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Old 02-20-2008, 07:47 PM
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Suspension mods for Rving Ideas?

Looking for some advice. I have a 28' Cimmaron fifth wheel that I would like to be able to use again but feel unable to. I once pulled this behind my 86 chev K30 CC 4x4 LB or my 86 Freightliner conv logger for use on the landings for a few years. The trailers axles had been flipped by a previous owner (for use behind a 4X4 I recon) and the trailer sat level across my p/u bed with apprx 5"s of clearance. Now that I have a 2002 f350 PSD 4X4 with stock suspension I have a problem with clearance between the bed rails and trailer frame and particularly at the rear as the truck sits higher in the back. I actually have several questions but the primary one is this; What is the easiest way to get my bed clearance so I dont tear up the bed when taking dips, hitting bumps and the like and especially when making turns when the frame crosses over the bed? I'm trying not to set the pin height too low to so that the trailer drags the back end down the road and upsets the trailers suspension balance. I only have a 2" clearance at the tailgate with about 5"s at the the nose at mid bed when setting on level ground. I don't really want to remove the overload spring on the truck as I do also tow a 45' racecar gooseneck trailer which just begins to sit on the overloads when hitched. My truck does not sit level with the chassis unloaded and has a nose down attitude. The front suspension is not worn and the shackles are in good order with the bushings not squirting out from time and milieage. (Truck has 91k original miles). I was thinking or lifting the front with an extra spring, new whole spring set or possibly a raised shackle kit. I figure if I can get the front end up, to level the truck chassis/bed. Then I might be able to squeeze out the needed inches at the tailgate for a better margin of clearance. Has anyone else experienced this. I hate the idea of putting any more lift to the trailer itself. But I'm not keen on lifting the front to upset the trucks handling and aerodymanics and potential loss of mpg's. I know, somethings got to give and there is a drawback to every compromise.

I'm guessing shackle kits would be the cheapest route and I personally have never liked shackle kits remembering everyone using them in the sixties to jack the rears of their hotrods up to give them that funnycar look and causing ridiculously poor handling. Using an extra leaf seems appealing but I know at least with my logger when trying this method I would end up breaking part of the original spring pack from the inherent different rate of the new spring. So it is probably best to buy new whole sets to prevent a failure of an older spring. Am I on the right channel in my thinking? What have you done to overcome this? I should say I have a live front axle with parallel leafs and not IFS with coils.

I should also say that my trailer king pin has been outfitted with a gooseneck adapter so I wouldn't have to have twenty different configurations to have to tow with. On that note comes my second delemna. My gooseneck ball reciever is a commercially available unit that replaced a home made design which had a three inch ball. I had to change it over because I couldn't come up with a ball to replace it with a large enough thread but suffice to say the new hitch setup came up in the exact location as the old setup and appears to be centered over the rear axle with no offset front to back. Hence comes my second question. Both off my trucks were longbeds but now when I back up to hook to the RV I have to stop, get out and close my gate before I complete the connection. Or else my tail gate is into the front of the trailer's apron. I can not squeeze my way between the back of my truck and the trailer. And no I dont need to go on a diet. LOL I am able to turn but my bed corners are really close and it gives me a headache thinking about it. I have clearance issues everywhere. I have seen offset pin boxes on smaller RV trailers designed to be used with mini trucks and or shortbeds but these always seem to be on smaller trailers. My "second question is this; Are offset pinboxes safe for larger trailers?It seems they would tear out the box's reciever on the trailer or even fracture and fail themselves. Are there offset pin boxes designed for larger trailers? I know there are fifthwheel to goose adapters with offsets but I would like to keep the adapter that I have as it is new and I preferred its design over others.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your ideas. Summer is on the horizon and I really want to be able to move this thing and enjoy it rather than watching it molt into the ground...

Bill
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:17 PM
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Okay maybe i"m confused. I got this five star rating(?) for what? I cant even get someone to reply to my questions. Did I post to the wrong site? Can I move this without trying to transcribe it all? I'm really needing help trying to get this figured out. I'm temporarily disabled at this time just having back surgery and was hoping for a little help with my problem. Surely i'm not the only person who has had this problem. If someone can help me move my thread I will gladly try somewhere else. I'm new here and I find it very difficult to locate the right site as it seems there are too many overlapping sub forums that just don't seem all that necessary. This one said RV/camping so here I am ,,, Now what?
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:22 PM
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put a leveling kit in . have you had the fifth wheel on with load compressed suspension? A couple inches of lift in the front wont affect your handling

Last edited by jjames25; 02-27-2008 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:21 AM
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You could go with a leveling kit, but then it might sit funny when towing your gooseneck... I'd probably still recommend it, though considering how you describe your 5er sitting while towing. Yes, you can get the offset (also called extended) pinbox for heavier trailers. Mine's got one and it's rated for 16k, although my 5er is only 12k. Oh and you can safely add an "add a leaf" to an existing spring pack with no problems. The only concern would be if you had overloaded your existing leafs and they no longer had any arch, especially since you are just breaking in that truck with only 91k miles on it!
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill chasser View Post
Okay maybe i"m confused. I got this five star rating(?) for what?(
What 5 star rating? What does that mean?
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:57 AM
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you could have the overloads taken out of the rear to lower it and then install airbags for the weight, this will also help with the hooking up since the back problems. this will also allow your truck a level smoother ride unloaded
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:26 AM
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Thanks to all who have responded. I didn't mean to write a -itch to my own thread to get some response. I was surprised that I hadn't received one though, since I wrote the questions almost a week ago. I am new to the site and if this was posted in the wrong place then My Bad. There are so many subforums it s difficult to know where exactly to list my questions since it seems it could easily be put in 4-5 differents places.


Evileye

Thanks for the pin box info. Since the trailer was never designed for one of these boxes is there alot of beefing up that needs to be done to the trailer to use one of the heavier designed offset boxes? Or is it simply a matter of bolting it in? What price range do these fall in? What manufacturer is yours and why did you choose them for your rig? I realize it all goes to properly loading the trailer in the first place...so my question is more general in nature.

Inre to my front springs, they ave a neg arch like a mid '80s GM would have. The truck had a very heavy hitch in it prior to my purchase so I cant say how much loading the fronts had to endure. I should probably get a pic on here so you can see for your self. Maybe I have and added spring set in the back and that is why it sits so high. How many leafs should be in a 2002 4X4 CC F350. But then if I did remove a leaf on the rear it may cause a new issue with the gooseneck which rides perfect now




jjames25

How exactly do I figure out how much lift I need to level it out? I 'm thinking level ground with a 3' level pivoted at the taligate but where should my mark be made to reference the front. Or, would raising one side of the front diff until the bubble is level on that side of the bed rail be sufficient to get an accurate lift measurement? Do you have a recommendation regarding manufacturer and why? what do these kits run? you asked about rear spring compression with the 5er. Drops maybe 1" and is well off the overloads, but the gooseneck just sets on them. I havent had but a 16mi move with the 5er because Im freaked about damage to the bed rails/tail gate or trailer rails



lifewitlooie

I have no idea what the 5 stars mean that was my question? Before you open my thread there are 5 stars on the thread line that you click on to open. Idunno(?)


jus playn

Thanks for that tidbit, its not one I had considered. The ride harshness really isnt that rough. I hadnt really put a lot of thought in readjusting the gooseneck if I were to remove a leaf. If I end up and add to the front or delete from the back then am I now going to cause pinion angle/ driveline problems?

TO ALL


I appreciate everyone who took the time to answer and would like to hear back and if anyone has something to add I greatly respect hearing your opinions also.

Bill
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:48 AM
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Bill, I apologize that your first post was overlooked; as you know, we have a bunch of knowledgeable people on this forum and sometimes that happens. What you did was bump it back to the top so people had another opportunity to see it. No worries!

You shouldn't have to beef anything up; many of these can bolt up in direct replacement for your standard pin box. I have heard rumors of folks complaining that EPB's can cause cracking and welds to break, but never experienced it or seen it myself and I know many folks who have them. BTW, here's a LINK to a common replacement model. Once you get this mounted up, you'll likely need to re-adjust your fifth wheel hitch. Pics of your springs would be good, but from the sound of it, they need to be re-arched.

BTW, I'm sure you already know this, but it is better to tow with the rear-end slightly higher than the front than to tow with the rear lower than the front.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:53 AM
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Did you consider lowering the rear of your truck with a set of lowering blocks and longer shackles. I have been toying with the idea of doing that to my F250, not for the clearance but to level out the 5er.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:50 PM
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evileye

Thanks again for getting back to me and i will open the link and see what showsup. Sorry for my coherency at the moment. It looks to me that the offset pin box is what Im looking for. I did see one of these on a 40'toyhauler just this morning but I couldn't get a good look. it looked like it kicked about 24-30"s into it to avoid a coffin style sleeper on the rig. It sure seems like you could rip up the box's reciever really easily. with the added stress alone. I'm if the ilk that I want my entire rig to tow flat so I will still have to deal with either the frt or rr suspension

What is the right proceedure to figure out the necessary f/e lift I need to level the truck bed?


tvman44

I havent really considered lowering the truck since it is a 4X4 with stock susp. Just something about lovering 4bys. Its like buying twd blazers and jeeps. I do off road the truck in my treeservice on occasion but it is what I consider a gentlemans 4x4.

Bill
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