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HDGoose 04-16-2020 08:16 PM

Setting 5th wheel hitch height
 
Hello all. There are many things one doesn't think of when trading in a truck. The two or three months of research and shopping was spent on truck research.



Never did consider the hitch height measurements relative to the bed rails.



So I have a new hitch ordered, and it will arrive next week. It has adjustments that my Pullrite did not. So now I have to figure out where to set the hitch height.



Of course my trailer is not on level ground. So I've got to get it close to pull it to level ground to check it.



I know I want 7 inches clearance between top of the truck bed to the bottom of the trailer. So I'll measure to see what the pin height is relative to the camper. The set the hitch plate in the truck to obtain the 7 inches.



Then one day I'll have to take it out to a level parking lot and see what needs to occur to get the trailer level.


Old truck was a 2013 RAM 2500 with 265 tires. New truck is 2020 RAM 3500 dually. So I'm not sure how much difference there is between the two trucks initially. Still looking up specs for both trucks.



Any suggestions?



If I have to adjust the trailer pin height, is it a two or three person job?


How heavy is that chunk of steel?



I can adjust the hitch easily enough.

consolenut 04-16-2020 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HDGoose (Post 5227384)
Hello all. There are many things one doesn't think of when trading in a truck. The two or three months of research and shopping was spent on truck research.



Never did consider the hitch height measurements relative to the bed rails.



So I have a new hitch ordered, and it will arrive next week. It has adjustments that my Pullrite did not. So now I have to figure out where to set the hitch height.



Of course my trailer is not on level ground. So I've got to get it close to pull it to level ground to check it.



I know I want 7 inches clearance between top of the truck bed to the bottom of the trailer. So I'll measure to see what the pin height is relative to the camper. The set the hitch plate in the truck to obtain the 7 inches.



Then one day I'll have to take it out to a level parking lot and see what needs to occur to get the trailer level.


Old truck was a 2013 RAM 2500 with 265 tires. New truck is 2020 RAM 3500 dually. So I'm not sure how much difference there is between the two trucks initially. Still looking up specs for both trucks.



Any suggestions?



If I have to adjust the trailer pin height, is it a two or three person job?


How heavy is that chunk of steel?



I can adjust the hitch easily enough.

well the 2020 is taller id have to say. changing hitch height isnt hard. The pinbox will have adjustment but will take two people. getting 7 inches of bed clearence may prove to be a challenge. depending rig and trailer tire size. you may need an axle flip to.

jacknife 04-16-2020 10:20 PM

Your dually has 17 “ tires if you got factory air it will drop an inch to level when the alt air button is pushed . Either way shouldn’t be a problem.

JDT 04-16-2020 10:27 PM

I don't know much about Ram trucks but I would bet it is taller. A lot depends on your fifth wheel also. The newer it is the higher it will sit. My 2013 is not a real good match for my 2020 Ford but I'm only a little nose high so I can live with it. You will have to hook up and make adjustments to get it where you want. I had to settle for 6 inches of clearance which I consider a minimum. Any higher and it sits too nose high. Raising your pin if you have available holes in the box will lower the trailer. The hitch should be adjustable in either direction.

Dennis852 04-16-2020 11:03 PM

Not sure if your 5th wheel has hydraulic auto level or even electric jacks but I was able to adjust my pin box by myself using the hydraulic jacks. Leave the pin hooked to the hitch. Go in there and loosen up the bolts to make sure you have the weight off the box. Once you have use the jacks to lower or raise the box slowly. You will need a spud wrench or a large screw driver to get the holes to align perfectly but it can be done.

I am an old tower guy so rigging and manipulating heavy steel was something I did for 15 plus years. It can be done by yourself or with a buddy. I was also thinking a transmission jack would make things easy but I do not have one. Good luck.

HDGoose 04-17-2020 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dennis852 (Post 5227546)
Not sure if your 5th wheel has hydraulic auto level or even electric jacks but I was able to adjust my pin box by myself using the hydraulic jacks. Leave the pin hooked to the hitch. Go in there and loosen up the bolts to make sure you have the weight off the box. Once you have use the jacks to lower or raise the box slowly. You will need a spud wrench or a large screw driver to get the holes to align perfectly but it can be done.

I am an old tower guy so rigging and manipulating heavy steel was something I did for 15 plus years. It can be done by yourself or with a buddy. I was also thinking a transmission jack would make things easy but I do not have one. Good luck.

Thanks for the suggestion!!

Rhagfo 04-17-2020 08:40 AM

Well we traded DW car on our used 2016 Ram 3500 CTD DRW, so I have the old 2001 Ram 2500 4X4 for comparison.
Really not much difference, in fact I did need to make any adjustments to my hitch, I did install a adapter to use my old Reese 16K hitch. I will say the sidewall is about an inch taller from bed floor on the 2016.


https://i.imgur.com/YMnhwJD.jpg


https://i.imgur.com/9yiIhxR.jpg


https://i.imgur.com/19ZJtUc.jpg

chaps2018 04-18-2020 08:20 AM

Setting 5th wheel hitch height
 
1 Attachment(s)
We went from an ‘06 Ram 3500 DRW to a ‘16 Ram 3500 DRW 4x4. The height difference was significant.

The trailer as delivered was nose high by a few inches. I didn’t worry about it for the first year but then noticed the brakes were wearing more on the rear axle vs the front.

I had about 7” of bed rail clearance. I could not lower the hitch any further so I raised the pin box (solo by removing all but 1 bolt (used as the pivot point) then “walking” the hitch up to the next hole. Got myself to 6” of clearance. The trailer was less then 2” different from front to rear.

Regarding desired bed clearance, the overall height of the rig must be considered if you are thinking of raising at the trailer axles. My rig height is spec’d at 12’5”. When I had it measured at SMART WEIGH it was 13’1” the spec didn’t comprehend the optional 2nd AC. I have a bit more room to lift my trailer but decided against it. I urge you to check your rig height to ensure you stay beneath the most common statewide limit of 13’6” .

That said, I do have a new CORRECT TRACK lift kit for sale if you want to raise your rig 2”. ;-)

I use this guideline from Etrailer https://www.etrailer.com/question-144392.html

Attachment 282018

THEHOFF 04-18-2020 09:42 PM

When I went from my 2016 2500 to a 2019 2500 then 3500 I had to raise my hitch in the bed one from the top on a BlueOx hitch to clear the bed and get the 90 degree turns.

kdauto 04-18-2020 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjlakatos (Post 5229164)
We went from an ‘06 Ram 3500 DRW to a ‘16 Ram 3500 DRW 4x4. The height difference was significant.

The trailer as delivered was nose high by a few inches. I didn’t worry about it for the first year but then noticed the brakes were wearing more on the rear axle vs the front.

I had about 7” of bed rail clearance. I could not lower the hitch any further so I raised the pin box (solo by removing all but 1 bolt (used as the pivot point) then “walking” the hitch up to the next hole. Got myself to 6” of clearance. The trailer was less then 2” different from front to rear.

Regarding desired bed clearance, the overall height of the rig must be considered if you are thinking of raising at the trailer axles. My rig height is spec’d at 12’5”. When I had it measured at SMART WEIGH it was 13’1” the spec didn’t comprehend the optional 2nd AC. I have a bit more room to lift my trailer but decided against it. I urge you to check your rig height to ensure you stay beneath the most common statewide limit of 13’6” .

That said, I do have a new CORRECT TRACK lift kit for sale if you want to raise your rig 2”. ;-)

I use this guideline from Etrailer https://www.etrailer.com/question-144392.html

Attachment 282018

etrailer is ahead of the curve, they're already setting up the Cybertruck for 5th wheel towing! :D:rolleyes:

CalCamp 04-19-2020 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HDGoose (Post 5227384)
If I have to adjust the trailer pin height, is it a two or three person job?


How heavy is that chunk of steel?

Good morning. I had a similar issue with the gap between my Arctic Fox 27-5L and the bed rails. I had 9" and the Fox was not traveling level. Although some wish they had 9", I wanted to decrease that by 2 1/2" for more level traveling.

I started a thread asking for opinions and probably due to my less than expert wording, I received lots of unhelpful 'help'. Wood Chip finally arrived and helped. You can see that thread here.

So, the fix.

I did have to trim a bit of the front cap's underside, about 1/2" or so. The process was made a whole lot easier by using my truck's bed to support the trailer's pin. With the tail gate down, I placed two 2X4s on the bed from the Companion hitch to the end of the tail gate. On the 2X4s, I placed a short length of 2X6 for the trailer's pin to set on.

Before lowering the trailer, I loosened all the bolts, and removed all but two on each side, top forward and top rear. I then lowered the trailer so the pin was supported by the 2X6 in the bed of the truck. I removed the rear bolts, leaving the front bolts in as a pivot point.

I then raised the trailer which allowed the hitch to pivot on the front bolts. The rear holes will NOT align perfectly, but will give you a spot to shove a heavy screwdriver or drift pin through to hold the hole somewhat in place as you work on the front bolt.

Once stable, find a position where the front bolts are not under pressure and can be removed. Remove them. Now, by lowering the trailer, the pin sitting on the 2X6 will push the front holes up into alignment, or close enough so you can finagle it into position.

Insert bolts and tighten them up. I don't remember the correct torque but it is pretty high. Don't forget the lock washers.

NOTE: When lowering the trailer to align the front holes, the pin will push the 2X6 forward along the 2X4s. This shouldn't be an issue unless your trailer is too close to the end of the sides of your truck's bed. Keep an eye on that. You could move your truck forward a few inches if it does get too close, remembering the weight your 2X6 is carrying is not the weight of the trailer, but only the weight of the pin tongue. As you move the truck, the 2X6 should slide on the 2X4s.

When raising and lowering the trailer, I used the electric front legs, as I would when raising/lowering the trailer whenever I hitched/unhitched the trailer.

Is this a 2 person job? You could probably do it on your own, but an extra set of eyes and screwdriver operator is helpful. I had the assistance of a 13 y/o neighbor.

Back to morning brew . . . (coffee, Folgers, black)

JDT 04-19-2020 10:57 AM

I've had to adjust my pin a few times. I have a rather heavy duty home built cart on wheels that I used to set my hitch on during the off season. I made it to tailgate height. I used it to support the pin while making the adjustment. I raised or lowered the fifth wheel with its power jacks to find the right holes. Worked well for me with very little effort on my part.

Rhagfo 04-19-2020 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HDGoose (Post 5227384)

If I have to adjust the trailer pin height, is it a two or three person job?


How heavy is that chunk of steel?




As pointed out a couple times this can easily be done by one person.
I used my tailgate to support the pin end of the pin box. I placed some blocks on it to be closer to the height of the hitch. Used a impact wrench to loosen all the bolts. Then removed all but two in the front and two in the rear on opposite sides.
Then bring the pin just into contact with the blocks and remove either the front OR rear pair, then raise or lower the trailer to move the pin in the correct direction.

Once at the correct height, install all the bolts and torque to specifications.


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