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Solution to Restore Truck Bed to Trailer Clearance with 2017 Ford F-350 Lariat Towing 5th Wheel  


Our brand new 2017 F-350 Lariat Turbo diesel has a rear bed side height of 59. This is not a lifted truck. It is a stock model. We are wanting to purchase a 2016 Open Range 5th wheel that, when level, has a 5th wheel hitch height of 49inch and a 61inch height to the bottom of the 5th wheel above the hitch......How does one go about obtaining the extra space for clearance between the 5th wheel and the bed of the truck with the New Fords? We have not purchased a hitch yet. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


Expert Reply:

Taller pickups like your 2017 Ford F-350 diesel can make for tight overhang-to-bed-rail clearance when 5th wheel towing. Based on your figures you would have only 2-inches of space between the top of your bed rails and the bottom of the trailer overhang - definitely not enough. We recommend no less than 5-inches space between these surfaces to allow for the trailer's pitch and yaw when towing on twisty uphill and downhill roads. Please refer to the linked diagram.

The fix for this is simple and does not cost a lot. An axle over-under kit, either kit # K71-384-00 for 2-3/8-inch diameter axles or kit # K71-385-00 for 3-inch axles, will raise your trailer's height by the sum of the axle diameter plus the height of your leaf spring stack. These kits swap the placement of the axle and springs to lift the trailer up.

For example, if you had a 3-inch axle and your spring stack was also 3-inches tall then you would pick up a total of 6-inches of clearance.

expert reply by:
Adam R
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