Axle Rollover

August 2, 2002
Filed under Trailer How To

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Q. I have a 1988 Terry travel trailer with H78-15ST tires, which I replaced with Goodyear ST225/75R15 radials. This lowered the trailer frame approximately 2 inches. I drag the skids in back every time I go over a small rise or through a dip. The trailer tows perfectly level and has no problems with sway. Will it make a difference in towing if I have the axles turned over to give me more ground clearance? — H.L., Smyrna, Georgia

Portrait Jeff JohnstonA. The few inches of lift you achieve by turning the axles over – and I’m guessing you have dropped axles – should have no ill effects on your trailer’s handling, H.L. Yes, the trailer’s center of gravity will be raised somewhat, but not enough to make a significant difference. You’d need to do some seriously fast cornering to feel any effects from the slightly raised body, and the lower-profile tires you now have on the trailer also help your cornering stability. Chances are good, if you were cornering so fast that you could feel the effect of the lifted body, that the trailer tires may well lose adhesion first and skid sideways. In other words, under normal driving conditions, you should be just fine. — J.J.


Jeff Johnston, TL technical director, started RVing at age 6. During his more than 20 years as a writer/photographer, he has worked for Truckin’ and Four Wheeler magazines before joining TL’s technical staff in 1985. Johnston also has produced an award-winning travel video and TV commercials.

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