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Old 12-05-2019, 12:16 AM   #1
JDT
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Height Issue

On occasion we think about our next fifth wheel but height is an issue. I know they have grown taller because the trucks have gotten taller which creates a problem for us.

When we built our rv garage 15 years ago our 13 foot high door was more than we needed for our past 2 motor homes and acceptable (barely) for our current fifth wheel. Most of the newer fifth wheels are a problem. Most of the models that might interest us are listed at well over 13 feet. The only brand we have seen that is less than 13 is the Vanleigh brands, the Vilano and the Beacon. They are listed at 12', 11", which is the same as our Excel which is a tight fit. Because of the truss height in our garage making the door opening higher is not an option. Also, parking outside is also not an option in our neighborhood.

An Arctic Fox would be high on our list but they are too tall as is the Grand Design models, Cardinals, Cedar Creek, etc. Which brings me to my point. Is there any way to lower these tall fifth wheels or would that not be good for the towing dynamics?
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:34 AM   #2
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A shop I worked at in Oregon had 14í doors and. Didnít have a issue with clearances. Trailers have gotten taller mainly because frames/floors are higher to allow hydraulic/electric leveling systems. The floor to ceiling height hasnít actually changed, in fact, (being 6í 6Ē tall) some bedrooms are too short!

Easiest and safest way to lower the trailer would be to go apring under the axle if thatís a option, and if you have the clearances.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:41 AM   #3
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It's a bummer when the parking space becomes a major selection factor. We have both an Excel and a small MH. We are considering getting a different small MH, but it must fit the same space. I think I'd just keep the Excel and fix it up some as needed.

Good luck...
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Old 12-05-2019, 04:04 AM   #4
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I used to think 13'6" was the minimum overpass height but it looks like 14' is the standard.
https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/geometri...lclearance.cfm
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JDT View Post
....Because of the truss height in our garage making the door opening higher is not an option.....?
Can you lower the garage floor?
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:43 AM   #6
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Can you lower the garage floor?
No that would not be possible.

I know this is not a boat forum but it was the only picture I could find of my shop/rv garage. When we first built 17 years we made a separate driveway and parking spot for the motor home next to my shop. We built off the shop a couple of years later to enclose it. Looks a little odd maybe but it is functional and sure keeps the rv looking good since it is out of the weather. I might be able to gain a half inch or so by removing a trim board on the top of door opening but that is it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:47 AM   #7
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Fifth wheel manufacturers have adapted to the taller trucks and have raised the heights of their overhangs. This requires an overall height of of 13 1/2 feet to provide a stand-up front bedroom. Of course there are plenty of options for the creative sort short of cutting and digging tire grooves in your concrete floor. How about a set of smaller diameter wheels and low profile tires just for storage? A hassle for sure.

If the high point on your desired trailer is the air conditioner then maybe there are some options there. Good luck.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:44 AM   #8
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On most fivers the height is ultimately the bedroom (front) AC. At almost a foot y’all it is generally the highest point on the trailer. Perhaps ordering a coach with both ACs in the mid/rear may give you more options.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:56 AM   #9
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Depending on the model you could replace the factory AC with a low profile AC.
https://www.airxcel.com/rv/coleman-m...ach-8-ac-15000
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
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Depending on the model you could replace the factory AC with a low profile AC.
https://www.airxcel.com/rv/coleman-m...ach-8-ac-15000
That is exactly what I had installed on the Excel. That combined with letting all the air out of my Hensley BD3 air hitch and I have about 3 inches of clearance under the door over the front a/c. The front a/c is probably the high point on most fifth wheels so maybe with a low profile unit and lowering my hitch I could make it. My problem is the starting height is higher so not sure it would be enough.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:58 AM   #11
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We have same issues and bought a Vilano. Fits in my barn and love the unit
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDT View Post
On occasion we think about our next fifth wheel but height is an issue. I know they have grown taller because the trucks have gotten taller which creates a problem for us.

When we built our rv garage 15 years ago our 13 foot high door was more than we needed for our past 2 motor homes and acceptable (barely) for our current fifth wheel. Most of the newer fifth wheels are a problem. Most of the models that might interest us are listed at well over 13 feet. The only brand we have seen that is less than 13 is the Vanleigh brands, the Vilano and the Beacon. They are listed at 12', 11", which is the same as our Excel which is a tight fit. Because of the truss height in our garage making the door opening higher is not an option. Also, parking outside is also not an option in our neighborhood.

An Arctic Fox would be high on our list but they are too tall as is the Grand Design models, Cardinals, Cedar Creek, etc. Which brings me to my point. Is there any way to lower these tall fifth wheels or would that not be good for the towing dynamics?
Can you lift the garage? Working on doing it for our sons.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDT View Post
On occasion we think about our next fifth wheel but height is an issue. I know they have grown taller because the trucks have gotten taller which creates a problem for us.

When we built our rv garage 15 years ago our 13 foot high door was more than we needed for our past 2 motor homes and acceptable (barely) for our current fifth wheel. Most of the newer fifth wheels are a problem. Most of the models that might interest us are listed at well over 13 feet. The only brand we have seen that is less than 13 is the Vanleigh brands, the Vilano and the Beacon. They are listed at 12', 11", which is the same as our Excel which is a tight fit. Because of the truss height in our garage making the door opening higher is not an option. Also, parking outside is also not an option in our neighborhood.

An Arctic Fox would be high on our list but they are too tall as is the Grand Design models, Cardinals, Cedar Creek, etc. Which brings me to my point. Is there any way to lower these tall fifth wheels or would that not be good for the towing dynamics?
If you are only using it for the once-a-year winter storage or for the occasional major repair you might consider a trailer up to 13'2", maybe 13'3" or so, lettting air out of the trailer tires to clear the shop door, then air up before parking it for several months. A durable, semi-permanent tag or warning should be affixed to the 5th wheel plate so you don't forget and rip the front of the garage down when pulling it out.

If you park it inside every other weekend it'd be a big hassle.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:21 PM   #14
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Arctic Fox has a low profile AC as an option. Not sure if you're buying off the lot or ordering.
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