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Old 12-12-2017, 07:25 AM   #1
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Level towing of a 5th wheel?

I just picked up a 33' Wildcat 5th wheel, which I will be towing with a 2017 F350 Superduty. My 5th wheel hitch and pin box are set as low as possible such that I have about 6" of clearance above my trucks bed rails. The issue is that my 5th wheel is towing nose high at about 4" and my truck is also squatting down with the load to the point that on coming drivers are flashing their hi-beams at me when I tow at night. I plan to add a set of Timbren SES bump stops to correct the squatting issue, but this will only make the nose high issue worse by a couple of inches.
First of all, just how important is towing your 5th wheel level? People have told me that this nose high towing situation will put excess weight on the rear axle of my 5th wheel RV, but I thought that the leaf-spring equalizer by design was meant to take care of this issue.
If towing level is still necessary, my only option seems to be lifting the 5th wheel RV some how.
My tandem axles are already on the top of my leaf-springs [corrected below by OP], so an axle flip is out. I was considering swapping my 15" wheels and tires for 16" versions, which would gain me a couple of inches. I was also considering installing a Lippert Correct Track axle alignment system to gain another couple of inches as well.
Doing these things will cost $$$, so just how important is towing 5th wheels level? Any feed back on this subject is welcome. Thanks
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
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Pin Weight

What do you think the loaded pin weight of the rig is? Mine is about 2500 lbs and it hardy pushes down on my 2013 one ton single axel Ford. I have 8-9 inches between my rails and the 5R. Rides flat, but that depends a lot on the build specs. My Ford is rated at about 3700 lbs Payload.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:40 AM   #3
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Air bags.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:47 AM   #4
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Any photos of it hooked-up?
Something doesn't seem right with the squatting.
I'm at 2k+- on pin weight and it doesn't even touch the overload springs when hooked-up to my 2017 F-250 S/D. (single axle)

Also just want to be sure about your hitch/pin box... the hitch would need to be as low as possible but the pin box would need to be as high as possible. You mentioned both were as low as possible.

I did have a combination where I had to run about 5" clearance between the bed rails/overhang and was able to get by. I wouldn't want much less than that though.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:14 AM   #5
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Your setup doesn't reflect everything I have seen. I have a 37 ft fifth wheel and it only squats my truck 1.25 inches when I hook up. (I have a 2016 F350). Once I hook up, I can check my front to rear level using my "Levelup" indicator and it reads 0.0 front to rear. I do have Firestone airbags under my truck but that's because I occasionally move my dozer on a gooseneck trailer and it's pretty heavy. Pulling my fifth wheel, I just have the minimum 10 psi in the air bags. I also probably have about 6 inches of clearance between the top of my bedside and the bottom surface of the fifth wheel. Unless your setup is actually squatting your truck more than a couple of inches (I don't see how) I think I'd just adjust my headlights a bit lower and carry on.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:39 AM   #6
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hitch weight of Wildcat

According to the Wildcat spec sheet the hitch weight is supposed to be 1532lbs.
I misspoke when I said my pi box was as low as possible, I meant it is as high as possible and currently only have between 5 to 6" above my bed side rails and the 5th wheel. My 2017 F350 6.7L Diesel has the 6-3/4' box and I was a little surprised at how much it squatted when we lowered the Wildcat (UVW 9095lbs) onto the truck. I don't have any pictures of the truck and 5th wheel hooked up. I've only towed this 5th wheel once so far and that trip was straight home from the dealer at night after being at he dealer for 7 hrs straight.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
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Is your hitch a slider, possibly locked in rear position? Puts weight too far back
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cujo7240 View Post
According to the Wildcat spec sheet the hitch weight is supposed to be 1532lbs.
If this 1523 spec is "dry weight", you'll find it's a meaningless number. You'll find many posts on this site that say "dry weight is for suckers"... and many of us have proved that is true.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:49 AM   #9
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Pin Weight

That's not much pin weight. Something seems off. I would go to the scales and get that pin weighed. 1500 lbs should not squat a one ton very much if at all. On my 2013 short bed, crew cab, Lariat, 4X4, the brochure specs the payload at 3970 lbs.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:49 AM   #10
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Cujo7240....
You didn't mention if your F350 was DRW or SRW.
Also does it have a 'lift kit' installed on your truck ?

The pin weight must be quite high... it would be interesting to find out what it is.

Is there a generator in the 5th wheel front storage compartment?
Perhaps readjust some of the weight in the 5th wheel to see if that helps.

With the truck having excessive squat in the rear it will probably make for some white knuckle driving.

Perhaps take your truck in to a spring / suspension shop to see if there is anything they could do to help level the truck out with overload springs.

However, if the truck gets leveled then that will raise the 5th wheel nose even more.

So to answer your question: it is best to have the trailer as level as possible and the truck should not have any excessive squatting in the rear.

Check that pin weight .


(sorry I was writing this post as the OP was posting an update)
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