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Can Skid Wheels be Used to Help Keep 5th Wheel Trailer from Bottoming Out with Steep Driveway

Question:

I have a 42 foot fifth wheel to park in a new driveway, according to my calculations, Ill be a couple of inches too low and Ill be bottoming out on my 10 sloped driveway. My fifth wheel is on dual axles, with a GVWR of 17,000. From the center of my front axle to the rear end of the frame is 168 inch and from the center of the rear axle is 127. When calculating pivot point Im going off the front axle which I hope is correct. I am hoping Item # UF48-979013 is a solution that will work in my case. It does not have a rating for fifth wheels but Im guessing the weight is within specs. Can you tell me if this item will work and/or if you have other options for me to consider?

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Expert Reply:

You definitely can install the Ultra-Fab Skid Wheels # UF48-979013 on your 42' 5th wheel but it is worth noting that the wheel and caster plate measures 7-1/2" tall so if the 16-1/4" that you measured is from the frame rail then that means your ground clearance will be reduced to 8-3/4" which really isn't much at all.

If your frame sits below the skirting on your 5th wheel trailer then you should be able to use a shorter option like the Ultra-Fab Steel Micro-Roller # UF48-979021 which will only subtract about 4-3/16" then reducing your ground clearance to about 12".

Another option is to raise the height of your trailer. A great product to use for this (if your leaf springs sit under your axle) is the Dexter Trailer Springs Over-Under Conversion Kit # K71-385-00 because it moves your leaf springs so they sit on top of your trailer axle which in turn increases your trailer height the equivalent of your axle diameter plus the height of your leaf spring stack. If your clearance is just a few inches then this added height will be more than enough clearance for you.

We also have suspension upgrades that can raise the height of your trailer like part # LC407131 or # LC1565391 which both raise the height 2".

Please keep in mind that if you do use something to lift your trailer then you will need to account for that at your 5th wheel hitch as well whether that means adjusting the pin box or 5th wheel hitch so that your trailer tows level.

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Jon G

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