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Author Topic: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck  (Read 7605 times)

shermand34

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lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« on: February 13, 2010, 04:57:29 PM »
Hello,

I have a 2003 Dodge Ram with 20" wheels.  I bought a 1991 Play-Mor fifth wheel that sits kind of low and tilts on the truck.  I have heard of people lifting the axles of their trailers to raise the height of them.  Is this so?  And how do I do it?  If you can let me know, I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks,
Dennis

MikeDeason

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2010, 05:09:34 PM »
You can safely lift the axles with simple blocks.

Jim Dick

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2010, 05:12:23 PM »
Many times the axles are flipped over providing more height. If they have already been flipped then it won't help. You should have around 6" or so clearance between the 5th wheel and the bed of your truck with the whole rig sitting level.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
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Supreme Oppressor

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 09:34:42 PM »
Check with your axle manufacturer. Dexter Axle has a kit to move the axle from above the springs to below them (I will be doing this when the snow melts (April or May in this area).  Other manufacturers may have something similar, or instructions to have the spring mounts removed and re welded.

Even though the process is commonly referred to as "flipping" the axle, it doesn't actually change the orientation of the axle, only its location in relation to the spring.  Most axle's built for high loads have a built in crown or bend in it to compensate for the flex under load.  If the axle were to be rotated upside down ( to line up with the spring brackets), the flex added to the crown would cause excess camber on the tires. 

If the axles are already under the springs, they can be lifted with blocks and longer u-bolts.

Basically, what the last 2 guys said, but with a little more detail.  I would recommend checking out your axle manufacturers website, if they have one.  That's where I found the kit for mine.
Me (Steve), Wife, 2 beautiful daughters, 2 cats & a dog.
2004 30.5bhs Jayco Jayflight 5th wheel
2006 F350 CC LWB SRW

Jim Dick

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 12:45:29 PM »
Supreme Oppressor,

Good explanation!
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

broncobilly

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 02:49:41 PM »
as long as you do not have "torsion" axles which i doubt you do all  you need to determine how much lift you want,  the axle manufacture and size of axle you have. you will need new u bolts, saddles and blocks to lift to the height you want. without blocks you will get about 3 in lift.

Bob Buchanan

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 01:43:49 AM »
When I bought a fifth wheel (that was 3 rigs ago), I had written in the contract that if it was necessary to flip the axles, the deal was off. Fortunately, they did not have to. I had been pulling a TT, so the dealer was to install a hitch in my truck as well.

The reason I didn't want the extra height was having seen fivers with the axles flipped not only looked weird with all that space under the rig -- but also they then looked dangerous. It seems to me that when a trailer is designed, a safe center of gravity is part of that design. The higher the CG the more prone it would be to roll over - or at least to be a bit less stable in the wind.

Does the builder of the axles consider the overall design of the rig when they explain how to raise the axles? Would it be wise to also contact  the manufacturer of the rig itself? The worst source of input for me would be from the dealer.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 02:04:54 AM by Bob Buchanan »
Bob (fulltimer - Rocklin, CA residency)
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shermand34

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 06:20:49 PM »
Thanks everyone for the ideas.  I took most suggestions and contacted the axle mfg.  They did sell an "over/under" kit for this very issue.  It took me longer to get the rig high enough to take off the axles, and still be high enough to put the tires back on after raising it, than it did to do the switch.  Actual time, and hight raised was about four hours, and about seven inchs.

Thanks much.
Dennis

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: lifting my fifth wheel to a higher level like my truck
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 09:12:59 PM »
Glad to hear you were successful, Dennis. Now for some camping...
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
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Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL