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Old 04-19-2016, 11:45 AM   #1
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Rear-end Bottoming out Prevention

We got our new 2016 XLR Thunderbolt 415 AMP back in January and took it on a few trips around the Sacramento area with no problems on bottoming out. It actually never crossed my mind until this past weekend. We took a trip up Hwy 1 past Jenner and on the way back, the rear end caught the asphalt on a downgrade tight turn. DW mentioned seeing other scrapes, so it was common for this turn. Very minimal damage, but it got me thinking that there must be a way to help prevent this in the future.

I found these Skid Wheels on eTrailer.com:

3" Skid Wheel
https://www.etrailer.com/Skid-Wheels...48-979023.html

2" Skid Wheel
https://www.etrailer.com/Skid-Wheels...48-979021.html

I'm wondering if it would be better to mount the 2" on the actual rear frame or mount the 3" on the 2 main I-frames right in the back.

Looking to see if anyone has any experience with installing something like this and if they held up the weight of these beasts when bottoming out at the end. Any other applications or advice would be much appreciated.


2014 Ram 3500 DRW

2016 Thunderbolt XLR 415AMP
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:20 AM   #2
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Following because my Sabre drags regularly. I already smashed the heck out of electric stabilizers a couple of months ago.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:47 AM   #3
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I've drug my rear stabilizer feet once. On pavement at least. They make great plow blades on dirt.

I want to get the rollers, I'd like to attach them to the frame if possible, I'd want to get just big enough to protect the stabilizers and bumper.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:17 AM   #4
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I have read both pros and cons about adding the wheels, main thing, is that you will now have less clearance hence the height of the wheels. I have also heard by adding these you put an extra amount of stress on the frame by flexing it more by having wheels on it rather than just letting it bottom out. Just food for thought
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:41 AM   #5
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I put 6" heavy duty skid wheel casters on the rear of the frame on The Beast. They were made for Class A motorhomes and work very well. Without these, I would never be able to climb my driveway without wiping out my ladder and back cap. All the skid wheels do are temporarily take some of the weight off the suspension when encountering the ground. They have never lifted the main wheels, so I'm not worried about frame flex. The skid wheel upper plates are welded to the frame and the lower plates with the casters are bolted to them. Easy-peasy if you have a welder.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:47 AM   #6
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When we had our former Work & Play, a huge concern for me was dragging. Our ATV races were generally held out in the middle of some farmer's field and nothing was smooth out there.

So prior to purchase, I had the dealer install those 3" wheels you provided a link to. We moved the stabilizers up close to the rear tires and then they welded the anti-skid wheels at the rear.

I honestly don't know if I ever dragged the bottom for 1.5 years. Either I didn't drag it or the wheels did so well, I didn't notice. But having them back there was good to know. They appeared to be well built.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYE View Post
I have read both pros and cons about adding the wheels, main thing, is that you will now have less clearance hence the height of the wheels. I have also heard by adding these you put an extra amount of stress on the frame by flexing it more by having wheels on it rather than just letting it bottom out. Just food for thought


I'm with you, if it must drag, let it drag!
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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I'm with you, if it must drag, let it drag!
I can see what you're saying but think of it this way....if the tail drags it's also un-weighting the suspension possibly putting as much stress in the frame as having a nice set of wheels to roll away on. For most, it could mean big bucks in fiberglass or stabilizer jack repairs at the most inconvenient time.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rattleNsmoke View Post
I can see what you're saying but think of it this way....if the tail drags it's also un-weighting the suspension possibly putting as much stress in the frame as having a nice set of wheels to roll away on.
This is what I'm confused about. Like or not- my tail end drags on a regular basis. Every time that it happens, a series of things occur:

1) my stabilizers take more and more abuse
2) the impact is transferred to the frame
3) the impact is felt at the pin connection to the truck when the camper slows but the truck doesn't

If I mount wheels back there:\
1) it'll be to just clear the stabilizers, so hopefully the net loss is only an inch or two
2) there will still be an impact to the frame
3) there will be less transferred impact as the camper will "roll" vs. tugging at the pavement

(NOT SARCASM- I'm serious.) I fail to see the issue and would really like someone to try and describe the difference between the two (again, if you think you already did it).
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rattleNsmoke View Post
I can see what you're saying but think of it this way....if the tail drags it's also un-weighting the suspension possibly putting as much stress in the frame as having a nice set of wheels to roll away on. For most, it could mean big bucks in fiberglass or stabilizer jack repairs at the most inconvenient time.


Yes but if you drag and flex the frame and fiberglass sidewalks with no wheels then add 6" more you've just flexed your unit even more.
Personally I've had two travel trailers and 2 5th wheels all over 30' and the latest being 37' and never drug the tail, so I must be doing something wrong.
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