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Old 07-04-2016, 09:06 AM   #1
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Bed Clearance Question

We took our new 5th wheel on our first trip a couple weeks ago. Bought the camper first, had it delivered to the campground where we stay then bought the truck a couple months later. It looked to be level when hooked up but we have only 5 inches of clearance over the bed rails and tailgate. The hitch is in the middle position so I could raise it up 2 more inches. Would it be better to have 7 inches of clearance even if it ends up a little nose high? Would raising the nose 2 inches even be noticeable? I've read that I should have 6 inches minimum clearance...
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:21 AM   #2
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Actually need 7" clearance. Camper needs to be as level as possible. Anything less your camper will hit bed side sooner or later. Can you adjust your pin box? You have likely 3 sets of adjustment holes.
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:57 AM   #3
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I would definitely raise the hitch to 7". I had mine at 5 and caught the corner of the truck on the under side of the trailer pulling out of a gas station onto the road . Check the level of the trailer once you do that. If you are nose high you will put more weight on the rear axle. You can buy blocks and longer u bolts to raise the trailer up so you are level. If this is required make sure in both cases you measure from the highest point on the roof to the ground so you know the height of your rig
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:12 AM   #4
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Look under the trailer to see if there is any adjustment available. A friend has a Jayco Eagle and the spring shackles have holes. In his case it was just a matter of moving the spring pins to raise the trailer. YMMV.
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:16 PM   #5
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Nice coach by the way!
There really isn't an simple cookie cutter answer to your question. You'll have to make the determination based on your observations and measurements, possibly experimentation. Sure you'd like max. clearance everywhere, but with these modern trucks sitting so tall there are often challenges and compromises. Your intended use and habits may come into play also.
As noted above, other considerations are your overall height. Then there is the loading of your tandem axles and tires. Nose high could be detrimental.
I didn't notice at the VanLeighRV site definitive details of the frame, axles, & tires used on "your" coach. Research those.
Looks like you're bumping 13', if your sporting the listed 16"/ E tires?? EquaFlex all merit consideration too. Those tires wouldn't thrill me.
Raising your Curt to the top setting would seem like the first option. I didn't see their adjustment specs. Doubting it would even be a full 2", but usually closer to 1.5".
Try it, seems like a safe bet, use due diligence.


Happy motoring.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:42 AM   #6
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Thanks all. Guess I'll try raising the hitch and remeasure. I need to take it down to the scales and see where we're at fully loaded too. Planning a trip to Gatlinburg in August so need to get on it soon. Will let you know how it turns out.
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:57 AM   #7
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Bob:

We have the same FW and the same hitch. Mine was installed at the middle setting also, and I've got 6.5 inches of clearance. I thought I read in the Curt manual that they suggested a minimum of 5 inches, but I could be wrong. So far so good with ours at 6.5 and I like the fact that this hitch doesn't chuck like my previous hitch in another truck.

Hope you like your Vilano as much as we do. The Van Leigh folks are great to deal with on any issues.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
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Before I put the hauler bed on my dually I had 5" and acceptable high. Camper made contact with tail gate coming in to a fuel station. No real damage fortunately. Hauler bed fixed that. Glad I have my current setup.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanny1763 View Post
Bob:

We have the same FW and the same hitch. Mine was installed at the middle setting also, and I've got 6.5 inches of clearance. I thought I read in the Curt manual that they suggested a minimum of 5 inches, but I could be wrong. So far so good with ours at 6.5 and I like the fact that this hitch doesn't chuck like my previous hitch in another truck.

Hope you like your Vilano as much as we do. The Van Leigh folks are great to deal with on any issues.
They do say 5" but I keep reading that 6 or more is needed. This is our first 5er so I'm thinking better safe than sorry.

Re: Vanleigh customer service-On our first trip we took the 3 youngest grand girls with us. Long story short one of the dining chairs ended the trip with a cracked leg. I called Vanleigh to see if I could buy a replacement and was told "that chair shouldn't have broken no matter how many grand children you have". Said he would ship us a new one at no cost and he did. Told me to "keep taking the kids camping and if they break another chair just let me know and I'll send you another one!"

That's the kind of company you want to do business with!
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:17 PM   #10
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I just pray that Thor doesn't buy them out too!
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:51 PM   #11
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Tiffen owns them
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:36 PM   #12
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Here is my experience when I set up our unit Feb 2014. We now have about 25K miles on the unit. Pulls great with very little or no wind sway when meeting a semi on single lane highway. The highest point on the 5er is 13'3.5"...caution point.

"Got my Pullrite hitch installed today. Set the FW on it and got another inch clearance on the weight. The estimated clearance with the FW level is approx 5 inches. Still looking for at least 6". Could have the front end up an inch which would work. I've decided to go with a two inch subframe. Here's why. Didn't know what to do with $1600..kidding. I talked to rep at Airborne. He stated should be running at least 7 inches. Think he is covering his ***. His approach is for a 5 degree lest you need 7.3" on a 48" span. He stated no issues running your rig up 2 to 3 inches in the front. Suspension will cover that variance. Other reason, I'm a bit risk adverse and would like the added clearance. Also I get a level FW. Interesting as the 2012 RAM is 2 inches lower than the 13 and 14 RAMs, according to RAM specs. Would have been perfect. Getting the sub frame installed Monday and hopefully in our back yard late afternoon. I'll get pictures out as soon as the snow is gone and warms up. The shop I'm having the work done wasn't fussy about the Correct Trac as there preference was to weld to the frame. Did not get into a debate with them as three installers seem to agree best approach was a subframe but could adjust to get 5" level."
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:04 PM   #13
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Optimal is 5-7". At 5" you have to be careful on dips, or when the TV, for example, tilts one way and the FW the other way. Towing a bit nose-high is not the end of the world but it's always best to be as level as possible.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:33 AM   #14
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On my rig I have right at 6" clearance and there is an area pulling from our alley the angle is crazy and the bed gets uncomfortably close, but with a little caution I haven't had any trouble. I really don't wanna raise the hitch it rides pretty level and my overall clearance is 13' 4"
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