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Old 04-19-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
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Tailgate too close?

We've taken the new fiver out for a couple of weekends. And I'm preparing for a big west coast trip this summer. While I've have had a few problems, but nothing out of the ordinary in a new rv. One thing that concerns me, however, is the close proximity of the open tailgate to the rv when hitching up. There is no more than an inch clearance, and if I'm not perfectly straight with the tow vehicle, it's really too close for my comfort. It's not been a problem so far, but I always worry about that state or national park where I'm going to have to back in at an angle, and when I hook back up, ramming the fiver with the open tail gate. Has anyone else had this problem? And if you've got a replacement tailgate with the dip in the center, how do you like it and does it hurt or aid your fuel milage?
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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First thing I bought was a "V" type tailgate. I could never back up with it down even though I have a ft of clearance.

It had virtually no effect on fuel economy.

Another option is an extended hitch pin for your fifth wheel. I have both.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:59 AM   #3
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I had that issue with my 5er back when I had one. Norty1 gives good advice when it comes to a 'V' tailgate.
I got myself in the habit if getting the king pin just clear of the tailgate, then stepping out and making one final check and closing the tailgate before I actually made connection. This final check proved its worth more than once.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:34 AM   #4
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We have had the "V" type tailgate since 1993 and haven't regretted it. No significant increase in gas mileage, but never have to put the gate down to hook up so don't have the proximity problem you have. I just figured it wasn't if I was going to damage the regular tailgate, but when. With the "V" gate, don't really have to worry, unless the FW comes unhooked, then all bets are off.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:51 AM   #5
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My tailgate, in the down position, was just an inch or two from the 5th. Once, when not parked exactly square, I dropped the tailgate and it hit the basement cover, slight damage but still functional.

I've since completely removed the tailgate and cut a 2X6 inch piece of wood to fit along the bottom edge. No more problems connecting AND reaching/loading stuff in the bed, even while hitched.

Works for me and I'll have a nice tailgate for the next owner of my TV.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:00 PM   #6
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I wonder why it's so close on the new Jayco. My old fifth wheel was a Forest River and I had no issues with it being this close. I refer a smaller bedroom and more space for living that the Jayco has. Is that why there's so little clearance in these?
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #7
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Could be the hitch pin is not an extended one. Could you post a pic of it?
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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I also went the "v" gate route, more comfortable feeling hooking up.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVGun40 View Post
I had that issue with my 5er back when I had one. Norty1 gives good advice when it comes to a 'V' tailgate.
I got myself in the habit if getting the king pin just clear of the tailgate, then stepping out and making one final check and closing the tailgate before I actually made connection. This final check proved its worth more than once.
I have just a couple of inches of clearence between the tailgate and my trailer as well. The quote above is how I deal with it.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVGun40 View Post
I had that issue with my 5er back when I had one. Norty1 gives good advice when it comes to a 'V' tailgate.
I got myself in the habit if getting the king pin just clear of the tailgate, then stepping out and making one final check and closing the tailgate before I actually made connection. This final check proved its worth more than once.
I learned this the hard way. Second week of ownership and I punched a hole in the fiberglass of the fifth. Home repair was pretty easy. Finding matching paint was incredibly hard! Now it is the routine to drop the gate, back up just until I can close it, get out and close it, then continue backing.
Would get a V gate, but then there is my backup camera in the original gate that I could not get by without when not RV'ing, unless I replace it too, and the costs begin to climb....
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