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Old 07-15-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
multiwire
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Need more top of truck bed clearance

I'm new to this Forum and recently purchased a Montana 3121.

My pull vehicle is a Chevy 3500HD, LTZ, diesel, 4WD, standard box, with 20" LT275/65/R20 Wrangle tires. I only have 4" of clearance from the top of the truck bed to the bottom of the 5th wheel.



My previous truck was a Chevy 2500HD, LTZ, gasser, 4WD with LT265/70R/18E tires and I had 6" of bed clearance!



I hope one of you guys can tell me how to get 6" of bed clearance and still have the Montana tow level.

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:22 PM   #2
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It may depend on the hitch. Some adjust up and down. The pin box may have some adjustment as well. As far as being level after that, good luck. I had to add a 1 1/2" lift block to get level.
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:57 PM   #3
multiwire
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I can raise the hitch, a Curt, or lower the pin box to get the clearance but that will put me more out of level.

Your lift block fix sounds like what I will have to do. Can you tell me how you did the lift? Will the lift void my warranty? How does the trailer tow after the lift?
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:55 PM   #4
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Just try towing a while with it 2 inches high up front. I have towed this way since 2012 on 2 Montanas and have no problems.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:07 PM   #5
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I used 1 1/2" blocks between the springs and axles. It is often thought of as not a good method for lifting but not exceeding this amount is advised. 1 1/2" at the axle raised the rear 2 1/4" and leveled mine perfectly. Handling remained the same and the risk of dragging lessened. Another method is to cut off the spring hangars, weld in tubing under the frame, then reinstall the suspension. This done correctly is very effective. Taller tires can also gain a little height.

I think any modifications are an excuse for voiding warranties, rightfully so or not.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:36 PM   #6
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We were dragging so bad that we ended up breaking one of the gear pack assembly gears due to racking the rig getting into the FIL's property last year. After replacing the gear pack, I found trailerblocks.com. I ordered the 2" lift kits with new 9/16" u-bolts and tie plates. The rig now rides level, and surprisingly, much more stable as the loads on the axles are now balanced. Don't let the prices scare you, as this is a Canadian machine shop and those prices are Canadian dollars. https://www.trailerblocks.com/collec...ing-tie-plates
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:42 PM   #7
multiwire
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Just returned from a few days up north in Minnesota.



Some great information guys, thank you.


Just FYI, in 2015 I had a 5th wheel Surveyor with just over 5 inches of bed clearance and while backing into a rough site the trailer swung down and did almost $2000 damage to my 2500HD truck bed. I am really sensitive to bed clearance now!



Tomorrow I will start checking out the information and let you know what I decide on. Thank you.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:06 AM   #8
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How far off level is too much? I know this may be a loaded question. But, I think it is more important to get the truck bed clearance than getting the trailer level, but may be wrong. I switched to a Trailair pin box and had to raise my hitch and am now a little nose high. I almost made contact pulling into our local campground the first time I went there.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohrmann View Post
We were dragging so bad that we ended up breaking one of the gear pack assembly gears due to racking the rig getting into the FIL's property last year. After replacing the gear pack, I found trailerblocks.com. I ordered the 2" lift kits with new 9/16" u-bolts and tie plates. The rig now rides level, and surprisingly, much more stable as the loads on the axles are now balanced. Don't let the prices scare you, as this is a Canadian machine shop and those prices are Canadian dollars. https://www.trailerblocks.com/collec...ing-tie-plates
Bob and Becky, how did you determine what size blocks you needed? I guess you could raise the rear of the trailer while hooked to the truck until it is level and measure the difference from ground to frame at the axle locations.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:20 AM   #10
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The only real permanent fix is to get your rig to Mor Ryde and have the horse and buggy suspension removed and replaced with there IS suspension. Your unit will leave there as level as possible and ride better than any trailer on the road that does not have it. Our was just done 6/17-18.

After the install I set a empty plastic cup on the kitchen counter and drove 750 miles and the cup hardly moved. Its not cheap, but well worth the $$.

Your spring/shackle/wet bolt/ height issues will be gone for good.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:41 PM   #11
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You can do damage to the truck bed without proper clearance and damage to the rear of rv without proper clearance in the rear. This sounds like a catch 22 problem. I would address the bed clearance first. Once that's fixed then either the blocks as Bob suggested or The I.S. as beeje suggested even though this is thousands of dollars more. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to level the rv then raise the front for more bed clearance as this would put you back unlevel. 6'' seams to be the minimum most people want for bed clearance. Be sure to measure the height of your rv from the front a/c to the ground after raising the front. The maximum height in most states is 13.6''. The raising of the rear will not have any effect on your height as the front a/c is your highest point. When raising the rear you are just pivoting the rear upward to level out the rv Good Luck.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:32 PM   #12
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Before you spend money on all sorts of lifts and blocks, I would recommend just raising the hitch plate to the next level up. If you gain 1 1/2 to 2" in the bed of your truck, your clearance issue will be solved. After that, hook up to your fiver and get on a truly level site. See if you are comfortable with it a little nose high. A 2" raise in the front will not make a huge difference over your 35 foot length. We have towed slightly nose high for seven years with no issues.
Others may say that's the wrong approach but if you are level now, it's worth a shot to try this first.
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:28 PM   #13
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Would replacing tires with 18 inch tires work?
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:33 PM   #14
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The new trucks are lifted to look more macho. One can change out the factory lift blocks to decrease the lift at 1inch increments.
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Old 07-26-2020, 02:15 PM   #15
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Would replacing tires with 18 inch tires work?
The diameter of an 18" tire is basically the same as the 20" tire. If it wasn't, the speedometer would have to be different for each tire size. That is too much work for the manufacturer.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:56 PM   #16
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Hi Multi Wire
Below is a quote to me from Morryde for the IS suspension mentioned by one of the members. I was considering it for our 5'er
7K IS with 8K disc brakes $6,899.00
8K suspension with my drum brakes is $4,349.00. 8K IS with 8K disc brakes is $7,299
Now, my trailer is 3" low at the back with my hitch in box of 17" off truck bed. I have my pin box as high as I can go. I now have 6" clearance between my box rails & underside of 5'er. I am having our local frame shop build a 2" subframe, cutting off the existing trailer suspension, adding 1" block between the axles & subframe, giving me the 3" needed to level the trailer. I should end up level. If you tow high at front, then for piece of mind, you should run rig down to the scales, weigh the front axle of the trailer, then move forward & weigh the rear axle. Then compare the two weights, sometimes, when you aren't towing level the weight bias on each axle can be quite shocking, by doing this you will have piece of mind that you aren't pushing the limits on one axle/tire set. All this trouble started for me when I went from 2012 GMC HD to a brand new Ram HD, my RAM has factory air bags & does not squat with the 5'er hooked up. S**t happens, I will beat it, then the fun can resume again ! Good luck !
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:57 PM   #17
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i have a 2019 1 ton GMC and the Anderson ultimate hitch that works perfect
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl n Susan View Post
The diameter of an 18" tire is basically the same as the 20" tire. If it wasn't, the speedometer would have to be different for each tire size. That is too much work for the manufacturer.
Speedo is calibrated to tire size...simple programming fix, but programmers aren't always cheap.

I have this same bed clearance problem...trying to balance bed clearance with keeping trailer level while pulling. wasnt a problem until we bought a new truck.
Hadn't thought of adding lift blocks, ill have to consider that one. Additionally, don't forget to remeasure your new trailer height if you add blocks or lift the trailer suspension...there are some low bridges out there!
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:18 PM   #19
multiwire
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I got my truck and new Curt Q20 back from the install. The Chevy 3500HD diesel sits 2 inches higher than my old 2500HD and was causing me sleepless nights because I want my Montana to tow level. I went to the storage lot, hooked up and I have 7 inches of bed rail clearance and the trailer is level! Not sure how this can happen since the same trailer on my 2500 also was level!! Anyway I am happy the way things turned out. Thanks for all the input, I do appreciate it.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:31 AM   #20
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Carl is right on tire size. My truck has the 20" tires and an 18" spare. The sidewall of the spare is taller making the outside diameter of both tires basically the same. That way all Ford Super Duty trucks have the same spare regardless of the trim package.
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