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skinnylee

camper drop down

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Au contraire, I saw a tandem axle crank down in an expanded wheelwell of a 1970's camper on Mille Lacs two weekends ago. Got my mind thinking overtime! We just put hitch pins in place of the bolts holding the leaf springs on. It's a 10-15 minute production to raise or lower it, but it was cheap and quick, at $3 per pin. Try to build a drop down mechanism for $12, I dare ya!

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I have a straight solid axle/Pipe welded right to the bottom of the frame. The Hubs are welded on to removable spindles that fit pretty good into the axle. They come off simply jacking up each side and pulling a pin. Do the same on the other side and wallah, your done.

The only downfall is it doesn't have any suspension, but I can still tow it at 50mph easily without any trouble.

Take down or set up only takes about 5 minutes.

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skinny,

Ok my dad and i just picked up camper fish house this fall and are racking our brains on how to get it to sit on the ice, this is a great idea!!! A few questions. Do you just use floor jacks to rasie and lower to get the pins in and out. Also does the whole axle/leaf spring come out all together, if so what do you do with it when it is out? Do you take it home or leave it by the house? I think that this sounds like a great idea. I was also thinking to add to to it, if the whole axel, springs and all comes off that I would weld two peices of square tube on each side the lenght of the camper with an angle in the front and then just use chains hooked from the tongue of the camper to my receiver hitch to move from location to location on the lake during the winter so i would not have to put the wheels back on all of the time? smirk.gif

Let me know what you think confused.gif

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Quote:

Do you just use floor jacks to rasie and lower to get the pins in and out.


Yup. We put 3/4" plywood under all jacks to spread the pressure out on the ice when we do it.

Quote:

Also does the whole axle/leaf spring come out all together, if so what do you do with it when it is out?


Yup - we loosen the lugs on both wheels, pull the pins, then remove the wheels - because we can't (and don't want to) jack the frame up high enuff to clear the tops of the tires. We chain and padlock it all to the trailer tongue right now.

Quote:

I was also thinking to add to to it, if the whole axel, springs and all comes off that I would weld two peices of square tube on each side the lenght of the camper with an angle in the front and then just use chains hooked from the tongue of the camper to my receiver hitch to move from location to location on the lake during the winter so i would not have to put the wheels back on all of the time?


I want to do this to ours for the same reason! Its a great idea!

The leaf spring mounts stick off the bottom of the frame usually about 3" or 4". We used 6x6 blocking underneath, but with permanent skids, you wouldn't need them.

I would strongly consider fabricating a skid system that has welded steel mounts that 4x4's could be bolted to. In the battle between ice and wood, ice usually wins, which is a house and ice saver. The war between steel and ice usually creams the ice. The 4x4's would be expendable and replaceable then.

The only thing I can think of to watch is between permanent skids and the axle - some campers might work geometry-wise, others might not. Solve the problem by designing the skids with the axle on. grin.gif

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i did something of this sort just a couple months ago. i bought an old camper and tore it down to the fram and utilized the furnace and stove and the frame. I cut the leafs and the mounts off the frame. I then measured the axle(its square solid steel. I went to the local metal supplier and found some 1/4" thick square tubing just big enough to fit the axle inside. Not too tight where it could seize in though. I then proceeded to cut the axle in half right in the middle. I marked 3 inches from each end of the axle and drilled a 5/8 hole on each axle. I then mocked up the square tubing under the frame and marked it for the wheelbase that suited me te best. I then cut the square tubing. I set my axle/spindle combos alongside my square tubing and aligned them so i could mark where i need to drill my holes. I drilled the holes and then went to the metal yard and bought some locking spring loaded pins and welded the pins onto the Square tubing with the pin sticking through the tubing. When i release the pins and lock them up, i can slide in the axles. I then measured and welded on the axle tube underneath the frame. Then do some measuring and mocking and go buy 2 trailer tongue jacks with the side crank ( the ones that you can flip sideways for transport) and weld them up so that when your camper is on the wheels that there is just enough room for the jacks to flip into position. I mounted one in each back corner. I just bought some 2x5 tubing and welded ten inches onto the back bumper sticking up. You could even mount them with the supplied brackets and bolts. All said and done you should have 2 axle/wheel assemblies(each one is wheel connected to aprroximately 36" axle) Then you just crank up the house, release the pins, and pull out the axle assy's and drop the house back down. After the house is cranked up, it takes me about a minute a side to pull each axle. You will have to cut an access panel inside the camper floor to do this method though. It pulls nice down the road, with no suspension it pulls nice at 60 and my house is 8'4"x16

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I hve seen them with the axle that slide in was looking at some type of crank up system so you can still have some spring so keep the ideas coming we might get this to work

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oh i have one with removable axle now looking at trying one with crankup wheels just thinking of a new ideas

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Federline,

Ideas are awsome I think that you have something here and it is really a great idea that i will putting to use this summer on mine. I also was thinking about the whole clearance thing with the skid and the axle/spring shakels getting in the way so i will be sure to keep this in mind, but I am sure it is a small problem at best, after all it does not have to be on whole long skid I am sure that it could have a split in it as long as the forward facing ends have some type of angle on them to keep from digging into the snow/ice. So you think just plain steele runners would not be as good of an idea as wood?

This is a great subject so lets keep the ideas comming, I think for the price I got my camper fish house for and the amount I will have to spend to get it to sit on the ice is a great value when it comes to the prices of the spendy crank down wheel houses. Thanks everyone for their input grin.gif

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