Advantage of heavier axle and bigger wheels and tires?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by epcotisbest, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. epcotisbest

    epcotisbest Active Member

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    So besides a little bit more ground clearance and a bit more cargo capacity, are there other advantages to getting a camper with a 3000lbs (vs. 2500) axle and 14" (vs 13") wheels and tires?
    I am considering a new Aliner and their off-road package is available for a reasonable price. It just includes the axle and wheel/tire upgrade.
    Do bigger tires help the camper tow any better or track straighter or improve the ride in any way? I like the idea of the heavier axle and bigger wheels/tires, but will probably never go off-road, so the extra ground clearance does not really matter.
    Will the same model camper with the addition of the off-road package make any difference in regular use?
     
  2. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the ability to be off road, but for usual road & campground camping it probably won't matter.
     
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  3. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    I had to flip the axle on my Fleetwood just to get it up the driveway. We mostly go to NFS campgrounds and they usually aren't paved so the few inches we added help there as well.

    I suspect Aliners are a lot more nimble than a 14' tent trailer but a little clearance is always good. Fuel economy will be slightly less I suppose, and tires might be a few bucks more, but it'll be worth it. Do it!

    Extra cargo capacity can be a big deal. My popup's axle is close to capacity with nothing on board. It concerns me slightly. :(
     
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  4. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Larger diameter tires are better for highway speeds. If you ever have to work under it you will like the extra room.
     
  5. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    I would hope that the frame is stiffer for the 3000lb axle. Should be less flex that causes screws loosening, door alignment issues, etc. I don't understand Aliner offering the two axles that are rated so close together. They should just put the 3000 axle under everything.
     
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  6. Yacoma99

    Yacoma99 Member

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    I currently have an Aliner Ranger 12 with the off road package. I previously had a Coleman Utah and Sante Fe, neither of which had an off road option. Both of my other pups occasionally bottomed out on rough roads. I know that is not comparing apples to apples but I like having the extra ground clearance. I have towed my Aliner over some ugly stuff (that our government call an interstate) and have not had any worries.
     
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  7. mandinga

    mandinga Member

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    I have an off road pop up with cargo platform. It has a 4550lb axle giving me 2200lbs of cargo capacity. I never have to worry about over loading it. I boondock often, and some of the very small ditches I crossed caused my previous non off road popup to bottom out. Last year, my buddy came to join us, he tore off a stabilizer and his step on a rock that I had cleared no problem.

    Having the extra room under the camper is also great for working on things underneath without needing to jack it up. I can slid things underneath at the campsite when it rains.
     
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  8. epcotisbest

    epcotisbest Active Member

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    Maybe they view it as a marketing thing. It has kinda worked for me, thinking the upgrade will probably be worth the money, when in reality it probably would not have increased overall retail price a lot by going ahead and making the 3000lbs axle standard instead of optional.
    Now, in looking around, I am not finding any of the model I am interested in stock within reasonable driving distance with the off-road package option. Several available with standard axle and 13" wheels and tires.
    No real time frame on when one could be special ordered, and the few dealers I have talked to are not real interested in spending much time with us small camper buyers when they have customers waiting to spend $50 to $100 thousand or more on a big fifth wheel, Airstream or motorhome.
    What to do, what to do? Buy standard now or hold out till next season to special order the one I think I really want?
     
  9. epcotisbest

    epcotisbest Active Member

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    Good to hear from someone who has made the choice I am contemplating. I am looking at a Scout Lite because we like how compact and simple it is. Something that small and light might benefit from the off-road package.
     
  10. epcotisbest

    epcotisbest Active Member

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    Both good points. Thank you.
     
  11. epcotisbest

    epcotisbest Active Member

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    Had not thought about extra space underneath to store stuff. Good idea. Coolers, supplies etc... could get out of the rain.
     
  12. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Oh...see if it'll make a difference for where you store it. Without the rooftop AC, you're probably fine, but with some popups, it's possible to get too tall for the garage.
     
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  13. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    You know, I have a Someset E2 with 15 inch tires, it's an Off Road model. Whenever I get behind another PUp like a Coleman Columbia (which was my first camper) I think "My God, look at those tires, they look so skinny". [LOL]

    I love my [PU] [put&pu] !
     
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  14. msbrown253

    msbrown253 Mike in CT

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    Any trailer benefits from larger tires. It reduces friction and heat, thereby increasing their durability and lifespan. They also typically have a higher weight capacity per tire. Even if the ground clearance doesn't matter, and you only tow it on smooth pavement, I would personally opt for the largest tire option available. I needed to replace my axle, springs, hubs, everything on my boat trailer last summer. I went from a 14" to a 15" for just this reason. (Then got a blowout the first time I towed it, damned Murphy's Law! Tire shop agreed it probably had a defect in it and replaced without question). It did raise my trailer a bit, which affected launching and recovering the boat, but it wasn't a big deal. Just had to back in a little further.
     
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  15. Ken Lane

    Ken Lane Active Member

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    I have an off road model from Flagstaff. I noticed that I have to raise the ball on the TV to try and get the trailer level for towing. I think if you have a raised vehicle like a Tacoma TRD the receiver height would be perfect. With my ball on the TV at 18" I am still not close to level. That was with a 2" rise, I am going to try an 6" rise next.
     
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