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Old 02-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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distance from the bumper

Just curious, getting out of LA today and in Banning. I have never had my hitch properly set up, just shoved the PO hitch into my truck and away we went. I have the trailer level as I had the ball raised 5 holes in the drawbar. My next question is how far the ball is from the bumber. It looks way too far out. What is the best distance? I have a guy here who will cut and redrill it. Any comments, and if way out it seems it would put stress on the truck etc.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:35 PM   #2
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Ther general idea is to keep the moment arm small by keeping the ball close to the TV so that you dont bend the hitch or the TV frame.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:55 AM   #3
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If you make it too short you then risk the trailer hitting your TV when you make a sharp backing move. If you add mud guards (rock tamers) these will also need to be considered when you look at that turning distance. My ball seems to be back more then it should, but I have no fear of hitting the trailer either.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:38 AM   #4
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Tow Hitch

Most tow adapters have a tongue weight rating for the position of the holes. that secure it to the receiver. The further out the less tongue weight, but the further out the more flexiable your menuvering can be. Find the weight rating on the adapter and get the tongue weight on the AS and get your best balance.

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Old 02-08-2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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The further back you go with the pivot point the more likely you are to have sway problems due to lateral reaction to passing trucks bow wave or other causes of lateral forces. It has always been suggested to keep the ball overhang distance to a minimum. But having it too short can cause you problems to access the back of the tow vehicle. If you have a tailgate truck, it may hit the jack motor on the trailer.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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Your profile says Ford but your avatar pic is a Chev. My Reese stinger has 2 holes for variable placement. If you have a GM I'd suggest reasonably short. I think I have to put mine on 'long' when I've got the Enkay on there. Get out and check when backing to understand your setup the best. Nothing like pinching the tow vehicle and Airstream to ruin your day. See:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...les-34603.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...elp-37434.html

It's hard to know if there has been any substantial redesign to their receiver. I know my '06 looks pretty wimpy. Who will know except 3-4 years down the road? Anybody heard for sure?
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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Equal-i-zer Discussion

We have been discussing this with respect to the Equal-i-zer on this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ort-34484.html

The discussion starts after post 45 on page 4.

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Old 02-08-2008, 09:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari 28
My next question is how far the ball is from the bumber. It looks way too far out. What is the best distance? I have a guy here who will cut and redrill it. Any comments, and if way out it seems it would put stress on the truck etc.
Cut and drill what? Most hitches to not tak well to being altered. My ball is about a foot from the truck bumper. Do you have a weight distribution hitch? if not due to the size of the trailer you need one.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #9
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Several inches won't make a big difference.

Mine is long enough to let my tailgate down for easy assess.

The weight transfer bars help make up the difference anyway, relative to added leverage from a slightly longer hitch bar.

I think most standard factory hitch bars are not going to be too long in any case. I don't like the idea of drilling extra holes.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:50 PM   #10
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Moving the ball in even a couple of inches can make a significant difference on many combinations.

As far as optimal handling and minimal stress on the receiver the closer you are to the back bumper the better. Yes... redrill the shank to shorten the distance. Andy T. talks about the advantages in this article....

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:04 PM   #11
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I am almost ashamed to tell all of you for over 12k miles i have had a distance of over 143/4 inches center of ball to bumber. Other than it looking a little wierd, the big hassle is out west I was constantly hitting botom going into gas stations and the like, with or without the A/S.

I had the shank redrilled and now at 113/4 inches, normal according to the local trailer guy here. He said it was a good test for the truck, and the reese dual cam that I did not feel uncomfortable with the wiggle that seemed to be in mainly cross wind. Ignorance is bliss.

I hook up tomorrow, will tst to see how the distance and tight turn issue has changed. It should be more stable in high cross winds as well. I noticed a huge difference when we leveled the trailer out, raising the ball 5 holes. Let this be lesson to all that so called dealers who are experts that I had look at the unit are well, not so expert.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:10 PM   #12
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I just read that article by Andy T, and 4 inches is what really makes them handle great. This is very interestng indeed, and I wonder if it is a reason the haha is so popular to offset big distances from the bumber.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:14 AM   #13
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I concede that the closer to the bumper the better it is as a general principle. However, with my F250 I have found it possible to use a shank that is a bit longer than it could be, which allows me to open my tail gate and maneuver in the camp grounds better without pinching anything. I have never had any hint of crosswind instability or any problems with passing 18-wheelers, etc. Of course, this is the advantage of having a trailer that is very stable to begin with and a heavy tow vehicle. Nothing marginal there.

And I use the dreaded friction sway bars to boot, but I do have an AirSafe hitch, which is buttery smooth for both the tow vehicle and the trailer compared to solid hitches.

Each rig must be evaluated on its own, and marginal ones have to rig the particulars differently than those which allow leeway in the adjustments and equipment. Such principles apply to many things in life.

So many choices.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari 28
I just read that article by Andy T, and 4 inches is what really makes them handle great. This is very interestng indeed, and I wonder if it is a reason the haha is so popular to offset big distances from the bumber.
You're on the right track here Safari 28. When 4" makes such a difference you can only imagine what 52" does. That is the effective pivot point projection on the haha or 3P.
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