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Old 04-27-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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Issue Towing 2011 X23J with 2001 f150 Crewcab 4x2

Just came back from our maiden voyage for the new year. Just a weekend jaunt to Cape Cod. Bought our x23j last year. Took it to the Cape a few times last yr with no problems. Hooked hithc up to my f150 lke the dealer showed me Hitch and reciever were put on by dealer. WD is a Draw Tite with 800lbs load Measured front and back wheel wells before and after and got truck pretty much level however, had a lot of "knuckling" or knocking goring on in the hitch area and couldn't determine where it was coming from. Tried adjusting WD with little luck. Any suggestions what might be causing this. It is a little frightening to this newbie, not to mention embarasinng around other campers.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by marshvegasmike View Post
Just came back from our maiden voyage for the new year. Just a weekend jaunt to Cape Cod. Bought our x23j last year. Took it to the Cape a few times last yr with no problems. Hooked hithc up to my f150 lke the dealer showed me Hitch and reciever were put on by dealer. WD is a Draw Tite with 800lbs load Measured front and back wheel wells before and after and got truck pretty much level however, had a lot of "knuckling" or knocking goring on in the hitch area and couldn't determine where it was coming from. Tried adjusting WD with little luck. Any suggestions what might be causing this. It is a little frightening to this newbie, not to mention embarasinng around other campers.
First of all, having the truck level does not mean the WD is properly adjusted and I challenge anyone to point us to a set of setup instructions that mentions anywhere about the TV being leveled. Once you return the weight to the front axle that was removed in hitching up, according to either fender measurements or Cat scale weights, you are there and you should leave it alone. As far as the hitch noise, it's normal and no one is going to think anything about it. You should not either.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob. That makes me feel a little better but I will still cringed at the noise. As for the leveing of the truck, I have seen postings where they suggest you measure the wheel wells before hitching up and once hitched bring the TV up to approx. that same measurement then attach the WD system. Think it is more of a guideline than a requirement. I noticed on my WD system it recommends that the trunnion pins be lubed with grease or heavy oil. I assume that those are the ends opposite the chain link ends. I did grease them with wheel bearing grease (which is all I had at the moment). But of course to no avail as far as knuckling. And of course the wife was looking at me as if I did something wrong!!
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thanks Bob. That makes me feel a little better but I will still cringed at the noise. As for the leveing of the truck, I have seen postings where they suggest you measure the wheel wells before hitching up and once hitched bring the TV up to approx. that same measurement then attach the WD system. Think it is more of a guideline than a requirement. I noticed on my WD system it recommends that the trunnion pins be lubed with grease or heavy oil. I assume that those are the ends opposite the chain link ends. I did grease them with wheel bearing grease (which is all I had at the moment). But of course to no avail as far as knuckling. And of course the wife was looking at me as if I did something wrong!!
The measurement of the FRONT axle before and after hitching is the only one that matters Forget about the rear. I'm not sure what you meant by "measure the wheel wells before hitching up and once hitched bring the TV up to approx. that same measurement then attach the WD system."
Some people attach the bars before completely lowering the trailer onto the hitch because it's easier and that's OK. The end result you want is that the front axle is correct with the trailer hitched and ready to tow. The front fender measurement needed should be in the truck owners manual. If not look around for a towing guide for the correct numbers. With the new Fords, you return it to half the difference in height, others say to return it to the original height.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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Many dealers fail to install weight distribution chain hangers properly. They just tighten down the set screw and leave it at that. Mine has two bolt holes to drill and put a 3/8" bolt through which keeps the hanger in place has they have a tendency to slide around and can cause damage. Mine was sliding into the battery box and it would only be a matter of time before the result would be a ruptured battery. I drilled and put two stainless steel bolts on each one.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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What I meant to say was, on level ground, measure from the ground to the top of the wheel well, unhitched. Once hitched, as you know, the rear end will lower. Raise rear end up with hitch till close to orignal measurement of front wheel well.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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Many dealers fail to install weight distribution chain hangers properly. They just tighten down the set screw and leave it at that. Mine has two bolt holes to drill and put a 3/8" bolt through which keeps the hanger in place has they have a tendency to slide around and can cause damage. Mine was sliding into the battery box and it would only be a matter of time before the result would be a ruptured battery. I drilled and put two stainless steel bolts on each one.
Have ti agree, thats what my dealer did, not a bad idea to check. Should really bolt them to frame myself. Putting it on the "to do" list. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:27 PM   #8
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What I meant to say was, on level ground, measure from the ground to the top of the wheel well, unhitched. Once hitched, as you know, the rear end will lower. Raise rear end up with hitch till close to orignal measurement of front wheel well.
I'm not sure if we are saying the same thing or not. You keep saying raise the rear end with the hitch and that is what's not correct. You don't care what the rear of the truck does. The front is all that matters. In some cases the rear of the truck may return to it's original height, but that's just a by product of adjusting the hitch. It should not be the objective or of any part of the adjustment procedure. It is possible to level the truck using the bars, but two things are likely to happen. One is that too much weight will be put back on the front axle causing premature wear of tires and suspension components, and secondly, the rear of the truck can actually lifted off the ground or raised enough that you lose traction and braking properties. Some rear squat is normal and should be expected.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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Have ti agree, thats what my dealer did, not a bad idea to check. Should really bolt them to frame myself. Putting it on the "to do" list. Thanks for the suggestion.
I can't speak for all of the manufacturers, but Reese specifically says not to drill through the frame and use bolts. That will void your frame warranty with Lippert if there is a frame related incident and it ever comes into question. There are threas on othr forums where the dealer got their butt in a crack for drilling through an owner's trailer frame. I'm not an engineer, so I don't know any of the minutia regarding stress, frame weakening, etc, I just know what I've read, and I did read the instructions on setting up my dual cam.

The brackets should be positioned with the chains pulling as close to vertical as possible. If you set it like that and then tighten the setscrew, there's no reason for it to ever shift.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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The dealers mount the anti-sway bar post to the frame this way i.e. drilling and bolts. Also the manual and youtube videos explain that the chain hangers should be mounted with bolts to keep them from moving which is critical with larger TTs. If you look, the chain hangers are called "bolt on" and come with the bolts to drill the frame and bolt them on. The hanger themselves are predrilled for the bolts. I have looked at several for larger TT and that is how they are designed to be installed. My old TT had them installed properly whereas the one I just bought did not. I asked the dealer about it and they said they would "fix" that if I brought the trailer back. I am not sure how to install them without drilling and installing bolts. There is a lot of pressure when turning and a set screw just doesn't cut it. I guess one could spot weld it or something. In the end, the hangers sliding around and tearing things up plus the possibility that they could pop loose just isn't safe in my opinion. It was bolts for me.
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