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Old 08-04-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
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More "Newbee" questions

Yesterday, I took my TT to an empty, level parking lot and took some measurements. Coupler (I think that's what it's called) on the trailer is 21" from the ground. Top of receiver height is 17.5" (not the top of the hitch ball). Then I hooked back up as I usually do. Notice I didn't say normally, because nothing I do is normal!
Oh yeah question.
When I hook up my Draw-Tite WD hitch the measurement to truck body over my rear wheel drops 1.25" but the measurement over the front wheel is unchanged. Something ain't right, right?
Like the ball on the truck needs to come up about 4" I think.
My WD set up is one with chain to make the connection. How long should the chain be? I mean how many links up from the bar? Or is it trial and error?
Looking for some advice, please and thanks.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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I always thought both the trailer coupling and tow hitch ball should be same height when unhooked and on level surface, but I have been wrong before. As far as the WD part, I always used trial and error on what felt right. That was many years back with an E350 and a 24' box with Model A inside.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Your trailer needs to be level when in towing position, fully loaded the way you are going to travel. This is especially true if you have more than one axle. If you don't have it level, more weight will be on the low end and less on the high end. On the chains, you need enough chain length to allow for turns but not too much so that they drag low. You will cross the chains under the tongue and attach to the opposite side of the hitch rings. The reason for this is that if your trailer pops loose, the tongue can drop onto the crossed chains and AVOID digging into the road, which could flip the trailer.
It's pretty important. Been there, done that. Every time you hook up, check the connection for security. Trailers sometimes pops off the ball if not installed correctly. Install it on the ball, then use your tongue jack to lift the tongue and see if it pops off. If not, you are good to go.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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Yes as stated before me, both trailer and truck need to
be level.

You will need to move your WD hitch up (unbolt the two
bolts and relocate so the top of the hitch ball sits about
the same height as the trailer coupler.

On the chains I usually count down 5 or 6 links for my setup
but my truck has 4x4 suspension. On your Tundra if the
back bumper sags after you are hitched up (after adjusting
the height of the ball, then you probably will need to add a
set of Firestone Air Bags to your rear suspension to help hold
the weight.

##Big note here if you do not already do this try it, before
you try to lock up the chains, crank up the tounge jack a good
couple of inch's, by doing this you have taken the pressure
off the bars and you will not pull a groun muscle hitching up.##

If you truck has more than 10K on it I would also look at
replacing the shocks, I like and have Rancho 9000 adjustable
shocks on my truck.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meanman85745 View Post
Yesterday, I took my TT to an empty, level parking lot and took some measurements. Coupler (I think that's what it's called) on the trailer is 21" from the ground.
Is that with the floor of the trailer level front to rear? By using a 4' carperter's level to check on the level? (Most folks don't have level eyeballs, so they need the help of the carpenter's level to check on how level the trailer is.)

Quote:
Top of receiver height is 17.5" (not the top of the hitch ball). Then I hooked back up as I usually do. Notice I didn't say normally, because nothing I do is normal!
So the top of the inside of the coupler is about 3.5" higher than your receiver? If so, you'll probably need to adjust the ball mount so it has a rise of about an inch. The ball will probably be 3.5" high, and the suspension will supress about 1.5". With the ball mount installed, the top of the ball should be about 23" from the ground to provide that 1.5 to 2" drop when the suspension compresses.

Quote:
When I hook up my Draw-Tite WD hitch the measurement to truck body over my rear wheel drops 1.25" but the measurement over the front wheel is unchanged. Something ain't right, right?
Like the ball on the truck needs to come up about 4" I think.
As others have noted, use a 4' carpenter's level and see how much out of level the floor of the trailer is when you have the WD hitch tightened up to what you think is about right.

Quote:
My WD set up is one with chain to make the connection. How long should the chain be? I mean how many links up from the bar? Or is it trial and error?
It's trial and error, as well as the knowledge gained by a few trips though the certified automated truck (CAT) scale.

When you get it right you will have a level floor of the trailer, front to rear,

with 25 to 33 percent of the tongue weight transferred to the front axle of the tow vehicle (TV),

and 25 to 33 percent of the tongue weight transferred to the trailer axles,

and 33 to 50 percent of the tongue weight remaining on the rear axle of the TV.

There are at least two ways to get tongue weight. The easy way is with a Sherline trailer tongue scale. Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780

(BTW, I keep a 4' carpenter's level and a Sherline tongue weight scale in my TT and use them frequently.)

The other way is to weigh the truck without the trailer, then weigh the truck with the trailer tied on but without tightening the WD hitch and with the trailer axles being on a different scale pad than the truck axles. The difference in the total weight om the truck axles will be the tongue weight.

To determine distribution of the tongue weight, weigh the wet and loaded rig on a CAT scale with the trailer tied on and the WD hitch tightened up to about where you think it should be. Then compare the weights with and without the WD bars being tightened.

When I did that for one trip, here's what I found:

Front . rear . trailer
3280 . 3520 . 3620 WD (with WD bars tightened)
3040 . 3880 . 3480 WC (without WD bars tightened)
----- . ---- . -----
. 240 . (360) . 140 difference
==================

That shows 360 pounds was removed from the rear axle and transferred to the front and trailer axles.

Tongue weight was 650 per the Sherline scale. So the tongue weight on the rig was distributed 240 pounds to the front axle, 140 pounds to the trailer axles, and that leaves 270 pounds on the rear axle. (Don't confuse the amount moved off the rear axle with how much was left on the rear axle. 360 pounds was moved off the rear axle leaving 270 pounds still on the rear axle ). Or 37% distributed to the front axle, 22% distributed to the trailer axles, and 42% remaining on the rear axle.

So the hitch still needed some adjustment to distribute a bit less weight to the front axle and a bit more to the trailer axles.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info.
Tom
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input, really appreciated.
Tom
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Is that with the floor of the trailer level front to rear? By using a 4' carperter's level to check on the level? (Most folks don't have level eyeballs, so they need the help of the carpenter's level to check on how level the trailer is.)
Yep the floor was level, checked with my 4" level.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
So the top of the inside of the coupler is about 3.5" higher than your receiver? If so, you'll probably need to adjust the ball mount so it has a rise of about an inch. The ball will probably be 3.5" high, and the suspension will supress about 1.5". With the ball mount installed, the top of the ball should be about 23" from the ground to provide that 1.5 to 2" drop when the suspension compresses.
I've already raised the ball up one set of holes on the riser assembly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
As others have noted, use a 4' carpenter's level and see how much out of level the floor of the trailer is when you have the WD hitch tightened up to what you think is about right.
I haven't checked this yet but it "looks" pretty good when I count down about 5 links, although I know looks can be deceiving.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
It's trial and error, as well as the knowledge gained by a few trips though the certified automated truck (CAT) scale.

When you get it right you will have a level floor of the trailer, front to rear,

with 25 to 33 percent of the tongue weight transferred to the front axle of the tow vehicle (TV),

and 25 to 33 percent of the tongue weight transferred to the trailer axles,

and 33 to 50 percent of the tongue weight remaining on the rear axle of the TV.

There are at least two ways to get tongue weight. The easy way is with a Sherline trailer tongue scale. Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780

(BTW, I keep a 4' carpenter's level and a Sherline tongue weight scale in my TT and use them frequently.)

The other way is to weigh the truck without the trailer, then weigh the truck with the trailer tied on but without tightening the WD hitch and with the trailer axles being on a different scale pad than the truck axles. The difference in the total weight om the truck axles will be the tongue weight.

To determine distribution of the tongue weight, weigh the wet and loaded rig on a CAT scale with the trailer tied on and the WD hitch tightened up to about where you think it should be. Then compare the weights with and without the WD bars being tightened.

When I did that for one trip, here's what I found:

Front . rear . trailer
3280 . 3520 . 3620 WD (with WD bars tightened)
3040 . 3880 . 3480 WC (without WD bars tightened)
----- . ---- . -----
. 240 . (360) . 140 difference
==================

That shows 360 pounds was removed from the rear axle and transferred to the front and trailer axles.

Tongue weight was 650 per the Sherline scale. So the tongue weight on the rig was distributed 240 pounds to the front axle, 140 pounds to the trailer axles, and that leaves 270 pounds on the rear axle. (Don't confuse the amount moved off the rear axle with how much was left on the rear axle. 360 pounds was moved off the rear axle leaving 270 pounds still on the rear axle ). Or 37% distributed to the front axle, 22% distributed to the trailer axles, and 42% remaining on the rear axle.

So the hitch still needed some adjustment to distribute a bit less weight to the front axle and a bit more to the trailer axles.
Great input and a lot more detailed than I imagined. I want to be safe out there for myself and family and all the rest of you on the highway.

BTW You don't sound so Grumpy to me. :-)
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meanman85745 View Post
Yep the floor was level, checked with my 4" level.
I hope that's a typo and you meant 4' level. A 4" level isn't very accurate.

Quote:
BTW You don't sound so Grumpy to me. :-)
I'm 73, and my wife tells me I need to smile more. So I guess that makes me grumpy.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren

Is that with the floor of the trailer level front to rear? By using a 4' carperter's level to check on the level? (Most folks don't have level eyeballs, so they need the help of the carpenter's level to check on how level the trailer is.)

So the top of the inside of the coupler is about 3.5" higher than your receiver? If so, you'll probably need to adjust the ball mount so it has a rise of about an inch. The ball will probably be 3.5" high, and the suspension will supress about 1.5". With the ball mount installed, the top of the ball should be about 23" from the ground to provide that 1.5 to 2" drop when the suspension compresses.

As others have noted, use a 4' carpenter's level and see how much out of level the floor of the trailer is when you have the WD hitch tightened up to what you think is about right.

It's trial and error, as well as the knowledge gained by a few trips though the certified automated truck (CAT) scale.

When you get it right you will have a level floor of the trailer, front to rear,

with 25 to 33 percent of the tongue weight transferred to the front axle of the tow vehicle (TV),

and 25 to 33 percent of the tongue weight transferred to the trailer axles,

and 33 to 50 percent of the tongue weight remaining on the rear axle of the TV.

There are at least two ways to get tongue weight. The easy way is with a Sherline trailer tongue scale. Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780

(BTW, I keep a 4' carpenter's level and a Sherline tongue weight scale in my TT and use them frequently.)

The other way is to weigh the truck without the trailer, then weigh the truck with the trailer tied on but without tightening the WD hitch and with the trailer axles being on a different scale pad than the truck axles. The difference in the total weight om the truck axles will be the tongue weight.

To determine distribution of the tongue weight, weigh the wet and loaded rig on a CAT scale with the trailer tied on and the WD hitch tightened up to about where you think it should be. Then compare the weights with and without the WD bars being tightened.

When I did that for one trip, here's what I found:

Front . rear . trailer
3280 . 3520 . 3620 WD (with WD bars tightened)
3040 . 3880 . 3480 WC (without WD bars tightened)
----- . ---- . -----
. 240 . (360) . 140 difference
==================

That shows 360 pounds was removed from the rear axle and transferred to the front and trailer axles.

Tongue weight was 650 per the Sherline scale. So the tongue weight on the rig was distributed 240 pounds to the front axle, 140 pounds to the trailer axles, and that leaves 270 pounds on the rear axle. (Don't confuse the amount moved off the rear axle with how much was left on the rear axle. 360 pounds was moved off the rear axle leaving 270 pounds still on the rear axle ). Or 37% distributed to the front axle, 22% distributed to the trailer axles, and 42% remaining on the rear axle.

So the hitch still needed some adjustment to distribute a bit less weight to the front axle and a bit more to the trailer axles.
So with you sample what would you adjust to get more weight to he trailer, also you still want to keep is it 10 to 12% on the tongue?
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 10Boomer View Post
So with you sample what would you adjust to get more weight to he trailer, ...
I don't know yet. I'm new to the WD hitch world. I have lots of experience with 5ers, but this is my first TT. So I've still got some research to do.

Quote:
...also you still want to keep is it 10 to 12% on the tongue?
No. Make that 10 to 15% before you tighten the WD bars. When wet and loaded for a towing trip, most TTs will have 12 to 15% of the gross trailer weight on the hitch before you tighten the WD bars. Mine is a bit over 13%.

When my TT grosses 4,870 pounds, before I tighten the WD bars, I have 15.7 percent of that 4870 pounds on the hitch. But with the WD bars tightened, I have only 6 to 7 percent of the gross trailer weight on the rear axle of my truck. That's pretty close to perfect.
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