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Old 08-08-2011, 08:17 AM   #1
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Question Had It Weighed...Help Please

Hello Experts,
Here I am again.

Well, we hooked up and took the truck/trailer to the weigh station.
Results are in:

Weights on both:
Steer Axle: 3360 lbs
Drive Axle: 4280 lbs
Trailer Axle: 6620 lbs
Gross Weight: 14,260 lbs

Truck Alone Weight:
Steer Axle: 3740 lbs
Drive Axle: 3220 lbs
Gross Weight: 6960 lbs

Trailer Weight (subtract truck alone from 'both weight'): 7300 lbs

What does it all mean? Please explain in terms I will understand. I have read other posts on this subject but they are too lofty for me to understand....Thanks

In both truck and camper was almost everything we carry - missing 1/2 fresh water tank, 10 gal drinking water, 1 propane bottle empty, food, clothes and dogs (who total 12 lbs).

I tow my 1992 29' Excella with a 2002 Dodge Ram 4x4 2500 Quad Cab (with HD towing package)

I want to tow with 2006 Lincoln Navigator (with HD towing package and Class III hitch)

My current hitch is the Reese weight distribution (with the chains) and an anti-sway bar. I question whether these are set up correctly because I rode in the trailer while being towed to check for vibrations. The hitch was creaking and popping like mad - does this require any lubrication? Where would one go to have the thing checked for proper adjustment?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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The first thing that strikes me is you need to "tighten up your WD chains" (Tilt head) to get more of the tongue weight on the steer axle.
There are many posts on proper Reese WD adjustment. Just use the search function.

I use reese brand grease for the ball and the WD bar pivot points at the ball mount (head). I find it superior to any other grease I have tried.

I assume you have a friction type sway control???? I would look into the reese dual cam setup and remove your friction control. I use petroleum jelley on the dual cams. The setup is VERY quiet now.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:35 AM   #3
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PTG,

Good for you for making the effort to get your rig weighed. Now you have a starting point. For instance, it looks like you are not shifting (distributing) enough of the hitch weight from the rear axle to the front. Accordingly, I suspect that when you are hitched, your truck front end is riding high.

Perhaps I would start by measuring the height of the front and rear of the truck before you hitch. Your goal then is to adjust the hitch settings to ensure that the front and rear are lowered similarly. Your trailer must be level front-to-back as well. If you can get this to work, then when you re-weigh you will find that the load is distributed more evenly.

There are many threads on the Forums that will help you, plus plenty of folks that will explain this much better than I.

Good work!

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Old 08-08-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
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Your hitch is not properly set up. The instuctions for the Reese hitch are very good but you must follow them perfectly.

You have too much weight in the rear and not enough in the front. This means that the chains must be tightened and/or the tilt on the head needs to be changed. Also make sure the trailer is perfectly level.

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Old 08-08-2011, 08:45 AM   #5
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Pictures of the hitch

Here are some pictures of the hitch:
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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You have the old style reese dual cam setup. I'll leave the detail to those who have this model, as I have the newer style. I believe you do not need the friction sway control with this setup. I'd remove it. When the cams are set up properly, they will perform the sway control you need, providing the cam surfaces are not excessively worn. I think you want five links under tension...you have six. Pull up to 5 links, and see where your weights are, then use head tilt to dial in weight distribution...not adding or taking away number of links under tension.

Are your spring bars stamped with a rating? 600#, 800# 1000#, etc?

I appears that after you remove the friction control "ball" on the frame you can move the chain lift ups forward some. Try to get the chains as vertical as you can. Your bottle cover may prevent you from getting the chains exactly vertical, but closer is better.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:10 AM   #7
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Which part is the head - head tilt? I hate to appear stupid but this is all new to me.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Your fourth pic...where there is a square silver plate and two bolts which hold the ball, head (ball mount) to the shank which, in turn slides into your receiver. Loosening these two bolts allows the silver plate to engage teeth on the ball mount, so when tightnened, allow for the head to tilt up or down, providing more or less tension to the spring bars at 5 links of chain length.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:21 AM   #9
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I would also like for you to check into something else. In pic #4, you have the removeable links where your breakaway chains are attached to the AS. They APPEAR to be quite lightweight, looking at their diameter. The largest capacity I have found are 3500# each. Yours appear to be maybe 1200# capacity. I don't think that is enough. My 3500# links came from HD in stainless.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #10
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Although this manual is for the new style dual cam, the principles are the same. Perhaps it will clear up some of the adjustment issues for you.
Maybe another member has the old style manual????

http://www.reeseprod.com/content/dow...ion/N26002.pdf
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:49 AM   #11
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And here: for WD setup and adjustment

http://www.hitchpro.net/application/...ons/n66022.pdf
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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Palmtree, you've got a good start.

I agree with all the above, too much on drive axle / not enough on steer axle. Take measurements on your TV & TT before hitching and after, on a level surface and each TT & TV level.

Way too weak links for your safety chain. Heavier duty ones ar $3 - $4 each.

Also, your breakaway cable is hanging low and should be tied-off/ connected to another part of you TV and not your hitch. It doesn't show where it is attached in your pics. I just purchased on of the spiral cables, it stays out of the way and can lengthen while turning.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:06 AM   #13
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I expect your headlights light up the sky when you were hitched up. The truck should be fairly level, or as level as it was before you hitched up.

Dont worry about being new to this. Everyone was new to it at some time. It takes a while to understand how the hitch works and how to adjust it, but it can be done and its good to be able to do it yourself.

The head is the part the ball is attached to. The shank is the bar that is attached to the head and is inserted into the hitch receiver on the truck. The head should be tilted backwards a bit and I would think the instructions would tell you how much.

You also need to check truck tire pressure. The pressure on the sticker on the driver door is for lighter loads than you have with the trailer hitched. You should check in the truck owner's manual for information on how much weight the truck can tow and how much weight can be on each axle. There may be information on tire pressure, or call the tire manufacturer for advice on how much air to put in them.

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Old 08-08-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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More Pictures - this looks bad to me.

OK, I looked at everything again - I can't seem to find the weight for the two bars - I only see 20210V cast into the bars and the word Reese - the label has long ago rubbed off.

Here is a picture of how it is right now in my driveway (we just had rain). The truck is pointing a little to the left and these parts just look wrong to me. We can't seem to get the part that holds the bottom right.

ALSO! This trailer does not sit level - the back end is too low - this was pointed out to me by a backhoe operator who was working at my place and then I saw it at the truck stop yesterday. There seems to be no more room on the hitch (head?) to make it lower..... it might be as much as 3-6" off. Maybe more.

The hitch has a label that rates it at 10,000 lb trailer weight and the model # is 54980 or 55990 (rubbed off and can't tell) and under the 10,000 lb trailer weight it says 1200 lb but the rest is gone.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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Woops! Forgot to upload:
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
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pictures

Double woops!
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:06 PM   #17
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You'll need to get a longer shank in order to drop the tongue of the trailer, especially since you need to transfer more weight. (probably not for your Navigator).

The 1200 refers probably to a maximun tongue weight.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmtreegirl View Post
Double woops!

You need to be exacty straight to observe the cam position relative to the spring bar. BUT!!!! you have major adjusting to do elsewhere before adjusting cam position. See the PDF instructions above.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmtreegirl
Hello Experts,
Here I am again.

Well, we hooked up and took the truck/trailer to the weigh station.
Results are in:

Weights on both:
Steer Axle: 3360 lbs
Drive Axle: 4280 lbs
Trailer Axle: 6620 lbs
Gross Weight: 14,260 lbs

Truck Alone Weight:
Steer Axle: 3740 lbs
Drive Axle: 3220 lbs
Gross Weight: 6960 lbs

Trailer Weight (subtract truck alone from 'both weight'): 7300 lbs

What does it all mean? Please explain in terms I will understand. I have read other posts on this subject but they are too lofty for me to understand....Thanks
First, Kudos for getting those weights. That's exactly the right place to start. You have the older design Reese Dual Cam system, exactly what I had on my previous 2 TT. When I traded for my present AS last year I replaced it with a new Reese Dual Cam... I really needed to replace a bunch of worn parts and it was more economical for me to start fresh with a new one. You may want to look at saddles on the tail end of the spring bars and the mating surface of the cams. Also look at the trunion knobs on the front end of the bars and the sockets where they fit on the ball mount. When new, the knobs are round. This system depends on a lot of pressure at the mating surfaces and wear is inevitable... There are also other excellent choices for weight distribution and sway control/prevention, similar to the debate on which is the best TV. But this doesn't address your question.

If you visualize your Ram as a wheelbarrow with the spring bars functioning as the handles, as you lift up on the handles the wheelbarrow's load is distributed to the front wheel and your feet. By applying more tension to the spring bars, some of that added 1000# is taken off the drive axle and distributed to the steer and trailer axles. On my setup, I hooked the 4th link of each chain to the snap brackets. 4 links may or may not be correct for your setup. A quick search on the Internet should provide you with the Reese setup and adjustment procedure. Even if you have a shop set this up for you, likely you will have to dial it in yourself as this science works best with some trial and error, and most installers don't spend the time to get it right. For me it worked better to adjust it myself so that I could better understand the dynamics of the system.

I couldn't tell from your photos if they were take when the trailer and truck were in a straight line, but it appears the saddle was not centered over the cam. the best way to do this is find a big open parking lot. Follow a stripe if you can and pull forward until all is straight. Then position the pivoting arm so that the cams fit squarely into the saddles, then secure them, you don't want them moving to and fro on the frame. These cams and saddles make up the sway control part. The pressure on these cams detent into the center straight line position. As you make a corner, it is necessary for the cams to move to the high spots on the saddles, but it wants to return back to center. This is the popping noise you hear and is normal. Reese doesn't recommend lubricating the cams/saddles but does suggest Vasoline if the noise is bothersome.

Take some measurements. With the trailer detached and level, the belt line will likely be the same distance above the pavement near the front and rear. Measure the approximate height of the ball socket to the ground. Next measure and make a note of the distance from the truck's front and rear wheel wells. The ball mount should be vertically adjustable in 1 - 1.5" increments. For starters, I set the ball height about 1" higher than the socket to allow for settling under weight. Next you will adjust the angle of the ball mount to achieve a distance specified in the Reese documentation which is based on the coupler design and A-frame dimensions. This angle is secured by a bolt and 2 serrated square washers and serrations on the ball mount. It is important that the serrations mate squarely and the same number of serrations are visible on each side before tightening the bolt. You don't want the serrations to "cross thread" and the bolt must be tight enough to prevent slippage that will strip the washers, or worse the serrations on the mount. If you're incredibly lucky, and connect the trailer and latch up the spring bars so that they are more or less parallel to the frame, the trailer will be level from front to rear as measured from the belt line to the ground, and the front and rear of the truck as measured at the wheel wells will have settled more or less equally with maybe an inch more settling in the rear. If so, go buy a lotto ticket!

Most likely you will have to tweak the ball angle and possible the ball height until the trailer is level as well as the TV. Once adjusted, make a note of how many links and you'll be good to go. You can then make a trip back to the scales to be sure the numbers look right. Compare your results with the load specs for your TV, tire and axle loading and ball and receiver specs.
Quote:

In both truck and camper was almost everything we carry - missing 1/2 fresh water tank, 10 gal drinking water, 1 propane bottle empty, food, clothes and dogs (who total 12 lbs).

I tow my 1992 29' Excella with a 2002 Dodge Ram 4x4 2500 Quad Cab (with HD towing package)

I want to tow with 2006 Lincoln Navigator (with HD towing package and Class III hitch)

My current hitch is the Reese weight distribution (with the chains) and an anti-sway bar. I question whether these are set up correctly because I rode in the trailer while being towed to check for vibrations. The hitch was creaking and popping like mad - does this require any lubrication? Where would one go to have the thing checked for proper adjustment?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
A light coat of ball grease is good, but it may collect grit, so periodically wipe it off and apply clean. A bit of ball grease on the contact surfaces of the trunion knobs is beneficial. Reese recommends a couple of drops of oil in the oil holes on the ball mount each day before traveling. A small amount of lube on the chain where it contacts the snap latch and the u-bolt on the spring may be useful but I don't know anyone who does it. Again, the cam should be dry or a light coat of Vasoline.

I see quick links where the safety chains are attached to the a-frame. Normally the chain is welded to the frame. The PO may have done this to shorten or replace the chains. These links come in a variety of strengths. I think they should be as strong as the chain or you'll have the weakest link. You may want to inspect those also.

Depending on exact equipment, your Ram could tow from 8100-12000 pounds, looks like you're in good shape there.

http://www.mainecamperdealer.com/ima...s%25202002.pdf
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:22 PM   #20
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"the 10,000 lb trailer weight it says 1200 lb"

Then you have 1200 lb bars, max weight towing is 10,000

If you do not have any more room to lower the hitch head, then you need to purchase a drop of the length you need, 3-6".


Your last Pic didn't make it thru. Your 2nd paragraph is confusing, pointing left - and can't find the parts for the right" How are you hitching up without all the parts?
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