On the last post, I mentioned a couple of upcoming projects. The first project is now done!
As full timers, our trailer is often at max weight. When we bring something new to the trailer, something else has to go. Just last week I had to give up half my vinyl records!
We also reduced our trailer’s payload because of our solar install – I think overall it added about 1,000lbs.
The GVWR sticker on the trailer is for 20k, or 20,000lbs. Our axles were 7k (times 3) meaning 21k. Our old pin box was also 21k. 1k is not a lot of buffer, if we want to be safe.
So because of this we decided to upgrade the axles, the suspension, and the brakes on the trailer.
- 8K Dexter Axles with new 4k springs
- Disc Brakes (and actuator/hoses/wiring)
- Morryde CRE 3000 Suspension including Heavy Duty shackles and wet bolts
- Lift block kit (2″) (This is to help us get our trailer a little more ground clearance, as we are always worried about dragging our tail.)
The 8K (times 3) axles now means they support 24,000lbs. While they and the upgraded pin box don’t officially change the sticker on the trailer, they help our safety margin. Since we almost always travel at GVWR, we just want to be safe.
During the install we found out we were already wearing out the factory installed shackles, after only about 15,000 miles. It’s too bad manufacturers just do the bare minimum on these from the factory. Most do, it’s not just limited to our manufacturer. It was also very scary to see, and I’m glad we upgraded to heavy duty shackles.
We had this done through Performance Trailer Braking, and a regional installer for them came on site to where we were staying in Seatac to do the install. We were able to help contribute to make the job go faster. Our installer was Bill Perrin. He was awesome to work with.
We’ve had several hundred miles now to check out our install. The disc brakes are AMAZING. They can stop the truck, not just the trailer. This is very much a worthwhile upgrade.
As for our Ram, we had almost already gone through the BF Goodrich T/A KO2’s that came on the truck, in less than 20k miles. They just didn’t have the load rating, and weren’t going to make another summer. Instead of just buying new tires, we found a deal on some new pull off Continental HDR (drive) and HSR (steer) 225/70 R19.5 commercial grade tires off of Craigslist in Boise. These tires had come into Boise Mobile Equipment on brand new Ram 4500 and 5500 trucks, but the client they were dealing with did not want them on the trucks and instead wanted something else. This saved us quite a bit of cash over buying brand new.
We drove down to Hermiston to meet Nancy and John who drove up from Boise to deliver the tires to us, so we could get them installed while we were still in Seatac. We had a great steak salad lunch at Nookie’s there.
We also went with American Force 19.5 wheels. American Force makes a direct bolt on kit that includes 19.5 wheels which mount directly to the Ram 3500 8 lug bolt pattern. Normally, 19.5 wheels for a Ram have 10 lug bolt pattern (something you would see on a Ram 4500 or 5500). We’re hoping we get much better longevity out of this setup. They look great too!
Here’s a mosaic of some install pictures from the work on the trailer:
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to message us if you have any questions about what we did.