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post #1 of 26 Old 03-27-2011, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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adventure trailer build

I am starting to plan out a trailer build and have been looking at the Horizon trailer by Adventure Trailers. My question is have any of you use a torsion axle instead of a spring style. I love torsions but my only choices are 2,000lb or it jumps all the way up to a 3500lb which seem way too heavy and the other on the edge of too lite. If I ordered it with the 45degree down I can gain some axle clearance that the spring set up doesn't have the luxury of, on the down side some people may complain that shocks can't be used on a torsion set up but I think I see this as a positive. Fire away with your experience or even just your opinion. This trailer will primarily haul campiing equipment including a wall tent that has some 6ft long poles so the trailer will probably be 6 1/2 ft long and I will make the hub face the same as my JK and then I will use matching wheels and tires which are 35" KM2's.

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post #2 of 26 Old 03-27-2011, 09:30 PM
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Stay away from torsion in off road applications

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post #3 of 26 Old 03-27-2011, 10:27 PM
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I know the Jeep trailer and the adventure trailer use them. Jeep tested their trailer like 300,000 miles with no issues. I am not sure how many offroad miles? I trust old school technology leaf springs...

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post #4 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 07:47 AM
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I know the Jeep trailer and the adventure trailer use them. Jeep tested their trailer like 300,000 miles with no issues. I am not sure how many offroad miles? I trust old school technology leaf springs...

Jason
Adventure Trailer uses a Airbag system

the jeep trailer is Trail Tested..on a track....

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post #5 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 10:40 AM
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I'm building a teardrop now, and I chose a torsion. Super easy install and you can get them pretty much any way you want. I have a 3500 lb, but the torsion is derated to 2000lb. Call the company, as most of the mfg will / can do this.

Also, mine is set up with 22.5 down angle and with 32 inches tires, the thing has way more clearance than my jeep on 35s. I could have probably went with even less down angle still and still had more clearance than the jeep.

For the naysayers, the complaints seem to be that a torsion axle allows the axle to bounce, and I've heard people say in long washboard sections the torsion can heat up and damage the rubber. I don't know where you are, but here in Michigan, I will never be traveling across washboard for hours so the second complaint should never be a problem for me. As for the bouncing, I have pulled straight axles offroad, and over minor bumps have had them literally come off the ground so it can't be worse than that.

For me, it came down to ease of install (and it ended up being cheaper for me than a straight axle after everything was figured in) and it should do what I need it to. However, a trailing arm air bag suspension would be cool. I suppose it's like long arms for Jeeps. People will say you need them, but do you?

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post #6 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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we are on the same page oz97tj, as for the air ride, it sounds and looks good on paper but the simplicity and durability of a torsion is awesome.

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post #7 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 12:24 PM
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In Arizona you can easily spend a couple hours on washboards.

I guess torsions are out for me when I go to build my trailer.
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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does anyone here have any real word knowledge of this happening? I have grown up on a farm/ranch where all of our county dirt roads are washboarded and most all of our livestock trailers have torsions for the last 15+ years and we have had no failures. I will only make the occasional trip to colorado and oklahoma camping/jeepin. I just want to make sure I make the right decision as it suck having to redo a big project! I would like to see any of your trailers that you mike like to share along with pros and cons of what you have built.

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post #9 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 06:47 PM
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Expeditionportal.com has all sorts of reading regarding axles.

I don't have any first hand experience yet, so everything I wrote is just my thoughts. We'll see how it goes. I do know people seem to love them on RVs. I also know that in my use, the teardrop will be pulled fairly slowly on rougher stuff. In Michigan, it's generally fairly smooth, or fairly rough. There really isn't much in between. lol

I don't know when your build will start, but I'll be pulling mine to Florida in a couple weeks. That's all pavement so it should work great. Then I'm hoping to drag it through the woods shortly after so I should be able to offer some actual experience.

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post #10 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 09:47 PM
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I'm currently having a teardrop built. The builder offers torsion axles for less extreme off road use and coils and shocks for more extreme use.

To keep bouncing to a minimum and in anticipation of lots of washboard roads - of which we have few here, but I'm looking to use the trailer a lot out west - I went with the coils and shocks.

BTW, I have two M101 military trailers, one an A1 and the other an A2/3 conversion with drop axles and 37x12.5's for the Humvee. Both have full width axles with leafs and shocks and they bounce a bit when empty, but I think its the tires bouncing and not the springs and shocks since they don't bounce when they have even a modest load.

We do off road for fun, the military does it for real. And they test their stuff extensively. If you're going to spend a lot of time off road, I think the military set up is the one to emulate. On the other hand, I'd bet that most trailers, like most Jeeps, spend more than 90% of time on roads that range from super highway to decent dragged and graded gravel. If that is how your trailer will spend its time, I'd think the torsion axles will be fine. In fact, for my use I think they would be fine, but I want to avoid any bouncing to the extent possible.

I would stay away from the air bag suspension myself. Too may reports of failure for my taste. For example, I was looking at second hand trailers and more than one or two Adventure Trailers with the air bag suspension offerred for sale listed as part of the equipment included in the sale a set of spare air bags. When was the last time you saw a leaf sprung, coil sprung or torsion axle trailer for sale with a set of spare springs or a spare torsion axle included in the sale?

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post #11 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 10:14 PM
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As you know I own Sierra 4x4 Trailers, We mainly use leaf spring's. I will not use torsion unless the own sign's away their warranty on the trailers.

Airbags are okay, but there is nothing like a proven leaf spring.

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post #12 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Sierra 4x4 View Post
As you know I own Sierra 4x4 Trailers, We mainly use leaf spring's. I will not use torsion unless the own sign's away their warranty on the trailers.

Airbags are okay, but there is nothing like a proven leaf spring.
I am with you on that, old technology is proven technology.....

BTW How many trailers do you sell a year?

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post #13 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 11:03 PM
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I am with you on that, old technology is proven technology.....

BTW How many trailers do you sell a year?

Jason
just went public 1 year ago this April.............some since going public an more being built and delivered this April alone shhhh....

Just bought out Hannibal Safari products USA..

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post #14 of 26 Old 03-28-2011, 11:16 PM
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just went public 1 year ago this April..30 since going public and 10 more being built and delivered this April alone..

Just bought out Hannibal Safari products USA..
Very cool. About three weeks ago I got, actually my trailer builder got for my trailer, a Hannibal 1.6m RTT with the Jumbo Tourer package as well as a 2.4m awning with sides. I haven't seen them yet but the trailer builder, Moby1 Trailers, reports that they are TOP quality items.

What do you think of coils and shocks? The axles are "1/2" axles with trailing arms and not a full length axle.

JPK

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post #15 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 04:33 AM
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Sierra will probably chime in and agree, but it isn't the airbags themselves that makes the significant improvement over all other suspension setups. Its the independent trailing arm system that is usually applied in conjunction with the airride.

The biggest trick to the ITA setup is keeping everything square and true during the fabrication process. I've seen coilovers applied rather than airbags as well. Ether dampening system is an improvement over standard leafs, however the process and overall cost for a trailer suspension is significantly higher. Thus most DIY guys stick to the easier, cheaper, and time tested leaf spring/shock combination...myself included.


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post #16 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 04:40 AM
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K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid !
torsion . air bags . all that stuff is nice but. just one more thing to break ,screw up, and leave you stranded.
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post #17 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 05:14 AM
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K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid !
torsion . air bags . all that stuff is nice but. just one more thing to break ,screw up, and leave you stranded.
That was my take on exotic trailer suspensions.....

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post #18 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 07:09 AM
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Sierra will probably chime in and agree, but it isn't the airbags themselves that makes the significant improvement over all other suspension setups. Its the independent trailing arm system that is usually applied in conjunction with the airride.

The biggest trick to the ITA setup is keeping everything square and true during the fabrication process. I've seen coilovers applied rather than airbags as well. Ether dampening system is an improvement over standard leafs, however the process and overall cost for a trailer suspension is significantly higher. Thus most DIY guys stick to the easier, cheaper, and time tested leaf spring/shock combination...myself included.
yup

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That was my take on exotic trailer suspensions.....

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post #19 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 09:18 AM
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As you know I own Sierra 4x4 Trailers, We mainly use leaf spring's. I will not use torsion unless the own sign's away their warranty on the trailers.

Airbags are okay, but there is nothing like a proven leaf spring.
Seeing as you are beating this torsion axle down, then what is your reasoning? Signing away the warranty seems a bit excessive to me. Do you honestly think your trailer will fall apart due to the axle? I could see having something along the lines of "mfg warranty only" on the axle (mine has a 1 year) but completely voiding a warranty on the whole trailer seems excessive. Not to be a dick, but that alone makes me think I wouldn't buy one of your trailers at all if you think the axle will completely kill your trailer.

Please, explain why you feel they are the worst possible option, and have you ever seen any of these failures yourself?

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post #20 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 09:37 AM
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Seeing as you are beating this torsion axle down, then what is your reasoning? Signing away the warranty seems a bit excessive to me. Do you honestly think your trailer will fall apart due to the axle? I could see having something along the lines of "mfg warranty only" on the axle (mine has a 1 year) but completely voiding a warranty on the whole trailer seems excessive. Not to be a dick, but that alone makes me think I wouldn't buy one of your trailers at all if you think the axle will completely kill your trailer.

Please, explain why you feel they are the worst possible option, and have you ever seen any of these failures yourself?
Trust me my trailers will not "Fall Apart" We gusset every corner of the frame, etc...

Our thing is just because somebody says "Well I will never drive 1,000 miles of wash board roads" does not mean the next person that buys that trailer will not. So why not build a trailer that will last for years and years and all different types of owners?

The torsion is not a bad design, it has to much spring rebound and has rubber torsion which will not last compared to leaf springs or coil suspension.
Yes everything wears out, but the torsion in the off road situation will wear out a lot faster. I know up here on the Rubicon and other trail's the you will see twice as many flop over trailers that have torsion suspension compared to conventional set up.

Yes you have more ground clearance with Torsion, but if you vehicle clears a rock or log or what have you..... so will your trailer........

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post #21 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 09:54 AM
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I have a 416 trailer with a torsion axle on it. And like oz97tj said, it is mostly for carrying gear and don't see much off road. To me it is what it is, it may wear out faster, but it will last a long time. For what it is, it works.
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post #22 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 09:21 PM
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I worked on a late model car trailer with torsion style axles. The trailing arm had substantial lateral movement so I called the MFG for advice.

Basically the MFG said there is no way to rebuild/adjust/service that particular style of housing.

Large non serviceable parts like that suck when they fail.

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post #23 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra 4x4 View Post
Trust me my trailers will not "Fall Apart" We gusset every corner of the frame, etc...

Our thing is just because somebody says "Well I will never drive 1,000 miles of wash board roads" does not mean the next person that buys that trailer will not. So why not build a trailer that will last for years and years and all different types of owners?

The torsion is not a bad design, it has to much spring rebound and has rubber torsion which will not last compared to leaf springs or coil suspension.
Yes everything wears out, but the torsion in the off road situation will wear out a lot faster. I know up here on the Rubicon and other trail's the you will see twice as many flop over trailers that have torsion suspension compared to conventional set up.

Yes you have more ground clearance with Torsion, but if you vehicle clears a rock or log or what have you..... so will your trailer........
Then why void the whole warranty? Let's say some guy comes along and really wants a torsion. Voiding the entire warranty would make me leary of your trailers. If you feel that strongly, then just don't warranty the axle. Not my business so do as you feel bests.

I'm confused regarding your explanation though. I could see them wearing out faster, but how much faster? I have heard of premature wear in repetative washboards, and I've read about silt helping accelerate this as well. Still how long of a life do they have?

I'm also confused with seeing more flopped trailers with torsions. How does this affect balance? Why would a torsion be more likely to flip than a straight axle?

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I worked on a late model car trailer with torsion style axles. The trailing arm had substantial lateral movement so I called the MFG for advice.

Basically the MFG said there is no way to rebuild/adjust/service that particular style of housing.

Large non serviceable parts like that suck when they fail.
Yeah, I agree with this. However, I still question the expected lifespan. I've seen RVs with lots of miles that were still fine. They don't see the use of rough roads or trails though. Most of the parts on our jeeps are non-replaceable. lol

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post #24 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 08:50 AM
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Then why void the whole warranty? Let's say some guy comes along and really wants a torsion. Voiding the entire warranty would make me leary of your trailers. If you feel that strongly, then just don't warranty the axle. Not my business so do as you feel bests.

I'm confused regarding your explanation though. I could see them wearing out faster, but how much faster? I have heard of premature wear in repetative washboards, and I've read about silt helping accelerate this as well. Still how long of a life do they have?

I'm also confused with seeing more flopped trailers with torsions. How does this affect balance? Why would a torsion be more likely to flip than a straight axle?



Yeah, I agree with this. However, I still question the expected lifespan. I've seen RVs with lots of miles that were still fine. They don't see the use of rough roads or trails though. Most of the parts on our jeeps are non-replaceable. lol


Person buys a trailer and does not maintain the trailer or have any common sense while towing the trailer.
Torsion fail due to drive 80 mph for days on end on a wash out dirt roads road.
They loss control of the trailer due to suspension failed.
They sue you and say they want a new trailer due to THEIR actions.
You have to go to court and defend yourself and spend $$$ to plead to the courts that it was their fault the trailer failed.


Is that simple enough, I think 90% of the people will understand this, the rest are those I just give a simple break down to.

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post #25 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 02:05 PM
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also on the military design aspect - the 416's shared leaf springs, shocks and wheels with the willys
the larger trailers G518 etc shared some parts with duece and a halfs

parts interchangeability means carrying fewer spare parts and more feasible parts scavenging when needed.


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