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Old 11-13-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
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Can't adjust Reese hitch

I bought a 2014 Sinature from Camping World and had them install a Reese dual cam system. It drove beautifully with no sway whatsoever. When I got home from Albequerque to MN I found that they did not make any adjustment for height and that they left out the shims so I started over. I ordered shims from Reese and then started to redo the setup. MyTV is a RAM 1500 Limited 2014 with air bags on four corners. I leveled the AS and backed the RAM up to the trailer and shut off the air system. The hitch ball was 4" higher than the receiver. I noticed the hitch ball was straight up and down so I tilted it all the way down. That got me two inches lower. My question is: what can I do to make up for the two inches. I can't see any way to adjust the hitchball lower than it is now. Any solutions?
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
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Whoa, can you please post a picture? I have the dual cam setup myself and a Ram 1500 with a 27ft Signature, but tilting the ball is not the correct method.

I don't want to give up incorrect advice, so it would be helpful to see a photo of your hitch. I had to make some adjustments to mine, and dialed everything in back in June on the road.



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Old 11-13-2015, 03:02 PM   #3
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You're truck will sit a little lower with the weight of the trailer on the receiver, but probably not two inches. You may need a hitch stinger with more drop.

It is good to tilt the hitch down in back. Here's a good method for setting it up.
Attached Files
File Type: docx How To Set Up Your Equalizing Hitch - Andy Thompson.docx (36.6 KB, 144 views)
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:21 PM   #4
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Height adjustment of Reese Dual Cam Weight Distribution Hitch

I suspect you may need to purchase a WD Shank
3214 by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr
From this site;

Reese - WD Shanks

My set up, while a bit taller works well with one of the shanks, you will have to figure out the correct size.

Elkhart_Lake_II_05.30.15-8 by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr

As to tilting the ball head, this depends on how much weight distribution you desire. More tilt shifts more weight onto the TV. I think the idea is to have the TV balanced on all four wheels as far as weight.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:38 PM   #5
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Tilting towards the trailer shifts the weight to the trailer, tilting towards the TV shifts the weight towards the tow vehicle. But it's not how you'd get the hitch lower.

I needed to replace mine with a proper drop shank to get the height right. Which you can see my drop hitch in the picture above. Mine is also a Reese drop and was ordered from eTrailer. The model I have is none reversible, so it only works as a drop. The one that came with my system could also be used to rise.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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Need clarification

As one tilts the head towards the trailer does this not add tension to the bars, pushing them up more at the trailer end? And, as the bars are pushed up, would this not force more weight onto the TV?

I had my ball tilted toward the trailer, was getting a couple hundred pounds more on the front TV wheels, so straightened the ball head up (tilted forward) and this lessened the front bias on the TV and now I am about equal on all four TV wheels.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:47 PM   #7
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Here's a good article on tilting the hitch head.
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File Type: pdf Installing_Hitch_by_Andy_Thomspon.pdf (562.8 KB, 176 views)
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Here's a good article on tilting the hitch head.
Doug,
Thanks a million for that article. It is fantastic.
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Whoa, can you please post a picture? I have the dual cam setup myself and a Ram 1500 with a 27ft Signature, but tilting the ball is not the correct method.

I don't want to give up incorrect advice, so it would be helpful to see a photo of your hitch. I had to make some adjustments to mine, and dialed everything in back in June on the road.




Thanks for the input. Please read Dougs response in this thread. It is a great article.
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Tilting towards the trailer shifts the weight to the trailer, tilting towards the TV shifts the weight towards the tow vehicle. But it's not how you'd get the hitch lower.

I needed to replace mine with a proper drop shank to get the height right. Which you can see my drop hitch in the picture above. Mine is also a Reese drop and was ordered from eTrailer. The model I have is none reversible, so it only works as a drop. The one that came with my system could also be used to rise.
The factory also told me that I needed a hitch bar with bigger drop. Thanks
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:34 AM   #11
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:59 AM   #12
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The instructions do say how to adjust the tilt, I finally took the time to do mine according to the directions, before our 4000 mile trip east this fall, and it made a big difference..I also raised the ball height up to almost 20" so it would be level...
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:13 AM   #13
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It is a good rule to never have a Dealer set up a WD hitch. They do not have the knowledge of how to do it nor will they spend the time to do it right. I have spent hours to get a WD system set up correctly because ever change in the ball height, head angle, number of chain links hanging, and level of the trailer requires a start from scratch approach. This is a cause and effect setup and anyone who makes a single statement, number of links hanging, on any part of the set up is blowing smoke at best

Andy's article is a start but I have to discount step #6. The angle of the ball is the principle adjustment used for transfer of weight. As the angle is changed it transfer weight proportionally to that angle to or from the TV/trailer not to either or the TV and the trailer for a given set of bars. As the angle is tilted rearward additional weight will be placed on the front axle of the TV and on the trailer axles. The ratio of this transfer is a function of the wheel base dimension of the TV and the distance from the ball to the center of the trailer axles. NO single statement can be made regarding this as no 2 rigs are the same.
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
---As the angle is tilted rearward additional weight will be placed on the front axle of the TV and on the trailer axles. The ratio of this transfer is a function of the wheel base dimension of the TV and the distance from the ball to the center of the trailer axles.---
Actually, the ratio of the transfer is a function of a) the TV's wheelbase, and b) the distance from the TV's rear axle to the midpoint between the TT's axles.

Quote:
---NO single statement can be made regarding this as no 2 rigs are the same.
Yes, a single statement can be made:

The ratio of load added to the TV's front axle divided by load added to TT's axles is approximately equal to b/a, and
the ratio of load removed from the TV's rear axle divided by load added to TT's axles is approximately equal to (a+b)/a.

For example, if TV wheelbase = a = 140", and TV rear axle to TT axles = b = 280", and 200# is transferred to TT's axles:
TV front axle load increase = 200*280/140 = 400#, and
TV rear axle load decrease = 200*(140+280)/140 = 600#.

The load transferred to the TT's axles is a function of:
1) combined downward force exerted on A-frame by WDH lift chains,
2) longitudinal distance from ball to lift chain brackets, and
3) distance from ball to midpoint between TT axles.

Specifically, load transferred to TT axles is approximately equal to combined lift chain force times ball to bracket distance divided by ball to TT axles distance.

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Old 11-14-2015, 01:35 PM   #15
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Ron

What you have presented is an Equation. Equations have variables and thus do not lend themselves to all encompassing Statements.

My comment about Statements refers to the all too often misleading comments presented to RVers like a WD hitch transfer weight Equally to the TV and trailer or the Fixed Number of links one should drop once hitched.

We can sit here all day and discuss the mathematics and vectorial analysis of a hitch, but I am trying to give some basic understanding of what they are meant to do.
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:58 PM   #16
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Huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Gratz View Post
Actually, the ratio of the transfer is a function of a) the TV's wheelbase, and b) the distance from the TV's rear axle to the midpoint between the TT's axles.



Yes, a single statement can be made:

The ratio of load added to the TV's front axle divided by load added to TT's axles is approximately equal to b/a, and
the ratio of load removed from the TV's rear axle divided by load added to TT's axles is approximately equal to (a+b)/a.

For example, if TV wheelbase = a = 140", and TV rear axle to TT axles = b = 280", and 200# is transferred to TT's axles:
TV front axle load increase = 200*280/140 = 400#, and
TV rear axle load decrease = 200*(140+280)/140 = 600#.

The load transferred to the TT's axles is a function of:
1) combined downward force exerted on A-frame by WDH lift chains,
2) longitudinal distance from ball to lift chain brackets, and
3) distance from ball to midpoint between TT axles.

Specifically, load transferred to TT axles is approximately equal to combined lift chain force times ball to bracket distance divided by ball to TT axles distance.

Ron
Ron,
Wow, That is really impressive, but I have no idea what you are talking about. It reads like it is something important. Could you translate that into layman's terms and explain how it might benefit us?
Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
As one tilts the head towards the trailer does this not add tension to the bars, pushing them up more at the trailer end? And, as the bars are pushed up, would this not force more weight onto the TV?

I had my ball tilted toward the trailer, was getting a couple hundred pounds more on the front TV wheels, so straightened the ball head up (tilted forward) and this lessened the front bias on the TV and now I am about equal on all four TV wheels.

You are correct, tilting the ball toward the trailer, DOES give more WD to the front axle of the TV. The OP of this just needs to get a longer shank to get the AS level, and the TV sitting the way it needs to be..

For whatever it's worth.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickschaak View Post
---Could you translate that into layman's terms and explain how it might benefit us?
Thanks!
Dick,

As HowieE pointed out:
"---As the angle is changed it transfer weight proportionally to that angle to or from the TV/trailer not to either or the TV and the trailer for a given set of bars. As the angle is tilted rearward additional weight will be placed on the front axle of the TV and on the trailer axles.---"

If you add the fact that the sum of the loads added to the TV's front axle and TT axles is equal to the load removed from the TV's rear axle, you have the basic explanation of what a weight distributing hitch is meant to do.

Some people (e.g. those who are close to overloading their TV's rear axle capacity) find it helpful to know approximately how much load the WDH might cause to be removed from the rear.

For example, if your TT's tongue weight causes 400# to be removed from the TV's front axle (and 1200# to be added to the rear axle) and you adjust the WDH to restore 400# back onto the front axle, you can estimate that the WDH will cause approximately 600# to be removed from the rear axle -- leaving a net load addition of 1200-600 = 600# on the rear. If you restore only 200# to the front, the WDH will cause only about 300# to be removed from the rear -- leaving a net load addition of about 900# on the rear.

Some people adjust their WDH based on front-end height rather than going to the trouble of measuring axle loads. If the front axle is returned to its unhitched height, you can estimate that the net load change on the front is approximately zero. However, knowing the rear-end height change will not tell you about the rear-end load change.

Having a way to relate rear axle load removal to front axle load restoration might come in handy.

Ron
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:29 PM   #19
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What difference does changing the tilt (angle) of the ball/coupler connection have to do with weight distribution? Isn't weight distribution a function of lift applied to the w.d. bars?

Or are you saying changing the tilt of the ball/coupler connection is also lowering the w.d. bars, and if the same length of chain is used to connect the bars to the A-frame, more lift is applied to the w.d. bars? (Realizing that unless the w.d. bars aren't tilted down somewhat, little or no lift is available.)

I think Andrew Thomson's article above describing how tilting the ball and bars downward keeps the tow vehicle and truck more stable in turns, and helps keep the trailer in-line with the tow vehicle as well as helping it return to center after turns is a more in important function of tilting the ball and w.d. bars downward?
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
What difference does changing the tilt (angle) of the ball/coupler connection have to do with weight distribution? Isn't weight distribution a function of lift applied to the w.d. bars?

Or are you saying changing the tilt of the ball/coupler connection is also lowering the w.d. bars, and if the same length of chain is used to connect the bars to the A-frame, more lift is applied to the w.d. bars? (Realizing that unless the w.d. bars aren't tilted down somewhat, little or no lift is available.)

I think Andrew Thomson's article above describing how tilting the ball and bars downward keeps the tow vehicle and truck more stable in turns, and helps keep the trailer in-line with the tow vehicle as well as helping it return to center after turns is a more in important function of tilting the ball and w.d. bars downward?

That is the way that I understood the article also. Thanks for posting it. Just noticed that you are from Minnesota. We live in Woodbury.
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