View Poll Results: Should I fix this?
It's Fine. Don't change anything. 8 44.44%
Truck is too tall. Lower the Truck. 0 0%
Trailer is too low. Raise the Trailer. 10 55.56%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-09-2015, 11:52 PM   #1
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2011 Ford F350 & Salem 5'er -- truck too tall?

Hi Fellow Campers,

I'm new to the site. I recently (September 2015) took delivery of a 2015 Salem 26DDSS 5er, and I'd like to get your opinions on my TV/Trailer combo. Firstly, i would like to let you know that my maiden voyage was picking up my new 5er and driving it almost 2000 miles home in 3 days (Minnesota to Los Angeles). My trip took me south through IOWA, then west through Nebraska, Denver, Utah, Las Vegas, and finally back home to Los Angeles. The only time i noticed some "sway" was in UT, because those big rigs are doing almost 80 MPH when they pass you!

My TV is a 2011 Ford F350 XL, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Diesel, Long Bed, with B&W Companion hitch. This is my first 4x4 truck, and I'm really impressed with the capabilities of this truck. The truck is quiet and doesn't smell like the diesels from my childhood. Overall, this truck is completely stock (except for an aggressive BFG trail tire--smaller overall diameter than the 18" or 20" stock wheel) and it's been much more refined than expected from a diesel, one-ton truck. It's been a very positive experience with the truck. Towing the 5er was very good too. The truck has plenty of power/control for my trailer, even up/down I-70, west of Denver. I thought that the truck might struggle, or become a handful when going through the Rocky Mountains, but the tow/haul mode really impressed me. Hardly had to use the brakes, even on those steep grades. Temp climbed a little only on the steepest parts of the climb.

My trip home was a success. There were no roadside emergencies, and I stopped at KOA's for two overnights...getting back on the road in the morning to continue my way home.

My only issue that I have is that the truck seems to be too tall for my 5'er. I am concerned that the rear of the truck is too tall, and it leaves the nose of my trailer sitting high. My concern is that I might be putting extra stress/load on the rear tires of the trailer. The equalizer links between front/rear trailer springs seem to favor the rear tires. I won't be using the trailer until next spring, so I'd like to use the winter in order to get my rig dialed in so that I won't need to worry about blowing out a tire or two in my first camping season.
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I didn't really think that a modern 5th wheel would be too "low" for a newer truck. I got a great deal on the trailer, so i bought it without actually knowing what the kingpin height was on my 5th wheel. It didn't seem so obvious to me before I bought the 5er that it could be an issue, but it looks like i may have too much truck for this RV. I've already lowered the B&W Companion to the lower-most those arms can't go any lower. The kingpin does look like there are at least 2 more bolt holes that it could possibly be raised, but then i would worry about clearing the bed rails...since the hitch would be at lowest position and kingpin at highest.

Now, i'm left with trying to figure out the best way to "fix" my truck/trailer combo. The GVWR on the truck is 11,200 lb, the truck (full fuel & companion installed--no passengers or cargo) is a hair over 7,700 lb (which leaves me with approx 3,500 payload capacity). I haven't had the trailer on the scale, but Forest River specs in the image below:
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My question for all my fellow RV'ers out there that tow a 5th wheel is twofold:
1. Do you agree that the trailer is sitting too high for extended towing? I realize that I don't have the experience to know whether this setup is too high, or if it's acceptable to tow this way...but it just looks wrong to me (like it should be level).
2. If you agree it's nose-high, then what would you do to fix the issue? I don't really want to buy a new Tow Vehicle, and I also don't want to sell my new 5th wheel, so i'm looking for suggestions on what to do to either the truck or the trailer.

I've read on other forums about a service bulletin from FORD on older model trucks (basically replacing the stock 4" rear blocks with shorter 2" blocks from f250--and possibly changing shocks & drive shaft carrier angle in some applications), but i took my truck to the dealer, and they said the TSB did not apply to my year truck.

On the other hand, i've also read about some people "lifting" their trailer, either with blocks, or with a welded in sub-frame, and then re-attaching the stock trailer suspension.

I would like to get opinions on whether you think i may end up damaging my trailer if i continue to tow with it "as-is seen in the pics". I've done my best to research this forum (and other Ford or Diesel forums), but at some point, you just need to post and get suggestions from fellow forum members.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

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Old 12-11-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
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Level is always best if possible. Do you have leaf spring suspension?

2012 Crusader 26RLD, 2000 F-350 4X4 7.3.
Hayes Autoformer, Correct track, Maxxis 8008E,
Andersen Aluminum hitch.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:37 PM   #3
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Yes. Truck is bone stock. 2011 F350, 4x4, 6.7 diesel, CC, SRW, 8 foot bed. Trailer is also stock, tandem leaf springs (factory mounted above axle).
You can see in the pics that there are two bolt holes that I could raise the kingpin. My companion is already set to its lowest settings.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:01 AM   #4
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I will send you pictures of how to raise your trailer 2 inches when I get home today. That would get you level and keep your distance at the truck adequate.
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:23 PM   #5
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Raising the pin box would help to level it out, but then you might need to raise the B&W to gain clearance between the truck bed rails and the 5er overhang. You need 6-7" of bed to trailer clearance, and raising the hitch might put u back to where you are.
As said above, level is best, so you might be better to raise the 5er, as long as raising it doesn't make entry/exit to the trailer more difficult. I'd take some careful measurements and see where you come out with the pin box relocation.
Otherwise I'd leave it as is.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:07 PM   #6
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My last two trucks have been Chevy one ton dually 4x4 and I have the same thing, and about the same angel. I raised the pin box and it helped but still a little high in the front. I talked to several experts on trailer, about leveling the trailer by installing blocks between the springs and the axle,( my axles are under the springs ) they say NO do not do it. The only they say to do it safely is to weld on longer shackles, or add to the lower frame to lower the shackles. Or new re-arced springs.
But I have been towing my trailer for the last three years, all over the western US. 15,000 mi. without any problems with the tires, I see a lot of 5ers that the rear end is lower than the front. It is the way they build the trailer to keep the total height of the trailer. If your axles are on top of the springs you can move the axles to under the springs, but you have to weld new flats to the top of the axles (you can not just flip the axles over, there is an arc to the axle.) and reinstall. It will raise the trailer about 5".
I am just running mine the way it is.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:36 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new rig. There is never any such thing as too much truck. You would likely still have the same issue with the f250. What is your bed rail clearance currently measuring? As stated above ideal is about 6-7". how out of level is the trailer? Ie how many inches higher does the front corner sit over the back corner?
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:00 PM   #8
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I have a similar profile for my GMC dually and a 40 foot Sandpiper. I've made a similar trip through the Rockies. Never really been a problem towing. At one point I was going to flip the trailer axels but never did. My only problem has been dragging the rear of the trailer at certain points in certain camp areas. Other wise it tows fine even though it looks a bit high at the connection points. Experience means a lot and your just beginning so hang in there. I think you'll be fine.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:23 PM   #9
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From your pics, it would appear you have more than 6" of room between the 5th and your bed rails. Raise your pinbox as high as you can in the adjustment holes on the mounting wings and lower your hitch to it's lowest holes. If you still have at least 5" then you are fine. Try that before looking to lower the truck or lift the RV.

If that doesn't get you 100% level, start with an easy lift to the trailer. Use the Lippert Correct Track 2 bolt on system. It's designed to align your axles but a nice side effect is it lifts your RV 2" and is approved by Lippert who makes your frame so no warranty issues. It can be had on or any of the online RV retailers.

Lastly, you absolutely can go with the 250's 2" blocks if all else fails. Yes, the TSB applies to your truck. I wouldn't have a dealer do it though. There are lots of 250 guys who want a free lift so go on the Ford forums and look for someone looking to trade. Then you just need new U-Bolts (it's not recommended to re-use U-bolts) and you're done. The TSB does mention carrier bearing shimming but most report it's not necessary.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:19 PM   #10
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Here are some pictures of my Correct Track install. Raised my 5th wheel two inches and leveled things out. Also provides future adjustments of the axles if needed. There is a 6 to 7 inch space between the truck rails and camper and I have a F350 4x4 long bed.
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2012 Crusader 26RLD, 2000 F-350 4X4 7.3.
Hayes Autoformer, Correct track, Maxxis 8008E,
Andersen Aluminum hitch.
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salem, f350, truck, 2011, ford, 5er, 50 amp

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