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Old 03-24-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Tail drag clearance on sloped driveway

I'm looking at going from a 5th wheel to a Class A MH and I'm concerned about the tail dragging at the end of my driveway. I have about a 6 to 10 degree slope before I reach the road. Then the road rises some as I come out at the base of the driveway. My question is, can I raise the tail of the couch with the air bags to keep the tail from dragging? Would a Tag Axle help?
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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How wide is the driveway? Wide enough that you can take it at and angle?
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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Most air bags don't usually have the ability to raise ground clearance, only to 'dump' air to lower. A tag axle won't give much help on your described driveway either. Approaching at an angle can sometimes help, otherwise, I'd get big casters welded on the bottom of the frame ends, modify the driveway, or park it somewhere else. Look for an RV with minimum overhang.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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I do come out of the drive at about a 45 degree angle to the road, so maybe that's good enough. I need to find a dealer that will let me do a driveway test drive.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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I do come out of the drive at about a 45 degree angle to the road, so maybe that's good enough. I need to find a dealer that will let me do a driveway test drive.
Have a couple 8' 2X6 boards standing by. Measure your clearance when on the boards at your favorite attack angle to the street. And the deepest dip. That will tell you if you have enough clearance without the boards. Might have some friends standing by to assist with traffic if necessary.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomk52 View Post
I'm looking at going from a 5th wheel to a Class A MH and I'm concerned about the tail dragging at the end of my driveway. I have about a 6 to 10 degree slope before I reach the road. Then the road rises some as I come out at the base of the driveway. My question is, can I raise the tail of the couch with the air bags to keep the tail from dragging? Would a Tag Axle help?
The short answer is no. You can't raise the tail and most Class A coaches have problems with steep departure angles. Make sure you consider any towing equipment you might put on the coach as that will be the first thing to contact the ground (and the most vulnerable to damage).

The only solution I've seen that works is to bridge the gap with inverted V ramps. I once had a neighbor that used this method. He made his out of aluminum so they were manageable from a weight perspective but still required a lot of storage space.

Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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Really depends on the chassis. Our Spartan K3 has a Hadley air suspension system, and I can raise the whole coach above normal ride height. Never had a reason too, so I've never measured exactly how far it will go.

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Old 03-24-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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Have a couple 8' 2X6 boards standing by. Measure your clearance when on the boards at your favorite attack angle to the street. And the deepest dip. That will tell you if you have enough clearance without the boards. Might have some friends standing by to assist with traffic if necessary.

OK, I have a 12" drop over a 10' span, so I would need at least 12" of clearance at the rear of the couch. Are most couches over 12" high on level ground? Is the rear overhang in the 8' to 10' range on a 40' couch?
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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I have a similar problem leaving my subdivision. I should have a 6" drop on my hitch. But if I use a 6" I gouge the road and the city does not like that. My solution, not the best, is a 4" drop with a steel roller on the bottom of the drop hitch. I still sometimes touch the pavement but I don't gouge it.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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tomk52....I had a Class "A" gasser that would not clear my steep angle to my side yard. I added air bags to the rear and was able to raise it high enough to clear the driveway. If you're looking at a diesel, there are very few that you can force to lift.

A simpler fix is just to make some boards that fit down in your dip. A couple fo 2" x 8" stacked and placed side by side for a 2'-3' distance would probably give you what you need to clear if there is an issue.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:54 PM   #11
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You may be forced to back in and back out.

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Old 03-24-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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How long is the span? You have about 12 feet from the rear wheels to the tail of the MH. Once the wheels start up the incline the tail follows. So if the distance is 12 feet or more it should clear, albeit slightly at the 12' mark but then progressively better.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomk52 View Post
I'm looking at going from a 5th wheel to a Class A MH and I'm concerned about the tail dragging at the end of my driveway. I have about a 6 to 10 degree slope before I reach the road. Then the road rises some as I come out at the base of the driveway. My question is, can I raise the tail of the couch with the air bags to keep the tail from dragging? Would a Tag Axle help?
All I can tell you is...good luck. I have the same problem, got the 5th wheel in okay, but the MH just will not go. I've tried everything, lots and lots of big boards, supplemented by smaller boards, wrapping the boards with heavy straps, angles, everything...it just won't go. One of the problems is if you go in at a 45 degree angle, once the rear wheels are over the boards, assuming they'll go over the boards, the boards will have to be repositioned for the front wheels. The reason is that once the rear wheels are past the boards, you have to start turning the front wheels so the back end won't go too far on it's 45 degree angle that it goes off the side of the driveway. Same problem coming down. The one time I got it in the driveway, I hit the generator (in the front) trying to come out.

I finally gave up and, when we load, just make multiple trips to where we keep it stored.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:41 AM   #14
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I had a 94 34' winnegego and it had a short chassis and a long overhang. The previous owner mounted Caster Wheels on the back of the frame and it never scraped just coasted a few times. Worked good and is a cheap fix.
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