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Cantork 08-23-2016 09:42 PM

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.

Tanman 08-24-2016 01:03 AM

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..

Cantork 08-24-2016 01:15 AM

Awesome! Thank you very much!

hddecker 08-24-2016 01:43 AM

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.

Cantork 08-24-2016 01:51 AM

I am not sure about the axles. I will have to check. Is an axle flip a very involved process?

hddecker 08-24-2016 02:35 AM

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

Cantork 08-24-2016 02:40 AM

Looks pretty straight forward. I assume you have to purchase two kits for tandem axles?

hddecker 08-24-2016 02:58 AM

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.

Cantork 08-24-2016 03:15 AM

hddecker - lowering the truck is a consideration. I appreciate all your input and information. I'll let you know how it turns out.

DesertRat 08-24-2016 10:09 PM

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. ;)

Cantork 08-24-2016 10:29 PM

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.

Cantork 08-25-2016 01:54 AM

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.

dougs2 08-25-2016 04:35 AM

I put the Lippert "Correct Track" system on my suspension, raises the camper 2". Enables you to align the axles also.

Cantork 08-25-2016 01:16 PM

dougs2, what does that system cost?

dougs2 08-25-2016 01:26 PM

Check Amazon but I think I paid $250, installed it myself, takes a little time mostly drilling holes but works well.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Cantork 08-25-2016 01:36 PM

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.

dougs2 08-25-2016 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cantork (Post 44263)
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.

Cantork 08-25-2016 01:50 PM

Will do. Thanks.

hddecker 08-25-2016 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DesertRat (Post 44243)
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 (Post 44264)
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.

Cantork 08-25-2016 07:30 PM

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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