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Old 04-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Will skid wheels cause damage themselves?

The overhang on my 3011DSF is enough that it left a nasty groove in the pavement at a local state park while pulling in to what I thought was a mild incline. Still learning the limitations of the new rig The problem is I flat tow as well and I'm worried that I could hit this situation when towing and pulling into a parking lot etc. I'm worried that the rig will drive the tow vehicle into the ground and tear up the suspension and tow bar or worse cause structural damage to the towed car. I am aware of angle of approach but in some cases you cannot avoid contact.

If I install skid wheels I'm worried that the modified frame will be damaged by the added weight or that and resulting weld breaks or cracks will be blamed on the wheels.

Can I safely install skid wheels? Will they void my warranty? There must be some folks on here that have hit this issue so hopefully they can point me towards some products that work and share their experiences.

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Old 04-08-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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I've often thought that skid wheels are an incident waiting to happen. If the back end of the rig is going to hit the ground because of the configuration of the driveway, kerb or whatever, skid wheels will raise the rear end of your rig to prevent the frame grounding. They will inevitably impart an upwards force on the rear frame and could even lift the drive wheels off the ground.

Whether that upward bending force is less damaging that grounding the back of the frame is debatable.

From an engineering perspective, I'd be tempted to install the smallest, highest-located wheels that you think will solve your clearance problem. You can't cover every situation, but if the skid wheels are as far back and as high as possible you can cover most situations without serious consequences.

I'm glad the back wheels on our rig (Ford F53) are high enough and far enough back that grounding isn't an issue. Our previous 26' Class C grounded quite often. I saw a TT at a neighbor's house a few months back (can't remember the brand), and was amazed that the black/grey tank valve assembly and plumbing was within inches of the back bumper and hanging down about 10" below the floor of the rig. One "graunch" and he'd be spreading sewage all over the place.

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Old 04-08-2013, 10:23 PM   #3
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Maybe air bags on the rear axle?
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
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The unit has airbags. of course one isn't holding air but that is on the punch list for the dealer / warranty folks. Looking at the rig the hitch sits 4 inches lower than my old rigs hitch. The hitch receiver is the lowest point on the hitch. It contacts before the triangles do when pulling in on an incline. Swapping out the hitch and adding a pump to boost the air pressure in the air springs to 95 PSI when needed might be enough. The fresh water tank is under the bed in the rear so when dry camping (say when your in a state park...) drops the bumper a good 4 inches as well.

Has anyone ever experienced frame damage from these wheels? I crawled under the rig and the frame appears to have been stretched as well as lengthened so adding additional torsional stress from single wheel hits or forcing the frame to flex when both wheels hit seems like something to be avoided at all costs.

I guess I answered my own question huh? Well I would still like to know if anyone is running these wheels and what state their frame is in.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:38 AM   #5
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Why not weld a skid plate under the spots that might hit the ground?
Have the edges of the plate(s) curled up so they won't dig in.
That would probably be better than a small wheel that could still dig into soft payment.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:27 AM   #6
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Understandably you own a Class C coach and I have a fiver, but the question you have prolly applies to both. I mounted 6" skid wheels under the frame of 'The Beast' just to be able to get up our inclined driveway. By no way does it lift the trailer so high the main wheels are off the gorund, just unweighting the suspension for about 10 ft until the trailer is parallel to the driveway and up I go. The frame is fine, nothing twisted bent nor cracked. Afterall, the manufacturer suggests jacking the unit by the frame albeit much higher to change a tire putting single point stress on the frame unlike a slow lifting force on both frame beams at once.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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My 2012 Sunseeker has skids build into the factory hitch which I expect you also have. That should protect things including anything towed or at least I know it will protect my dolly system. If you were to install wheels I wouldn't install them any lower than the skids. If they were say 3 inches lower than the skids then you would stress the frame on a dip 3 inches smaller than if you didn't do anything.
If you frequent areas with large dips or boondock with your RV then maybe you need to look into some on board air jacker system so you are able to raise the rear of the coach in these situations.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rattleNsmoke View Post
Afterall, the manufacturer suggests jacking the unit by the frame albeit much higher to change a tire putting single point stress on the frame unlike a slow lifting force on both frame beams at once.
I don't think the manufacturer would recommend jacking the camper up by the rear bumper.
And normally, you don't get a "slow lifting force on both frame beams at once", you get one corner hitting and thus twisting the frame.

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