly Dexter products are the ones lacking pics w/dims) You may need to scroll to the bottom of the page to see them for some products.

Charles


'03 Ram 2500 CTD, 5.9HO six speed std cab long bed Leer top and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB.. previously (both gone) 2008 Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 & 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 01/30/23 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure what size your camper is, but these pics are from a camper I restored last year. This camper is set up on tandem 3,500# axles. This 2004 camper has a 5,500# GTVWR. The wheel-to-wheel spacing is less than the standard 33" spacing; this one is at 32" nominal.

The camper originally had underslung axles making it a low rider. I gained more ride height and fender well clearance by doing an over/under axle tube conversion (AKA axle flip). It also allowed me to use the Road Armor.

Here is the camper as I acquired it. It had mega water damage, but the inside was in good shape, not abused, and was a perfect candidate for restoration. You can see how low riding this camper was and the fender well clearance.
[image]

[image]

Here is the upgraded Road Armor on it after the axle flip. This was not enough ground clearance for the Road Armor with the drop axle before the axle flipped. If the axles were not drop axles (straight axles), then it could have worked.
[image]

[image]

[image]

The Road Armor worked out well on that setup, I just had to deal with the ground clearance on the drop axle setup.

I have a Keystone 5th wheel in the shop now doing a brake job; it is a 10,000# GVWR camper with 4,400# tandem axles. It has had the Road Armor since new; the camper has been used for 3 years, and the rubber and equalizer parts have held up well so far.

I hope this helps,

John

PS, in case you have never seen a drop axle, see here. This pic is during the over/under conversion. The axle spindle is upside down in this pic. while adding the extra axle seat on top of the axle tube.
[image]

The old axles as they came out of the camper
[image]

You can see here the axle tube is lower than the axle spindle and wheel center, lowering the camper. Look behind the large C clamp press, taking the rusted pins out. The spring pack is on the bottom of the axle tube.
[image]

* This post was edited 01/30/23 09:53pm by JBarca *

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