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Old 09-16-2012, 10:22 PM   #15
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Missoula , Montana
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A wonderful story (so far!) and a great picture! Taking our rig to Vancouver Island is something we want to do - your story got us to thinking what the WA state ferries cost will be via Port Angeles or Whidbey Island... but, camping across the islands would be fun!

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:39 PM   #16
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There was a caravan last year that came through Wells... stop by here if you ever head up Jasper way or something like that. I think every Airstream in BC was here...

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:24 PM   #17
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Victoria , British Columbia
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Thanks to all for your kind words of encouragement. In keeping with the camping bug, we packed up today and headed up the island. Just to Nanaimo. About 2 hours north of Victoria, BC. Found a great place that backs onto the ocean. This is where the rear bedroom on the trailer shines. The view from our window is amazing. I'm eager to see how it looks in the morning as the sun comes up.

I've been reading older threads on trailer hitches, tow vehicles and the abundance of experience and knowledge within this forum. With that in mind, we took a slight detour and hit the scales just to see how we are set-up. We were alone a closed scale. The scale still worked, so we weighed a bunch of configurations. TV empty for baseline, TV & TT with WD, & without WD. I was able to weigh each axle individually as well. Found out some interesting things. According to specifications, this trailer's dry weight is 5900-6000#. With what we thought was a light load for a weekend trip, tipped the scale at 7150#. 1120# tongue weight. The real interesting thing is the weight on the TV. The dealer set up our hitch when we took delivery last week. Everything looked nice. Level trailer, nice stance on the truck, 5 links on the dual-cam WD. The front axle is 290# lighter with WD than empty. The trailer only took 200# of tongue weight, meaning the rear axle took 1150#. All axles were below GAWR, but we were over on the GVWR for the truck by 115#. By my estimation, I need to tighten my WD hitch another link, drop to 4, to transfer more of the tongue weight to the trailer and to the front axle of the truck. I tried 4 links at the scale, but it was too tight. I was able to lift the chain tensioning bar to the upper position, but when I relaxed a bit to set the pin, the bar flew back down and almost castrated me. I got lucky, it snagged my jeans ripping them open at the crotch. I only received a glancing blow to the boys. It dropped me to my knees and I was white and sweaty for a few minutes. As I said, I got lucky. Learned a valuable lesson today, don't stand directly in front of the chain links while applying tension. Stand to the side. I had used the tongue jack to lift both the truck and trailer so that I wouldn't need so much force to tension the bars. Even the small amount of tension was enough to whip that bar around and give me something to remember for a very long time.

The other thing I learned is I need to tilt my hitch ball down a grove or two and then re-tension with 5 links minimum. Anybody had to do this as well recently? What sort of weight transfer did you get with each notch? I would like to have an educated guess to start with instead of too much trial and error. The good thing is I live less than 5 miles to the scales, so I can check the set-up fairly quickly.

Any help would be appreciated. Maybe in exchange for your help, I taught some of you a very good safety lesson that you don't have to learn the hard way like I did.

Stephen, Daisy and the kids.

PS, with Daisy being a doctor, a little bit of ice and some rest, and we were able to continue. No trip to the hospital, no permanent damage done to my body, just a good sized dent to my ego.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:50 PM   #18
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Hi, OK, WOW, that hurt me just reading about it. Let the tongue jack raise it higher. I raise my trailer high enough to put my spring bars on by hand. [zero pressure]

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Old 09-23-2012, 12:12 AM   #19
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Victoria , British Columbia
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I had lifted the trailer to take the tension off the chain when I had 5 links on and I was going to 4 links immediately, so I left it there. I didn't think dropping to 4 links from 5 would be that much more tension and I could apply the tension without the aid of the jack. Again, lesson learned.

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