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Old 05-13-2019, 12:59 PM   #1
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Potential driveway bottom out on 5th wheel

Looking to purchase a Chaparral 360IBL. I want to have a "plan B" if I can't get it up my driveway without bottoming out. My driveway starts with a uphill, but then levels out. If I can get it up the initial incline, I will be fine (see pictures).

I don't have much towing/RV experience. Rented a 32' Class C last year... the back end scraped some going up, but I could take a diagonal approach to the bottom of the driveway and then swing it around and clear everything.

I am worried the 5th wheel might be tougher... but not sure. I have read several threads on these forums with good info. I'd like to not do the caster wheels on the back, I feel like that has the potential to bend the frame.

Plywood boards that I can get a couple inches of lift are my first option. With that said:

1) Looking at the pictures, what do you 5th wheel guys think? The approach is flat leading up to the incline

2) What is my limiting factor going to be? The back end scraping? The cap hitting my bed? The up/down tilt of the hitch?

For the hitch, I am looking at the B&W companion in a 2011 3500HD. Do these type of hitches usually have enough vertical tilt to not be an issue? I couldn't find the specs on that.

Thanks
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:02 PM   #2
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not familiar with your hitch specs, did have a friend with the same situation. he added some heavy duty caster wheels to his frame, they only made contact with the ground for a brief second and made it so he could clear his steep drive without bottoming out. the pics don't look like its steep enough to be an issue?
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:23 PM   #3
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It is really hard to tell from photos but I've gone up way worse looking inclines with our many 5th wheels (than what that appears) and never touched anything.

With 5"-6" of clearance between the bed rails and the overhang of the 5th wheel you can maneuver some very steep grades without ever touching.

Short, Class C wheelbases are actually way worse than a truck and a 5th wheel for bottoming out.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
It is really hard to tell from photos but I've gone up way worse looking inclines with our many 5th wheels (than what that appears) and never touched anything.

With 5"-6" of clearance between the bed rails and the overhang of the 5th wheel you can maneuver some very steep grades without ever touching.

Short, Class C wheelbases are actually way worse than a truck and a 5th wheel for bottoming out.
I know the photos are tough... just thought I would include them to get an idea. I wasn't sure what was going to be more of an issue, the Class C or the 5th wheel. I thought Class C would have been easier... guess I was wrong! Which is good in my case.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:15 PM   #5
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I have bottomed out my 360IBL on an incline (Discount Tire in Brenham, TX) and the slope in the pics above do not look that bad to me. In my case, the mounting brackets for the rear cargo tray scraped. So if you don't have the lippert cargo tray that is one benefit.

Also, I was a bit nose-high at the time. (front edge of trailer was 2" higher than rear edge. I have since lowered my kingpin (Still have 6" of bedrail clearance).

In your pics, I would be more worried about making the corner. It looks awfully tight to me. I can't envision making that turn with my rig unless the cross street is REALLY wide. Hopefully you can take it from the approach in the third pick...(ie, straight across the street).

PS you will love the 360. It is our 5 trailer and the best yet!
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #6
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Hard to tell from the pictures. Is the main road sloping down toward the mailbox? If so, it's similar to our house. In that case, always turn down the hill when leaving your driveway and turn into your driveway while going uphill on the road. Entering at an angle does help, so you might want to move your mailbox to the other side and get rid of that rock border so you can cut the trailer across the grass a bit.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaps2018 View Post
I have bottomed out my 360IBL on an incline (Discount Tire in Brenham, TX) and the slope in the pics above do not look that bad to me. In my case, the mounting brackets for the rear cargo tray scraped. So if you don't have the lippert cargo tray that is one benefit.

Also, I was a bit nose-high at the time. (front edge of trailer was 2" higher than rear edge. I have since lowered my kingpin (Still have 6" of bedrail clearance).

In your pics, I would be more worried about making the corner. It looks awfully tight to me. I can't envision making that turn with my rig unless the cross street is REALLY wide. Hopefully you can take it from the approach in the third pick...(ie, straight across the street).

PS you will love the 360. It is our 5 trailer and the best yet!
Thanks for the info. I don't have a cargo tray, so that will help. I was wondering when I install the hitch how to set it up for clearance here. I am planning a companion hitch and I think it has a couple different settings for height. How do you determine the height setting? By trying to make your trailer as level as possible? Or in my case, should I just put it as low as possible to get the back end up?

Making the corner should be good. I'll snap a couple more pics but it is a fairly big cul de sac.

Glad to hear you like the 360. We are excited to start!

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Originally Posted by stephndudb View Post
Hard to tell from the pictures. Is the main road sloping down toward the mailbox? If so, it's similar to our house. In that case, always turn down the hill when leaving your driveway and turn into your driveway while going uphill on the road. Entering at an angle does help, so you might want to move your mailbox to the other side and get rid of that rock border so you can cut the trailer across the grass a bit.
The main road slopes from the mailbox down toward the other side (from left to right in the first couple of pictures). So if your advise is still good, I think it would be the opposite side to enter. This is what I did when we had the class C. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
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As said above you should be fine unless that slope is a lot worse than the photos look.

Also as 5picker said, Class C's have a terrible rear overhang. They'll scrape when nothing else will.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:20 PM   #9
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Slope doesn't look too concerning, but the Mail Box, Rock edging, and the two lamp posts will make it interesting.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:54 PM   #10
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I wouldn't think that you would have a problem with that grade?
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