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Solution to Promote Clearance for Towing a Trailer Off-Road  


This may sound crazy, but have you heard of anyone using regular wheels for skid wheels on a small travel trailer for gentle off-road clearance issues? I am pretty new to trailering. I have a 17 foot travel trailer, and sometimes like to go off pavement onto forestry roads, etc. The dips and rises of the roads can cause clearance issues. I am getting the trailer lifted, but I expect that I could always end up in terrain where I could still have clearance issues, and besides, I have another general concern: My trailer is single axle. I have read that tire blowouts can be catastrophic with single axle trailers. My idea is that a second axle with highway-capable wheels and tires could be mounted somewhere between the axle and the rear bumper. They may be the same size or smaller than the main wheels and tires. They would normally ride somewhere above ground level. Proposed benefits: - Act as skid wheels - Since they would almost never actually be in use, they could also be spare tires and, you get to carry two spares - Act as landing gear hopefully avoiding catastrophe in case of tire blowout So, any obvious reason this could not work? Thanks!


Expert Reply:

I have never head of anything like that but I guess it isn't out of the realm of possibilities. You'd just have to make sure that your trailer frame is lifted high enough that these tires don't touch the ground if that's what you're going for. A potential issue I see is that this would be heavy enough that they may act as a counter-weight to your trailer tongue and cause the tongue weight to not be heavy enough which can result in poor trailer handling.

When you were describing your situation to me the solution that popped up in my head is the Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension System with a 4" Lift Spindle like the 3,500 lb options for regular # ASR3500S06 and off-road # ASR35HDS02 tires. These promote ground clearance because you don't have an axle under your trailer (although a crossbeam is sometimes needed) and you can use 2 sets of them for a tandem axle trailer. This will help give you more capacity for your axles (it won't raise the GVWR of your trailer) and if you use all 4 then it greatly reduces the amount of weight on them which reduces the likelihood of having a blowout. Just be sure that you remain under the speed rating for your tires, that you have them filled to the psi rating on the sidewall, and that you are careful not to hit curbs or other obstacles that will damage the sidewall and promote blowouts.

Attached is a sample installation video of the Timbren system for you to check out.

expert reply by:
Jon G

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