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Old 09-24-2007, 05:08 PM   #1
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Hitch Ball Height

Seems that I remember the unloaded hitch ball height is supposed to be 1" higher than the hitch on the trailer when the trailer is level when using a WD hitch. Is this still popular concensus?

My current tow vehicle (to be replaced in the near future) is a short wheelbase half ton Dodge pickup, and with the adjustable hitch set to it's lowest position, the ball is quite a bit higher than that. So, can I "get by" with it for a while, and what in your opinion are the consequences?
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:15 PM   #2
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You really should have the trailer level because of the torsion axles. With the front high, you will increase the load on the rear axle, possibly overloading the axle and tires. I would try to get it level.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Airstream Chart

Steve,

Measured to the top of the ball.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Airstream Weights.pdf (100.7 KB, 299 views)
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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Without checking the manuals, I seem to recall a top of ball height of 18.75 inches. That is with the trailer and tow vehicle loaded. It makes a difference. I'll double check that number, however.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:34 PM   #5
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Follow Gary's post

I used the PDF file that Gary provided (someone else posted it years ago) and its spot on.

For our 34' Excella the 18 1/2 ball height, without the trailer hooked up is perfect. Where you would potentially need to have the ability to adjust the ball height is if you're going to place 1000 lbs in the bed of your tow vehicle.

For example, I will sometimes take my motorcycle with me and load it into the bed of the truck. Once I do that it drops my ball height about 1/4 to 1/2 inch, which in turn impacts the towing angle of the AS.

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:38 PM   #6
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don't forget that as the axles get old the height drops a bit. the chart is a reference point.
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:56 AM   #7
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Sorry, it seems I did not make myself clear on this one. The ball height I'm concerned about is the unloaded ball height on the tow vehicle being too high.

I can get the trailer level, no problem, when hitched to the TV with the WD bar adjustments, but because of the high unloaded ball height, I fear there is too much weight on the TV rear axle.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:26 AM   #8
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When you are properly setup the truck should drop an equal amount on both the front and rear axelss. Measure the distance from the fender above each wheel beore and after hitching up. This is the final adjustment in the documentation I have from Reese. On my TV the drop is about 1/2 inch all around.

If you want to get more exact numbers you are going to have to take it to a CAT scale and weigh it before and after hitching.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
When you are properly setup the truck should drop an equal amount on both the front and rear axelss. Measure the distance from the fender above each wheel beore and after hitching up. This is the final adjustment in the documentation I have from Reese. On my TV the drop is about 1/2 inch all around.

If you want to get more exact numbers you are going to have to take it to a CAT scale and weigh it before and after hitching.
Thanks Richard. Yes, that's about what I was thinking, but with the high unloaded ball height that I have, when the trailer is hitched up and level, the truck is dropping much more in the rear than in the front.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
Thanks Richard. Yes, that's about what I was thinking, but with the high unloaded ball height that I have, when the trailer is hitched up and level, the truck is dropping much more in the rear than in the front.

When the trailer is level and the rear of the tow vehicle is higher than the front, then the ball is too "high."

Andy
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
When the trailer is level and the rear of the tow vehicle is higher than the front, then the ball is too "high."

Andy
Andy,

Yes, that I knew before I even hooked up the trailer, but my original question was: "So, can I "get by" with it for a while, and what in your opinion are the consequences?"

Any light you can shead on this is appreciated.
Steve
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:41 PM   #12
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So your sayin without the trailer attached to the t/v the ball height to the top of the ball should be 19.5 inches from the ground on a 1973 27' overlander if I am reading that pdf right???? SAM
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibgl6
So your sayin without the trailer attached to the t/v the ball height to the top of the ball should be 19.5 inches from the ground on a 1973 27' overlander if I am reading that pdf right???? SAM
Sam,

Yes, as I understand it, the hitch ball should be at 19.5" from the ground before you hook the trailer to the TV. Mine is 23" before I hook the trailer up, so even though the trailer is leveled with the WD bars, the tow vehicle is carrying too much weight in the rear, again as I understand it.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:03 PM   #14
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Thanks alot steve h
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