Making camper more “off roadable”

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by Mtlangst, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. Mtlangst

    Mtlangst Active Member

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    I have a 2010 rockwood freedom 1970 that we have taken on some really bumping washboard roads etc…. I looked at the baja model and other popup offroad models and they appear to have the same type of interior construction (cheap and light) that ours has. What do/ how do i make it more off road capable?? Washboard roads shake the crud out of it now. I about lost my spare tire last year.
     
  2. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    I lower tire pressure and drive at about 20 mph.
     
  3. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    IMG_9229 3.jpeg As NMroamer said lower tire pressure. You should be carrying a portable compressor anyway so you can re-inflate when you're back on pavement. An axel flip and larger tires helps as well. Not too much you can do about washboard. We stop and check everything often when driving on dirt, many of our spots are 25-30 miles one way on fairly rough FS roads. I believe the older trailers do much better, ours is a 2000 and its pretty solid.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
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  4. Mtlangst

    Mtlangst Active Member

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    I think i will do the spring over axle that dexter has plus bigger tired maybe set of shocks. Lowered air pressure is a good idea. We camped up at zappata falls outside great sand dunes and 3 miles up the mountain side took 30min drive.
     
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  5. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    well, tires are cheaper than a camper, so yes, lower tire pressires on crappy roads at lower speeds. But do check them frequently.
     
  6. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    As I learned here on the Portal... invest in a set of Robertson bits and check every screw, twice, by hand (no power tools). Repair the stripped holes... of which there will be many!
    robertson-screwdriver-bits.jpg
     
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  7. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    To me the challenge is hardening the trailer's interior and fasteners. I can roll over stuff that would beat the heck out of the interior. I've replaced a lot of wood screws with bigger screws and even through-bolts to strengthen the interior. It's really easy to break a drawer slider when the drawer's nylon sliders are just stapled in place with a couple staples. This sort of "construction shortcut" leads to flimsy interiors that like to rattle to pieces on bad roads.

    Eventually I'll investigate how to raise the suspension on my Dexter axle so that I can run bigger tires. I will consider that when it becomes time to replace the tires I have already. That may happen in about a year.
     
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  8. Arruba

    Arruba Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If you have the Dexter torsion axle, they make a lift kit for it that gives you about 2.5in lift. All the other advice, I think, is good too. I like the shock idea. It’s not unheard of. I would add having an assortment of screws and such available. I’ve had a few come out mid trip and not be able to find them. Double check that your outside wiring is well secured and not drooping. I snagged the brake power cable on mine once. Lastly, keep an eye on the box corners. There are a couple threads over on one of Overlanding or 4x4 sites, Expedition Portal I would guess, where a couple of people reported about their boxes coming loose at a corner. One IIRC, ended up re-enforcing the corner joints with 1/8” angle iron.

    Good luck with your endeavors and let us know what you did.
     

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