Check out rvparkreviews.com. I have very good luck using that web site.
I also recommend Garden of the Gods. Great place. But first, anytime you are looking for a place, look at first at rvparkreviews.com.
My truck is 54",ground to top of bed rails. I have air bags to level back to 54". If not head lights to high.
A side note, a local truck frame extender,told me these rv frames are ment to flex on turns side to side. If you weld in a sub frame,4-5 ft long ,that area wont flex ,causing the frame to flex more ahead and behind new sub frame. He said he's seen them cracking there. Can't say I agree, but maybe.Something to think about.
Also just read about the hanger alignment system from mobile outfitters. No welding/just drilling/and adds 2".
I had several people discourage me from the sub frame also. What is your pin weight? How much does the truck settle with the 5er? Ever thought about keeping the air bags at minimum air and let the truck sit lower in the rear? You would be running very close to the way I am running. Yes, it raises the head lights some but I don't run at night much while towing. I don't have air bags and have never felt any need. With 1600 lbs and the hitch, it sits down some but I have never felt that it was a problem. My 5er has around 35K miles with no problems at all.
I have not heard of the 2" system you mention. If I were you, I would take a look at that. It would be great if you could find some other people on this forum with some experience with it.
I would be interested to hear some more of the details of your problem. With a 2006 Ford, I don't understand why you would have a problem with most any 5er clearing the rear end?
I would be interested to know what is the height of the tail end of your truck is. Mine sits at a little over 54" empty and drops about 2" with my 5er on it. My 5er has just under 1600 lbs on the pin plus 250 lbs of hitch. I have around 6 1/2" of clearance between the tailgate and the 5er. If I pushed it, I probably could drop the 5er another inch. But, it is close enough to level as it is.
My 5er used to be too low also and the axle was below the springs like your. That ruled out an axle flip. I wound up calling Dexter and asking their advice. They recommended longer spring hangers from them. My original hangers were 3" and the new ones from them were 5".
I bought them and had an RV dealer in Chatanooga, Tenn install them. That was 4 years and around 20K miles ago. This has worked well for me.
How much clearance between the truck and trailer do you have? Is there room to adjust it down? Have you looked at lowering the truck rear end? There are some inexpensive kits out there to lower the truck rear end an inch or two.
If you are running 15" ST tires and maybe close to needing new ones, you might think about 16 inch truck tires. That could raise it an inch or so. I would not look at this option unless I needed new tires anyway. This would require new wheels, an expensive option.
I currently have about 50 years of photos on a 32GB flash drive. They are arranged by year and events within each year. A long time ago, I used to shoot slides. I loved the big pictures. Now I can look at 50 years of pictures on my 55" TV. They look as good as slides ever did and much much easier to watch and store.
I have only been completely digital on new photos for about 5 years. Prior to that, I had mostly prints with a fair number of slides. I never did keep my negatives arranged where I could find anything. About 3 years ago, I bought an Epson V300 photo scanner. It will scan pictures, slides, and negatives. It took me a long time but I scanned all of my old photos, one by one. I also added my new digital photos. This 32GB flash drive has around 9000 photos and is less than half full. Most of my scanned photos are around 1 meg. My newer digital pictures are around 2-4 megs. I also keep a second 32 GB drive for backup which lives in my bank safety deposit box.
I feel that my system is easy to view, safe to store, and very inexpensive. At 70 years old, I think I can easily get all of the pictures on it that I will ever take.
My only regret is I didn't go digital sooner.
I have used Mobile 1 on almost every vehicle I have owned since around 1976 and never had any problem. In 1997, I bought a new 97' Camry 4 cylinder and decided to go with non-synthetic. I change my own and do it often and thought that would be OK. When the car got about 70K on it, it started smoking at start up. Valve seals. I discovered that this was a problem on these engines and if you had always taken it to a dealer for all of their maintenance, they would do a free valve seal job for you. If not, around $800 would get you the seal job. I probably drove the car with the smoke getting worse for about 10K. Then, one day, I decided to change it to Mobile 1. Within several months, the smoking quit completey. After that, I drove the car for another 60K with no problems. This showed me that one of the things about synthetic that I had heard was true. They will take around double the tempurature of a dino oil and keep working. I run Mobile 10-30 in my truck and plan to stick with synthetics.
Would you tell how you do this fine tuning? ThanksSure. On the Slimline dish there are the fine tuning knobs (little dials) which are used for that. On my dish there are two.. one for Az and one for elevation. I have never fine-tuned az, only elevation as it's much harder to get just right.
The way I know I need to do this (without specifically checking the 99 and the 103) is if I try to watch a program and I get "Searching for signal on . something". Then I know that program needs either the 99 or the 103. Then I have to tune those like I do the 101. It's a very small change.
Thanks for the advice. One last thing, I don't think I have ever had any probllem tuning elevation. The Align-A-Site does a good job with that. My main problem has always been the compass pointing and that usually just requires turning the dish left or right until I get a strong signal.
Also, you can't compare the Ford to the Dodge based just on axle gear. You have to look at the transmission gearing too. And if you look at Ford's Torqshift, you will see their gears tend to be shorter.
This is very true. Long, long ago, this highest gear in a transmission was 1:1. Now, they all have overdrive built into them. In order to know the engine RPM for a given speed, you have to know the gear ratios.
In looking into buying a Ram 2500 with a 68RFE trans, I tried to find the gear ratios for it. I never did find them. But, I did find the the gear ratios for the Aisin which comes in the 3500. You can click on the Aisen gear ratios.
My 2500 will have the 68RFE and not an Aisen. But, looking at the Aisen numbers is a bit scarey to me. Mainly, I looked at the 65 mph speed. This is the most common speed I run in pulling my 9K 5er. In 6th gear, the engine would be turning over just a little over 1400 rpm. That sounds really slow to me even with a lot of torque. What I don't know is what the rpm would be on the 68RFE. If anyone finds out, I would love to see it.
I just ordered a 2013 2500 Laramie and had the same concern that you had about a 3.42 rear end. Click on Ram Heavy Duty Weight CHarts.
On this set of charts, I see where my Crew Cab has a max trailer weight of 17,740 lbs. I found a number of web sites that quoted 18,350 for a 2500. You can find that weight looking at a regular cab long bed truck which apparently is the lightest 2500 truck Ram builds.
As I said, I have ordered it. My 5er maxes out just under 9000 lbs. I hope the truck can handle it OK.
Many thanks to everyone.
You have cleared up my question. Its funny. I had accidently answered my own question when I did a little fine tuning and got everything working. But after that, I still was wondering if there was another better way. Sounds like tuning the 101 to a good signal is the way to go.
To 2oldman: Thanks for showing me the Signal Strength bars. I don't know why I had never accidently stumbled onto looking at them. That is what I will be using from now on.
Yes, look at the Signal Meters screen, not the Signal Strength screen. The latter shows the individual transponders and it's really too much detail.
You're looking for the two tuners to show at least 92% on the 101 on the 'bar graph' screen. Works for me.
I looked at the Signal Strength on my house DVR. I still see satelite 99 with (S) and (C)? I see 103 with (S), (CA), and (CB). DO you pay any attention to these or just the 101? On my house DVR I see 80% on 99(S) and 103(S) 'Not Acquired'.
I have just gotten a new SWM SL3 to go with my Directv HD DVR. Today, I set it up for the first time and had a problem that I did not understand.
Let me mention first that I have an Align-A-Site that I use to aim with. This gadget will get me very close to start with. After that, I look at the signal strength numbers on the DVR to see how I am doing. ALmost immediately, I was getting numbers from 80-95 showing on the 101 satelite. With my old 18" dish, that was good enough to go with. I let the DVR continue on into playing tv on both tuners. What I found was on one tuner I had HD ok. On the other tuner, I could only see SD. If I put that tuner on an HD program, I got the 771 message that indicates loss of signal.
So, I went back into the 'View Signal Strength'. I was expecting to see the numbers on the 99, 101, and 103 satelites. When I incremented the satelite number, I saw things like 99(C), 99(S), SWM, 103(CB), 103(CA), 103(S). On the SWM, I had numbers very sililiar to what I was seeing on the 101 satelite, 80-95. On some of those other things, I saw some very low numbers and on a couple nothing showed. Very confusing.
After looking at all of these signal meters, I finally set the DVR to show just the 101 numbers while I fine tuned the dish. After a small adjustment to the compass heading, I started getting signal numbers on the 101 very close to 100. When I went back to watching TV, I could now watch HD on both tuners. If I can get a real good number on the 101, is that good enough? I know that the tilt/skew needs to be OK but I have read that this setting is not real critical.
Does anybody know which signal meters I should be looking at and can I ignore some of these?
I want to buy a 2005 thor jazz 30 foot 5er.
It has 15" tires on it. The max weight is about 10,000 pounds. Will 15" tires work?
My 2006 Outback in my signature has 15" on it and has 30-35K miles on it. I have not had any problems. After 3 years on the Duro bombs that came on it, I bought Maxis which are still on it.
Still, if I were buying another 30' today, I would rather go with 16" truck tires. Even though I have not had any problems, I have talked to a number of 5er owners who have not been nearly so fortunate. Recently, I talked to another 30' owner with a 4 year old 5er who told me he had had 4 blowouts.
Good luck with your decision.
Since I'm dead set on the gas engine, it looks like I'll have to break my wife heart and go with a smaller 5th wheel.
Sounds like 10,000# GVW will be OK for the vast majority of our traveling. If we decide the mountains will be on the agenda, a smaller trailer still.
In 2005 I made the same decision your making. The only difference was that my choice was between an 8.1 gasser and diesel. I have spent a lot of time in the Rockies. I feel that my choice of the 8.1 was one of the worst decisions I ever made. In 2005, the diesel would have cost around $6K more. If I had made that choice, the truck would be worth $10-12K more today and I would have spent a lot less money on fuel.
At 10,000 feet, a gas engine will lose 1/3 of its power and the loss starts happening long before that altitude. Wind conditions in the west can be extra brutal and the combination of altitude, hills, and any head wind can slow you down to a crawl.
My next truck will be diesel and I would recommend the same for you.
I appreciate your question and understand all of the answers but one. I am looking to buy a new 3/4 ton truck to pull my 5er. You can see in my signature that my current truck is a 2005 4wd. I don't need the 4wd at home at all. I have lived two summers in Yellowstone, one of which, 2008, it snowed nearly every day from mid May until late June. Never needed it then. On most days, the snow got cleared fairly quickly or it melted quickly.
There is one thing I have heard many people say, buy a 4wd and you will get your money back when you sell or trade it. Since I am in the market for a new truck, I wondered if this is true. I went into Kelly Blue Book and looked at what a six year old GMC 2500 with 60,000 miles on it and a fairly nice equiped truck, not a fully tricked out one. I compared the price of one with 4wd and one without. What I got suprised me. The six year old 4wd was worth $500 more. I would have guessed that it would have been much more.
After you have gone through how much you need it, if you think years down the road that you will get your money back, you may not get as much back as you think. Try going on WWW.KBB.COM and price a truck like your looking at. Pick a year in the past to extimate how long you plan to keep this truck. Compare the differences between a 4wd and one without for yourself. You might be surprised like I was.
Good luck on your decision.
I have never asked a question on this message board that was so totally hijacked and turned into another subject. If anyone wants to start a posting about the benefits of 3500 SRW trucks versus 2500, please start another message and stay off of mine so I have a chance of getting answers to what I asked for originally.
This message is dead.:M
I am looking to buy a new GM 2013 truck, 2500 only.
You are about to spend $35-60k on a new truck. Spend $600 more for the SRW 3500 with at least 1200 pounds more payload.
I have the 2013 GMC spces. If I compare a 2500 crew cab to a 3500 SRW crew cab, the difference is less than 1200 pounds. Comparing 2wd's shows a 840 pound difference in the max payload. The difference on 4wd's is 1124 pounds. If I thought that I would ever go close to the limit on a 2500, I would go with a 3500 SRW. But, I have seen a lot of 2500's out there pulling some large 5ers with no problems. I'm sure I will never come close to the limit on a 2500.