EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.  (Read 16494 times)

lions6

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« on: April 18, 2011, 08:10:19 PM »
We are on our first trip in our new to us 5th wheel. We have a 07 toyota tundra 4 door 4 wheel drive with a 4.7 v8 engine and a 1995 24 ft sandpiper by cobra 5th wheel. We are using a curt slide hitch. This is the first time I have ever had a 5th wheel. Due to the height of the bed of our truck I had to raise the hitch a couple of inches. The trailer doesnt tow level. I noticed on the way down to the Oregon Coast that it was sort of bouncing the truck and didnt really tow very smooth. I noticed it is not towing level. I cant lower my hitch or I am too close to the bed rails on the truck. I am thinking maybe I could raise the two axels by cutting loose the shackel mounts from the frame and use some box beam to raise the rear of the trailer about 4 inches. Has anyone else ever had this problem. We are at a campground now (and by the way if you are a veteran and have any form of military ID some of the campgrounds give a military discount they gave us 18.00 off of 3 nights) so I am thinking that when I get home about cutting the axels free and raising this thing up so it will tow a little more level. I think maybe that would help the bouncing on us and make a smoother ride. I know how to weld and have an arc welder. I was thinking about using some retangular box beam and gusset plates to weld to the frame and then re-weld the shackel mounts to the box beam. Any thoughts? Any help? Has anyone done this before? We love the trailer but it just didnt tow very well.  I also noticed that I could watch the gas gauge move as we drove and I was thinking if it towed more level that it may help with the mileage. Lions6, (mike).

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3042
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 08:41:45 PM »
This is a common problem with towed vehicles, many "flip" the axles upside down to get the extra height.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

lions6

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 08:57:53 PM »
Yes, I know that many people flip the axels but mine are already under the springs so I still need extra height to make it tow level. Looking at it I think I can add the box beam and basicly raise the whole trailer around 4 or 5 inches which would likely solve my problem. I would likely need to get a 3 step set of stairs as we now have a 2 step set with a little bench on the ground. Mike.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61018
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 09:34:37 PM »
Just remember, you are also raising the center of gravity when you do that. The trailer is less stable.

Another technique to to use larger tires & wheels, but you can't gain 4-5 inches that way.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

lions6

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 09:52:02 PM »
I have 15 inch wheels and tires. Could I go to like 18 inch to get 3 inches? Mike.

Tony_Alberta

  • ---
  • Posts: 1297
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 12:48:53 AM »
I'm not an expert but I rather doubt the height of the trailer would make a difference in towability.   And definitely not gas mileage significantly.

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3042
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 06:07:29 AM »
What would you gain by placing the springs on top of the axel/?? If I did that I would consider adding heavy shocks to the system.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61018
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 11:01:17 AM »
Inches are inches, no matter how you gain them. Larger wheels have the advantage of larger hubs with bigger brakes, so the trailer stops better and the tires run cooler (less RPMs).

A trailer will tow better (more stable) if level rather than "nose up".  When braking it would not tend to lift the back of the truck.   Ditto when going over bumps.  Eliminates uneven wear on the trailer axles & tires too - a nose up trailer can wear the rearmost axle/tires rather quickly.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

lions6

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 01:20:13 PM »
So does anybody think its a doable fix for me?

Derby6

  • ---
  • Posts: 674
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 03:03:41 PM »
I'd like to see pics..Though I understand what you are saying it seems very strange to me.  A 1/2  ton 2007 Tundra sits too high for a 1995 24' trailer. :o
Is it possible the previous owner lowered the trailer before---smaller tires, ligher leafs, and/or removed factory spacers (that you are thinking about putting back in).

It definately is a doable fix...  If everything is stock, I'd add your spacers like you originally mentioned.  Just tac weld and test pull before you weld em solid.  If something has been altered I would try and unalter it back to close to original as I could...

After thought...do the leaf springs still have a solid "U" shape to them or have the maybe flattened out or sagged over the years?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 12:15:18 PM by Derby6 »
2015 Ford Explorer (Wifes Ride)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
13 & 14  144" & 155" SKI DOO

Tony_Alberta

  • ---
  • Posts: 1297
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 06:34:28 PM »
A trailer will tow better (more stable) if level rather than "nose up".  When braking it would not tend to lift the back of the truck.   Ditto when going over bumps.

Why? I'm thinking of the physics involved and don't see how 4" or even a 12" would make much of a difference.   This all gets back to centre of gravity and such.

Eliminates uneven wear on the trailer axles & tires too - a nose up trailer can wear the rearmost axle/tires rather quickly.
Ok, but is 4" going to make a significant difference?

Tony

lions6

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 08:10:33 PM »
I havent looked to see if the springs are sagging or flat that is a good idea. Does anyone think I could maybe add add a leaf springs to them to help raise it up. The 4 inches may make it tow more level and not jerk so bad. We are already clearing the bed rails now but the main thing is it doesnt tow level.

Derby6

  • ---
  • Posts: 674
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 12:16:45 PM »
Add a leaf is another good option.  Just make sure they aren't too stiff.
2015 Ford Explorer (Wifes Ride)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
13 & 14  144" & 155" SKI DOO

lions6

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2011, 07:50:05 PM »
So I made it home today from our first trip with our 5th wheel. It did the same bouncing the truck all the way home although not quite as bad since alot of our supplies were used up. I went to a local RV repair shop today to discuss the height issues with the mechanic. He did say I may need air bags on my tundra to help stiffen up the rear of the truck but that would likely also make the height problem worse. He said he has raised the axels by cutting the mounts free from the frame and welding in a box beam tube to the frame and then re-welding the axel mounts to the box beam. He also said if I am really around 4 inches low in the rear it is what is causing the bouncing. He said he has raised other trailers in the way I am contemplating and it worked. He told me he has raised some rvs up to ridiculous heights for people. I really think that this may be the best way for me to get the height I need. I am thinking I may try it myself. The guy I talked to said he could do it for around $500. bucks. I am wondering if anyone else has tried raising a 5er in the way I am thinking of. It would be nice to see if it worked. I was also wondering about a block kit. I saw this listed on some forums where they added the raising blocks to the axels and got a few inches of height. Does anyone know about these types of kits? I cant be the only person who has had height problems am ? Mike

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61018
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2011, 08:44:17 AM »
If changing the load in the trailer affected the problem, you may simply be out of balance, though the nose up attitude contributes to a balance issue. Make sure you have 20% or more of the trailer weight on the pin. A tail heavy rig will try to lift the back of the truck on every bump.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

trvlrerik

  • Posts: 1
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2011, 08:15:16 PM »
I have seen this modification done, with many cautions. If your frame is an I beam you should box in the beam on both sides with similar thickness steel to stiffen the frame over the entire carrying surface of the frame. You can then gusset the areas around the shackels to stiffen them for lateral strength. I would urge you to look at a lot of frames with adjustable spring mounts to pre-engineer the system with some adjustment in mind as you may not know how high is the correct level to get your camper to pull level.

In my personal experience you can change the way a trailer pulls by weight distrubution quite a bit, but a nose high trailer will usually be a little jumpy as the loads on similar springs are different, causing an uneven reaction.

Good luck with your project.
Trvlrerik
Debra, Alex & Alyssa
2009 Heartland Cyclone 3912 Full Throttle
2008 F350 SB 4X4 CC, SRW, Firestone airbags, B/W Companion 18k system
Whatever we can cram into the toybox

jonpachla

  • Posts: 1
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 11:14:30 AM »
There is a company in Canada  Called Trailerblocks    not sure if I can post a link here.  They sell complete block kits for various axle sizes and required heights.  Prices are shown in Canadian.

I ordered a 2in set last year.  Solid product.   trailerblocks . com

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61018
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2016, 03:05:57 PM »
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

grashley

  • ---
  • Posts: 3726
  • Western KY for now.
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2016, 10:23:50 PM »
Two thoughts:

The Tundra is a great truck, but it is still a ton truck.  You also have a fairly short 5er.  BUT have you verified the truck can SAFELY carry that much pin wt and you are within truck GVWR and GCWR.  Very few 5er are towable by ton trucks and very few ton trucks can tow a 5er.  The problem is heavy pin weights and limited payload.  This could be your problem.

As Gary said, an inch is an inch.  Before you start welding, pull the 5er onto some 2X8 "leveling" boards (both sides).  Add boards until the camper is actually level, then measure the height of the 2X8's.  Now you actually know for sure how much height is needed, and you can get it right the first time.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

razahoryin

  • Posts: 1
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2017, 12:06:28 AM »
I have a new 2017 F350 4x4 that replaces a 2011 f350
The truck sits about 4 inches taller then the older one.

5th wheel Trailer is not level and rail height is marginal
I'm going with trailer blocks from Canada and will order this week.

I have read pros and cons and this appears the simplist solution
I'm already on top of the axels

Ron

Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2017, 07:48:25 PM »
Razahoryin, Did you install the Trailer Blocks on your 5th Wheel?  If yes, how did they work for you?   Were you able to level your 5th Wheel?  and how does it tow now? 
2017 KZ Sidewinder 3610 5th Wheel Toy Hauler
2017 Ford F-350 SRW, 8 Ft Bed
2 Yamaha VStar 950s

QZ

  • ---
  • Posts: 340
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2017, 10:22:31 PM »
X2 Grashley
Pull the FW onto 2x8's or whatever and see how much it takes to level it up. At that point measure the rail clearance which people will often say should be 6 inches or more. Then you will be sure how much sub frame is needed. While you are doing it throw some wet bolts in. As you mentioned it will effect the step height and the rear stabilizers.

keymastr

  • ---
  • Posts: 535
Re: My 5th wheel doesnt tow level.
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2017, 05:58:09 PM »
Holy 6 yr old thread Batman! Probably on his third truck and camper by now.

 

Hosted by Over The Network