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Old 09-24-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
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Flipping axles.....?

I have a triple axle trailer which sits low(er) than some I've seen. The tops of the tires are tucked well under the fenders. And its height in relation to the truck means it wouldn't hurt to have the trailer sit about 2-3 inches higher. But, looking at the axle mounting, they already sit under the spring packs. Am I just not understanding what "flipping" the axles really means because I thought that axles usually sit on top of the springs but to flip them, they simply mount them under the springs. Is that wrong? Or does flipping mean changing the shackle mounts?
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #2
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fliping 5th wheel axles

what is your reason for wanting to raise the 5th wheel? ground clearence? or just looks. raising your rig raises the center of garvity. that's never a good thing if you have other choices.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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I actually like the lower look but the trucks height is up there. To achieve the truck and trailer to sit perfectly level, I would need to get the trailer a little higher.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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flipping axles is common out here in the desert to get more clearance when towing to off-road campsites.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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I thought that axles usually sit on top of the springs but to flip them, they simply mount them under the springs. Is that wrong? Or does flipping mean changing the shackle mounts?
You are correct. I flipped the axles on my tandem fifth wheel which means that I moved the axles from above the springs to below the springs to gain 4-5" in height. If you're thinking of doing it, be sure to consider the shock mount locations (if shocks are in use) and how you plan to get the alignment right. Other than that, new tie plates will need to be welded on to each axle opposite of the originals. It really worked well in the case of my fifth wheel trailer. Fortunately my 3-axle toy hauler rides just right as it is.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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Hmmm..... Well since my axles are already on the bottom of the spring packs, would it be out of the question to add a 2" or so spacer block between the axle and the springs?
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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I actually like the lower look but the trucks height is up there. To achieve the truck and trailer to sit perfectly level, I would need to get the trailer a little higher.
Or could you drop your hitch?
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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If your trailer has dropped axles, you might want to consider changing them to straight.

I flipped the drop-axles on our travel trailer many years ago for clearance reasons. Later I found that replacing them with straight axles was not that expensive. Of course I only had two axles to replace.

By the way, the change raised my trailer by about 4" as I recall. We towed it another 25,000 miles or so without any ill effects that I could detect.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:43 PM   #9
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I'll try to take a picture to show you guys, but they are straight axles and are mounted under the springs. I guarantee that these have never been flipped and are as they came from the factory. If they were ever the over way then the trailer would be extremely low. The shackles are not that tall so everything is very close to the frame whereas on some trailers the springs and hangers are far from the frame.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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On my TH (40' 5er) the springs are underneath the axles. My last TH had been 'flipped', putting the springs above the axles. Commonly done on trailers used off the 'beaten path', because it raises all of your piping, wiring, etc another 2" off the ground.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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The proper way to raise the trailer, in my opinion, is to add a sub frame between the spring mounts (shackles) and the frame. I had to do this on my TH.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:39 PM   #12
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The proper way to raise the trailer, in my opinion, is to add a sub frame between the spring mounts (shackles) and the frame. I had to do this on my TH.
IMO this is the safest/stronger long term idea.

Suspension blocks are not a good idea for multi axle trailers. Axle or trailer mfg don't recommed them or do they offer blocks as a option. Add blocks requires long U bolts. U bolts are under tremendous stress as the trailers tires slide sideways (scrub) around corners. Longer U bolts have even more leverage/stress working against them.

Years ago trailers came with straight axle tubes so flipping (rotating) the tubes left the saddle mounts on top. Then rotate the brakes backing plates. Simple job.

Check out Dexters over/under kit for 2 3/8" and 3" axle tubes. You can find them on etrailer.com
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #13
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The proper way to raise the trailer, in my opinion, is to add a sub frame between the spring mounts (shackles) and the frame. I had to do this on my TH.
I just raised my sandpiper. Was going to do a subframe as you mention but it would have cost more cutting all mounts off. It was actually cheaper to install 2 new Dexter 7000lb axles, new bearings and seals. Swapping to straight axle gave me 4 inches. I then relocated springs on top of axles and installed heavy duty Dexter shackles. I am sitting at 6 inches overstock and can go up another 2 if needed. Once you put a subframe in, not as easy to lower. I have options with mine. If I sell trailer buyer can drop toy hauler 4 inches by moving springs below axle. If I sell my lifted truck and replace with a stocky, I can still pull my trailer.

I still don't understand how doing the mods I did was cheaper than doing a subframe but it was. Axles were around $150 each

Having springs above axles is less stain on u bolts because it's not supporting all the weight
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