View Full Version : Bottoming out w/ Sundance 3200

10-28-2008, 10:55 AM
Check out the Modification forum for more details. (Similar Title) I'm having problems and want to know if anyone else with this big of a Sundance has had this issue and how they resolved it.

I thought this subject tied in well w/ Towing.

10-28-2008, 05:37 PM

I tow a 3400RL Bighorn... not a Sundance... but at least as long as yours.

From looking at your photos... in particular the full side photo of your truck and trailer... It looks to me you are several inches closer to the ground at the rear of your Sundance than you are at the front of the RV.

One difference in our two two vehicles is yours is a 4X4... its been my experience they are a higher truck than a 2 wheel drive. By several inches. Somehow you will need to make some adjustments to your set up to correctly tow this Fifth Wheel.

By it being higher in the front... lower in the back... besides the scraping the rear as you go up the incline... you are also putting more of the over all weight of the RV on the Rear Axle. Should you be able to weight your Fifth Wheel... you would find the rear axle is carrying more of the weight than the front axle. This is going to cause you other problems... first of which will be tires.

Hope you and your dealer will be able to get this problem flattened out... leveled up.

Good Luck,

10-29-2008, 12:26 PM
Thanks. We have lowered the hitch one notch..can't go any further and have enought clearance between bed and camper...between and 6-7 inches now. 16" rims and tires will cost me $1500 and won't help much. I think the Bighorns have 16" tires and looking at pictures have quite a bit more ground clearance. I think its an design issue but they aren't going to admit to that. Its new but I'm thinking about selling it and getting something that won't have this problem.

10-29-2008, 12:55 PM
One thing to look at.. You most likely have 6k axles on your trailer.
Look under the trailer and check out the springs. If the springs are flat or bowed down, this will effect the height of your clearance. My Bighorn road a lot lower until I had the 7k axles and springs (5 leaf) installed. Now the trailer sets a lot higher, almost to high..

If your springs are flat have your trailer checked out. I had a spring break on mine.

10-29-2008, 01:18 PM
Its brand new so I don't think anything is broken....does it bother you to have to buy new axles and re-engineer your coach? I considered putting in a lift kit but it will void warranty and could be a safety issue I guess. However, I see a lot of camper axles pretty far off the camper floor.

10-29-2008, 01:26 PM

Post a side view picture of your Sundance hitched to your Tow Vehicle with it on level ground. Then we could all see what you are talking about. Your other pictures didn't give a clear view of the level of the RV. I find it interesting that in the past two years over 2000 Sundances have been sold and I haven't read any other complaints about them bottoming out. I have pulled our Landmark for almost three years (it's 39 feet long) and haven't had a problem. I'm just curious.


10-29-2008, 09:10 PM
My Bighorn is a 2008 unit that I bought in February. The third leaf down on the springs was broken some time ago. Heartland and Lippert took care of me in a fair manner.

I have looked at a number of units and many of them have springs that are virtually flat. I didn't know I had a broken leaf and no it doesn't bother me that I changed axles. It was my choice.. Lippert would have placed the same 6K axles on the unit at no charge. It was my call to change to 7k axles.

Just trying to give back information to fellow Heartland owners. If your happy with your trailer that is great..

Tavel Safe and God Bless.

10-30-2008, 07:25 AM
Thanks for the feed back.
If you would go to the Modification's forum you will see new pics that should help you see my set up and the location where I'm bottoming out.

From what I can tell from pictures of Bighorns and Landmarks they have more ground clearance than the Sundance. I think mine is about 24" when level.

I've been researching other makes and many have siginicantly more clearance. If you look at the Carriage Domani you can see how they have designed the rear of the coach to tapper upward to prevent this problem. You see this a lot on Class C motor coaches. I had a Coachman 27ft 5th Wheel and had no problems...even on my much steeper drive.

My guess is my problem is a combination of the length, the location of the axles and I'm pulling w/ a 4x4 which has a higher profile. I was told the Dodge trucks are worse. Each year they keep increasing the height of trucks and the RV mfgs need to consider this. I would prefer a 2x2 but I've already needed the 4x4 on gravel etc.

jpmorgan: I find it odd also but I doubt all owners are aware of this forum (I found it accidentally) and the majority of people just accept problems or atleast don't share their concerns....my experiece anyway. PS..Did they name the "Firm" after you?

10-30-2008, 07:26 AM
Ignore the mad face. It was suppose to be an unhappy face. I've tried to remove it but not luck so far. Asked the administrator to move it.

10-30-2008, 07:37 AM
Question for Calvin,

As I have a Cyclone, I don't know the answer to this but does your Sundance have height adjustable axles? On the Cyclone, the coach can be raised presumably for "off-road" travel.

Just a thought....:rolleyes:

10-30-2008, 10:15 AM
Not that I know of. I've informed Heartland of the issue and they didn't mention it.

I've talked w/ Lippert the axle/frame maker...they said I can make some modifications and raise it 3-4". I wish Heartland would have considered this when they designed it.

10-30-2008, 01:09 PM
I pull a 2900MK with a 2008 Stock F250 4x4 with factory installed 20" wheels. The hitch installer moved my hitch setting down one set of holes to adjust for the bigger tire/wheel combination. My 2900 sits almost perfectly level and I still have over 6" of clearance on the the pickup tailgate and sidebed walls. From the pictures on the Modifications thread, it looks like your trailer is sitting front high. I would try adjusting the hitch down one set of mounting holes. I'm a couple of feet shorter than you, but I turn into a steeper driveway with a dip between the driveway and the "too narrow for my comfort" road, and I haven't hit bottom yet - close, but no contact. Check on lowering the hitch. As a local pastor says on his radio ads, "not a sermon, just a thought". Good Luck - hope you get this resolved soon.

10-30-2008, 01:19 PM

No, thank goodness, they didn't name the "firm" after me. I don't need any of those problems. My family hailed from Hope Mills, outside of Fayetteville. Anyway, look at your spring shackles. On my Landmark, I have holes that I can raise my coach two different settings. Looking at your pictures, it looks like you are about two inches high in the front. The other thing that I would do, if you can't raise your Sundance, would be to have your driveway approach raised to alleviate the dip off of the road. That is a nice looking home and it looks like some long leaf yellow pine in the yard.


10-31-2008, 09:26 AM

I have a 2997BHS (5" shorter than yours) that I pull with a 2002 Chevy 4x4 Crewcab shortbox (6 foot). I have the 6k# axles and 16" wheels from Heartland. I have a MUCH steeper driveway entrance than your photo shows. I come close to hitting, but haven't touched the driveway or road yet and i really don't think another 5" would either. However, I do believe, though I don't know for a fact, that if I had the 15" wheels I would have a problem. Also, my 5er sits level on the truck.

Good luck,

11-13-2008, 10:13 AM
To our loyal forum readers, I felt that I should explain why this user has been banned from the forum.

As you have read in this thread and perhaps elsewhere, Calvin was towing a bit nose high and then had an "angle of approach" issue in how his driveway comes off his street.

This is not a manufacturing problem - it is just geometry. The length of the trailer behind the axle combined with being a little nose high combined with the angle of the driveway from the street, makes his trailer drag at the right bumper corner. Research prior to purchase cannot be over stated here.

I cannot get into the details behind the reason for the ban other than to say that it was not for Calvin posting on the forum or even they way he posted. It all seemed very legitimate and a plea for help/ideas from you, the towing experts.

This is very much a legal matter at this time and I apologize that more cannot be revealed. Other than banning spammers, I do not take banning of users lightly. It is usually for a cause that is fairly evident to most. Sometimes it is action behind the scenes that drives it. The last thing I really want to do is ban a customer from the forum. But sometimes, the tough call has to be made.

Thank you for considering all the possibilities when you weigh my action.