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How Much Clearance for Trailer Fenders?


NAXJA Member
Google gets me answers ranging from 3 fingers to 4" of clearance. Quite the range.

I am hoping I can get better answers here.

Trailer is a tandem axle car hauler which has had the axles/springs modified from spring under to spring over. Fenders are now ridiculously high relative to the tires.

I want to get the fenders down as low as is reasonable, and yet still not have the tires rub. The challenge is being able to open and close the doors on my GTA, but the trailer has to be able to handle back country dirt roads with lots of rocks and ruts (much like Cleghorn and the 2N49 for those who know San Bernardino trails).
What about modifying the fenders to be removable, so you can pop them off when you're trying to get in/out of the GTA?
The problem with removable fenders is that they are weak.

They don't hold up well to being walked on. Or dragged around trees/rocks.

I have thought about it, but I can't come up with a reasonable design that is removable and yet capable of holding up.
On my trailer I have under 2" of tire clearance when loaded with a jeep. I have never experienced rubbing issues. I did have a center shackle wear through the pivot bushing....to the tune of 2". That effectively lowered the clearance to 1" at the fender when loaded....I began to notice rub marks on the tires but did not cause any significant wear or damage.

Overall, I would say 2 inches clearance while loaded should be sufficient.
Thank you John. That sounds like a reasonable distance.

I think I will pull the Suburban (3/4 ton, 4x4, 8.1L) up on the trailer and measure from there.
I believe the heaviest vehicle I had on mine while it was damaged and riding low was my tahoe. From Albuquerque to LA with no issues.