I recently bought at 25RL Wildcat 5th Wheel (6700 pounds dry weight) to be towed by my Dodge 2WD Ram 3500 Cummins Quad-Cab Dually using a 5th-to-gooseneck adapter.
My truck sits tail-high (by design) and cannot really be lowered (since the truck suspension WILL bottom on bumps with my Lance truck camper in the bed as it is unless I use my Firestone air bags as it is). The truck sits, even with the 5th attached, tilted nose-low/tail-high noticeably. The 5er only drops the truck bed about 1" as it is lowered, so that's no help.
That means to get a 6" pick-up-bed-rails-to-coach distance (under the bedroom)at the closest point (above the P/U tail lights) I have to run with the front of the 5th 2" higher than at the back of the 5th. Not what I want to do.
I could apparently do TWO things to correct this.
1)Raise the truck's front suspension
2 Raise the 5th's coach on its suspension
I don't want to mess with the truck's suspension geometry, so I am left only with the #2 solution.
This has been discussed before on various RV Forums and they're a couple of ways of handling this, but I am looking for the "latest" experience of the group as to the best low-cost DIY way of doing it.
It would seem I could:
1) Extend the frame "U-Bracket" mountings for the spring eyes (see YELLOW arrows in the photo below) by welding extended ears to the existing U-Brackets This would require only some 1/4" thick steel strapping (to double and extend them) and my arc welder (just $10 or less) and would permit reverting back to normal ride height by only moving the spring eyes to their old holes.
2)Insert spacers of rectangular steel tubing between the axle brackets (pads) welded to my axles and the leaf springs themselves at the RED arrows. This would mean making "blocks" 1 3/4" wide by as high as I wish to lift my trailer. I was thinking a 3" lift would be a good compromise, meaning FOUR 1 3/4" X 3" blocks 4" long, which is the length of the current brackets welded to my axles. I would also need EIGHT new axle-to-spring U-Bolts that were 3" longer to compensate, if I could find these commercially, maybe at a spring shop (?).
I know such spacers increase spring stress somewhat, but given the weight of the trailer, and the modest lift I am looking at, I wonder if it WOULD be harmful?
I have not yet detached an axle from a leaf spring to check, but it would seem that there is probably a round hole on the top of the spring pad that mates with a corresponding bolt in the leaf springs to locate the axle fore-and-aft and so the axles cannot move on the springs. If so, this would necessitate drilling a mating hole in the bottom of each spacer, and welding pieces of steel rod through the tops of the spacers to engage the holes in the springs.
Click: IMAGE LINK
if the image doesn't appear.
ANY SUGGESTIONS OR PERSONAL PREFERENCES WOULD BE MOST WELCOME!!
Note: All of the leaf spring lifting blocks I've seen are for 2+" wide springs- are any made for narrower 1 3/4" in wide trailer springs?