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Old 08-26-2021, 07:08 PM   #1
Mayne_Doc
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Suspension & Axle question

I am wondering what people look for regarding the axles and suspension in travel trailers? The spring leaf suspension is common but are there better alternatives. I have heard "torsion axles" are better as is "wet bolt" vs "dry bolt" axles. Also, how can you differentiate and compare between brands and models? I note Keystone lists leaf suspension as standard on the Outback Ultra Lite but there is no mention in other models. Any advice will be appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:27 PM   #2
JRTJH
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To my knowledge, all Keystone trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers have leaf spring suspension. Some of the "luxury models" have wet bolts, but most have "Lippert duralast plastic spring eye inserts" that are "guaranteed for life" but seldom last through the first camping season. The inserts are "guaranteed" but the labor to replace them is the owner's responsibility"... That's the reason most people who upgrade will change to wet bolts and heavy duty shackles.

Most Keystone "lower priced trailers and fifth wheels with tandem axles use a steel equalizer. Some of the more expensive brands do install the Lippert Roadmaster system.

While there are a couple of trailer brands that use torsion axles, I don't believe any Keystone trailers are among them. Typically, Airstream and that "class of trailer" is where you'll find torsion suspension.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:53 PM   #3
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Thanks John. I find all the marketing by different companies muddles what is important in the build of a trailer. I know some of the companies are marketing “off road” capabilities including higher clearances. Northwoods markets units that way. I thinks it’s the flavor of the day.

Appreciate the help
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Old 08-27-2021, 06:53 AM   #4
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John, do you know if you can replace 14" tires with 15" tires? What's involved to make that change safe and towable?
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:28 AM   #5
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Changing 14" tires to 15" tires requires some careful measurement of the wheelwell clearance in the specific trailer. Additionally, the clearance between the tires where the tread is closest together needs to be considered.

Depending on the actual tires ON the trailer and the actual tires INTENDED to put on the trailer, any "general statement" about the diameter of 14" tires vs 15" tires can vary as much as 1.5 to 2". So, the specific tire size and the specific trailer wheelwell clearance are the deciding factors on "size". Always install tires with equal or greater load capacity. Typically all Keystone trailers require ST tires to achieve the load capacity required for both the axle ratings and the GVW rating for the trailer certification "as built".

There were some "off road" or "ruggedized" trailer models being built by Keystone in the past few years, but I think those models have been discontinued. Someone may post differently. I just don't know of any current models that are "off road marketed.

Changing tires is not as simple as "these would look better".... So there's no "single yes/no answer" for the question. It depends on the specific trailer and the specific intended tire size.
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