Trailer suspension Options pros/cons

Timbren Suspension or Cruisemaster Suspension preferred

  • Single axel with leaf springs

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6
  • Poll closed .

JasonS

New member
I am looking at two similar trailers and hoping for advice. Both trailers look like well built excellent options. Is there a reason to choose one over the other based on the Timbren versus Cruisemaster suspensions?

Timbren suspension trailer- Off-Grid Trailer Expedition 2.0 https://offgridtrailers.com/expedition-off-road-camper/
Cruisemaster suspension trailer- Boreas-xt https://boreascampers.com/boreas-xt/

Any advice or experience would be appreciated.
 

TwinStick

Explorer
Based on the pictures on their websites, I would say hands down to go with the Cruisemaster suspension. It looks way more HD than the other. Plus it is the same style as the Australian ones that they beat the living snot out of, & if it was a bad design, they would know. YouTube is full of Australian offroad campers with that exact suspension design & they just beat the snot out of them, yet I have never seen one of a failure on the trailer suspension.
 
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stevo_pct

Active member
I'm in a similar boat as the OP and I recently put down a deposit on a Boreas XT. I don't know a lot about the two different types of suspension, but one thing that appealed to me about the Cruisemaster is that it doesn't have to be re-aligned. Apparently they were using Timbren suspension before the 2020 model (or maybe it was 2021) and they needed to have the alignment adjusted once a year or so. Not an issue with the Cruisemaster.
 

Louisd75

Adventurer
I'm in a similar boat as the OP and I recently put down a deposit on a Boreas XT. I don't know a lot about the two different types of suspension, but one thing that appealed to me about the Cruisemaster is that it doesn't have to be re-aligned. Apparently they were using Timbren suspension before the 2020 model (or maybe it was 2021) and they needed to have the alignment adjusted once a year or so. Not an issue with the Cruisemaster.
You may be a little off on your info. The Cruisemaster is definitely set up to make alignment easy; it's adjustment tabs are similar to a car and allow you to adjust toe and camber. I have Cruisemaster ATX that I'm going to be using on a trailer that I'm currently building. The manual for ATX recommends alignment after the first 1000km and then again every 10,000km.

Timbren's camber adjustment is via shims and you have to essentially unbolt the suspension to shim it. Toe is adjusted by rotating the spindle in relation to the rest of the suspension. The manual for Timbren doesn't recommend any future alignments, though I'd probably check it at least annually; I've read of several failures now where the spindles have bent and checking the alignment might let you catch this early.

FWIW, Cruisemaster has been doing independent trailer suspension for quite a bit longer than Timbren. I feel that Cruisemaster has a much more robust design. I also like that Cruisemaster has an option for airbags, though I'm sure there will be differing opinions on that feature.
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Well-known member
There are much more significant differences between those 2 trailers than just the suspension. I have an Expedition 2.0 with the Timbren suspension and it has worked really well for over 7000 miles so far. That being said, I'm sure the Cruisemaster suspension is perfectly adequate as well. I'd base the decision more on the particular features of the trailer and how you plan to use it and less on which suspension it has.

From what I've seen of the Boreas trailers I have to say that the Expedition 2.0 is much better suited for long-term use (weeks to months). If that is not your expected usage than some of the Boreas features might fit better (I'm specifically terribly jealous of those screen doors!)
 

stevo_pct

Active member
You may be a little off on your info. The Cruisemaster is definitely set up to make alignment easy; it's adjustment tabs are similar to a car and allow you to adjust toe and camber. I have Cruisemaster ATX that I'm going to be using on a trailer that I'm currently building. The manual for ATX recommends alignment after the first 1000km and then again every 10,000km.

Timbren's camber adjustment is via shims and you have to essentially unbolt the suspension to shim it. Toe is adjusted by rotating the spindle in relation to the rest of the suspension. The manual for Timbren doesn't recommend any future alignments, though I'd probably check it at least annually; I've read of several failures now where the spindles have bent and checking the alignment might let you catch this early.

FWIW, Cruisemaster has been doing independent trailer suspension for quite a bit longer than Timbren. I feel that Cruisemaster has a much more robust design. I also like that Cruisemaster has an option for airbags, though I'm sure there will be differing opinions on that feature.
Thanks for replying, yes I'm probably a little off. I'm going by what I remember when talking to the guys at Boreas. I guess the short version is that they started off using Timbren suspension and moved to Cruisemaster. I can't remember all the reasons why, but I do know that alignment was part of the reason.
 

stevo_pct

Active member
There are much more significant differences between those 2 trailers than just the suspension. I have an Expedition 2.0 with the Timbren suspension and it has worked really well for over 7000 miles so far. That being said, I'm sure the Cruisemaster suspension is perfectly adequate as well. I'd base the decision more on the particular features of the trailer and how you plan to use it and less on which suspension it has.

From what I've seen of the Boreas trailers I have to say that the Expedition 2.0 is much better suited for long-term use (weeks to months). If that is not your expected usage than some of the Boreas features might fit better (I'm specifically terribly jealous of those screen doors!)
Thanks for the info, I'm curious why you think the Expedition 2.0 is better suited to long term use. I have been looking at both trailers (same as the OP) and I'm looking for something for long term use (several months). The two trailers seemed pretty similar to me, and I went with the Boreas partially because they're located right down the street from me. At this point I'm in line for a new build and have put down a deposit that is refundable except for $500.
 

Louisd75

Adventurer
Thanks for replying, yes I'm probably a little off. I'm going by what I remember when talking to the guys at Boreas. I guess the short version is that they started off using Timbren suspension and moved to Cruisemaster. I can't remember all the reasons why, but I do know that alignment was part of the reason.
AT Overland (back when the AT stood for Adventure Trailers) initially started off without the ability to align their trailer suspension. They found that it was worth it to add the ability to adjust wheel alignment. Timbren seems to be the only independent suspension manufacturer that doesn't make it easy. I looked at the Cruisemaster CRS suspension specs. They're rated for a max of 5500lbs in a single axle configuration but they have different springs available that are rated for 3520lbs and 4400lbs which makes it possible to dial things in a little. Going off of the pictures on the Boreas website it looks like they're running the lightest springs on their trailer (33SC425). Another interesting thing (to me) is that the CRS suspension looks like it relies on the shock absorbers to limit downtravel while the ATX uses a limiting strap.

One other nice thing about Cruisemaster is the option of getting hub-centric hubs that make it possible to use hub-centric wheels without adapters, though it does seem like there's a bit of a lead time on this (still waiting on word from Sloop on the matter).

Cruisemaster also has quite a bit of information on their YouTube channel. Much of it is covered in their manuals and books, but sometimes it's nice to see a video.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Timbren is definitely simplicity, compact, lightweight.
Cruisemaster has many parts and is much bigger under the trailer.
They are both independent suspensions exploiting higher ground clearance by eliminating the axle.
I'd say don't let the suspension sway you unless the warranty, service is better with one than the other.

For 99% of your trips you will not even know which one you have. Pick which camper will better suit your needs, uses.

On the poll..... you need a third choice, solid axle and leaf springs. Hands down that is my pick.
Ground clearance is more a function of the tow vehicle pumpkin, even a solid axle has more clearance than the tow vehicle.

PS, have you looked at Hiker Trailers, you could buy two of them for one of the ones you are considering.

 
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JasonS

New member
Timbren is definitely simplicity, compact, lightweight.
Cruisemaster has many parts and is much bigger under the trailer.
They are both independent suspensions exploiting higher ground clearance by eliminating the axle.
I'd say don't let the suspension sway you unless the warranty, service is better with one than the other.

For 99% of your trips you will not even know which one you have. Pick which camper will better suit your needs, uses.

On the poll..... you need a third choice, solid axle and leaf springs. Hands down that is my pick.
Ground clearance is more a function of the tow vehicle pumpkin, even a solid axle has more clearance than the tow vehicle.

PS, have you looked at Hiker Trailers, you could buy two of them for one of the ones you are considering.

thank you. Your input is helpful.
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Well-known member
Thanks for the info, I'm curious why you think the Expedition 2.0 is better suited to long term use. I have been looking at both trailers (same as the OP) and I'm looking for something for long term use (several months). The two trailers seemed pretty similar to me, and I went with the Boreas partially because they're located right down the street from me. At this point I'm in line for a new build and have put down a deposit that is refundable except for $500.
The biggest factor is internal storage space. The Expedition has loads of it, enough to hold clothing and peripheral supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, toiletries, etc) for 2 people for long periods. My first thought when I looked at a Boreas at ExPo was "where the heck would we put all our stuff"?
 

ScottReb

Adventurer
We use the Timbren on our camper trailers and the Cruisemaster on our self-contained trailer. From a build and ride perspective, the CM is by far a more adjustable, robust, and smoother riding system. That being said, they are two very different options. The Timbren is simple with very little adjustment and very little to replace/maintain. Depending on if the manufacturer chooses the options the CM allows quick and simple adjustments for ride height and in camp height/leveling, but you need a compressor and/or tank. They both take up a fair amount of space between the main rails of a trailer, limiting the placement of tanks, etc.
We are designing a trailing arm suspension with a beam axle, airbags, and shocks. We think it will give us the best of independent and traditional beam styles.
 

alia176

Explorer
I voted for the Cruisemaster as I have something similar on my Adrenaline trailer. My utility trailer has a "rubber" suspension and there's no way in hell I'd run that on an off-roading trailer. Just my opinion.

Leaf spring suspension gets my vote for simplicity and durability. It's a tried and true design that's been around the ages. My previous Kamparoo trailer had those and I loved them very much. It's a freaking trailer for crying out loud, no need to make things any more complicated than necessary :rolleyes:
 

stevo_pct

Active member
The biggest factor is internal storage space. The Expedition has loads of it, enough to hold clothing and peripheral supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, toiletries, etc) for 2 people for long periods. My first thought when I looked at a Boreas at ExPo was "where the heck would we put all our stuff"?
I'm looking at photos of the Expedition 2.0 on the Off Grid Trailer website. It doesn't look like it has any more or less storage than the Boreas XT. Especially on the inside of the cabin. They look very similar. As far as external storage goes, the Expedition 2.0 loses a lot of storage in the front storage box because that's where the 12V cooler is located. But I guess that's made up for by additional storage in the rear of the trailer. Most of the rear storage is taken up by the galley in the Boreas XT

I think it's a moot point for me because I'll be towing with an F150 super crew, so I have plenty of storage in the back of the cab and in the bed. But for the sake of discussion, I'm not seeing much difference between the Boreas XT and the Expedition 2.0 or Pando 2.0.

That said, I've never seen the Off Grid trailer in person. Only looking at pics online...
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Well-known member
I'm looking at photos of the Expedition 2.0 on the Off Grid Trailer website. It doesn't look like it has any more or less storage than the Boreas XT. Especially on the inside of the cabin.
Perhaps the photos don't do it justice but the Expedition has *substantially* more interior storage space.
 
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