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Old 02-07-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
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Some Newbie 5th Wheel Questions

Hello All,

I have a 2011 30.5RLS on order and have a few questions about leveling, pin box, and the Superglide capture plate.
My tow vehicle is a 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD short bed 4x4 and have purchased a Pullrite Superglide 16K sliding hitch.

Now the newbie-type questions:

1) What should I expect about TV bed-rail to 5'er clearance from this setup and how much tweaking is involved in getting it all leveled?

2) Should I insist the dealer make this leveling right before I leave the lot?

3) I've read the stock Pin Box is made by Dexter (Leland). It looks vanilla to me. Any opinions on how well it performs?

4) Which Pullrite capture plate do most use? Is the universal plate the only option?


Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
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I've got a Jayco 28.5 RLS on order, and already have a Pullrite Superglide hitch. Here's what I found out about a capture plate.

1) The pin box may be made by Leland (or Dexter), but it is not a standard Leland width - it's about 12 inches wide versus the old Leland width of 14 inches. This was a disappointment to me, as my old trailer had a Leland pin box and I had hoped I could just use the old capture plate on the new trailer. Nope.

2) I called Pullrite, and they told me there is no quick connect capture plate available for the pin box on a new Jayco. Obviously, the quick connect is preferable, as it allows you to quickly disconnect it if for some reason a non-superglide hitch needs to tow your trailer.

3) You could use Pullrite's universal capture plate, but it is difficult to attach and difficult to remove. Also, one pin box manufacturer (not Leland and not Jayco) told me that if you have to drill or weld onto the pin box (as to attach a universal capture plate) you would void the warranty on the pinbox. Plus,it would be a real stinker to have to remove if you had to. Be sure to check on the warranty issue if you decide to go this route.

4) But, there is a Mor-Ryde pin box available for a new Jayco fifth wheel, and there is a more or less quick connect capture plate for it. It's not quite as easy to remove as the quick connect for my old Leland pin box, but almost. Also, Jayco will put on a Mor-ryde pin box for you at the factory if you want to. This is what I decided to do; I'd always wanted a Mor-ryde, so this was a natural choice for me.

You'll get different answers about the amount of clearance needed between your truck and the underside of the trailer, but most suggest at least 6 inches. More is better, if possible. But you want your trailer to tow level. It's all a compromise. I think your dealer should help you with this, before you leave the lot. Insufficient clearance can do damage to your truck or the underside of your trailer (can you guess how I know that?). But if your trailer is too high, it will put too much weight on your rear axle.

About the pin box on a new Jayco Fifth Wheel. To me, it looks like it will serve well. Jayco's reputation is that they don't build junk, so I feel like it will be strong and durable. How well it would work without a slider hitch, I just don't know. I do know that the Superglide hitch made traveling with my old trailer a lot easier.

You might want to give Pullrite a call. They are nice people to talk to, and seem to know everything about capture plates and pin boxes.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:52 AM   #3
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Hey, thanks for the great detailed reply RVHIKER.

Some great information there.

As you spelled out, it looks like I will need the Universal capture plate with the stock pinbox. The only other option is to use a different pinbox. The Mor/Ryde box looks nice.

As for leveling and clearance, I've done some digging and it seems that Jayco may be shipping the Eagle 5th wheels with the axle's flipped. I found a reference post that said they started this practice in 2010. I also found a picture from an on-line dealer that shows a factory new 2011 Eagle Lite 5th wheel with the springs above the axle.

Pic of flipped axle on 2011 Eagle 5er

Webpage of dealer - source of pic

According to the forum post, Jayco started this practice in 2010 because they were getting many warranty claims for an axle flip with newer trucks.
I asked Jayco customer service and the gal there said she new nothing about this.

I guess I'll find out for sure when it gets here.

Just thought this was very interesting and thanks again for the great reply.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:57 AM   #4
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Just took delivery of my new 2011 30.5RLS 5'er and thought I'd follow up and share some wisdom.

The unit came from the factory with the springs mounted above the axles (flipped axles). This made the leveling process so easy.

I was really worried about making this right.

My dealer had quoted pricing of about $850 to flip the axles. I was very happy this was moot as I was prepared to make a stink and fight to make Jayco foot the bill.

Also got a china toilet which I was not expecting and Dexter Nev-R Adjust brakes.

Had to use the Pull-rite universal capture plate with my Super-glide hitch for the stock Dexter pin-box. The dealer had no experience with the pull-rite and deferred to a local welding shop that handles Pullrite. End result was a custom option where some custom welding provided a capture plate that can be removed in about 10 seconds. Nice that this came at no charge.

I can post some pics of the capture plate if there is any interest. This really was an unexpected bonus.

More later...but a happy new Jayco owner for now!
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:38 PM   #5
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The dealer should have you all set up before you leave the lot.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:15 AM   #6
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Painful Newbie Lessons:

Dealers don't check for clearance. They sell trailers, and don't want to entertain any liability of getting it wrong. Check the latest issue of Trailer Life for an example.

We have a 2008 Chevy 2500 HD. Bed height is rather tall. We went from a bumper pull to 5th wheel, so had to rely on the dealer to install the hitch. We got some dang generic thing that at least is DOT approved, but clanks like mad.

Here's where we got caught...the truck is a shortbed, so they installed a slider hitch. They also did not bother to check the bed-to-underside clearance. When we got the unit home, we engaged the sliding hitch to move the unit back anticipating the tight turn our driveway. Wrong. It slammed the pinbox into the tailgate, which is now u-shaped. After 20 minutes with a rubber mallet to try and release the slide mech., proceeded to back up. Guess what? only 3 inches of clearance between bedrail and underside, resulting in a nasty scratch in both. Oh, and as it turns out, the thing doesn't need a sliding hitch unless you exceed like 45 degrees, and then it'll take out the bedrails. we were told to never move it with the tailgate down. now told to do that when engaging the slide hitch.

Thankfully the service people (sans salespeople) were able to help. Not only are the axles factory "flipped", there is also an additional mount hole for the leaf springs (you have to look...I had to point it out to them) They were able to lift all four springs to add about 3" I think. They then raised the hitch head so now when level, we have 6"+ at the bedrail. The hitch head still fits under the bed cover too...and you can even see it through he bend in the tailgate! Sigh!
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #7
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I had the same problem with my 08 Chevy when I bought my 25.5RKS. The dealer wanted my first born to flip the axles and the trailer was on the highest hole in the jake plate. I rectified this by going to 16" wheels and taller tires. Got rid of my china bomb Marathons.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:28 PM   #8
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I just looked at three 2011 5th wheel Super Lite's, on the lot. The axles were flipped on all of them.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:54 AM   #9
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Well thankfully, there was an extra set of lower mounts on the hangers to use to push the rig up or we would have been facing serious mods. Renoman had a good idea going to 16s, but that can cause issues too if you're not careful. I just don't think mfg's always account for ride height, especially with 4x4 tow vehicles. And to renoman...Mine's got the Marathons as did it's predecessor..no issues, but if you have a recommendation, please share!
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:06 PM   #10
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does anybody know the width of a 2011 30.5 RLS and how far is the hitch pin from the very front. I asked my sales rep and they didn't know it. LOL. Thanks
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