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Old 07-21-2015, 05:45 PM   #1
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Towing fifth wheel nose high

Hello all, I am new to the site and new to owning a fifth wheel. I have a question about the options to level out a nose high fifth wheel. I have a 2010 Keystone Challenger 34SAQ with 235/80/R16 under it and my tow vehicle is a stock 2014 crew cab Ram 2500 short bed diesel. I have approximately 12" from the top of my bed rails to the bottom of the fifth wheel. I am trying to reduce that to about 6" but I don't know what else to do. From the ground to the bottom of the bed is 42" and 61" to the top of the rails. I have a pullrite 2900 auto slider hitch but the auto slider does not have any adjustments to lower the hitch in the bed. I did buy the low profile feet that secure the hitch in the bed which they say lowers it 1 1/2". The trailer already had the axle swap done when I bought it. I can't move up my pin box any cause I won't be able to bolt the top hole. I went to a local rv shop and they told me they could take the axles and leaf springs off and weld square tubing to the frame to give me more height but they said to do that the price was north of $3,000. I don't know what else I can do to fix this. I looked at other pin boxes to see if that would help but I am unsure if it would. I did see lippert makes something called correct track to customize wheel alignment and it says the system will add 2" of height. I know a nose high fifth wheel is a common problem but I don't know what else I can do. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:41 PM   #2
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Do you need the slider? If not, I would consider changing hitch brands. I have a B&W Companion and one of the things I like about it is it can adjust in 1" increments from 16.25" to 18.25". I don't know if that range helps you at all, but it's worth a look. Mine tows almost dead level, which saves wear and tear on the truck, trailer and tires. Also makes it handy to stop for a quick overnight without unhooking. You might also take a look at the Anderson hitch if you don't need a slider. IIRC, it has some adjustment to it.
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:19 PM   #3
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I don't know if I really need it but it sure comes in handy when maneuvering so I don't have to keep getting out of the truck to unlock the slider. Even if I got a different hitch I still think I would still be high in the front.
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:44 PM   #4
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Seems like that would overload the rear axle/tires too if it's too high.
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:52 PM   #5
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That is true, thats why I want to fix the issue before I have anymore problems. I didn't know that the fifth wheel was supposed to be level while towing it. I bought it from a camping world and they saw me drive off the lot, knowing what I know now they should have said something to me about it being so high in the front. When I got stationed in San Diego, I moved from Georgia and drove it all the way out here like that. On the way I had two tires blow out at the same time but they were on the right side of the fifth wheel. Don't know if it had anything to do with the nose being high though. I just don't know what to do ti fix the problem without having to shell out a ton of cash.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:02 AM   #6
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Correct track is a nice upgrade, giving you the ability to align your axles. If it's in your budget I would consider it a good option. Also my reese 16k manual slider is very adjustable in 1.5 inch increments, so that may also be a good option.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjustice View Post
Hello all, I am new to the site and new to owning a fifth wheel. I have a question about the options to level out a nose high fifth wheel. I have a 2010 Keystone Challenger 34SAQ with 235/80/R16 under it and my tow vehicle is a stock 2014 crew cab Ram 2500 short bed diesel. I have approximately 12" from the top of my bed rails to the bottom of the fifth wheel. I am trying to reduce that to about 6" but I don't know what else to do. From the ground to the bottom of the bed is 42" and 61" to the top of the rails. I have a pullrite 2900 auto slider hitch but the auto slider does not have any adjustments to lower the hitch in the bed. I did buy the low profile feet that secure the hitch in the bed which they say lowers it 1 1/2". The trailer already had the axle swap done when I bought it. I can't move up my pin box any cause I won't be able to bolt the top hole. I went to a local rv shop and they told me they could take the axles and leaf springs off and weld square tubing to the frame to give me more height but they said to do that the price was north of $3,000. I don't know what else I can do to fix this. I looked at other pin boxes to see if that would help but I am unsure if it would. I did see lippert makes something called correct track to customize wheel alignment and it says the system will add 2" of height. I know a nose high fifth wheel is a common problem but I don't know what else I can do. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Can you lower the truck any?
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:04 AM   #8
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61" to the bed rails is a lot. My dually is 57". I just measured. 12" clearance to the overhang is a lot. Mine is about 6". Put the two together and you can remove 10" total.
I can only see a different hitch to drop the bed rail clearance, and/or a different pin box. These new pin boxes drop the king pin way down.
Maybe have a shop look at your truck suspension to drop the truck rear end.
I would also think that your overall RV height might exceed the magical 13' 6". You might check your RV height.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:35 PM   #9
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I have approximately 12" from the top of my bed rails to the bottom of the fifth wheel. I am trying to reduce that to about 6" but I don't know what else to do.
WOW... and I thought my 6.5" gap was a lot.
I would look into your pin box. Does it have a lot of built in drop . A pin box can be a certain length and a certain drop.

Also the hitch. Some brands hitch plate can set up higher off the bed than others.

Have you talked with the hitch maker ??
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:31 PM   #10
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From the bottom of the fifth wheel to the bottom of the pin box plate is 10.5". I looked at other pin boxes but they don't say what the drop is. My current pin box is a lippert 1621. As far as lowering my truck, I thought about that but then when I hooked up my truck would not be level as it already sits a little low in the back while im towing it. The rails that are in the bed of my truck are the universal ones that most hitches can go on. I spoke will pullrite and they said there are no adjustments for the hitch itself since its a auto slider other than the low profile mounting feet which I have already put on. I also thought about getting another hitch but the pullrite one cost me about $1200. Were my trailer sits not its 12'8" from the ground to the bedroom AC, but its not hooked up to my truck either. The RV shop I have been speaking with said I would need to bring it in so they can look at it, but right now thats not an option until I get stationed somewhere else cause it took me so long and so much trouble to get it where it sits now. The gap is so big between the rig and my truck that I can fit my entire body through the gap.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:42 PM   #11
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K, a few things:
1) I've got a 3500 DRW 4x4. It's worse with my setup. I dunno if the 4x4 increase the height, but the DRW sags a lot less than the SRW.

2) On the pin at the front of the trailer, that's height adjustable (usually). Look at the side of your pin box and see if reducing the height is possible. If you've got 12" - I suspect that's part of it.

3) Like you, I've got an auto slider. The down fall of the auto-slider seems to be very limited (if any) height adjustment.

4) There are two other options at the trailer:

a) Installing square tubing at the frame (moving the shackles, etc), think your RV shop is doing that? No way... Take it to a trailer shop. No way in heck it costs $3k. Drive it down to TX and I'll do it for less.

b) There are spring shops. Rather than essentially lower the trailer frame to move the suspension down, you can probably get a set of custom springs (or re-arched springs) that do the same thing...


Regardless, I'd get it weighed, loaded, on a CAT scale. And go through the procedure so you get individual axle weights. A nose high trailer puts pressure on the rear axle, and dismissing crappy China tires - that's where the problem should be, not on the right side.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:34 PM   #12
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Was this truck jacked up? If this truck has been jacked on the chassis there-in lies your problem.
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:23 PM   #13
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a) Installing square tubing at the frame (moving the shackles, etc), think your RV shop is doing that? No way... Take it to a trailer shop. No way in heck it costs $3k. Drive it down to TX and I'll do it for less.

This is the best route--find a competent axle/spring shop, they will install riser tubes that can correct the problem. For WAY less the $3000.

Never have heard of that much clearance between the bed rails and trailer--12" is a lot. 19" is average depth of most pickup boxes, so I am assuming the PullRite hitch plate sits above the bed rails?

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Old 07-22-2015, 09:39 PM   #14
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The truck doesn't have a lift on it, it is a 4x4 though. The ride is not that good, it sways pretty bad especially when I get above 65MPH. From the bed to the top of the rails is 20" and my hitch sits at 21" from the bottom of the bed. Here is a picture of my pin box, its a lippert 1621. I had the trailer weighed when I drove out to California from Georgia. Weight for just my truck: steer axle - 5080, drive axle - 3400, gross weight - 8480. Weight for truck and trailer: steer axle - 5360, drive axle - 6920, trailer axle - 11520, gross weight - 23580. I don't have the weights for each separate axle on the trailer. The military doesn't require that, although I wish I had the weight now.
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