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Old 05-01-2010, 09:06 AM   #1
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truck & 5th wheel clearence

We will be driving up to Elkhart wiithin the next month to pick up our Rockwood 8285ws. My TV is an o8 Chevy 2500HD with a standard bed. The top of the tailgate sits at 57 1/2". My concern is if there is enough clearance between truck and trailer without some kind of modification to either one. I know I can adjust the pin and/or the hitch,but will I be able to get 6" of clearance doing that. The lady on the phone said "no problem". Anyone have a similiar set -up? Any problems?
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
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You didn't say if your had the standard bed or an 8 ft bed truck. We have a 2005 2500HD GMC crew cab with the standard bed and you will need a slider with the 5th wheel hitch. There is not enough room between the cab and the 5th wheel for the turning radius when turned at a 90 degree angle. There should be enough side clearance, as there was on our then 2005 Montana. Most 5th wheel hitches have adjustments for the height adjustments. Depending on how high your truck is, sometimes the tandum axles on the trailer have to be adjusted higher due to the height of the truck. Ours was a standard 2500 4 x 4 and no adjustment had to be made.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
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Thank you,but we are getting a Sidewinder hitch that will take care of the turning clearance. The 08 Chevy sits higher,and I'm concerned with the clearance top of truck rails to bottom of trailer. Anyone have a similiar set-up?
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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The king pin plate measures 47 1/4" from the ground when the camper is level on our 8280WS. You can assume about 2 inches of suspension compression so your hitch needs to be about 49 1/4" from the ground to be level when hitched.

The overhang of the 5th wheel is 58 1/2" to the ground when level. Our TV is 2WD and I have about 6 1/2" clearance above the bed rails. I'm guessing that you'll have to be nose up on the camper by a couple of inches to have some reasonable bed rail clearance.

If you want to tow level with decent bed rail clearance, you may have to raise the camper or lower the truck.

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Old 05-01-2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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Thanks Dave, not what I wanted to hear,but what I expected. Anybody raised their Rockwood? Recommend anyone in the Elkhart area?
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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Sagebrush, I'd try to get it home if I were you. Hard to know the change required without hooking it up. There's lots to campers I've seen towing nose up of level. The newer 4 x 4 trucks sit too high IMO unless you're planning to do any off-roading. I'd seriously look at lowering the truck. There's usually a spacer block mounted between the leaf spring and axle housing that could be replaced with a smaller spacer. If you want to lower the truck at all 4 corners, you could replace the rear spacer and the front coils with pieces from a 2WD...your GM dealer should be able to help you out.

The Rockwoods have Al-ko torsion axles. If you wish to raise them you have to fabricate spacer blocks to mount between the frame and the axle mounting. I've seen a thread recently dealing with this, complete with photos but was unable to find it.


Good luck with your decision.


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Old 05-01-2010, 07:30 PM   #7
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Thanks again Dave, I found the site w/the pics, posted byKanyonkitty. Raising the trailer looks like quite an operation. I'll touch base w/my GM dealer on Monday
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:16 PM   #8
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I would first try the raising the hitch head, its the easiest. You might find thats all you will have to do and not worry anymore. I had to raise mine 1 inch and still have another inch if I need it. When I raised it that inch that gave me almost 6 inches clearence between the top of the bed rail and the trailer.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for your reply Bill, is your truck tailgate height about 58" and does your trailer ride relativley level?
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagebrush View Post
Thanks for your reply Bill, is your truck tailgate height about 58" and does your trailer ride relativley level?



Yes sir its about 58", and yes my trailer rides fairly level. Its level enough now that if I decided to raise it that last inch, I feel it would still be level enough for towing with a nose a little higher. From what I have heard and read on the trailer web sites, having the nose of the trailer raised slightly above level makes for better towing....

Hope this helps....
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