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Old 02-16-2016, 04:34 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Molinari47 View Post
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?
No, I don't... but going back to my original post, may I remind everybody that I'm not going to use this hitch. I will replace it with a hitch with more 'spring' to the bars (tapered, probably).

So, a couple more date points:

When I level the trailer to the driveway, the top of the ball receiver is at about 17" from the concrete. On the truck, the top of the ball is about 18" from the driveway. I'm thinking that there should be more like a 2" difference.

I hope I'm not being a nuisance with this... this is all new to me. With our Casita, I was hooked up and gone in about the time it took me to type this reply!
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:19 PM   #30
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Rob: Where are you measuring the hitch receiver from? Assuming everything is level, measure from top of receiver and not top of ball. Measure coupler from top of ball and subtract ball size. If the former is higher than the latter, you need a drop by the difference but if latter is greater than former, you need a rise by the difference. My strong suggestion is that you reach out to Reese for my assistance since the 6 inch clearance on a F150 seems way too little. Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:50 PM   #31
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My experience is that you need bars rated higher than the tongue weight ..obviously, but if you go too light then the bars get bent severely and that puts a strain on everything. I would try bars rated about 100 lbs heavier than your tongue weight. The bars should not be flexed too severely when the rig is pulled up level; if they are then they are too light.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:53 PM   #32
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My experience is that you need bars rated higher than the tongue weight ..obviously, but if you go too light then the bars get bent severely and that puts a strain on everything. I would try bars rated about 100 lbs heavier than your tongue weight. The bars should not be flexed too severely when the rig is pulled up level; if they are then they are too light.
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I don't believe it to be obvious. If the bars are cold rolled, you may be right. If they are spring steel, flexing is what they are supposed to do.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:32 AM   #33
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dznfOg. You're right, but my point is that if the bars have to be pulled up so far that they look like a BOW, then they are too light. I had 750# on my 25' '89 pulling with my Dakota. The bars were flexed into a very pronounced curve. I added helper springs to the truck raising the rear wheel well about 1.5" and the 750s were fine. I estimated the tongue weight at about 700+ lbs using a bathroom scale and lever arrangement.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:45 AM   #34
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dznfOg. You're right, but my point is that if the bars have to be pulled up so far that they look like a BOW, then they are too light. I had 750# on my 25' '89 pulling with my Dakota. The bars were flexed into a very pronounced curve. I added helper springs to the truck raising the rear wheel well about 1.5" and the 750s were fine. I estimated the tongue weight at about 700+ lbs using a bathroom scale and lever arrangement.
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See my pics above....and look at the Blue Ox ad in this month's trailer life (good clear pic). They both show a proper amount of flex in a well set up system.

I believe that MOST tapered bars are spring steel, but can't be sure. I am pretty confident that Blue Ox sway Pro and Reese DC are spring steel. My Hensley is a bit tapered, but I am not confident that they are spring steel and not cold rolled. They are 1000# bars, and do flex a tiny amount, but not much. BTW, in my conversation with Hensley some time ago, they indicated that most all round bars are made by the same supplier and hitch manufacturers use common bars, with some dimensional differences.

Of course, even spring steel can be stretched beyond its limits, but I maintain, a healthy bow is a good thing in WD spring bars.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:55 AM   #35
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Here's a pretty decent shot stolen from the Sway Pro website, but the one in TL is taken on a flatter horizontal plane:


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Old 02-18-2016, 09:08 AM   #36
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[QUOTE=dznf0g;1750733]Here's a pretty decent shot stolen from the Sway Pro website, but the one in TL is taken on a flatter horizontal plane:

Those appear to be spring steel since they are lighter than the ones on my '89. I sold the trailer and hitch to a guy with a Honda Ridgeline. The bars were much more bowed than the photo when he drove away. The hitch was a Reese. I think if you have to jack the trailer up so high it 'hurts' , just to be able to lever the cam-locks into place then the bars are too light. That was certainly the case with my Dakota until I added an extra leaf and helpers to the rear springs. My current set up is a Hensley and the bars are 1000#. Can't relate them to my Reese since the Hensley doesn't use the cam-locks.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:23 AM   #37
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We used the Hensley Arrow 1,000 pound bars on our 2013 25FB International Serenity that had a literature tongue weight of 833 pounds. The real number when we picked it up with only full tanks (water & propane) and the street and rear awnings installed by the dealership was 1,150 pounds. We towed with a 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel with air suspension. When loaded for camping, the tongue weight was now 1,175 pounds and the Mercedes was overloaded on the axles. We upgraded to a 2012 Ram 2500HD diesel.

The 25FB became a 2014 31' Classic that is towed by the Ram.

The 2015 23D International Serenity has a literature tongue weight of 720 pounds. After all the modifications, the tongue weight camping ready is 968 pounds. We are still using the Hensley Arrow 1,000 pound bars and towing with the same Mercedes.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:40 AM   #38
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This from Hensley....bar rating should be below actual TW:

http://blog.hensleymfg.com/Safe-Towi...itch-Selection

They state that the bar rating should be matched to the amount of weight needing transferring with a loaded trailer and TV...NOT the rated max tongue weight of the trailer.

I can't find any other manufacturer that states anything. I think links and factual quotes from manufacturers should be the direction of this thread. Maybe some of you are better net searchers than I. Let's see what we can find.

(I suspect we will find many variations between manufacturers and how they rate their bars)

I reiterate, I wish Hensley would provide lighter bars, per their recommendation...I don't need to transfer 1000#s on my 950# (max actual weighed TW....sometimes less). I need to transfer, at most 500#s.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:51 AM   #39
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And...Reese says to match to the total weight of the load...cargo plus Actual TW. Contradiction to Hensley.

http://hitchworldinc.com/catalog/section6.pdf

IMO, this method disregards WHERE your load is in the truck and has no correlation to HOW MUCH weight you need to transfer.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:51 AM   #40
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Switz makes a good point about tongue weight. The Airstream claimed factory weights are notoriously low. My 27FB 730 lb factory specification weight was closer to 900 lbs when weighed using a Sureline scale. You may actually need heavier bars than you think.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:58 AM   #41
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This from Chevy:
"WEIGHT-DISTRIBUTING HITCH This hitch type distributes the
trailer tongue load by using spring bars to shift some of the
hitch weight forward onto the tow vehicle’s front axle and
rearward to the trailer’s axles."

Note they say SOME of the hitch weight to the front axle and some to the trailer axle(s)....so rating the bars to the ENTIRE load is inappropriate, again, IMO.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:59 AM   #42
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Switz makes a good point about tongue weight. The Airstream claimed factory weights are notoriously low. My 27FB 730 lb factory specification weight was closer to 900 lbs when weighed using a Sureline scale. You may actually need heavier bars than you think.
Always go by the scale with a loaded AS and TV. Only definitive way to determine your needs....and every owner has different needs based on their configuration and load.
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