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Old 05-07-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Weight Distributing Hitch

Hi, I just hooked up my new Wildwood 26tbss to my 2005 F150. Prior to hooking up the trailer using a Reese weight distributing hitch I took a measurement from the front bumper to the ground (16 1/4 inches) and the receiver to the ground( 17 1/2 inches). I then hooked up the trailer and measured again. Front bumper to ground (18 inches) and receiver to ground (13 7/8 inches). The front of my truck went up 1/2 inch and the rear lowered almost 4 inches. Does this sound right? I was hoping to have the front and rear near equal measurements. Is this close enough? I had no gear in truck or trailer and my F150 is able to handle 9,900 lb trailer and tounge weight of 990 with a weight distributing hitch. Trailer tounge weight is 600 lbs.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:52 AM   #2
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I am new to this myself but it sounds like you don't have the hitch dialed in correctly. When I picked up my trailer the dealer installed and set up the WD hitch for me. I have a Dodge RAM 1500 and a smaller Puma RL19 that puts something between 400 and 500 pounds on the tongue. When that trailer sat on my truck the whole thing set down about 1/2" but it did so equally across all the wheels.

For my WD hitch there are chains that can be adjusted to shift more or less weight around. If I take up the chain so that there are fewer links it results in more weight getting shifted forward onto the truck. You should have something similar that you can shorten to move the weight forward. If nothing else, go back to the place that sold you the hitch and get some help from them.

Good luck.

Jeff
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilcin View Post
Hi, I just hooked up my new Wildwood 26tbss to my 2005 F150. Prior to hooking up the trailer using a Reese weight distributing hitch I took a measurement from the front bumper to the ground (16 1/4 inches) and the receiver to the ground( 17 1/2 inches). I then hooked up the trailer and measured again. Front bumper to ground (18 inches) and receiver to ground (13 7/8 inches). The front of my truck went up 1/2 inch and the rear lowered almost 4 inches. Does this sound right? I was hoping to have the front and rear near equal measurements. Is this close enough? I had no gear in truck or trailer and my F150 is able to handle 9,900 lb trailer and tounge weight of 990 with a weight distributing hitch. Trailer tounge weight is 600 lbs.
1st of all, you need to measure at the fenders, not the bumper or receiver. I made that mistake initially, then realized that you will get exaggerated measurements at those spots. Your front axle could actauly be going down some, but the effect of the rear axle going down more would give you a higher measurement at the front bumper.....if that makes sense.

Also, you probably don't want the front and rear axles to settle the same......a truck rear axle is meant to carry some weight, so that should settle more. You want your truck front axle to regain the lost weight of the trailer hanging behind the bumper, and maybe a little extra weight added. You have be careful not to overload the front axle, though.

You need to measure the same spot on each fender each time. My method for getting exactly the same spot on the fenders is this: I get out my 4" level, center it in the hub, get the level perpendicular with the ground (via the bubble), and put a piece of tap on the pavement so you will get this exact same spot every time. While the level is in place, I get my 2' level out, and use this under the fender....when that is level, I take a reading on my 4' level (which has a ruler built it) at that spot and record it. I do the same thing for the the forward or back fender. I use the same side of the truck for convenience.

Next, add the trailer and WDH, without moving the truck. That is easy if you have already had the trailer hooked up, and simply unhook the trailer and raised it off of the ball....be sure to block the wheels. Again take the measurements using the same method as above.....I betcha the figures will be much more in line with what they should be.

Be sure the truck and trailer are on reasonable level ground when doing this. Also, it would be good to have your camping gear in the truck and trailer for the measurements.

On my truck, I have the front settled 1/16th at the front fender, and 1 1/16th at the back fender. With that, I am at 89% of my front GAWR (gross axle weight rating, and 88% or my rear GAWR. The setup drives sweet with those settings.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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Was that hooked up measurement before you hooked up the WDH or after?
If after, then you don't have enough tension on the bars. Take up another link or two and see what that does.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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Was that hooked up measurement before you hooked up the WDH or after?
If after, then you don't have enough tension on the bars. Take up another link or two and see what that does.
Bama, I agree that he probably needs to shorten the chain a link, or tilt the ball mount head back a notch, but it is hard to tell since he is using the front bumper and receiver for the measurements......he really needs to use the fenders. I initially tried that on my setup, but I was getting all sorts of weird measurements at those points. Once I went to the fenders, everything came into line with what was actually going on.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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Hi, and thanks to all for all the suggestions. I took the measurements prior to hooking up the trailer and then again after I hooked it up. I was not aware that I should be measuring at the wheel wells. I will try that and see what the results are before I mess with the hitch. The dealer had it preset using the second link (1st link hanging free).
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmiller_2308 View Post
I am new to this myself but it sounds like you don't have the hitch dialed in correctly. When I picked up my trailer the dealer installed and set up the WD hitch for me. I have a Dodge RAM 1500 and a smaller Puma RL19 that puts something between 400 and 500 pounds on the tongue. When that trailer sat on my truck the whole thing set down about 1/2" but it did so equally across all the wheels.

For my WD hitch there are chains that can be adjusted to shift more or less weight around. If I take up the chain so that there are fewer links it results in more weight getting shifted forward onto the truck. You should have something similar that you can shorten to move the weight forward. If nothing else, go back to the place that sold you the hitch and get some help from them.

Good luck.

Jeff
In reality you should have at least three links on your chains showing and the actual bars should be as level to the ground as possible not pointing up towards the trailer or down towards the ground. If you get these results you should adjust the actual hitch itself to fix the problem.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shabby View Post
In reality you should have at least three links on your chains showing and the actual bars should be as level to the ground as possible not pointing up towards the trailer or down towards the ground. If you get these results you should adjust the actual hitch itself to fix the problem.
I think Reese suggests at least 5 links used....you need the movement that 5 links provide. If using the round bars, then they should be close to level with the ground. If using the trunnion bars with the minimum of 5 links used, on many campers you won't be able to get the bars level with the ground.

Here is my setup with 5 chain links used.

Click image for larger version

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