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Old 07-27-2018, 04:26 PM   #1
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Longer shank.

Experiences, please.
If you changed the shank of your WD hitch to allow opening your tailgate:
A. How much longer did you go?
B. Did you notice any adverse handling as a result?

Yes, I know about rotating the jack, and how certain unnamed hitches solve that, but it's not relevant here. (please)
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:32 PM   #2
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Do you know about the replacement tailgates that have clearance in the center top? Most are vented to allow air flow. Some have fillers when the clearance is not required. Usually they are used for fifth wheel applications. Pat
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Experiences, please.

If you changed the shank of your WD hitch to allow opening your tailgate:

A. How much longer did you go?

B. Did you notice any adverse handling as a result?



Yes, I know about rotating the jack, and how certain unnamed hitches solve that, but it's not relevant here. (please)


We went to a 3 inch longer shank on GMC 2500HD allowing tailgate full drop but also replaced two inch size using adapter sleeve with full 2.5 hitch fitted standard to truck.
No travel differences noted however backing seems to require more careful incremental maneuvering.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Do you know about the replacement tailgates that have clearance in the center top?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peggy2ten View Post
We went to a 3 inch longer shank on GMC 2500HD allowing tailgate full drop but also replaced two inch size using adapter sleeve with full 2.5 hitch fitted standard to truck.
No travel differences noted however backing seems to require more careful incremental maneuvering.
Oh, good point! Now backing swings the tongue more making turns harder.
Glad to hear 3" didn't have an adverse effect forward. I think in most cases 3" is enough allow clearance.

I once had a gas motorhome with a very long overhang, and a very short motorcycle trailer (9'). OMG! That thing would jackknife just thinking about backing
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Experiences, please.
If you changed the shank of your WD hitch to allow opening your tailgate:
A. How much longer did you go?
B. Did you notice any adverse handling as a result?

Yes, I know about rotating the jack, and how certain unnamed hitches solve that, but it's not relevant here. (please)
A) One inch.

B) No adverse handling noted.


We changed out the shank to allow towing the trailer level. Our F350 has a leveling lift making the stock shank one hole too short of a level ride. By serendipity, the replacement shank was both longer and taller, enabling tail gate opening.

It is tight, so we never leave the tail gate down when hitched up.

A further note: I took the too short shank to the hitch distributor in our area. I was able to buy the new shank for about 60% of what our local Airstream dealer charges for the same item.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:55 PM   #6
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I've done some research on shanks, and the problem is you can't get exactly what you need. If you find the right length then the drop is so big you'll be scraping the highway. It's further complicated by manufacturers measuring differently. A 12" Equalizer may be different than a 12" Curt.
I suspect you could go a bit long and then drill a new hole.
Whatever I decide, I'll keep the original shank so I could undo changes I make.
Right now the Reese 3214 is comparable to the stock Equalizer EQ90-02-4100 plus a few inches longer.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:14 PM   #7
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I like long shanks better!

In 35 years of towing Airstreams, I've always opted for a longer shank. First it was to clear the panel rear doors on my Suburbans. But I found I liked the ability to get the tail of the trailer to swing faster when backing up, making parking maneuvers use less space. I've NEVER noticed any handling issues going forward at speed. And that's on everything from a Mini Van to A Crown Victoria, To Suburbans To Club Wagons to Pickups.



Currently towing with a Silverado 2500HD with a 2.5" drawbar from Reese that's 12 1/4" long and it allows plenty of clearance to open the tailgate, even when the tow vehicle is pretty well turned.



I also enjoy the fact that there is sufficient clearance for me to climb over to get to the other side.



Now, if we can only figure out WHY must modern 2500 series trucks sit so high I need a 3 foot step ladder to access the bed!
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:04 AM   #8
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I went from a 10 in long to 12 inch long shank with my Equal-i-zer hitch so I could open my tailgate and I haven't noticed any decrease in towing performance--Frank
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:27 AM   #9
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I have a shank with two hole options, which makes the shank either 12" or 13" from the back of hitch receiver to the center of the ball.

As far as ride comfort or maneuverability with the two hole shank, I do not notice any difference. With the shank at the longer length it takes more tension on the bars to transfer load to the front axle of the tow vehicle, so there is more stress on the trailer. I think there may be a slight additional tendency of porpoising with the longer shank length.

The 12" length is rated for 1,200 lbs vertical load.
The 13" length is rated for 1,000 lbs vertical load.
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:47 AM   #10
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I have 26U F250 with Equalizer and 2-1/2 10Rise/6Drop shank.
I can open tailgate, but truck/trailer must be aligned.
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstreambob View Post
In 35 years of towing Airstreams, I've always opted for a longer shank. ... I've NEVER noticed any handling issues going forward at speed.
Good to hear!
Quote:
Now, if we can only figure out WHY must modern 2500 series trucks sit so high I need a 3 foot step ladder to access the bed!
I hear ya! I have a half ton, and it's plenty high. I'd never consider a 3/4 ton, or 4 x 4 just for that reason!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
I went from a 10 in long to 12 inch long shank with my Equal-i-zer hitch so I could open my tailgate and I haven't noticed any decrease in towing performance--Frank
Good to hear.
At first, I wondered if longer shanks might hide issues that popped up at the worst times so most people didn't notice until in a crisis.
But then I realized the same may be true with the stock shank.

I realize that longer shanks lead to progressively worse handling, but I thought, "How much is too much?". If we were that concerned, we'd all be towing fifth wheels.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:10 AM   #12
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Shank

I can not open my tail gate down but there is an advantage to keeping ball closer to rear axle,my shank had new hole drilled to allow ball to be forward more.
Idea is to get ball closer to the axle.
I had Can Am set mine up. And they can better explian.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:16 AM   #13
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I have a Husky Center Line hitch and the tailgate on my 2018 GMC Duramax opens fine even if I am not totally aligned.

Rick
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:29 AM   #14
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I have the same issue with my new F250. Shank is 9 inches to the hole, 12 inches overall length. Tailgate just hits, I need about an extra inch length. Would also like to switch to a shank for a 2.5 inch receiver to eliminate the sleeve adapter.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:32 AM   #15
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Same problem as OP

Now that I got a new truck, I can't open my tailgate either so looking for input. I see most of the prior posts involve 250 or 350 truck so may not apply to my situation.

Specifically I have a Reese hitch, and a new F150. Could open tailgate on old truck but not this one. The comments about keeping the hitch ball close to the rear axle ring true to me as related to better handling and maybe even weight transfer. The new truck also feels light up front and have done some adjustments, better, but not all the way there.

Anyone who has the same setup that I do have any feed back?
Currently, I use Reese 13" hitch bar with 2 holes, part # 54970 1200 or 1000 tongue weight and I have a 16" hitch bar with one hole, part # 54990 tongue weight 1200, that I am thinking about trying out. 54990 is labeled as a "tall hitch bar" and I am a bit concerned about it possibly hitting the dirt as another poster mentioned. Also wondering if I can expect to have to basically redo the hitch from scratch if making these changes...??

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rperrym View Post
I have a Husky Center Line hitch and the tailgate on my 2018 GMC Duramax opens fine even if I am not totally aligned.

Rick
Rick,

Husky Center Line with compression cylinders? or the Center Line TS?

Just curious if compression cylinder version. Question is not related to tailgate clearance.

Gary
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rperrym View Post
I have a Husky Center Line hitch and the tailgate on my 2018 GMC Duramax opens fine even if I am not totally aligned.
I wasn't familiar with the Husky Centerline Hitch but it appears to be a clone of the Equalizer with tapered bars.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:42 AM   #18
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Yes, I think you are right. Had an equalizer on a previous Airstream and as I remember, I could not drop my tailgate with the trailer hooked up.
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:23 PM   #19
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I just remembered... I have an old Quality S trunnion type WD hitch, so I went out to the garage and measured it. From face of hitch to center of ball is 9.5". From center of the hitch pin to the center of the hitch ball is 12". The tailgate on my Silverado opens without touching the jack.

I use this one sometimes and also the Reese that I mentioned earlier, in post #9. There is very little difference as far as I can feel while towing.
This is a 3.5" variation in shank length.

ps:
The Reese and the Quality S that I have are both trunnion style hitches that use the snap up brackets to tension the bars. Just before Quality S went out of business I spoke to one of the technicians where they built the hitches. He told me they purchase the trunnion heads from Reese, they did not make that part. He also told me the snap up brackets, bars, and trunnion heads are interchangeable with Reese.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinbender View Post
Now that I got a new truck, I can't open my tailgate either so looking for input. I see most of the prior posts involve 250 or 350 truck so may not apply to my situation.

Specifically I have a Reese hitch, and a new F150. Could open tailgate on old truck but not this one. The comments about keeping the hitch ball close to the rear axle ring true to me as related to better handling and maybe even weight transfer. The new truck also feels light up front and have done some adjustments, better, but not all the way there.

Anyone who has the same setup that I do have any feed back?
Currently, I use Reese 13" hitch bar with 2 holes, part # 54970 1200 or 1000 tongue weight and I have a 16" hitch bar with one hole, part # 54990 tongue weight 1200, that I am thinking about trying out. 54990 is labeled as a "tall hitch bar" and I am a bit concerned about it possibly hitting the dirt as another poster mentioned. Also wondering if I can expect to have to basically redo the hitch from scratch if making these changes...??

Thanks in advance.
You problem, in part, along with others with new trucks, is the taller bed that the truck makers are putting on them. Taller bed rails, taller tailgate, means the tailgate sticks out further when opened. This "feature" that the truck designers have engineers into new trucks has caused problems for everyone. 5th wheels need to sit higher to clear the bed, and many people had dinged the bed from this, while truck campers have found that their old camper does not fit on their truck any more unless they stack sheets of 3/4 plywood in the bed to raise it up, and regular "bumper pull" folks have discovered that the tailgate hits the trailer jack.

not sure what the truck makers are thinking by doing this.

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