Raising height of 5th wheel.

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Raising height of 5th wheel.

Postby MSFowler » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:52 am

I have a '96 Wilderness 5th Wheel. I've had it for about 8 years. My original tow vehicle was an '86 F250 Diesel. I replaced that last year with a '94 F250 extended cab turbo diesel. The previous owner of the new truck had installed some larger wheels and tires--raising the truck. As a result there is less clearance between the bottom of the extended front end of the trailer and the side of the truck than I like, ( maybe 2 inches when level). The trailer also rides on the rear skids more often, as a result of the increased bed height of the truck.
The trailer axles are already under the springs. Is there a safe, and low-cost way to increase the height of the trailer? I know some off- roaders raise vehicles using blocks between the the axle and the spring, and longer U bolts to raise their vehicles. Will that work, and be safe for a 5th wheel trailer?

The axles are Dexter 2800# with 10 X1 1/2 inch brakes ( now obsolete), and are dropped. Can they be flipped over? This would raise the trailer by twice the amount of the drop. It would also flip the brakes upside-down--would that have any bad effects?

Is the only answer to install new axles w/o the drop, along with new brakes? I know this would be the best answer, and also improve the braking as well. But what can i do short of that expense?

Michael
Bel Air, MD
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Postby Cal » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:27 pm

You can put risers under the springs.
I may be wrong ,but thinking about flipping the axles gives me a creepy feeling about added stress on the assembly.
Which would be cheaper new axles or returning truck to stock?
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Postby MSFowler » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:38 pm

Previous owner spent about $2500 on the wheels and tires, and they have less than 2000 miles on them.
I have a price for new axles made to my specs, including shipping ( and brakes) it was about $600.
I think that is the best long-term solution.
I am looking for a short-term- cheap quick fix. I have one more scheduled trip this year of about 200 miles before I put it up for the winter. I expect some "extra" funds to be available over the winter that are not not in my pocket.
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Postby Russ Chastain » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:23 pm

I think installing straight axles without the drop would be one solution. I do not think flipping drop axles is safe. I don't think they would "want" to stay in that position, and besides that, the brakes ought to remain oriented as they were intended to do.

For short term - maybe just live with it and be extra-careful about driving the rig through dips and over humps? 200 miles isn't a bad trip if they are nice tame highway miles.

You could likely put the truck back in stock condition by selling the big wheels & tires and replacing them with factory ones. You might even end up pocketing a little profit. The truck might then handle better anyhow - and you would keep the entire rig lower, thereby catching less wind (and burning less fuel) than if you raise the trailer and make the truck and trailer both taller.
- Russ
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Postby Ron » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:56 am

When I traded my Chevy 1500HD for a 2500HD it was 6 inches higher than the old truck. I had the local machine shop put a 6 inch rectangular tubing between the frame and the spring hangers and raised it 6 inches. Solved the problem.

I also have a 5th wheel utility trailer which of course had the same problem, so I did that job myself. Works great!
Ron
2007 Chev K2500HD
1998 Hornet 5th Wheel
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Postby Eric J » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:24 pm

Ron can you get a picture of that up by any chance?

As Russ stated above flipping the axles is not the way the brakes were made for, I never realized until I got into mine that the pads were larger on one side of the hub than on the other side so flipping may not be such a good idea?
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Postby Ron » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:55 pm

Eric,

I will take a picture or two tomorrow and try to post it. Instructions for posting a picture might help.

Ron
Ron
2007 Chev K2500HD
1998 Hornet 5th Wheel
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Postby Eric J » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:45 am

well i,m kinda new at that but, I down loaded pics into my photos on my comp.
opened a photo bucket account (free)
in the middle of the page click on bulk up loader
on the left of that page it should show what you have loaded in your comp in your pics, click on one of those and see what it brings up, then you can click on each picture that you want to load, once you have selected the pics you can click on download and it will load them, also their is high lighted in blue the words (more options) at the bottom of the page, if you click on that you can pick out what size pics you want it to load before you click down load.

That option will stay the same unless you change it no matter when you go back to upload more pics.

hope that helps a lil bit :D

to get a pic from the photo bucket to a web site, I bring up that wed site down size it and open another Internet explorer and bring up my photos.
than scroll through the pics for the one i,m looking for, drag my pointer on that photo and it will bring 4 lil boxes up below that photo, put your pointer on the 4th (bottom box) and left click on it, it will than be high lighted in blue keep your pointer their and than right click it, another box will pop up, click on copy.
than down size that page and up size the web page your posting the photo on, go up to the left side of your comp screen and click on edit from their click on paste.
that should bring in a line in the box you are posting in.
to see if it works click on (preview) next to submit and you should see the picture? from their click on the back arrow at the top left of your comp. screen and finish out your post.
as I know it you can only do one picture at a time.

hope that will help ya out with out confusing you? once ya get the hang of it its pury easy :lol:
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Postby ron buckner » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:49 pm

Replacing the drop axles with a straight axle is legitamate. Putting the axles underneath the springs rather then on top is legitamate. Flipping a drop axle so that the offset is down rather up is suicide. There's simply too much torque being left on the weldsof the tube axle.
Spent my youth working on RV's with my Dad. I'm just coming back to them now and found my child hood was not a total waste.
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Raising height of 5th wheel

Postby Ron » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:44 pm

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/ae27 ... 638072.pbw

I don't know if these pictures will come through or not. Try the address above.
The steel tubing is about 3/16" and the braces are 1/4 x 4 channel iron.
Ron
2007 Chev K2500HD
1998 Hornet 5th Wheel
Ron
 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Bloomfield, NB

Postby ron buckner » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:03 pm

The pictures came through clean. I think your probably OK with what I'm seeing. If Ihad to recommend anything then maybe I'd gusset-weld your front & rear hangers, as it looks like there might be some flexing taking place, and the weld doesn't look all that pretty (which may not mean anything). There should be a 1" offset between the center rocker and eye of the spring, This puts your link plates on about a 10 degree angle both front and rear, and that extra room is there to allow for that torque deflection. If you don't have enough room the shackle bolt holes in the link plates will reveal it immediately as the holes will elongate. (something to look for!) BUT,... The fact is, you have straight axles and as a result the potential for torque is dramatically reduced because impact can't create a leveraged reboundand, that's good thing.
Spent my youth working on RV's with my Dad. I'm just coming back to them now and found my child hood was not a total waste.
ron buckner
 
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Postby Ron » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:17 pm

Thanks for the tips. The pictures are of my old 5th wheel utility trailer, not my travel trailer. The travel trailer was done by a machine shop and the welds are as smooth as a baby's bottom, but mine......well..... My welds seem to hold fine but don't look too good. Also the joint between the 6" added, is filled with Seam Seal, which the machine shop recommended.

The hangers are placed in identical position as they were before. I have hauled several loads on the trailer, up to 3 tons. It seems to handle well and track true.

Thanks again for your tips.

Ron
Ron
2007 Chev K2500HD
1998 Hornet 5th Wheel
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Postby Eric J » Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:09 am

Thanks for the pics Ron
interesting what you have made up their, and does look like it would work well.

Ron Buckner I had noticed when working on my axles that their was a about a 1 1/2" off set like what you have described.

so what if their is no off set? are you saying the if their is no off set the holes will elongate?
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