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Old 11-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default Hello to you!

In part, due to the great answers I've received on this forum, I dared to venture out to Charleston, SC for three days. Extended my distance to 150 miles.
I learned something there from another camper about my WD gear. Instead of linking the WD bars after dropping the trailer on the hitch, hook up the bars with the receiver just above the hitch ball and the weight still on the tongue jack. I got an extra chain link worth of lift which seemed to help. Some may recall that I've been worried about how much my TV drops in the back when I hook up.
Sorry about my terminology. I don't know the proper names of all these parts, yet.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
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I don't have your kind of hitch, but -

I think you can get even more weight transfer if you lower your hitch onto the ball, slip the ball "grabber" (what the heck is that thing called?) forward onto the ball so that the two things are connected and THEN, use the tongue jack to raise the assembled connection up until you can hook whatever chain link you need to hook in to transfer the weight properly forward to the front axle.

The higher you raise the assembled connection (the rear of the Tow Vehicle will be lifted), the shorter your chain can be when connected. The shorter the chain, the more weight that will be transferred forward once you lower the hitch.

From your post, my guess is you were not getting any WD effect at all in your former configuration.

- Jack
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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Don't know what your tow vehicle is but I tow with a 99 Ford Explorer, V6-210 HP, 5 speed auto, with lockup torque converter, had same problem, put air shocks on it in back, the kind that you add air to, run mine at 95 psi, made a world of difference, leveled everything up and took away all the back and forth jerking that I got before from bumps and some concrete highways. Towed the 95 T about 80,000 miles. Got the 2209 T in Aug. already got a couple thousand miles on it. Had to go get it that put 1100 on it on the trip home, couldn't beat the price was worth going after.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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Forgot mine is a Reese WD hitch put on by the dealer, but directions say not to shorten the chains to less than 7 links, mine was at 7 so something else was needed to level the SUV.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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Locking the hitch and then raising the tongue and the TV and then hooking the chains is brilliant! It's a more common sense way to accomplish the trick I was told (above).
The 7 links warning is a bit worrisome. That's what I was able to do before and now want to go to 6.
Those air shocks sound good also...a proven solution. I do get the 'jerking' motion when I'm on a bumpy highway. I feel like one of those bobble-head dolls!
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopRichie77 View Post
Forgot mine is a Reese WD hitch put on by the dealer, but directions say not to shorten the chains to less than 7 links, mine was at 7 so something else was needed to level the SUV.
Pop, I'm troubled by your post, and please don't take this as a criticism!

You could level your TV with air shocks or even by putting bricks between the rear axle and the frame. Either one will work fine to prevent compression, but neither will change the amount of weight on the rear axle.

If you have excessive compression on the rear axle and if you have shortened your WD chains to the minimum, it's a clear indication to me that you have a much heavier hitch load than the hitch is designed for.

I'm really moving to the opinion that our trailers have a higher hitch weight than they are supposed to have. Mine was 630# (measured with a Sureline Hitch Scale) when the total trailer weight was 3820#. This is 16.6% of the total weight and the ideal percentage is 12-15%. 630# exceeded the 600# limit on my WD hitch. ("Spec" for my hitch load was 320#, according to the documentation that came with my trailer.)

Your 7 link limit is reflective of the amount of hitch weight your hitch can transfer safely. And, it needs to do that to avoid overloading the rear axle!

If you cannot "level" the TV properly with the chain, it means you need to:
1. Reduce the hitch load.
2. Increase the capacity of your WD hitch.
In fact, my Equal-I-zer hitch instructions clearly indicate you should NOT use air shocks (or the equivalent) to level the TV. Leveling should be accomplished through the WD hitch only. This transfers weight to the front axle of the TV.

I've said this before - the only "safe" way to set things up is to take your rig to a scale and measure things. In particular, measure the weight on each axle of your TV before trailer hookup and after. Make sure the axle load is increased approximately equally on each axle of the TV and, that the weight limit on an axle is not exceeded!

In my case, I had the trailer axle moved forward 3 inches on my trailer. This reduced the tongue weight by 90#.

- Jack
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:55 AM   #7
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The hitch load is less than the 550 lbs.rating of the Reese WD hitch. The 95T 21 ft. weighted about 3800 lbs. loaded and the hitch weight was around 450. I understand what you are saying and it should have worked but didn't, the amount that the air shocks raised the back was about 2 inches but the reduced back and forth jerking was the major improvement. The jerking drove us both crazy before the air shocks. The next size rated Reese hitch would probably have fixed the level problem but the jerking might have still been there. Probably due to spring wrap. The same year V8 models had traction bars to prevent spring wrap the V6's didn't. All I know is the air shocks fixed both problems, the 95 towed great. The 2209 T is heavier, also had to raise the hitch up to level the 2209, I have not yet weighted it loaded or got the actual hitch weight, but both sit level when hooked up and the 2209 T with the 15 inch wheels seems to tow better than the 95 did, except for the increased weight.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the input.
My TV drops one foot or more when I hook up.
I've come to a few conclusions, based on this discussion.
1. I have to go to a scale and measure weights before I can intelligently analyze the problem.
2. I think the tongue weight of my 23XL far exceeds the book specs.
3. I haven't been properly setting the weight distribution bars (chains).
4. The air shocks are a good idea to compensate for rear suspension if the tongue weight is within acceptable limits.
5. I may have to buy a more appropriate TV. I do want to go to mountainous areas and don't have the confidence in my Montero Sport. It's a great vehicle and all the specs fit by the book but I don't trust the published numbers for the trailer.
I'm going to remove the swing down bed in the trailer and try the suggestions on setting up the WD properly. If that helps considerably, I'll make do while I look for a new TV.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:10 AM   #9
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OK Pop. I understand. I wonder if the ball needed to be higher in your old setup to begin with (to compensate for the compression)? I know with my hitch, I am supposed to set the ball 1/4" higher than the inside of the hitch housing for each 100# carried. So, my ball is about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2" inches above the hitch when the trailer is sitting level and before they are connected.

With your now-stiffer suspension, you would not need to have the ball set as high. (My hitch recommends 3/16" per 100# for 3/4 ton trucks and 1/8" per 100# for 1-ton trucks.)

- Jack
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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Has anyone mentioned the ball mount angle? By changing the angle you can do allot to get things leveled up. You need to get things adjusted either with the chain lengths or the ball angle to get the proper loading on the hitch. When properly adjusted, everything should be sitting level and the bars should be close to parallel with the trailer frame. I would go back to the instructions and start all over and get it set up properly. Something is not right somewhere.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:11 PM   #11
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If you want to get real accurate on that tongue weight there is a solution: Sherline Direct: LM1000/LM2000/LM5000 - Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale , of course a bathroom scale that weighs loads in the 300 to 800 lbs range would work as well. Fortunately I have not had the need to invest in a bathroom scale of this magnitude.

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Old 11-13-2010, 12:22 PM   #12
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I tried making the ball higher, this only reduces the tension on the chains because the mounting for the torsion bars also goes higher also tried changing the ball angle. Tried all these things before adding the air shocks. The 7 link min on the chain length is so that the chains have enough swing when making tight turns, or there will be binding, so I was told. I have no desire to change anything, what I did works great for me the trailer tows great and there is no handling problems of any kind. I put up with jerking and not to good of handling for about 10,000 miles, some of the changes made handling very bad. 70,000 miles after the adding the air shocks, no jerking and handling is fine.
Doesn't say this will work for everyone, If I were to get a new WD hitch it would be the roller or friction kind with no chains.
Rich you are right, I forgot, tilting the mount and the ball towards the rear did increase the tension on the torsion bars and did help with the leveling but it done nothing for the jerking and I sometimes have close to 200 lbs. of weight in the back of the SUV.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichR View Post
Has anyone mentioned the ball mount angle? By changing the angle you can do allot to get things leveled up. You need to get things adjusted either with the chain lengths or the ball angle to get the proper loading on the hitch. When properly adjusted, everything should be sitting level and the bars should be close to parallel with the trailer frame. I would go back to the instructions and start all over and get it set up properly. Something is not right somewhere.
Nice post, Rich. I'd forgotten about the ball angle. It effects the way the bars hang too and an increase in the angle will transfer more weight with the same chain length (or L-bracket position in my case).

- Jack
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:18 PM   #14
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Default Tongue weight with bathroom scale

Ran across this on the internet. Hope I can explain it well enough.
Stack up two sets of boards a known distance apart, maybe three feet. One stack goes on top of a bathroom scale, the other on the ground. Make them the same height and put a board across the two, making a bridge.
Now lower the tongue jack on the cross board. If the jack is in the middle, the weight is split 50-50 between the scale and the other stack. 500 lb tongue weight will show 250 lbs on the scale.
If jack is 3/4 of the way toward the stack on the ground, the scale will read 1/4 of the tongue weight or 125 lbs.
I think that works??
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:52 AM   #15
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Yes, it does, and that's how I first measured my tongue weight. I put the tongue at the 2/3 point though and multiplied by 3. And, I was VERY careful in designing the "beam". I used thinwall tubing under each end so that the weight would transfer to "points" whose distance apart I could precisely measure and another tube under the tongue. The diagram below shows how I set this up.

I put supports under each end so that the trailer was nearly perfectly level when being measured and to keep the beam itself level. The beam was a 2x4 on edge. And yes, I "zeroed" the scale before lowering the hitch onto the beam.

I'm not that impressed with the results I got. It told me my hitch weight was about 705#. Because that seemed WAY too high, I finally broke down and bought a Sherline scale (calibrated 0-1000#). It showed the hitch load as 630#, so the "bathroom scale" method had an error of about 11%. In my opinion, that's too high.

But, of course, the Sherline told me my hitch load was excessive too, which lead ultimately to having my axle moved forward.

- Jack
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