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Old 03-09-2016, 01:55 PM   #1
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Hitching up/Weight Distribution?

Ok folks....this forum is so helpful to me I appreciate it. My next question is about hitching up and weight distribution. I don't know all the correct "lingo" here so bear with me in my descriptions. The hole in the back of my truck that the drop/ball goes into....well they made me buy a 10" drop to put into that hole. This thing is soooo heavy and seems like overkill. Not only that but getting the weight bars on is such an ordeal. I feel like I have to jack the truck up so high just to get them loose enough to attach and detach. Worry I will damage the truck. Also, the weight dist bars are so low to the ground there are times when they have scraped on a speed bump or other bumps. Can someone give me advice on an easy way to hitch up or whether the set up is wrong? I will attach some pics. I saw a video where a guy attached the weight bars first then dropped the tongue onto the ball. That seems like it would be easier but only if you have the tongue lined up exact over the ball. Help a newbie girl here......thanks




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Old 03-09-2016, 02:36 PM   #2
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When unhitching, leave trailer attached to the ball, then jack the tongue and truck bumper up until the chain loosens. To hitch, attach to ball, raise with jack and hook the chains to the correct link. This works for me
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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I know how to do it, I just feel like my truck has to be jacked up too high to get the chains loose enough. Doesn't seem right.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:51 PM   #4
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You have some of the same problem I have. Your coupler is "underslung" on the trailer frame. That is, it's attached to the bottom of the front of the trailer frame instead of the top. Normally, not a big deal, but when you have the kind of round spring bars that come out the bottom of the hitch head, it starts to get kind of close to the ground.

This is one of the reasons I'm switching to an Equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch (I have many others too); the spring bars come straight out of the hitch head toward the trailer instead of coming out the bottom and then curving toward the trailer. I've never scraped bottom before though.

Also, just to be clear, you're connecting the trailer coupler to the ball, locking it in place, and then using the trailer tongue jack to raise the front of the trailer AND the back of the truck to loosen the tension on the spring bars, right? If not, this is how you should do it. It should not damage the truck in any way. In fact I needed to make an adjustment on my truck's rear suspension once, and instead of jacking the truck up to get the suspension droop I needed, I just hooked up the trailer and used it to raise the back of the truck until the tires were ever so slightly off the ground. Didn't hurt anything, just be careful.

The drop shank the installer chose should have been based on measurements of the receiver (on your truck) and the inside center of the coupler (welded to the tongue of your trailer) all in relation to the hitch head and ball height. The short version is that with your trailer sitting level, measure from inside coupler to the ground, then measure the hitch ball height; these two should be within 1/2" (IIRC). If after you are hooked up and your trailer is riding level, you have the right drop, assuming you are attaining the proper weight distribution.

With my old truck, I had to put quite a bit of tension on my bars. I frequently had to raise my truck quite high depending on the angle I was at.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:53 PM   #5
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With the coupler mounted to the bottom of the frame rails, that required the larger drop shank to help level the trailer out. The trailer is level, isn't it? Or slightly nose down?

Do you have a "cheater bar" to latch and unlatch the bars? Slide it on the chain bracket for more leverage?

Concerning the wd bars: Having a "round bar" model, the bars should be fairly level, or parallel with the trailer frame. They can be slightly angled (up or down) as well, by preferred is close to parallel with the frame (which should be close to level). The bars need the room to swing under the frame if needed in tight turns, that is why the need to be level/parrallel.

Raising the trailer and truck up with the jack to latch up the wd bars is fine. You won't hurt anything.

What are your wd bars rated for? Any idea what your loaded tw (tongue weight) is? If not, what is the "brochure" dry tw for your trailer?

Follow the link in my signature. It is possible you may need to readjust the wdh now that you have loaded the trailer up. You can measure the truck front fender to see how close you are. Measure with the tt hooked up, the with the tt hooked up, but without the wd bars. Look in your owners manual to find the recommended wdh adjusment. Will state to return the front axle to 50% of lost weight, or 100%, or XX%. With the wd bars, the measurement should be about what is suggested in the manual.

Example:
Front fender measured 32", no trailer.
Front fender measured 35", with trailer but without the wd bars.
If manual states 50% return, the with the wd bars latched up the front fender should measure about 33.5".

35-32=3" change
3x50%= 1.5

100% return would measure 32" with the wd bars latched up.

If possible, see if there is a CAT Scale near you to weigh the rig, ready to camp with all passengers that usually go. Have the truck and trailer loaded just like for a trip. Read the CAT Scale how to in my signature. You will want to weigh 3 times to be able to figure all weights and check all ratings.

Do you have a pic from the side showing the whole truck/ trailer combo on flat ground?

The wdh shank slides into the truck hitch/ receiver hitch.

Any other questions, just ask!!!
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need-a-vacation View Post
snip...

Example:
Front fender measured 32", no trailer.
Front fender measured 29", with trailer but without the wd bars.
If manual states 50% return, the with the wd bars latched up the front fender should measure about 30.5".

32-29=3
3x50%= 1.5

100% return would measure 32" with the wd bars latched up.

...snip
You got your numbers backwards; it will go more like 32" with no trailer, 34" with trailer and no weight distribution. 100% weight distribution return would be 32", 50% would be 33".
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Blue Ox SwayPro (BXW 1503)

Upgraded from an REI internal frame backpack and a Eureka 1/2 dome tent!
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
You have some of the same problem I have. Your coupler is "underslung" on the trailer frame. That is, it's attached to the bottom of the front of the trailer frame instead of the top. Normally, not a big deal, but when you have the kind of round spring bars that come out the bottom of the hitch head, it starts to get kind of close to the ground.

This is one of the reasons I'm switching to an Equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch (I have many others too); the spring bars come straight out of the hitch head toward the trailer instead of coming out the bottom and then curving toward the trailer. I've never scraped bottom before though.

Also, just to be clear, you're connecting the trailer coupler to the ball, locking it in place, and then using the trailer tongue jack to raise the front of the trailer AND the back of the truck to loosen the tension on the spring bars, right? If not, this is how you should do it. It should not damage the truck in any way. In fact I needed to make an adjustment on my truck's rear suspension once, and instead of jacking the truck up to get the suspension droop I needed, I just hooked up the trailer and used it to raise the back of the truck until the tires were ever so slightly off the ground. Didn't hurt anything, just be careful.

The drop shank the installer chose should have been based on measurements of the receiver (on your truck) and the inside center of the coupler (welded to the tongue of your trailer) all in relation to the hitch head and ball height. The short version is that with your trailer sitting level, measure from inside coupler to the ground, then measure the hitch ball height; these two should be within 1/2" (IIRC). If after you are hooked up and your trailer is riding level, you have the right drop, assuming you are attaining the proper weight distribution.

With my old truck, I had to put quite a bit of tension on my bars. I frequently had to raise my truck quite high depending on the angle I was at.
Yes you are right I do have the same issue as yours. Yes I hitch to the ball and lock it then jack truck up. I am so worried it will ruin the shock/struts/suspension whatever you call it at the back of the truck because I need to jack it up so high. Had I known about the equilizer hitch I would have spent the extra money for it. I guess I will have to put up with what I have for now. Thank God for the power lift!
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukenick1 View Post
Yes you are right I do have the same issue as yours. Yes I hitch to the ball and lock it then jack truck up. I am so worried it will ruin the shock/struts/suspension whatever you call it at the back of the truck because I need to jack it up so high. Had I known about the equilizer hitch I would have spent the extra money for it. I guess I will have to put up with what I have for now. Thank God for the power lift!
You won't hurt the truck. I'd be more worried that parts of your hitch are hitting concrete.

Don't feel too bad, I'm still making due with my hitch, and it's not optimal. Like most of us, I'm on a budget and $600 for a new hitch is nothing to sneeze at. So long as it's safe and it works, that's the most important part. Perhaps I'll achieve "optimal" when I get my bonus!

Did your battery work when you got there?
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Blue Ox SwayPro (BXW 1503)

Upgraded from an REI internal frame backpack and a Eureka 1/2 dome tent!
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
You won't hurt the truck. I'd be more worried that parts of your hitch are hitting concrete.

Don't feel too bad, I'm still making due with my hitch, and it's not optimal. Like most of us, I'm on a budget and $600 for a new hitch is nothing to sneeze at. So long as it's safe and it works, that's the most important part. Perhaps I'll achieve "optimal" when I get my bonus!

Did your battery work when you got there?
Nope went to 2 different auto parts stores and they both told me battery is no good. I am going to pick up some distilled water and charge it more on the trickle and see what happens. I did not pick up my TT yet this pic was from when I bought it. The dealer set up the hitch system for me.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:18 PM   #10
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First I have to bring my TV back to get that 7 pin wired for the battery which they failed to do the last time. Ugh!
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