Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
CLT
Next Gen Camperbot 5000XL
 
CLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 316
Equal-iz-er 1k/10k Washers

I just purchased a new Coachmen Apex 28 footer from a dealer this past weekend. Got them to include a Equal-iz-er as part of the deal as an upgrade vs the E2 hitch. Upon install, the tech mentioned that he never installed one of the Equal-iz-er hitches before which got me a bit nervous, but he said that he did do many other hitches.

Here is where I stand: It towed well. I had about a 100 mile trip back home on the highway and it worked out OK. No major sway from what I could tell, no minor either. The front end of my vehicle did feel a little light to me.

I have my pre and post weigh scale numbers (with full tank of gas)

PRE

Steer Axle: 2980
Drive Axle: 3140

Gross Weight: 6120

POST

Steer Axle: 2800
Drive Axle: 4020
Trailer Axle: 4880
Gross Weight: 11700 (fresh water tank was 3/4 full - about 350 lbs)


The problem is that I am approaching my max rear axle. Max is 4250. So I want to get some more of this weight on the front axle of my vehicle. Front axle max is 3700.

The dealer tech only installed 4 of the spacer washers on the hitch head and gave me the other two. The problem is that they are about 100 miles away. So it looks like I get the fun job of disassembling everything and reassembling.

Has anyone been through this process and can tell me what exactly I can expect. I'm thinking put both washers on, because there was something in the manual about being closer to your max hitch weight. Hitch weight in the brochure was 680. I assume that's without the full propane and one battery they have installed. My vehicles max hitch weight is 890.

I can keep the cargo load light if I have to. Not a problem there. But the bigger problem is that I have to be able to get 500 lbs of passengers in also.

I'm a little lost on what to do here, but safety first and go camping later.
__________________

__________________
CLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Road-King's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: TN
Posts: 645
CLT welcome to the forum

You can skin that cat two ways. Adding more washers will put more weight on the front axle. Or you could rase your "L" bracket up a notch. Look in your manual for a limit on the number of washers you can use on the head angle adjustment. I seem to remember there was a limit.
__________________

__________________
Russ & Kim
2014 Alpine 3600RS
2007 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9 4X4
2008 Harley Davidson Road King 105th Anniversary
(2011-5 bad year)(2012-40)(2013-45)(2014-23)
Road-King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 10:17 AM   #3
CLT
Next Gen Camperbot 5000XL
 
CLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 316
Thanks! According to the manual (p.19) the max on the spacer washers is 8. Minimum is 4.

The problem is the dealer tech didn't want to take his time to do everything right. He was just going from what applies most to many of his setups which I assume are for wheelbases longer than mine (131".) He even wanted to put the brackets at 28", when the manual states 32" is optimal and should be used if possible. I argued with him some and then he did end up putting them at 30". Also had no torque wrench for anything. So that added to my confidence in him. I could change this to 32" if needed also, but I assume that it more so has to do with sway control vs weight distribution. I did have good sway control in my opinion. It was a little windy that day also so it was a good test.

At any rate, yes thanks for the options Road-King. Upon futher inspection of the manual, it seems like I should go with the spacer washers first and then to the L bracket adjustments. It has a clause of something like "If you have reached the max number of spacer washers or are making a temporary change due to vehicle loading then you can raise the L brackets one hole." So I had better try the spacers first.

Can you take a look at my numbers and tell me if I should go with 5 or 6 washers? I'm thinking 6 so this has a higher chance of being a one-time adjustment. But I could be wrong.
__________________
CLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #4
CLT
Next Gen Camperbot 5000XL
 
CLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 316
Here are a few pics to give you an idea how it looked. I know measurements are crucial, but you can also probably derive something from a few pics.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	photo1 (1200x900).jpg
Views:	170
Size:	635.0 KB
ID:	52911   Click image for larger version

Name:	photo3 (1200x900).jpg
Views:	161
Size:	561.2 KB
ID:	52912   Click image for larger version

Name:	photo4 (1200x900).jpg
Views:	174
Size:	588.8 KB
ID:	52913  
__________________
NO TV!!! NOW WHAT???
2014 Coachmen Apex 259BHSS
CLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 11:18 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
avolnek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 630
It really isn't that difficult to do.

Leave the hitch in the the receiver of the truck to secure the hitch. There is a set screw at the bottom of the ball side assembly that needs to be loosened I believe. Then take the top bolt holding the head assembly onto the shank out. I then only loosen the lower one as this should allow the head to pivot away from the shank far enough to get more washers onto the stud. If not you may need to remove the lower bolt as well.

As mentioned above you can move the L brackets up a notch. I am personally not a fan of this unless your bars are not level with the trailer. The idea for that adjustment to me is more or less to get the bars parallel with the frame of the trailer to aid in more surface mating from the bars to the L brackets giving you more sway control. So to me you can use them more as a bandaid but the correct way would be to add more washers to the head assembly.
__________________

TV- 2015 Ram 2500 CCLB 6.7 Cummins 3.42 gears
Camper - 2015 Saber 322BHTS
avolnek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 11:32 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 12,015
The Teck got you in the (Ballpark) the fine tune is up to you after the unit is loaded and passengers in TV. The whole game can change. A closeup Pic. of the Hitch set up would help also. Youroo!!
__________________
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 12:04 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
indybp57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by avolnek View Post
It really isn't that difficult to do.

As mentioned above you can move the L brackets up a notch.
I consider the L brackets to be a course adjustment. You want the bars parallel to the tongue. The washers are the fine adjustment, IMO. I can change the angle on mine by just loosening the two main head bolts as the upper bolt hole is slotted to allow for adjustment. You will also need to back out the lone bolt in the underneath center of the head that forces the head against the shim washers. Then you should be able to pull the head downward and have enough clearance to fish out the rivet and washers. You can probably download the manual on-line.

And you will need a socket and bar that you can provide a lot of torque. The washers that are on the two large bolts that secure the head are spring washers and need to be compressed flat. There is a spec on the torque but I just use a 1/2" drive breaker bar and a long pipe for leverage and get them as tight as I can.
__________________
2013 Roo 183
Miles Driven/Nights Camped:
2012:1042/13 2013:2772/27
2014:2259/30 2015:1644/20
2016:1278/23 2017:2183/22
indybp57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 01:03 PM   #8
chicagoslick
 
chicagoslick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Indianapolis Area
Posts: 198
Hard to tell by the pictures, but it does appear as if the nose of your vehicle is high. with this in mind you do need to shift weight towards the front of the truck. Does not appear to be off by much though. My bars are set right at 31 1/2 inches and yes the main purpose is for sway, but correct setup is important regardless. I would bet you are only 1-2 washers off from where you should be.

A couple of quick questions:
1. Are your tanks filled? If not, fill them before setting.
2. Is the vehicle loaded as you intend to travel? If not, load before setting.

Once completed with setup reweigh and ensure you are at a safe traveling weight. My setup is pushing near the max load and that is not hard to do once you add everything.

Best of luck and refer to the equalizer and youtube for great guidance beyond this forrum.
__________________

Gary, Tonia, Baile, Summer and Otis our Boston T.
Flagstaff 27RLWS Emerald Pkg
2015 Ford F150 King Ranch FX4 Max Tow 3.5EB, 3.55
Equalizer 4 WDH, 1,200 / 12,000Lbs
chicagoslick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 01:28 PM   #9
CLT
Next Gen Camperbot 5000XL
 
CLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 316
Lots of great info here. Thanks everyone for your help. I plan on adding the two washers and going from there.

chicagoslick - I had a full tank of gas and the fresh water tank was almost full. I was thinking of ditching the fresh water and traveling with that empty. I could save on the weight and it would do better on fuel, however slightly. That is unless I should travel with fresh water almost full. I've heard people say that they do that. Possibly not just for weight and balance type purposes. I'd be interested in hearing an opinion on that. And to your 2nd question, no it wasn't loaded as I intended to travel, but I would just assume that the weights from there would just be worse than what they are now. Most of the cabinet space is up front. But there is some that is directly over the wheels in the kitchen area, and there is also that space under the dinette cushions. I could probably just make due with those two areas loaded. So anything loaded directly over the TT axles basically just adds to the trailer weight, not the hitch weight on the TV, right?

So far I am at 11700 with fresh water almost full, battery, two full tanks of LP and also full tank of gas (33.5 gal, give or take.) Add 500 lbs for driver and passengers and 500 lbs for gear and I will be at 12700. Max is 15000 according to Ford.

At any rate, for me to get back on my topic of the adjustment of the washers, I will put the two on and report back. The bad part is that I have to remove part of my fence to get it hooked up again and road test, so it is kind of inconvenient, but necessary before departing on a trip. Currently checking into split rail fence gates. Haha.
__________________
NO TV!!! NOW WHAT???
2014 Coachmen Apex 259BHSS
CLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2014, 12:52 PM   #10
chicagoslick
 
chicagoslick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Indianapolis Area
Posts: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLT View Post
Lots of great info here. Thanks everyone for your help. I plan on adding the two washers and going from there.

chicagoslick - I had a full tank of gas and the fresh water tank was almost full. I was thinking of ditching the fresh water and traveling with that empty. I could save on the weight and it would do better on fuel, however slightly. That is unless I should travel with fresh water almost full. I've heard people say that they do that. Possibly not just for weight and balance type purposes. I'd be interested in hearing an opinion on that. And to your 2nd question, no it wasn't loaded as I intended to travel, but I would just assume that the weights from there would just be worse than what they are now. Most of the cabinet space is up front. But there is some that is directly over the wheels in the kitchen area, and there is also that space under the dinette cushions. I could probably just make due with those two areas loaded. So anything loaded directly over the TT axles basically just adds to the trailer weight, not the hitch weight on the TV, right?

So far I am at 11700 with fresh water almost full, battery, two full tanks of LP and also full tank of gas (33.5 gal, give or take.) Add 500 lbs for driver and passengers and 500 lbs for gear and I will be at 12700. Max is 15000 according to Ford.

At any rate, for me to get back on my topic of the adjustment of the washers, I will put the two on and report back. The bad part is that I have to remove part of my fence to get it hooked up again and road test, so it is kind of inconvenient, but necessary before departing on a trip. Currently checking into split rail fence gates. Haha.

Sorry I meant your propane tanks. I would not travel with more than 1/2 my fresh water filled. I do not travel with water in my tanks at all, but can see some peoples points concerning no water availability at some sites. I only travel to full hook up sites and of course always expect to have the necessary utilities.

Only by loading the trailer the way it will be on trips will you achieve the best setup. You would be amazed how much all the small stuff adds up and ultimately can affect loading, balance, and sway. I made a lot of practice runs driving loaded to get a good feel for the best setup. I am still trying to achieve the best setup but am much closer than when I started. As best I can tell ~15% tongue weight will achieve best results for my tandem axle trailer. You will find like I did that power will probably not be a problem, but visibility and sway. Best of luck and keep working on your setup and please do take some practice driving sessions to get the best feel. The time to find a problem is long before that big trip you want to take with the family...

As always best of luck...
__________________

__________________

Gary, Tonia, Baile, Summer and Otis our Boston T.
Flagstaff 27RLWS Emerald Pkg
2015 Ford F150 King Ranch FX4 Max Tow 3.5EB, 3.55
Equalizer 4 WDH, 1,200 / 12,000Lbs
chicagoslick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:30 PM.