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New Truck -- GN Clearance?

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  • New Truck -- GN Clearance?

    I just had my GN hitch put into my new truck, and brought my GN trailer home from the trailer place with it. The new truck sits higher than the old one (I upgraded from a 1/2 ton 2WD to a 3/4 ton 4x4). The hitch installer shortened the GN in height so that the trailer would sit more level, but I'm concerned that I don't have enough clearance, especially over the tailgate, should I end up in a situation where I'm leaving the road, driving over a culvert and into a parking area in a field.

    What is a good clearance? Are axle shims on the trailer an option? Are they safe? Selling the trailer is not an option.
    My Equestrian Art Photography page

  • #2
    8 inches is good for me. This has been a problem with horse trailers and newer trucks for at least 10 years.

    I talked to a trailer salesmen on one of the largest horse trailer lots in the country some years back about it. His answer, which I believe is exactly the case, was, "Women won't buy a horse trailer off the lot if the height of the over hitch floor is any higher off the dressing room floor".

    It's why almost every horse trailer pulled by a truck built since 2000 is not even close to level.

    I was behind one on 95 last week, and the person driving it didn't seem to have any idea that the rear axle was ruined to the point that she wasn't going to get a whole lot farther up the road. I pulled up beside her and tried to get her attention for at least 1/2 a mile, but her eyes never turned my way, and her mouth never stopped moving into her cellphone.


    • #3
      I went from an 02 chevy 3/4 4x4 to the same in a 2011 model.

      Yes, higher truck.

      We took the truck and trailer out onto our concrete driveway and adjusted the neck of the gooseneck until the trailer was even looking. It sits about 2"'s above the bed. I could measure, but I will not hook up until Saturday. I have hauled many miles with the new truck and have been ok. I ride trails so you never know what you may come in contact with in a parking lot.

      I am careful always when I drive, but since it is closer, little more careful. Had a situation this weekend, but it was ok. Was in a hilly, bumpy rural campground parking lot. It was just fine. I had a spotter and it was fine.

      You do not want the trailer sitting on the back tires. Needs to be as flat as possible. Not safe it is that way. Only way you can change the config of the truck is to get smaller tires. I saw a 2011 with 19 or 20" tires, and I thought gee how ya gonna haul anything with that truck? I think they bought a full blown new duramax just to drive. ha ha.

      My trailer is a 2000 Sooner. Bought new way back when.


      • #4
        Lots of new trucks can't work with an older gooseneck. I had to sell my Trail-Et trailer...had almost no clearance when it was level in the bed. Seems like the sides of the bed are a lot higher now. I looked at a bunch of trailers and was amazed at how low goosenecks are nowadays too! At a dressing room with a decent height area over the bed/nose and they don't build up, they go down...with less clearance.

        It's one of the reasons I bought an Eby gooseneck...lots of clearance.
        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


        • #5

          Several years ago some mfgrs starting raising the height of the bed 4" to solve the ever increasing heights of PU trucks. You can also block the axles for additional clearance. It's a problem of which most folks don't have a clue. As Tom said we've replaced a number of rear axles due to increased stress on that axle alone. Of course, now when you block the axles you have to get a ramp or a jumping horse to get in the trailer. Several mfgrs have gone to longer ramps so that helps the steepness issue. The problem is easily solved but you have to recognize and address it beforehand. Fortunately it's an inexpensive fix.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the replies. I will inquire at my mechanic's about shimming the trailer axles. It's a stock trailer, 10 years old, in excellent condition. No dressing room.

            You'd think that truck manufacturers would clue into a problem like this.
            My Equestrian Art Photography page


            • #7
              Putting a flatbed on the truck would solve the problem of possibly catching the trailer nose underside, with a traditional truck bed, when crossing an elevated culver or elevated railroad crossing. And you have the capability of setting the trailer more level with a recessed hitch in the flatbed.