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Old 10-17-2015, 08:41 AM   #1
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Distance between truck rails and 5th. wheel

Being a new 5th. wheel owner, I just took for granted that the dealer set up my hitch for the proper height to tow my 5th. wheel.
Reading other threads, I've noticed that not only is it ideal to have the trailer being towed level, but you need to have a minimum of so many inches between the bed rails and bottom of the 5'ers overhang.

So my question to the experts who have towed their 5'ers. is this. Is there a "sweet spot" in inches that I should be looking at for best performance and with no fear of bottoming out when pulling into fuel stations that might have a steeper than normal entrance?

I also have a tri-fold cover that is toward the front of the bed when towing. When folded is about 3 inches thick. I don't believe this will be a problem however.

Thanks in advance for all the education I'm expecting to receive.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:56 AM   #2
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You are correct the 5th wheel should set level when connected in the tow position. You should have 6 inches between the bed rails and the bottom of the 5th wheel. I would not feel comfortable with any less than 5 inches. I would not think that having the fold up cover in front of the hitch as you described would be any problem with most 5th wheels.
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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I have to have about seven inches of clearance to keep my cap from touching my tri fold in those funky driveways, trailer is couple inches nose high to achieve that


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Old 10-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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You are correct the 5th wheel should set level when connected in the tow position. You should have 6 inches between the bed rails and the bottom of the 5th wheel. I would not feel comfortable with any less than 5 inches. I would not think that having the fold up cover in front of the hitch as you described would be any problem with most 5th wheels.
X'2 on 6" clearance..........
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:44 AM   #5
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I have to have about seven inches of clearance to keep my cap from touching my tri fold in those funky driveways, trailer is couple inches nose high to achieve that


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Why not lower truck? Trailer axles and tires would thank you.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:57 PM   #6
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I had tri-fold cover on my last truck and yes the 5er did hit it while backing up into camp site. I was running about 6 1/2 clearance from the bed rails but the tri-fold was about 3 1/2 inches thick when folded.
On my current truck I have soft cover and I run about 5 1/2 clearance which I thinks is fine for normal road conditions but we do watch it really close when backing into the camp site or pulling into driveways.
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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We have 6" on our rig. Would not go any less. When boarding and exiting ferries (we live on a small island) it get down to 1 inches at times by the tailgate. Also some back country roads with with pointy small hills (truck is over the hill going down while trailer still on its way up) can be close calls

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Old 10-17-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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Truck should be level too. Air bags solve this. Most hitches and trailer pin boxes have vertical adjustment Also trailer height can be adjusted at axles but requires welding spacers to spring mounts.
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Old 10-17-2015, 02:10 PM   #9
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Why not lower truck? Trailer axles and tires would thank you.
I have been looking for ways to lower the rear of my truck. So far no luck finding a way that makes enough difference to matter. Would be great if truck set level... now it is tail high and putting 3,000 lbs of pin weight on it drops the top of the tailgate only 1/2 inch. I have a 2015 Chevy 3500HD Diesel 4X4 crew cab long bed. If anyone has suggestions, approaches/parts, would love to hear them.
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Old 10-17-2015, 02:12 PM   #10
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Truck should be level too. Air bags solve this. Most hitches and trailer pin boxes have vertical adjustment Also trailer height can be adjusted at axles but requires welding spacers to spring mounts.
Do you take some of the springs out (to get the tail of the truck down) when you put in air bags? Any recommendations on what manufacturer of air bags?
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