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Old 08-22-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
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Stupid question about round bar Reese

I have towed a little over a year on the way the dealer set up my hitch, but after reading these forums and watching etrailer videos, I have come to the conclusion I do not know what or how my hitch should be. My main question is about the number of chain links between the bar and the hanger. How do you know which chain link to set it on? Currently i have 7 links showing, with the 8th link sitting in the hanger tab. I keep hearing about 5 links minimum and am confused about if I go to 6 links showing what else has to be changed to my setup. Almost to the point I'm wishing I would have got an Equalizer, seems less confusing.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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Phoneman,

Your manual should have the correct procedure to determine the correct amount of transfer FOR YOUR situation. It will be different for everyone.

Generally,

1) park camper and truck on level surface (like parking lot)
2) Disconnect camper and pull truck forward
3) Measure from the ground to the top of the bumper
4) Connect camper and let full weight rest on ball.
5) Add links till bumper comes up to ORIGINAL measurement.
6) Note the number of links used to do this. ALWAYS use the amount of links needed to get the truck's bumper to the unhitched height.

The truck and camper should ride LEVEL at this point.
A spirit level placed on the frame should read pretty darn close to level.

If the truck's bumper is at the correct height, but the camper is nose high or low; you must raise or lower the ball on the truck using one of those multiple hole shanks.

A level riding camper gets better gas mileage; puts even loading on all four tires with dual axle campers; and tows much easier.

Yea, I know I had an Equalizer; but you can see the ball adjusts up and down and the arms do too; just like your chains. Note the bars are parallel with the frame of the camper.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:56 PM   #3
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My problem is to get the entire rig leveled, my bars tend to point up, even with the hitch head tilted all the way back. I have bars rated for 10K GVW and 1K hitch weight. I have a Lacrosse 296 with a dry hitch weight in the mid 600's. Although I have never weighed my TT, I don't think I have put over 1200 pounds of stuff in it.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phone man View Post
My problem is to get the entire rig leveled, my bars tend to point up, even with the hitch head tilted all the way back. I have bars rated for 10K GVW and 1K hitch weight. I have a Lacrosse 296 with a dry hitch weight in the mid 600's. Although I have never weighed my TT, I don't think I have put over 1200 pounds of stuff in it.
I think a photo of your rig connected might help. (similar to mine).

Does the Reese have an adjustable shank like the Equalizer does?
The part that goes into the 2 inch reciever.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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As Lou suggested, a photo of your hitch setup while hooked up would be great.

I don't quite understand what is meant by "7 links showing". If you have 7 links under tension (between the spring bar and snap up bracket), then you are over the 5 link minimum suggested by Reese. Use the links under tension to do your counting.

Here is my setup using square spring bars:

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I have 5 links under tension.....then minimum suggested by Reese.



With a round bar setup, you want the bars close to parallel to the ground when setup. Depending on if the hitch is mounted to the top of the tongue frame, or mounted on the bottom of the tongue frame determines how many links of chain are needed to maintain the attitude of the spring bars parallel to the ground. To get the proper weight distributing, you may need to tilt the head assembly forward or backward. Forward takes more weight off of the front tow vehicle axle, and tilting backwards puts more weight on the front tow vehicle axle......that is if the same number of chain lengths are under tension.

Don't give up on Reese....it is a good system. Equalizer has a very similar setup, but without the chains.

We will be waiting on a picture:
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Here is what it looked like bringing it home from the dealer last year unloaded. Since then I added Roadmaster Active Suspension to my Excursion, which raised my stock rear end a little higher. Since then I have dropped my shank height to compensate and titled my head back to try to adjust it, but my rear end sags more than the front and when I try to go up a chain length on the spring bars, the start to point upward.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:07 AM   #7
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"If you have 7 links under tension (between the spring bar and snap up bracket), then you are over the 5 link minimum suggested by Reese. Use the links under tension to do your counting.

I have 5 links under tension.....then minimum suggested by Reese."



Ok, I am confused...........do you mean 5 link 'minimum' or maximum?
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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Except for the twisted chain, that setup looks great. You want to try to keep the chain links lined up.

I don't know exactly what a Roadmaster Active Suspension is, but if it raised the back of your Excursion enough to justify lowering the head assembly on the shank, then there should be no effect on the tilt of the head assembly. If the back of the Excursion went up 2", and you lowered the head assembly 2", the head assembly is in the exact same place in relationship to the trailer. No assembly head tilt adjustments would need to be made if the hitch was distributing the weight properly before the change.

You say to get the entire rig level, you have tilted the head assembly back all of the way. What do you consider the entire rig ?? If the trailer is not riding level, then you need to adjust the height of the head assembly. If the Excursion is not riding level, then the head assembly tilt does come into the equation. I would think with the heavy duty status of an Excursion, you should not get much sag in the back. But the purpose of a WDH is put weight back on the front axle, and some vehicles will still sag some in back when that is done. Only fender measurements or weigh-ins with and without the trailer attached will confirm whether enough weight is being transferred to the front axle.

Next time you hook-up, how a photo of your entire setup on fairly level ground, and a photo of your new hitch setup ??
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labzy View Post
.


Ok, I am confused...........do you mean 5 link 'minimum' or maximum?
Reese wants 5 or more lengths of chain used between the spring bars and snap up brackets.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Phoneman,

Your manual should have the correct procedure to determine the correct amount of transfer FOR YOUR situation. It will be different for everyone.

Generally,

1) park camper and truck on level surface (like parking lot)
2) Disconnect camper and pull truck forward
3) Measure from the ground to the top of the bumper
4) Connect camper and let full weight rest on ball.
5) Add links till bumper comes up to ORIGINAL measurement.
6) Note the number of links used to do this. ALWAYS use the amount of links needed to get the truck's bumper to the unhitched height.
Lou, I am going to have to respectfully disagree with this part of your post.

You can't use the bumpers as a basis for the measurements. The fenders in line with the axles need to used. I tried to use the bumpers the 1st time I checked my WDH, and was getting all sorts of weird readings. Because of the distance between the bumpers and the axles, the raising or lowering of the opposite end of the tow vehicle will affect the bumper measurements, but not the fender measurements at the axle axis.

Also, you don't want the rear bumper at the same height as in before you hooked up the trailer. The back of a tow vehicle will go down, even when using a WDH. If it doesn't go down, then there is entirely too much weight on the front axle of the tow vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
If the truck's bumper is at the correct height, but the camper is nose high or low; you must raise or lower the ball on the truck using one of those multiple hole shanks.

A level riding camper gets better gas mileage; puts even loading on all four tires with dual axle campers; and tows much easier.

Yea, I know I had an Equalizer; but you can see the ball adjusts up and down and the arms do too; just like your chains. Note the bars are parallel with the frame of the camper.
Agreed.
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