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Old 02-16-2016, 12:34 PM   #15
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This owner is using 800lb bars.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ml#post1515209

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Old 02-16-2016, 12:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RFP View Post
Interesting experiment... sounds like it would be worth a try.

It's interesting that the new truck's manual says to measure the front height and then adjust the WD hitch so that the front height returns [only] 1/4th the distance to the original. I've read that several times and sure 'nuff that's what it says! In other words, the WD hitch allows the front to rise 3/4th as much as it would without the hitch.

Weird!

Can you provide more info on your truck manual guidance on WD hitch adjustment.

Everything I have read for all the manufacturers (Ford/GM/Chrysler) is anywhere from 100% FALR to 50% FALR. While height returns are not exactly the same as measuring the loads on a scale, I have got to assume that a 1/4 height return would be less than 50% FALR. Now maybe a height return to within 1/4 inch of the original height was what they were specifying?
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Siegmann View Post
Can you provide more info on your truck manual guidance on WD hitch adjustment.

Everything I have read for all the manufacturers (Ford/GM/Chrysler) is anywhere from 100% FALR to 50% FALR. While height returns are not exactly the same as measuring the loads on a scale, I have got to assume that a 1/4 height return would be less than 50% FALR. Now maybe a height return to within 1/4 inch of the original height was what they were specifying?
OK... Here's the exact text from page 262 of the Owner's Manual
----------

When hooking up a trailer using a weight-distributing hitch, always use the following procedure:

1. Park the loaded vehicle, without the trailer on a level surface.

2. Measure the height to the top of your vehicle's front wheel opening on the fender. This is H1

3. Attach the loaded trailer to your vehicle without the weight-distributing bars attached.

4. Measure the height to the top of your vehicle's front wheel opening on the fender a second time. This is H2

5. Install and adjust the tension in the weight-distributing bars so that the height of your vehicle's front wheel opening on the front fender is approximately a quarter the way down from H1 toward H2

6. Check that the trailer is level or slightly nose down toward your vehicle. If not, adjust the ball height accordingly and repeat steps 2 - 6

Once the trailer is level or slightly nose down toward the vehicle:

- Lock the bar tension adjuster in place

- Check that the trailer tongue securely attaches and locks onto the hitch

- Install safety chains, lighting, and trailer brake controls as required by law or the trailer manufacturer.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I'm not sure I agree with that for the simple fact that there is no standard between hitch manufacturers for how they rate their bars. For example, refer to Inland Andy's spring bar flex rates experiment from several years ago.

Tongue weight is a starting point anyway.
I have 1,000# bars for my Classic 30-
Still have a hard time transferring enough weight back to front axle.
I think the reason for that is I have a half ton truck.
I wonder if 600# bars would make it even more difficult to transfer weight to front axle...


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Old 02-16-2016, 01:40 PM   #19
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OK, here's some more grist for the mill:

I just went out and hooked up the Airstream to the F150 (for the first time) using the generic 'Equal-i-zer' hitch from the previous owner.

The surface isn't level... slight downward slope to the driveway. The rig is pointed down-driveway, slightly downhill.

The bottom of the shank is only 5 3/4" from the concrete; I don't think it would get out of the driveway and into the street without dragging... do I care about that?

No load heights:

Front = 35 3/4"
Rear = 38"

Full trailer load with no bars attached:

Front = 36 1/2" (Front raised only 3/4" !)
Rear = 35 3/4" (Rear dropped 2 1/4")

With bars (square, non-tapered, MARKED 800 POUNDS):

Front = 35 15/16" (Now, front is raised only not quite 1/4" )
Rear = 36" ( Rear is still down 2" )

Everything looks level, for whatever that's worth.

I don't really know what I just "learned"

All of this just me feel like a complete doufus!

Rob
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:50 PM   #20
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Your rig seems to be set right already.


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Old 02-16-2016, 01:51 PM   #21
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Take it for a drive around town and out into the countryside to see how effective sway control is when 18 wheelers pass.
If you don't feel pushed around by 18 wheelers, no further adjustments needed-


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Old 02-16-2016, 02:13 PM   #22
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Ultimately it's is a personal decision on how much is enough and driving around the block and on the highway are good suggestions.

As I mentioned above, 1000# bars on our 2500 Suburban made the hitch way too stiff. With the WD bars cinched the hitch became almost like a solid member. With the 1000# bars I could jump up and down on the hitch and it moved very little. The 600# bars still transfer the weight to the front of the vehicle but the hitch connection has more compliance and the ride is definitely better.

Here's the information for our 2500 Suburban using 600# bars.

Our rise in the front was only 1/4" when attached without WD and we got all of that back with WD.

Our sag in the rear was 1" without WD and only 3/8" with WD.

The bottom of your shank does sound close to the ground but it's difficult to know for certain without seeing a picture. Ours is probably on the order of 8" from the ground so not a whole lot higher. We don't drag very often. After getting the hitch dialed in I used a reciprocating saw to remove a few inches from the bottom of the shank to gain some ground clearance. I was probably only 5 - 6" off the ground originally.

on edit:

I spent the better part of a day working with the hitch head angle, number of chain links, etc. to get mine dialed in the first time. After that I still made adjustments. When we purchased a second tow vehicle things went much more smoothly and I spent a few hours at most dialing the new hitch in. We recently installed new axles on the trailer and that raised the trailer nearly 2" so I had to dial in the hitches again - this time only spent an hour or so making the adjustments. Each time is a little quicker and you'll gain a better appreciation for how each parameter affects the outcome.

If you don't already have a large box end wrench to fit your hitch bolts you may want to consider buying a set. A cheater bar of some sort may be needed too.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:16 PM   #23
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We have the same trailer and truck and noticed definite sway when travelling down steep hills and during strong cross winds using the generic WDH that the dealer sold us. I bought a Pro Pride with 1000 lb bars and the difference was incredible. We travel light as well and notice we are about 150 lbs over on our payload capacity of 1673 lbs. The PP hitch is heavier but I suspect the advertised tongue weight is too low.


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Old 02-16-2016, 03:08 PM   #24
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Drive it to a level parking lot and take some photos of the truck and trailer together and the close up of the hitch head. Try to exit your driveway at an angle to avoid hitting the shank.

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Old 02-16-2016, 03:09 PM   #25
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RFP-My TV is the same as yours except 2013. My manual says half way between the "high and low" measurement and the Equal-i-zer hitch manual says "at least half way". With the hitch at approximately 17.5 inches, your shank is sitting way too low and you are going to drag a lot.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Drive it to a level parking lot and take some photos of the truck and trailer together and the close up of the hitch head. Try to exit your driveway at an angle to avoid hitting the shank.

Kelvin
Kelvin... unloaded, the shank is about 8" from the concrete, hitched up that drops to less than 6" ... I can't get out of the driveway without making some serious noise; and maybe worse, I'm concerned about what dragging the shank might damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittyfeet View Post
RFP-My TV is the same as yours except 2013. My manual says half way between the "high and low" measurement and the Equal-i-zer hitch manual says "at least half way". With the hitch at approximately 17.5 inches, your shank is sitting way too low and you are going to drag a lot.
Oh, yes... a LOT!

I'm afraid that air bags may be in my future.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Tongue weight is a starting point anyway.
I have 1,000# bars for my Classic 30-
Still have a hard time transferring enough weight back to front axle.
I think the reason for that is I have a half ton truck.
I wonder if 600# bars would make it even more difficult to transfer weight to front axle...


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Agreed, but I believe it depends on the bars.

Cold rolled steel or spring steel? (good luck getting that question answered!)
How is manufacturer rating them? (good luck getting an answer to that question!)

I have 1000# bars for my Hensley because...well that is the smallest rating they have. I'd prefer them to have more flex, BUT they have a lot more flex than the 1000# EQ bars I originally had.

When I used my Reese DC, I had 600# bars and had no problem returning appropriate weight to the front axle....with a variety of 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks and SUVs.

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Pics are of a Denali with auto level control dis-engaged for WD adjustment.

I'm not saying all 600# bars are equal among manufacturers, but this was the best riding setup I have experienced to date. Wish Hensley had bushings and bars at 800#s.

BTW, my TW is 850# to 950# depending whether bikes and rack are on the tongue. 30' Classic.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:14 PM   #28
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Rob: seems like your truck is pretty close to level with the 800 lb spring bars. More important is the drag on the shank. 6 inches seems way too low to me. Do you have a rise or drop on the hitch?
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