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Old 08-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #1
airperson
 
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How to measure to get Trailer and Tow Vehicle level

When you are getting your rig ready to travel what measurements are necessary to make sure the trailer and your tow vehicle are level. I guess what I am trying to find out is what steps you use each time you set up.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Airperson
When you are getting your rig ready to travel what measurements are necessary to make sure the trailer and your tow vehicle are level. I guess what I am trying to find out is what steps you use each time you set up.
The trailer has to be level for sure and you TV should be as level as possible. Measure you TV tires from the ground to the top of the wheel well before and after you which up. If using a weight distribution hitch (recommended) they should all be very close to the original measurements.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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The model of your hitch will determine the steps to make the adjustments.

Start with a level flat surface such as a concrete driveway. With your tow vehicle detached from the trailer, measure the front and rear wheel wells to the ground. The front is often different from the rear, but the TV is level. Make a note of each. With the trailer attached and hitch adjusted these measurements will have changed an equal amount more or less. e.g. If your front/rear measurements were 33" and 32" respectively before and with the trailer connected change to 32" and 31" the front and rear have settled equally. That's what you hope to achieve and your headlights won't be scanning the trees.

With the trailer disconnected and level, select a couple of reference points. I use the belt line where it intersects with the front and rear endcap rivet seams on one side. The measurement from there to the ground should be the same. e.g. 54". When connected to the TV and hitch is adjusted, the might change to 53" for example. As with the TV, these will change by an equal amount.

Once you get the hitch adjustments dialed in, your TV and TT will both be level to a reasonable degree. You should be set for each hookup unless something significant changes.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blmitch5 View Post
The trailer has to be level for sure and you TV should be as level as possible. Measure you TV tires from the ground to the top of the wheel well before and after you which up. If using a weight distribution hitch (recommended) they should all be very close to the original measurements.
No offense intended, but I take exception to the above statement.

If the measurements were very close to the original measurements, it would mean very little of the tongue weight was being carried by the tow vehicle. I am not sure that is a desirable situation. How the wheel well measurements change is very dependent on the design of the tow vehicle. A pickup for instance (or any vehicle designed to carry its load mainly in the rear) is designed to be level when fully loaded. When unloaded the rear of a heavy duty pickup will be noticeably higher. With properly adjusted WD, the front and rear will lower in proportion to ratio of the of weight carrying capacity of the front and rear axles. This is determined by subtracting the empty weight of each axle from its rated maximum weight (from the vehicle's manual).

Post #3 seems pretty much right on. Though keep in mind that, depending on the TV design, an equal change on front and rear TV heights may not be the desirable goal.

Ken
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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Wow thanks for the great information. Now I have a good idea how to make it work. If anyone else has any good tips please send them on...
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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AP

POI....it's the trailer that has priority as far as being level when towing.

Your TV may not be level or have equal measurements frt/rear even when unhitched.

What you should be trying to accomplish with your measurements is splitting the weight difference between the TV front axle hitched and un-hitched.
Think of it as, weight equals inches.

ie..if the rear measurement is 4"(extreme) lower when hitched you need to return at least 2" to the front by adjusting the WD bars, remember as the rear goes down the front is going up.

For my initial measurement I went thru the center of each tire to the edge of the fender wheel opening.

Once your initial measurements are confirmed at the CAT scales any minor adjustments can usually be made thru proper loading.

Here is an example of our "measurements" at the CAT, completely loaded, full LPG and fresh water, with car top boat on the 'Burb.

Remember you are doing with inches what the scales do in pounds.

1st TV only

2nd TV&AS w/o wd

3rd WD set to go




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Old 08-22-2011, 04:32 PM   #7
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Sorry about the previous post couldn't get the scans to transfer properly.

I wanted to give you an example of the weights.

TV only
str axle 3740
dr axle 3600

TV&AS no W/D
str axle 2980
dr axle 5520
trlr axle 7490

W/D set
str axle 3640
dr axle 4680

Bob
trlr axle 7640
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Thanks

Robert, You are the man! I really appreciated the information. You took a very completed subject and make it where it is very understandable and easy to follow. I will feel a lot safer down the road because you took the time to answer this thread. Thanks Again
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #9
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Robert, I looked at the pictures you posted and I saw where you repaired your battery door. It was corroded on the frame. My door frame looks just like yours did before the repair. Would you mind sharing how you got it back in such perfect shape it looks like new. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Battery door polishing.....

AP,
Glad you found the previous post helpful.
This was originally posted on the Corrosion Problem thread...

When done I used Griot's Paint Sealer,(works great on the rest of the AS as well), no polish I wanted to keep the brushed look. It's a lott'a work so be prepared.
Oh and yes almost forgot.... couple layers of blue painters tape around the door frames to protect the panels

Bob



Used a little different method on this project today.

Painting the door hinges took over 10 days, what with letting each of the 8 coats dry a day between sanding and painting. Plus I wanted to get the finished look a little closer to the rest of the trailer.
The preparation was the same but instead of paint I just used the wet sandpaper. Again starting with the 400,600,then the final dressing with the 1500 grit. Can't stress enough how important the water is, you just can't use too much. It was much more labor intensive, a lot of elbow grease for sure.(the Honey Brown helped a lot). Started about 10 this morning and finished 5:30 this afternoon. It would have gone quicker had I been able to find a coarser paper.
I'm considering using the same method on the filiform, got a spot all picked out, just have to get up the nerve to do it.
I do think it turned out well.
What think ya'all?
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“After all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.”
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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Robert, This is great info. I hope I will be able to accomplish something akin to what you have achieved. However I will be waiting until this heat in Texas cools down a bit. I can stand heat but this summer is something else. Thanks again,guys like you lead the way.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:45 AM   #12
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AP,

Confident that you can do it. It just takes some time. Work with the doors open and the panels protected with tape. Start aggressive with the coarse grit paper and work up to the 1500 or 2000 if you want a brighter finish. Have a spray bottle of water handy and keep it WET.

You can post your result pic's here.

Be prepared for some sore muscles.....

Stay cool.....

Bob
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