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JohnRushing

Leveling trouble with high clearance 5th wheel

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I'm full-time since Summer '18 in a 2018 Heartland Fuel 322, 35' toyhauler 5th wheel and I almost never can get the leveling system to work. The trailer has high clearance and my truck is a 2WD Dodge 2500 that sits low but level (not overweight) when towing, making the trailer ride a little nose down. If my parking spot is at all sloped down in the front, the landing gear have to travel a long way to get to level, and because my truck is not huge, I don't have much room to drop the extensions before disconnecting from the truck.

I have an LCI Ground Control 3.0 6-point system, and I use blocks and a few inches of extension to get within an inch or less of the bottom of the landing gear. I can't extend the landing gear very far to disconnect the truck, but then I have to go a really long way to get the front up to level. When I hit auto level, I get jack fault on all 6 jacks, which can only be cleared by retracting all jacks fully and starting over (with the same end result). I can always get the trailer level in manual mode, but there is no way to manually extend the center stabilizers, between that and the fully extended landing gear I have a ton of movement. Also, I just developed a crease in the vinyl floor from one side to the other near the mid-point of the trailer making me wonder if it is sagging from sitting with the majority of the weight on each end.

I plan to take it in to the shop, but that is tough when you are a full-timer. Any advice or suggestions greatly appreciated!

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Are you over weight?  This has nothing to do with your landing gear/leveling system but the crease developing in the center of your trailer.  I carry blocks also to reduce the amount of stroke and my pads will never rust as they do not make contact with the ground.  I hope that you get it figured out.

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Great question, but the short answer is no. Regarding the floor crease, the trailer is about 11k on the axles and 3.5k on the pin, which is within specs plus it is a toyhauler so I would think it would be sturdier. The rear sag is only a few inches and the truck rides level. Even if I had half that weight in the front it wouldn't make more than maybe 2 inches difference at the most.

Thanks for the reply!

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11 hours ago, JohnRushing said:

. The trailer has high clearance and my truck is a 2WD Dodge 2500 that sits low but level (not overweight) when towing, making the trailer ride a little nose down. 

Is there any adjustment left at the pin box to raise the nose?

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1 hour ago, rm.w/aview said:

Is there any adjustment left at the pin box to raise the nose?

Good point, but no; the pin box doesn't have much adjustment and is as low as it goes. -- Thanks for the idea though!

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1 hour ago, remoandiris said:

Are you SURE the LCI controller knows what level is?  There is a process in the LCI manual to calibrate the controller.  You will need a bubble level to do it.  

Yes, I have zeroed the controller a couple of times - when it will work the trailer is perfectly level when it is done. -- I appreciate the suggestion.

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Not sure this applies exactly, but I will give it a shot.

I just removed an older LCI landing gear set up and am installing a Big Foot in its place.  I noticed that the LCI landing gear was held in place with some clamps installed by welding to the main vertical frame member near the front of the 5er.  The clamps could be loosened and the landing gear adjusted as to position vertically.  On this particular trailer, they were fully up but could have been adjusted so that they would have been lower.  That would allow more of the landing gear outside tube to be lower and perhaps help with stability and the stroke of the hydraulic part(inner tube).  Not sure many will know this info but it may be helpful

 

 

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Our previous trailer had electric jacks.  I had to experiment with different height blocks on the front so I could get high enough to unhook, but be able to drop the nose enough to level on sloped sights.  What I did was find the middle of the stoke of the jack and worked off of that.  At 1/2 stroke, the jacks needed to be lifting the RV off the truck.  That almost always left me nose high.  Try using different size stacks of blocks until you get it.

 

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Another thought about the LCI landing gear is that the inner tube has some adjustment by dropping the tube to a different hole that corresponds with the hole in the outer tube.  The Big Foot system is not like this so different operation.

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I think a lot of these LCI leveling systems need to be above level in the front prior to activating the Auto level system.  That is the way it is on our hydraulic LCI system and from what I've read, the Ground Control 3.0 is the same way.  We can not get the hydraulic system to Auto level if it is too low in the front, but as our trailer rides a bit high in the front, we rarely experience any issues.  Might be worth a try to manually raise the front end prior to trying the Auto level.

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On 12/26/2018 at 11:21 PM, rynosback said:

Are you over weight? 

Dry Weight 11,506 lbs.

GVWR 17,000 lbs.

Hitch Weight 2,880 lbs

https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2018-heartland-fuel-toy-hauler-floorplan-322-tr38008

IMHO, you nailed it.  I'd call it dangerous but what do I know, he may tow completely empty, no fluids, no toys, no clothes, etc.  Scary... almost as bad as a Tundra I saw once towing a 5th wheel.  Again, personally, I would atleast use a won ton SRW.  Sorry OP, not a bash but a safety observation.

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So he is quoting the mfg numbers?  17k Gross, might have over 3400pin w/o toys.  

But the problem is that the LCI will NOT auto-level if the front is too low when trying to start the process--has happened to me couple of times on the up-slanted pads to the rear, will get ERROR! message.  Answer it to put more blocks under the legs before lifting off truck.  There is a height as Jim above said that will work.  Short of that, find another site....

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Thank you for all the helpful responses!

I honestly had forgotten reading somewhere about needing to start with the front high, but seems like a design flaw; hitch height recognition takes you back to where you started leveling, so that won't work if you get the front high first... that said, I still have the problem even starting with the front high.

Adjusting the landing gear mountings is a cool idea - I think I could definitely move those down 2-4 inches without any risk of ever having trouble. I haven't had time to do it however, as it requires climbing over the generator with the trailer hitched and enough time to make sure to do it properly, but I will likely give that a try.

As for overweight, I know I am near the truck max specs, but those are actual weights and I am very cautious. The truck rides level, it is just much lower to the ground overall compared to newer models, especially because it is 2WD. I do appreciate the concern.

I finally was able to get a technical discussion going via email with LCI and may have a bad controller box - we'll see what the shop says.

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If your GVWR is 17,000 lbs, how can the 2500 not be overweight? I must be missing something? I just mover up from an F250 to an F350 CC, longbed, diesel, for my new fiver at GVWR of 16,519. The F250 was over weight with the pin weight to much for the truck. Good Luck

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JohnRushing,

Hope you get help from LCI--the AutoLevel will not work if off level to much either f/r or s/s.  Message should pop up "Excess Angle"

Manual mode might work, but answer is still in correct blocking under front legs.

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I have HWH hydraulic leveling on my HitchHiker fifthwheel.  Sitting in my driveway, which was almost level front to back, but had a crown in the middle going side to side, I was not able to get the thing level.  The rams just weren't long enough.  I solved the problem by purchasing Andersen Hitches 3608 | Trailer Jack Block with Magnets.  You can get them on Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Andersen-Hitches-Trailer-Magnets-Single/dp/B0754NWJGR/ref=asc_df_B0754NWJGR/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312158556601&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12202739784666744957&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9024453&hvtargid=pla-569512236131&psc=1

They are pricey.  But, not only do I have no problems leveling my fiver, but I can also lift the tires off the ground, which may come in handy if I have to fix a flat on the side of the road some day.  They work for me.

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 3:48 PM, rvrev2 said:

I have HWH hydraulic leveling on my HitchHiker fifthwheel.  Sitting in my driveway, which was almost level front to back, but had a crown in the middle going side to side, I was not able to get the thing level.  The rams just weren't long enough.  I solved the problem by purchasing Andersen Hitches 3608 | Trailer Jack Block with Magnets.  You can get them on Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Andersen-Hitches-Trailer-Magnets-Single/dp/B0754NWJGR/ref=asc_df_B0754NWJGR/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312158556601&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12202739784666744957&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9024453&hvtargid=pla-569512236131&psc=1

They are pricey.  But, not only do I have no problems leveling my fiver, but I can also lift the tires off the ground, which may come in handy if I have to fix a flat on the side of the road some day.  They work for me.

index.jpg

 

 

hello, 

I am new to the Rv world.. my Rv is coming any day now can I use these or wood planks so its not sitting in grass?

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I've been tempted by those Jack Blocks for sure, but remain skeptical after learning they are hollow. I know they are rated to 6k lbs, and I can't imagine ever reaching that on one leg with a 15k fifth wheel, although I do see all the weight on one landing gear sometimes when lowering the front getting ready to hitch (if there is a side slope) which always makes me nervous anyway.

I've been using 1 foot sections of railroad tie that are super sturdy, but a bit heavy and smell like creosote... @MYBLUEYES, you can use most anything to keep the feet off the grass, you may just want to get some jack pads from WalMart (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-RV-Stabilizer-Standard-Jack-Pad-4-Pack/29764483).

After emailing with LCI, they think I could have a bad controller box, so I will be taking it in for service - I think my problems are just a combination of a low truck, a high trailer, a questionably designed leveling system, and maybe a defective controller. I will try to remember to update this thread if I ever make any progress.

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