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"Lifting" gooseneck trailer to truck height?

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  • "Lifting" gooseneck trailer to truck height?

    I have a 2 horse gooseneck trailer that I pull with an F350. The problem I've found is that if I am going downhill while making a turn, the back corner of the bed, right next to the tailgate, of the truck goes up while the trailer is still more level, hitting part of the trailer. Not sure if I am describing that really well, but maybe folks with a gooseneck know what I'm talking about. It basically just makes this horrible scraping/banging noise until I finish the turn.

    My husband is going to remove the tonneau cover "rails" that I'm actually hitting the trailer with, so that should help a great deal, but since those aren't even that high, it makes me cringe to know how close the actual truck is to hitting that part of the trailer.

    The truck isn't lifted or anything, and my husband adjusted the hitch "neck" (I dont know the actual term, hope that's close) to make it a little higher, but doesn't want to adjust it SO much that the trailer isn't riding evenly and putting more pressure on the very back axle/tires.

    Hubby found a "lift" kit for the trailer to raise it up 2 inches. He is going to call the trailer manufacturer (really nice family company) to talk to them about options before doing anything, but I wanted to post on here and see if anyone has done this trailer lift before? Maybe taking the tonneau cover rails off will give me just enough more clearance where we won't need to do anything else, but just in case, I wanted some feedback on those lift kits.

    Here's a picture of the rig: http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1..._2342440_n.jpg - this was actually before we adjusted the neck to allow another inch or so clearance room, and it's the metal "triangle" parts that attach to the gooseneck (can't see it very well in this dark pciture) that are making contact with the truck.
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

  • #2
    Most gooseneck hitches are adjustable in height. Mine, a Featherlight, has a couple of large bolts that can be loosened and the adjustment made. Since I don't know what brand your trailer is or what type of hitch is used I can't give any instruction but to take it to your local trailer shop and see if they can do the job!

    You might try noting the name and model number and then contacting the manufacturer, or their nearest dealer, and see what they have to say.

    Good luck in your project!

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

    Comment


    • #3
      I drive an F350 pulling an older gooseneck. To clear the truck bed side rails, the trailer column hitch is set a little high and the trailer itself is not quite level. I appreciate that that is not the best set up for the rear trailer tires, but my trailer is not heavily loaded. (I also drive slowly over the crest of a hill and around banked S-turns, watching the back of the truck for clearance.)

      Sorry I can't help with any experiences with a lift kit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mine rides with the nose up, not good but have had no troubles for 5 years, I don't rodeo but travel quite a bit. If you pm, I will send pic.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Hmmm so sounds like riding with the front of the trailer a little higher isn't as big of a deal as my husband was thinking it is... it's very level right now but I do see other trailers traveling with the front of the trailer higher than mine. I make my turns sooooo slowly and can sometimes avoid the scraping but depending on the angle of the road and turn sometimes I can't.
          "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

          Comment


          • #6
            When we bought a new 2011 truck (old truck was a 2002) the gooseneck was close to the truck bed. We undid the bolts as and adjusted the neck.

            It is a fact the trailer needs it's nose lifted. The horses will put a bit of weight on the front of the nose of the trailer.

            Lift the nose an inch or two or three (ymmv). When we did the changing of the nose, we used a sharpee marker to make sure we knew at a glance the gooseneck was where it needed to be at all times incase it had slipped, also a point of reference.

            Maybe over time your gooseneck bolts slipped some? Maybe you have a heavier horse on the front? You didn't mention anything that had changed.

            Try adjusting the bolts before going all-man out and buying a lift kit.

            We put our rig on our driveway hooked up, then unhooked the trailer and adjusted the nose until it was lifted in the front. Remember the horses do put a little bit of weight on the nose, and that will drop the nose by a little bit. IOW it will probably make it level or just above level, but that may not be enough clearance. Also when the two are hooked up, your truck may drop in the bed some. So the combo of the horses weight, trailer weight, and the truck springs dropping from said weight, may make your trailer nose rub your bed. It did to mine. So we fixed it.

            You have to worry on the tires if all the weight of the entire trailer is being carried on the back tires. But that is when people put their trailers at such extreme angles. But I do not think you will have this problem.

            You could get smaller tires for your truck, bigger tires for your trailer, or a new truck and or trailer all together.

            Good luck!
            Last edited by rmh_rider; Feb. 6, 2013, 12:19 PM. Reason: spelling

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LDavis104 View Post
              Hmmm so sounds like riding with the front of the trailer a little higher isn't as big of a deal as my husband was thinking it is... it's very level right now but I do see other trailers traveling with the front of the trailer higher than mine. I make my turns sooooo slowly and can sometimes avoid the scraping but depending on the angle of the road and turn sometimes I can't.
              You want the trailer to ride slightly nose up. That means there's more weight on the rear set of tandems (if that's what you have) but it also means that urine, spilled water, etc. will run backwards, not forwards, as you drive. Trust me when I say "that's a Good Thing."

              Note that this is a slight (like maybe 3-6 inches?) rise, not a couple of feet. This may well result in slightly increased wear and stress on the rear tandems but if that is case then rotate them once a year and you'll likely solve the problem.

              I've never seen a "lift kit" on a trailer but that may not mean much. But why raise the whole trailer when all you need to do is slightly raise the nose? A "lift kit," after labor, is going to be "big bucks." Lifting the whole trailer also doesn't address the "run off" issue.

              Now if it's also an "air ride" type of system that's a different conversation. The "air ride" will raise the trailer height but also greatly improve ride in the trailer (assuming you also have an air-ride hitch or an air-ride on the truck). An air-ride system is going to be "real money."

              The least expensive, and quite effective, way to deal with the issue is to adjust the goose neck. The most expensive would be an all-round "air ride" system.

              Good luck in your project.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm curious about having your trailer at a slant. Do you notice any fatigue or discomfort in your horses having to stand uphill (if it's a straight load) or on a slanted surface in a slant load?
                Kanoe Godby
                www.dyrkgodby.com
                See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been told by my dealer and the people who installed my last hitch, they both said to have at least 6" between the bed rail and the bottom of the gooseneck over the bed...while keeping the trailer as close to level if not slightly eleveated at the nose. I have been good with that advise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
                    I'm curious about having your trailer at a slant. Do you notice any fatigue or discomfort in your horses having to stand uphill (if it's a straight load) or on a slanted surface in a slant load?
                    No. The longest run we've ever hauled has been just over 12 hours. No intermediate unloading. No issues when unloading at our stop.

                    It's a slant load. The deck angle is so small it's almost undetectable. But let one of the horses take a leak and you'll know about it!

                    G.
                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you can easily raise the trailer 2", that would be a good start. Extending the coupler another 2" should get you the rest of the way.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Definitely take care of this problem. We tore out the back of the truck to the tune of $4k, and got stuck with horses on a dark country road late at night with a torn up truck and one very, very unhappy truck owner. Even after the $4K repair, the truck has never really been the same and we ended up getting a different trailer -- and warning the old trailer's new owner that they need to haul it with an older style, lower truck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think they can simply flip the axles on some trailers and get a few inches of extra height.

                          It also seems the nose of most newer gooseneck trailers has gotten deeper leading to the OP's issues.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The major problem...the wall of the pickup beds have gotten taller. You see lots of dented beds due to the trailer hitting when you go up or down...really sucks.

                            I had to sell my Trail-et head-to-head trailer when I couldn't find a pickup that would work with it. Bought an Eby with a higher front nose on it. You can find these trailers nowadays so they fit the new truck bodies.

                            You can add a spacer to the axel to help the problem. You don't want your horses riding uphill or downhill on thier trips...too much stress on them.

                            Good luck.
                            "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks guys!

                              Is there any universal rule/good way to estimate the appropriate nose-uphill-angle the trailer should be at? It ever so slightly is more uphill but not by a ton. I'll try the 6 inch rule and see how that looks. Hubby mentioned flipping the axles, I think a call to Turnbow (trailer manufacturer) will tell us whether that's an option.

                              Thanks very much, this has been very helpful! Will relay all the info to hubby.
                              "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We have a 2003 dodge 3500 4x4. We tried several things but ended up getting a new trailer. Now we are putting a flatbed on the truck so I can use a small gooseneck I got for short hauls. It is definitely an unforeseen problem with the newer big trucks.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LDavis104 View Post
                                  Thanks guys!

                                  Is there any universal rule/good way to estimate the appropriate nose-uphill-angle the trailer should be at? It ever so slightly is more uphill but not by a ton. I'll try the 6 inch rule and see how that looks. Hubby mentioned flipping the axles, I think a call to Turnbow (trailer manufacturer) will tell us whether that's an option.

                                  Thanks very much, this has been very helpful! Will relay all the info to hubby.
                                  We tried flipping the axles and it didn't work either.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think 6" would be pushing it, 2-3" probably OK.

                                    Flipping the axles should be a pretty simple fix, if Turnbow approves.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Also, you are not truly flipping the axles, just moving the springs from below to above. Should get you where you need to be.

                                      http://www.dexteraxle.com/over_under_conversion_kits

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Another option would be to see if you can swap out wheels and tires on the trailer to something with a larger overall diameter. That might get you an inch pretty easily.

                                        Comment

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