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Old 09-15-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
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2010 20' Flying Cloud
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leveling the trailer hitch.....

My new AS Flying Cloud (20') is about one/half inch higher in terms of its hitch height, at the front end of the trailer, than at the back end. To the eye, it looks level when hitched up. but, the level that is built into the front hitch is slightly off, showing the front end raised a tiny bit higher. The dealer says I should come in, get a longer/lower drop bar, and install it. He says my tires will wear better if the trailer is completely level. What I want to know is whether this small front end elevation is really all that damaging and/or whether I am being told to do this so that a drop bar can be sold? Our hitch is brand new. We are towing with a 2008 ford, 4/4, diesel, 3/4ton.
MEH
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
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Because A/S use independent axles vice the load equalizing mechanism on SOB's, there is a lot of validity to having it "perfectly level". At a half-inch difference, you're really close to ignoring it. The best way to understand is to weigh each axle's actual weight at the current setup...if they're reasonably close (i'd say 10% of each other) then you could probably just leave it as is. If however there is substantial weight difference and you just can't live with the 1/2 inch then buying the new dropped hitch is the way forward.
FYI, if you are high in the front, you are actually loading the rear trailer axle slightly, by the same token, if you were riding lower at the hitch, you'd load the front trailer axle higher. This will also affect the hitch weight by more than you might think. I've done the weight measurements and was surprised how much it changed with the trailer tongue at different heights.
Marc
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:06 AM   #3
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Put some weight in the rear of the truck bed, and you'll be right on! 1/2 inch is as close as you'll get IMO. Lighter equalizer bars may help, Dealers tend to oversize! A drop bar usually lowers 2,4,6 inches, some hitch heads are adjustable.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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1. the tongue mounted level might not be level. so use a carpenters level along the floor inside.

take measurements in a LOT of locations, and realize the FLOOR has uneven areas too.

2. use a tape measure along the belt line OUTSIDE and measure on flat ground to compared with the level readings...

3. once w/d TENSION is applied the tongue/A frame will flex a bit UP, which will throw the bubble reading off.

this flex depends on how much tension is ON the w/d bars and other trailer characteristics.

4. the point is trying to develop a dependable reference point for level checking.

for example on some units the lower door frame/floor segment is level with the trailer, but not all doors are installed 'level'
__________

YES being unlevel while towing causes issues, tire wear, heat, loading, axle loading and so on...

one can (and it's been done here already) debate IF any of this matters in practical terms and how much UNlevel is needed,

but the point is level is good.
__________

the dealer can't solve this over the phone and YES u may need a longer/deeper drop shank.

but IF you think the dealer is just trying to "sell" a 30$ item, when the lot is full of 50-90,000$ things 4 sale...

well trust might be an issue.

early ownership includes a LOT of learning, tweaks, gear additions/subtractions and so on...

things break or will be found to be installed poorly and need repair.

new units have a warranty and it SHOULD be used...

but if you don't trust this dealer/shop it might be wise to find another 1.
_________

almost every imaginable issue a new owner will encounter has been addressed SOMEWHERE on these forums.

1000s have been through the process and posted questions...

and many 1000s have gone to the effort to post replies (helpful or not)

it's all ways ON, and takes little time to look around here,

and the process gets easier and easier with practice.

don't assume a "new" answer is better than well written accurate help from another year.

the good stuff IS in here somewhere and it's all free.
_______

finally, learn HOW 2 post pictures here.

many many many times a photo of an issue expresses the problem in wayz NO words can.

answers are often for a 1974 trailer when the question is on a 2010 unit.

and pics help convey THAT and help folks learn how units are different over decades.

photos is good!

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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One half inch is nothing in the big scheme of things when you consider it is 1/2 inch in distance of 20 feet.

The trailer is not really 1/2 inch high in the front. It is actually 1/4 inch high in the front and a 1/4 inch low in the rear. I don't know if it is a single or dual axle trailer, but in either case, it acts like a teeter totter.

If you lower the front 1/4 inch the rear will raise 1/4 inch and it will be level. This is assuming that the axle(s) are in the middle which is probably not the case, but the idea is the same.

However as far as I am concerned it is level the way it is.

Every adjustable drop bar I have seen has holes every 1 1/2 inches, so I don't see how you are going to get any closer than you are.


These measurements are going to change from trip to trip and from day to day. There are very many variables that effect the leveling especially how the TT and TV are loaded.

So my recommendation is, if it looks level, go tow it and stop measuring it.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Oh I just now realized the FC is a single axle...never mind what I said earlier, that all applies to dual/triples.

But you still might ignore the difference as Ken suggest.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:38 AM   #7
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A half-inch plus-or-minus = Dead level to me.
You will commonly see that much variation between
empty and full propane tanks,
empty and full fresh water tank,
empty and full black water tank,
changing load in back of tow vehicle,
etc, etc.
Your "Flying Cloud (20')" is a single axle and will be less likely to be effected by slight changes in level than a longer dual-axle unit anyway.
Enjoy towing.
BWH
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
...So my recommendation is, if it looks level, go tow it and stop measuring it...
agreed.

but only after taking 100s of measurements...



it's a 20 ftr so yes this is a single axle unit.

which means ONE TIRE on one side is probably way overloaded...

one more thing to measure.

we know nothing about IF w/d is in use, but IF so...

simply reducing the tension (one chain link or ball tilt or crank on the jacks)

will lower the nose too.

since the tv is a 3/4 ton truck not a LOT of w/d is needed...

scale measurements would answer that question...




cheers
2air'
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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Off the topic

Seeing your user name made me think you might be interested in these links, in case you were not aware that there is a town of Maryhill, WA, named after Sam Hill's wife Mary.

Washington Stonehenge - A Tribute to WWI in Maryville

Maryhill, Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maryhill Museum of Art

When I was a kid I was fascinated by the stonehenge at Maryhill.

Just a bit of trivia.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryehill View Post
My new AS Flying Cloud (20') is about one/half inch higher in terms of its hitch height, at the front end of the trailer, than at the back end. To the eye, it looks level when hitched up. but, the level that is built into the front hitch is slightly off, showing the front end raised a tiny bit higher. The dealer says I should come in, get a longer/lower drop bar, and install it. He says my tires will wear better if the trailer is completely level. What I want to know is whether this small front end elevation is really all that damaging and/or whether I am being told to do this so that a drop bar can be sold? Our hitch is brand new. We are towing with a 2008 ford, 4/4, diesel, 3/4ton.
MEH
The level on the front of the A-frame should be calibrated to the reefer freezer plate, not the trailer.

The trailer can be in all sorts of positions, but the reefer must be within one half of a bubble, if your going to use it when parked. Also the higher the ambient temperature, the more critical that half bubble becomes.

Also, the A-frame flexes when the torsion bars are hooked up, which can very easily mislead one to thinking that the trailer is not level.

Andy
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:19 PM   #11
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Question What's a half a bubble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The level on the front of the A-frame should be calibrated to the reefer freezer plate, not the trailer.

The trailer can be in all sorts of positions, but the reefer must be within one half of a bubble, if your going to use it when parked. Also the higher the ambient temperature, the more critical that half bubble becomes.

Also, the A-frame flexes when the torsion bars are hooked up, which can very easily mislead one to thinking that the trailer is not level.

Andy
Andy,
Are you positive this has any application to modern RV refrigerators? Hers is a 2010.

The refrigerator has never failed to operator properly in our 2010 or either of our previous SOBs for that matter, even when left parked on a hill.

The manual for our Refer states that the RV needs to be leveled only enough so that it is comfortable to live in. My experience is that it can be a few inches high or low front to back and a couple inches left to right without really even noticing it inside the trailer, let alone being uncomfortable.

Our manual also says that leveling is not necessary when the vehicle is in motion, it is only necessary when it is going to be parked for several hours.

What is a half a bubble. How many degrees off is that? Doesn't a bubble depend on what level you are using? (That's a rhetorical question).

Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #12
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Andy,
Are you positive this has any application to modern RV refrigerators? Hers is a 2010.

The refrigerator has never failed to operator properly in our 2010 or either of our previous SOBs for that matter, even when left parked on a hill.

The manual for our Refer states that the RV needs to be leveled only enough so that it is comfortable to live in. My experience is that it can be a few inches high or low front to back and a couple inches left to right without really even noticing it inside the trailer, let alone being uncomfortable.

Our manual also says that leveling is not necessary when the vehicle is in motion, it is only necessary when it is going to be parked for several hours.

What is a half a bubble. How many degrees off is that? Doesn't a bubble depend on what level you are using? (That's a rhetorical question).

Regards,

Ken
Ken

Modern or not, RV reefer cooling units still operate on the "heat absorption" principal.

Please do not join the group that believes otherwise, because your cooling unit can and will vapor lock, if you run it more than 1/2 bubble off level, especiall on a warm to hot day.

Ask those that found out the hard way.

The 1/2 bubble does not apply when the trailer is in motion.

Andy
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The level on the front of the A-frame should be calibrated to the reefer freezer plate, not the trailer.

The trailer can be in all sorts of positions, but the reefer must be within one half of a bubble, if your going to use it when parked. Also the higher the ambient temperature, the more critical that half bubble becomes.

Also, the A-frame flexes when the torsion bars are hooked up, which can very easily mislead one to thinking that the trailer is not level.

Andy
Andy: What is the reefer freezer plate? Thanks, Jerry.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:04 PM   #14
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Andy: What is the reefer freezer plate? Thanks, Jerry.
Jerry.

The freezer plate is the very bottom of the freezer for a single door model, and it's the freezer shelf in a 2 door model.

That's the leveling place.

That's why an external level calibrated to the freezer plate is a good idea. Then you will not have to remove any ice, plus the leveling of the reefer is done on the outside.

Andy
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