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Old 07-07-2015, 11:49 AM   #1
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Wdh 4 evah!

First trip with WDH installed. What a Difference!

Being a cheep-a**-ed DIY'er, I had bought a WDH at auction for an opening bid 2 years ago and just stowed it in the barn.

After the less-than-ideal towing of the new trailer's first official outing, I decided to put my auction find to good use. $150 in additional pieces (new saddles and chains).

I measured and guesstimated the setting for the hitch. The ride out and back were uneventful and almost pleasant (we are talking about the NYS Thruway, after all).

So, I am looking for pointers on how to set this thing up properly.

In the current configuration, I have only 5 links under tension. From what I have read, 6 or 7 is better.

Also, the front end of the truck is still higher than the rear (not nearly as much as before).

So, I can adjust the relationship between then ball and the receiver in (drop and rise) 1" increments (or is it 2"?).

What other adjustments and more importantly, which way to adjust them, should I be considering to get even more out of this addition or our rig?

Thanks
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #2
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MIKE
There is a vey good video on you tube on how to set up the hitch.
What I do is to get the TT on level ground and also leveled Then I measure from the ground up to the top of the coupler. I then set the ball on my receiver to the same height. Then hitch up and using the equalizer bars make my adjustments
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:43 PM   #3
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What WDH do you have? Different brand hitches have different setup features.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
What WDH do you have? Different brand hitches have different setup features.
I agree. but setting ball height should be the same no matter what WDH you have. Of course I could be wrong.

Even if you don't have a WDH or are just towing a small utility trailer, setting ball height would be the same to keep everything level.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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Here's a couple of good links for you. The second is a video by Etrailer on setting up a standard trunnion bar system. Compare this to any documentation you can find for your brand of hitch.

Don't go by what you read about the number of links. As shown in the video pay attention to the measurement of your front fender. You should adjust so that the front fender is brought back to stock height. As a rule, the ends of the bars should be even with the trailer frame, and the trailer itself either level or slightly down in front.

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-weightdistribution.aspx

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Old 07-07-2015, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
What WDH do you have? Different brand hitches have different setup features.
If I can find a brand name I the hitch, I'll post it. Right now it is IDK brand with 700# Reese bars, chains and saddles.

I had set the ball height kinda bass-ackwards: I assembled the hitch on the leveled trailer on level ground and measured the bottom the shank (the part that goes into the truck's receiver) to the ground.

When parked on level ground, the bottom the receiver opening is 16.5" above the ground.

I set the shank for 15", expecting 1.5" drop.

Like I said. That worked well.

What I know I need to do is:
  • Get the truck and trailer onto a level place
  • put a piece of masking tape on each of the 4 corners of the truck
  • measure and record the height before hitching up
  • Ditto with the tape-and-measure on the trailer's tongue
  • Hitch up and re-measure.
Correct me if I am wrong:
  • The amount of tension on the spring bars is what forces the front end of the tow vehicle back down.
  • But first, the ball height has to be set so that the trailer is level AFTER the tow has been fully loaded and the spring bars tensioned so that the tow is level.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:28 PM   #7
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Level the trailer on level ground. Set the hitch ball height to be 1 to 1-1\2 inches higher.

Measure and record front and rear wheelwell height.

Place hitch on ball and Lowe tongue to level trailer again.

Lower snap up bracket to 90 deg. Hook nearest wd bar link onto bracket and snap up brackets.

Lower the tongue the rest of the way to clear the jack.

Your front wheelwell height should be within 1\2 inch of unloaded measurement. The trailer should be level or slightly nose down. The wd bars should be parallel to the tongue. And you should have at least 5 links under tension.

If not, then you will have to unhook and adjust the hitch head tilt and start over.

Yes, it is tedious. Good luck.

Tim
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:32 PM   #8
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You hitch will be under too much tension if you try to return the rear wheelwell height to unloaded measurements. Concentrate on the front height.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjpolsin View Post
You hitch will be under too much tension if you try to return the rear wheelwell height to unloaded measurements. Concentrate on the front height.
X2
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tjpolsin View Post
You hitch will be under too much tension if you try to return the rear wheelwell height to unloaded measurements. Concentrate on the front height.
Then I mis-wrote. Neither the front or rear pre- and post- loading measurements can possibly be the same.

The amount of suspension compression should be the same on the front and rear. Ideally, if the rear compresses 1.5" when the trailer is loaded, the front should compress the same 1.5". Therefore the truck was level before loading and level after loading.

Though I did just read that there is a recommendation that the spring bars be set so that the pre- and post- loaded measurements for the front axel be the same. I'm not convinced. That would still leave the rear compressed more than the front.
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