Escape 5.0TA 5th wheel hitch question - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-18-2020, 10:14 PM   #1
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Escape 5.0TA 5th wheel hitch question

Iím looking to purchase a 5.0TA and have a trailer hitch question. My tow vehicle is 2018 Silverado 1500 with 5í9Ē bed. I would like to tow the trailer as close to level as possible. However I havenít found a 5th wheel hitch that comes close... I must be missing something! Iím getting the trailer lift kit and was told the trailer hitch height will be 44Ē. The truck bed height is 32.5Ē. That would imply I need a 5th wheel hitch with a height of 11.5Ē. All the 5th wheel hitches Iíve found are all 14Ē+ add the rails and Iím closer to 15Ē+
Obviously this is my first 5th wheel hitch...
Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabirkland View Post
I’m looking to purchase a 5.0TA and have a trailer hitch question. My tow vehicle is 2018 Silverado 1500 with 5’9” bed. I would like to tow the trailer as close to level as possible. However I haven’t found a 5th wheel hitch that comes close... I must be missing something! I’m getting the trailer lift kit and was told the trailer hitch height will be 44”. The truck bed height is 32.5”. That would imply I need a 5th wheel hitch with a height of 11.5”. All the 5th wheel hitches I’ve found are all 14”+ add the rails and I’m closer to 15”+
Obviously this is my first 5th wheel hitch...
Thanks!
Hi: Wabirkland... We have had both 5.0 and 5.0TA's. Gone from 2002 GMC 6' 5"short box to 2010 Nissan Frontier 6' 1" and now 2016 Ram 5' 7" bed all with the same hitch. You need a good hitch installer to set it up right. The magic # is the bed rail height at the rear axle.
How's this for a level tow? Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:39 PM   #3
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That’s perfect! I’m curious, what hitch are you using... you’re obviously happy with it as it’s outlived your tow vehicles!
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:44 PM   #4
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Here's a chart with all the 5.0TA measurements that may help. If you got the high lift axle you'll need to add 2-1/2" to all the trailer height measurements.
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File Type: pdf Hitch and truck specs 5.0TA.pdf (181.8 KB, 49 views)
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:09 PM   #5
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The hitch height isn't a problem for anyone, so something isn't right... and I believe that's this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabirkland View Post
Iím getting the trailer lift kit and was told the trailer hitch height will be 44Ē.
That sounds significantly too low. From a previous discussion, I would expect the height (to the plate) of a 5.0TA to be 48" (without trailer suspension lift) or 50.5" (with lift)... presumably both with the pin box in the lower of its two positions. 48" is roughly the industry common practice for fifth-wheels.

44" sounds like a height for the old 5.0 model with a lift, rather than the 5.0TA. The 5.0TA was designed to be taller to work with recent trucks, rather than the older mid-size trucks that the 5.0 was designed for.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:27 PM   #6
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That’s perfect! I’m curious, what hitch are you using... you’re obviously happy with it as it’s outlived your tow vehicles!
Hi: Wabirkland... It's a Husky 16K slider. I've never had to slide it though.
http://www.huskytow.com It has a double pivot. Side to side and front to back. Here's a pic of it hooked to the Frontier.
Apart from being happy with it I'm too cheap to buy another one. The last change my hitch installer put new rails in the truck bed rather than switch them out. Cost about $300. to swap it out each time. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:50 AM   #7
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Thanks, definitely helps explain the specifications. Ironically I was given the 44” from a sales representative.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:54 AM   #8
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To everyone on this forum - you guys rock! Seriously, to have multiple responses and answers to my question within in hours is amazing! I look forward to being part of the escape community!
Cheers
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:50 AM   #9
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Welcome Wayne,
As you can see we are glad to help and answers questions. We are here 24/7/365 and if we can help I'm sure the factory can. Again welcome to our Escape world....
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:54 AM   #10
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Also bear in mind that your truck will settle up to 2" when hitched up, so it will in effect be 2" lower than it is sitting unloaded.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabirkland View Post
Thanks, definitely helps explain the specifications. Ironically I was given the 44” from a sales representative.
Hi: Wabirkland... A lot of Escape owners used a hitch center in Chilliwack called Trademasters. They have a thorough knowledge of both trucks and the 5.0TA as well as various styles of hitches. They work very closely with Escape too. Ours was done and redone in Ontario though. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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File Type: jpg P1040875.jpg (322.0 KB, 10 views)
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:18 AM   #12
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Here's a chart with all the 5.0TA measurements that may help. If you got the high lift axle you'll need to add 2-1/2" to all the trailer height measurements.
Thank you for that very informative diagram of the 'critical' 5.0TA hitch-height and clearance dimensions.

Two follow-up questions, this related to the ('ideal') goal of maintaining 'level' for the trailer underway:

1. Is the 17-1/4" Bottom Frame To Floor dimension (for a non-high-lift axle) based on a nominally empty trailer (i.e. 'Dry Weight' condition)?

2. How much does the level 5.0TA itself 'squat' between its empty / 'dry weight' condition and max loaded / 'GVWR' condition?

OR, 2a. Do you observe meaningful 'trailer squat' between your personal 'nominally empty' vs 'loaded for the road' condition (assuming your 'loaded' condition is representative of a 'typical' prudent user)?

Recognizing that 'Dry Weight' will vary depending on options, and it's unlikely one would load to the 'GVWR' limit, I'm just curious how much the range of trailer 'squat' (variance of the Bottom Frame To Floor dimension and thereby all dimensions based on that) may enter into achieving the 'ideal' goal of a level trailer when towing?

Thanks In Advance
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:01 AM   #13
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Also bear in mind that your truck will settle up to 2" when hitched up, so it will in effect be 2" lower than it is sitting unloaded.
I lowered the rear shackles so the truck would be level as an everyday driver. So in order to a void a 2Ē+ sag Iíll either have to put the OEM shackles back on or go with air bag and have it ride level with or without the trailer. I donít suppose anyone has experience with the Firestone Ride Rite airbags?
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:15 AM   #14
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I have never measured, but have not noticed any appreciable squat or height difference in the trailer loaded for travel vs. empty.

There are a number of variables - while you can come up with a pretty good estimate of how the trailer will line up with the hitch ahead of time, most fifth wheel hitches have a variable height adjustment so that you can tweak them up or down to get the trailer riding very level when hitched up.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:00 PM   #15
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I have never measured, but have not noticed any appreciable squat or height difference in the trailer loaded for travel vs. empty.

....
Thank You, Sir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabirkland View Post
.... I don’t suppose anyone has experience with the Firestone Ride Rite airbags?
I installed and ran them on my previous 2005 F150 for 15 years, towing a variety of RV and ag / utility trailers as well as occasional substantial in-bed loads.

I didn't install an onboard compressor, just a valve-stem for fill in the wheel-well (a balance tube to both bags) and the ever-present 12V utility compressor. Never a lick of trouble, a KISS system, worked exactly as advertised, great for tweaking the sag to suit the load.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend 'em, unfortunately they don't lend to fitment on my current Ridgeline with IRS.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabirkland View Post
I lowered the rear shackles so the truck would be level as an everyday driver. So in order to a void a 2Ē+ sag Iíll either have to put the OEM shackles back on or go with air bag and have it ride level with or without the trailer. I donít suppose anyone has experience with the Firestone Ride Rite airbags?
Hi: Wabirkland... Although I bought my present Ram 1500 Eco Diesel 2 years old it came with a pair of red air bags in the coil springs. I run 30 psi and experience very little sag. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:22 PM   #17
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How does the truck ride without the trailer and are you running less air I.e., 5 vs 30? I’ve heard even at 5 psi it can be a stiff ride. Thanks for your insight!
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:26 PM   #18
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Hi: Wabirkland... Although I bought my present Ram 1500 Eco Diesel 2 years old it came with a pair of red air bags in the coil springs. I run 30 psi and experience very little sag. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
I think your sag is in the front, al least mine is..............
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:47 PM   #19
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How does the truck ride without the trailer and are you running less air I.e., 5 vs 30? Iíve heard even at 5 psi it can be a stiff ride. Thanks for your insight!
Hi: Wabirkland... One of the great things about the Ram is the ride. I keep the bags aired up all the time. There's too much slop and rubbing on the bags if you don't. I keep the 20" Toyo tires at the door pillar rate of 39 psi all around otherwise it's too harsh. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:51 PM   #20
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I think your sag is in the front, al least mine is..............
Hi: cpaharley2008... I usually start to sag around 3 pm. A quick nap and I'm fine again!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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