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Old 06-17-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
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How far from level is acceptable when towing

I have a 34foot 5th wheel rv and have a Gmc 3500 hd to tow it. Connected on flat groung the front of the trailer is 4inches Higher than the rear as measured along the bottom edge of the trailer. It seem to tow fine as I took it for a short trial run. Is 4inches out of level acceptable? It has a rocker type suspension on the trailer so I think the axels should be loaded evenly.

Thank you!!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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You want at least 6" between the top of the box and the underside of the trailer. If you have any room to drop the front end of the trailer and retain that clearance, I'd lower the hitch , just to be sure your axles are evenly loaded and to drop your wind resistance. High in the nose your 5er is scooping more air than it should.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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I continue to fiddle with mine until I'm off less than half a bubble on a 4-foot carpenter's level on the floor of the trailer. 4" sounds like it would be less level than that.

Both the hitch and the pin box are adjustable up and down. If you cannot get the floor of the trailer reasonably level by adjusting the hitch and/or pin box, and still have at least 6 inches of clearance between the bed of the truck and the bottom of the trailer overhang, then you need to either raise the trailer or lower the truck. Lowering the truck is less practical, so look into raising the trailer by so-called "flipping the axles" or perhaps just replacing the spring shackles with longer ones, or both.

Flipping the axles does not literally mean turning over the axle. It involves moving the spring perches from under the axle to over the axle. Any decent welding shop or blacksmith shop can do that. And many of the bigger RV shops can do it too.That should raise the trailer by about 4". If that's not enough, then fabricate new spring shackles to raise the trailer another inch or so. But understand that when you lengthen the shackles, you must also make them out of stronger steel that can take the increased leverage.

If your trailer has Dexter TorFlex axles instead of leaf springs, then you cannot flip the axles. But Dexter makes three or four kits that will raise the trailer a few inches. Here's the kit that will raise a TorFlex axle 3":
Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - #12 Torflex Lift Kit (K71-725-02)
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #4
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One more option Smokey didn't mention (there are actually a number of options, but this one doesn't cost anything) - many 5th wheels have a number of adjustment holes where the spring hangers and equalizers attach to the frame. If you're currently in the top (highest) hole, you could drop down to the middle or lowest hole to raise the 5th wheel.

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Old 06-18-2013, 10:54 AM   #5
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You have lots of answers already about what to do.
The general rule is the flatter the better, if you can zero out the rig to tow flat on the flat ground that's ideal. Can you tow with 4" inches high, sure you can, but remember your axles are not working in unison and more of the weight is on the rear axle and you are badly scuffing the front tires every time you go around the corner.

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl12 View Post
I have a 34foot 5th wheel rv and have a Gmc 3500 hd to tow it. Connected on flat groung the front of the trailer is 4inches Higher than the rear as measured along the bottom edge of the trailer. It seem to tow fine as I took it for a short trial run. Is 4inches out of level acceptable? It has a rocker type suspension on the trailer so I think the axels should be loaded evenly.

Thank you!!
Define acceptable. If you have to unhook and drop the nose to get a good night's sleep, and quick overnights are something you plan on doing a lot of, you're probably too high.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Most roads I drive on are not level so it gets level enough to keep the fridge cool ... And that's all I care about.

But, mine is not way off level to start :-)
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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I'm a newbe to the site. I have a question has anyone used the dexter flip kit.thanks in advance
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:27 AM   #9
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I'm a newbe to the site. I have a question has anyone used the dexter flip kit.
Do you mean the Dexter TorFlex lift kit in post #3 above, or something different from Dexter?
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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Thanks for your reply. What I'm talking about is the Dexter Flip kit #K71-385-00 Bolt on kit. Also has anyone used their EZ Flex shock absorbing rockers. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:25 PM   #11
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It is almost impossible to get the 5W exactly level if anything I prefer to have the front of the 5W slightly low, that way when pulling in for a o’nighter with out unhooking, when I lower the front landing gear to help stabilize the outfit it will probably be level.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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One of the major problems with being out of level is the refrigerator. Put it on LP and go for a long ride (all day) and see if it stays cold. If it does and you have the clearance between the truck and trailer you have to worry about the next item AND that is, is there a weight difference between the front and rear trailer axle. So it is quite a decision process. As stated above use one of the methods to get the trailer level and you don't have to worry about these things.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:37 PM   #13
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One of the major problems with being out of level is the refrigerator. Put it on LP and go for a long ride (all day) and see if it stays cold. If it does and you have the clearance between the truck and trailer you have to worry about the next item AND that is, is there a weight difference between the front and rear trailer axle. So it is quite a decision process. As stated above use one of the methods to get the trailer level and you don't have to worry about these things.
You will never be level while traveling. The road always has a side to side pitch and no road has no hills. Even flat states have overpasses. One would hope it's build in the fridge.

But I do travel with front a bit down and levelled when load of the hitch. On a 39ft 5th wheel its not much.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:22 PM   #14
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I'm faced with the same issue. The rear tires on the trailer are squatting down lower than the front due to the nose high stance. The hitch weight of my 5th wheel is only slightly over 1000 lbs., and Silverado 2500 doesn't settle down much when I hitch up the trailer. I only have about 6" between the bed and the camper, so I don't want to lower the hitch or the pin box. The trailer's axles are already under the leaf springs, so repositioning them won't help. Has anyone used air lift helper bags on a trailer to lift it? One good thing about them is they could be lowered at the campsite to avoid the added height to the steps.
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