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Old 05-26-2018, 11:55 AM   #1
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Hitch Ball Height

We have a 2018 23FB Flying Cloud.
Looking at the 2018 Flying Cloud Owner's Manual on page 4-4 Floor Plans And Specifications lists Hitch Ball Height 17 3/4". Is this the height the top of the ball should be on the tow vehicle? Or what is this?
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
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Height of hitch ball on a level surface after hitching.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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On level surface top of ball, this height that is either loaded or no trailer. When wd bars on, trailer should be level not nose up, or down. Tow veh. should remain same height as before hitching. This will give balanced tow.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:53 PM   #4
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The hitch ball height is the starting point when setting up the hitch for the trailer to TV connection. Other factors will be the amount of drop when the trailer weight is on the ball and the amount of weight transferred by the weight distribution hitch. You may have to move the ball up or down a bit to archive a level TV and trailer making sure that you have returned a proportional amount of weight back to the front of the TV. A level setup is easy to verify with a ruler, but the weight distribution can be measured more accurately at a CAT scale.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:27 PM   #5
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The tow vehicle ball should 22.5" to the top of the ball, unhitched.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:37 PM   #6
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17.75" is a good starting point.
You may not be able to hit that with the hitch because the adjustments are in 1 1/8" increments.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
17.75" is a good starting point.
You may not be able to hit that with the hitch because the adjustments are in 1 1/8" increments.
If you start out at 17.75" to top of ball, I can guarantee the trailer will be about 4" nose low.
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Old 05-26-2018, 07:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthdog View Post
We have a 2018 23FB Flying Cloud.
Looking at the 2018 Flying Cloud Owner's Manual on page 4-4 Floor Plans And Specifications lists Hitch Ball Height 17 3/4". Is this the height the top of the ball should be on the tow vehicle? Or what is this?
There is no magic number to set the ball height.

I've had different vehicles that require different starting ball heights, because they are sprung differently. With my Safari my 1/2 ton truck requires about 1" higher starting point than the "trailer Owners Manual" specification. My 3/4 ton was a little less. When I towed a 30' with my half ton it was higher, and my with 34' a little higher still.

Having said that, the object of leveling is not about a specific height based on how the trailer comes from the factory. The object is to tow the trailer in a level attitude at whatever weight it is loaded. As the trailer is loaded heavier the tires and suspension sag, lowering the hitch height of the trailer.

So, after loading the trailer and tensioning the weight distribution properly, measure with a ruler while parked on a flat surface. Keep adjusting the ball height until you get the trailer's frame level, with your specific tow vehicle.
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:59 PM   #9
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Get the trailer on a level surface, and level the trailer. The height of the top of the coupler on the trailer is the height that the top of the hitch ball should be when nothing is on it. Be absolutely sure the surface the trailer is on is flat and level or this measurement will be meaningless.

(If you have a flat surface that is not level, instead of leveling the trailer, measure from the surface to the bottom of the trailer frame at the front and back. When those two measurements are equal, the trailer is parallel to the surface and the same measurement can be made.)

Keep in mind that this is only the starting point. As was pointed out above, the final answer is for the truck to be back at its starting point (the distance from the surface to the top of the front wheel well should be nearly the same as , and never lower than, the truck was before hooking up the trailer) and the trailer level when fully hooked up with WD in place.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
If you start out at 17.75" to top of ball, I can guarantee the trailer will be about 4" nose low.
Okay, but Airstream says the coupler is 17.75.
Using an equalizer hitch, my TV suspension doesn't compress 5".
YMMV.
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Okay, but Airstream says the coupler is 17.75.
Using an equalizer hitch, my TV suspension doesn't compress 5".
YMMV.
Can you change the shank to a longer drop?
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:23 AM   #12
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Can you change the shank to a longer drop?
I'm fine.
Someone posted to set the ball height to 22.5" and I responded that my suspension doesn't collapse by 5" when attached to the trailer.
We assume Airstream knows what their coupler height is with the trailer level, so I started with the ball close to that height, erring on the high side. With the trailer connected, everything is level.
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