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View Full Version : Trailer ground clearance-Need Help!



jdalebroux
05-13-2004, 10:35 AM
Although I love my 02 Outback (direct drive), I seem to scrape the trailer at every gas station driveway, and cannot get up my own. Are any of you baffled by the lack of clearance of the rear sway bar under the prop, or is it just me? I\'d love to get the boat up my dirveway and into my garage. Please help!

Livindadream
05-13-2004, 10:49 AM
I had the same issue. What I did was take a 2X12, cut in half, and use it as a ramp. I back the trailer until the prop guard on it starts to drag, then I slide the ramps under it and it provides enough clearance to get over the hump. FYI, I also stick these in my truck anytime I leave the house with the boat attached. Got stuck in a restaurant once with a terrible driveway.

MartyC
05-13-2004, 01:59 PM
I do not have this problem but I have heard of people mounting small wheels to the prop guard. Check the boat discussions on wakeworld.com. I have seen pictures on that message board of what others have done.

james yarosz
05-13-2004, 10:02 PM
You guys must be towing your boats with the front too high.

ARLINGTONMOBIUS
05-14-2004, 01:29 AM
John, take a look at the axles under your trailer. The axles that Boatmate (the company that builds the trailers for Skiers Choice) uses are UFP torsion axles. UFP's torsion axles are adjustable height suspension, and they are set at about 10 degrees above level. That means that the frame of the trailer sits lower to the ground. A torsion axle has the suspension built into the axle (no springs). What makes UFP's adjustable ride height is that there is a splined bar coming out of the main axle tube. The trail arm, which holds the spindle, hub, rotor and caliper, fits onto this splined shaft. The trail arm has a bolt and nut which is used to tighten this arm to the shaft. All of that is stated to say this. You can gain more ground clearance by changing the angle of the trail arm. There are a couple of problems with doing this. Number one, you will have to back your trailer deeper into the water to load and unload your boat. Number two, your trailer may not look quite as good as it did. The reason for this, is you could get too much clearance between your tire and fender depending on how much you change the angle of the trail. I personally have never changed the setting on one of these axles, but I manage a trailer parts distribution warehouse and I am very familiar with this concept. For what it is worth, that is a little more permanant solution than some of the other things you could do.
Later,
Mike

Livindadream
05-14-2004, 07:54 AM
That's what I thought too, James, so I went and purchased a different hitch with a much lower tow angle. That solved my issue in the back, but then my hitch drug, so I had the same issue.

Hey Mike, I would like to hear a little more detail on your solution. Can that be done with the boat on the trailer, or have to be off?

05-14-2004, 12:29 PM
It can be done either way. I would think though that it would be much easier with the boat off of the trailer. Either way, you will have to jack the trailer completely off of the ground to accomplish this move. The other thing is, the lighter you make the end unit, like removing the tire and wheel assembly, the easier this will be. I spoke with the plant manager at Boat Mate this a.m. to make sure that my information was correct, and it was. Each spline that you rotate the swing arm down will be approximately 6 degrees of rotation, that should be somewhere in the neighborhood of .6" to .75" per spline moved. Again, the two things that you have to remember are you will have to back the trailer a little farther down the boat ramp to load and unload and you are going to add clearance between the top of your tire and the underside of your fender. However, if this solves your problem, an extra 3/4" of clearance there will not look too bad. If you don't like it, you can always change it back. If you have any further questions, I would be glad to help.

Later,
Mike

ARLINGTONMOBIUS
05-14-2004, 02:07 PM
It can be done either way. I would think though that it would be much easier with the boat off of the trailer. Either way, you will have to lift (either with jacks or a lift) the trailer completely off of the ground to accomplish this move. The other thing is, the lighter you make the end unit, like removing the tire and wheel assembly, the easier this will be. I spoke with the plant manager at Boat Mate this a.m. to make sure that my information was correct, and it was. Each spline that you rotate the swing arm down will be approximately 6 degrees of rotation, that should be somewhere in the neighborhood of .6" to .75" per spline moved. Again, the two things that you have to remember are you will have to back the trailer a little farther down the boat ramp to load and unload and you are going to add clearance between the top of your tire and the underside of your fender. However, if this solves your problem, an extra 3/4" of clearance there will not look too bad. If you don't like it, you can always change it back. If you have any further questions, I would be glad to help.

Later,
Mike

jdalebroux
05-14-2004, 04:34 PM
Thanks alot, Mike. I would like to try your option before adding wheels since the lower draw bar and ramps have not enabled me to get up the driveway. Unfortunately I'm really quite ignorant when it comes to mechanical terms and experience fixing my boat, so if you could help me out with a bit more information I would appreciate it. If I am correctly identifying the nut and bolt to which you refer, there are no additional brackets or holes to re-bolt it to. So by "splined", do you mean that once this assembly is loose there will be revealed some notches/additional settings to adjust the attitude of the trail arm?

ARLINGTONMOBIUS
05-14-2004, 06:03 PM
Yes, when this trail arm is removed there will be notches on the inner shaft that you can use to switch the angle on. If you would like to talk to me, the company I work for is Redneck Trailer Supplies in Arlington, Texas. You can give me a call at (817) 468-2626 and ask for Mike. We are open 8:00am to 5:00p.m. CST Monday through Friday. If you would like to talk to me about it this weekend, you can send me an e-mail at 4olivers@comcast.net, and leave me a name, phone number and good time to call and I will do the best I can to talk you through this. As I said, I have never done this myself, but I am very familiar with how it works and what has to be done.

jdalebroux
05-17-2004, 09:44 PM
Mike- your method worked beautifully. My trailer now goes up my driveway. It was rather difficult to get the hub assembly off of the splines, and even tougher to reference the second wheel to get the exact same spline (since you can't see the teeth until it's tight again), but highly effective. I did it with the boat on the trailer, jacking one side at a time.

Thanks!

ARLINGTONMOBIUS
05-18-2004, 12:20 AM
Glad that worked out for you. How does it look? Does the fender now have too much clearance? Have you tried to put the boat in the water and if you did, did you have to back much deaper?

jdalebroux
05-18-2004, 12:32 AM
Just finished it tonight, so I won't be able to put it in the water for a few days. As far as looks, it's fine. I was actually struck by the prior lack of clearance--it appeared as though my wheels were just about touching the fenders. The boat and trailer are significantly higher up now, and actually looks about the height of a neighbor's newer Master Craft X-9's trailer. Makes me wonder if my trailer was adjusted lower than standard, but I doubt it because the trail arm was at an exact 90 degree angle. Anyway, I feel alot more comfortable driving it now, knowing that next time I fuel up I won't have a dozen heads snap around as I scrape my way out of the driveway.
P.S. As a kind of weird added bonus, the bottom of my hitch didn't scrape the driveway, either. Don't know quite what to attribute that to.