Custom Gooseneck on Aluminum Flatbed and Adding Anti-lock Disc Brakes to 40 Foot Triple Axle Trailer

Question:

I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer. We are towing a 15,000 lbs 40’ gooseneck trailer with 3500lbs weight on the ball, on rods covered with snow and ice 6 months of the year and we have a lot of steep hills as well. 1. During installation and custom making brackets for the B&W gooseneck hitch, following things where discussed: - Where is the ideal spot to install the hitch, right above the rear axle or slightly more forward to get more weight distributed to the front axle? - What is recommended mounting height, flush with frame or just beneath the flatbed? - Is it recommended to install/upgrade equipment on the rear axle on the truck? (air suspension, additional springs, better shocks etc) 2. To achieve safer towing and braking we are planning to remove the three Philips/Dexter Torflex axles with electric drum brakes (5000lbs rated each) and replace them with something that have hydraulic disc brakes and suitable for the Tuson RV brakes ActuLink ABS system. Please recommend torsion axles suitable for this. The old ones we have does have an upward angle on the pendle arm. 3. Is it other things that you will recommend us to do with truck or trailer to enhance/improve trailer towing safety, economy, comfort, durability, braking and/or steering? Truck is still 2007 Dodge Ram Crew Cab 3500 HD Dually 6,7L Cummins Chassis flatbed truck. Trailer is still 1989 Haulmark 40’ Three axles. But is refurbished Q3 2018 and converted from a toy hauler with Living to a combination trailer with 27’ work boat in the back and cargo room in the front. Thank you so much. Best Regards

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Expert Reply:

When customizing the brackets needed for the # BWGNRC800 to install to your 2007 Dodge RAM 3500 HD Flat Bed Crew Cab with dually chassis truck frame, you ideally want to be just slightly in front of your rear axle. Anywhere from 1 to 3 inches in front is best and what is done for the custom bracket kits where available.

The system will ideally be flush with the top of the frame so the gooseneck ring holding the ball will actually sit just slightly above the rails (to protrude above the truck bed). Sometimes flat bed trucks don't allow for that fit without a recessed location which if needed is fine you simply want to make sure you have the necessary clearance for the gooseneck coupler if that recess is required.

It is not required to upgrade the suspension on your truck, however suspension enhancement is used often with gooseneck applications. I do recommend using the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs # F2299 designed to work with your dually. I also recommend the Firestone Air Command I - Analog Gauge w/ Heavy-Duty Compressor # F2097 to give you the adjustability to give you the best ride at any given time.

For your trailer, I recommend keeping your Dexter Torflex axles and using the Kodiak Disc Brake Kit - 12" Hub/Rotor - 6 on 5-1/2 - Dacromet # K2HR526D. This kit will require the bearings # 25580 and # 15123 as well as seal # RG06-070. I confirmed the fit with Dexter.

Then for your Tuson 4 Channel Towable Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) for Hydraulic Disc Brakes # 335ABS-DLNE-1600 which will also require the Wheel Sensors w/ 5-3/4' Long Leads for Tuson Towable ABS Setup - Kodiak Disc Brakes - Qty 4 # 335R955341 and the Wheel Sensor Mount Kit for Tuson Towable ABS Setup - Kodiak Disc Brakes - Qty 4 # 335ABS-SENS-ASSY. Unfortunately these two kits are designed for dual axles and there are not single axle additions or a triple axle kit, so you will need two of each. Then you will need the cables to connect from the unit to the sensors based on length, so the Wheel Speed Sensor Cable for Tuson ABS Setups - 23' Long - Qty 1 # 335449-713-070 or # 335449-713-090 are most likely what you need for each wheel.

There is nothing further to help the ride except for changing the coupler to allow cushion or suspension at that location like the Convert-A-Ball Multi-Cushioned Gooseneck Trailer Coupler - Round - 30,000 lbs # CG or Gen-Y # 325-GH-7061.

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Jason S

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Question:

Thank you for your great answer. I have a few more regarding our trailer: (Haulmark 1989, 40’ gooseneck, triple axle electric drum brakes) 1. How can we determine if our Philips/Dexter Torflex axles is worn out? They do not move much when we drive over bumps or when we jack it up so the wheels hang freely. The pendel-arm have an 29 degree upward angle, unloaded. We need to be sure if they are any good before we purchase a disc brake conversion kit. 2. We need a break away switch. Please tell me which one is the best. (please, keep in mind that we are going to convert to Tuson RV ABS brakes in 2019, would be nice if the break away system works with EOH as well) Criteria: - best quality - built to last - heavy duty - suitable for commercial use - suitable for winter conditions One more question regarding our truck: (RAM 2007, 3500 HD, dually, Crew Cab, Chassis, 6.7 Cummins), We realise that we need a winch in front, to help us during launch and recovery on the boat ramp in the wintertime. - Do you have a neat looking and light weight front bumper with integrated winch? - Or do you recommend a front mount hitch with the winch boltet to a «ball-mount» Best regards

asked by: Arild

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Expert Reply:

Happy to help.

Your Dexter Torflex Axles should have about 5-1/2 inches of movement with 3 inches of bump clearance from full load. I've attached a photo to assist.

For your breakaway switch, I recommend the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit w/ Built-In Charger - Side Load - 7" Wire # 20099 which comes factory on many trailers as it is a very reliable system. This is compatible with the Tuson 4 Channel Towable Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) for Hydraulic Disc Brakes # 335ABS-DLNE-1600.

For your 2007 Ram 3500, I recommend the front hitch # 65046 with winch mount # C31010. Then for the winch, you can use the Bulldog Winch Trailer Winch - Synthetic Rope - Hawse Fairlead - 4,400 lbs # BDW15020 which will work very well for your application.

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expert reply by: Jason S
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Jason S

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