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-   -   Advice on tow vehicle for Excel 36' (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f116/advice-on-tow-vehicle-for-excel-36-a-217698.html)

gschooley 09-08-2014 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockintom (Post 2219863)
Just for grins, I went out and measured my 14 Chev CC 4WD CC LB with a Fold-A-Cover bedcover. Just a smiggin' under 58" I have a tight 6" of bedrail to coach clearance and the rig is just slightly high in the front.
I have to be careful when entering and exiting with a sharp turn, but not something I can't live with. Coach suspension is set on the lowest hole (coach as high as possible). I'd like better numbers but did the best set up I could without spending a bunch of $ to make it better. Just FYI. I have noticed a friend that his 2012 Ford 350 (all the same stuff as mine)is about an couple of inches lower than mine when they sit side by side. rockin'

So, add a 1.25" to your hard to live with-but sort of works-but have to be too careful and a sort of problem...becomes a much bigger problem!

There must be some half way reasonable solution out there. How can Dodge make a main stream 5th wheel hauling machine that is out of spec to the real world pullers and needs and 5th wheel manufactures? If it keeps going this way we are going to be able to walk under the belly of a 5th wheel :-(

excel2014 09-08-2014 04:23 PM

I think that dodge and GM use progressive springs which is why the trucks look like they are running downhill. This gives them a softer ride initially but the more weight that is added to the box, the more they sit down. this helps with the increased capacity they are all claiming. not to long ago, same trucks were at 22-24k ratings. now your at close to 30k. same frame,tranny, rear end....Go figure

rockintom 09-08-2014 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excel2014 (Post 2220128)
I think that dodge and GM use progressive springs which is why the trucks look like they are running downhill. This gives them a softer ride initially but the more weight that is added to the box, the more they sit down. this helps with the increased capacity they are all claiming. not to long ago, same trucks were at 22-24k ratings. now your at close to 30k. same frame,tranny, rear end....Go figure

2014,

Increase of capacity have been enhanced in many areas from just a few short years ago, cooling systems, frames, suspension, brakes, torque and HP. I could on. rockin'

gschooley 09-08-2014 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excel2014 (Post 2220128)
I think that dodge and GM use progressive springs which is why the trucks look like they are running downhill. This gives them a softer ride initially but the more weight that is added to the box, the more they sit down. this helps with the increased capacity they are all claiming. not to long ago, same trucks were at 22-24k ratings. now your at close to 30k. same frame,tranny, rear end....Go figure

So, a possible hypothesis is when you put the weight on the hitch it might settle more than a Ford, thus giving you some possible and workable rail clearance. That would be nice to know but I'm not spending that kind of cash on my guess :-) At least not till I find someone who has worked through this with a solution.

You are correct, in my mind, about the progression on the springs, on the 3500. The ride, unloaded on rough roads, the RAM hands down road much smoother than the F-350.

JDT 09-08-2014 07:18 PM

You have never said whether or not you are considering a new or used Excel. If new, I think you will find PI has done a pretty good job matching the height of their fifth wheels to the newer trucks. It may take a little adjusting of the king pin and hitch but I just can't see where there would be a problem.

Probably said this before but I have a set of Air Lift 5k bags on my rear axle. I had them on my 2012 and took them off before I sold it. Since I had nothing else to do with them I put them on my new truck. When they are set at the lowest setting of 5 psi the trailer and truck are about as level as can be. When I set them at 25 psi, which seems to be the best setting, it brings it up just slightly but not enough to be an issue.

PJL 09-08-2014 08:44 PM

I tow a 2014 Excel 37SDF with a 2014 Ram 3500 crew cab dually. I have over 6" clearance and the trailer tows level. I do not have Ram's factory air bags, as they were unavailable when my 2014 was ordered so I do have a very slight sag when my trailer is connected (pin weight of ~3700 lbs). My hitch is a Hensley TrailerSaver, which comes with different spacer heights (which can increase or decrease the hitch height when mounted in the truck bed). If I recall, I have 2" spacers. Excel mounts their axles/suspension in one of 3 positions on the frame (top, middle or bottom hole on the frame) which can adjust the trailer height. Standard position is the middle hole. It is apparently pretty easy for the dealer to change the position to the bottom hole if your trailer needs to be raised a little. My Demco Glide Ride pin height can also be easily adjusted to get the trailer level and provide necessary bed rail clearance. If I had to do it over again, I would probably order the Excel with the suspension mounted on the bottom hole ( highest height) and have used a 3" spacer on my hitch instead of a 2" spacer. Only downside to that configuration would be that a 3" spacer would lift the top of the hitch just a tad above the bed rails preventing me from later adding a retractable bed cover, such as Retrax (which I decided not to do, but you may want to).

BTW, if you order a Ram 3500, I would definitely investigate the factory air bags. My understanding is that this will significantly improve your ride when you disconnect the Excel. My 3500 is a fairly rough ride without the pin weight on the rear.

gschooley 09-09-2014 06:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PJL (Post 2220519)
I tow a 2014 Excel 37SDF with a 2014 Ram 3500 crew cab dually. I have over 6" clearance and the trailer tows level. I do not have Ram's factory air bags, as they were unavailable when my 2014 was ordered so I do have a very slight sag when my trailer is connected (pin weight of ~3700 lbs). My hitch is a Hensley TrailerSaver, which comes with different spacer heights (which can increase or decrease the hitch height when mounted in the truck bed). If I recall, I have 2" spacers. Excel mounts their axles/suspension in one of 3 positions on the frame (top, middle or bottom hole on the frame) which can adjust the trailer height. Standard position is the middle hole. It is apparently pretty easy for the dealer to change the position to the bottom hole if your trailer needs to be raised a little. My Demco Glide Ride pin height can also be easily adjusted to get the trailer level and provide necessary bed rail clearance. If I had to do it over again, I would probably order the Excel with the suspension mounted on the bottom hole ( highest height) and have used a 3" spacer on my hitch instead of a 2" spacer. Only downside to that configuration would be that a 3" spacer would lift the top of the hitch just a tad above the bed rails preventing me from later adding a retractable bed cover, such as Retrax (which I decided not to do, but you may want to).

BTW, if you order a Ram 3500, I would definitely investigate the factory air bags. My understanding is that this will significantly improve your ride when you disconnect the Excel. My 3500 is a fairly rough ride without the pin weight on the rear.

Great feedback, thank you! QUESTION: is your 3500 a 4WD? 4WD will be my configuration and probably sits a little higher.

I agree on the factory airbag option (first available in 2014) but Dodge recalled the first few that were released and still have a hold on them in the current 2104 lineup. I just specced out the 2015 with my dealer last week and there still is a hold on them. He checked into it and said Dodge is doing a complete redesign of their airbag system. Must have been a serious issue. But their concept of how it became an integral part of the suspension, not just an aftermarket added to stocks springs, to your point, should make the unloaded ride relatively a good ride. I am not ordering the truck till early March, it is never going to see a spec of Michigan road salt :-) , and hopefully they will have the option available, again.

Maybe during the air bag design they will lower their 4WD truck 1.5", that would be nice.:)

gschooley 09-09-2014 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDT (Post 2220362)
You have never said whether or not you are considering a new or used Excel.

New 36GKE Limited.

drfife 09-09-2014 09:46 AM

The unloaded height is not important. The loaded height is what you need to consider.

gyropilot 09-09-2014 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gschooley (Post 2220925)
4WD will be my configuration and probably sits a little higher.

Per the Ram Body Builder website, there's roughly a 1.5" difference in unloaded ride height between the 4x2 (lower) and the 4x4 (higher).

Best regards,

John L.

kjb999 09-09-2014 11:49 AM

Pick-up bed clearance
 
You should check out the Classy Chassis web site and their Hauler Bed option for all Ford/Chevy/Dodge 1 ton and up conversions. This will solve your clearance problems.

gschooley 09-09-2014 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kjb999 (Post 2221309)
You should check out the Classy Chassis web site and their Hauler Bed option for all Ford/Chevy/Dodge 1 ton and up conversions. This will solve your clearance problems.

They build a great product and they are about 35 minutes from my house, too.

PJL 09-09-2014 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gschooley (Post 2220925)
QUESTION: is your 3500 a 4WD? 4WD will be my configuration and probably sits a little higher.


Sorry, should have said mine is also 4WD

dw8ite 09-10-2014 10:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by PJL (Post 2220519)
I would probably order the Excel with the suspension mounted on the bottom hole ( highest height)

I had heard that Excel had improved their spring brackets starting with 2012 models, making them from heavier material and added reinforcement. I took a photo the other day (see below). The reason I mention this is that on mine you will notice that there is only one hole (no adjustment). I assume they are all made this way now. This might be important if you are counting on making a height adjustment on a new Excel.

Hope this is helpful.
Don


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