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Old 11-25-2012, 08:58 AM   #1
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Anyone using a hitch extender?

Need to pull with the tailgate down on truck and there's not enough clearance between it and the lift jack on the Airstream. Was wondering about a 8" hitch receiver extender but I am afraid of compromising the tongue weight and towing capacity and overall safety. Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
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I used one on my previous RV a class "B" with a Continental Kit. I used it to get the bike rack far enough from the rear doors to open them. The extension was solid as a rock but before I used it to tow my Airstream I would go right to the source and call the factory.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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An extended hitch gives a slight trailer sway leverage to move your tow vehicle more easily. Should be considered an unsafe modification.

doug k
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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How much extension are you looking to gain ??? I needed to extend mine but only about 2"-2.5" or so. I arranged with the Anderson hitch co. to fabricate one with that small extension. It's for the same reason as you, the tailgate of my truck will hit the tongue jack when hitched. I don't expect to comprise my towing geometry noticeably with that small of a gain. If you go longer it MAY be a consideration. I'm sure there are those that are more informed than I and they should be able to help.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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I have the same issue with the Andersen. I can not fully open my truck tailgate with the trailer hitched up. I would need at least a 6 to 8 inches of extension. I think that is way too much to use safely. So no extension for me.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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Any increase in the distance between the rear axle and the hitch ball will change the load distribution. The longer the distance the more weight on the rear axle if the TV.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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An extension will add extra stress to your receiver and increase your wheelbase to overhang ratio. Not what you want to be doing.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Hey Chief. I agree with you that 6"-8" is a matter of concern but not enough to prevent me from looking at the numbers to be sure. Earlier in the Anderson hitch thread there were enough numbers thrown around to scramble the head of a nuclear physicist. I would suggest looking back and asking some of the engineering types that lurk around here and present some rational thought to issues. I'm sure that it would not be too complicated to determine the effect of length and if it would be out of bounds for your vehicle / trailer combination.
Beware, Anderson is hitting me pretty hard $$$$ to make me an extension. I'm sure any capable welder could obtain some bar stock and do it for less. But only after playing with the #'s.

Good luck, Let us know how you make out if you look deeper into it.

My truck, used purchase, was set up with a SuperHitch arrangement just for that reason. Original owner had it set up for a truck mounted camper. Super Hitch is a double receiver designed to handle the added stress of an extension for towing. Most likely used for a smaller boat. Smaller and much lighter than a TT, but added stress none the less. It's rated for 17k towing. A substantial hitch attached to the factory receiver. It's the one I use.

PS: May be traveling in the Gulf Coast area later in March. Any suggestions for places not to miss while there ???
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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Anyone using a hitch extender?

Greetings adwriter73!

When I purchased my Overlander in 1995, I tried to economize by utilizing the Reese hitch head that I had purchased for my 1983 GMC C20 Van on my 1995 Chevrolet K1500 Z71 Club Cab Pickup. The van had the rear door-mounted "continental spare", and the hitch head had the 8" extension. The 8" extension hadn't posed any problems on the van with my 17' 8" Nomad travel trailer . . . but the combination of Airstream and K 1500 pickup was a far different story. No amount of adjustment on the hitch would correct the "twitchy" handling of the combination . . . returning to the standard Reese hitch head cured the problem.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Hitch extension experience

Hi adwriter73,
I pull a 2007 27FB Classic; currently with a 2012 F150 Ecoboost (great combination) and previously with a 2010 F250 Turbo diesel.
I use an Equalizer hitch system and have opted for their extension shank option which is 6 " longer than their 12" standard. I do this so I can fully open my tail gate when hooked up and parked.
It gives me just enough space to lower the tailgate and use the pull out step but would not work for towing with the gate down.
I had to adjust the tow bars higher to shift the more effective tongue weight forward to the front wheels of the truck. This works fine and has not increased the swaying or instability of my rig. It does put more strain on the factory hitch receiver and I keep an eye on it to be sure there are no signs of cracking.
If there were I would have the welds re-enforced as I believe this would be the weak spot of my setup.
Good Luck
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:52 PM   #11
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adwriter73,

Does the Touareg have a reinforced hitch receiver? It must be done right.
On the short W/B VW I definitely wouldn't advice it without that.....and a PPP hitch, Hensley or Pro-pride.

Bob
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:56 PM   #12
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Your T-Reg has a 112" wheelbase.

The distance from the rear axle centre point to the ball is approx 40"

Your wheelbase to overhang ratio is 2.8:1

If you added just a 6" extension, extending the ball out 6" more the overhang is now 46" thus creating a 2.43:1 ratio

"In effect" the overall result is no different than reducing the wheelbase on your T-Reg to 97". Is that what you really want to do?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:19 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I'm going to investigate it further and see if another hitch might be a safer option.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:32 AM   #14
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I think the question in re wisdom was already asked

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ble-93879.html

Pickup trucks have enough trouble keeping themselves upright and traveling in a straight line. Solo.

There are alternatives to "tailgates" (bed access) from several directions.

.
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