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Old 07-02-2020, 07:18 AM   #1
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Tail squatting...

We just picked up our new 28 International (traded our 25 FC) and really enjoyed the two day trip from New Jersey back to North Carolina.
I took the attached photo at a rest area in NC and noticed Ive got a bit of tail squatting going on... The tongue weight of our 28 (dry) is 967#. The truck is a 2019 Ram 2500. I haven't taken the opportunity yet to weigh the TV and the trailer or look at axle weights before and after. The vehicle towed well, braked and handled well with no problems...
My question is - if I am a bit light on the front axle after I load the trailer, what is the simplest mechanism to level the truck? I don't want to get into a major expense (air suspension) but also want to keep safe and stable - thanks in advance for your feedback!
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:26 AM   #2
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You might be up for the timbren helper "springs." They are a rubber material that goes in between your frame and axle where your bump stop sits. When you're unloaded they won't affect the ride, but they generally make the ride a bit more stable, albeit stiffer when you are loaded. They make them for a lot of vehicles and usually they're about 300-400$ It's a ton less work than air and I know friends of ours are happy towing their 5th wheel around with them full time. They went with them instead of airbags. Cheers!
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:45 AM   #3
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It looks like the trailer is a little low in the front as well.
That looks like an Equal-I-Zer hitch. I would put another washer under the rivet to increase weight distribution, and maybe raise the hitch if the trailer is still not level.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:57 AM   #4
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Thank you both -

I looked at the Timbren web page and I like the solution - simple and straight forward...

I also agree the trailer tilts a bit towards the front - I was thinking if I raise the truck tail and inch or so the trailer will legalize also...

Ed
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:02 AM   #5
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You already have a weight distribution hitch (good) but it is not properly set up (bad). Fortunately you should be able to solve this problem without spending money:

You need to have more tension on the spring bars, that means either adding more spacer washers and/or raising up the brackets on the trailer. Equal-i-zer has some nice YouTube videos that show you how to measure and verify that everything is set up properly.

(Stiffer rear suspension can help keep things level but they will NOT help keep weight on the front axle. For that you need a properly set up WD hitch.)
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:08 AM   #6
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ajack spelled it out more precisely than I did.
Good job, fellow Mainah!
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMynes View Post
It looks like the trailer is a little low in the front as well.
That looks like an Equal-I-Zer hitch. I would put another washer under the rivet to increase weight distribution, and maybe raise the hitch if the trailer is still not level.
I agree, there is not enough weight being transferred.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:10 AM   #8
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You should not need anything more than a CAT scale trip and proper weight distribution. 👍

NO help, (air suspension), for the TV rear springs is needed, it does nada for helping with WD.

The more compliant the TV to AS connection the better.

Bob
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by etojeo View Post
I took the attached photo at a rest area in NC and noticed Ive got a bit of tail squatting going on... what is the simplest mechanism to level the truck? I don't want to get into a major expense
Okay, first I can see you have an Equalizer hitch, yes?
The trailer looks level, so your adjustments will need to keep that correct while changing the truck.
IMO, you need to lower the head one hole on the shank. (It looks like your hitch may be in the lowest hole, sorry, new shank with a longer vertical part. It's not a budget buster, and all brands are interchangeable.
Then, add two washers to the "rivet" the part that determines the tilt of the bars. (You're going to have the head off anyway!). Those washers are regular HARDENED steel 1/2 " washers. Lowe's has them Grade 7. Couple bucks.
You have the same dilemma I do, your hitch is at the upper limit of tongue weight. (assuming it's 1000/10,000) An alternative is to raise the "L" pads on the A-frame one hole, but I like keeping the bars horizontal if possible.
The good news is the Equalizer is very, very adjustable, although it takes some tools and time. Bolts are for 1 1/8" wrench. I have some cheap inexpensive breaker bars and sockets from Harbor Freight.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etojeo View Post
We just picked up our new 28 International (traded our 25 FC) and really enjoyed the two day trip from New Jersey back to North Carolina.
I took the attached photo at a rest area in NC and noticed Ive got a bit of tail squatting going on... The tongue weight of our 28 (dry) is 967#. The truck is a 2019 Ram 2500. I haven't taken the opportunity yet to weigh the TV and the trailer or look at axle weights before and after. The vehicle towed well, braked and handled well with no problems...
My question is - if I am a bit light on the front axle after I load the trailer, what is the simplest mechanism to level the truck? I don't want to get into a major expense (air suspension) but also want to keep safe and stable - thanks in advance for your feedback!
From the picture I would say the tongue weight is quite a bit more. I have the same truck and 960 lbs of TW drops the rear 1 3/4 inches. I run 4 spacers in my Equalizer head and use minimal tension.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:20 AM   #11
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I am running an Equalizer hitch. This hitch was originally set up by Colonial for my 25 FC and they simply moved the A Frame slides over to the 28.
What exactly are the spacers you are referring to? When you say you are running four spacers - is that the washers which run perpendicular to the bumper? I have spacers (washers) on the top bolt but not on the bottom?
I greatly appreciate he feedback but I want to be certain I understand...
Thanks,
Ed
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:42 AM   #12
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Here are the details:

Five washers and on the bottom hole connection. I'm getting lots of ideas which seem very logical and I much appreciate it.
I absolutely agree with the weighing of the TV and trailer - do you smart hitch guys stick with the washer removal or adjust the height of the connection?
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:46 AM   #13
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The Equalizer hitch needs to be adjusted for your particular setup (tow vehicle + trailer). If all the dealer did was physically move it they were seriously cutting corners. I think it's fair to assume it needs to be completely redone.

There are 3 adjustments that can be made:

- ball height can be adjusted by raising or lowering the ball mount on the shank, and/or by buying a different size shank
- angle (and therefore tension) of the spring bars can be adjusted by adding or removing spacer washers from the top rivet between the ball mount and the shank. The bottom bolt doesn't have any washers
- brackets on the trailer can be raised or lowered to adjust spring tension. This can be changed with minimal tools later on if need be (unlike the spare washers which require taking the whole thing apart).

I highly suggest you download the owner's manual and/or watch the setup YouTube videos and just start from the beginning. If you lack the tools (particularly a wrench or socket big enough to fit the shank bolts and long enough to get a ton of torque on them) you will have to go back to an RV dealer to help you out.

You can do the setup with just a level parking lot and a measuring tape. No need for Cat scales.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etojeo View Post
Here are the details:

Five washers and on the bottom hole connection. I'm getting lots of ideas which seem very logical and I much appreciate it.
I absolutely agree with the weighing of the TV and trailer - do you smart hitch guys stick with the washer removal or adjust the height of the connection?
If you only add washers (8 is the max) it will raise both truck and trailer by virtue of increasing the tension on the bars. (More washers = more tilt = more force applied to the "L" brackets.)
So, that's why I suggested you purchase a shank (the part in the truck) with more holes to allow you to lower the head (the part with the ball) and thus keep the trailer level. (as well as add two washers to raise the truck rear)
It looks like your shank is the standard Equalizer one, and a 2500 sits higher.
Here's one from Equalizer that a couple inches lower while the same length horizontally.
Now's a good time to ask, "can you open your tailgate", if not and you're buying a new shank get one a couple inches longer.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:34 PM   #15
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If you can't open the tailgate, and you'd like to, while shank shopping, Equalizer does not offer one with a 6" drop and 14" length. Here's where it gets tricky, because different brands measure distance differently. Good advice is from e-Trailer that supplies videos where the person holds a tape measure to the shank!
The Equalizer brand is called a 12" shank, but is only 9" hole to hole!
Quote:
The longer drop shank gave me the space to open the tail gate on my Ram 2500 without hitting the trailer jack. I am very pleased with the service from Etrailer. 35
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by etojeo View Post
I have spacers (washers) on the top bolt but not on the bottom?
The top thingy is called the "Rivet" and when you take it apart you'll see that's exactly what it looks like. The bottom bolt is to snug the rivet and washers tight against the shank. So to disassemble, loosen the bottom bolt, then loosen the big side bolts. The head is heavy.
Once it's apart, the rivet will just come out in your hand to add/remove washers.
Put it all together, snug up the bottom bolt and make sure the 3/4" main bolts get a lot of torque. 250ft./lbs.
(Hint: you may find it easier to adjust bolts by turning the hitch in the receiver. I always try to push down on the wrench, so if it slips I don't bash the tailgate.) Upside down make the adjustment bolt easy.

BTW, that's an expensive hitch, consider a lock rather than just the hitch pin.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etojeo View Post
Here are the details:

Five washers and on the bottom hole connection. I'm getting lots of ideas which seem very logical and I much appreciate it.
I absolutely agree with the weighing of the TV and trailer - do you smart hitch guys stick with the washer removal or adjust the height of the connection?
IMO, all you need to do is adjust the hitch head so that the tension arms will be slightly lower than they are now when not attached to the trailer (sloping slightly more downward toward the trailer)

If there is more tension on the bars when you attach them to the brackets that will transfer additional load off of the rear tow vehicle axle. When load is removed from the rear axle of the tow vehicle it is shifted onto both the front axle of the tow vehicle and the trailer's axles. This will make the truck's nose move downward and the trailer tongue move upward.

ps:
When the dealer set it up, was the trailer loaded? A change in gross weight of the trailer could account for the minor adjustment that is needed now.

ps2:
To check for proper height setup:
1. park the loaded trailer on level/flat surface. disconnect from the tow vehicle. measure the trailer's frame beneath the rear bumper and beneath the A-frame. Adjust the tongue jack until both measure equal. Then measure the top of the hitch ball socket.
2. park the unloaded truck on level/flat surface. insert the hitch head into the truck's receiver. Measure the top of the ball. The top of ball should be .75" to 1" higher that the ball socket of the trailer. If it is not, move the ball up or down until it is within these dimension, or as close as possible.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:15 PM   #18
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IMO, all you need to do is adjust the hitch head so that the tension arms will be slightly lower than they are now when not attached to the trailer (sloping downward toward the trailer)

If there is more tension on the bars when you attach them to the brackets that will transfer load off of the rear tow vehicle axle. When load is removed from the rear axle of the tow vehicle it is shifted onto both the front axle of the tow vehicle and the trailer's axles. This will make the truck's nose move downward and the trailer tongue move upward.
I don't claim to be an expert, however, I thought the trailer looked level in the OP's photo.
As you noted more tension on the bars (achieved on Equalizer by adding washers) will raise the truck rear and trailer hitch. So, I offset the now higher tongue by dropping the head one hole in the shank.
I see no problem trying just adjusting the tilt (washers) and taking another photo. Especially since he's now in the bottom hole. This is where the dealer let him down, by just moving the "L" brackets and waving goodbye!
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajack View Post
The Equalizer hitch needs to be adjusted for your particular setup (tow vehicle + trailer). If all the dealer did was physically move it they were seriously cutting corners. I think it's fair to assume it needs to be completely redone.

There are 3 adjustments that can be made:

- ball height can be adjusted by raising or lowering the ball mount on the shank, and/or by buying a different size shank
- angle (and therefore tension) of the spring bars can be adjusted by adding or removing spacer washers from the top rivet between the ball mount and the shank. The bottom bolt doesn't have any washers
- brackets on the trailer can be raised or lowered to adjust spring tension. This can be changed with minimal tools later on if need be (unlike the spare washers which require taking the whole thing apart).

I highly suggest you download the owner's manual and/or watch the setup YouTube videos and just start from the beginning. If you lack the tools (particularly a wrench or socket big enough to fit the shank bolts and long enough to get a ton of torque on them) you will have to go back to an RV dealer to help you out.

You can do the setup with just a level parking lot and a measuring tape. No need for Cat scales.
I've set up three vehicles using the tape measure approach suggested by ajack. That method worked extremely well and when the tow vehicle trailer combination was weighed everything was dead on. Sometimes old-school works well. No harm in double-checking with the scales but the tape measure will certainly get you in the right ballpark.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I don't claim to be an expert, however, I thought the trailer looked level in the OP's photo.
As you noted more tension on the bars (achieved on Equalizer by adding washers) will raise the truck rear and trailer hitch. So, I offset the now higher tongue by dropping the head one hole in the shank.
I see no problem trying just adjusting the tilt (washers) and taking another photo. Especially since he's now in the bottom hole. This is where the dealer let him down, by just moving the "L" brackets and waving goodbye!
Post #3 above says the trailer looks slightly nose down, and it looks that way to me also.
That's why I suggested measuring in ps2: (probably added while you were typing)
If the OP confirms by measuring that the hitch ball cannot be set to the proper height, then everything you said is correct.
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