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Old 01-03-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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I think you need to tilt the hitch head down a notch or two so you end up with 5 links engaged, 6 at most. You could end up with a little damage with the way it is because the chains can't swing far enough freely either way and the bar end may hit the A-frame - even potentially dragging the bracket and causing more damage. Backing up is worse because the TT to TV angle ends up being a lot more than when pulling in a forward direction. It's okay if the round bars tilt down slightly, the most important thing is having enough links engaged.

It also looks like you need to get the chains closer to vertical. If it will work, you can move the propane tanks forward a little if needed. But the cover looks close to the jack as it is? Just unscrew the self-tapping screws on the tank support base and relocate. Sometimes you can move the snap-up brackets forward a little and the tank cover will sit slightly on the brackets. You may only need to move the brackets forward 1/2-1".
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jhawk44 View Post
What about making sure the bars are parallel to the trailer? How important is that?
Depends on whether the WD hitch is a round bar or trunnion bar hitch.

First weigh the rig and make certain that the trailer is level front to rear after the bars are tightened, and that the appropiate amount of tongue weight is being distributed to the trailer axles and the front axle of the tow vehicle. Approximate distribution of tongue weight is 25% to the trailer axles, 25% to the front axle of the tow vehicle, and 50% of the tongue weight remains on the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

If a round bar WD hitch, you want the bars parallel to both the ground and the trailer tongue. Here's a photo of a properly adjusted round bar WD hitch from the Reese website:


Trunnion bar design is a bit different. Read up on the install instructions for your trunnion bar hitch to see how to set it up. Here's a photo of a properly adjusted trunnion bar WD hitch from the Reese website:


Note that the properly adjusted round bars are parallel to the ground and the tongue. But the trunnion bars are not parallel to the ground or the tongue. That's because both types of hitch use the same number of chain lengths, but the round bars stick down a couple of inches under the ball mount, whereas the trunnion bars come straight out of the back of the ball mount. So the trunnion bars must slope down to the snap-up bracket while the round bars go straight back to the bracket. (That's terrible wording, but I hope you can decipher it.)
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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If you look at the one photo that has the hitch in it, you can see rounds bars. Yes, round bars should be parallel, but it almost looks like the bars are tilting up at the rear. The end of the bar looks too close to the A-frame. Hard to tell, but it also looks like the spring bars may be undersized?? They almost seem to have a curve to them, but I may be wrong. Maybe if the bars are cranked up too tight, that would explain why the bars are that close to the A-frame. Then, one might also wonder about the tongue and trailer weight vs the TV's capacity?

A more close up photo of the WDH engaged would help. If the OP wants to get into it, some weight specs. might help too.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:49 AM   #18
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I'm pulling a Forest River Wildwood 26TBSS http://www.forestriverinc.com/Travel...oorplanid=3278

With my 2010 Nissan Armada SE.

It TT is at the top end of my hitch weight, at 815# dry, with the TV having 900# capacity. Towing capacity is 9000#, with the trailer coming in under 6000# dry.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:23 AM   #19
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Before you do another thing, I would determine what your actual tongue weight is. You can either go to a scale, buy or borrow a Sherline tongue scale or use the "bathroom scale" method. You tongue wt. will be higher than the factory amount, but how much higher is something you don't want to guess at. You don't want to exceed the rating of your receiver or WDH.

Do you know what the rating of the spring bars is? There should be a sticker on them. If you have 800 lb bars, you would need to go to the next size, which would be either 1,000 or 1,200 lb bars. But if your Armada or WDH can't handle the tongue wt., that won't do any good.

If actual tongue wt. is too much over the bar rating, you can't "wind up" the bars tight enough to transfer enough wt. to the steer axle. (personal experience on this).

The specs list your "ship" weight as 5790 lbs and cargo carrying capacity as 1897 lbs. This would suggest that the GVWR is 7687 lbs or close to that. Tongue weight is normally in the 10-15% range of the TT's gross wt. meaning yours could be in the 769 - 1153 lbs. You could potentiallly be overloading your Armada.

A lot of 1/2T trucks would struggle with a TT of this gross weight and tongue weight. By comparison, we have a TT of the same length and weighs in at 6800 lbs loaded and has a tongue wt. of 960 lbs and we tow with a 3/4T. Your TT is on the heavier side for the length. I suspect you will find that the tongue wt. is closer to the 1153 lb number, which I don't think is good for your Armada.

Do you know what the payload capacity and GCWR is? Payload capacity would be on the sticker on the door jamb. Payload capacity on the stickers can be unreliable though and you're best to go to a scale to get GVWR and subtract the scale wt. I couldn't seem to find full towing specs. It looks like you might be close to or over on the GCWR (wt. of TV + TT). That's a lot of TT for your TV. When going to a scale, try to load up the TV as you would for camping - wife, kids, pets, camping gear, etc. plus a full tank of gas. Whatever available payload capacity you calculate, that's what's left for your TT's tongue wt. (except for the effect of the WDH, but that's too much for one post)

I have a feeling you could be close to or over the capabilities of your Armada. No amount of tinkering with the WDH will help that. The only way to know for sure is by taking your TT and Armada to a CAT scale, or equivalent. (Three separate passes required to get all info.)

To engage the spring bars, you should hook up the trailer to the hitch then raise the bumper and coupler together a few inches with the tongue jack. Engage the bars then retract the jack. Very tough, if not impossible otherwise.

Don't know if this helps you or is what you wanted to hear. Hope it helps and makes sense. If I am wrong on anything, I'm sure I'll get corrected.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:23 PM   #20
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Correct except that you should read the manual for the specific WDH you have because they do vary on the "after" height difference they specify. Also, different vehicle manufacturers specify different height differences. There should and will be some squat in the rear. I hate to have to refer to another forum, but there's a ton of good info. in the towing section on RV.net. You also want to have bars that aren't undersized for the tongue weight.

The best way to set up the weight transfer is to go to a scale and you'll figure out how much weight is actually being transferred to the 3 sets of axles. Can take a while though if you need to re-adjust and take more passes. It's very educational. Besides adjusting the number of chains links, you could find that you need to tilt the angle of the hitch head as well. I spent hours at the scale last spring trying to adjust the WDH only to find that the bars were undersized by too much and would not transfer enough weigh to the steer axle.
I think we have discussed this issue before, I have the Blackstone with a Husky Center line WDH. I am still about two months out before I will be able to weigh my TV, trailer & combo but I am pretty sure my bars are undersized. The bars are 1200 lbs, dry tongue weight is 1,080 lbs. When I weigh the loaded trailer's tongue weight I am sure it will be over 1200 lbs, is that the weight measurement that dictates the need for heavier bars?

Thanks for your help here
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #21
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The bars are 1200 lbs, dry tongue weight is 1,080 lbs. When I weigh the loaded trailer's tongue weight I am sure it will be over 1200 lbs, is that the weight measurement that dictates the need for heavier bars?
Tongue weight, yes. Without the trailer connected to the tow vehicle.

Or if it's too much trouble to get the actual tongue weight with a tongue weight scale, then you need two passes over the CAT scale. One with the trailer connected but without the WD bars installed. The other without any trailer connected. Combine the weight on the two truck axles to get GVW (gross vehicle weight). Subtract the GVW without the trailer from the GVW with the trailer connected but without the WD bars connected. The difference is tongue weight. If the difference is more than 1,200 pounds, then you need 1,400 pound WD bars.

There are at least two ways to get tongue weight:

1] With a tongue weight scale, such as the Sherline Tongue Weight Scale:
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780

2] With a platform scale such as a scale at the grain elevator, cotton gin, gravel yard, metal recycling yard, some landfills, or even a CAT scale at a truck stop. Pull onto the scale until the tongue jack is over the scale, but the trailer tires are not on the scale. Disconnect the trailer and move the tow vehicle off the scale so only the tongue jack is on the scale. Most platform scales are accurate to only within about 50 pounds, but that's close enough to get a good estimate of your tongue weight.
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