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Old 04-19-2007, 09:00 AM   #1
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Nada , Maryland
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Shank too long for Reese Hitch?

I just got an 01 Safari 25 I think the hitch I got with it is too long. Specifically, the shank seems to stick out waay too far. Do you think this is too long? Can anyone post a few pics of their setup so I can see how long they should be? I know it really throws our Ford Expedition around (I did not have the extra bars attached though) See pic below.



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Old 04-19-2007, 09:23 AM   #2
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The length of the shank will have an effect on the overall sway but it will be one of the smaller contributers to the ovral problem.

More interested in what the rest of your hitch has and how it is set up.

You should have weight distributing bars that ride on Reese sway control saddles. If this is the case the hitch should be set up to put weight on the truck's front axle.

The following is a discription of the basic idea for setting up the hitch. It assumes the ball height is set about 1/2 to 3/4 an in. above the trailer socket when the trailer is setting level. The exact ball height will depend on the springs of your truck and the weight of the trailer. Setting upo a Reese hiotch correctly takes time so don't expect to just hitch and go.

While on level ground with the trailer positioned over the ball just before hitching up measure the height of the front and rear fenders of your truck. Now hitch up with out moving the truck and again measure the fenders. If the hitch is set up right the fenders should drop in height in about a 60/40 ratio. That is the total drop in the fenders should have the front fender dropping about 40% of the total drop and the rean dropping about 60%. If you are not dropping the front fender the equalizing bars either are not pulled up enough or are too light for the job.

Another way to look at this is if the rear fender dropps 1/2 in. the front should drop about 3/8in. These measurments will very somewhat depending on the truck springs but the important point is you want to see weight transfered to the front axle. If the front axle is coming up you will have sway because of the reduced road friction on the front axle.

All too many trailers I see with weight distrubiting hitches are not set up to do the job because most people do not want to raise the trailer/truck combination high enough while hitching to allow the bars to be set right. If you can pull the bars up without lifting the rear of the truck you are stronger than the average.

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1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-19-2007, 09:32 AM   #3
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As far as the shank is concerned it can be cut shorter and redrilled. This article talks about the many benefits.

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Old 04-19-2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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Tough to tell w/o the trailer in close proximity, though it does seem a tad far out there. You'd certainly want to be sure you have enough space between your truck bumper and the LP cylinder cover sitting across the trailer tongue (think backing up).

I use a front hitch to push my trailer in a very tight spot, and I have to remove that cylinder cover or I'll make contact with my truck.

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Old 04-19-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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The biggest problem with a long shank is the moment arm. You'll have a lot of torque trying to twist the hitch. Since you get no benefit from the extra standoff, have another hole drilled so that the hitch is close in by the bumper. Cut off the bar if necessary. The PO might have had it that long so he could open his tailgate with the trailer hitched.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #6
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As far as getting it close to the back bumper it doesn't get much better than this....

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Old 04-19-2007, 06:33 PM   #7
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Troy --- i agreea and had the exact shank and problem----simple fix--slide the shank in the desired distance ---mark it through the pin hole and drill a new hole----use a drill press to drill so as to keep the hole straight---it may be necessary to cut shank if something prevents it from going in as far as you would like-----pieman
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:50 PM   #8
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Uh D'oh!

And on the other hand... think about avoiding a jacknife situation... especially backing up. Having a bit of extra distance between your bumper and your trailer gives you the ability to turn in a tighter radius. I notice your hitch is set up to add two friction anti-sway bars. To make a really tight backup turn, you need to ease off the friction or you can actually bend the metal under the small balls. (don't ask)

My Reese Dual cam has an almost identical distance between the bumper and the ball. It's never caused me trouble. Driving into the wrong parking lot or down the wrong road and finding inadequate turn room has caused me problems. I've made some pretty radical backing maneuvers and at least I've appreciated that extra 5 degrees of turning room on occasion.

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Old 04-19-2007, 06:57 PM   #9
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If you add a set of Enkay mudflaps, you'll need some shank for the mount to sit on. Search the forums or check here: Enkay MudFlaps | Mud Flaps by Enkay mudflaps

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