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Old 06-30-2014, 08:28 AM   #1
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E2 WD Question

Decided to stop using the 05 Expedition as the TV and move to the 09 Armada. The Expedition has 160k miles so I figured it it time to cut it a break, and not risk a breakdown, thought it has been doing fine.

I had to make adjustments to my E2 WD hitch and wanted to ask your opinion if I did it right. In the manual it says that when set properly the rear of the TV will sit "slightly" lower when hooked up than it sits without the TT hooked up. The measurements it has you take is ground to top of wheel well in the middle of the axel. Without being hooked up the measurement was 36" and when I hooked it up it was 35.5". Would this be considered "slightly" or should I be trying to make some more adjustments?

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Old 06-30-2014, 09:20 AM   #2
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I have the same hitch on my truck, the degree of "Slight" will change based on your tow vehicle and your tongue weight. To me, half an inch sounds just right, but the true deciding factor is how much the the front height change? It should be about the same or a little less than the rear. The front must not go up, that means the bars are not tight enough.

Hope this helps

2012 Keystone Passport Express Super Lite 190 EXP
2001 Ford F-250 7.3
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:41 PM   #3
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My husky wdh manual says up to 1in
2016 RAM 3500 6.7L DRW
2018 Chaparral 360IBL, Andersen Ultimate II hitch
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by thetanu539 View Post
Would this be considered "slightly" or should I be trying to make some more adjustments?
You're looking for the easy way to determine if your WD hitch is properly adjusted. But there is no easy way until after you get the hitch properly adjusted the first time. After the first time, then you will know how much the front and rear heights of the tow vehicle (TV) body changes when the trailer is attached and the spring bars tightened the correct amount.

But the first time you need to weigh the wet and loaded rig three times on a CAT scale that gives you the weight on the front and rear TV axles as well as the trailer axles.

1] The first time, you want to weigh the wet and loaded TV without the trailer. Wet and loaded means with a full tank of fuel, plus you include all the people, pets, tools, WD hitch head and any other payload that will be in or on the TV when towing. Campfire wood? Floor jack? Toys such as bikes and dirt biles and ATVs? Get the weight on both front and rear axles and the gross vehicle weight (GVW).

2] The second trip across the scale, add the wet and loaded trailer, but without the spring bars tightened. Wet and loaded trailer means with everything that will be in the trailer when towing - at least enough fresh water to flush the pottie while on the road, food, dishes, pots and pans, linens, TV set(s), stocked refrigerator, cooler(s), clothes, coats, etc. Plus your normal tools and camping gear that's hauled in the "basement" storage area of the trailer - water hose, extension cords, chocks, wrenches for adjusting the stabilizer jacks, other tools, etc. Note the weights on all three sets of axles, then measure and record the distance from the level ground to the top of the fender well on both front and rear axles. Add the weights on the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle to get GVW.

2a] Subtract the GVW without the trailer from the GVW with the trailer to get tongue weight.

3] The third trip across the scales is with the trailer and the spring bars tightened to what you think is right based on your first post above. Before you begin this step, be certain that wet and loaded trailer is level front to rear. If not level, then adjust the ball mount until the trailer is level front to rear. Note the weights on all three sets of axles.

4] Next you want to compute the percent of tongue weight that was distributed when you tightened the spring bars. The goal is 20% to 25% of the tongue weight should be distributed to the trailer axles, 20% to 25% of the tongue weight to the front axle of the TV and 50% to 60% of the tongue weight remaining on the rear axle of the TV.

To do that, divide the change in weight on each axle (caused by tightening the spring bars) by the tongue weight determined in 2a] above. Double-check your math by adding the three percentages together and you should get about 100%. But since CAT scales are not accurate to within more than about 20 or 25 pounds, you may not get exactly 100%.

5] If you don't have between 20/60/20 and 25/50/25 percent distribution of tongue weight, then you should fiddle with your WD hitch adjustments (including how much you tighten the spring bars), then repeat steps 3] and 4] above.

First be sure your spring bars are tightened to the correct tension so that 50% to 60% of tongue weight is left on the rear axle of the TV. Note that the tighter the spring bars, the more weight is removed from the rear axle and distributed to the other axles.

After you have the correct tension on the spring bars, if you need more or less weight added to the TV front or trailer axles, then that is usually fixed by changing the angle of the ball mount to the trailer hitch coupler. Read and comply with your hitch adjustment instructions to get the hitch set up properly.

6] After you have between 20/60/20 and 25/50/25 percent distribution of tongue weight, then the last step is to measure the distance from the wheel wells to the ground. Record those measurements, and use them every time you hook up the trailer that weighs about the same. Your real world measurements may or may not be the same as the theoretical guidelines published by your WD hitch manufacturer.

7] After you complete this process, come back here and report what you learned.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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