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Old 04-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #1
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New trailer, new hitch

We got our new trailer home yesterday and did some varied towing along the way. Crowded interstate on the Front Range, narrow canyon mountain driving and then up and over Berthoud Pass (11,300). Trailer seemed to tow smooth, there was a portion on the Pass where speed dipped to 38 at WOT, but that's another topic.
Here's my situation. I thought that the dealer installed a 1,000/10,000 lb Equalizer hitch, which is what I figure is the correct weight. When I looked closer, they installed a 1,400/14,000 lb hitch.
I am towing with a 2006 F150, the trailer dry weight is #4385, HW is #540. I know these numbers will go up as I load the trailer, GVWR for the trailer is #5950.
Also, the attachment point for the hitch brackets is only 26" from the coupler, as opposed to the 32" preferred by the manufacturer.
On measuring the truck height before and after, the front is the about same and the rear dropped about 1-1/2 inches at the wheel wells.
So, will the extra hitch weight bars cause enough issue that I need to return the hitch? What are the pros and cons?
Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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That hitch seems like a little overkill, but if you upgrade to a larger trailer some day you are set. If the rear squats 1-1/2 inches and the front stays the same height, it sounds like you are good - within the specs for a proper setup. That's what mine does with a larger trailer, but I have a 3/4-ton.

The installation instructions for the Equalizer brand hitch says the L-Brackets should be positioned anywhere from 27"-32" from the center of the coupler (where the ball seats). Is there anything mounted to your trailer tongue frame that would prevent the L-Brackets from being installed further back (toward the 32" dimension)? 27" is the minimum distance - so maybe make sure of your measurements - from the center of the ball.

if you move the L-Brackets back, it will affect how the hitch performs and you will need to start over on the hitch setup. The further you move the brackets back, the more the spring bars will deflect, which changes the forces from trailer-to-TV.

If you are actually at the 27" dimension, I'd leave well enough alone and call it good.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:09 PM   #3
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The problem with using a hitch that is that over-spec'd is that the sway control function works on friction. The friction is created by applying load to the bars. If you don't apply enough load to the bars, you get reduced friction sway control. Would the appropriate sized bars solve that problem? I don't know. Possibly. I think it's worth considering.

Progress Manufacturing (the maker of your hitch) has excellent customer service. Email them your question and you'll get the answer you need, and quick too.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:13 PM   #4
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I am pulling my 10K camper with the 12K bars on my hitch and it's as perfect as it gets. The 14K hitch head and the 12K are the same, so how do you know you have 14K bars? It might be a 14K kit with 12K bars, but I don't know.

From your picture my first thought is you are to high in the front of TT. I would adjust that out before I made any decision about the bars.

From a pure physics standpoint the weight transfered from 12K or 14K can be the same with a different adjustments. However the friction will be the same no matter which bar you use. The friction is a function of weight and the bars are not the cause of the weight. I hope that is clear enough.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #5
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I have a Husky hitch which will accommodate 3 different sets of bars. I changed my bars from #800 to #1200 when I traded trailers, since my tongue weight can get close to #1000 when fully loaded. Don't know if your hitch works this way.

As Camper_Bob says, check with the manufacturer.

Your trailer does look a little nose high in the picture.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:59 PM   #6
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My initial thought is those are some heavy duty bars and way over kill.
On the A frame of the TT tongue, passenger side if I recall there is a sticker that states what maximum bar size for the hitch.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:34 PM   #7
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I agree with Scoutr2. That hitch may seem like over kill but it will be nice if you ever upgrade to a bigger unit and bigger class truck. Would you rather have to much hitch load bearing capability or to little?
As for the sway control, don't sweat that in the least. With the Whitehawk's wide axle stance you won't have the sway of most other rigs with narrow axles.
Enjoy your TT to the fullest.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Is there anything mounted to your trailer tongue frame that would prevent the L-Brackets from being installed further back (toward the 32" dimension)? 27" is the minimum distance - so maybe make sure of your measurements - from the center of the ball.
The reason they installed the L brackets short of the 32" is because there is a wire clamp in the way. Easily moved. On remeasuring, the distance from center of coupler to center of bracket is 29".
Quote:
so how do you know you have 14K bars?
Says so on the bars.

Quote:
Your trailer does look a little nose high in the picture.
It does look high, but the nose is down by the tape and level. I am going to recheck everything.

Quote:
On the A frame of the TT tongue, passenger side if I recall there is a sticker that states what maximum bar size for the hitch.
No label on either side.

I will contact the manufacturer when I get a minute. I am bugged because I thought I was getting one thing, but the dealer installed another.
I really need to load up the trailer and check the measurements. Don't want to fill up the fresh tank because we are still well below freezing every night. I am hoping to be able to lower the hitch ball one click because even with the hitch removed and a Jack-E-Up mounted the tailgate won't open all the way.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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Finally spoke with Progress MFG. Their tech confirmed that the only real downside to the 14k hitch is that I may notice a rougher ride on bumpy roads. Of course I have nothing to compare with. So I am moving forward, but still have the problem with the tailgate not opening.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:24 PM   #10
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As the manufacturer told you, 1400 should be fine. We've towed a 5000lbs GVW camper with 1400/14000 Equal-i-zer setup for almost 2 years now and it has been fine. No sway, no other issues. I too expected a lighter setup, but found that the dealer installed the 1400/14000 hitch after-the-fact. It's been good though...
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