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Old 08-12-2004, 08:34 PM   #1
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Hitch bar drop size for 3/4 ton trucks

Now that I've mostly retired the Impala SS as my primary tow vehicle, I've been working on the fact that the 3/4 ton Suburban is significantly higher than the car was.....so now I've been playing with the hitch bar heights. I have what looks like a Reese 54970 and I was wondering what size hitch bar you folks that have 3/4 tons are using.

The 54970 has a drop of about 1.25 inches which still seems a bit high. I was thinking of getting a hitch bar that can go further down as I don't anticipate the 3/4 ton truck's rear dropping as significantly (without weight bars) as the car did even with cargo coils.
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:51 PM   #2
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Suggest that you take a look at the Reese web site www.reeseprod.com. They have complete directions for proper hitch setup for download. With this in hand, you can measure and determine what drop you need.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:00 PM   #3
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I've seen the site...actually www.reesehitch.com had better info mostly cause it didn't just throw the numbers at you IMHO. I am most curious though what folks that have 3/4 ton trucks are actually using.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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i have a hitch drop bar i used with my 97 2500 available.
shipping will be a bear as it is heavy. new it was i think $100. if interested let me know.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:48 PM   #5
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Reese R54995

I started with the R54932 on my 2500hd. It is a 14" bar with 1" drop, 5 3/4" rise and total adjustment of 6 3/4". It was just not enough drop for my '77 Excella 500.

I purchased the R54995, a 14" bar which added 3" to both the rise and drop over the R54932. It now has 4" drop and 8 3/4" rise. The bottom bolt of the ball platform sits in the next to last hole and it works out perfectly.

There is a R54917, a 14" bar, 6"drop, 10 1/4 rise with 16 1/4" total adjustment

Go to www.hitchfinder.com to look up the drawbars under Reese weight distribution and you will see a bunch of the bars listed with all the specs.
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:59 PM   #6
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Hitch bar drop size for 3/4 ton trucks

Greetings Eric!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Now that I've mostly retired the Impala SS as my primary tow vehicle, I've been working on the fact that the 3/4 ton Suburban is significantly higher than the car was.....so now I've been playing with the hitch bar heights. I have what looks like a Reese 54970 and I was wondering what size hitch bar you folks that have 3/4 tons are using.

The 54970 has a drop of about 1.25 inches which still seems a bit high. I was thinking of getting a hitch bar that can go further down as I don't anticipate the 3/4 ton truck's rear dropping as significantly (without weight bars) as the car did even with cargo coils.
I have been running the Reese #54917 for a number of years with my Overlander/Suburban combination (and before that with my '95 K1500-Z-71 Chevrolet Club Cab pickup) - - it takes the maximum drop setting with the ball mount on the lowest setting possible. With the later model coaches, the ball mount may not need to be on the lowest setting as my '64 Overlander needed a hitch height of 18" due to its well-worn axles. If your Suburban is not 4WD, the #54917 may provide too much drop.

Good luck with your drawbar research!

Kevin
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:35 AM   #7
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It may not be an exact comparison, but the Hummer H2 qualifies as a 3/4 ton vehicle. However, it may have a slightly higher hitch receiver than other 4WD 3/4 ton vehicles (25" to the top of the receiver box). 2WD's would probably have a lower receiver height than 4WD's, so you'll have to take that into account when people respond.

Anyway, in my case, I'm using the Reese 54990 6" drop "long shank" on the lowest (6" drop) setting. The trailer still tows about an inch high because the air suspension levels the vehicle as soon as I start the engine and the trailer axles have probably settled a bit in 38 years.

Were it not for the air suspension, I could probably tow level and might have to go up a notch because the hitch does sag quite a bit when I hook up before the air suspension does it's thing (of couse the springs on the non-air suspension models are probably stiffer). I should note that the '66 Overlander has a higher "spec" ball height (20.5") than the newer Airstreams, even though I suspect the trailer is riding a bit low on the old axles. New axles (some day - maybe next year?) may get it all leveled up, too.

As for having the long shank (16" vs. 14" for the standard Reese shank), it came down to what the hitch dealer had "on the shelf" when I needed a hitch. With the very short rear overhang on the Hummer this has not been an issue, but on other vehicles with a longer overhang, the standard length shank (54917) would probably be the way to go. In my case, I can open the liftgate with the trailer attached with about 6" clearance to the tongue jack, so I woud have been fine even with the standard length shank from that aspect.

Joe
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:33 AM   #8
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I bought davids old R54932 because the drop bar I had was too much for my 88 3/4 2wd Suburban.
I also have what I think is a R54917 It should work on what I hope will be my next tow rig a few years.
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Old 08-14-2004, 09:57 PM   #9
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Smile 54932 vs. 54995

Maybe this might help:
With the platform set at the lowest position on the 54932 drawbar, heigth from the ground to the top of my ball was 22 1/4". The distance from the ground to the top opening of my receiver was 17 1/4" so I guess the bottom distance is around 2" less. I needed a drawbar that would extend the platform 2 1/2" lower to get a 19 3/4" ball hitch heigth. The 54932 had only 6 mounting holes down the bar so it just wasn't right.

The 54995 has 10 holes and allowed me to drop the platform 2 1/2" with one mounting hole left for 1" further drop if I needed it. This again is with an '01 Chevy 2500hd with 8.1, Allison trans and stock Firestone Steeltex 245-75-16 tires. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:21 AM   #10
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Have I said that I love this place lately?

Thanks all for the great input.
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:09 PM   #11
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Here's what I am using with the OEM hitch receiver. In the pictured position it is set up for a horse trailer.
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:13 PM   #12
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Picture of the 54995 as set up with my Excella 500.
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=11168
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:20 PM   #13
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Picure of the 2 bars next to each other.
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=4024
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Have I said that I love this place lately?

Thanks all for the great input.
can you tell who has a new toy?

must be down to two posts a week! ha ha!!

john
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