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Old 04-25-2009, 05:40 AM   #169
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Ok, I think I follow you.

"The next shank notch down is 1 1/4" lower then the coupler and really creates a V effect with the trailer nose way down. The lower shank notch also causes my rear suspension to drop 2". "

Is it 2" lower with the WD bars snugged up?

Did you measure your wheel heights before and after each adjustment.

What were your wheel heights before/after in the picture.
Also what were they with that 2" drop




Also; to get to 5 links with less pressure tilt the ball forward a bit.

Another thing I see in pic is that shank is really long if you cut it to get the ball closer to your bumper that will do two things.

Less tailgate drop

Less sway

I cut about 5" off mine, made a noticable difference.

If you want to setup up a time to call tonite or tomorrow we can get this fixed.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:38 AM   #170
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1981 25' Excella II
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Originally Posted by LI Pets View Post
Ok, I think I follow you.

"The next shank notch down is 1 1/4" lower then the coupler and really creates a V effect with the trailer nose way down. The lower shank notch also causes my rear suspension to drop 2". "

Is it 2" lower with the WD bars snugged up?

Did you measure your wheel heights before and after each adjustment.

What were your wheel heights before/after in the picture.
Also what were they with that 2" drop


Also; to get to 5 links with less pressure tilt the ball forward a bit.

Another thing I see in pic is that shank is really long if you cut it to get the ball closer to your bumper that will do two things.

Less tailgate drop

Less sway

I cut about 5" off mine, made a noticable difference.

If you want to setup up a time to call tonite or tomorrow we can get this fixed.

Yes, I get 2" rear suspension drop with the WD bars set and slightly bent. I also measured the wheel well gap, and checked the levels at each attempt. The rear tires are 35 1/2" and drop to approx. 33 1/2" no matter what tilt I try with the lower shank setting. Although some tilt settings changed this by as much as 1/8" I still have about a 2" drop no matter what I do at the lower shank setting. The front tires actually gain 1/4" on top of this at the lower shank setting. The directions said to measure the top of the receiver hitch and the bottom of the coupler when both the tow vehicle and the trailer were level and to try to compensate for the difference using the shank settings. In the video they show the example of a 4" adjustment on the shank to compensate for a 4" difference. The closest I could come to this was at the current setting in which the hitch ball is 1/4" lower then the bottom of the coupler. I get off of work early Sun. and will try to take some pictures at the lower shank setting if that would help, but I don't I don't see how I could drop to the next shank setting down. I think I'll also try to adjust the tilt and work with the 5 link setting on the WD bars while using the current shank setting and take a pic of that. Perhaps I'm not correct in trying to use the shank setting that's closest to level with the coupler. I also don't understand why everyone seems to want to use only 5 links showing on the WD bars. It would seem that it could be different for different trailer/tow vehicle setups. One thing I didn't do was to set the shank in closer as you suggest. That may be the biggest issue. There are multiple holes in the shank to allow for this, and I should have thought of that. I'm going to work on this Sun. afternoon so any further suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'll PM you with my phone #. I really appreciate the advise.


Charlie
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:30 PM   #171
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Just a quick update as I've hooked up the Airstream to have it ready to take to a level lot as soon as I get home from work Sun.
The setting on the picture has the tilt at #6 which is the max. tilt. From this I can get to 5 links but it causes the trailer to tilt backward and makes it unleveled. I did put the shank in to the 2cd. hole but it still sticks out quite a bit. I suppose that I could drill another hole in it to push it back further into the receiver but I'm concerned if it's safe to do this. Cutting it off would not be necessary since it slides back a lot further without doing this. I wonder why the shank comes out so far at it's deepest setting in the receiver, I would hope that they shank would be designed correctly. I am going to try to lower the ball again Sun. and try setting the WD at 5 links and will take some pics at this setting. This will put the hitch ball at 1.25" lower then the bottom of the coupler. If anyone has any further advise it would be greatly appreciated.
Li Pets, I sent you a PM.

Thanks: Charlie
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:13 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Pacerized View Post
The setting on the picture has the tilt at #6 which is the max. tilt. From this I can get to 5 links but it causes the trailer to tilt backward and makes it unleveled.
You say tilt? which way tilt back?

Quote:
I did put the shank in to the 2cd. hole but it still sticks out quite a bit. I suppose that I could drill another hole in it to push it back further into the receiver but I'm concerned if it's safe to do this. Cutting it off would not be necessary since it slides back a lot further without doing this. I wonder why the shank comes out so far at it's deepest setting in the receiver, I would hope that they shank would be designed correctly.
I think they make them like that so you can back up in tight spots, not sure but it is better short, I never had issue backing up.

I learned this a long time ago, it acts a lever the longer it is. CanAm in Canada does most if not all his custom hitches with minimun length.
I've seen two in our LI group, like a Astro Van pulling a 34' etc.

Read this fore more

I also attended an advanced trailer seminar, same thing, shorter it is less sway they did it with models. Very clear cut.

There is a ratio of the axle front/rear length to the rear axle tow ball, do the math when you change it just a few inches the percent changes a lot.

In your case the longer it is the lower your bumper will drop as it levers it down.

So yes I would drill it.

Quote:
I am going to try to lower the ball again Sun. and try setting the WD at 5 links and will take some pics at this setting. This will put the hitch ball at 1.25" lower then the bottom of the coupler. If anyone has any further advise it would be greatly appreciated.
Li Pets, I sent you a PM.

Thanks: Charlie
Bottom line is you want to get the trailer as level as possible, try the tilt in the center position, with 5 links.

Is that level if you stand back and look.

Try the shank height at different spots until its level.

Once this is accomplished we can fine tune with ball tilt based on wheel well numbers. Then driving.


Give me the unloaded wheel well hights before and after.

-----

My rig can do 75mph with one finger on the wheel and semi's passing.

Ps: I also have dual cams
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:44 PM   #173
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I worked again with setting the hitch down one more hole which is also the lowest possible setting for the shank. The 2 pics below are at this lower shank setting, max tilt forward #6, and using 5 links. When I did this I was able to show only a 1/2 inch drop in the rear suspension and a 1/4 inch drop in the front. The trailer is also showing between the lines on the level. What do you think of how this looks? I measured how far my old weld hitch ball came out of the shank and it was dead on with how far the new shank would be if I pushed it all the way forward and drilled a new hole for this. I attempted to do so and was able to drill through it with my titanium bits but they only went up to 3/8", when I tried to use a brand new 1/2" oxide bit it wouldn't faze it. I'll have to stop by home depo and pick up 2 larger titanium bits tomorrow. I can see what you mean by the leverage effect the longer shank has on my bumper.

Thanks again for the help.
Charlie
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:03 PM   #174
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Thumbs up

That looks better, a 1/2" drop instead of 2"

How did drive?

Just get the hole drilled, you may need to take it a machine shop.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:12 PM   #175
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I didn't have time to take it on a long drive, just to our local Target to check things out and work with it on a level lot. In the short 2 mile drive it seemed to handle a little better. I think it will be noticeable when I take off for Arches this Thursday night. I did think about taking it to a machine shop to have the hole drilled and waiting until I make it to Denver in a couple of weeks. A drill press would do a much better job.

Thanks:
Charlie
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:36 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized View Post
I worked again with setting the hitch down one more hole which is also the lowest possible setting for the shank. The 2 pics below are at this lower shank setting, max tilt forward #6, and using 5 links. When I did this I was able to show only a 1/2 inch drop in the rear suspension and a 1/4 inch drop in the front. The trailer is also showing between the lines on the level. What do you think of how this looks? I measured how far my old weld hitch ball came out of the shank and it was dead on with how far the new shank would be if I pushed it all the way forward and drilled a new hole for this. I attempted to do so and was able to drill through it with my titanium bits but they only went up to 3/8", when I tried to use a brand new 1/2" oxide bit it wouldn't faze it. I'll have to stop by home depo and pick up 2 larger titanium bits tomorrow. I can see what you mean by the leverage effect the longer shank has on my bumper.



Thanks again for the help.
Charlie
Hi Charlie, I've been looking into a weight distribution hitch and have a question for you. In the second photo (post #173) your tongue looks bent up. Is this normal with weight distribution? I have a spare tire that fits behind the tanks and this would cause problems. Maybe it's just the camera angle.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:56 AM   #177
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Hi Charlie, I've been looking into a weight distribution hitch and have a question for you. In the second photo (post #173) your tongue looks bent up. Is this normal with weight distribution? I have a spare tire that fits behind the tanks and this would cause problems. Maybe it's just the camera angle.

I think the effect in that picture is more the way that my tank covers sets on a metal wiring conduit in the front. It's always leaned back a little. If you look at the first picture I posted without the tank cover #166 you can see the effect of the WD bars. The bars distribute the weight back toward the trailer by springing action using the tongue as the leverage point, so I guess there is a slight change in the angle of the tongue. Post of pic showing how much slack you have between the spare tire and the body of the Airstream. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could give some input but I don't think the bars would cause an issue for you.

Charlie
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:56 AM   #178
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Question for the dual-cam experts....
Do the recommendations made in regards to spring bar ratings apply to trailers other than Airstream? I came across this thread while researching how to properly tune my dual-cam sway control and have learned quite a bit thus far. I was hoping I could get some recommendations on my particular setup.
Tow vehicle is a GM 1500 Crew Cab, 7000 lbs GVWR and 13000 GCVWR. Trailer is roughly 700 lb tounge weight and 6000 total weight. I have 800 lb spring bars.
When hitched up, (as configured from the dealer, whom I don't believe configured my hitch properly) my rear end squats 3" while the front only 1/4" (as measured at the wheel wells) Does this sound right or should I have more even settling between front/rear?
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:29 AM   #179
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Q
When hitched up, (as configured from the dealer, whom I don't believe configured my hitch properly) my rear end squats 3" while the front only 1/4" (as measured at the wheel wells) Does this sound right or should I have more even settling between front/rear?
Did you mean 3/4 of an in rear drop? 3ins. is almost beyond belief for that tongue weight. Confirm that please.

Yes the rules noted here apply to any WD hitch setup. The only difference is it is critical that an Airstream trailer ride parallel to the ground when done. This is because of the type of suspension used.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:37 AM   #180
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Yes, my original post was correct. My rear end squats nearly 3" once hooked up and spring bars snapped into place. Again, my truck is only a 1500 (and no HD suspension) I was quite surprised as well when I took the measurements.
I have the high performance ballmount/shank with the grooved washer for ball tilt adjustment. The dealer set mine at near vertical, with 1 tooth showing on the ball mount.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:59 AM   #181
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Yes, my original post was correct. My rear end squats nearly 3" once hooked up and spring bars snapped into place. Again, my truck is only a 1500 (and no HD suspension) I was quite surprised as well when I took the measurements.
I have the high performance ballmount/shank with the grooved washer for ball tilt adjustment. The dealer set mine at near vertical, with 1 tooth showing on the ball mount.
Wrong, wrong.

When a load equalizing hitch is installed correctly, and adjusted correctly, the Airstream should remain level, and the tow vehicle should drop, equally from thr front to the rear.

If, not, then adjustment is in order.

Also, you should be using 600 pound bars.

But, get the adjustment problem fixed first. Then as a test, when the rig is hooked up, ready to go, stand on the coupler and jump up and down. The coupler should move vertically a couple of inches. If not, then the bars are over rated and/or the truck suspension is to stiff.

Andy
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:00 AM   #182
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First thing is to through that head back at least 3 graduations and see what you get for measurement then.

Keep in mind as you tilt the head back you are putting more load on the bars and you will have to use the jack to lift the combination in order to snap the chains up. Also as the head goes back the ball goes down. In order to have the trailer ride level when done you may have to adjust the ball height and start over on the head tilt.

This is not a 5 min. job so pick a cool spot and have a few beers ready.

Try and get a 60/40 ration of rear drop to front drop. If you end up with a front axle drop of 3/4 of an in. this may start to change your tire ware pattern. If you are towing more than just driving the truck you may want to have the front end set up for the trailer load. Again be very careful who sets up the front end because there are no more shops that know how to do that than there are shops that know how to set up a WD hitch.

Let us know how you make out.
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