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Old 09-10-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
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I know I should know this

Recently purchased an older Airstream. I know I should know this but the trailer hitch ball is 18" from at the level point, my hitch is 22". What should my truck hitch height be?
Previous Airstream was much larger, and weighed more
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:05 PM   #2
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Your question is unclear. The hitch ball on your truck should be high enough for the trailer to tow level when fully loaded.
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:12 PM   #3
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Previous Airstream 700 lbs. New purchase 420 lbs
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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Blue Ox recommends in their literature that the ball be two inches higher than the level hitch with no weight on it.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:21 PM   #5
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thank you

Thank you very much for the info.
Hope to be on the road soon.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:18 PM   #6
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Ball Height

I seem to recall 19" as ball height
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Blue Ox recommends in their literature that the ball be two inches higher than the level hitch with no weight on it.
The ball height of the tow vehicle always depends of the stiffness of the tow vehicle.

Having a 1/2 ton ot heavier duty tow vehicle where the ball is 2 inches higher, will absolutely cause the front of the trailer to be much higher than the rear.

Also, the weight on the front trailer axle will be less than it should and the weight on the rear axle will be more than it should be. That in it's self, also sets up a sway.

A proper rigging must match the trailer to the tow vehicle.

Ball park, the ball should be higher on the tow vehicle, as follows.

Cars 1 inch
1/2 ton trucks 3/4 inch
3/4 ton trucks 1/2 inch, or less.

In time, as the rubber rods in the torsion axles age, the ball height should also be reduced, for, if you wish, a perfect match.

Andy
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:37 AM   #8
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I like Andy's take on it! You need to allow for the whole truck riding a bit lower when the equalizers pull everything level. With My Dakota, Can Am said 19" and it was bang on level, but the 750lb bars were really pulled up tight. I added extra leaves rather than change to 1000 lb bars. That also took some of the twist off of the hitch (and the frame). So the MT truck sits a bit high in the rear but settles back to level when hooked up. I can also load the truck with 600 lbs of stuff without the trailer and it sits level rather than low on the rear under load.
JCW
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blucloud View Post
Recently purchased an older Airstream. I know I should know this but the trailer hitch ball is 18" from at the level point, my hitch is 22". What should my truck hitch height be?
Previous Airstream was much larger, and weighed more

If the trailer is level at 18" tongue height, that is how high it should be loaded and hooked up. Not sure there is an exact science to predetermine what that means for the TV.
For example, when we brought or new to us 75 Overlander home, the quoted tongue height is 19.5", the empty F250 ball height is ~24". After the F250 was loaded with PO mumbo jumbo for the AS, AND the AS hitched up, the tongue height was ~19.5" - checking the front and rear of the trailer there was only 1/4" difference. So chances are good it was level.
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Old 09-12-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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I like Andy's take on it! You need to allow for the whole truck riding a bit lower when the equalizers pull everything level. With My Dakota, Can Am said 19" and it was bang on level, but the 750lb bars were really pulled up tight. I added extra leaves rather than change to 1000 lb bars. That also took some of the twist off of the hitch (and the frame). So the MT truck sits a bit high in the rear but settles back to level when hooked up. I can also load the truck with 600 lbs of stuff without the trailer and it sits level rather than low on the rear under load.
JCW
Good job, but adding springs or inflating air bags or air lift shocks, progressively defeats the purpose of the "load equalizing bars".

Those items make the bars to not bend as much, therefore they are not doing what you want them to do.

Bending bars, contrary to some, is when they are doing their job.

Reese bars, as an example, are tested to have a minimum bend of 5 inches.

Having their bars, using their saddles, bend 2 to 3 inches, provides fantastic sway control.

Andy
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The ball height of the tow vehicle always depends of the stiffness of the tow vehicle.
The ball height also depends on tongue weight and how much load is restored to the TV's front axle.

Quote:
Having a 1/2 ton ot heavier duty tow vehicle where the ball is 2 inches higher, will absolutely cause the front of the trailer to be much higher than the rear.
Not necessarily true. Not all 1/2 ton or heavier TV's have the same rear axle stiffness. Not all are loaded with the same tongue weight. Not all get the same amount of front axle load restoration.

Quote:
A proper rigging must match the trailer to the tow vehicle.
Current specifications from major TV and WDH manufacturers state that front axle load restoration can range from 0% to 100% depending on vehicle.
Following the manufacturers' specs can result in rear end "squat" of up to 2".
Perhaps that's why Blue Ox recommends starting with the ball two inches higher.

Ron
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