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Old 07-31-2021, 12:45 PM   #1
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Truck Too Tall??? Who Would Have Thunk!

I have a Stock 2020 Chevy Diesel 2500 Z71 that I hope to pull my 5.0 with, that is scheduled for a December delivery. My potential issue is thisÖ the rail height on my truck is 59Ēís, while ETI recommends a max rail height of 58Ēís when the trailer lift kit is installed. I am hoping to use the Anderson Gooseneck Ball hitch assembly, which I believe has ball and kingpin height adjustments. I have consulted several ďexpertsĒ but cannot seem to get a definitive answer. If there is ANYONE out there that can give me something at least approximating a Yes / No answer to my conundrum, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:59 PM   #2
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The height of the hitch itself isn't the issue - it's the height of the bed rails of your truck vs. the frame of the trailer. Ideally you want 6" of clearance between the bed rails and the trailer frame to allow for going over bumps, uneven terrain, etc. With a truck as tall as yours, even with the lift kit you wouldn't have 6" of clearance. While it would be physically possible to put the hitch on a higher setting, that would result in the front end of your trailer being high rather than level. The reason hitches are adjustable is because the trailer is not, so typically you adjust the hitch height to get the trailer riding level.

Have you looked at the towing guide on the Escape website? It has diagrams and dimensions.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thanks David. I put 700 pounds of cattle feed over the rear axel to test drop, and it dropped my rail height to 57”’s. I’m wondering if that will allow me to raise the hitch height a little without tilting the trailer nose up too far,…or was “drop” already figured into ETI’s equation. I am also considering going from 65’s to 60’s on the profile on my truck tires. That should buy me around a 1/2”. Would like to go up to 80’s from 75’s on the 5.0, but those don’t seem to be available in Trailer or Light Truck. It’s gonna be close!
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:33 PM   #4
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My Tundra rails are 60", but I have the high lift trailer. No problem at all.

I can lower mine a bit since I have air bags, but I do not need to.

Strictly guessing with no skin in the game, I bet you are alright.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The M&Mís View Post
I have a Stock 2020 Chevy Diesel 2500 Z71 ...
What's the dimension from the top of the rails down to the top of the corrugations in the bed floor?

(goes to the question of Andersen hitch adjustment range and maintaining ~trailer level~ when rails are at ~57")
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Dimensions - 3220 Ultimate Connection 2 GN.jpg  
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:49 PM   #6
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That’s very encouraging. I’ve been pulling goose neck horse and cattle trailers, and 5th wheel travel trailers for almost 50 years and have never heard of this issue. Having a new rig arriving in 4 months had me a little concerned when I was told my max rail height was 58 inches. Thanks Tim!!!
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Centex View Post
What's the dimension from the top of the rails down to the top of the corrugations in the bed floor?

(goes to the question of Andersen hitch adjustment range and maintaining ~trailer level~ when rails are at ~57")
Distance between top of corrugation and top of rail is 20.5”. Thanks Centex!!!
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by The M&Mís View Post
Thatís very encouraging. Iíve been pulling goose neck horse and cattle trailers, and 5th wheel travel trailers for almost 50 years and have never heard of this issue. Having a new rig arriving in 4 months had me a little concerned when I was told my max rail height was 58 inches. Thanks Tim!!!
It's only an issue with the 5.0 because virtually every other fifth wheel is somewhere between large and jumbo, necessitating a 3/4 truck or bigger to tow it, so they are designed a little taller to accommodate that. The 5.0 was specifically designed to be towable with a standard 1/2 ton pickup so it didn't need to be as tall.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
My Tundra rails are 60", but I have the high lift trailer. No problem at all.

I can lower mine a bit since I have air bags, but I do not need to.

Strictly guessing with no skin in the game, I bet you are alright.
Hey Tim, I’m just curious to know what you’ve done to your Tundra to have 60” side rails? Dang ; )
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The M&M’s View Post
Distance between top of corrugation and top of rail is 20.5”. Thanks Centex!!!
Attached just for your consideration, a 'for The M&M's update' of a figure I did for evaluating my own different situation, derived from ETI Guidance, Andersen Specs, and truck dimensions you provided.
All dimensions must be verified by You, I am subject to human error!

It appears to me that with either Pinbox Configuration your challenge is not adjusting the Andersen Hitch higher, it is that even with the Andersen Gooseneck Hitch at its lowest 16-1/2" setting your trailer will likely be riding 'nose-high' to a greater extent than the +/-1" measured at the belly-band mentioned on pages 2 and 3 of the Escape 5.0 Towing Compatibility Guidelines:
  • About 2-7/8" high at the hitch with the Optional Retracted Pinbox Configuration
  • About 5-3/8" high at the hitch with the Standard Extended Pinbox Configuration
I do not know the real-world implications of that on tire-wear, weight transfer, etc .... others will need to opine on that.

Maybe not what you wanted to see, but perhaps useful info for your evaluation nonetheless?

Sorry, I don't have any 'solution' to offer, there's bound to be one (maybe other hitches can be adjusted lower than the Andersen?), I can only offer "Good Luck".
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THE M AND M.jpg  
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Old 07-31-2021, 11:29 PM   #11
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You could remove the box and have something built with fenders and such to provide a platform for the hitch. A buddy of mine did this for one of his hotshot business F350s. The box can be saved for reinstallation later on. Of course, if you need to use the bed for other things at times, this might not be an option for you.
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Old 07-31-2021, 11:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
You could remove the box and have something built with fenders and such to provide a platform for the hitch. A buddy of mine did this for one of his hotshot business F350s. The box can be saved for reinstallation later on. Of course, if you need to use the bed for other things at times, this might not be an option for you.
That's known as a tow body or RV tow deck (but not a tow truck or wrecker), and they're common (readily available from commercial suppliers) for medium-duty trucks (Class 4, 5, and 6), because those trucks come from the factory with no rear box or body at all.
example: Brutus Truck Bodies: RV
Aftermarket bodies for lighter trucks are less common and tow bodies for light-duty pickups are essentially nonexistent... but you could build one or have one built (truck bodies are often custom-built). A good tow body would have useful cargo compartments (usually referred to as toolboxes) and would still have a usable (but shallow) box.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Attached just for your consideration, a 'for The M&M's update' of a figure I did for evaluating my own different situation, derived from ETI Guidance, Andersen Specs, and truck dimensions you provided.
All dimensions must be verified by You, I am subject to human error!

It appears to me that with either Pinbox Configuration your challenge is not adjusting the Andersen Hitch higher, it is that even with the Andersen Gooseneck Hitch at its lowest 16-1/2" setting your trailer will likely be riding 'nose-high' to a greater extent than the +/-1" measured at the belly-band mentioned on pages 2 and 3 of the Escape 5.0 Towing Compatibility Guidelines:
  • About 2-7/8" high at the hitch with the Optional Retracted Pinbox Configuration
  • About 5-3/8" high at the hitch with the Standard Extended Pinbox Configuration
I do not know the real-world implications of that on tire-wear, weight transfer, etc .... others will need to opine on that.

Maybe not what you wanted to see, but perhaps useful info for your evaluation nonetheless?

Sorry, I don't have any 'solution' to offer, there's bound to be one (maybe other hitches can be adjusted lower than the Andersen?), I can only offer "Good Luck".
Thanks for all the research and input you have provided. Jon Robert suggested a “lowering shackle”. I’ve done some research, and it appears there is one available for my truck that will lower the rear by 1.4”’s. It’s a fairly easy bolt on, plug and play solution and only a couple of hundred bucks. I’m also going to look at airbags to see if they offer any lowering ability as they do on the Dodge. Lastly there is always the option of going to lower profile tires on my truck which will get me 1/2” lower. However, if the Lowering Shackle performs as advertised, that should get my rail height down to approx. 57.5”’s, which is 1/2” below ETI’s max recommendation of 58”’s. As I stated earlier elsewhere, it’s gonna be close : /. Bty, where in Centex are you located? I’m in Aggieland ; )
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The M&M’s View Post
Hey Tim, I’m just curious to know what you’ve done to your Tundra to have 60” side rails? Dang ; )
Airbags! They used to be 58" high. But when we put 20#'s of air in them, the rails came up a bit. I was going to reduce the pressure to 10# but so far I don't feel the need to.

Tundra's are known to sag a bit under a heavy load. This takes care of that problem. I do have a slightly inverted V instead of being level.

REMEMBER: I have the High Lift!
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:56 AM   #15
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You might consider having someone add brackets (2 to 3 inch) between the frame and axles. If you do, have the alignment of the axles checked. My 2020 GMC required this fix and I'm pleased with the results.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
Airbags! They used to be 58" high. But when we put 20#'s of air in them, the rails came up a bit. I was going to reduce the pressure to 10# but so far I don't feel the need to.

Tundra's are known to sag a bit under a heavy load. This takes care of that problem. I do have a slightly inverted V instead of being level.

REMEMBER: I have the High Lift!
Ah, should have known. I’m going to look at airbags as a possible solution to my problem. Thanks Tim!
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:10 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by PM15283 View Post
You might consider having someone add brackets (2 to 3 inch) between the frame and axles. If you do, have the alignment of the axles checked. My 2020 GMC required this fix and I'm pleased with the results.
That’s an interesting idea. Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The M&M’s View Post
Thanks for all the research and input you have provided. Jon Robert suggested a “lowering shackle”. I’ve done some research, and it appears there is one available for my truck that will lower the rear by 1.4”’s. It’s a fairly easy bolt on, plug and play solution and only a couple of hundred bucks. I’m also going to look at airbags to see if they offer any lowering ability as they do on the Dodge. Lastly there is always the option of going to lower profile tires on my truck which will get me 1/2” lower. However, if the Lowering Shackle performs as advertised, that should get my rail height down to approx. 57.5”’s, which is 1/2” below ETI’s max recommendation of 58”’s. As I stated earlier elsewhere, it’s gonna be close : /. Bty, where in Centex are you located? I’m in Aggieland ; )
The major obstacle between the Aggies and the SEC west is 'Bama' and sadly that's a very difficult mountain to climb. ��.

Looks as if Tx and Ok will soon be with us. Wonder which will be inserted into the 'West'.

We got 4 A&M grads in the family.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by PM15283 View Post
You might consider having someone add brackets (2 to 3 inch) between the frame and axles.
That's what the "high lift" Escape option does - it's just a kit of 2-5/8" tall spacers that go between the axle brackets and the frame brackets. A custom set of even taller spacers could be fabricated, but there are structural concerns (and other issues) with spacers that are too tall.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
Airbags! They used to be 58" high. But when we put 20#'s of air in them, the rails came up a bit. I was going to reduce the pressure to 10# but so far I don't feel the need to.

Tundra's are known to sag a bit under a heavy load. This takes care of that problem. I do have a slightly inverted V instead of being level.
Why not just let the airbags down enough to get an acceptable rail height, even letting air out to hitch and unhitch and pumping back up after the trailer load is on the hitch?

The nicest setup is an onboard air pump and automatic control valve, so the truck doesn't sag down under load or sit unnecessarily high when unloaded, but of course that's not cheap.
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