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Old 04-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #1
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Ground clearance and high lift axle

We are considering the high lift axle on our 19 as we plan on a least a few bumpy non-paved roads and more remote camping locations. Our TV will be a 2017 Tacoma. ETI let me know today that the lowest part of the trailer is the sewer tube at 11.5-12" off the ground for the regular axle and the high-lift raises it by about 2.5". The Tacoma only has a ground clearance of 9.5". So given the trailer already has more clearance than the TV, is there any other reason, other than ease of maintenance to get under there, that would require the high-lift axle?
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
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If you are driving over rocks or stumps, and missing them with the wheels of the tug and trailer, then that clearance measurement tells you how big the rocks and stuff can be. Unfortunately, the situation is never that simple.

A common problem without a trailer is that you go through a dip and the front or back of the vehicle hits the ground, even though the part that hits is higher than the lowest parts under the vehicle. This is a problem of approach and departure angles.

With a trailer, you can have the same problem. It's even worse because the ends of the trailer are much further from the trailer's wheels than the ends of the tow vehicle are from its wheels. That's why all Escape trailers have a step up in the frame (4" with the current frame size) - it gives the rear a better departure angle. Even the front of the trailer can have this problem: the departure angle of the tow vehicle and approach angle of the trailer are limited by the lowest part of the hitch... and with a weight-distribution system this is even lower than the trailer's tongue frame.

I think most people are fine with the stock height. If your rough roads have significant dips in them, you might want the extra height.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
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I put the high lift axle on my 19 figuring that most of the travel would be off of pavement, and for the most part it was. Never did I come close to hitting anything underneath. The rear bumper in one place did touch the grass going through a dip, but that was it in over 6 years.

Like you say, you have more worry with your tow vehicle than your trailer.

I chose not to put it on my 5.0TA.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:39 PM   #4
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I struggled with this decision also, as the bumper on my Aliner frequently banged on the ground coming out of gas stations. My current TV is a Kia Sorento with only 8" clearance under the hitch, so I opted for the regular axle. I pick up next week so I'll let you know!
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:49 AM   #5
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Thanks - the other factor I read in another post was how much the spray insulation over the underside especially at either end could affect clearance. If the foam reduces height at the back, then having the high-lift gives me more peace of mind.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bbawt View Post
If the foam reduces height at the back, then having the high-lift gives me more peace of mind.
The foam is mostly to insulate the tanks, which are close to the axle(s), and is only below the frame where it is covering plumbing components which hang below the frame. The back of the freshwater tank is well forward of the bumper, so I don't think the foam would have any effect on the departure angle.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I put the high lift axle on my 19 figuring that most of the travel would be off of pavement, and for the most part it was. Never did I come close to hitting anything underneath. The rear bumper in one place did touch the grass going through a dip, but that was it in over 6 years.

Like you say, you have more worry with your tow vehicle than your trailer.

I chose not to put it on my 5.0TA.
any pics of your 19 with the lift in any of these nice sounding locations?
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wunfiddy View Post
any pics of your 19 with the lift in any of these nice sounding locations?
I also would like to see some Photos of the new generation 19 ft Escape with the high lift kit. I already asked for this on another thread so I apologize for repeating my request. As I said in another thread, our driveway has a steep approach angle and we don't want to bottom out. (Turning in our build sheet next week.)

Thanks
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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We have the high lift option for our 19 since August 2017, so far it does nothing because we've only camped in the paved campground. The clearance capability of high lift might/might not get used ever.. As it stands right now it sits (slightly) higher than our tow vehicle. We decided to go this way because we know if the tow vehicle can go thru without bottoming out then the trailer could (if careful).. that's how it was setup in our previous trailer (which is more offroad-ish, rugged).

I don't know if a lifted 19 looks any different than a not lifted one? maybe only on the axles? Ignore the duct taped window
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:15 PM   #10
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2017 19 with high lift axle.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:39 PM   #11
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Thank you caddoster and sclifrickson! I really appreciate it. I'm leaning towards this option since, as I stated before we have a steep entre angle to our driveway. Also I try to do my own maintenance (Until my old bones give out) and it looks like it would be easier to get under the trailer to work on the axle and adjust the brakes.

Of course it would make jacking the trailer up a bit more challenging when repacking the bearings since I would need a jack stand that extends an additional 2.5 inches.

Also I read somewhere (maybe on this thread) that there is an advantage to having your black and grey tank dump connection elevated higher in some cases.

Again... Thanks for the pics
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:11 PM   #12
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That looks great with the 15" wheels. Our lifted 2012 looks a little awkward with the 14" wheels - when I replace the tires I'll switch to 15".

The lift can be useful when using shorter campsites as you can back the camper a few feet further back and overhang logs, rocks, and wheel stops. Also helps when using "high" dump stations.
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by caddoster View Post
I don't know if a lifted 19 looks any different than a not lifted one? maybe only on the axles?
The most visible difference is the clearance between the tops of the tires and the wheel wells of the body. Less apparent is the clearance between the ground and every part of the trailer, other than the wheels and axles.
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:26 PM   #14
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Looks good
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