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Old 10-22-2019, 07:51 PM   #1
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Hitching up a new Ford Expedition

I have a new (2019) Ford Expedition to tow the Airstream, a 19-foot Bambi.

The hitch setup I had used on the old Suburban didn't work, as the Expedition stands several inches taller.

I got a new shank with an 11-inch drop. But ... when I hooked up the Airstream, it did not appear level (did not put a level down to check). Close, sure, but not level, at least to the eye.

And that was without the spring bars attached. I could not hook up the bars because they were now aimed way too low could not even hook them up.

I will take the hitch apart and remove a few washers to raise the bars.

Once I get the spring bars in action, that should raise up the rear axle and the hitch as well ... so the trailer will be a bit nose in the air.

So, I'm curious. What do others towing with a new generation Expedition do?

Is there a shank with something greater than an 11-inch drop?

And I'm not sure a deeper drop will let me get out of the driveway without banging the hitch on the concrete, as there's a dip there in the gutter.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:12 PM   #2
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I had the same problem towing a 22 with an SUV. I got rid of the hitch and towed on the ball. All problems were solved.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:13 PM   #3
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What is the model of the hitch?
What year is the Bambi?
A picture or two would really help.
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:26 AM   #4
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The hitch is a Pro Series.

The Bambi is a 2017 19-foot Serenity.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:27 AM   #5
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Hi

Regardless of the height of the receiver on the tow vehicle, the height of the ball to link up with the trailer is going to be a constant for that trailer. Indeed some modern vehicles sit way high off the ground and need crazy long drops to get to the trailer. One might wonder why they do that. Once you bought the vehicle, you have what you have.

Do you need dead level? Probably not. A lot of people tow just a bit nose low. Way low or way high is going to be a problem. Way high hits the rear bumper quicker. Way low does indeed risk dragging this or that up front.

Setting up any WD hitch is going to involve running through the manufacturers setup procedure (in the instructions). Just what you do will vary depending on the hitch. With most of them the bars change as the trailer changes. What works for one may not be correct for another.

With some hitches, indeed the bars start out way low. You then raise the tongue of the trailer a bit and hook up the bars. Once they are hooked back down it all goes. Yes, you use this or that tool as part of the process. Once it's all together, you are level and off the ground.

Bob
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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We have a '17 Expedition Platinum EL, towing our '07 25' FB with Propride. My husband says there is only a 6" drop. He said 11" sounds extremely long...the trailers all have the same drop and there shouldn't be that much difference between our Expedition years.
Call Propride, they will help you...
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:47 PM   #7
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You do not need a WD hitch to tow that tiny Bambi with that Expedition.....
Drop it on the ball, add sway bars, and go.
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:57 PM   #8
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And if you load the trailer properly to give you 10 to 15% tongue weight you won't even need the sway bars.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:35 PM   #9
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Ok, so to keep this on track and help, do you have any pictures of the trailer hitched up to your expedition that you can share with us?
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:31 AM   #10
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Sorry, but no pictures.

At the time I didn't think of documenting the drama.

I've adjusted the hitch took out all but one of the washers, to re-aim the tilt and will give it another go on Friday.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:33 AM   #11
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I had been towing with a 2012 Durango and this year got a 2019 Expedition Platinum. I expected to go through a lot of adjustments to the hitch, but it didn't need a thing. I guess I got lucky.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
Sorry, but no pictures.

At the time I didn't think of documenting the drama.

I've adjusted the hitch took out all but one of the washers, to re-aim the tilt and will give it another go on Friday.
Hi

Check the manufacturers instructions. Normally the washer stuff and the tilt are part of the WD adjustment and not part of the alignment. There ball lines up based on the drop from the receiver, you hitch up, and then start playing with washers to get the front axle / rear axle stuff right.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:28 AM   #13
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I got that.

Two problems I'm working with. One, getting the ball height that keeps the Airstream level.

The other was that when I first hooked up the hitch on the new tow with the new shank, it had the spring bars digging into the dirt.

I'll be working on Plan B today ...
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:56 AM   #14
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This gets more interesting.

When you reverse the expedition to hitch up, is the Airstream level or is the nose high?
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:57 AM   #15
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What BRAND, not series of hitch do you have ? ( Reese; Blue ox; Equilizer etc.)

On the level; the hitch height on the Bambi should be about 20 inches. The ball height on the Expedition should be about 22 inches.
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Old 10-25-2019, 09:09 AM   #16
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Maybe find a hitch shop to re-install your hitch. Some of the bolts need to be tightened down to high torque levels. If you are unsure, let a pro handle it.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:35 PM   #17
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With our 2018 Expy we tow a 25 Flying Cloud and the Reese Dual Cam hitch is dropped about 4-6 (not sure of exactly which points to measure). Your 11 sounds like a lot. Not sure why there would be such a big difference between your needed setup and the one we we are using.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
I got that.

Two problems I'm working with. One, getting the ball height that keeps the Airstream level.

The other was that when I first hooked up the hitch on the new tow with the new shank, it had the spring bars digging into the dirt.

I'll be working on Plan B today ...
Hi

Until you get into the WD part of it, there is no way to know how many washers you need on a typical hitch. If you get to the point that it digs into the ground, that's a great indication that normally is an indication that the bars are wrong.

The hitch height off the ground *should* be same / same when you move the hitch. What may / will / might not be the same is degree to which the TV is nose down. That angle change (if it exists) will require you to fiddle washers. Since you also have to fiddle washers to get the WD right on the new vehicle, that's super crazy.

Bob
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:47 PM   #19
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Lashed up the trailer and made it to a CAT Scale.

Neither axle is overloaded, or in danger or being so.

To my surprise, the tongue weight is over 900 pounds, if I'm reading the CAT Scale weights correctly. That's much more than Airstream's manual indicates.

With the hitch engaged, the rear axle is carrying an extra 400 pounds. The front axle is carrying an extra 20 pounds.

Here's how the Expedition and the 19-footer sit, with the W-D hitch engaged.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:03 PM   #20
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One interesting thing the hitch makes a lot of noise.

The new shank is slimmer than the original and is not a tight fit in the receiver.

So it bangs around a bit as we go down the road and you can hear it bumping this way and that. This didn't happen with the original shank, on the Good Ol' Suburban or on the new Expedition.

I did a search and found a long, agonizing thread on here about this loose-fit issue. Clearly, I'm not alone. No effective solutions offered, however.

I learned there are devises to purchase that allegedly take care of the problem. I bought one, at Lowe's. Though recommended by a member of the AirForums cognoscenti, it didn't fit (too narrow).

So I tried jamming in a plastic shim and ... it worked.

I returned that $3.78 purchase and went deep ... $8.15 for a piece of mild steel, close to the thickness of the shim. Measured and cut off a piece (easy to to do, as this is not tough stuff easy to bend). Put a bend on the end to keep it from sliding in too far and scuffing up the spare tire.

Laid the new steel spacer down and slipped the shank in place. Much better fit. Close to snug.

But will it work under way?

I'll be taking the trailer on a weekend camping trip soon. I'll report back.
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