We are frustrated and have a dilemma. We are in need of a new truck. We presently own a 2002 GMC 4X4 Extended Cab and a 1996, 22-ft., Jayco 5th wheel. Our problem is that our 5th wheel cannot be adjusted to fit a new 2010 truck due to the height of these new vehicles. We had the axles flipped to accommodate our 2002 GMC ? so that is not an option. Our truck is 53? from the ground to the top of the box; inside box measurement is 19?. The 2010 Ford 4X4 is 57.5? outside with 23.5? inside the box.
The 2010 GMC is 58? outside with 21? inside the box.
The Dodge and Toyota Tundra are similar.?
We have been to several RV dealerships and they have no real solution, as we do not want to raise the 5th wheel any higher due to the centre of gravity. We need the 4X4 to accommodate our backroad camping trips and winter driving, so our other option is to buy a new 5th wheel to accommodate the new truck.? However, 25-ft. seems to be the smallest 5th wheel we can purchase and most are so high in the front to accommodate standing in the bedroom. Does anyone make a basic 5th wheel? We like to go to the remote fishing lakes in BC and they exclude many of these larger RV?s. Many RV?s if taken care of will last well beyond the vehicle that tows them.? The increased height of the new trucks is going to virtually make the older 5th wheels obsolete. As one RV dealership explained to us, they are forced to do catch-up to the motor vehicle industry. Our dilemma: a large financial outlay for something we really do not want.
~ Robert & Linda Edwards, Salmon Arm, BC
Robert & Linda,
I have come across this problem a few times now. I know you are not that interested in lifting the trailer higher because of the centre of gravity, but that is the only solution. If you have a look under a newer, taller fifth wheel, you will find the traditional I-beam frame, and the traditional spring hanger brackets (three brackets for two springs). The difference is at the factory, before welding on the spring hangers, they weld on a piece of square tubing off the bottom of the I-beam, then the hangers off of that. That is how they achieve the height. In essence, they raise the trailer. So, basically, there is no avoiding raising the trailer. This procedure can be done at most local spring and frame shops, and cost should be anywhere from $1,000-$1,200 dollars.
~ Ryan Jackson, Service Manager, O?Connor RV Centre, Langley, BC