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Old 11-08-2010, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default Hitch Placement

OK, I'm drivin' you all nuts with questions!
My TV has the spare tire mounted underneath the vehicle. Consequently, the ball mount only slides into the mounted hitch to the first hole before the end hits the spare tire, leaving the ball about 4 or 5 inches from the end of the female part of the hitch receptacle. Does this add effective tongue weight to the TV?
I'm thinking of having the male slide-in part of the ball mount shortened so that it can side in closer to the TV. My high school physics left me many years ago so I don't know if that would make any difference.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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The weight's the same on the TV, no matter where your ball is. The total added weight is simply the tongue weight of your trailer. But, if the ball is further out in the receiver, you're getting a "lever" effect around the TV's rear axle that is transmitting more of this weight (force) to the rear axle and reducing it on the front axle.

Consider: if the drawbar were long enough, you could put your foot on the ball and raise the front wheels of the TV off the ground. This can be corrected with a WD hitch.

However, the WD hitch has to "work harder" now. And, the excess length of the drawbar IS adding a bit of weight to the TV, maybe 10#? And, the total weight of the drawbar/receiver combination is essentially ALL on the rear axle.

I've actually thought about shortening my Equal-I-Zer hitch shank for much the same reason. You want to make sure there'll be no interference between the trailer and the TV if the drawbar is shortened of course.

- Jack
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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It's our day to keep the board rolling.

I saw the figures on that but I can't find them right now. It does make a difference on the tongue and towing weight limits. If I find that I will post it here.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:09 PM   #4
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I believe the tongue weight of your trailer is not affected by the length of your receiver, but the EFFECT of the tongue weight IS! The longer the receiver , the more stress it will put on the hitch welds/bolts and the more leverage it will apply to your rear suspension. As stated earlier an equalizer hitch will mitigate this problem, but it will have to be built sturdier to do so ... how much is this a problem? Only a Mechanical Engineer could do the calculations with any accuracy, but you can do as you suggested and shorten the receiver as much as practical and save the ME's fee.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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Update: As far as I can determine, the shank on my hitch is about 4" longer than it needs to be. However, it has a "fillet" underneath that helps anchor the shank to a vertical piece that fits into the part that contains the ball and the WD rods. Since a picture's worth a thousand words, I'm including an image.

The wear mark on the shank from the receiver shows that it extends about 4" more than necessary, but, as you can see, the "fillet" will limit any "shortening" to about 1-1 1/2" max. I suspect this is not a significant improvement.

I am reluctant to have the fillet cut, since it seems an integral structural component.

Like your drawbar, PartTimers, mine hits the spare tire when inserted about 1/2" more, but the real limit is the hitch pin hole in the receiver.

So, with these thoughts in mind, if you can shorten yours a significant amount, I say do it.

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Old 11-08-2010, 05:44 PM   #6
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As jack said you need to turn the TV as far as it will go with the trailer attached, shorting the slide in hitch may reduce the amount that the TV can turn. Determine if you can live with the reduced turning amount without causing damage. Mine is rather long also but it has to be for proper turning of my TV. Also If mine was shorter I would not be able to open the rear hatch as it just clears the power jack now. The equalizer hitch does a good job of leveling and I added air shocks to the rear of the TV, (Ford Explorer suv) the kind you pump up with air, this works great.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichR View Post
It's our day to keep the board rolling.

I saw the figures on that but I can't find them right now. It does make a difference on the tongue and towing weight limits. If I find that I will post it here.
You bet it does! The tongue weight doesn't change, but the load transfer function that the WD hitch has to correct is effected a bunch! A longer drawbar would require a WD hitch with a higher capacity. But, if the whole setup is like mine, the drawbar length is factored in to the capacity of the hitch, since it's all one unit. In my case, I cannot mount the "L-brackets" on the trailer frame that carry the load from the equalizing rods more than 32" from the hitch ball. Shorter would be better.

My hitch is supposed to be able to compensate for a 600# tongue load. Now that I've moved the axle forward 3", I'm under that limit. (I was 30# over at max trailer weight before).

- Jack
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopRichie77 View Post
...<snip>... Also If mine was shorter I would not be able to open the rear hatch as it just clears the power jack now. The equalizer hitch does a good job of leveling ...<snip>...
Excellent point, Pop (and one I'd completely forgotten). My truck's bed gate just barely clears the power jack right now. With the drawbar any shorter, it wouldn't. Maybe these hitch designers have their act together after all?

- Jack
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