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Old 05-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #15
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I wish our Bambi used the same stabilizers her bis sisters use. Maybe I will look into modifying ours so they use the same wrench.....
Sounds like a great idea!
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:21 AM   #16
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Bruce B, thanks for this - it's impressive. I haven't seen someone hook one up before, so it was useful beyond the time question. I probably take 10-12 minutes to hook up our camper (using a Reese), but I spend a bunch of time making sure I did everything correctly too, and instead of the clip chain ends you have, I have the ones that look like another chain link but with a section that screws open and close - those things probably add a couple minutes alone (especially in winter, since I can never seem to get them to rotate while I'm wearing gloves...). With your hitch, I'd probably spend another 30 seconds or a minute making sure I did in fact put in those side pins, making sure I rotated the lifter bar bolts to the proper point, making sure the breakaway cable is secure, etc. That's just me being thorough - it looks like the ProPride is fairly idiot-proof.

For anyone with one, or even Sean: How much of a problem is it to hook up when the camper is level side-to-side, but the truck isn't; and when the camper is level front-to-back but the truck is nose down? Our driveway where the camper is stored has the truck down at the nose and rotated a bit to the right relative to the camper. Neither aspect is extreme, but a friend's comment about his Hensley in this respect got me wondering whether I'd have a headache hooking up every time we went camping if we bought a ProPride or Hensley. The slopes are enough that it's useless to step back and check whether the camper will be level on the road, if that helps. (I'll try to get a picture of it.)

Back to the video: The back up camera helps, too. I use the brightly colored balls on magnets to hitch up, but because the camper is "rotated" relative to the truck, I have to move over a bit from where the ball says it's lined up perfectly, so although I usually get it on the first try, a second try is sometimes required.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Bruce B, thanks for this - it's impressive. I haven't seen someone hook one up before, so it was useful beyond the time question. I probably take 10-12 minutes to hook up our camper (using a Reese), but I spend a bunch of time making sure I did everything correctly too, and instead of the clip chain ends you have, I have the ones that look like another chain link but with a section that screws open and close - those things probably add a couple minutes alone (especially in winter, since I can never seem to get them to rotate while I'm wearing gloves...). With your hitch, I'd probably spend another 30 seconds or a minute making sure I did in fact put in those side pins, making sure I rotated the lifter bar bolts to the proper point, making sure the breakaway cable is secure, etc. That's just me being thorough - it looks like the ProPride is fairly idiot-proof.

For anyone with one, or even Sean: How much of a problem is it to hook up when the camper is level side-to-side, but the truck isn't; and when the camper is level front-to-back but the truck is nose down? Our driveway where the camper is stored has the truck down at the nose and rotated a bit to the right relative to the camper. Neither aspect is extreme, but a friend's comment about his Hensley in this respect got me wondering whether I'd have a headache hooking up every time we went camping if we bought a ProPride or Hensley. The slopes are enough that it's useless to step back and check whether the camper will be level on the road, if that helps. (I'll try to get a picture of it.)

Back to the video: The back up camera helps, too. I use the brightly colored balls on magnets to hitch up, but because the camper is "rotated" relative to the truck, I have to move over a bit from where the ball says it's lined up perfectly, so although I usually get it on the first try, a second try is sometimes required.
There are a series of Youtube videos on the Propride site (and on Youtube) with great information on how to hitch up with a Propride. The videos cover how to deal with various unusual angles between the TV and AS. This series of videos was very helpful to me when I first bought a Propride hitch.

ProPride 3P hitch - video #1 - YouTube

Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:55 PM   #18
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Great video. I finished installing my Pro Pride tonight. Have some questions to owners. The clamps that connect with the wrench on the main hitch head- I am having trouble with side not clearing the insertion hole for the spring clamp. Any ideas? Also, what are some tips for knowing which hole to use on the weight bar rods that hang from the jacks. I am in the middle hole. I was able to get within 3/16 of the original front end height on the truck but the weight bars are slightly upward on the tapered jack end. Would I next go up one hole? Final question, road clearance- my hitch setup is pretty low. Any concerns or rules of thumb on things like that? I would say it is a good 3 inches lower than my other jack. I cannot wait to try towing. As far as hitching goes- so far I have hitched up three times backing into the main hitch head with the stinger during installation and then as a run through. It is as easy as backing a regular ball to the coupler - which by the way still requires a height check.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl
(snip) what are some tips for knowing which hole to use on the weight bar rods that hang from the jacks. I am in the middle hole. I was able to get within 3/16 of the original front end height on the truck but the weight bars are slightly upward on the tapered jack end. Would I next go up one hole? Final question, road clearance- my hitch setup is pretty low. Any concerns or rules of thumb on things like that? I would say it is a good 3 inches lower than my other jack. I cannot wait to try towing.
I'm not a pro by a longshot and would recommend the "Unofficial PP Userguide" thread on the forum as well as Sean directly. But FWIW, I just went through a similar situation. Are you getting at least 6" of lift on the jacks (measured from top of a-frame to bottom of jack sleeve)?

I wasn't able to restore enough weight to the front axle (according to scales) and was on the middle hole. To push more weight to the front axle (sounds like your goal), use the BOTTOM hole. This pushes more weight to the front and brings your WD bars higher (more ground clearance). In my case (yours may be different) this also changed my trailer from pretty level to 1.5" higher at the nose of the trailer compared to the rear (measured from the belly pan in a corner to the ground) and I'm mot sure why. I ended up needing to drop the stinger a bolt hole in the hitch head as well (thanks to advice in the forum) and that too put more weight on the front end AND I'm now at the same exact measurement at all 4 corners of the trailer (as close to perfectly level when towing as I think I can get).

I've noticed that there seems to be a sweet spot regarding porpoising. Very much a "Goldilocks" kind of thing. Not enough or too much WD and there is more noticeable porpoising. Just the right amount and the only porpoising is on terrible roads. Absolutely zero sway and that feels GREAT!!! Heading back to the scales tomorrow for what I hope is the final time this season (3rd times a charm?).

Good luck!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 PM   #20
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Thanks for the reply. Ok, on the weight rods and down a hole instead of up. I understand how the "hole rod" adjustment will raise the tapered end of the weight bar but the end that goes into the main hitch head is the really low spot. I noted that on the video it looks low as well. I will understand more when I have towed.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl
(snip) the end that goes into the main hitch head is the really low spot. I noted that on the video it looks low as well.
I see. Yes, at the hitch head, mine are almost even with the bottom of the trailer frame so seems like plenty of clearance.

Do you have a photo of yours?


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Old 05-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #22
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Pahaska - I picked up some bright orange rope, a magnet and a big cleavis pin for a weight. What an ingenious idea!!!! Worked like a dream in the backup cam for hitching up by myself this morning. That suggestion should be a stickie!!

:-)

Thanks!!
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:52 AM   #23
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Rodsterinfl - I was wrong - the picture is deceiving. The front drop of the bars is about 5-6" off the ground (should have measured it this morning). Once I hitched up, I took a quick glance and they're definitely not as high as the frame of the trailer. But no issues for me yet (that I know of) :-)
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:00 PM   #24
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I'm so glad there were no video cameras for me this weekend.

BEAUTIFUL little campground in Littleton, MA (I'll post on that later). Not like a condo-camp but beautiful natural scenery, every site is different, some with full, partial or no hookups at all and only a handful of pull throughs which is critical for me as a rookie with all those beautiful trees :-)

So, we pull in - guided by the owner on his golf cart. The site is just gorgeous. He wants to be sure I'm close enough to the hookups and guides me in fairly deep. No prob. But I didn't get out and look around (lesson #1 from our driving instructor last month: GOAL) so I didn't realize that when disconnecting the truck from the trailer, the truck was immediately going to start down a fairly good slope.

I (ignorantly) hopped out, started disconnecting, made sure the coupler lifted up so show no weight on the hitch and as I started pulling out, I noticed the drop on the road. Too late when I heard the thump of the stinger popping out of the hitch box and realized....oh crap - that angle is NOT going to work to back in again.

While I had a great time, I was worried about re-hitching all weekend and thought I had come up with a brilliant idea: just get the stinger close then use leveled on the front tires to raise up the front. Should be a piece of cake. Wrong....

After about an hour of trying this several different ways (shades of my exit from Chilly Man 7!!) I finally had to trudge to the office and ask for help. I was thinking maybe they had one of those hand operated tow dollies I could use to just back up the trailer 10 feet to get a level hitch location. No go.

When he saw the hitch he said, if you just used a regular ball, you could do this.

I know. I know. I really do know that. :-)

Well, he proceeds to dig down around my rear tires and builds up some very funky looking ramps with my Legos and boards under my front tires and starts hiding me back to the hitch. It ultimately worked though I could see his head in the backup cam and though for sure I was going to back right into him!

But BIG lesson for me - the angle left to right isn't a problem with this hitch but level is really crucial! I had spun the WD jacks down to 0 and there was still a bind with that uneven approach.

And no matter how many times I tried to tell myself it was no big deal - I was 2 parts kicking myself for NOT looking around before unhitching, 1 part embarrassed despite the lack of onlookers and 3 parts PO'd/frustrated! All of that could have been avoided with 2 minutes of forethought. I could have backed it up 10' and still connected just fine...

Oh well - that one was painful enough I'm pretty sure it will be burned in to the mental checklist!!!
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:14 PM   #25
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We chain our locking pins to the head with a loose loop of chain so we don't ever drop, lose, or misplace them. We also carry spares.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:59 PM   #26
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We chain our locking pins to the head with a loose loop of chain so we don't ever drop, lose, or misplace them. We also carry spares.
I have gone to padlocks in place of the locking pins. A few years ago, there was a rash of vandals pulling the handles on parked 5th-wheels just to see the trailer crash down into the truck bed when the unsuspecting owner drove away.

Even though I always intend to do a brief scan of the hitch area after a stop, I like the fact that no one can tamper with my hitch without me detecting it. I always used a padlock on the locking arm of the hitch before PPP for the same reason.

Matching keys are on my truck key ring as well as on my two rings that have all the various trailer keys so I am never without means to unlock the hitch.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #27
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Amen to the lesson on getting as level as you can. Haven't had as "dramatic" a re-hitch as you describe, but I have had to use my lego blocks under my front tires to be able to get the stinger into the receiver -- twice. Inconvenient, but doable. And, if you are camping in a relatively ungraded spot, this can happen. The other advantages of the PP so far offset this occasional nuisance..
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:33 PM   #28
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. (Snip) The other advantages of the PP so far offset this occasional nuisance..
I tend to agree though I have no other hitch experience to speak of. I have seen trailers on the ball either with NO other system or some kind of WD/sway control. Some sway pretty violently - I had to avoid one last month - thought he was going to kill himself, us, and several others!! I've seen others that seem to track really well so I'm sure there are good products that when set up well will do a decent job. But the one thing I worried about was sway. It just doesn't happen with the PP.

So the leveling thing is a key - got that in spades now :-)

Next trip is Diggin the Dead with a great group of Airstreamers at Recompense in Maine. First boondocking experience. Lets see what entertainment value I can provide at this rally! :-)
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