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Old 03-01-2016, 07:46 PM   #15
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Bend , Oregon
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I have never camped on level ground. Well, it feels that way! I am going through this learning curve too!

Mad Astrophysicist turned sales guy that works to fund his dirty snowbaording habbit, mwah-ha-ha . . .
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:59 PM   #16
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Lilburn , Georgia
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Had trouble several times till I started measuring the height of the back wheel fender height of the TV. I coils not see or hear the hitch ball as some have suggested. But measuring before hookup and then before disconnecting worked for me.

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Old 03-01-2016, 11:43 PM   #17
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
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Be sure and chock the TV front wheels loosely. If you don't do it on a slight down hill slope, when the hitch separates, you will be in for a surprise. Don't ask how I know. 3/4 ton HD trucks are hard to catch and climb into while rolling.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:26 AM   #18
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2013 23' FB Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by BeachHouse View Post
But measuring before hookup and then before disconnecting worked for me.
Same for us. We use a trick that we got from another Airforum member: during the hookup process, when the stinger is just out of the box but perfectly centered vertically, measure the height from the ground to the bottom of the box. Then cut a piece of 1/2" pvc to that length, and keep it with your hookup tools (we use another precut piece for setting the heights when tensioning the bars). Then, whether hooking up or unhooking, just set the box height using the pvc as a guide and you're just right. Non-level ground changes things a bit, but just make sure the bars are completely tension free and you'll be fine.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:47 PM   #19
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Thanks for the tip on the PVC height gauge. I think I will make one for my rig.

One other thing I have learned is when the stringer is relaxed in the hitch head, I can easily rotate the stinger to tow vehicle coupler hitch pin. It rather feels loose like it does when you put the stringer into the coupler and push the hitch pin through the holes once they are all aligned. The hitch pin is a slip fit in this state. Now if you were to stand on the stinger the hitch pin will likely bind up and be difficult to rotate.

A loose hitch pin usually means all the load is off the stinger, and you can pull away.

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Old 03-04-2016, 08:31 AM   #20
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Looking at the video, I can say that I've never noted movement on the trailer hitch at the ball, but I actually never looked at it. I usually watch the stinger on my Hensley and when I see movement between the stinger and the hitch pocket, I can usually pull free. On really bad angles it is important to make sure the equalizers are fully disengaged. I have moved the trailer off the jack pad once or twice because they were not fully down and free moving.
I sometimes note the actual position of the level bubble so I have a better chance of getting it close when hooking up. The PVC gauge is a good idea. I would use it to mark the Hensley height off the ground to get a close match when hooking back up.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:47 AM   #21
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I haven't seen that movement between the ball and coupler either; maybe the hitch coupler is adjusted and latching tighter on some trailers. I depend entirely on front and rear truck wheel well measurements (one side) before hooking up, and then repeating those measurements to know when the tongue weight is off the truck. Drives away every time.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:13 PM   #22
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Like most others with a PP, I found that if I noted the point at which the tongue of the trailer lifts off the ball I'd be good to go. Granted, this is NOT a lot of movement. Around 1/4 inch. I've had some "interesting" experiences when I've parked in a really unlevel spot, e.g., high in the rear, low in the front. But, I've always been able to make it work. The more you hitch/unhitch the easier it gets -- and when you get good at observing and replicating the angle of the stinger/angle of the receiver.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:36 PM   #23
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My two tricks for making unhitching go smoothly.

1. Make sure Airstream and truck are as straight in a line as possible.
2. First lower the jack till it is just touching the ground. Then release the pressure on the WD bars. This hits the up down pressure sweet spot on the hitch bar.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by timmaah View Post
My two tricks for making unhitching go smoothly
2. First lower the jack till it is just touching the ground. Then release the pressure on the WD bars. This hits the up down pressure sweet spot on the hitch bar.
This is exactly what I do with my Hensley. Works every time.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:42 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
This is exactly what I do with my Hensley. Works every time.
I own both a Hensley and a ProPride. For what it is worth, the Hensley is easy on unhitch. Just drive away after going through the unhooking process. No drama at all.
The ProPride used to actually move the trailer on unhitching , even with the brakes locked!

The two hitches are in fact very different...

Anyone want a two year old ProPride? Make me an offer!
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:48 PM   #26
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Thanks again for all the ideas! I will try the two that I hadn't considered before:

1. loose hitch pin
2. TV wheel well measurements (front and back)

I like the PVC gauge also, but have a version of this. I have electrical tape in two positions on the breaker bar. One is the level I raise the WD bars. The other is the "magic" height of the receiver box. But based on the level-ness of the site then this one can change.

I do also use the clinometer iOS app and have a place on the TV I check & a place on the trailer hitch I check. If the relative angle between the two is within a certain range, then it pulls out fine.

Many variables & I'm committed to simplify this process! Thanks again for your tips.

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Old 03-11-2016, 11:34 AM   #27
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Wow; this is elaborate! I've been full-timing since October and have driven across country and all over California , Nevada, Arizona, Montana and Wyoming.
Here's the deal:
1. get a tape measure. When you're able to hitch successfully without the "aid" of pry bars, crowbars and sledge hammers, measure the distance between the bottom of the hitch and the ground. Make note of it. In my case it's 11 inches. In the future, before attempting to unhitched raise the jack to that distance. You will raise the back of the truck a bit.
2. Release all tension on the WD bars so they swing freely.
You should then be able to drive away easily.

Hitching up, make sure the WD towers are cranked all the way down; make sure the stinger and receiver heights are matched and make sure the stinger is set to go straight in the receiver. Once in a blue moon, if you had to level the trailer from side to side, you will have to use the WD jack on one side to adjust the horizontal angle of the receiver to match the stinger on the truck.
After you have connected the hitch but before you drop the jack crank up the WD bar towers to the height you have determined works best and use the tape measure to verify that height (5.5" in my case). Then withdraw the jack, making sure it clears the WD bars. You'll find applying tension to the WD bars this way is a lot easier than doing it while the hitch is under load.
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Old 03-11-2016, 01:11 PM   #28
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This seems a lot of effort with these 2 brand of hitches, with my reese dual cam [one of orig. not newer ones]. I raise hitch high enough to back ball under install bars, all w/ less than minute. I will keep my Reese as does same thing as other 2 w/out all hassles & expense. I was at a forum camp out several yrs. ago & watched some person w/ 1 of these 2, bang into AS moving, reposition tv for part of 1/2 hour so have your fun but not for me. Pur. what ever hitch you desire learn how to use it.....

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