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Old 10-16-2007, 08:03 PM   #1
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Adjusting my Reese Hitch

Hi,

After innumerable (or is it interminable) hours of reviewing all the posts I could possibly ever read about Reese WD Hitch setups, I came to the conclusion that my present setup (configured by dealer) needed some adjustments.

So, I am busy tweaking away... Or, if you notice in my pics, I am not sure if "tweaking" is the correct term for when you are using a 24-inch adjustable end wrench...

I am not looking to start a huge discussion about if I should raise, lower, bend, etc etc, I have already absorbed enough so I actually think I have an understanding of the whole thing -- thanks again to all of you who have posted insight into WD and how it works. Suffice it to say that I have a plan, I will make the changes incrementally and carefully test them out.

I really just wanted to show you all the pictures of my wrenches... :-) Spending 1/2 my life around 18-wheelers has its advantages when it comes to stocking the tool bag....

regards, Dave
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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Oh I'm jealous, those are some nice wrenches! I especially like the way they are color coordinated to match you Airstream!
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:18 AM   #3
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Try this...
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:58 AM   #4
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Hi again,

A secondary benefit of the wrenches is I usually keep the 24 incher right behind the truck seat as my "persuader" in case any "undesirables" ever come along and give me a hard time...

I think I have it set up pretty good now. I am going on a 480 mile run this weekend to check it out. One little quirk though, is that my wife knows I am trying to get the "weight distribution" just right, but her thoughts are we could solve the problem easier if we just left more of "my junk" (tools, bbq, extra oil, water, anti-freeze etc) behind since they are all heavy items.

I say we could solve it by leaving behind her big reclining lawn chair and other such "un-necessary items"...

So why is it that all my stuff is categorized as "junk" and all her stuff is categorized as being "absolute essentials to camping " ??? :-)

regards, Dave
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:05 AM   #5
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If mama isn't happy, nobody happy. Leave the 15" and 18" at home and just take the persuader.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:42 AM   #6
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Richard, I wanted to give you some karma for posting the reese instructions, I didnt get a copy with my hitch when I got the trailer. This is going to be helpful tweaking the new setup! THANKS
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagnerda
Hi again,
A secondary benefit of the wrenches is I usually keep the 24 incher right behind the truck seat as my "persuader" in case any "undesirables" ever come along and give me a hard time...

Dave
I call my wrench that lives behind the seat my "fool be cool tool"
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:30 AM   #8
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Tows Like a Dream !!!

What an improvement !!!

I just finished up a 1,000 mile run after making my hitch setup changes and I absolutley cannot believe how much better it is...

My main issue previously was being pushed around by 18-wheelers blowing on past me. Now, that issue is totally gone. When I see an 18-wheeler overtaking me I can even loosen my fingers around the wheel and let him blow past and "nothing" happens. The truck remains just as others have said "rock solid"... This is really nice and I am just kicking myself for having driven 2 years and 15K+ miles with the truck in the "dealer setup".

My setup is a Reese WD hitch with 750 lb bars, 19' Bambi, Ford Ranger ext cab 4x4 with 125 inch wheelbase.

So, what did I do to make it so much better: 3 things:

1) lowered the hitch ball 2 inches - but to do this I needed to buy a new drop bar with a longer drop as I was already at the bottom hole, so got a longer bar and lowered the ball. It was set at 20 3/4 and I lowered it to 18 3/4 (note - I want to end up at 17 3/4 ball height for level trailer towing).

2) drilled a new hole in the drop bar to shorten it up by 2 inches - it can now slide 2 inches further into the truck receiver to shorten the distance (there is still plenty of clearance to trailer even in sharp turn.)

3) increased the bend on the WD bars by 2 links. There are now just 5 links under tension (as per the Reese instructions) vice the 7 links under tension that dealer had set up. Andy is right, the bars don't break and tension nicely with almost 5 inches of bend.

So, front and rear of trailer are level at 17 3/4 inches, truck squats 1 inch at rear and 1/2 inch at front. Tows like a dream..... I am so happy I want to go drive on the Interstate just so I can let trucks pass me... :-)

So thanks to all of you who posted the assembled knowledge in this hitch forum. By reading it gave me the confidence to change my setup away from what the dealer had done, but I can really see now that the dealer did not have it right. So thanks again to you all.

best regards, Dave
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:40 AM   #9
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Adjusting my Reese Hitch

Dave
As a final tweek (I finally found a picture of your trailer and see that you only have one trailer axle), take your truck to a CAT scale and weigh it. Then hitch up the trailer completly and take it to the CAT scale and weigh it. Pay attention to the weight on the truck axles. There will be a difference between the unhitched truck and the hitched truck. For instance the rear axle might gained 200 lbs and the front axle 100 lbs. Perfection would be that both axles gained the same weight. To adjust the weight shift change the number of links under tension. Fewer links under tension to add weight to the front axle and of course more links under tension to remove weight from the front axle.
Do you have Sway Control (Dual Cam, Dual Cam High Performance, Friction?) Just a Reese Weight Distribution hitch (spring bars suspended on chains) offers no sway control what so ever. Accidents recently appear to have been caused by the lack of any sway control.
Do you have any thing that looks like this:
http://www.reeseprod.com/fitguides/pdf/N26001.pdf
or this
http://www.reeseprod.com/fitguides/pdf/N26002.pdf
or this
Hidden Hitch :
If you do your are fine.
Also my wife used to give me a hard time about bringing my tool boxes along until one outing produced a dead alternator and as a result of that a smoked ingition switch.
The alternator took an hour, the switch about 45 minutes.
This is just me, I dislike crescent wrenches, they round off bolt/nuts.

Beginner
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:54 AM   #10
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Beginner
I was just a bit surprised that U of all people having spent 1/2 your life around 18wheelers have not mentioned the magic word. That is SCALES. Weigh the steering and drive, gross on the truck,u and your tools and U and the wife. Then the tongue weight and gross on the loaded to go on the trip TRAILER. Hitch em up and do it all over again with the WD hooked up and see where the weight is. It sounds like U are on the rite track. The scales will prove too U that U have done it correctly.AND take those tools U wont be sorry! Voice of experience <<>> 45yrs OTR Driver/Owner Operator/Retired
Happy Towin
Roger
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:50 AM   #11
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persuader

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagnerda
Hi again,

A secondary benefit of the wrenches is I usually keep the 24 incher right behind the truck seat as my "persuader" in case any "undesirables" ever come along and give me a hard time...


regards, Dave
Thats why I keep the Reese "pipe" behind my seat at all times.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:53 AM   #12
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You need the instructions and adjust them accordingly. (posted) This is the only way you will get it right. To get those bolts as tight as the spec you need box end wrenches preferably 6 point.
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