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Old 01-03-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Hitch help? (pictures)

Hi everyone,

I just took these pictures, my trailer is higher in the front and lower in the back when hooked up. Also shown is my weight distribution set up. Anyone know what kind this is? Would a drop hitch set up correct the front to back leveling problem?

Thanks!
Jenny
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSurfer
Hi everyone,

I just took these pictures, my trailer is higher in the front and lower in the back when hooked up. Also shown is my weight distribution set up. Anyone know what kind this is? Would a drop hitch set up correct the front to back leveling problem?

Thanks!
Jenny
Jenny, your chains are way too tight. Try to use link 2 or 3 (from the end of the chain, the unconnected side) and see if this helps. By using the last link you are lifting the back end of the tow vehicle up. You only use as many links as necessary to level the trailer. If the draw bar is too high, you will see this angle without even hooking up the chains.

Jack
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:01 PM   #3
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Thank you, thank you, thank you,

I will try that right now. How will loosening the chains affect the steering of the truck? How can I tell what chain link works best?
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:18 PM   #4
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In your owner's manual, if you don't have one someone in her does, it tells you of the desired heigth of the ball on your truck. You can also find this height by going to the Reese hitch site. Break the trailer from the truck and level the trailer. Meaure the height of the hitch on the trailer. Add 1"-1 1/2" to this height and set your truck ball to this heigth. Reconnect and add your load level bars. You want the bars to have some defection in them when they are attached and under load. Attach the bars by using the tongue jack and lifting the trailer while attached to your truck. This takes the load off the bars and makes it much safer to attach and detach. It also lets you know that there is a good connection between your truck and trailer. Let the jack down and check the trailer for level. You can measure the heigth in the front and rear or use a level along a piece of trim. Minor adjustments can be made by tilting the ball fore and aft. Be certain that all bolts are tight and retighten after your first pull. When you pulling check the tires when you stop by placing your hand on the sidewall and hub. This will tell you if a bearing is heating up or if a tire is running low on air or the unit is too high in the front or rear. A warmer than the rest tire is a good warning that something is either out of balance or low on air.
Hope this helps some.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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Your ball height looks way too low. I think the book says it should be 19". So like above advice says, add about 1 1/2" unloaded.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:50 PM   #6
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Be sure you are working with the chains that are on those saddle mounts, not the front chains that connect to your tow vehicle.

First things first, disconnect those rear chains and look a the vehicle at that point, assuming that the hitch weight is high enough the back end of the truck should sink and nose end of the trailer will also be low. If you don't see this, then your ball is most likely too high and you need a drawbar with an offset. If you see the noticable deflection, you then choose a link to slip over the saddle and snap it up on each side. Start by choosing the second link from the end of the chain. Use the same link on each chain. You can look again at the tow vehicle and trailer hookup. If its still low, snap the saddles down and move the chain to the next link up from the one you used before. The goal is to make the trailer and tow vehicle look as if they are level, with neither vehicles rear or nose being in a up or down tilt.

Jack

Keep in mind that your bars with the chains function like a wheel barrow, as you decrease the number of links between the link you chose and the chain's connection to the bar, weight is being transferred to the front wheels of the tow vehicle and to the trailer wheels. That's why if you "drop" too many links you get a picture like you posted.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:58 PM   #7
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Reese head

From your picture, it does not look like you have a hitch head which is adjustable. The previous owner must have had a smaller truck or something that had a lower receiver height. You should take the trailer off the truck and measure the height to the top of the ball. As I remember it for that model, to be proper it should be about 21 inches. To be sure, measure to the inside top of the ball socket as described in the previous posting. From the looks of it, I would guess you need to buy a new adjustable head and drop L. That should set you back another $175, unless you can find a used on on Ebay or somebody else in the forum or WBCCI. You could post a free wanted ad on the VAC website. I agree that it also looks like you have way too much crank up and weight shift on the bars but the truck still looks like it is high in the front for some reason. I would check fore and aft on the truck as it settles with the load and weight distribution from the trailer to make sure you have even weight shift. If you continue to drag around like this, you will drag the unit on the ground every time you pull out of a gas station onto a graded highway. Worse yet, you may dig in when backing into an uphill camping site.
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:40 PM   #8
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Looks like you got all your answers but one. That looks like an older Reese daul-cam WD and sway control combined. I have a similar setup waiting for some more parts to install it on our coach.
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:13 PM   #9
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Before you decide how much offset you need, check your axles. If they need to be replaced the trailer will be sitting lower than it should. That's not going to solve the problem completely, but might be part of the problem.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:46 PM   #10
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thanks everyone!

Thank you all for your help. I knew that I would get the advice I needed here. My truck has a 2 inch body lift and my trailer's axles seem to be worn out, I knew it was putting too much load on the rear axle. I was bottoming out alot when confronted with road dips! Couldn't get into the car wash, darn it! The advice I got here will absoultley help!

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Old 01-03-2006, 11:42 PM   #11
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There's never a shortage of good advice on this forum. Even though my new AS towed really well and, even though the hitch head was at the lowest setting, I have always felt my ball was just a tiny bit too high. Based on the advice I read in a similar thread, I adjusted the tilt of the ball very slightly as Tarheel suggested. Now it is perfectly level, and the ride is noticeably better.
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