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kingsman19 08-07-2011 09:37 AM

5er nose high when towing?
Are there any handling or safety concerns while towing a 5th wheel nose high by 5"?
I know fuel consumption could go down and of course overpass (or is it underpass) clearance will be higher.

I upgraded from a 3/4 K2500HD to a 1 ton K3500HD chev diesel and went from a 2" difference in measuring frame to ground between front and rear points to 5"

the rv dealer where I bought the Wildcat 31TS 2 yrs ago said "you will be just fine" but was going to give me a price on heaver springs - still waiting after a week
Another RV dealer did not need to see the trailer but said he can do whatever I want - lift kit, springs, shocks etc. whatever I want at $89 per hr + parts

Some stats. Trailer loaded 11,300 lbs (limit 12,100) 9320 on axels - axels 5,200 and 16" tires 3520 at 80 psi also pulled off the scale leaving just the rear trailer axel on the scale - it weighed 4480lb a little under half the weight on the axels.

Can I use the setup as is or should I wait until I can get closer to level? I am thinking of investing in an Infrared Thermometer to keep an eye on the temps and I already have a TPMS for pressure.
Sorry for the long post but I felt there was a lot involved.
Tom & Mary

donn 08-07-2011 09:46 AM

yes. You are placing more weight/load on one axle. You really need to get it level.

Glenn5995 08-07-2011 10:11 AM

Not quite sure what is going on, normally nose high will result in more weight being transferred to the rear axle and nose low will transfer more weight to the front axle. In your case the front axle is carrying more weight (4840) than the rear axle (4480).

Many of the scales I have used are raised with ramps for the approach and departure. Did you weigh on a ground flush scale or raised scale. If it was a raised scale, than as you drove off, the tow vehicle would be going down and lowering the front of the 5'er and therefore transferring weight to the front axle. If it was a flush scale and the weights are correct, you are within the specs for the axles and tires and should not have any problems with them. It would probably be a little more stable if level, but I would think that would be a bigger issue with a pull behind than a fifth wheel.

transamz9 08-07-2011 08:40 PM

Unless you have torsion axles then the equalizer on the axles will keep the weight on the two axles pretty close. What it will do if you ride high in the front is make the rear axle closer to being bottomed out. When you hit hard bumps or speed bumps it will cause the leaf spring eye hit the frame. It will cause premature wear on the trailer suspension. How much space do you have between the bottom of the neck of the trailer and the bed rails of you truck? Can you lower your hitch height?

kingsman19 08-10-2011 08:13 AM

The scale was level to the ground - no ramp up or down. Refer, hot water tank and of course the basement are all forward of axles and I added about 1000 lb od stuff from empty

The bedrail to RV clearance was measured at several spots
and was 6" +- 1.4" all around.

The Rv dealer where I purchesed the trailer 2 yrs ago finally got back to me with a $895.70 quote to replace springs with heaver ones - he said it should raise the trailer a couple of inches - gosh just moving to the lower attach hole would be an inch. and he repeated it will be just fine.

crocus 08-14-2011 02:52 PM

$900 for a set of springs? That's crazy. Just go to a spring shop, tell them what you need, and you'll likely only spend about $200.
And if you have springs, the weight on each axle will be equalized. That's just the way they work. Not sure why your numbers are wonky.

kingsman19 08-16-2011 12:44 PM

Thanks All I am still looking for a RV dealer that wants to help.
I noticed I had a type the 1.4" variable on the bed rail clearance should have been 1/4" or .25" variance from 6" every where I measured
Thanks again for your assistence -- better than the RV dealers.

Glenn5995 08-16-2011 01:03 PM

Your weights are within the specs for your current springs. I assume by "heavier" springs, they mean a greater weight capacity. As you are within the specs of your current suspension, "heavier" springs will make the trailer ride very rough, tend to bounce and will beat everything inside to pieces.

If your springs are currently under the axle, you can purchase an under/over conversion kit for about $50.00 to place the springs on top of the axles. This will lift the trailer 4" to 6" inches depending on the axle diameter and a few other variables. If you can't do it yourself, it shouldn't be more than $200 to $250 (if that) for a qualified shop to do it.

Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - Over/Under Conversion Kits

M109Rrider 08-16-2011 04:53 PM

What about lowering the truck? Most trucks you can get an extended or shortened spring shackle and change the ride height.

dirttracker18 08-24-2011 09:37 PM

What if you just let some air out of the rear tires on the truck until things are level?

Nahh just kidding :O

I agree that "heavier" springs are not the way to go. You would be just adding a new problem by beating up the RV both internally and structurally.

I also agree that a spring shop is a better place to go than an RV dealer.

If you are spring under right now the srping over conversion is easy and will fix your issue without adding any new ones :)

As well a good spring shop can come up with a good plan that is both feasible and sound.

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