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Old 07-30-2012, 11:55 PM   #1
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5er towing, how level does trailer need to be?

I Have a 37ft KZ 5 th wheel with a 5 th airborne sidewinder. I have made two trips so far 100+ miles each trip and everything worked great but because of the 5th airborne sidewinder the trailer is not level when hooked up to the truck (Chev 4x4 250). I have lowered the Reese hitch in the truck as low as it will go but trailer is still going up hill by about 6" from front of trailer to the back.

I checked the tires and wheel bearing a couple times during me trips and both front and rear tires were same temperature (twin axle).

Any advise would be appreciated.

Ed
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:02 AM   #2
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I tow'd my 33' 5er for 12 years with it nose high. Never measured it, but I adjusted it best I could. Never had a problem. When I got to the dunes, I dug a ~4" hole in front of my rear truck tires and planted them there to get her close to level. I never unhooked and my 4x4 2500 Ram diesel never got stuck. The next time you're on the highway, look at other 5ers. Very few are level.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:04 AM   #3
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Need to weigh the trailer as loaded for a trip (each axle separately and each wheel would be better) and see if an axle or tires are overloaded. The 6" might be enough to do it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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Everey towing authority I've read for the last 50 years says if the floor of the trailer is not level, front to rear, then your hitch is not adjusted properly for highway towing. If you adjust the hitch for a level floor of the trailer and that causes not enough clearance between the top of the bed and the bottom of the trailer overhang, then your truck and trailer are mis-matched. You need to either raise the trailer or lower the truck, or choose a different trailer to match the truck, or a different truck to match the trailer.

Yes a lot of 5ers are towed front end high. And a lot of RVers are overloaded over the weight ratings of their tow vehicle. And a lot of folks exceed the speed limit by more than 10%. But just because a lot of folks are breaking the rules doesn't make it all right to break the rules.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:18 AM   #5
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You have one of 2 things, raise the trailer or drop the rear of the truck.
I had to drop the rear of my F250 enough so the rear of the box did not rub in uneven roads for my previous trailer. Towing nose high makes the rear of the box closer, and GM do have an awfull deep box causing 5th wheel towing a problem.
Most SRW tons have to much rear height also, making nose high common, unless rear allowed to squat down.
And fuel mileage must suffer badly, as the underbody acts like airplan wings
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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You need to be as level as possible. Towing nose high will put a bit more load on the rear axle and nose low will put a bit more load on the front axle. While not much, it may be just enough to push an axle or tires over the load limit.

You may need to get a shop to fabricate a subframe to raise the trailer a couple of inches. Some trailers have a Jake-plate that can be use to raise the trailer.

If by chance the truck has been lifter or running over-sized tires, go back to a stock tire and suspension.


Ken
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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another option to look at is the kingpin box. can you adjust the sidewinder box? i put a trailair on my 5er and the mounting bracket has a series of holes to make 1" adjustments. after adjusting the 5th wheel hitch as much as I could, i had to raise the pin box in the bracket to finally get it level. remember on the pin box, moveing it 1 hole, lowers the front of the 5er. also remember to maintain a minimum 6" between bedrail and 5er.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:42 AM   #8
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Level it

I would think level works best even weight for the tires,fridge works best,and that is what the rig is about air flow also plays a part as in fuel useage...a little time to adjust a hitch or pin box makes for the right or wrong ...Have a great day ...Bushman
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Thanks to everyone who responded.
I have made all the adjustments possible on the 5th wheel and the sidewinder.
I even called Reese to see if the make a lower profile hitch, no luck.
So my only option is to raise the axles up, which I was trying to avoid because I haul antiques in the garage and I did not want the ramp to get steeper.
Just means a have to push harder to get things up the ramp.
Thanks again for all the advice.
Ed
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensduck
Thanks to everyone who responded.
I have made all the adjustments possible on the 5th wheel and the sidewinder.
I even called Reese to see if the make a lower profile hitch, no luck.
So my only option is to raise the axles up, which I was trying to avoid because I haul antiques in the garage and I did not want the ramp to get steeper.
Just means a have to push harder to get things up the ramp.
Thanks again for all the advice.
Ed
The lowest profile hitch that I found (and bought) was the hijacker 21k flat deck fifth wheel hitch. It is 9" from base to top of plate. I'd show pics but I'm still waiting for it to come in.
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