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Old 07-29-2012, 05:26 PM   #21
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Location: Virginia Blue Ridge Foothills
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The last set of pictures looks like a good setup. The reason that the chain needs to be "near" straight up and down, is that when your TV turns, the bars will swing either forward of backwards. In the 1st set of pictures, with the snap-up brackets so far back, when you would make a turn, the outside springbar would have moved forward, really stretching the chains towards a horizontal position.......not quite that bad, but hope you can get my drift.

The overall setup looks good now. I think I see a slight bend in your spring bars. Round bar setups are generally in the correct position if they are parallel with the trailer tongue.....and yours looks like that.

But......just because the setup looks good, does not mean you are getting the correct weight dealer said their setup on my trailer looked good, but it was far from what it should have been. You really need to do the fender measurements hopefully spelled out in the instruction manual. I get mine close in the driveway, then head to a vacant side street beside my local Lowe's. If the fender measurements are not satisfactory, then to keep the same attitude of the spring bars, you would need to tilt the head assembly either forward (to put less weight on the front axle), or do a more backward tilt (to put more weight on the front axle).

My manufacturer (Reese) has something like "make sure both axles are within 1/2 inch of their unloaded weight". That had to written by some lawyer. MY front end is within 1/2" of the unloaded weight without spring bars in place, but the back end sags about 1 1/2". If I get my back end gets within 1/2" of the unloaded weight, I would probably be over my front GAWR.....that would be entirely too much weight distributed.

For me, a good compromise seems to have the front fender about 1/16-1/8" less than the unloaded weight, and that puts the rear fender at a about 1" lower. My truck and trailer seem to do best with a little more weight on the front axle than the unloaded weight. I have been setting up a new hitch, and the last trip I was exactly back to the same weight on my front axle, but I had a little more sway than when I had the hitch setup with about 60 extra pounds on the front axle. I am going to tilt my head assembly back 1 more notch, use the same number of chain lengths under tension, and that will put about 100 additional pounds on the front axle.

To recap my long narrative, you need to do precise fender measurements to make sure you have ultimate weight distributing setup. A follow trip to some truck scales would seal the deal.


Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2006 Ford F150 Super Cab 4x4
2008 Surveyor 263
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #22
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Location: The Heart of the Fingerlakes
Posts: 277
Originally Posted by bagged123
here is my connection from a few weeks ago on a short trip. I'm running on the second link in. The ride is ok, but at times she's a little bouncey.
Now, we're heading down to Myrtle beach in 2 weeks and it's my longest trip with the TT since we bought it last year. Is there anything I should do different, ie: go in on another link, etc. What do other's connections look like? My TV is a Silverado 1500 ext cab, TT: 27' Shasta Revere
It doesn't look like you have an emergency break away safety cable hooked up, you should have one. Have fun in Myrtle Beach, we just got back from being there 2 months. We miss being there,

David & Annamarie(Fatty & Harley)
2011 Rockwood windjammer(3065)
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #23
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Location: Winthrop Harbor, IL
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Not that I am an expert, but.... From the dealer it didn't feel really good, so I weighed the truck and found they had overloaded my rear axle using the 1/2 inch at the wheel method. I readjusted the hitch at the bumper and had much better results and found out the ball was too high. After several trips to the scale I know for sure how much weight I am shifting and what a link up or down will do with the camper loaded. I am 20 pounds from unloaded weight on the front axle with 820 on the toung. That's about 15% of the gross trailer. My 2 cents is spend the day at a truck stop and dial it in. It only cost me about 2 hours and less than 20 bucks. Good Luck
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #24
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 89
Originally Posted by bagged123 View Post
I just want out to look at my brackets, and there are right at my gas tanks cover, so if I move them up, then the propane tanks cover will be sitting on them,
On my travel trailer - I moved the brackets up to keep chains straight and the tank cover was in the way so I notched out a small square section on each side of the tank cover so it fit.
Mike - Ottawa
'10 Rockwood 8280ws
2014 Ram 2500 SLT HD Crew Cab 4X4 3.73
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #25
Join Date: Aug 2012
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I'm new to the RV life & we're really enjoying it. I did the measurements thing as well. The dealer set up the hitch assembly, but I found the fender measurements were almost the same as without tension on the chains. I went one more link & remeasured. The front is now the same as empty & the back is an inch lower than unloaded. (TV is a Ram 1500 & rides higher in rear). The trailer rides almost level now as well, instead of slightly nose down. I found the bounce was less too now. The only problem is that my chains aren't completely verticle either (battery box is in the way, chains angle slightly up to left). We took it on a long trip & it pulled nicely with no sway.
2007 Dodge Ram 1500, 2012 22 ft Wildwood X-Lite TT
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:09 PM   #26
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How to Setup a Weight Distributing Hitch
By eHow Contributor

When a trailer is hitched to a tow vehicle, the tongue weight typically causes the rear of the tow vehicle to lower and the front to raise. The purpose of a weight distributing hitch is to remove excessive weight from the tow vehicle's rear axle and distribute it to the front wheels and the trailer wheels.
Here's how to set this type of system up properly to ensure a safe towing experience.

1. The first step is to take some simple measurements. This will help us during the adjustment steps. Start by lining up the tow vehicle and trailer on level ground, in a straight ahead position, with the trailer uncoupled. Measure and write down the uncoupled height at the front and rear wheel openings to the ground, and the level trailer coupler height.

2. Set the unloaded ball height on the tow vehicle hitch head about 1/2" to 1" lower than the trailer coupler measurement from Step 1. This can be accomplished by moving the hitch head up or down in the holes of the hitch shank. It may be necessary to flip the shank over to achieve the correct height. The exact amount will depend on how stiff the suspension of your tow vehicle is.

3. Next, lower the trailer coupler onto the hitch ball and close coupler latch. Using the tongue jack, raise the trailer coupler and the rear of the tow vehicle 3" at the ball.

4. Insert the spring bars into hitch head sockets. With the lift unit in the raised position, pull straight up firmly on spring bar chain. Note which link is closest to chain hook. Countdown 2 links and that link will be used for hook up.

5. Attach the upper end of the chain link to lift unit hook, while allowing remaining free links to fall down to the outside of the trailer frame (see image). Swing the lift unit into position by pushing up on the lift unit hook with the lift handle. Ensure there are at least 6 links between the lift unit and the spring bar. This is necessary for proper operation of the spring bars during turns.

6. If there are less than 6 links between the lift unit and spring bar, the angle of the head assembly (the shank and the head) must be increased. To accomplish this, the trailer must be uncoupled and the upper bolt removed from the head assembly. Pivot the head assembly down and add a washer underneath the spacer pin, located in the channel between the head unit and the shank (see image). Reinstall the upper head assembly bolt but don't tighten it yet. Tighten the angle set bolt to 50 lb. ft. Now tighten the upper head assembly bolt to 250 lb. ft.

7. Follow Steps 3, 4, and 5 again, checking to make sure there are at least 6 links between the lift unit and the spring bar. Follow Step 6 again if you still cannot obtain the 6 links necessary and repeat this step again. Otherwise, continue to Step 8.

8. If everything is set up correctly, the tow vehicle will settle down evenly, front and rear. Compare the coupled height measurements at the front and rear wheel openings to the ground with the measurements taken during Step 1. If front settles lower than rear, increase the number of chain links between lift unit and spring bar. If rear settles excessively lower than front, decrease the number of chain links between lift unit and spring bars. You should be able to get within 1/2 inch both front and rear. Ensure there are always at least 6 links between the lift unit and the spring bar.

9. Once you have obtained the optimum adjustments, check the following: the pin and clip securing the shank to receiver, the head to shank fasteners, ball nut, coupler latch, lift unit bolts, safety chains, lights and turn signals, and braking system, including breakaway switch if equipped. Test drive the combination. Try to get a feel for how the load feels during normal acceleration, cornering, and braking. It should feel stable under these conditions, with no abnormal bouncing or vague steering feel. If not, see the tips below for some suggestions.

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