Isn’t it funny how your toy hauler is expected to be just as capable as your toy when you head out to some backwoods trailhead? It sucks when the gravel road that leads to the staging area is pockmarked with potholes and has a few washouts across it.
You don’t want to damage your trailer before you even get to the parking lot!
If your toy hauler is too close to the ground to get where you’re going, don’t worry! We’ve gathered some ideas to help you raise your trailer so it’s (almost) as capable as your side-by-side.
Different trailers are built for different things. Most aren’t built with rough, crappy roads in mind. That’s why most trailers are built relatively low to the ground. After all, the lower to the ground, the easier it is to load and unload.
But the axle position determines just how low your trailer is. If your axle is mounted below your leaf springs, you’ll have more ground clearance. If it’s above your leaf springs, you’ll have less ground clearance.
Another factor that can lead to a low trailer is a drop axle. Drop axles are kind of like our portal gear lifts in that they use gears to move your axles centerline. On trailers, they’re often used upside down, so they drop the deck even farther.
Obviously, this is a problem when you try to haul your toy on a rutted-up county road.
There are several different ways to raise your trailer. But the correct method for you depends on your axle type and how much trouble you want to go through. Your options are:
Simple enough. Let’s look at each option and see if it works for you.
If your axle is mounted to the top of your trailer’s leaf springs, you might be able to mount the axle to the bottom of the leaf springs instead.
If you don’t know how to do this or aren’t confident you should do it, don’t! Instead, have a professional do it for you. It should be relatively straightforward for any mechanic to get done.
It involves disassembling your axles and mounting the flats and U-bolts to the underside of the leaf springs. Doing it wrong could be disastrous, so if you’re not qualified, don’t try.
This will give you a few extra inches to work with.
If you have a drop axle, you’ll get a ton of extra ground clearance just by replacing it with a straight axle.
If your drop axle is mounted on top of your leaf springs, you could relocate it when you replace it. That’ll make a massive difference to your ground clearance.
Again, get a professional to do this if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Also, don’t be tempted to turn a drop axle upside down to get a lift. Typically, trailer axles are attached to a slightly curved axle tube that flattens when it’s loaded. Flipping the axle over will flip the tube and really mess up your axle’s operation.
Buying a new axle and paying someone to replace it could be more trouble than it’s worth. If you plan on primarily using your trailer for toy hauling, sell your low-riding trailer and replace it with one that rides a little higher.
This could be the wisest option. It could be more cost-effective depending on what kind of work you need to get done, and it’s definitely better to get the right trailer for the job rather than retrofitting one to be “good enough.”
So that’s about all there is ‘to it. Of course, if all of that sounds like too much of a pain, you can always make do with the low-riding trailer you’ve got, bumps and all.
But if you do decide to swap to a better trailer, check out our guide to getting the right one for you.
And when you’re done raising your trailer, don’t forget to raise your side-by-side with one of our killer lift kits. Then you can hit the backcountry trails in style.
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