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Old 06-21-2015, 08:00 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post
Addenda to my post #60.

I had my WD hitch tight (dropped 7 links of chain). This past week I had towed from home to Toronto (about 250 miles) with the 7 links dropped, but on the return trip I decided to drop only 6 links of chain, thereby shifting back some of the weight that had been put onto the front axle - I found that steering and handling was improved.

Better to measure by the number of links under tension. Total chain length (number of links) could vary.

Getting the set of scale weights sure makes further experimentation easier. Am not surprised that improvements were felt. Was it just the need for a lighter touch, or that the rig -- as a whole -- responded more easily?

I ask as this is where playing with TV tire pressure comes in. It's nice, in my view, to be able to use numbers as a baseline. It's too easy to take some things a ways out. And then another. And not be able to find the beginning, ha!

So, having lessened the load on the Steer Axle, the tire performance has some room on pressure, now.

A tweak here and a tweak there is how it goes.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:44 AM   #100
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I currently have four links loose, and have found if I go with five, other adjustments necessary to get the trailer level, that indeed, handling is not as good.

It is worth it to play around with various combinations to where handling is best. Presently, even with the large fuel load, my rig handles like a dream. Only when I am in a strong side wind do I feel the bow wave from passing semi's.


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Old 06-22-2015, 05:07 AM   #101
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Count by links under tension, not those loose. Chain length could vary.

"Seeing" the weight transfer via numbers is the reason for using scales. And loads per wheel across an axle may not be the same.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:36 AM   #102
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One of the factors that made me experiment with the tension was that at the SmartWeigh session it was determined that I was within 10 lbs of the front axle weight limit. By reducing the tension, I place less weight on the front axle. I should add that I had changed my bumpers for Iron Bulls made of 3/16" steel plate, cut and welded to shape; the front bumper weighs about 200 lbs. This change was mitigated by the fact that there were no tow hooks on the front of my TV, which is 2-wheel drive. In addition, the OEM bumpers were made of soft metal and bent easily; the Iron Bull bumpers will not and have loops to which I have fastened shackles, as well as a winch.

With 7 links dropped, the weight added to each wheel of the TV was 200 lbs - thus 400 lbs to each axle (as determined by SmartWeigh). The hitch is the Reese Straight Line with the dual cams. Sway control is the result of both the dual cams and the angle of the hitch head.

Since each set up is different between rigs, since many factors determine the number of links that need to be under tension, the reason I count dropped links is that it is easier when doing the actual hitching to count from the end of the chain - and that, BTW, was how JC instructed me when the set up the hitch.

On my trip to Toronto, I had noticed I had some steering issues, and I had the wheels aligned while in Toronto. I realized that perhaps I had a bit too much weight attributed to the front axle. As well, on the way back home, I found that steering was good. Perhaps one of the factors may have been which bar was on which side - so when I got home I marked them (wife's nail polish "L" & "R").

The TV is a 1999 Dodge Ram 2500HD with 24-valve Cummins diesel.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:52 AM   #103
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Thx for update. It's always a bit of a surprise how small things add up.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:53 AM   #104
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When I had my Reese hitch, I set the links by what caused the trailer and tow vehicle to be level. Once I did that, it was irrelevant as to whether I counted links under tension or not. In my case I had two links loose under normal towing conditions. My SOB had a front water tank which required more lift to keep the trailer nose in a level state. In that case I had three links loose.

Personally it was easier for me to count loose links than links under tension. Once I got my Safari, the water tank level was inconsequential in setting the chains. From that point on I always had two links loose.

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Old 06-22-2015, 07:57 PM   #105
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Links?

Probably each individual trailer has different settings as we all load differently, and use other setting variables. But, what I have found is most important is to have the trailer as level as possible, the weight of the truck balanced considering the various loads, and if the handling is good, this may be the way it is to be set up.

I simply count the links loose, for my own convenience, not as a guide for anyone else.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:51 PM   #106
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