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Tire and load/level question.

JIMMY034
Explorer
Explorer
I bought a new truck, and GM thinks everyone tows 5th wheels the size of an apartment complex. My issue is this: I'm not towing level anymore. I did everything I can possibly do, the axles were already 'flipped' and I had the rear of my truck lowered as much as possible (so I was told, the new ones have no 'blocks' that can be removed for a home 2" drop which would have taken care of the problem), which was only 1¼". I also had the trailer hitch raised as high as it can go. It's a lighter weight 5th wheel so it's not naturally as high as most are. The hitch in the truck is at the lowest setting as well, so no wiggle room there.

So, I'm not terribly unlevel, but the front is about two inches high. We don't use it much so I wasn't willing to have a 'sub-frame' welded underneath to raise it the 2", at a cost of $2500, I just don't want to put that kind of money into a 2004 that we seldom use. Selling it or getting a new one is not an option either, as I said it's seldom used but we love it and it's our ticket to our favorite park in the Adirondacks.

So my tire/load question is this: the dealer put on two brand new tires, but for some reason put them on the FRONT axle. Fine, but the new tires have a higher max PSI, 60 as opposed to the rear tires which are max 50. Same brand, same load range. Didn't know this was even a thing. Now, MY thinking is if I'm a little higher in the front, I'll have probably 10% more weight distributed onto the rear axle than on the front. (Trailer weighs about 9,000 lbs loaded). Is this a concern? Should I put the new tires on the rear axle since they're running a higher pressure? Or is everything ok the way it is? Only taking two trip this year for a total of 1,400 miles. Would like to hit Florida (from NY) next spring.

I have adequate bed clearance though I would have preferred more. Truck is a 2018 Denali HD D/A, trailer is a 28' 2004 Puma 5th. First trip is July 10th. Thanks for anyone's expertise in this area, I'm pretty savvy on trucks, trailers and the whole RV lifestyle, but this is a new one on me and will be the first tow (except to and from the dealer for work on the trailer) with the new truck.
2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD 4X4, 6.6L Duramax/Allison, Amsoil dual oil bypass filter system, Demco Recon 21K hitch. 2004 Puma 28' 5th wheel. USAF/Desert Storm Vet. CDL-A driver for Walmart.
13 REPLIES 13

JIMMY034
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks everyone. A mind at ease is happy camping.
2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD 4X4, 6.6L Duramax/Allison, Amsoil dual oil bypass filter system, Demco Recon 21K hitch. 2004 Puma 28' 5th wheel. USAF/Desert Storm Vet. CDL-A driver for Walmart.

twodownzero
Explorer
Explorer
JIMMY034 wrote:
twodownzero wrote:
You need to look into those tires. No tires should be installed on a 3/4 or 1 ton truck that don't take 80 PSI. New tires should always be installed on the rear axle.


The tires in question are on my trailer, not my truck.


That changes things a bit. Is there enough space between the axles to install taller trailer tires? I have the same issue; my 5er is a bit nose high. It used to be about 4" nose high until I lowered my pickup about 2" in the rear through suspension modifications similar to that which was recommended by another poster. Mine is a ram, so for me it involved removing spacers between the axle and spring. GMs generally don't have them, but a shackle/hanger kit might do the job. If it's too low in the rear, you may be able or desire to lower the front as well.

JIMMY034
Explorer
Explorer
Bipeflier wrote:
McGauhys makes a 2" lowering shackle for the back of your truck. Less than $100 do at home fix. I've done this to my last 2 Chevys. Sits nearly level empty after this change.

Best part is this doesn't raise the center of gravity of your trailer and doesn't increase strain on the trailer suspension.


McGauhys Shackles


Thank you for that info!
2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD 4X4, 6.6L Duramax/Allison, Amsoil dual oil bypass filter system, Demco Recon 21K hitch. 2004 Puma 28' 5th wheel. USAF/Desert Storm Vet. CDL-A driver for Walmart.

Bipeflier
Explorer
Explorer
McGauhys makes a 2" lowering shackle for the back of your truck. Less than $100 do at home fix. I've done this to my last 2 Chevys. Sits nearly level empty after this change.

Best part is this doesn't raise the center of gravity of your trailer and doesn't increase strain on the trailer suspension.


McGauhys Shackles
2010 Cruiser CF30SK Patriot
2016 3500 Duramax
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eurojet
Explorer
Explorer
lippert correct track offers a 2 inch lift and will fix alignment issue in the future if they ever arise .
i had the same issue as you and just installed the Correct track and i am now level and high enough

or get a different spring equalizer, my stock one was 2" switched to a 4" inch one and i got some more height out of it.

JIMMY034
Explorer
Explorer
JIMNLIN wrote:
I've got over 1.2 million miles pulling trailers (same size we rv with) for a living.

Leave the slightly taller tires on the trailers front axle...


Thank you, that all makes sense. Maybe they actually do know what they're doing at my dealer LOL. I will leave things alone then. I didn't think I'd have any problems, but it's nice to hear from knowledgeable folks to put my mind LT ease.

Been a while since we took a long trip, though I'm no stranger to driving, I drive for Walmart.

Thanks again for all that info.
2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD 4X4, 6.6L Duramax/Allison, Amsoil dual oil bypass filter system, Demco Recon 21K hitch. 2004 Puma 28' 5th wheel. USAF/Desert Storm Vet. CDL-A driver for Walmart.

JIMMY034
Explorer
Explorer
twodownzero wrote:
You need to look into those tires. No tires should be installed on a 3/4 or 1 ton truck that don't take 80 PSI. New tires should always be installed on the rear axle.


The tires in question are on my trailer, not my truck.
2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD 4X4, 6.6L Duramax/Allison, Amsoil dual oil bypass filter system, Demco Recon 21K hitch. 2004 Puma 28' 5th wheel. USAF/Desert Storm Vet. CDL-A driver for Walmart.

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
I've got over 1.2 million miles pulling trailers (same size we rv with) for a living.

Leave the slightly taller tires on the trailers front axle. Reason being rotational braking forces can lift the front axle during hard braking events. Shorter tires on the front axle just magnifies the issue and can result in the shorter tires with flat spots caused by the front brakes locking up.

Using different load range tires/tread patterns on a multi axle trailer will have different traction characteristics which can/may show up on wet pavement during hard braking events.

Suspension blocks on a multi axle trailer are a very bad idea for a host of reasons. In fact Dexter axle.....Rockwell American axle doesn't recommend them nor do they make or sell blocks for that purpose.
My local big rig trailer repair shop said they add suspension blocks up to 1" thick to rv trailers but the owner has to sign their liability waiver.

My current 32' 11200 lb 5th wheel trailer needed a 2" lift so I could use 16" LT E tires. The same shop cut the OEM spring hangers off and added longer 3/8" HRS plate hangers with a couple of holes for height adjustment. I had them use 4" wide plates internally braced and welded to the trailers double stacked frame all the way up. They also checked the suspension for alignment.
The cost was just over 400 bucks with tax....in 2003.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

Charlie_D_
Explorer
Explorer
I believe, hoping, he is speaking of the new tires being put on the trailer. IF he is speaking of those on his truck it came with 18", more likely 20" tires rated at 80# max inflation.
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twodownzero
Explorer
Explorer
You need to look into those tires. No tires should be installed on a 3/4 or 1 ton truck that don't take 80 PSI. New tires should always be installed on the rear axle.

laknox
Nomad
Nomad
JIMMY034 wrote:
Thanks, I'll look into doing that. There's a spring and suspension shop near me that installed my Timbrens. I'll give them a look.


You can re-arch your existing springs for a bit more clearance. Only 2" nose high I wouldn't think twice about. I towed 2-3" nose high for 13 years and never had any issues with tire wear and the fridge worked fine. You can also add a Correct Track alignment system to gain about 2" on the FW. If you feel it's necessary, swap the wheels front to back to get the higher rated tires on the back axle.

Lyle
2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Denali Crew Cab 4x4 Duramax
B&W OEM Companion & Gooseneck Kit
2017 KZ Durango 1500 D277RLT
1936 John Deere Model A
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JIMMY034
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks, I'll look into doing that. There's a spring and suspension shop near me that installed my Timbrens. I'll give them a look.
2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD 4X4, 6.6L Duramax/Allison, Amsoil dual oil bypass filter system, Demco Recon 21K hitch. 2004 Puma 28' 5th wheel. USAF/Desert Storm Vet. CDL-A driver for Walmart.

Ski_Pro_3
Explorer
Explorer
A couple things you could do to raise the trailer are;
1. leaf spring spacer blocks. At 2", on the trailer, this should be easy and safe. At 6" a sub-frame would be the way to go.
2. Taller tires on the trailer.
3. longer shackles for the leaf springs on the trailer.
4. change out springs to ones with more 'curl' to them on the trailer.

Basically, everything you did to lower the truck, you can do to the trailer to raise it's ride height.

I'd guess somewhere around $200 for any of these mods for materials. Labor, who knows?