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Old 06-30-2019, 08:15 AM   #1
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Location: Burlington, Vermont
Trailer: 2014 17b/RAV4 (sold) 2012 Chevy Colorado
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Suspension upgrade for 17b?

Anyone installed an independent suspension upgrade? Tired of things getting tossed about on rough roads. Thanks,
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
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I hate it when you ask a straightforward how-to question, and then instead of answering your stated question, others (who are trying to be helpful) question your underlying premise, or recommend a completely different course of action.

With that said, and coming from a mindset of trying simple solutions first before getting really complicated, I’d ask if you’ve exhausted the options for properly securing stuff in the trailer. Things getting tossed around is a really old problem, since wagons and boats were invented, so ways to secure pretty much anything have been devised and crafted long hence.

What specifically are you having issues with getting tossed around? I’m pretty sure someone here has a solution or three for most anything, all far likely simpler than a new suspension for your rig.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:48 AM   #3
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One thing I learned recently is that trailer tire inflation (per Reace) should be about 50 which is considerably lower than the tire recommendation. This makes for a softer ride.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:46 PM   #4
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The suspension is already independent. I'm not aware of anyone who has upgraded to a different suspension, if the same or different type.

The smoothest ride would result from a suspension with longer travel (which would require longer arms) and softer springs with proper damping; that would be a complete replacement of the original equipment. That's possible and technically feasible, but it would be a substantial and expensive project which no one has done yet (on an Escape) and would not likely be justified by for most users.

A significant improvement could be made, still with the original suspension and no change to the springs (which are rubber and can't be changed anyway) by adding shock absorbers. Monroe offered a kit to do this, but it hasn't been available for many years. Orbital made kits specifically for Casita trailers (which have the same suspension), but the frame is not the same so they could not be used without rework. Lots of people have added shocks to Casitas and Scamps (which also have the same type of suspension) by designing and fabricating their own parts... but no Escapes yet as far as I know.

Adding shock absorbers works because a suspension needs damping, and the damping inherent in the rubber springs is not enough to be ideal for the mass of the trailer and the spring stiffness.

There have been a few discussions in this forum about adding shocks. If you don't like conflict, don't bother searching for them; they have not brought out the best in some forum members.

I agree that setting a suitable tire pressure (if it is currently too high) is a sensible first step.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2owmn View Post
One thing I learned recently is that trailer tire inflation (per Reace) should be about 50 which is considerably lower than the tire recommendation. This makes for a softer ride.
50 psi is lower than the maximum pressure for the tire, if you have Load Range D tires. It is the vehicle manufacturer's responsibility to recommend a suitable pressure for the specific application, and Reace is apparently recommending 50 psi (regardless of tire load range).
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:13 PM   #6
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It was hot coming across Nebraska yesterday 96F. I started the day at 59-60 psi
on the Endurance tires on the 21. In 400 miles they gained about 6 or 7 lbs when I checked them at home but were back down this AM. You can definitely sense a harder ride when they approach those numbers. Depends on your load, road conditions, etc.
in cooler weather I run them at 62 and rarely see 65psi. This week I may drop down a couple more lbs. if it stays hot.
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