WEIGHT-DISTRIBUTING HITCH part 3 - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 08:50 AM
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WOW! is all I have to say. I got a chance to use my trailer yesterday on a club trip. I trailered my buddy down to Pontiac58's place for some wheeling.

I can't believe the difference it makes while using this setup! My blazer handled that trailer 150% better than before. I don't know how i made to to Paragon last time without this. Its

I do have one question. Right now with the trailer loaded up and the bars torgued up, my leveling bars are parallel to the ground. Most of the campers and trailers that i see on the street while towing the bars have more of an angle towards the ground.

My hitch is adjustable. I can adjust it so that the ball stays at the same height but the bars will be on more of an angle. Is this needed? They say to keep at least 5 links between the bar and the hook on the frame. I have 6 but the bars are still only like 3inches from the frame.

Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2002, 06:01 PM
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Ok, I'll try here. After the trailer is hooked up the spring bar should be parallel with the trailer frame, or at a slight angle up or down. You also have to ensure that the ball is positioned at the correct height. to do this the truck and trailer should be on level ground. Ensure the trailer is level (parallel to the ground). Take a measurement from the ground to the top of the coupler. To this measurement add 1/16" for every 100 pounds of tongue weight. Next position your ball mount in the receiver and adjust the ball mount up or down until the top of the ball is nearest you earlier measurement. Now take a measurement of a fixed point on the tow vehicle front and rear. now hook up the trailer and insert the spring bars into the ball mount. Next hook up the spring bars to the trailer frame. Do this by using you jack to lift the tongue a couple of inches above normal ride height. now let the jack down and check the spring bars for parallel. You will have to adjust the chains a few times until you get the bars parallel with the trailer frame. Now re-measure the fixed points on the tow vehicle front and rear. the measurements should be the same or up to a 1/2" lower. If you are not within specs try taking another chain link up and measure again. If you can not get within specs or have more than 5 links of chain hanging free you then can adjust the down angle of the ball mount in increments until the proper measurement is achieved.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 06:29 AM
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[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] What the "Bread" man has given you is the scientific approach. You asked what time it was....he told you how to build a clock.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] When you see a vacation trailer go by and the bars are not level, it's USUALLY because there was not enough adjustment on the ball mount, OR it was a non-adjustable mount, OR it was incorrectly installed to start with. Also, many drivers find that they have to have some "tongue down" attitude on the trailer to get it to tow good.....not perfectly level. AND.....if they have a lot more crap in the tow vehicle than usual, it will also be a tail-dragger, without them making an adjustment in the bars.....which many RV folks don't know HOW to do. NEVER ASSUME that an RV-trailer combo that you see is correctly setup. The driver may have been an accountant his whole life and drove a VW to work, and this is his FIRST WHACK at towing anything. He takes the checkbook.....buys a Ford Exploder.....goes to Moe's RV....buys a trailer.....Leroy sets up the RV and the trailer combo.....makes FIFTY mistakes......the guy doesn't even KNOW IT, and just robotically hooks it up each time by the "numbers" that he got from Leroy.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] I bought a big Suburban second hand that had been all set up for towing by the local RV shop. The brakes were hooked up BACKWARDS, the load leveler hitch was a complete joke, and when they added the extra fuel tanks, they plugged up the return line so the carb constantly flooded. The retired school teacher who owned the sub drove that combo for SIXTY THOUSAND miles like that.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]The correct setting is the one that works FOR YOU.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 11:09 PM
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ooww wee, i have to agree cjdave i thought the directions that i used were hard no disrespect to you baker01 but you sound like what the book said which maybe right. mine point down and i use an adjustable hitch and have it dropped down a good bit. i guess i agree with cjdave to that your gonna have to go by the book a little and fudge a little to suit your trailer and load. all i know is it may have cost right much but i like my weight dist hitch.

post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2002, 06:05 PM
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Oops, I'm a engineer/analyst sometimes I get to far on the technical side. I agree with the above posts. Try to get it as close as possible to the Hitch manufacturers recommended settings and then adjust, as you feel necessary. Go out and try the setup. Check your braking in a panic stop situation. Check your lane change in a panic situation. Use the settings that work best for you. There are allot of incorrect setups out there, actually downright scary to drive next to. All said and done the main thing is to have fun and to enjoy the towing experience.
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