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Old 03-26-2017, 05:57 PM   #1
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2017 f250 4x4 & 2017 29.5 bhds

Need some advice..

I got my new truck - 2017 F250 4x4 short box. I use the ultimate fifth wheel hitch on a gooseneck ball on my 2017 29.5 BHDS (with the MAXXIS tires upgrade from the factory).

I went out today and hooked the trailer to the truck (didn't pull it anywhere). With the ball at the lowest setting (which is where it was on my previous truck), it looks like I have about 6 inches of clearing on the trailer at the front, and about 5.5 inches at the back. Strangely, at the peak of the tailgate, it looks to be about 4.5 inches.

Everything I've been able to find, it seems like 6 inches is the magic number. So I raised the ball in the ultimate fifth wheel up one notch, and that gave me about 7 inches in the front, 6 in the back, and about 5.5 at the highest point on the tailgate.

1) Is that enough? Yes the trailer would be riding a little nose high, but I'm ok with that for now.

2) Is anyone pulling a similar trailer with this type truck? Any suggestions?

3) I feel like I read somewhere that this trailer can do some sort of axel adjustment to raise the trailer up a bit..

I looked under the trailer and it looks like there a bracket with two holes. Is it as simple as moving the leaf springs to the second hole? Is this something people are doing themselves? If not, does the work have to be done at a jayco dealership? I'm going to start calling around, but I have little faith that my local Jayco dealership will be able to get the work done before it's time to buy another truck. Could I have any trailer shop do it (IE - is it a complicated process?)

Sorry for the long post .. any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:17 PM   #2
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My opinion is that the clearance you should have depends on where you live and where you camp. If you're a flatlander, you are probably ok. If you live in the mountains with switchbacks and step driveways, probably not.

I dented the bed of my old truck on a switchback in the mountains. Too much truck uphill while trailer was not as uphill, and again on a switchback when things got too twisted.

As far as suspension, you are correct that you can drop the suspension to the lowest hole in the brackets, both leafs and equalizer. I had the dealer do this as part of their prep along with lowering pin box all the way. It's easy to do yourself if you can support the trailer in the air and have an extra jack available the positron the leaf spring to get the bolt through a hole. If you are going to do this, you may want to consider a wet bolt kit while you are doing it. If you didn't know, that will give you brass bushings in your shoring eyes (instead of plastic) and drilled bolts with geese zerks, to cut down on wear and noise.

On edit: I have a similar setup, have the 16"wheels, suspension in lowest holes, pin box in lowest setting and feel I'm ok for clearance and close enough for level.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:10 PM   #3
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Can it be done by a backyard mechanic guy

Is this something I can do reasonably safely? Where do I get these wet bolts and bushings from? Thanks in advance
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:05 PM   #4
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I'll chime in on this since I recently did the wet bolt install. Supporting the TT safely is the key to this. Another poster (BigJohnD) has also recently done the upgrade and posted an excellent set of pics. Before starting I bounced a few questions off him and was a huge help to me. He has a large indoor garage with concrete floor and was able to get all 4 tires off the ground and do the job.
I was working in the storage lot on gravel and dirt and was not comfortable getting all 4 off the ground. What I wound up doing was working on one axle at a time. I supported one end on the landing gear and used 2x4 cribbing to build a platform tall enough to allow my 20T bottle jack to raise one side of the back end. Getting the axles close to lifting off the ground I built another tower of cribbing and put a jack stand on top, lowered it onto the stand and then repeated for the other side. I wound up tweaking the first side to insure things looked level.
Then using 2 floor jacks I could lift a tire free on each side and remove the tire/wheel. I then had plenty of room to drop the axle to get the weight off the springs.
Once the bolts and shackles were replaced I put the tires/wheels back on and moved to the other axle.
I did things rather slowly and carefully and spent the best part of 2 days at it. My neighbor also showed up to help out and that was a big plus.
Before removing tires and bolts I'd study it a while convincing myself that it was safe to proceed.
These things are HEAVY! Use caution.
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:09 PM   #5
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So I went to my local dealer (who I did not buy the trailer from) and left knowing not much more than when I came in. Started off with a discussion about moving the leaf springs to the second hangar hole, which then morphed into needing new spring packs, then that was shifted into a conversation about air suspensions.. Once the number hit 10k (a third of the cost of the darn trailer), I knew it was time to bow out.

My axels are already flipped from the factory, and I have the 16 inch rims with Maxxis tires (again, upgrade from factory).

So - a trailer riding nose high puts more weight on the rear axel. The danger there is uneven wear on the tires, blow out, etc.

If I check tire pressures and make sure that I'm watching the tread on the tires (and if it gets low, change them), it seems like that is a safer bet than spending all this money changing axels, wheels, tires or adding some massive air bag system to the trailer and truck.

Going to call around to a couple of different shops to broaden the options discussion, but there has to be a better answer than spending 10k to bring the trailer up... no?
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:53 PM   #6
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On a side note, does the average suspension shop have the understanding to help lift this trailer up? Trying to broaden the horizon of professional opinions to ask, and it seems like a suspension is a suspension.. Maybe I could get better/cheaper service from a suspension shop?
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datx View Post
On a side note, does the average suspension shop have the understanding to help lift this trailer up? Trying to broaden the horizon of professional opinions to ask, and it seems like a suspension is a suspension.. Maybe I could get better/cheaper service from a suspension shop?
Most likely.

Are your leafs and equalizer in the bottom holes on the spring hangers already? Nose high will put more weight on the rear axle, but not by a lot until your equalizer maxes out. If it can still rotate freely, then you are close enough suspension wise in my opinion.

Really, if you need to go higher, all you would need is a sub frame. Think of one big rectangle that mounts to the frame with new spring hangers added to the bottom. Another guy here had a subframe installed and it was WAY south of 10k. The most important part of this is thick enough steel to avoid bending and making sure everything gets put back square.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by usdva View Post
Is this something I can do reasonably safely? Where do I get these wet bolts and bushings from? Thanks in advance
I would think so, but I don't know how many thumbs you have.

It isn't that difficult. You just need to be able to hold the trailer in the air while jacking the axle up and down. Inserting bushings and bolts is fairly easy as well.

Just google Dexter axle wet bolt kit and you should find plenty of vendors.
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