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Old 08-09-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
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setting up WDH

How tight do I need to chains on the WDH?

I'm not 100% sure I am setting up the WDH correctly. I believe the dealer installed a Curtis. Round bars with chains. I didn't get any information on it. I went inside and closed the deal, came outside the camper was hooked to my car and there was no one around ask.

When I hooked it up for the first time, I put the chains on where there was no slack, and the tension bars had a little side-way play. I was guessing that once I added weight, they'd tighten up where they needed to be. I was a bit concerned that if I moved the chains up one more link, and muscled them into the locked position, by the time lowed the jack and added the weight, it's pop the chains.

Really what it comes down to, is I'm just guess. Any suggestions?

So, WHD doesn't always mean you have sway control, correct? That's a seperate set up.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:06 AM   #2
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I am sure you will receive many fine answers here. I would also suggest you look here

http://rvbookstore.com/shop/cv.aspx?c=198

I can not personally recommend any of these as I do not own them personally. I have purchased other items from RV Bookstore and been happy with all of them. You will find many good reads and CD views here. I have no affiliation with them. There are also many other towing books which you could probably find on the Internet.

The summary of the ebook sounds promising, is 13 bucks and will be in your inbox in an instant. It may not answer your specific question but Mark Polk usually does a good job of explaining things. You would likely get your 13 bucks worth. Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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Years ago, I hooked up a fully-loaded 7x14 dbl-axle, electric brake trailer behind my properly equipped Chevy van and adjusted the WDH as described by the WDH installer, which is to say.....

With the lockups down/off/loose, hook on the chains such that there's no slack in the chains. Then use a steel bar inserted over the short metal toggle on the lockups and reef/heave the lockups into the up/on/locked position. This is setting brought the tongue of the trailer and the rear bumper of the van up just slightly higher than flat or exactly horizontal. The installer told me that this would allow the right amount of play/movement when driving so that the rig would not sag and would behave properly/predictably in the bumps and the heaves while driving across the country. And it did, every step of the way between Ottawa Ontario and Santa Fe New Mexico and on through Texas and the Gulf states and back up via the eastern seaboard, including through some significant crosswinds on the prairies. He also told me that the chains would easily take the load, and so would the bars, given I had the right size hitch. I don't know what you have hooked up to what, but the key to the proper setup, as I understood it, was to adjust the chains so that the rig is setup slightly higher (one link) than horizontal at the hitch, and that there are no worries with the strength of the chains. HTH (Hope This Helps)
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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I put the chains on and locked them into place, then lowered the tongue jack. I didn't use any bar.
But it sounds like i need to have the tongue jack up and the weight on the hitch, then put the chains into place.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Yes, you need to raise the tow vehicle with the coupler hooked up.

It's not a case of how tight the chains should be. When the WDH is hooked up and set up, the chain tension ends up being whatever it needs to be depending on tongue weight and TV specs. You should not have to use gorilla force to engage the bars. Just raise the truck + coupler high enough to make it comfortable enough to slip on.

A WDH does not mean that it necessarily has sway control. High end ones have integral sway control. Some like the Reese can have just the spring bars or the dual cam pieces that provide sway control. You can start with a basic Reese WDH and upgrade to the dual cam arms and brackets.

Out of curiosity, what is the TV and TT in question?

I think different WDH brands that use chains may be different, but typically you have 10 links in the chain and want at least 3-4 loose links left over. If this is not the case, you may need to adjust the angle of the shank.

To get the WDH set up, the basic method of measuring before and after TV fender heights can be used. Measure the height of the fenders at the highest point (above the tires) with just the TV by itself on flat and level ground. Then hook up the trailer and WDH. Depending on the WDH make and the TV make, you generally want the front fender height to be near the un-hooked height, but not less than it. The rear fender height doesn't matter that much, it's the front that is.

Don't know if you need to here more of the set up procedure, but when the trailer and truck are perfectly level, you want the ball on the TV to be about 1" higher than the coupler to account for sag of the truck.

IMHO, the best approach is to take your TV and trailer to a scale and know where you stand on all the weights. You will be able to dial in the WDH weight transfer more accurately. You can always play with the tilt angle of the spring bars to re-distribute a little more or a little less weight to the steer and drive axles. Those in the know state that you want 25% wt. to the steer axle, 50% to the drive and 25% to the TT axles. You'll need 3 passes through the scale to get all the needed weights. And if you need to adjust the WDH, you'll need more. Can be a time consuming process but well worth it. Best to leave DW at home for this ()
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #6
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Forget about how tight the chains are. You need to look at what is happening to the front of the tow vehicle. To correctly setup your rig you 1st need to measure the front end unhitched. Then hook up the TT w/o the WD chained up. Measure again. You want the front of the rig to be near or at the original measurement. Example,
Unhitched-38"
Hitched w/o WD-40"
Hitched with WD 38-39"
Now those parameters work for most newer rigs but in the case of some you may be required to return the front to the original height.
Now either your chain tightness is dictated by the number your trying to achieve as well as the spring bar rating. If you have to really crank the spring bars and they bend a lot to achieve the correct front end adjustment then maybe a higher rated spring bar is in order.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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Ken - you might consider (should) update your profile in User CP. I don't know what others are seeing - but on my iPhone you profile contains a bunch of &# #'& etc. By adding your location others will know where you're likely to be, your rig info - let's others know what you have which keeps your from typing it with every post and gives others important info necessary to answer your rig / setup questions. Just a suggestion.
Steve
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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https://www.curtmfg.com/masterlibrar..._17301_INS.PDF

Here are instructions for a Curt W/D hitch. You really need to learn this for yourself, as the hitch needs to be set up once the trailer and truck are loaded.

It is not hard to do, just takes some time and a level and flat parking area.

The main thing is to have the trailer level when hitched and the W/D bars nearly parallel with the ground. The tow vehicle should squat or drop roughly the same amount on both ends when hitched. Typically, the chains should have 5 to 7 links under tension and you wil want to get them in the same link next time. So once you are set, put a colored plastic ty on that link to aid in identification. Do not be concerned with links hanging free.

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Old 08-12-2013, 11:00 PM   #9
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I've had this bookmarked for some years now because it explains how to properly set-up a weight distributing hitch very plainly.
I hope it helps with your rig.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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Ken90004 - hopefully you are off camping and having a great time. Or, perhaps you haven't had an opportunity to hook er up again. Just checking to see if you have it all worked out to your satisfaction. That is our hope for you.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:03 PM   #11
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You still out there Ken. Would like to know you got it all worked out and having a good time with the TT. You haven't been around and that could mean about anything. Hope we cautious types didn't run ya off. Did not intend to.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
You still out there Ken. Would like to know you got it all worked out and having a good time with the TT. You haven't been around and that could mean about anything. Hope we cautious types didn't run ya off. Did not intend to.
I've actually been modding it for full-time camping. It's going to be my portable hotel room to keep me close to work.

But, yes, there are some rather closed minded individuals, to my surprise. I presented my tow question on a pop-up site when we shopped for our pop-up, and never once got pushed in the corner and beat up for towing with a 2.0l KIA. I've learned that the pop-up crowd and the TT crowd are very different. Maybe it's me, and I need to adjust.

You know, I've been in IT for 25 years, and I see new 'kids' come on the scene and laugh how rough they are around the edges. Truth is they know the new technology better then me, because they are growing up with it. RVing is changing. Not as fast as technology, but it is not what it was 20 years past. I can read and learn much from the old-timers, but some of them can also realize RVing and Towing isn't what it was. The impossible is now possible.

Most of it is just respect for each other for our love of the hoby we share. We don't have to agree, not in the least, but I feel that maybe we all can lighten up sometimes when we don't agree. State an opinion and avoid the contest of trying to prove their correct. Myself included. No more rhetoric and banter for me.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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You said a mouthful. Glad your still making forward motion toward the mobile work situation. That's some freedom most don't have and few probably appreciate like many of us on the forum.

There definitely is a different mindset between all types and classes of RVers. I think you even posted somewhere that the feel of towing the popup and the "lite" trailer were quite different, so you are fast becoming a scholar it the differences!

Don't be such a stranger here and keep on keeping on. It's the best forum going in my opinion and we all learn from each other.
Steve
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