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Old 11-07-2016, 02:31 PM   #1
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2017 16' Sport
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Proper Tow Hitch Setup Inquiry

Hello, This is Darren (again). I recently received so much good feedback on the correct trailer brake controller for my application, I thought I'd ask about the correct tow hitch set up. I have a 2017 16 ft Bambi Sport that I am pulling with a 2007 Toyota Tacoma. I was given an E2 trunnion style hitch set up that is rated for 1,000 pound max tongue weight and 10,000 pound max trailer weight however my trailer's tongue weight is only 350 lb and the trailer comes in at 3,500 lbs. This hitch set up seems really overkill and the stabilizer arm brackets (that came with the hitch set up) that are now mounted to the trailer's a frame hang so low they often drag on the ground, tweak back and become disengaged with the associated stabilizer arms.
I don't know if I need one of these fancy hitch set ups in the first place OR should I just get one of the smaller offerings from E2 OR is there a better brand for this smaller size trailer / truck combo I have?
Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions. Darren
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:28 PM   #2
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I have a Fastway E2 hitch also. I tow my 66 Trade Wind with it. The Trade Wind weighs about 4500 loaded with about 500 hitch weight. I think your E2 will work just fine. It is designed to distribute weight and control sway with friction.

Here is how I set mine up.

1. Mount the hitch on the trailer A frame per the instructions.

2. Measure how high your pickup receiver square is from level pavement. Mine was 21".

3. Have your trailer on level pavement, and level the trailer front to back and side to side. Now measure the distance from your trailer's ball coupler to the pavement. My Trade Wind was 18".

4. The difference between these two measurements is the "drop" you need with the shank to get the hitch head ball at 18". Mount the hitch head to the shank per the instructions. I think I used 6 washers to tilt the hitch head downward per the instructions.

5. Measure the pickup fender lips to level ground at all 4 wheels and record the measurements. The pickup is loaded like you're going to take a trip. Your generator, compressor, tools, BBQ grill, bicycles, St Barnard dog, mother in law and everything else you take is in the pickup.

6. Hitch the trailer to the pickup and lift the tongue jack. Watch your pick up "squat" in the rear. The front of the pickup is likely lifted some.

7. Measure the pickup fender lips to ground at all 4 wheels and record. Determine how much the rear of the truck went down, and how far the front of the truck went up.

8. Your task now is to restore the fender lip measurements the best you can. You will not be able to get it perfect, but you want to restore 80% of it if you can. A weight distributing hitch is like taking a 10 foot long pipe, putting it in the truck square receiver. and lifting the back of the truck up.

9. Lower the tongue jack with the hitch still connected. Lift the back of the truck up (along with the front of the trailer of course) until you have restored the front wheel fender lip measurements. Both truck and trailer ought to look level now.

10. Select a spring bar L bracket hole pattern that supports the spring bars without adjusting the tongue jack. Tighten the nuts. The spring bars should look sorta level with the A frame. A little downward slope is okay too.

11. Put in the spring bar keepers. Now raise the tongue jack. The spring bars ought to keep the truck from squatting. Measure the fender lips. Well, how did you do in restoring the original measurements?

12. You can always increase the load on the spring bars one more hole pattern up if you need to distribute more weight to the front of the truck. You don't want a "light" steering feel because you have too much weight on the back of the truck. And you don't want your headlights shinning on tree tops as you drive at night.

13. Check that everything is connected, lights work, brakes work, and tow your trailer several miles on a less traveled road. Park it again on level ground and remeasure fender well lips at each wheel to insure they haven't changed much.

14. Do not exceed the gross vehicle weight ratings, or the combined vehicle weight ratings for your pickup. If in doubt, go to a weight scale and verify you are not overloading the truck or trailer for that matter.

That's what I did with my E2 hitch. I had trouble with the spring bar supports moving on the A frame. I added a shim between the bolts and the frame. I think it will solve the problem but I haven't towed it yet to test it out. Here is my thread on that subject:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ip-154233.html

I hope this helps a bit.

David
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:16 AM   #3
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Thanks Dave, I pretty much followed the directions you also laid out and I now have an improved, but not perfect, set up. Darren
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Old 11-09-2016, 08:50 AM   #4
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I cannot comment as Dave has on the specific way to adjust this particular brand/model of hitch but I can say that when a WD/AS hitch is properly set up, the weight on both tow vehicle axles should be nearly the same. If you have a weight imbalance between the front and rear axles on the tow vehicle, then the hitch needs to be adjusted to reduce and ideally eliminate the difference. The most precise way to verify this balance is by weighing the tow vehicle when hitched up and adjusting the hitch as required to balance the weight on the tow vehicle's front and rear axles. A truck stop CAT Scale or professional RV weighing service can accomplish this. There are some seat-of-pants visual ways to accomplish this in a pinch if the scales are not available.
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage65 View Post
Hello, This is Darren (again). I recently received so much good feedback on the correct trailer brake controller for my application, I thought I'd ask about the correct tow hitch set up. I have a 2017 16 ft Bambi Sport that I am pulling with a 2007 Toyota Tacoma. I was given an E2 trunnion style hitch set up that is rated for 1,000 pound max tongue weight and 10,000 pound max trailer weight however my trailer's tongue weight is only 350 lb and the trailer comes in at 3,500 lbs. This hitch set up seems really overkill and the stabilizer arm brackets (that came with the hitch set up) that are now mounted to the trailer's a frame hang so low they often drag on the ground, tweak back and become disengaged with the associated stabilizer arms.
I don't know if I need one of these fancy hitch set ups in the first place OR should I just get one of the smaller offerings from E2 OR is there a better brand for this smaller size trailer / truck combo I have?
Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions. Darren
Keep the hitch! You'll need it when you upgrade to a larger Airstream.

Trailer Trash sqatting in a Tin Can Shed.
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:02 PM   #6
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Yep, the weigh scale is the best method to insure you have your estimated 350 pounds of tongue weight distributed evenly between the rear and front axle of your tow vehicle. My description gets you "in the ballpark" based on spring compression due to weight.

It is also important to note your goal is to tow your trailer in a level attitude, not nose up or nose way down. A "slightly" nose down attitude is okay. You don't want to tow a trailer nose up. A very good way to induce some sway.

I'm glad you made good progress in setting up your hitch to the tow vehicle and trailer.

David
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