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Old 06-06-2020, 11:52 AM   #1
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Spacer Rivet - What's it for

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Trailer: 2021 Vibe 21BH (5200 dry, 7500 GVWR)
TV: 2019 F150, Twin Turbo 3.6 ecoboost, 6.5' bed, 157" WB, towing and payload packages (7050 GVWR)

Outside of towing our new Vibe home (45 miles) about 3 weeks ago I have not towed it. I have been "making it ours' and starting to load it for a future trip. I have also replaced the Castle Rock tires (ST205/75R14D) with Goodyear Endurance ST215/75R14D). I have not scaled either the truck or Vibe yet, but will. I do have a tongue weight scale ordered. The dealer installed an E2 (Fastway) WDH. I know I will have to re-check/re-adjust the hitch once I get the trailer load to travel weight. I have watched a number of videos and read a number of WDH setup procedures and believe I know and understand the basics of the correct setup.

But there is one component of the hitch setup that I do not fully understand and that's the 'Spacer Rivet' and washes (see photo below) used to tilt the hitch head Ball back towards the trailer. So here are my questions:
  • What is the reason/need for tilting the Ball?
  • What is this adjustment (adding/removing washers) for?
  • If I Add washes what is the effect on the Hitches operation?
Relative to the number of washers to use, the E2 Manual says, "Start with 6 spacer washers for longer wheelbase tow vehicles like pickup trucks, and 5 spacer washers for shorter wheelbase vehicles like a small SUV." The dealer put 4 washes in ??? when I have a F150, and a 157" WB rather than the more typical 145" F150's with the 5.5' bed.

So I am hoping that some of you who understand the setup on the E2 hitch can explain to me what this 'Spacer Rivet & washers' adjustment is used for and what would indicated that I would need to add or remove spacer washers?

Thank you in advance for sharing you knowledge.

Russ
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2021 Vibe 21BH
2019 F150 3.5 Twin Turbo EcoBoost
w/ towing and payload packages
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:31 PM   #2
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This "Rivet" is used to tilt the ball mount back which in turn lowers the ends of the spring bars. The loser the end of the spring bar, the more you can lift them and transfer weight from the rear bumper of the tow vehicle to the front axle thus leveling both TT and TV,

When you have the correct number of washers under this "rivet" then when hitched and ready to go down the road the TT and TV should be close "level" (without sag in the middle) and the spring bars should be parallel with the trailer frame.

This adjustment takes time but when properly done the vehicle(s) handle well and the good news is that it usually only needs to be done ONCE.
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:41 PM   #3
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I'll take a stab at this without looking at the owners manual.. I've set up this hitch with 4 different vehicles so I'm pretty familiar.

During the setup of the hitch, you're supposed to get the ball height and the hitch height at the same height from the ground with the trailer and truck level.

Then, you're supposed to connect the trailer and measure the amount of "settle" on both the front and rear axles with the goal of returning the front height most (if not all the way) back to normal.


The washers allow you to adjust the amount of "pressure" that's applied to the lever that makes up your WD hitch. The more washers the more pressure that's applied because the ball is forced down (which is also what adjusts the torque applied on the arms. It will also allow the weight of the trailer to be distributed to the front of the vehicle. Think of your WD setup as a big lever that uses the weight of the trailer to distribute the weight up front.

Hearing what you have there. I'm gonna bet that it's not adjusted correct. However, I really can't tell just from your description.

I'm using the hitch with a 1-ton CC LWB Dually and I have 6 washers. My front is returned to normal ride height and the rear is maybe 1/2 inch lower than it is without the trailer.
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
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Here is my setup..

The driveway is sloped downwards towards the back so it looks a bit tounge high but I can assure you on level ground it's flat. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-06-2020, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
I'll take a stab at this without looking at the owners manual.. I've set up this hitch with 4 different vehicles so I'm pretty familiar.

During the setup of the hitch, you're supposed to get the ball height and the hitch height at the same height from the ground with the trailer and truck level.

Then, you're supposed to connect the trailer and measure the amount of "settle" on both the front and rear axles with the goal of returning the front height most (if not all the way) back to normal.


The washers allow you to adjust the amount of "pressure" that's applied to the lever that makes up your WD hitch. The more washers the more pressure that's applied because the ball is forced down (which is also what adjusts the torque applied on the arms. It will also allow the weight of the trailer to be distributed to the front of the vehicle. Think of your WD setup as a big lever that uses the weight of the trailer to distribute the weight up front.

Hearing what you have there. I'm gonna bet that it's not adjusted correct. However, I really can't tell just from your description.

I'm using the hitch with a 1-ton CC LWB Dually and I have 6 washers. My front is returned to normal ride height and the rear is maybe 1/2 inch lower than it is without the trailer.
From the description of the instructions I'm puzzled how the number of washers can be determined merely by tow vehicle type.

It all depends on the actual weight placed on the ball and how much the Tow Vehicle sags. Every case will be different.


FWIW, your setup looks good. I've seen some rolling down the road where the owner has had cinch up on the chains to the point there are only a couple links remaining and the spring bars are at extreme angles.
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:40 PM   #6
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You can call fastway they have very good customer service
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Old 06-06-2020, 05:50 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your replies. I have a better understanding of the 'Rivet Spacer' now.

Now I just need to get the Vibe loaded for travel and check the current setup. Unfortunately I had hand surgery this past Monday, right hand and I'm right-handed, so I am currently a bit limited to what I can do.

I did go and watch the Fastway E2 install video and the fellow determined how many spacers to use (4) based on the the weight of the camper being light and not the WB of the TV. He never mentioned the camper's weight, so I could not understood what he meant by light weight was.

Here's the link to the Fastway Round Bar installation video. The Rivet and spacers part shows up at around the 9 minute - 40 second point in the video.



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Old 06-06-2020, 07:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RGrimm View Post
Thank you everyone for your replies. I have a better understanding of the 'Rivet Spacer' now.

Now I just need to get the Vibe loaded for travel and check the current setup. Unfortunately I had hand surgery this past Monday, right hand and I'm right-handed, so I am currently a bit limited to what I can do.

Sorry to hear you had to have surgery and hope your recovery is speedy.

However, this may present a great opportunity. After my heart bypass surgery I had all kinds of offers of help. Perhaps a friendly neighbor or family member will ask if you need help and you can reply "well since you asked". They can give you a hand with the "muscle work" and you get to be the supervisor.
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