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Old 05-27-2019, 11:41 AM   #1
mtlakejim
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Being Level

Is a truck actually considered "level" when at the height it would be with no load in it?

And a related question, is the trailer considered riding level when the truck bed is at it's unloaded height and there is about 4-5" of clearance between bed rail and trailer. OR is it considered riding level when you park it on a smooth level surface and can put an actual level on it and the floor is level (like you would consider level when unhitched for camping)?

I ask wondering if it is ok for there to be some "squat' under load as it actually brings the truck and trailer into true level? Is it better to not "lift" the truck bed back up with air bags?

Considering how tall some of the truck beds are these days it is a wonder anyone can get the trailer to ride level.......

Which brings me to another question. Is it more important for the truck to be level or for the camper to be level? I know if the truck is unlevel there is the old headlights in the trees and the steering can be a bit light which might be a safety concern. But on the other end of the stick is the concern that an unlevel trailer would not be evenly balanced across all it's axles?

It's sort of a catch 22 and I am really wondering what would be the right approach?

I am not trying to start another popcorn session but I did notice immediately that our 1 ton DRW did not have headlights in the trees like our old 3/4 ton SRW. BUT I have not checked to see if we are actually riding level on both the truck and camper. For certain the bed of the 1 ton is far taller than the old truck which makes me wonder if I am nose high on the camper.

If your trailer is nose high because of a tall truck should you consider adding height to the trailer some way (maybe longer shackles)?

Does Independent Suspension add any height? I was seriously considering that improvement along with disc brakes.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:46 PM   #2
mtlakejim
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No one has any thoughts on this?
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:15 PM   #3
AZ Traveler
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Jim,

I think level is what it looks to the eye and being somewhere close with both your truck and rig is probably good enough. Air bags can help along with pin and/or hitch adjustments.

I would not change anything on your trailer suspension unless you are seeing a problem.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:17 PM   #4
Texan
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Most latter model trucks like your Ram drw is pretty level from the factory. You want your rv sitting level as possible on your hitch. If your truck squats a little it can change your headlights and that is where air-bags come in to play. Mor-Ryde installed the I.S. on my rv and the first thing they did was measure how much they needed to raise the rv at the suspension to be level on my truck. You want the rv to match the truck instead of the truck matching the rv. They raised the rv 3'' to run level on the truck. When raising the rv at the suspension you are pivoting the rv up in the rear only so you are not raising the rv in the front so if you were 13'5'' before then you will be 13'5'' after. This also will not change the distance between the rv and bed rail. If you are using some other method to raise the suspension then you still will not be raising the front of your rv. If you are planning on keeping the rv then I.S. is worth it.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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If i were to raise the suspension to level the rv then I would measure the truck at the rear before hitching up then see how much your truck squats. My hitch weight is 3480 pounds and my truck squatted nearly 2''. I have air-bags and I added 40 psi to them to bring the truck back to original height. Try to have your truck at original height before doing anything to the suspension so that when raising the suspension on rv to level you are not changing the height of the truck. Just remember to level the rv to the truck and not vice-versa.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:10 PM   #6
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I would think it more critical to have the trailer level and the weight distributed evenly between the front and rear tandems.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
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Since not all the inside areas agree on what level is, when IS is being installed they measure between the frame and the ground on a level surface on all four corners of the rig and it's the rig that they are concerned about towing level.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:19 PM   #8
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Here's my take: I have a 2018 Chevy High Country 3500HD Dually. It has a slight forward rake (rear of box it higher than the front). Once I put my Pin weight on the hitch the rear of the truck comes pretty close to level with the front and my RV is sitting level. Now per the scales and with the location of my hitch I don't take any weight off the front axle of the truck, yes the head lights are a little high now, BUT we avoid traveling in the dark at all cost, so not a problem for us.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:30 PM   #9
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The manufactors expect 3/4 ton and one ton trucks to be used for hauling heavy loads, hence the rear biased rake. I think that they design the rear suspension to be a little softer until the springs contact the overloads, usually at about 2" of travel. Once on the overloads the truck should loose it's rake and the headlights should still be fairly level. If you are just contacting the overloads and add air bags to raise the bed off the overloads than you regain the rake and just stiffen the ride to the stiffness of the main spring pack. The truck, when empty will ride much stiffer now than one without airbags. If you are squatting an additional inch or two after contacting the overloads than you need the air bags.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:06 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like some folks use airbags to level while others use it to soften the spring bounce (for the ride)?


May be a while before we do it since we are more or less stuck for work in one spot but it does sound like another good reason to take the rig to the IS and Disc Brake factory and get that plus the cushioned hitch pin all at once?
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:04 AM   #11
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Both of our rigs came with the MorRyde king pin, but we added IS and disk brakes to both. We wouldn't travel without them, but in your situation I'd use the money for other things until your situation changes.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:52 AM   #12
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There is more to the rig being level than the headlights being maybe high tire wear is a consideration . The folks at Mor Ryde know their job in our case the rig was lowered by 2 inches. If I were a low end user I do not think I would spend the money for the IS however in our case being a high end user with many miles traveled in was worth the cost
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:01 AM   #13
jeffba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richfaa View Post
There is more to the rig being level than the headlights being maybe high tire wear is a consideration . The folks at Mor Ryde know their job in our case the rig was lowered by 2 inches. If I were a low end user I do not think I would spend the money for the IS however in our case being a high end user with many miles traveled in was worth the cost
.
Rich, how many miles would you consider one to be a high end user?

We are in the 5K- 7.5K range

Thanks
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:26 AM   #14
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I want our RV to be level. I also would like the truck to not ride on the overload leaves - they, on this truck, tended to clang as they just barely touched so I added air bags. It only takes 10-15 psig to raise the truck and 5er to level.


If your rig rides significantly nose high, you will be transferring weight to the rear axle, adding wear and tear to suspension parts and tires. Low, the opposite.


Headlights, while hooked up, searchig trees for owls - if a Ford, an easy 5 minute long Phillips screwdriver fix. They only adjust up and down
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:51 PM   #15
richfaa
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Rich, how many miles would you consider one to be a high end user?

We are in the 5K- 7.5K range

Thanks
That is 60 to 90K a year. We are in the 7K range sometimes more sometimes less. That is a lot of miles on our Roads for a Recreational Vehicle particularly a TT or 5th wheel. . We installed the IS and we use a Trailersaver BD 3 hitch.We also have airbags to level the rig all of which contribute to as smooth a ride that is possible.
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:19 PM   #16
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Food for thought. Manufacturers know that you will not be traveling with a load all the time, in fact the time spent with a heavy load is low compared to being empty. Unloaded is level. Your headlights are set that way also.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:15 PM   #17
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Most trucks are a high in the rear before taking the load. You don't need to go to the extreme of putting a level in the RV. Just park it on level ground and step away and see if the trailer and truck are close to level. If the truck is level and the FW is nose high, adjust your fifth wheel hitch down, if you can. If the truck is squatting too much, unless you're way overloaded, a pair of air bags should get you back close to level.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:48 PM   #18
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A little sag is not bad. Put Timbrens on my F250 which helped considerably.
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