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Old 08-08-2011, 02:04 PM   #15
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:05 PM   #16
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Double woops!
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:06 PM   #17
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You'll need to get a longer shank in order to drop the tongue of the trailer, especially since you need to transfer more weight. (probably not for your Navigator).

The 1200 refers probably to a maximun tongue weight.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by palmtreegirl View Post
Double woops!

You need to be exacty straight to observe the cam position relative to the spring bar. BUT!!!! you have major adjusting to do elsewhere before adjusting cam position. See the PDF instructions above.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmtreegirl
Hello Experts,
Here I am again.

Well, we hooked up and took the truck/trailer to the weigh station.
Results are in:

Weights on both:
Steer Axle: 3360 lbs
Drive Axle: 4280 lbs
Trailer Axle: 6620 lbs
Gross Weight: 14,260 lbs

Truck Alone Weight:
Steer Axle: 3740 lbs
Drive Axle: 3220 lbs
Gross Weight: 6960 lbs

Trailer Weight (subtract truck alone from 'both weight'): 7300 lbs

What does it all mean? Please explain in terms I will understand. I have read other posts on this subject but they are too lofty for me to understand....Thanks
First, Kudos for getting those weights. That's exactly the right place to start. You have the older design Reese Dual Cam system, exactly what I had on my previous 2 TT. When I traded for my present AS last year I replaced it with a new Reese Dual Cam... I really needed to replace a bunch of worn parts and it was more economical for me to start fresh with a new one. You may want to look at saddles on the tail end of the spring bars and the mating surface of the cams. Also look at the trunion knobs on the front end of the bars and the sockets where they fit on the ball mount. When new, the knobs are round. This system depends on a lot of pressure at the mating surfaces and wear is inevitable... There are also other excellent choices for weight distribution and sway control/prevention, similar to the debate on which is the best TV. But this doesn't address your question.

If you visualize your Ram as a wheelbarrow with the spring bars functioning as the handles, as you lift up on the handles the wheelbarrow's load is distributed to the front wheel and your feet. By applying more tension to the spring bars, some of that added 1000# is taken off the drive axle and distributed to the steer and trailer axles. On my setup, I hooked the 4th link of each chain to the snap brackets. 4 links may or may not be correct for your setup. A quick search on the Internet should provide you with the Reese setup and adjustment procedure. Even if you have a shop set this up for you, likely you will have to dial it in yourself as this science works best with some trial and error, and most installers don't spend the time to get it right. For me it worked better to adjust it myself so that I could better understand the dynamics of the system.

I couldn't tell from your photos if they were take when the trailer and truck were in a straight line, but it appears the saddle was not centered over the cam. the best way to do this is find a big open parking lot. Follow a stripe if you can and pull forward until all is straight. Then position the pivoting arm so that the cams fit squarely into the saddles, then secure them, you don't want them moving to and fro on the frame. These cams and saddles make up the sway control part. The pressure on these cams detent into the center straight line position. As you make a corner, it is necessary for the cams to move to the high spots on the saddles, but it wants to return back to center. This is the popping noise you hear and is normal. Reese doesn't recommend lubricating the cams/saddles but does suggest Vasoline if the noise is bothersome.

Take some measurements. With the trailer detached and level, the belt line will likely be the same distance above the pavement near the front and rear. Measure the approximate height of the ball socket to the ground. Next measure and make a note of the distance from the truck's front and rear wheel wells. The ball mount should be vertically adjustable in 1 - 1.5" increments. For starters, I set the ball height about 1" higher than the socket to allow for settling under weight. Next you will adjust the angle of the ball mount to achieve a distance specified in the Reese documentation which is based on the coupler design and A-frame dimensions. This angle is secured by a bolt and 2 serrated square washers and serrations on the ball mount. It is important that the serrations mate squarely and the same number of serrations are visible on each side before tightening the bolt. You don't want the serrations to "cross thread" and the bolt must be tight enough to prevent slippage that will strip the washers, or worse the serrations on the mount. If you're incredibly lucky, and connect the trailer and latch up the spring bars so that they are more or less parallel to the frame, the trailer will be level from front to rear as measured from the belt line to the ground, and the front and rear of the truck as measured at the wheel wells will have settled more or less equally with maybe an inch more settling in the rear. If so, go buy a lotto ticket!

Most likely you will have to tweak the ball angle and possible the ball height until the trailer is level as well as the TV. Once adjusted, make a note of how many links and you'll be good to go. You can then make a trip back to the scales to be sure the numbers look right. Compare your results with the load specs for your TV, tire and axle loading and ball and receiver specs.
Quote:

In both truck and camper was almost everything we carry - missing 1/2 fresh water tank, 10 gal drinking water, 1 propane bottle empty, food, clothes and dogs (who total 12 lbs).

I tow my 1992 29' Excella with a 2002 Dodge Ram 4x4 2500 Quad Cab (with HD towing package)

I want to tow with 2006 Lincoln Navigator (with HD towing package and Class III hitch)

My current hitch is the Reese weight distribution (with the chains) and an anti-sway bar. I question whether these are set up correctly because I rode in the trailer while being towed to check for vibrations. The hitch was creaking and popping like mad - does this require any lubrication? Where would one go to have the thing checked for proper adjustment?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
A light coat of ball grease is good, but it may collect grit, so periodically wipe it off and apply clean. A bit of ball grease on the contact surfaces of the trunion knobs is beneficial. Reese recommends a couple of drops of oil in the oil holes on the ball mount each day before traveling. A small amount of lube on the chain where it contacts the snap latch and the u-bolt on the spring may be useful but I don't know anyone who does it. Again, the cam should be dry or a light coat of Vasoline.

I see quick links where the safety chains are attached to the a-frame. Normally the chain is welded to the frame. The PO may have done this to shorten or replace the chains. These links come in a variety of strengths. I think they should be as strong as the chain or you'll have the weakest link. You may want to inspect those also.

Depending on exact equipment, your Ram could tow from 8100-12000 pounds, looks like you're in good shape there.

http://www.mainecamperdealer.com/ima...s%25202002.pdf
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #20
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"the 10,000 lb trailer weight it says 1200 lb"

Then you have 1200 lb bars, max weight towing is 10,000

If you do not have any more room to lower the hitch head, then you need to purchase a drop of the length you need, 3-6".


Your last Pic didn't make it thru. Your 2nd paragraph is confusing, pointing left - and can't find the parts for the right" How are you hitching up without all the parts?
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #21
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Dodge folks may know better than I, but I THINK you need this shank.
It happens to be an Equal-i-zer brand, but they are interchangeable.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #22
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Sorry about that paragraph - it doesn't make sense to me either and I wrote it!

What I meant was this: the truck and trailer are attached and they are not in a straight line - the truck is pointing to the left as in going around a corner. What I was talking about was that in these two pictures, the part (not sure of the name) is not sitting in the saddle correctly (according to me) and this does not look right (correct) to me.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Sphere Guy View Post
"the 10,000 lb trailer weight it says 1200 lb"

Then you have 1200 lb bars, max weight towing is 10,000

If you do not have any more room to lower the hitch head, then you need to purchase a drop of the length you need, 3-6".


Your last Pic didn't make it thru. Your 2nd paragraph is confusing, pointing left - and can't find the parts for the right" How are you hitching up without all the parts?
I don't think this is necessarily true. If I understand PG correctly the 1200 stamp is on the hitch head. This would be a tongue load rating for the head. Since Reese spring bars are interchangeable, any number of lower bar ratings could be in play.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by palmtreegirl View Post
Double woops!
If the truck is in a left turn, this is how it should look. I'm not saying you are adjusted correctly, but the cams should run out of the saddles on turns. This is the sway control at work. The spring bar down force is trying to "redirect" or force you back on center.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:50 PM   #25
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More pictures:

OK, I took a picture of the hitch as it goes into the truck and of the side of the truck (I don't know if that if helpful).
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #26
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Opps, my bad, I thought the 1200 was from the bars.

PG, Do you know if you have air bags on your TV?
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:13 PM   #27
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No, no airbags (air suspention for load leveling) on this vehicle - yes on my Navigator though. Still deciding if I should tow with it......smaller gas tank and burns premimum gas.....cha-ching.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:21 PM   #28
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Scale slips are the way to go, as you started out. The problem with the measuring the truck method is, as you get into 3/4 and one ton trucks, the suspension drops in the rear less and the front rises less. Several hundred pounds differences in tongue weight may only translate to 1/16" rise in front. Becomes very difficult to measure accurately for proper weight distribution.

By your scale slips, you have about 10% of total trailer weight on the tongue. This is the minimum. I would like to see 12 - 15% of total trailer weight on the tongue. I would start moving some weight forward in the trailer first.

I am unclear if you mean the front and rear trailer measurements are 3" apart or if the front is 3" too high. Is the rear 1.5" low and the front 1.5" high?

Either way, you need a shank with more drop in it before you can do anything. How much more drop depends on the answer to the above question.

I am SWAGging that you have a 6" drop now installed, but it's a little hard to tell.
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