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Old 08-23-2016, 08:42 PM   #1
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Minimum Clearance

Does anyone know if there is a minimum recommended/required separation distance between the bottom of the front cabin and the sides of your towing vehicle? I just purchased a new tow vehicle (2016 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4) to pull my 2008 Dutchmen Four Winds 28' 5th wheel RV. To say there is a significant angle to the RV when hooked up is an understatement. I can lower the head of my 5th wheel hitch to alleviate some of this angle, but I wanted to check and see if there is a separation distance I need to abide by. Other than the obvious, not wanting the RV to rest on any part of the truck other than the 5th wheel hitch. also, does anyone know of a safe and reputable manufacturer of 5th wheel suspension lift kits? I may need to go that route as well to bring my rig to a better towing angle. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:03 AM   #2
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I had the same problem with the front of my unit at an upward angle. I moved the pin box to the highest point which helped somewhat. I then have a pullrite slider and ordered lower attaching plates where the hitch attaches to the rails. That helped also.. every little bit helps.. Then I ordered larger tires.. Again it raised the unit a small but significant amount. The TV squats a small amount which helps..
I too was worried about the clearance of the bed sides of the truck and the bottom of the 5th wheel... Now i find out all you really need is about 2 inches. I think i have about 3 maybe 4 inches,but its plenty.. My only other option was to get rid of the trail air pin box and install something not as high. You might try some of the above and if all fails you may have to find a pin box not as high as the one you are currently using..
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:15 AM   #3
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Awesome! Thank you very much!
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:43 AM   #4
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Cantork,

Are the axles sitting above or below the springs? If they are above tthe springs, you do an "axle flip", that would gain you a bunch.

I wouldn't start messing around with the suspension, other than an axle flip, or maybe a small spacer between the axle and the spring. The RV industry use the bare minimum to fit the numbers and the suspension is no different.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:51 AM   #5
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I am not sure about the axles. I will have to check. Is an axle flip a very involved process?
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:35 AM   #6
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It's doable in a driveway, if you have the tools and equipment to raise the camper.

Try here, for the parts used and videos.

https://www.etrailer.com/comparison....pc2=K71-385-00
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:40 AM   #7
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Looks pretty straight forward. I assume you have to purchase two kits for tandem axles?
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:58 AM   #8
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I do belive that is correct. Give them a call, they have something else to offer you.

The fleet manager at work had the same problem with a new F350, back in the late nineties. Ford lowered the truck for him no charge.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:15 AM   #9
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hddecker - lowering the truck is a consideration. I appreciate all your input and information. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:09 PM   #10
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My guess is your axles are above the springs & your 5th wheel has 14 or 15" tires. My son & I got the parts from etrailer and did the flip. His is a 30' Wilderness sits nice & level now behind his 2002 F-250 4x4. I like about 6" of bed clearance between my 5th wheel & truck bed.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:29 PM   #11
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DesertRat, I think I'll do the axle swap first and see how it sits with the 5th wheel hitch head at its current height. Then decide if I want to lower the hitch head or not. I like the idea of having as much clearance as possible. Barring that, I can lower the hitch head in three increments to get the rig level if needed. From the videos I've looked at on you tube for doing an axle swap, I've seen from 5" to 6 1/2" height gain just from the swap. That might be enough.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:54 AM   #12
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Well, that bites! An axle flip has already been done. Now, I can only lower the hitch head and consider lowering the truck. Maybe look into some kind of "spacer" system for the axles.
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:35 AM   #13
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I put the Lippert "Correct Track" system on my suspension, raises the camper 2". Enables you to align the axles also.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:16 PM   #14
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dougs2, what does that system cost?
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:26 PM   #15
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Check Amazon but I think I paid $250, installed it myself, takes a little time mostly drilling holes but works well.

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Old 08-25-2016, 12:36 PM   #16
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Thanks "dougs2". I'll check into it. I'll try just about anything right now. Except, I'm really not too crazy about the idea of having my truck lowered.
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2008 Dutchmen Four Winds 5th Wheel
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4X4 6.4L Hemi
Great Dane #1 Harley, Great Dane #2 Trouble
(They love camping as much, if not more than we do)
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantork View Post
Thanks "dougs2". I'll check into it. I'll try just about anything right now. Except, I'm really not too crazy about the idea of having my truck lowered.
Don't blame you there!

I also installed the Moryde wet bolt shackle and bushing kit, look into that also if you go this route, makes a nice addition, it replaces those cheap plastic bushings.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:50 PM   #18
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Will do. Thanks.
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2016 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4X4 6.4L Hemi
Great Dane #1 Harley, Great Dane #2 Trouble
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRat View Post
My guess is your axles are above the springs & your 5th wheel has 14 or 15" tires. My son & I got the parts from etrailer and did the flip. His is a 30' Wilderness sits nice & level now behind his 2002 F-250 4x4. I like about 6" of bed clearance between my 5th wheel & truck bed.
If you have 15" tires, going to a 235-85-16 LRG will get you close to an inch, as long as your wheel wells can accommodate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougs2 View Post
Don't blame you there!

I also installed the Moryde wet bolt shackle and bushing kit, look into that also if you go this route, makes a nice addition, it replaces those cheap plastic bushings.
Your are probally over due for bushings, I used the Dexter version (same thing just different logo). The shackles in these kits are about 2 1/2 times the thickness of the OEM shackle.

I would check my local axle shop, they may be able to give you some other options.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:30 PM   #20
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Thanks hddecker, I'm sure they are due for replacement. I was planning on taking my rig to a local RV dealer who is a dealer for the suspension system listed earlier in this thread (sorry, can't remember to name of it off the top of my head) and see what they might recommend I do, and to check on the safety of installing 3" spacer blocks on the axles of my RV.
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2008 Dutchmen Four Winds 5th Wheel
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4X4 6.4L Hemi
Great Dane #1 Harley, Great Dane #2 Trouble
(They love camping as much, if not more than we do)
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