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Old 07-22-2021, 03:55 PM   #1
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Anyone pulling a large Cardinal with newer Ford Super Duty?

We own a 2016 Cardinal 3825fl. We do not have a truck, but have ordered a 2022 Ford F-350 Super Duty with the Tremor package to pull the camper. I read in another forum that the underside of some 5th wheels, near the pin box is as much as 61 inches off the ground when it is unhooked and level. Our 3825 says it is level and measures 57 inches high under the front end.

The newer trucks seem taller and the Ford F-350 with a Tremor package is at least 2 inches taller than a regular F-350, although owners of Tremors state their truck squats close to 4 inches once a large 5th wheel is hooked to it.

My concern is that I do not want the Cardinal to ride unloved, especially with the rear sagging. We have three bikes we need to somehow attach to the camper and the only idea I can come up with is to have a welder attach a receiver between the two steel beams under the back of the camper. That will create an even lower rear end to drag on pavement while pulling into gas stations with steep entrances. I'm guessing the rear of this 41.5 foot long camper is ten feet behind the rear axle. I can't think of any other way to place our bike rack into a 2" receiver than to have a receiver welded under the rear of the trailer.

So, is anyone experiencing an unlevel Cardinal, with the front-end riding higher than the rear-end?

Has anyone ever tried installing slightly larger and taller tires (ours are due to be replaced), to gain heighth?
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:06 PM   #2
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I have seen some that modify / manufacture a 2" receiver unit that is bolted to the pin box on the front of the trailer. The bike then ride up in front of the front cap. Not great for aerodynamics, but eliminates the extra on the back of the trailer.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:26 PM   #3
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lately i have seen most put hitch on front of tow vehicle.


there are also a few companies that make mounts that fit on the king pin box, but these seem to limit your turning radius a bit.

last opinion would be tow vehicle roof top, this is probably the safest, but least convenient.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:26 PM   #4
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I have a 41 Cedar Creek likely built on the same frame.

To me the bike rack is the smaller for the problems. Not sure you really wanted a Tremor if it has a factory lift package because as you note it will make the nose ride pretty high. Also if it drops 4" then it isn't a good suspension for towing anyways and the front end will feel light and your lights might be up too high.

I have also seen the bike racks mounted on a pin box but it looks kind of like a hack and it isn't terribly convenient. My Cedar Creek has a rear 2" hitch connector and yes it rides low and I have scraped it. I would guess your order for the Tremor could be just not picked up and you could just get a standard F350.
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mmartin_tdc View Post
I have seen some that modify / manufacture a 2" receiver unit that is bolted to the pin box on the front of the trailer. The bike then ride up in front of the front cap. Not great for aerodynamics, but eliminates the extra on the back of the trailer.
I was preparing to have someone weld a receiver on the top of the pin box this week and have decided I won't. The fact I ordered a short bed F-350 means that if I add bikes to the front of the front cap of the camper, it could bring them too close to the rear cab of the truck.
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by camper_Lucy View Post
lately i have seen most put hitch on front of tow vehicle.


there are also a few companies that make mounts that fit on the king pin box, but these seem to limit your turning radius a bit.

last opinion would be tow vehicle roof top, this is probably the safest, but least convenient.
I've already decided against installing a receiver on the front of the truck. We own a nice One-Up brand bike rack that fits into a 2" receiver, so I'd hate to have to store it and purchase a roof rack for the truck, but that is looking more likely.
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NJBreeze View Post
I have a 41 Cedar Creek likely built on the same frame.

To me the bike rack is the smaller for the problems. Not sure you really wanted a Tremor if it has a factory lift package because as you note it will make the nose ride pretty high. Also if it drops 4" then it isn't a good suspension for towing anyways and the front end will feel light and your lights might be up too high.

I have also seen the bike racks mounted on a pin box but it looks kind of like a hack and it isn't terribly convenient. My Cedar Creek has a rear 2" hitch connector and yes it rides low and I have scraped it. I would guess your order for the Tremor could be just not picked up and you could just get a standard F350.
The Tremor package and heavy towing don't seem to fit together, although you can watch a lot of YouTube videos of Tremor's pulling 16,000 pound 5th wheels. The squatting tends to be fairly even front to back and doesn't make the truck look nose high. I can't be sure, but the Tremor suspension might be similar to the regular F-350 once you begin using the overload springs. But ford does remove the rear sway bar on the Tremor package, and that can be a concern. For us, we plan to drive the truck as a daily driver approximately 245 days per year, so its primary function is not to tow our Cardinal. We will be parking the Cardinal in north Phoenix 5-6 months each year and we may be parking it on Puget Island, Washington, where we currently have it, for another couple months each year. Then we will park it on my sisters acreage in Nebraska a couple of months each fall. So there isn't going to be a lot of traveling around pulling it from week to week.

But I do plan to bring 2-3 bikes with us. Mountain biking has been a huge part of our lives for many years. I don't think we can break them down and put them inside the camper, and I've finally decided not to weld a receiver on the pin box and mount the rack there. I'm down to adding a roof rack or having a receiver welded to the rear of the camper. What would be great is if we could somehow get a receiver mounted above the rear license plate, to keep the bikes and the receiver from scraping the ground if we turned up a steep driveway.

I have a friend who added a 2" receiver to the rear bumper of his VW Jetta by cutting through the plastic and steel bumper and attaching it to something sturdy.

I just wish Forest River would have added a receiver on the back at the factory.
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wayfaring Stranger View Post
The Tremor package and heavy towing don't seem to fit together, although you can watch a lot of YouTube videos of Tremor's pulling 16,000 pound 5th wheels. The squatting tends to be fairly even front to back and doesn't make the truck look nose high. I can't be sure, but the Tremor suspension might be similar to the regular F-350 once you begin using the overload springs. But ford does remove the rear sway bar on the Tremor package, and that can be a concern. For us, we plan to drive the truck as a daily driver approximately 245 days per year, so its primary function is not to tow our Cardinal. We will be parking the Cardinal in north Phoenix 5-6 months each year and we may be parking it on Puget Island, Washington, where we currently have it, for another couple months each year. Then we will park it on my sisters acreage in Nebraska a couple of months each fall. So there isn't going to be a lot of traveling around pulling it from week to week.

But I do plan to bring 2-3 bikes with us. Mountain biking has been a huge part of our lives for many years. I don't think we can break them down and put them inside the camper, and I've finally decided not to weld a receiver on the pin box and mount the rack there. I'm down to adding a roof rack or having a receiver welded to the rear of the camper. What would be great is if we could somehow get a receiver mounted above the rear license plate, to keep the bikes and the receiver from scraping the ground if we turned up a steep driveway.

I have a friend who added a 2" receiver to the rear bumper of his VW Jetta by cutting through the plastic and steel bumper and attaching it to something sturdy.

I just wish Forest River would have added a receiver on the back at the factory.
Puget Island???
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Old 07-23-2021, 01:49 PM   #9
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I have a receiver on the front of my tow vehicle. This way I can see the bikes and not worry about them hanging off the back. I have been using this set up for several years with no issues.
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Old 07-23-2021, 02:09 PM   #10
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Cardinal Rear Hitch

I requested a 2" receiver to be installed at the factory when I ordered my 2020 388RDLE and have used it to carry 2 mountain bikes on a Malone MPG2109 Pilot Series rack. The documents that came with the Malone, states do not install on campers, trailers or RV's. However, I did not have any issues and I inspected it regularly. This unit is built with a raised insert for the hitch, keeping any bikes you put on it quite high off the ground. I was hoping to also use it for my new folding e-bikes, but the rack weight limit will not allow this (33 lbs. per bike). So we will be folding the e-bikes and transporting them in the bed of the truck. My GMC Denali 3500 4X4 squats about 2 inches with the loaded Cardinal, so I put Air-Lift bags on the rear and a Rough Country leveler kit and shocks on the front to maintain a level ride. Good luck with the bike rack setup.
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Old 07-23-2021, 03:24 PM   #11
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I tow a 2018 Cardinal 3825 FL fifth wheel with a 2019 F350, crew cab, long bed, 4X4, SRW and I wouldn't like anything less.
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Old 07-23-2021, 03:28 PM   #12
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I must be getting old? I was going to say that my hitch was the right out of the box. I had been worried that it would be to high and I would have to make adjustments to hitch and/or pin box.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:31 PM   #13
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I have a receiver on the front of my tow vehicle. This way I can see the bikes and not worry about them hanging off the back. I have been using this set up for several years with no issues.
I use to tow a 32' TT with a Chevy Suburban. I mounted a receiver on the front for the family bikes and worked great for many years. No hassle and easy to load and unload. When we went fishing down Cape Cod we'd have bring along a cargo hauler take the bike rack off put the cargo hauler on had it set up to carry our cooler, surf casting rods, chairs, tackle box and drive up and down Herring Cove and the dunes fishing for stripers, etc. Very convenient.
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:50 PM   #14
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Puget Island???
It's about 60 miles northwest of Portland, in the middle of the Columbia River. You have to take a ferry from the Oregon side and cross a bridge from Cathlamet, on the Washington side.
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:54 PM   #15
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I have a receiver on the front of my tow vehicle. This way I can see the bikes and not worry about them hanging off the back. I have been using this set up for several years with no issues.
I won't rule it out entirely, but I find it distracting and aesthetically unpleasing. On the other hand, I'm running low on viable options.

This is another option;
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JoeDakar View Post
I requested a 2" receiver to be installed at the factory when I ordered my 2020 388RDLE and have used it to carry 2 mountain bikes on a Malone MPG2109 Pilot Series rack. The documents that came with the Malone, states do not install on campers, trailers or RV's. However, I did not have any issues and I inspected it regularly. This unit is built with a raised insert for the hitch, keeping any bikes you put on it quite high off the ground. I was hoping to also use it for my new folding e-bikes, but the rack weight limit will not allow this (33 lbs. per bike). So we will be folding the e-bikes and transporting them in the bed of the truck. My GMC Denali 3500 4X4 squats about 2 inches with the loaded Cardinal, so I put Air-Lift bags on the rear and a Rough Country leveler kit and shocks on the front to maintain a level ride. Good luck with the bike rack setup.
I might contact Forest River and ask them for advice adding a 2" receiver to the back of our Cardinal.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:29 PM   #17
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I think you would be better off calling Lippert first and they seem to be much easier to get on the phone.

Your likely to hear Forest River say they don't warranty that.

Forest River and for that matter all the manufacturers are a corrupt bunch of fools. The warranty should be through the manufacturers but they try to pass it off on the component companies and you often meet resistance because their legal people wanted the warranties written that way.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:42 PM   #18
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I must be getting old? I was going to say that my hitch was the right out of the box. I had been worried that it would be to high and I would have to make adjustments to hitch and/or pin box.
So both of us are pulling the same Cardinal 3825. I probably won't receive my 2022 Ford F-350 Lariat, crew cab, short bed, Tremor, 7.3 gas engine, until this fall. I plan to purchase an Anderson Ultimate high hitch that attaches to the gooseneck ball. I'm trying to imagine if the Cardinal will ride level or nose high. I often visit a forum of Ford Truck owners who purchased the Tremor package, and many of them pull large campers. I'll need to ask them if they had to adjust the height of their campers, and if any of them are pulling a large Cardinal, and if so, does it ride level. If my Cardinal does ride level behind my new truck, I might not worry too much about adding a 2" receiver on the back of the Cardinal.

Now look at the back of a Cardinal 3825fl and tell me how you're suppose to mount a 2" receiver.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:46 PM   #19
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I think you would be better off calling Lippert first and they seem to be much easier to get on the phone.

Your likely to hear Forest River say they don't warranty that.

Forest River and for that matter all the manufacturers are a corrupt bunch of fools. The warranty should be through the manufacturers but they try to pass it off on the component companies and you often meet resistance because their legal people wanted the warranties written that way.
Like many companies today, high paid attorneys attempting to help a company avoid liability claims, make the decisions and do everything they can to pass on the blame to someone else.
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:10 PM   #20
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Take a look at the 41.5 foot long Cardinal 3825fl. Pay particular attention to how much of the trailer hangs out behind the rear axle. It must be over ten feet. Then imagine turning off a highway an into a gas station that has a uphill driveway. You know the rear of the Cardinal is going to come very close to scraping against the ground unless you angle your way up that incline.

Now imagine adding a metal bar across the bottom of the rear of the Cardinal, in between the two frame beams, with a 2" receiver in the center, sticking out to allow you to mount a bike rack into it. But that makes the bottom of the rear of the Cardinal 3" lower than it already was. It means you better not even think about turning off a road and onto any inclines that will cause the back of the camper to drag and tear off the receiver mount, along with your favorite mountain bike.

What I'm wondering, is if someone could cut through the Cardinal's rear facia, just above or just below the license plate indentation, and attach a 2" receiver into that hole and secure it between the steel beams, keeping the bikes and the receiver high up and out of danger of dragging on pavement as the Cardinal is being pulled up a sudden incline.
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