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Old 05-21-2009, 08:24 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The number of links has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the hitch. It is just a generalization that insure proper mechanical clearance throughout the operation of the hitch once proper head adjustment has been met.

If the head has not been adjusted to transfer the loads correctly setting the bars by link count is just a means of carrying the bars down the road.
Howie:

With regard to "effectiveness" it goes without saying that the tilt of the head is all important - however the link count does appear to address the remaining factors you mentioned ---- which was my only point! At the same time, the positioning of the bars parallel to the trailer frame is apparently favored by Reese in order for the bars to work in concert with the sway control devices. Theoretically you could tilt the head as far down as possible and still achieve the same "effectiveness" by simply increasing the number of links. If you start with the bar end at the 5-link setting (---or 7-link in my case) and keep it there, the only adjustment that must be made, aside from the fore and aft levelling of the trailer and TV, is the head tilt. I think that this is a far-simpler way to address the adjustment issue.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:32 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by barrickd View Post
I wonder the how applicable the GM manual is. I did some looking and that same info is found in just about every GM manual I came across. Seems a bit strange that the front axle should remain at unloaded height across all vehicle platforms, 1500, 2500, 3500, etc.. Heck, my own manual suposedly covers 1500,2500, and 3500 pickups, regular, extended and crew cabs. So again, how applicable is the info in there or did GM just throw that in every manual for all platforms as a catch-all? Hard to say.
Front suspension height affects steering geometry, and every vehicle has a preferred value for front suspension height.

The manual does not say that the front suspension height should be the same for all vehicle platforms. The manual only says that, when using weight distribution on a particular vehicle, the front height should be the same before and after hooking up and applying WD.

Open Roads Forum member, John Barca, has posted some excellent photos and discussion of the "jounce bumpers" which limit the front end "drop" in certain GM products. You can find the post here Woodalls Open Roads Forum: 3/4 Ton Suburban WD setup - Which set up is right?

Ron
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:22 PM   #213
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrickd View Post
Ok, scale results from my ORIGINAL hitch setup (will post from my new setup next week)....

Scale Results:

Truck Only (w/ me, wife, kid, full fuel tank) "before"
Front Axle: 3460

Truck as above w/ TT and WDH engaged "after"
Front Axle: 3400
The above "before" and "after" front axle loads indicate the weight distribution system is almost optimally adjusted. And, the owner indicated there was very little change in the front suspension height.

If just slightly more chain force were added to the WD bars so that another 30# were transferred to the TT axles, then the "before" and "after" difference would be zero -- in accordance with the TV manufacturers desires.

The "equal drop" philosophy, which might have been okay for a 1970 Oldsmobile station wagon, is simply not applicable for vehicles such as 1/2 ton and heavier trucks which are intended to carry more load on their rear axles.

Ron
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:11 AM   #214
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Quote:
The "equal drop" philosophy, which might have been okay for a 1970 Oldsmobile station wagon, is simply not applicable for vehicles such as 1/2 ton and heavier trucks which are intended to carry more load on their rear axles.
My thoughts exactly.....a truck IS different than a sedan.

About front steering geometry....even if the front body height is kept exactly the same in the front, and the weight on the front axle is exactly the same, there will still be some steering axle geometry change when hooked up and towing a trailer. i.e. if the rear end on the vehicle goes down an inch, and the front stays the same, at a minimum the caster adjustment will be different. All that being said, the tow vehicle will always drive different when towing, no matter what we do with the WD hitch.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:19 AM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrickd View Post
Thanks for the input Ron. I checked my manual and it states the same thing you noted.
My front truck axle weighs in at 3460# with me, wife, kid and full tank of gas. When hitched up I'm at 3400# (prior to my adjustments) My GAWR is 3950#. So I have a little extra capacity in my front axle, but based on the owners manual, I don't want to add much more than weight than when I'm unhitched. -
With all time you invested in this issue why not call Reese tech support for their opinion and let us know.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:20 AM   #216
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Reese Is now hiding behind 2 companies but you can reach them through the parent company TriMas at 248-631-5450.

I have e mailed them with the URL for this tread and some pictures of design errors in their current head design.

If you have purchased a new head in the last 3 or 4 years keep an eye on the upper trunnion cups. There is very little material there and they ware quite quickly to the point the cup starts to fold forward and crack. Also the oil holes on the top of the head are placed too far to the rear that little or no oil gets to the point of contact increasing the wear.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:49 AM   #217
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So, as I start researching upgrading my current DrawTite hitch, I found a presentation on how to install and adjust a dual cam hitch. Click on "Link for Tips on installing a weight distribution setup", Weight Distribution

What do you guys think about it? Hope it is good info and not just adding to the confusion and incorrect info. When I called Hitch-It to inquire about correct # WD bars they only questioned the size of my travel trailer and not the type/size of the TV. They suggested 1200 lb bars..... Oh my! But I will probably use them to order the dual cams.

Laura

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Old 06-04-2009, 10:42 AM   #218
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More research info

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
So, as I start researching upgrading my current DrawTite hitch, I found a presentation on how to install and adjust a dual cam hitch. Click on "Link for Tips on installing a weight distribution setup", Weight Distribution

What do you guys think about it? Hope it is good info and not just adding to the confusion and incorrect info. When I called Hitch-It to inquire about correct # WD bars they only questioned the size of my travel trailer and not the type/size of the TV. They suggested 1200 lb bars..... Oh my! But I will probably use them to order the dual cams.

Laura
You might want to read through this thread for your research as well, it's a bit long, but it raises a lot of good questions.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ths-52060.html

Mary
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post

What do you guys think about it? Hope it is good info and not just adding to the confusion and incorrect info. When I called Hitch-It to inquire about correct # WD bars they only questioned the size of my travel trailer and not the type/size of the TV. They suggested 1200 lb bars..... Oh my! But I will probably use them to order the dual cams.

Laura
More documentation of "how little" the RV industry really knows about proper hitching.

Andy
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:23 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
More documentation of "how little" the RV industry really knows about proper hitching.

Andy
Ohhhh Noooooo - bad info? Sorry I linked it before fully digesting it. I was hopeful that it would be of benefit. I'll go back under my rock for the afternoon now.....

I did read your Towing Myths -- reigniting my research and moving it (hitch adjustment) to top priority on my list of things to accomplish prior to my next trip in July. I hope to head to the CAT scales next week to see what I'm working with.

Thanks for all your continued assistance.

Laura
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #221
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Question Fishtailing question

I've read every word of this forum with some great info. I realize I should downsize my #1000 bars on my 25' Excella pulled by a 1500 Suburban although the ride seems OK.
But here's what I have not seen. I talked with a friend who fishtailed his rig and ended up in a pile when someone pulled in front of him. (He was not towing an Airstream.) Now he tows with a Hensley hitch. What is the experience of Airstream owners with fishtailing with the WD Reese hitch? I've decided not to practice to see what happens.
Gary Gowans
New Bern, NC
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:39 PM   #222
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I've read every word of this forum with some great info. I realize I should downsize my #1000 bars on my 25' Excella pulled by a 1500 Suburban although the ride seems OK.
But here's what I have not seen. I talked with a friend who fishtailed his rig and ended up in a pile when someone pulled in front of him. (He was not towing an Airstream.) Now he tows with a Hensley hitch. What is the experience of Airstream owners with fishtailing with the WD Reese hitch? I've decided not to practice to see what happens.
Gary Gowans
New Bern, NC
Fish tailing, is another description of loss of control.

Your question, while easy to ask, really has no definitive answer, unless a number of factors are known.

Without all the exact information, what contributed to your friends loss of control, is pure guess work.

There can be a number of reasons, individually and collectively as to the "real" cause.

Swerving to avoid an accident, within reason, will not in itself, cause a loss of control, if everything else was as it should have been.

You can start the questions with operator errors, and add to the list from there.

Thousands of Airstream owners, tow with a Reese dual cam, and don't have trouble.

There are many other factors, beside's the brand of hitch.

Andy
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Old 06-20-2009, 03:44 PM   #223
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Not arguing or trying to make trouble, just a few observations, and yes I have read all of the comments, and arguments on the forums.

Thousands of airstream owner tow with other brands of hitches and do not have problems either. There is more to the issues than brand of hitch. Operator error, road condition, road rage, undersized tow vehicles, and oversized tow vehicles as well as improper setting up of the brand you choose. Also happy hours and distractions cause issues too. We tow with all safety gear and have had many near misses from some idiots on the road. People pulling out in front of us from the side of the road seems to be the biggest cause. Fortunately, Terry is a very safe driver and experienced towing all kind of trailers, in all kinds of conditions and weather.

What ever brand you choose, make sure you learn all you can about correct ratings and how your tow vehicle acts in many different situatons.
Read all you can and ask questions here and with the various dealers of hitches. read the owners manuals to your vehicles and follow thier suggestionss. weigh the tv and trailer and start there.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Marie
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:11 PM   #224
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There have been countless threads on this and other forums regarding proper hitches and trailer sway. Trailer sway will occur with any trailer with enough speed. The speed of onset is the issue, and making that speed to be high enough that it won't affect normal highway driving.

The prime cause of most sway episodes is probably not enough weight on the tongue. 15% of the total trailer weight as tongue weight is considered optimal. Obviously this can be controlled by proper layout and design of the trailer. There are also issues with axle placement under the chassis so there is proper distance between the hitch ball and axle for proper weight balance when loaded.

Too often, other factors such as tire sidewalls or underinflation on both or either the tow vehicle or trailer, worn suspension components on either, worn or broken hitch parts, and the design of the tow vehicle all have huge amounts of input regarding a particular trailer/tow vehicles' propensity to sway.

If a trailer and tow vehicle are reasonably well matched, in good repair without worn suspension or hitch parts, the hitch is properly set up, properly rated tires with proper inflation and the trailer is well designed with proper weight distribution, and the weight put inside the trailer is loaded properly to maintain that weight distribution, then you likely won't have sway on a bare ball. However, if enough of the previously mentioned factors are introduced into the rig, sway onset may be at a relatively slow speed.

A sway control hitch (of any brand) provides a great margin of safety once all of the other factors are resolved. If you just band-aid a problem with sway control, you'll be fine right up until you exceed the hitch's ability to mask the problem, and then you'll crash.

Roger
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