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Old 09-18-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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What's the BEST way to level my rig?

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?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:27 PM   #2
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I would check with Trailer hitch, hitches and bike rack (800)298-8924 they have what others don't and the price was far better or they will meet others prices. I bought a trans oil cooler from them they matched summitracing price plus 10%
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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I'll call 'em tomorrow.

Thanks.

BTW, your link took me to eTrailer.com rather than "Trailer Hitch and Bike Rack", which I assume is the company name?

I've used eTrailer too, and like them.

Bob
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobinyelm View Post
I'll call 'em tomorrow.

Thanks.

BTW, your link took me to eTrailer.com rather than "Trailer Hitch and Bike Rack", which I assume is the company name?

I've used eTrailer too, and like them.

Bob
I put w w w. e trailer. com and it typed in the info above and I clicked on it and it seem to take me to etrailer site. I have had great success with them. when I priced spring plates to do a axle over spring on my trailer I got quotes around town of $25 a pair and paid $4 ea. and they were the correct size. I am sold on them. I have nothing to do with the company. they have some good vids on various installations
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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OK my thoughts for the best and safest way would be to remove the u plate for the shackles and weld in a long square tube the desired height increase thick walled along the entire spring area span and then replace the stock u plates shackles to this new tube. Not a small job but if I see it correctly a very safe upgrade. I sure was shaky having my 11000 lb trailer off the wheels hanging, for the axle flip, even with the 10,000 lb train jacks I have. I left the truck hitched to the 5er for added security. and let the work begin. ED
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