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MichaelR

Junior Member
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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #1 

Well all this talk about getting electrocuted got me thinking that maybe we all need a bit of a short circuit to a lighter topic.

I have posted regarding modifications to my aged Conquest/345 model. It was brought into Australia before Conqueror Australia existed so I won’t be blaming them for anything. But the trailer had a number of shortcomings for the uses I had in mind. These I have largely outlined in my previous descriptions of modifications performed.

I had upgraded the axle as I had managed to bend 3 of them. Not sure why particularly me but maybe I have been a bit rough on it. It now has a 60mm=3.3 tonne axle underneath it and I can’t see me bending this. This axle also came with 12in electric brakes which are a noticeable step up over the 10in ones I had before and a gazillion times better than the override brakes supplied with the trailer.

I also upgraded the springs from the garden trailer slipper springs to 1550kg eye to eye rebound ones. I also strengthened the chassis along the length of the spring attachment. The old Gabriel shock absorbers which were patently not up to the task had both broken off and I decided initially given I had rebound springs not to bother with them. That decision niggled a bit and I then decided to fit some. Mark Sills at Tough Touring does a great kit for this trailer (and thanks for the inspiration Mark) but I decided to follow my own path. I also wanted the axle to be below the springs for clearance purposes.

So I modified the spring fish plate so a shocker could mount to it.

I had to keep the fish plate on the bottom so another plate was manufactured for above the spring over which the U-bolts run. The axle and the top plate are located by the central spring bolt.

I had another 2x5mm plates made for the top shocker mount that attach to original bolt holes in the chassis where the original useless Gabriel shock mounted. They mount either side of the chassis with a crush tube between.

The outer plate has a 30mm diameter solid rod welded to it 35mm in length. In the centre is a 12mm bolt hole for the high tensile shocker support bolt.

I eventually found a Monroe shock absorber to fit. Ironically it is from the Cruisemaster coil suspension. If it can handle coils it should have no problem with leaf rebound springs.

 At the same time I replaced the water tank supports as one of these had failed. The supports are very flimsy and are attached to two of the cross-members of the trailer but of which had crushed under the weight of the full water tanks as the cross-member ran over the top of the chassis rails.

I have mounted two supports using 25x50mm RHS from one chassis rail to another. This has the added bonus of creating cross-chassis support as I had previous problems with the bottom of the chassis rails approximating each other!

I have now been able to remove the previous threaded rod support I had there. 
A few photos:
shock lower.jpg  Shock upper.jpg  Water tank supports.jpg 

 

My next duty is to stick an awning on it over the kitchen side. I will experiment with a 2.5 x 2.5m straight awning at first and see how that goes. I would prefer one of those 270 degree ones but the raisable supports I have worked out will be tested first with a lighter load.

And they will be tested as I am heading off soon from Victoria to Maralinga and then north through the western deserts to Broome, around the Kimberly in June and then back through Darwin and Central Australia.

So if you see on your travels a 345 sitting on the road with no suspension under it stop and say hullo. It might be me.

 

 

 


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filbee56

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Posts: 578
Reply with quote  #2 
MichaelR, I take my hat off to folks brave enough to negotiate the path of changing their suspension set-up. Job well done. 

No doubt, your mods will be surely tested in the harsh interior of Australia, but we all wish you luck in these adventures. Living the dream, I say!!

It would appear that we won't be crossing paths; however, we too are heading outback in the mid-year. Firstly to Birdsville for the BRB, from home ACT/NSW. That is going to be a hoot. 
Then heading to Marree to conquer the Oodnadatta, Lambert's Geographical Centre of Australia, followed by the Great Central Road through to Perth.
The return journey will see us in the lower Pilbara (Mt Augustus), before heading along the Gunbarrel H'way, Gary H'way, Gary Junction Road, Plenty H'way and Donoghue H'way into Boulia, QLD. This outback trip ticks a huge amount of boxes for us, not least having crossed Australia's "Longest Shortcut" - Winton, QLD to Laverton, WA. 

Anyway, looking forward to your update on how the suspension has held up. Ah, she'll be right!!

Cheers, Filbee56

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JRad

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Posts: 142
Reply with quote  #3 
MichaelR , that was a good read, I will admit that I didn't understand any of it, but jealous that I can't do it.

Not sure you're interested, I did a pull out awning for my 345, $50 for the brackets including powder coating and I think $99 for a Kings 2.5m x 2m awning that also came with a sidewall as a bonus.

I bought a quick fit bracket system from smart touring systems, so I can have the awning out of the way for packing unpacking.

The full L shaped awning was doing my head in and didn't survive in what I thought was windy, but not excessive winds on a trip to Exmouth last year.

I looked at the batwing awning, but without doing a riser system, the fridge door would get in the way, might revisit my steel manufacturer guy next year and see if he can make a spring loaded system, if you have any ideas i wouldn't ind finding out?

Any here are the pics, strangely it has already taken down the annoyance level of having to not deal with the L shaped awning and has cleared good space in the nose cone.


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JRad

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Posts: 142
Reply with quote  #4 
PIC 1 20190114_114708.jpg  PIC 2 20190114_115616.jpg  PIC 3 20190114_115637.jpg 
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MichaelR

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi JRad and also filbee56. Thanks for both of your comments and sorry we won't be bumping in to each other Filbee. Thanks also for your post JRad. The attachments of the awning fit well. I was a bit keen to have a system that allows the awning to fit alongside the tent when travelling but elevated at camp. Also out of the way to allow for zipping up the travel cover over the tent. I actually just picked up the bits today from the welder for the raisable (not sure that is actually a word) supports. As I am sticking it together I will take some photos and post them in a week or 2. It should certainly be possible to utilise gas struts with the design I have but I thought I would just go with exercising my triceps first up. I can always retro fit them. I have bought a 2nd hand 2.5 x 2.5m awning for $60 to first test the theory. The welded bits cost me $65 and another 10 for some plastic sliding thingos. Just have to drill a few holes now.. I will report back and thanks once again.
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JRad

Senior Member
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Posts: 142
Reply with quote  #6 
So the other mob does the spring loaded set up below.

The thing when I first started researching doing at batwing modification (excluding the fact that the rear lifting door on the fridge interfered) I noticed that just about all batwing awnings in Australia were left hand side to rear opening. If your trailer is like mine (kitchen prep area on the right) you would need a right hand side to rear opening batwing awning, a dime a dozen in the US but difficult to find here, Rhino made one but out of stock and unsure of when they'd get one in.

Also over thinking, how would you keep the rain out from the tent door, currently with the L shaped awning we can just have the screen door and rain doesn't get in due to the awning being velcroed above it. same goes for the window above the food prep.

Spring loaded 1.png 


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JRad

Senior Member
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Posts: 142
Reply with quote  #7 
https://roofrack.com.au/product/rhino-33200-batwing-awning-right/

There's a compact version for $692
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MichaelR

Junior Member
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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #8 
Interesting thoughts JRad. If it rains I reckon I would just put the flap down But that would be a bit of a pain I admit. Mark at Tough Touring has fitted 270 awnings to the 345. Here is a link the features the pretty tough Ostrich awning. http://www.toughtouring.com.au/ostrich.html

They obviously have a RHS one.

For the time being though I will give the straight one a burl. I think I may have over-engineered the supports but at least they should be easily adaptable to a 270 degree one if I go down that path. I hope to finish fitting it in the next week or 2 so will repost that.

Good luck with your adventures too.

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JRad

Senior Member
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Posts: 142
Reply with quote  #9 
I look fwd to the post, I love this stuff, I have no idea what I'm doing, but I love it.

Towards mid next year I'm really keen to start looking at the 270 awning, so any ideas would be very muchly appreciated.

We're off the Shark Bay in a couple of weeks so I'll put the awning through the test and see what happens.
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