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Old 10-05-2022, 06:18 PM   #1
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How much is ride quality improved by torsion axles

I am looking at possibly mounting a truck camper on a flatbed bumper pull with tandem axles. I am looking at 18 foot trailers sold locally with spring axles but if I wanted torsion I would have to special order which would drive up the cost maybe 1600-2000. I don't want to beat my camper up so I'm thinking it would be worth the upgrade but I don't know what the real world difference is in ride quality. I would also consider adding shocks to a spring axle but that seems like it would cost about 1000 if I payed someone else to I stall.

Anyone have relevant experience that would help me choose the best path?
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:23 PM   #2
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In case anyone is curious, this is what the load would look like on an 18 foot flat bed car hauler. The tongue isn't depicted and the last 2 feet are the dovetail.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:46 PM   #3
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My neighbor just did this and it looked great. Very nice setup. I didn't notice the suspension specifically and now it's gone (I think he's out using it). If I see it again I'll follow up.

edit: we have torsion suspension on our TT and it puts extra oooos in smooth.
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Old 10-06-2022, 07:24 AM   #4
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Flatbed trailer carrying a truck camper was common around here in the '60s and '70s era.
Its surprising how much easier the loaded tandem axle trailer rides than the HD tow vehicle.

How easy a tandem axle trailer rides depends on the trailer axle ratings (GVWR).
A work buddy had a new 1982 10' Fields truck camper on a 7k gvwr trailer which comes with 3500 lb axles. He said the TC had less things inside bounced around than when he carried the TC on his F350 drw of that era.

Depending on the truck camper gross weight a 7k gvwr trailer with 3500 lb tandems should ride well with std leaf spring suspension.

My 7k flatbed trailer/3.5k axles is lite duty and weighs in the 1400-1500 lbs range leaving around 5500 lbs for a payload.. I keep 15" P tires 44 psi or the extra load 51 psi) on this trailer and works great for those small 3500 lb axles at any speed and max axle loads.

Now my 18 foot 10k gvwr flatbed has tandem 5200 lb axle weighs 2460 lbs however those 5200 lb axles need 7k lbs and above to ride better. Not a good choice for a TC unless your going to carry other gear on the deck.

One shock mfg did have a bolt on kit for adding shocks to a trailer. I don't remember which brand.
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Old 10-06-2022, 09:40 AM   #5
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I would think the reduced height torsion axles offer is the main benefit. The axle tubes also function as structural member so they may give you a stiffer trailer. There are no metal to metal rub points on torsion axles so the maintenance is nill.

I have Torflex axles on my fifth wheel and feel it isn't the best application because there is no axle equalization. I also have a single torsion axle on a utility trailer which I like. I would probably get them on a flatbed bumper pull trailer.
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Old 10-06-2022, 09:53 AM   #6
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A downside, at least for Dexter Torflex axles. If you burn up a spindle, you need to replace the entire axle. I've read that there is a company that has a replaceable spindle torsion axle but don't have the name.
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:16 AM   #7
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I have 9 trailers; two have torflex axles the rest are leaf sprung......IMO there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The torsion axle allows a much lower height for a flatdeck or car trailer, leaf springs are typically higher and offer better ground clearance. Both can be smooth; my ORV with it's Bilstein shocks is pretty smooth too.

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Old 10-06-2022, 04:51 PM   #8
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I called a dealer a few hours away and the price difference will basically be just 800 plus I can add a rock shield for 600 and choose the color. I will probably also delete the dovetail for a flat back porch and a little more ground clearance, (no extra charge). From the replies, (thank you!) This seems like a good option. The camper is basically new and of excellent quality I just never use it because it is such a hassle to load. The ability to hitch up and go is appealing, plus I can unhitch at the camp site and go shopping without breaking down camp. Also, I can always still use it as a slide in and work trailers don't depreciate if they are well maintained.
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Old 10-06-2022, 05:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider47 View Post
I called a dealer a few hours away and the price difference will basically be just 800 plus I can add a rock shield for 600 and choose the color. I will probably also delete the dovetail for a flat back porch and a little more ground clearance, (no extra charge). From the replies, (thank you!) This seems like a good option. The camper is basically new and of excellent quality I just never use it because it is such a hassle to load. The ability to hitch up and go is appealing, plus I can unhitch at the camp site and go shopping without breaking down camp. Also, I can always still use it as a slide in and work trailers don't depreciate if they are well maintained.
Not a bad plan; I thought of doing the same thing with my Bigfoot 30C10.11 but the wife talked me into a new trailer instead.

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Old 10-06-2022, 11:34 PM   #10
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I am still considering listing my camper for sale with a firm price and see what happens. Even if I sold it for close to what I paid, I still don't see any towable campers of equal quality at that price. I figure that I could use my slide in as designed later. One reason I got it originally was because I wanted to take it on the Alaska ferry.
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Old 10-07-2022, 09:55 AM   #11
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I am still considering listing my camper for sale with a firm price and see what happens. Even if I sold it for close to what I paid, I still don't see any towable campers of equal quality at that price. I figure that I could use my slide in as designed later. One reason I got it originally was because I wanted to take it on the Alaska ferry.
Putting it on the trailer gives you lots of options to use it as a package or either the camper or trailer separately......


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Old 10-07-2022, 11:02 AM   #12
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Night and day diffrence. You don't get all the small bumps. But you do need to set your tire air psi to the manufacture load psi chart.
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Old 10-07-2022, 04:34 PM   #13
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TQ flex axles for sure, Springs are harsh!
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Old 10-08-2022, 10:41 AM   #14
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My old open, steel car trailer had spring axles and bounced around a lot when empty. Ride when loaded (~6,500#) was also pretty stiff.
I recently moved to an alum enclosed with Torflex axles. Weighs the same as the old trailer and much smoother ride. I would highly recommend the torsion units.
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