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Old 02-25-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
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Weight distribution shank length

Hello all, My in-laws just bought a new travel trailer and the day they were to be at the dealership to pick it up their pick up broke down so I offered to puck it up for them. While we are waiting for them to get hitch set up the service manager comes in and tells me I have to buy another shank for the hitch because my pick up is too tall so I say ok we have to have it. After all said and done I go look everything over and the shank is a lot longer than the one the hitch came with ,they told me its a 14", from the pin in the reciever to the center of the ball is about 16" they assured me it would be ok. I get it to their house about 50 miles away on the highway. Well it did tow good really couldn't tell it was back there. I keep the shank for myself to use with my travel tailer that I bought an equa-li-zer for. Ive never used a weight distribution setup alway use my m35a2 5 ton militay truck to to tow the trailer around the lake we go to. We are going to start traveling a little more so I figured we should get the proper set up for the dodge but the ball being that far from the reiciver has me a little worried dont want to over stress the reciever Ive thought about drilling another pin hole just to move it closer but I really like being able to open my tail gate with the traler hooked up. Am I just being paranoid?
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:09 AM   #2
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My Reese dual-cam trunion bar WD hitch shank and ball mount combo is about 12 inches from the hole in the shank to the center of the ball. The shank by itself is only 8 inches from the hole in the shank to the front of the shank. It works fine on both my cargo trailer and my Joey TT. But no, I can't open the tailgate all the way open without hitting the tongue jack on both trailers. It would be nice if the shank was an inch or so longer as far as opening the tailgate. But I want the shortest shank possible because of the leverage on the receiver and the rest of the truck frame.

With your long shank, could you drill another hole in it so you could still open the tailgate while barely missing the tongue jack? Sort of a compromise between 12" and 16" hole to ball?
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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That was my thinking too. Rocky mountain rv & marine told me it would be fine. that is a pretty good size lever sticking out of my reciver with a dececnt size trailer attatched and the factory dodge reciver doesnt look as heavy duty as the new chevy or ford recivers. I cant find a weight rating, even called the dodge dealer all they could tell me is its a class IV. I've bent a reciever before granted I had the trailer way over loaded but since then I've been leary of using any kind of extednded ball mount or shank. Should have bought another 5th wheel maybe I'd worry a little less.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcen View Post
I cant find a weight rating, ...
Crawl under the back of the truck with a strong flashlight. The weight rating is probably stamped or embossed onto the frame of the receiver,, back towards where it bolts onto the frame. And the strong beam from a flashlight will make it easier to find the stamp or embossment.

Look for numbers such as 500/5000 WC, 1,000/10,000 WD. That example means 500 pounds max hitch weight and 5,000 pounds max trailer weight with a weight carrying hitch, or 1000 pounds max hitch weight and 10,000 pounds max trailer weight with a weight distributing hitch.
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