Lifting 5th wheel camper - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:54 PM   eBay Motors  #1 (permalink)
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Lifting 5th wheel camper

I've been looking for bumper pull campers for a while bc i have a lifted truck and thought that would be my best bet for towing, but I got a deal on a 5th wheel that i couldnt pass up on. So now I need to lift my 2005 keystone 5th wheel. It already has springs on top of axle so cant do that swap, can i use a lift block and bigger tires? Anything else that I could do?. I know people are gonna say its not safe or lower the truck but if you have any suggestions please post.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM   eBay Motors  #2 (permalink)
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I had somewhat the same setup as you with my previous duramax, fun truck. My wife and i purchased our first 29' fifth wheel last fall. Were young still only 24, spent all our lives camping in fifth wheels with our families, but this is our first together. We bought the fifth wheel and their just wasnt anyway i could make my 04 dmax work, it had about 8" overall lift. With the camper sitting level and backing the truck upto the unit, the bed rails were still above the camper by 4-5", so i wouldve needed at minimum a 10" lift on the camper. SO i figured the 04 was getting a little old and went and purchased a new 2012 denali dually because i knew well be camping for many many years to come, and we also pull our 20' crestliner walleye boat and camper all at once so the LML power is nice. BUT even with that truck i needed a 6" lift on the camper because on the NBS trucks the box's are deeper. Even with the 6" lift on the camper i have a comfortable 5 3/4" which is good for us as we dont offroad with the camper. I know alot of guys pull campers with lifted trucks, but depending on your unit your going to need a substantial lift, and dont "settle" for "thats probably enough clearence" even with our stock truck pulling the camper on some certain sharp hills/corners i get very close to kissing the bottom of the camper with the bed rails. Also id totally reccommend re-gearing for towing a fifth. Like i say i had almost the same setup and pulling our 20' walleye boat even with a tune, i wont say it struggled but it laboured getting upto highway speed.

Iam totally positive it can be done, alot of guys seem to do it i am just not too sure how they get the unit completely level, with adequate clearence between the bedrails without a substantial lift. These pictures were before the lift on the camper.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:28 PM   eBay Motors  #3 (permalink)
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Unless you are trying to set a record for the tallest, most unstable 5th wheel, I would either delift or get another truck just for towing the 5er. That's why (one reason, anyway) I keep my truck stock height and not leveled.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:38 PM   eBay Motors  #4 (permalink)
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I have a friend who just bought a 5th wheel a couple months back and he has a lifted truck too. He took the 5th wheel to a local trailer shop and they actually modified the frame of the trailer to sit higher. He pulls it fine.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:01 AM   eBay Motors  #5 (permalink)
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Has anyone ever changed the shackles (spring hangers) to get a few inches, then I could clear a larger tire?
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:08 AM   eBay Motors  #6 (permalink)
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What is the total hieght right now? Might want to think about that before lifting to much.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:20 AM   eBay Motors  #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rd05lly View Post
What is the total hieght right now? Might want to think about that before lifting to much.
I agree!

My 5th wheel sits at 153" when level, some of the two air-conditioner models go 160"...that's 12.5 to over 13 feet...If you raise much more, you have the potential for all kinds of clearance problems.

CH
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:52 AM   eBay Motors  #8 (permalink)
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There are also potential insurance problems with raising a 5th wheel. You lift it 2" above the mfr's design and it rolls getting off the e-way it could be on you. I took mine to the trailers mfr. and had them do the lift on mine. They knew exactly how high they could raise my trailer.


That being said, look into an axel flip. That may be easy enough for you to do.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:57 AM   eBay Motors  #9 (permalink)
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Ill have to measure tallest point this aftetnoon. Itd not a huge 5er, alot smaller than most ive seen sd o I think clearance will be ok
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:09 AM   eBay Motors  #10 (permalink)
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Definatly want to measure the tallest point on the camper, and be sure you do a pre trip to know what bridges/overpass's you may be going under. OR gas stations with the canopy type roof. I would suggest talking to Norcal Nick. He has a lifted NBS dually that he pulls his toy hauler with. His toy hauler has to have a lift on it.
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