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Old 02-24-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
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Leveling AS for tow

Hi all,

I am setting up a new hitch system and was wondering where would be the best place to place the level to level out my AS. Also, what is a good tolerance to use(+- 2deg) from level? I used inside floor to level before, but didn't know if that's the best place. Since the new adjustment will last awhile, I want to be sure.

Tom
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
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the basic (4 the trailer) goal of 'level while towing' is to evenly distribute tire/axle loads.

this is different than the goal of 'level while camping' which is about the fridge and occupant comfort and drainage.

1. for 'level while camping' one needs to determine IF the interior floor and A frame are parallel...

(check both places, the fridge, the entry way and a few other spots while parked at a reference location )

then an exterior OR interior bubble can be used for parking/camping setup.

2. for 'level while towing' it may be easier to forgo the bubbles and use ground2height measurements.

the lower rub rail-trim is a reasonably easy reference for this, the upper rub rail-belt line works too.

using a ruler/tape check the beltline height (front-back-sides) when parked and LEVEL (see #1)

now after hooking up, remeasure at the belt line-rub rail-trim.

this measure can be used for initial drop/bar and hitch setup/adjustments.

3. keep in mind the PRIMARY goal while towing is to REload the front/steering axles on the tv to the UNhitched value.

levelness of the trailer is 2ndary providing the axle/tire loads are good.

((while driving/towing the trailer is obviously NOT kept perfectly level))

scale weights before/after are best for this TV set up,

but ground-height measurements at the wheel wells are a reliable estimate.

since one is already using the ground height measurements to 'adjust' the w/d tension FOR THE TV,

using the same approach for the trailer (same tool) makes sense.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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A fact to consider when setting up the hitch is that the weight of the trailer will depress the ball by several inches even with proper use of the w/d bars. Therefore when picking the initial drop for the hitch you will want to subtract 2-4" from what you measure with everything just sitting there level.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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Since this is a new hitch, I was going to set up with WD bars, measure, then disassemble to adjust the height of the ball(if necessary), then remeasure.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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So if the front axle of tow vehicle is reloaded (with weight distribution bars) to its weight with no trailer, then the trailer weight rests completely on the t.v. rear axle, and the trailer axles? Except when increasing/decreasing speed, or going up/down hills, proportionally, or when turning corners.

Doug
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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Huh? I think you misunderstood. I meant that I will attach the whole rig including the trailer, measure the measure the angle of the trailer then disassemble and make adjustments so that the trailer is level to the ground. My question is where is the best place to put the level on to measure, (A frame or trailer floor)?

Tom
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:29 PM   #7
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I think you should re-read 2air's comments.

Don't use a level, but measure to rub rail. It's a lot easier and pretty accurate (in my experience more accurate than anything short of a machinist's level). Once you've got the trailer level fore/aft by rub rail measurements, hitch up and see where you are and adjust the hitch movement so that you get back to that original level condition once the weight distributing hitch bars are properly tennsioned.

BTW on MY trailer, once she's level fore/aft, a spirit level placed on the entrance door sill tends to also show level. But YOUR trailer may be different.

Also note that what Jammer says about hitch ball depression may not be true on your machine - depends upon tongue weight, rear suspension spring rate, rear overhang distance from axle center to ball center, wheelbase, weight distribution bar tension and "spring rate" of the bars, and probably six other factors that I can't think of!
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:21 PM   #8
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the problems with trying to use the INTERIOR floor for reference are many...

the flooring isn't glued down, so it's not flat, and may expand or be wavy.

the subfloor isn't billiard table smooth or level.

so IF one is using a bubble inside it's gotta be really long or u must find one magically perfect area.

i really like using the entry door sill as airsdream suggests,

but the sills are clearly not all level with the body/frame on all trailers.

and none of that really applies to 'level while towing'

it wasn't the intention 2 confuse these 2 issues.
____________

the problem with using the A frame is that the A frame/tongues FLEX or move vertically...

this is especially true on larger/longer streams OR with tension on the w/d bits.

one could pick a spot, get her perfectly level and attach a bubble to the body or frame somewhere, for later use.

but i don't think that's the ideal (or simple) approach to 'level while towing' needs.

many of us DO have these bubble things stuck on the outside somewhere,

but only use them for 'level when camping' issues...

which didn't appear 2b the nature of your question.

cheers
2air'
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