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Old 08-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
cgaskins
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Stupid Question ....

Hey, I have what is probably a stupid question but I am looking for some guidance and advice.

Years ago before I bought my Montana 5th wheel (which is my 1st 5th wheel trailer), I saw a guy a state park here in Texas that was going down a very short but fairly steep incline damage his truck because his trailer hit the bed rails of his truck due to the angle of descent. It was flat above the include and flat below. Since then I have always tried to avoid that type of situation.

How do you know how steep of an incline you can navigate without having your trailer hit the bed of your truck? Is there a set distance (when level) that your trailer should be above your truck bed?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
DQDick
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The problem is that it's not the incline but the difference between the front wheels on your truck and the trailer wheels. Anytime the front of the truck goes down steeply while the trailer is still relatively level there could be a problem. Type of hitch, how it's mounted, height of rails, and type of pin box can all have an effect. Not sure there's an easy answer.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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There is no stupid question! As Dick said, there are many things to consider. Best bet is just be careful
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #4
cgaskins
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Yeah, I understand it is difficult to answer. There is some property I am looking at but to get access of off a 4-lane highway, I have to go down a hill like I described above. It is a fairly busy road so I am trying to figure how to determine if I can can navigate it without taking my truck / trailer over there and getting into a mess.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
stiles watson
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Do you have room to take the "dip" at an angle rather than straight on?
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
steelpony5555
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Some guys just don't got enough space between their truck bed and the trailer. I saw one the other day where if he had 4 inchs he was lucky. Way too close for me. On my new truck I have about 10 inchs which is a lot.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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This is by no means a stupid question. It's good you're asking about this phenomenon.

The magic number is a 6 inch gap, however you can get it (adjusting the pin, hitch, suspension or other parts that can be adjusted). I currently have 7 1/2". But this is NO guarantee that all will be good. The distance of the tail gate to the trailer underhang, size of tires, wheelbase, distance between TV and RV wheels, terrain drop, direction of travel and amount of sag are just some of the factors that can affect things. I'm sure there are many more.

I have only run into this once at a site at 1000 Trails in Idyllwyld California. I had to drop into a site with my Monty and had few little space left between the overhang of the Monty and the rear corners of my truck bed. I'm sure if I was at the 6" recommended minimum I would NOT have made it. After doing this I realized why the site was available and I noticed other sites with similar terrain were also not occupied because others didn't want to mess with it. In retrospect I had to imagine that a bumper pull configuration was a big problem especially since I noticed the scrapes on the peak of where the asphault met the dirt. I now look for this.

In your case, if you buy a property with terrain that has this condition, you'll probably have to try it out slowly and then evaluate grading or elevating the path (temporary large heavy duty planks) to suit your needs. Good luck to you.

There is probably some mathematics you can do to calculate the degree of entry or exit by taking measurements or even asking the city/county for some help because now you're beyond my capabilities.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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On my first 5er, I had a very narrow gap. Reason was my TV was a Ford F250 diesel which sat vary high. There were options such as pulling the spacer block out from the rear of the TV. I think the spacer was a 2" lift between the rear axel and the springs. Ultimately, what I did was to have the axels flipped on the 5er. this gave me something like an extra 4" in hight for the trailer and it worked like a charm. Never came close to hitting the bed rails and gave me more clearance to clear the steep transition from my driveway to street... Unfortunately I still had to use a pair of 4x12's cuz the transition was so great.. Still, flipping the axels is another viable way, albeit expensive way to improve that clearance if you have a tall truck.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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You see people do it, but I'm not a big fan of relocating the axles above the springs. The Montanas are pushing 13' as they come from the factory ... it also moves the center of gravity up on a unit that is a tad top heavy anyway. If you're just "looking" at this property, you may just consider keep looking or if dead serious about the property, hire a contractor and build an adequate access point. Your point about turning off a busy road will only worsen the manuver both in and out. Then there's the issue of the rear of the Montana dragging once you get in there and start to pull onto level ground ... a 3400 is pretty long past the axles.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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The axles on the Monty are already below the spring packs so this is no longer an option to gain height so I can't comment on potential problems of the axle on top or the bottom, but I do here people have down these. The option in this case is to put spacers between the axles and spring packs to gain some height. I don't need to do this since I have pretty good clearance and I don't want to impact the level of the trailer on my truck. The Monty rides slight unlevel at the pin now but not enough to want to incur the cost and effort of adding spacers especially (adding spacers means you must get longer U-bolts and replace the nuts - do not reuse ubolt hardware.

I just wanted to mention another method for raising a trailer for better truck bed clearance but I couldn't tell you how thick to get or if it would be the best option. Again, no matter what you do a road angle might be so severe for trailers that nothing helps. Hopefully the OP can calculate that new road will be okay. I can certainly understand the concern.
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