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Old 07-14-2018, 02:38 PM   #1
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Dem old weight distribution hitch blues...

I traded in my f150 for an f350 a few days ago because I wanted an f350. That's pretty much why. Our trailer is a Feather 23BHM, 6250 GVWR. It came to us weighing 5151 and I'm sure we don't go down the road any heavier than 5700 pounds.

Now the ball height on my Reese Steadi-Flex hitch was set for the f150, and because the 350 is a couple inches taller I knew I would have to adjust accordingly (hence my "torque wrench" post from a day or two ago).

I went out this morning and hitched up to back my trailer from its place along the driveway to our little parking area and the first thing I noticed was the 350's rear end hardly budged when I lowered the trailer onto it. So I backed it up, unhitched, leveled the trailer, and measured to the top of the coupler just like Reese says to do. The measurement was 27 1/4". Next I measured to the top of the ball and got 26". Reese says to set the ball height 1/2 - 1" above the coupler. The ball mount was bolted into the top three holes of the hitch bar so I had to flip it over. I put the ball mount onto the lowest holes of the now flipped over hitch bar and measured the ball height at 28 1/2". Not optimal - I wanted no higher than 28" but I was a victim of the insidious hitch bar constraint. I decided to live with it.

Now is when everything got interesting, but not necessarily in a good way. I took the wheel well measurement and got 42 1/8", hitched back up and took the second wheel well measurement and got 42 1/4" (H1). Next I hooked up my spring bars and took the third wheel well measurement and it was still 42 1/4" (H2). What gives here? Ford wants H2 to be in between the unhitched height and H1, and Reese wants H2 to be within 1/2" of H1. Is it normal, or acceptable I guess, to have the front end at the same height before and after applying weight distribution?

Anyways, the nose of the trailer is riding a little high - I wish it were an inch or two lower, but that could be me convincing myself it's that way. Makes me almost want to flip that hitch bar back over. Almost.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:45 PM   #2
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I would not even think about putting a WDH and/or sway control on a F350. Maybe if I had a 36 ft. plus trailer I would.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #3
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Doesn't sound like you need weight distribution but have you considered doing just an anti sway bar? Probably not necessary but would offer a little peace if mind.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:17 PM   #4
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I would not even think about putting a WDH and/or sway control on a F350. Maybe if I had a 36 ft. plus trailer I would.
I didn't know you could do that. So just leave the spring bars in the garage?

I appreciate your advice ALJO. I've only been pulling the trailer since last Summer so my experience is limited. Best thing I did was join this forum though - so many nice people ready to help and I truly do learn something new every day. Thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:30 PM   #5
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Doesn't sound like you need weight distribution but have you considered doing just an anti sway bar? Probably not necessary but would offer a little peace if mind.

I guess I can just run it without the spring bars but the anti-sway is through friction on the bars. I suppose if I bought another ball mount I could add an anti-sway bar. Thanks for the idea!

By the way, is "sasiki" in any way affiliated with tzatziki? I wondered this once before.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:44 PM   #6
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I guess I can just run it without the spring bars but the anti-sway is through friction on the bars. I suppose if I bought another ball mount I could add an anti-sway bar. Thanks for the idea!

By the way, is "sasiki" in any way affiliated with tzatziki? I wondered this once before.
No but there is a pretty lame back story! I played a computer game 15-17 years ago now called Everquest. I was creating a new character and couldn't think of a good name. There was a 'Get Name' button built into the game. I clicked it a few times to get a name suggestion and Sasiki appeared. The character race was called an Iksar which was a lizard type creature and I thought Sasiki was a perfect fit so it stuck and I've used it as my screen name and email address ever since!

The game was also the reason I withdrew from college once! An expansion pack released night before the mid-term and I skipped class to play the game.. Can't pass without taking the midterm! It all turned out OK though. I never finished college but work in "IT" where experience means more than a college degree.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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snip...... Is it normal, or acceptable I guess, to have the front end at the same height before and after applying weight distribution?.....snip
In most cases this would be considered an ideal result, returning the TV's front suspension to it's unhitched condition thus restoring it's original handling, steering, and braking characteristics.

The 23BHM's loaded tongue weight isn't going to effect the F-350's front suspension like your prior F-150, and WDH adjustment results aren't an exact science because not all TV/TT combinations react the same. IMO a WDH adjustment that returns within plus/minus 1/2" the TV's unhitched front wheel well height is a good adjustment...., just driving the TV/TT combination around the block and stopping after a WDH adjustment will effect the "H" dimension (suspension settling, etc.).

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snip......, the nose of the trailer is riding a little high - I wish it were an inch or two lower, but that could be me convincing myself it's that way. Makes me almost want to flip that hitch bar back over. Almost.
The rule of thumb I use in a "nose-up" situation is if lowering the ball mount one-hole will allow a TT to tow level, I lower it........, but that's me. A TT towing level is ideal....., or a little nose down.

In some cases a WDH may not be required when a TT's loaded tongue weight doesn't exceed the TV's hitch receiver's "weight carrying" limit (stamped on receiver or TV Owners Manual). The advantage of using a WDH in these cases is that it can enhance TV handling in less then ideal towing conditions (wind, rough roads, etc..).

But I agree every TV/TT combination should have sway control..., with or without a WDH.

Bob
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:21 PM   #8
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Killer-

Do the bars have enough "drag" on the brake pads when you are hitched up?

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Old 07-15-2018, 07:23 AM   #9
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Killer-

Do the bars have enough "drag" on the brake pads when you are hitched up?

Murff

If you mean the brake pads on the Steadi-Flex' adjustable brackets I have not taken the trailer out for a drive yet so I don't know how much friction those pads will put on the spring bars, but I only had to jack up the hitched trailer a few inches to lift the bars into place. When hitching the f150 I had to raise the truck/trailer much further get the bars in place, which leads me to think there isn't nearly as much tension on the spring bars with the f350, but I could be completely wrong about that. If I'm not wrong though, and there isn't as much downward pressure from the spring bars on the brake pads then there won't be the same level of sway control with this truck as there would be with the f150. Again, I could be completely wrong.

I'm kind of caught between two rocks here: I don't think I need the weight distribution, but I can't have sway control without it because the Reese is an integrated system. That combined with the fact that the nose of the trailer sits a hair high makes me think I should put a new ball mount and an anti-sway bar on and save the Steadi-Flex for when (if) I ever get a heavier trailer. What do you think?
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:01 PM   #10
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If you mean the brake pads on the Steadi-Flex' adjustable brackets I have not taken the trailer out for a drive yet so I don't know how much friction those pads will put on the spring bars, but I only had to jack up the hitched trailer a few inches to lift the bars into place. When hitching the f150 I had to raise the truck/trailer much further get the bars in place, which leads me to think there isn't nearly as much tension on the spring bars with the f350, but I could be completely wrong about that. If I'm not wrong though, and there isn't as much downward pressure from the spring bars on the brake pads then there won't be the same level of sway control with this truck as there would be with the f150. Again, I could be completely wrong.

I'm kind of caught between two rocks here: I don't think I need the weight distribution, but I can't have sway control without it because the Reese is an integrated system. That combined with the fact that the nose of the trailer sits a hair high makes me think I should put a new ball mount and an anti-sway bar on and save the Steadi-Flex for when (if) I ever get a heavier trailer. What do you think?

Keep in mind that all you may have to do is adjust the ball angle. When I first installed my Steadi Flex, like you now, it was real easy to get the bars attached. Re-reading the paperwork, I adjusted the ball angle "one tooth" and the bars were doing as intended.

Murff
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