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Thread: Raising our 5er

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    Raising our 5er

    Our 5th wheel rides about 2 inches high in the front. We checked into lowering our 2017 F350 DRW truck, but we can't do that. So, now we are considering raising our 2014 Grand Design Solitude 5th wheel trailer. Have any of you done such a thing to your 5er? What are the pros and cons, dangers, pitfalls etc.
    test

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    Have you tried lowering the 5ver hitch in the bed of the truck? How much clearance do you have right now as far as bedrail clearance? Also, some of the king pins are adjustable for height! I would certainly check into those options before I tried raising the trailer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLR650goldwing View Post
    Our 5th wheel rides about 2 inches high in the front. We checked into lowering our 2017 F350 DRW truck, but we can't do that. So, now we are considering raising our 2014 Grand Design Solitude 5th wheel trailer. Have any of you done such a thing to your 5er? What are the pros and cons, dangers, pitfalls etc.
    Are you experiencing handling issues, excessive tire wear etc? Fifth wheel trailers typically tow nose high.

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    We have 5 inches of clearance between the bed rails and the 5er. Lowering the hitch and thus the trailer wouldn't allow enough clearance between the truck and trailer. I took the truck and trailer to a specialty spring and chassis shop that has been in business for 80 years and are very well respected in this area. They said that I can't lower the truck and that only leaves raising the trailer. They can do the work and I trust them to do it well. However, I haven't talked to anyone who has done this and I'd like to hear about their experience before I just move ahead with all the unknowns.
    test

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    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLR650goldwing View Post
    We have 5 inches of clearance between the bed rails and the 5er. Lowering the hitch and thus the trailer wouldn't allow enough clearance between the truck and trailer. I took the truck and trailer to a specialty spring and chassis shop that has been in business for 80 years and are very well respected in this area. They said that I can't lower the truck and that only leaves raising the trailer. They can do the work and I trust them to do it well. However, I haven't talked to anyone who has done this and I'd like to hear about their experience before I just move ahead with all the unknowns.
    I've not done it myself, but several GD owners I know have put spacer blocks between the springs and axles to raise the trailer. Just be aware that doing so increases the lateral forces on the spring hangers and the equalizer mount. The spring hangers are the weak point - but there are ways to reinforce them. You'll also have to make adjustments for everything from the entryway steps to the levelers and landing gear.

    Rob
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    I know I provided an option in the RV.Net thread you started but I thought about another option. I don't know what size rims and tires your rig has but is there room to go with bigger tires and rims? That would raise you up some.
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    Seasoned Camper huntindog's Avatar
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    Overall height can become a bridge clearance problem on 5vers.
    I do not know anything about your unit. Generally 13'6" is considered the safe max.

    As far as raising with lift blocks, I have done it sucessfully on two TTs.
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    Seasoned Camper That 1 Ron's Avatar
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    I surprised that shop told you that they can’t lower your f350. You can most certainly lower your f350. The easiest and cheapest method is a set of lowering shackles but really there’s different springs, air suspension, and spring under conversions if you really want to go low. I lowered a bunch of trucks for customers in my past life. I’m not really into low trucks so I would probably lift your trailer depending on how high it’s already sitting. Did a bunch of that too. Most commonly, we basically built a 2” or 4” subframe underneath the trailers factory frame and welded new spring hangers onto that. I would advise against adding lift blocks under the springs due to the added stress they put on the u-bolts, springs and hangers. If the springs ride underthe axles on the trailer, you could also do a spring over conversion.
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    I was surprised that he advised against lowering the truck also. When I went to the specialty shop I fully expected that lowering the truck would be the method to be used. However, the tech at the shop did the measurements and concluded the back of the truck would need to be lowered 2" in order to level the 5er. That would cause the back of the truck to be lower than the front, which he said would adversely effect the handling of the truck. He added that when the back is lower than the front the back tends to wander from side to side. Our trailer is only 13' tall so we do have some room to raise it without causing bridge issues.
    test

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    Is there an option for smaller tires/wheels on the truck? That would keep it on the same plane that it is now, just a little lower, overall...
    Tom and Janice (known as Tom in PGH on the “other” forum)

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