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Old 07-25-2014, 05:59 AM   #1
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1994 34' Excella
Kalamazoo , Michigan
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Update: Reese DC Hitch adjustment.

Tow vehicle is an F350 Diesel, AS 34 Classic. Have posted on this before, but as delivered the stability was very dodgy, with a fair amount of wiggle in crosswind gusts especially. Increasing the weight distribution by 1 link helped but didn't cure the issue.

Got some good advice from SteveH and others to adjust the sway control arms. The saddle on one side was clearly not seated on the cam after a straight ahead pull. After several attempts at "the official procedure": loosen the sway arm clamps, pull ahead, stop with trailer brakes only, then clamp things down tight, I was not able to get things to budge on their own.

Solution, a bit inelegant, was to loosen the clamps and whack the sway arm pivot into place with a good-sized ball peen hammer. It's pretty easy to tell when you have it correctly located. Clamped it back down, and away we went.

This completely changed the towing character of our rig. Was white knuckle, now it is one finger on the wheel stable. We are just finishing up a 4000 mile trip thru the Canadian Maritime provinces, under every wind condition, and the combo was always very stable. My wife does half the towing now, and she would not before.

My conclusion, the adjustment of the DC hitch matters a lot, but it is not as tricky and fiddly as I thought it would be. Just mark the bars left and right, adjust the system so the cams are fully seated in the straight ahead position, get the right weight distribution, and things should be good.

I know that there are a lot of opinions on this topic...just adding my story and good outcome.


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Old 07-25-2014, 08:42 AM   #2
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The secret is in the hammer. Not sure why Reese leaves that important aspect out of the instruction but it is All Important that the bars rest firmly on the saddles while in a straight line. Failure to have this starting position actually causes the Reese system to become additive to sway as the off centered bar snaps into position with initial movement.

You have also found the second consideration. Mark the bars side to side. The bars are not manufactured to an accuracy that will insure they are the same length. Thus crossing them may put them off center on the saddle.

Reese has overcome some of this difficulty of adjustment by offering the Straight Line System. That system provides for the adjustment to be made in the trailing arm rather than on the trailer frame. Vastly reducing the time to adjust the system on installation and promoting ease of readjustment to compensate for ware.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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1994 34' Excella
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I forgot to mention that my system has the u-bolts over the frame, and you should take care that you move the upper part of the u-bolt as well as the sway arm bracket so that it stays square with the frame. If it's tightened down with the u-bolt at a slight angle, it may pop back to the original position, coming loose in the process.

Something else learned thru experience....sigh.




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Old 07-25-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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Smile reese bars

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The secret is in the hammer. Not sure why Reese leaves that important aspect out of the instruction but it is All Important that the bars rest firmly on the saddles while in a straight line. Failure to have this starting position actually causes the Reese system to become additive to sway as the off centered bar snaps into position with initial movement.

You have also found the second consideration. Mark the bars side to side. The bars are not manufactured to an accuracy that will insure they are the same length. Thus crossing them may put them off center on the saddle.

Reese has overcome some of this difficulty of adjustment by offering the Straight Line System. That system provides for the adjustment to be made in the trailing arm rather than on the trailer frame. Vastly reducing the time to adjust the system on installation and promoting ease of readjustment to compensate for ware.
Snap ups have prong on top that you you use to snap up, trunnions have hole in center of trunnions this will allow bars to be stored on them no guess work what side they go on.
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