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Old 10-02-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
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Proper Tongue Height

Newbie here.
I am trying to get our 26U tongue height correct when hitching to F250.
The AS manual states tongue height (ground to top of ball) should be 17 3/4 inches.
But currently when hitched it measures 18 3/4 inches and appears somewhat nose-low.
Therefore to get to 17 3/4 (dropping front another inch) she'd be even more nose-low.
What am I missing?
Should I shoot for equal distance AS ground/frame front/back and forget that 17 3/4?
Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWBishop View Post
Newbie here.
I am trying to get our 26U tongue height correct when hitching to F250.
The AS manual states tongue height (ground to top of ball) should be 17 3/4 inches.
But currently when hitched it measures 18 3/4 inches and appears somewhat nose-low.
Therefore to get to 17 3/4 (dropping front another inch) she'd be even more nose-low.
What am I missing?
Should I shoot for equal distance AS ground/frame front/back and forget that 17 3/4?
Thanks.
Front top of A frame and rear bumper top should be within 1/2", on level surface is what I remembered from the dealer recently. But, I would call the service guys and ask to make sure. You can adjust your hitch accordingly. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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I also have a 26U, but it's not here to measure. Why does 19 3/4" stick in my mind?
Anyway, I'd go with what looks right, not what was in the AS manual (strange as that sounds) You don't know when the manual was written or for how many units.
Do you have the stock tires and rims?

"When hitched". Do you have enough pressure on the WD bars? The only real way to test is to take it to a Cat scale and have each axle weighed.
On my rig, I have to raise the jack a lot, and then pry the bars on the last inch. (Equalizer/ 4 washers).

If the trailer is unhitched, what's the ball height when the trailer is level? What hitch? Did you measure the truck without the trailer and measure the ground clearance in the wheel wells? Then the same loaded?
Does the truck look level but the trailer is nose down when hitched?
Setting up the hitch is a complicated process. Thankfully, You'll only do it once.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Hi

There is a lot of "cut and paste" in the AS manuals. That leads to strange numbers popping up here and there. Go with what looks right on your trailer. Measure front and rear to double check.

Bob
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Front top of A frame and rear bumper top should be within 1/2", on level surface is what I remembered from the dealer recently. But, I would call the service guys and ask to make sure. You can adjust your hitch accordingly. Hope this helps.


Agreed. Donít go by ball height, go by the frame height as measured at the front A-frame vs the rear bumper. Measuring on a level concrete pad somewhere is the only way to go (vs the street)

I believe mine is 15 3/4Ē or so from ground to bottom of the frame rail on a level concrete pad.

I have a 30í trailer and with WD applied I am within 1/2 inch of level. I couldnít tell you what my ball height is
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I also have a 26U, but it's not here to measure. Why does 19 3/4" stick in my mind?
Based on my current calculations 19 3/4 would probably be more accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Anyway, I'd go with what looks right, not what was in the AS manual (strange as that sounds) You don't know when the manual was written or for how many units.
Agree manual could be just a generic figure they've used for millions of years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Do you have the stock tires and rims?
Yes. Stock GY Endurance tires and AS rims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
"When hitched". Do you have enough pressure on the WD bars? The only real way to test is to take it to a Cat scale and have each axle weighed.
On my rig, I have to raise the jack a lot, and then pry the bars on the last inch. (Equalizer).
No WD (in the category of "ball-dropper").
F250 rear squats 1 3/8" with front 3/8" rise (240 lbs or 5%).
WD maybe for anti-sway, but is 3/8" front rise enough to try to redistribute?
So for now just ball drop on go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
If the trailer is unhitched, what's the ball height when the trailer is level?
Embarrassed to say I do not know. Guess I have a homework assignment.
So time to level, measure, and adjust.
When first purchased it "appeared" level at dealership, but I really don't think it was.
It tows ok, but want to ensure it truly is level when hitched for best towing.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:29 PM   #7
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Proper Tongue Height

For what it is worth I have a 3/4 ton truck (diesel) as well and I do use WD to restore about 3/8Ē / 200lbs to the front axle.... Iíve got a nice balanced ride (front vs rear axle weights) when loaded and hitched up for camping.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:58 PM   #8
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I'd say put a level on the Airstream door sill and adjust your hitch until it is level with your weight distribution hitch engaged on a level surface. My truck's unhitched ball height starts at 22" to have a nearly level Airstream with the weight distribution hitch engaged. 22" is a lot higher than the recommended 17-3/4". By nearly level I mean as close to level as can be achieved with the 1-1/4" spacing on my hitch adjustments.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
For what it is worth I have a 3/4 ton truck (diesel) as well and I do use WD to restore about 3/8Ē / 200lbs to the front axle.... Iíve got a nice balanced ride (front vs rear axle weights) when loaded and hitched up for camping.
Interesting. Which WDH did you go with?
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:05 PM   #10
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:48 PM   #11
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If you use the technique of measuring the height of the frame front and rear, the surface does not have to be level, just flat.

Al
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWBishop View Post
Newbie here.
I am trying to get our 26U tongue height correct when hitching to F250.
The AS manual states tongue height (ground to top of ball) should be 17 3/4 inches.
But currently when hitched it measures 18 3/4 inches and appears somewhat nose-low.
Therefore to get to 17 3/4 (dropping front another inch) she'd be even more nose-low.
What am I missing?
Should I shoot for equal distance AS ground/frame front/back and forget that 17 3/4?
Thanks.
What hitch are you using? Does it have WD bars and sway control? This would help.

I have a 27' and F350 with a Hensley, it has wind up WD bars but not much WD is needed. The 17-3/4" sound low, mine was about 19".

I think you will like the combo. My F350 tows that 27' like it's not there.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
If you use the technique of measuring the height of the frame front and rear, the surface does not have to be level, just flat.

Al
Good point! I measured this way too as level surfaces are hard to find. I measured at the stabilizer mounting bolts, front and back rather than at the tongue and rear bumper. This measured at approximately 17-1/2" which is similar to Airstream's recommendation.

What I found when preparing to pick up my new Airstream was that ball height was much higher than the specs. I bought the 11" drop receiver to achieve 17-3/4" ball height and should have bought the 7" because I needed my ball at 22". I ended up cutting down my 11" receiver to the 7" length for added ground clearance.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:33 AM   #14
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It is normal and advisable for the trailer to be "nose low". First as you start speeding up to cruising speed your trailer will start leveling up (basic physics) the force start moving from downward to rearward..., second you will be more aerodynamic if your trailer is slightly tilted forward , and your car (the rear wheel) will be more grounded resulting in better control.
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