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  1. #1
    Setting Up Camp
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    Leaf Springs Upgrade Question

    Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some feedback/advise from any of you who have replaced your original leaf springs that came with your trailer. I own a 2018 Grand Design Reflection 311BHS with 2 6K axles and 4 stack leaf springs. Apparently Lippert does not make a 5 leaf double eye option for whatever reason. I was speaking with one of there techs and he was saying going to there 6 leaf, 3,500 lb leaf springs would be a good fit for my unit. I thought they only advised going 1 leaf up but I guess they base it off of their allotted weight so these 6 leaf would be the next size up. Have any of you made this change in your suspension?What has been your experience? Did it add much height? I am estimating about a 1 increase? Also, the Lippert tech said the additional 500 lbs in leaf springs wouldnt affect my Equq Flex either which was a concern of mine with not wanting it to ride to rigid. Ok, thanks for reading any feedback you can provide.

    Sincerely,
    Chris
    CL & EC
    2017 F-250 CC Diesel
    2018 Grand Design 311BHS

  2. #2
    Long Hauler
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    I replaced the 3,500 lb. springs with 4,000 lb. springs on our 7,000 lb. axles. I think it rides better but it's really hard to tell with a trailer. But I am happy with the switch. The old springs were 6-leaf and the new ones are 7-leaf.

    If you change to 6-leaf, which IMO is a good idea, you'll need longer U-bolts. I sourced mine locally. Also, but again JMO, I would dump that EquaFlex and go with the EZ-Flex by Dexter. I had the EquaFlex and the rubber was coming apart pretty badly. And the EZ-Flex does a much better job at bridge joints and sharp bumps. I felt the bumps with the EquaFlex but feel nothing with the EZ-Flex, it's a much stronger equalizer. And as long as you have stuff apart, don't forget new bushings, if necessary, for the wet bolts.
    Howard and Peggy
    2019 Momentum 351M, and 2018 RAM Cummins dually 6-speed.
    His: 1999 Honda Interceptor
    Hers: 2013 Spyder ST-S

  3. #3
    Setting Up Camp
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    Thank you for the input. I actually got all new wet bolts to put in and yeah I’m tracking on needing the longer U-Bolts. I have never heard of the EZ-Flex so I’ll have to look into them.

  4. #4
    Paid my dues 😁 FT4NOW's Avatar
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    If you're doing all that work, I would also upgrade the shackles to the Morryde heavy duty shackles unless you already have heavy duty shackles installed. Another equalizer option is the CRE3000 from Morryde. My 2021 311 came with Morryde HD shackles/wet bolts and CRE3000 from the factory. It was a pretty good ride, but I was also using a Reese Goosebox.
    Last edited by FT4NOW; 03-25-2023 at 10:12 PM.
    2023 Momentum 398M-R
    2023 Ford F-450

    SOLD - 2021 Reflection 311BHS
    SOLD - 2017 Momentum 399TH

  5. #5
    Seasoned Camper jjbbrewer's Avatar
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    I agree with Hoopy's comment on heavier springs and with FT4NOW's idea of the CRE3000 & wetbolts. Both will help for sure.

    I'll add a couple of thoughts.
    First, if you don't have the reinforced hangers, I'd get them. They have additional bracing material inside to help prevent lateral flexing leading to fatigue.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Second, I'd forget about getting springs from trailer manufacturers. Pretty much all of them get their springs from ..ahem.. China and the spring steel is generally crap. How many of you reading here have had your springs go flat in a couple years?

    I had some custom springs made by Alcan in Grand Junction, CO. They specialize in off-road springs but will make leafs for about anything. They use good quality steel, put leaf spring clamps on that actually work and supply plates & ubolts specific to what you need.

    I just put some on my unit and just towing it around town I can tell a difference. I have yet to take it on a long trip with them, though.

    https://www.alcanspring.com/

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a comparison of the OEM (Lippert) spring on my unit that was already flat ..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And the Alcan components installed on it ..

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	45565
    '21 Grand Design Momentum 349M
    '20 Ford F-450 Platinum, Kicker 8" powered sub, Viair 485C onboard dual compressor, B&W Companion 25K
    '13 Ducati 1199R Panigale, '08 Ducati 1098R Superbike, '69 Honda/Yoshimura CR750
    '21 KTM 250 XC-W TPI, '01 KTM 520 MXC, '87 Honda CR500R
    '67 Mustang coupe 351C-4V, RUG top loader; '67 Mustang GT 302 4bbl, BW T-10
    Western Expanse Inventory,LLC, Big Stick Racing

  6. #6
    Long Hauler
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    Us cost-conscious folks are interested in what those custom springs cost.
    Howard and Peggy
    2019 Momentum 351M, and 2018 RAM Cummins dually 6-speed.
    His: 1999 Honda Interceptor
    Hers: 2013 Spyder ST-S

  7. #7
    Seasoned Camper jjbbrewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoopy Frood View Post
    Us cost-conscious folks are interested in what those custom springs cost.
    For 4 springs (4000#) with ubolts/nuts, plates, shipping, and tax, it was a little over $1200. Build & delivery was about 8 weeks total. Alcan's owner (Lew) was very knowledgeable, great to deal with, and delivered exactly when he said for how much was quoted.

    I paid to have them installed locally mostly because it was too cold outside to do it myself. The spring leafs themselves are a little wider than stock (so they need the different plates) and are necked down for the OEM hangers. The hangers needed some corner relief ground to clear the wider long leaf.

    I've only towed with them from the installation shop, to my house, then to storage. Maybe a total of 15 miles. It might just be my imagination, but the 349M seems to pull easier and the braking certainly seems more responsive (maybe less spring wind up?). I'll post more when I get it on the road.
    Last edited by jjbbrewer; 03-26-2023 at 12:28 PM.
    '21 Grand Design Momentum 349M
    '20 Ford F-450 Platinum, Kicker 8" powered sub, Viair 485C onboard dual compressor, B&W Companion 25K
    '13 Ducati 1199R Panigale, '08 Ducati 1098R Superbike, '69 Honda/Yoshimura CR750
    '21 KTM 250 XC-W TPI, '01 KTM 520 MXC, '87 Honda CR500R
    '67 Mustang coupe 351C-4V, RUG top loader; '67 Mustang GT 302 4bbl, BW T-10
    Western Expanse Inventory,LLC, Big Stick Racing

  8. #8
    Long Hauler
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    Thank you for the information. Mine also seemed to ride differently with the new springs.
    Howard and Peggy
    2019 Momentum 351M, and 2018 RAM Cummins dually 6-speed.
    His: 1999 Honda Interceptor
    Hers: 2013 Spyder ST-S

  9. #9
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjbbrewer View Post
    For 4 springs (4000#) with ubolts/nuts, plates, shipping, and tax, it was a little over $1200. Build & delivery was about 8 weeks total. Alcan's owner (Lew) was very knowledgeable, great to deal with, and delivered exactly when he said for how much was quoted.

    I paid to have them installed locally mostly because it was too cold outside to do it myself. The spring leafs themselves are a little wider than stock (so they need the different plates) and are necked down for the OEM hangers. The hangers needed some corner relief ground to clear the wider long leaf.

    I've only towed with them from the installation shop, to my house, then to storage. Maybe a total of 15 miles. It might just be my imagination, but the 349M seems to pull easier and the braking certainly seems more responsive (maybe less spring wind up?). I'll post more when I get it on the road.
    I would love to go with American made as you have here but unfortunately I dont have that kind of time to wait for them to arrive. Im going to reach out and see though how long they would take.
    CL & EC
    2017 F-250 CC Diesel
    2018 Grand Design 311BHS

  10. #10
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjbbrewer View Post
    I agree with Hoopy's comment on heavier springs and with FT4NOW's idea of the CRE3000 & wetbolts. Both will help for sure.

    I'll add a couple of thoughts.
    First, if you don't have the reinforced hangers, I'd get them. They have additional bracing material inside to help prevent lateral flexing leading to fatigue.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hanger.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	42.1 KB 
ID:	45562

    Second, I'd forget about getting springs from trailer manufacturers. Pretty much all of them get their springs from ..ahem.. China and the spring steel is generally crap. How many of you reading here have had your springs go flat in a couple years?

    I had some custom springs made by Alcan in Grand Junction, CO. They specialize in off-road springs but will make leafs for about anything. They use good quality steel, put leaf spring clamps on that actually work and supply plates & ubolts specific to what you need.

    I just put some on my unit and just towing it around town I can tell a difference. I have yet to take it on a long trip with them, though.

    https://www.alcanspring.com/

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20230109_150041.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	99.2 KB 
ID:	45563

    Here's a comparison of the OEM (Lippert) spring on my unit that was already flat ..

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20220619_original_left_rear.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	93.2 KB 
ID:	45564

    And the Alcan components installed on it ..

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	alcan_spring.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	39.8 KB 
ID:	45565
    Do you have any other information regarding these reinforced hangers? I would have to have a mobile welder come over to do it but I would need to tell him more specifically what is needing done. Thanks.
    CL & EC
    2017 F-250 CC Diesel
    2018 Grand Design 311BHS

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