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Old 07-27-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
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Hitch concern

I pull a 2005 Cherokee 27L with my 2000 Eddie Bauer Expedition. The equalizer hitch was purchased and set up by the RV dealer to pull my Cherokee. My Expedition has a air ride suspension. The computer in my truck will adjust the air suspension in the rear to keep my vehicle level. Now here is the problem. The rear (air) suspension broke. It was why to expension to replace. So I had the mechanics replace it with a conversion kit to coil and springs in back. When I pull the camper now the rear of my vehicle drops and the Expedition is no longer level. I have no clue if this is ok or not. I do at times get the feeling that that the front of my car is a little light. The hitch I bought from the RV dealer was a Reese brand 10,000 pound pulling capacity. The tension bars (with the chain links) used to be set in the 4th link. Wondering if I need to use a different link now to put even more tension on the bars. Also wondering if the ball needs to be set higher (I can go up to slots if needed). Again I am clueless on the proper adjustments. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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1st of all, most Reese hitches suggest at least 5 chain lengths under tension. If you only have 4 chain lengths under tension now, no way should you go with less.

You need to do the fender measurements as outlined in the Reese instruction manual to see if your current setup is getting the correct amount of weight back on the front end of your Expy. If your current settings are good, then you should probably tilt back the head assembly 1 notch and start using 5 links minimum. If you are not getting the correct weight back on the front axle, then you may have to go with 2 or more notches to correct the problem.

A photo of your current setup while hooked up would be good.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
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I tow a 29ft TT with a 2003 expedition Eddie Bower with factory tow package rated at 8900 LB maw tow. My manual says to turn off the airride suspension if equipped before towing. My truck does not have the airride, Whew... Anyway i just setup my eqaulizer hitch and did the fender measurements nad my outcome was:

rear fender dropped about .75 inch, front fender raised only .5 inch from unhitched measurement. If the front end is raising up alot and the back is squatting then you are not set up correctly. Not having a Reese hitch, I am no help with the adjustments you need to make, but I know if the front end feels light, that is dangerous and you ned to change how it is setup. Do you have a elect brake controller, that is also a must!
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #4
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My Cherokee total length is just over 30 feet. I do use a Prodigy brake controller.

I know the goal here to to try and get the length from ground to bumper the same in front and in back.

I will try the 5th link in the tension bar chain. Does more tension on the bar somehow place less weight on the rear of my car, thus car weight more evenly distributed front to back and possibly making my car more level?

If tilting the head back a little means that the ball is slightly tipped back This was already done at RV dealer with the initial install. Does it need to be tilted more?

There are bolt holes available to raise the ball a few inches higher. Should I change this? If the ball is raised will this make a difference in how the camper pulls down the road or the amount the rear bumper drops with the trailer weight on?

Maybe the RV dealer would be nice enough to set it up for me (again).

Again sorry. I take care of the sick and injured for a living. This hitch stuff I'm clueless.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kjoh75 View Post
My Cherokee total length is just over 30 feet. I do use a Prodigy brake controller.
That is long trailer for a relatively short wheelbase vehicle.

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Originally Posted by kjoh75 View Post
I know the goal here to to try and get the length from ground to bumper the same in front and in back.
That is not the goal. The goal is to put the lost weight back on the front axle. In doing that, your TV could be down in there rear, level, or up....it depends on the vehicle. And you cannot use the bumpers for the measurements....that will give you all sorts of weird readings.....I know, because I tried that. You must use the fenders when you take the measurements.

Raising the back of the Expy may put too much weight on the front axle....that is why you must know how the weight is distributed.

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Originally Posted by kjoh75 View Post
I will try the 5th link in the tension bar chain. Does more tension on the bar somehow place less weight on the rear of my car, thus car weight more evenly distributed front to back and possibly making my car more level?
Losing a link of chain is going to put more weight on the rear axle, making the back sag even more.

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If tilting the head back a little means that the ball is slightly tipped back This was already done at RV dealer with the initial install. Does it need to be tilted more?
You do not know whether the head assembly needs to be tilted more until you establish the weight lost or gained on the front axle. That is why you either need find the weights of your tow vehicle with and without the trailer, or do the fender measurements as outlined in your set-up instructions.

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There are bolt holes available to raise the ball a few inches higher. Should I change this? If the ball is raised will this make a difference in how the camper pulls down the road or the amount the rear bumper drops with the trailer weight on?
You use whatever holes that are needed to make the trailer ride as level as possible. You may need to adjust the hitch height after getting the proper weight distributing. If you do adjust the hitch height after adjusting the weight distributing, then the weight distributing may have to adjusted some again.........it takes a little to get it just right.

Here is my setup:

Click image for larger version

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As you can see, for my setup I have the head assembly tilted back pretty far.

This is Wade's (Rockwood06):


Name:   Reese Dual Cam Wieght Dist And Sway Control System.jpg
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Notice his setup actually has the head assembly tilted forward some. Both of the setups correctly distribute the weight. The variables listed above cause the difference. We are both using 5 links of chain.

I showed you a picture of mine, now we need to see a picture of yours. A close of the tongue and hitch, and a overall photo of your TV and TT on level ground, so we can see what that looks like.

This ol' boy ain't a gonna be on the forum for a couple of days, but others will chime in here.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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Oops...

Wow, I have learned alot! I learned I'm an idiot...

I actually bought a truck because my original tow vehicle, a Trailblazer, was too small even though the dealer said it would be fine...

Anyway, I just tried to get the hitch the same height on the new truck as it was on the Trailblazer. I need to find some documentation on the hitch and start all over. I have pulled it 3 times without much problem, but the front end does feel light and it bounces a little.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #7
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I actually bought a truck because my original tow vehicle was too small even though the dealer said it would be fine...
man, if i had a dollar for every time i read or heard someone say this!
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbenslay View Post
Wow, I have learned alot! I learned I'm an idiot...

I actually bought a truck because my original tow vehicle, a Trailblazer, was too small even though the dealer said it would be fine...

Anyway, I just tried to get the hitch the same height on the new truck as it was on the Trailblazer. I need to find some documentation on the hitch and start all over. I have pulled it 3 times without much problem, but the front end does feel light and it bounces a little.

Thanks for the info!
If it feels light and bounces a little, that needs to be addressed, it means you need more weight on the front axle. Sorry I can not be of any more help since I use a equalizer, I hope you get it all sorted out
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:11 PM   #9
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So will the tilting of the head forward put more weight on the front. My setup was set up by the dealer and I'm a little light lite on the front end sometimes I fill like. I only use the 3 links of chain . I feel like that if I use much more its going to break.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:44 PM   #10
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So will the tilting of the head forward put more weight on the front. My setup was set up by the dealer and I'm a little light lite on the front end sometimes I fill like. I only use the 3 links of chain . I feel like that if I use much more its going to break.
On Reeses, tilting the head assembly back puts more weight on the front end of your tow vehicle. I think Equalizer does something similar with washers.

If you think about lifting the bars "x" amount off of the ground with the head in 1 position. When you lift the bars, similar to lifting a wheelbarrow, you are lifting up the back of the truck up. That weight has to go somewhere, so it goes to the front of the truck. If you tilt the head back 1 notch, the spring bars are now closer to the ground, and you will need to lift the bars further to get the same "x" amount off of the ground. That extra distance puts more weight on front axle, since it is taking more weight off of the back of the truck. Likewise, since you are standing there lifting the spring bars further (the wheel barrow handles), the weight on your feet is going to be more, also. Consider your feet the axle of the trailer.....some of that weight from the rear truck axle is being transferred to the trailer axle, also.

Confused yet. I am.

Again, I am pretty sure Reese recommends at least 5 links used on all of their WDH products. Check the instruction manual to be sure.
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