bing tracking image

How to Raise Your Travel Trailer Height

To Flip or Not to Flip Your Axles?

There are certain situations in which you might need a little extra clearance between your trailer and the ground. If you're trying to figure out how to do it, chances are you already see some of the potential benefits:
  • You're less likely to bang your dump valve (or other important bits) on the ground
  • You're less likely to drag your trailer on your driveway when pulling in or out
  • You can more easily keep the trailer level with a tall vehicle
  • You can more easily take your trailer off road
However, there are a couple of ways to lift your trailer and gain that extra few inches of clearance. What does it mean to "flip" your axles, and is this the best way to lift your trailer? Are there downsides to lifting your trailer at all? Below, we'll go over what's involved in lifting your trailer, so you can decide whether or not doing so is the right choice—and if so, how you can lift it safely.
Travel Trailer Suspension

Should You Lift Your Trailer?

Many people opt to lift their trailer a few inches for better clearance, but keep in mind that your trailer was built at a specific height from the ground, and it's most stable at this height.If you decide to lift your trailer, you're likely to experience more sway when driving due to having a higher center of gravity, and your trailer may be less stable over uneven ground. You may need a weight distribution system if you don't already have one. Your may also see a slight hit in fuel efficiency due to increased wind resistance.However, in some cases the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you do decide to lift your trailer, there are a couple of ways to go about it. We'll go over these ways in more depth below.
Truck Pulling Fifth Wheel Trailer
SAFETY NOTE: All welding should be completed by a qualified professional.
Overslung vs Underslung Trailer Spring Suspension

How to Flip Travel Trailer Axles

One common way to lift your trailer is by "flipping" your axles. Flipping your axles just means moving your suspension from below the axle (standard, "underslung" springs) to above the axle ("overslung" springs) in order to create more clearance between the underside of the trailer and the road. Flipping your axles will give you extra height equal to your axle diameter plus your leaf spring pack.We want to make it clear that "flipping your axles" is a bit of a misleading phrase. Axles have built-in camber (a slight bow in the rod), so you can't just flip the axle over and reinstall it under the springs using the same spring seats. Rotating the axle and reinstalling it at the wrong orientation can throw off your trailer alignment and lead to poor handling and increased tire wear.Instead, you'll have to install new spring seats on the upper side of your axle. The key is to keep your axles in the same orientation they started in. Unbolt one end of your springs, unbolt your axle, and remove the axle from the springs. Then, install new spring seats on the upper side of the axle. Finally, reinstall your springs over the axle on your new spring seats.
If you have double-eye leaf springs, you can use an over-under conversion kit like # K71-384-00 (for 2-3/8" axles) or # K71-385-00 (for 3" axles). These kits include everything you need, including spring seats, nuts, U-bolts, and tie plates.Unfortunately, if you have slipper spring suspension, this is not a viable option, as over-under conversion kits are only suited for double-eye springs. This is because it is considered unsafe to use a conversion kit with a slipper spring's suspended end (in contrast to a double-eye spring's bolted hangers and shackle straps).If possible, we recommend going with an over-under conversion kit, since it is the quickest and easiest way to lift your trailer. If flipping your axles isn't right for you, however, you do have a second option that we'll talk about below.
Watch Now: Over-Under Conversion Kit Review
Suspension Leaf Springs Under Axle
Suspension leaf springs are under the axle
Suspension Leaf Springs Unbolted
Unbolt one end of the springs, then remove the axle
Suspension Leaf Springs Over Axle
Reinstall your springs over the axle with new spring seats
How to Flip Trailer Axles Diagram
Still have questions?
Watch Now: Leaf Spring Hanger Review

How to Lift Your Trailer with New Hangers

Besides flipping your axles, your other option is to simply replace your suspension spring hangers with taller ones.A qualified professional can remove your old hangers and weld the new hangers in place (note that some hangers must be bolted, rather than welded). New hangers will all need to be increased by the same height. For instance, if your front hanger is 1" and your rear is 2", you would need a 2" and 3" hanger, respectively.
Trailer Suspension Hangers
Give our experts a call at 800-298-8924, or contact us online. We're happy to assist any way we can!
etrailer Amber S.
About the Author As a content writer for etrailer, I might spend my morning loading and unloading a bike on five different bike racks to figure out which is easiest to use. I might be in the parking lot, taking pictures of an impressive RV battery setup our techs came across in the shop and discussing the benefits of the setup with the owner. I might spend an afternoon in a manufacturer training classes for some hands-on experience with new products, and then sit down to assemble all this information into a coherent article.At etrailer, one of our core values is that we are always learning, and I learn something new every day. I start each morning with the goal in mind of taking all of this information and figuring out the best way to answer the questions people ask us (and the ones they don’t know to ask yet), and helping people get the solutions they need to make their lives easier, safer, and more fun. I’m a DIYer at heart, so it brings me great joy to help a fellow DIYer find what they’re looking for, whether that’s a product, an answer, or a community.
Save or Share This Idea
Related ArticlesRelated ProductsWritten by: Amber S.Updated on: 11/5/19

Jeff C.

3/28/2024

I have a KZ Sportsman 16 toy hauler camper, with underslunge 3 inch drop axle ,want to lift approximately 3 inches , first thought was to just replace with straight axle or would it be safe and cheaper to move spring seats to top of axle

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

4/27/2024

@JeffC Assuming your camper has a double eye leaf spring suspension with a 2-3/8 or 3 inch diameter axle tube, a Dexter over/under axle conversion kit would gain you a height increase equal to the diameter of the axle tube plus the thickness of the spring pack. For a 2-3/8 inch axle, use # K71-384-00 or # K71-385-00 for a 3 inch axle.

John

6/10/2023

I have a 1970 Silver Streak. The axle is square and not round. Can the axle be flipped? If so, are there any differences?

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.

6/13/2023

@John Assuming that you have standard leaf spring suspension, you certainly could flip your square axle just like you would a round one. The problem is we don't have a nice kit that includes U-bolts for square axles, so you'd just need to piece it together.

John

6/16/2023

I received a message that my comment had a reply but not finding it. I have sent e mails to you but all I get is an automated response. Is there anyone who can answer my question?
Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

6/29/2023

@John Camper parts don't have a year/make/model reference, so it's hard to say what you need. Is it a leaf spring or a torsion axle? Do the springs sit above or below the axle? What's the axle capacity? We might be able to figure out a solution if you could provide could provide the above information.

Kevin

4/16/2022

Can you send me parts I can use to lift my 1996 TT Layton 3010.

David B.

4/16/2022

Let me direct you to our help page that talks about raising your travel trailer height. Once you decide the direction you want to go I can help you with more details.

Angela B.

1/20/2022

good to know information

Matthew

1/9/2022

My 2021 keystone sprinter campfire 5th wheel with road armor . rides Really low in the back end I can’t bring the front down any lower. So I was looking into maybe a block like a lift kit but don’t want to lose any stability Caz it halls great now just half to watch my bumper everywhere we go.

Les D.

1/10/2022

@Matthew your trailer should ride level when hitched to your truck. As you suggested, If your back end is low, you will have to lower the front end or raise the back end. If you have already lowered the front end as much as possible, then you will have to raise the back end. This can be accomplished with lift kit similar to the # K71-384-00. To make a recommendation I will need to know your axle diameter. You could also use taller suspension hangers. You will need to know the width of your leaf springs for us to make a recommendation.


Departments

Towing

Sports and Recreation

Trailer Parts

Vehicle

What our customers are saying:

"In these days of customer "no service" I am usually disapointed when doing business with people I don't know. It was refreshing doing business with you. I'm impressed!"

Randy
Watkinsville, GA

Popular Vehicles