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Old 03-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
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Hitch ball height for a U-Haul car trailer?

Anyone happen to know the best ball height for a U-Haul car trailer (not dolly)? All I can find on their website is that it should be less than 20", and I can't find anywhere else on the web that happens to have the specs.

I got a drop bar with a 3.5" drop and 2" ball...I'm sure it'll work, but if a 2" drop would be better for leveling the trailer, then I'd rather have that. (I'm pretty sure it's just us Airstreamers that want all towing configurations to be set up perfectly, based on the many badly set up trailers I see on the road.)

Our receiver is 17" off the ground at the bottom of the receiver, and based on the tow dolly I used to have, I was looking for having the ball around 13" high, hence the 3.5" drop.

On the other hand, the surge brakes on the U-Haul trailer make the ball look higher than it was on my tow dolly.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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As a first assumption if you are using the 250, heavy springs, as the TV I would set the ball about 1/2 higher than the coupling height while the trailer is setting level and empty.

If you are carrying a heavier truck on the trailer that might go up to 3/4 in.

The U Haul trailer will have leaf springs and thus a lot more forgiving to the set up than an Airstream.

Keep one thing in mind if you are towing in the hills with surge brakes. The do not work while you are in a curve in the road. A sharp curve will extend the tongue and thus not apply the brakes.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Thanks, Howie. What I was hoping was that someone would know the coupler height of the trailer, so that I can go get the trailer and get on the road without having to mess around with the hitch. I could swing by the local U-Haul place - they probably have some of the trailers - and just measure it.

I'm towing a 3,000 lb car. Thanks for the tip on the surge brakes...I towed one U-Haul trailer years ago, but most of my towing experience is with electric brakes.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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Hitch ball height for a U-Haul car trailer?

Greetings Skater!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Thanks, Howie. What I was hoping was that someone would know the coupler height of the trailer, so that I can go get the trailer and get on the road without having to mess around with the hitch. I could swing by the local U-Haul place - they probably have some of the trailers - and just measure it.

I'm towing a 3,000 lb car. Thanks for the tip on the surge brakes...I towed one U-Haul trailer years ago, but most of my towing experience is with electric brakes.
I have rented a U-Haul tandem axle car hauler on several occassions. My tow vehicle in each instance has been my K2500 Suburban. I have utilized my Reese Hitch (without weight distribution) that I typically utilize with my Overlander. My Hitch height is set at 16" and worked out perfectly for transporting my 1978 Plymouth Horizon first, and later, my 1986 Chevrolet Tahoe.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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I stopped by to measure it - the bottom of the coupler is about 18" off the ground. I decided that the drop I have is actually about right, given the neck of the ball is about even with the bottom of the receiver. (Note slightly less drop would probably be okay, too.)
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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To close the loop, the 2" drop probably would've been better, since the front of the trailer was down a bit when it was unloaded (a lot more when I loaded my FWD car on it). But the setup I had worked fine. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Another issue with serge brakes is that if you are coming down a long grade and are letting the TV engine brake, sometimes the serge brakes on the trailer stay on due to the push of the trailer on the back of the TV. That can overheat the trailer brakes badly.

A friend rented a trailer with serge brakes and used it to haul a full unit of 2x6's to his home which is at the bottom of a 12 mile long 6-7% grade. He put the truck in second, and went down the grade slowly. When he got to the bottom, one of the trailer tires was melted and blew out (I mean that, black gooie rubber at the rim) due to the heat of the serge brakes on constantly with the down hill push. He was lucky there was not a fire which would have had a nice fuel source with the lumber load.

I doubt that you have any 12 mile long grades to go down, but do be careful with those serge brakes. They are not the same as normal ones in how they respond.
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