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Old 04-03-2011, 01:45 PM   #15
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If backing to the hitch is a problem, a license plate mounted back-up camera helped me. The unit I bought was relatively inexpensive at $80 on sale. The camera mounts on the license plate and sends a wireless signal to the small monitor in the cab. The camera does need a 12v source at the rear of the vehicle, usually the 12v to the backup lights.

Roadmaster VRBCS300W Wireless Backup Camera - Rear view camera with monitor
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terier View Post

My spring bars are a killer for me. I need to work on my upper strenght so I can get them in easier. After a zillon drops I'm wore out. The guys at the dealership showed me what I could do next time so I will find out it helps or not.

Care to share from your book of tricks? I wouldn't mind knowing more since my manhunt isn't going so well.

If I am hitching up solo I will use a set of magnetic hitching sticks from CW and back up very slowly until one of the sticks falls. Cost about $18 if I remember correctly but was worth the price since I suck at backing up. I'm also using a different vehicle than mine when towing.

Everyone has their way of hitching up so I always let any helper know that I drop two links and hook on the third link with the spring bars. Last Friday my campsite helper hooked on the first link before correcting it. He also had the anti-swag bar too tight. We all have different methods so as long as you know what you need all should be ok.
When I owned travel trailers and had to tension the spring bars, I would attach them before lowering the tongue jack(you already know which chain link to use) and putting weight on the ball. This eliminated most of the arm strength issue.
Speaking of chain links, the standard is 5 links and bars parallel to ground to insure the bars will clear the trailer frame in sharp turns and eliminate binding.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:26 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=Terier;823463]
Care to share from your book of tricks? I wouldn't mind knowing more since my manhunt isn't going so well.

The tricks I read about are more about lining up, using tape mounted on the front of the TT and rear window of my van and choosing a landmark to judge distance. I've been a dog groomer for over 30 years, nothing builds up your upper body strength like hoisting unwilling pooches on to tables and into bathtubs LOL. That said, one of the things I like the most about RVing is that there always seems to be someone willing to help when I need help and sometimes even when I don't.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:18 AM   #18
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For easy solo backup one can use 2 sticks/rods/wire with each a small magnet on the end.
One goes on the hitchball and one on the thing that falls over the ball (hitch??)
Now backup with in the inside rear view mirror center the 2 sticks in a line.
When the one on the hitchball moves "you are there".
I do it with a broom against the hitch and keep a line from the center of the mirror to the center of the 3rd brake light to the broomstick.
When I hear a bang or see the caravan moving, I know I was too far.

When i overnight on a truck stop (no wally world here) I have the rear stabilizers down an a big wood block under the rod of the front wheel of the caravan.
It lifts the jeep a little too but I don't have to worry about the max weight the axel can have whe moving around in the caravan. (the front wheel does not touch the ground due to the wood block)

Hope this helps, Gerard.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:50 AM   #19
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Speaking of chain links, the standard is 5 links and bars parallel to ground to insure the bars will clear the trailer frame in sharp turns and eliminate binding.
My dealer told me 3 with 2 hanging-it's "ingrained" in my head". It has always worked fine for me. Trailer is a 21 ft Jayco. Am I okay with this (asks she who has traveled 28K miles with it this way)? I think we're talking about the same thing-the sway bars? I have to raise the hitch before putting the chains on, but they are level when they're on and I pull up the foot.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:02 PM   #20
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Hobopals,
This is the procedure for adjusting a travel trailer equalizing hitch; however, if what you are presently using works without any binding or towing issues, there is little reason to change.

Park the TT and truck on level ground... Level the TT (using the tongue jack) by measuring the frame front and back with reference to ground level... Measure from ground level to inside top of trailer ball coupler... Record this measurement... Set unloaded ball height on truck hitch head about 1/2' to 1" lower than this measurement... The exact amount will depend on the stiffness of your truck suspension...
Measure all four truck wheel wells with trailer unhooked... Record this measurement...
Hook up trailer and snap up w/d bars so TT appears to be level... Measure truck wheel well distance again... If truck is lower and squatting the same amount front and rear, and the trailer is level and the w/d bars are level to the TT frame, your done (not likely on the first try!!)...
If truck squat is not the same front and rear, adjust w/d bars as necessary so that truck is squatting the same amount front and rear (using wheel well measurements)... You may have to increase w/d bar tilt and/or increase/decrease chain link count to achieve enough w/d bar tension to do this... The amount of tension required will depend on TT tongue weight and stiffness of truck suspension...
W/D bars should be level with trailer frame when these adjustments are complete... If W/D bars are not level with TT frame using a given number of chain links (5 minimum), tilt w/d bars up or down with adjustment screw, washers, etc., (whatever method is employed on your hitch) and readjust as required, dropping or picking up chain links as needed for necessary tension while maintaining a level condition to the TT frame... Check wheel well dimensions on truck again after these adjustments...
Most hitch manufacturers want to see at least 5 chain links between the snap up plates and w/d bars... This is too avoid binding of the w/d bars in turns and when backing...
Once you have achieved the proper truck squat check TT for levelness again... If TT is not level, adjust ball height on hitch head as necessary to level TT... If you can't achieve perfectly level, opt for a bit nose down... This will increase TT rear end clearance on sloping driveways and add a bit more hitch weight as the TT center of gravity shifts forward a bit with the nose down...
All these adjustments will interact with one another to some degree so a few readjustments will most likely be required...
When you are done, the w/d bars should be level, the TT should be level and the truck should be squatting down the same amount on all 4 wheels...
It's pretty tough to get everything EXACTLY perfect, but get the TT as close to level as you can and the truck as close to equal squat as you can... My truck is almost equal squat, maybe a 1/4" lower in the back... Avoid the front end of the truck squatting greater than the rear... This indicates too much weight is being transferred to the front axle and could cause handling problems and excessive front tire wear...

The procedure sounds difficult but really is not... It can be a bit tedious trying to achieve a perfect condition, but is not difficult... You should be pretty near perfect after a few readjustments and you'll probably find your TT tows and handles much better...
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #21
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Hobopals,
This is the procedure for adjusting a travel trailer equalizing hitch; however, if what you are presently using works without any binding or towing issues, there is little reason to change.
I have thanked you privately, Ray, and have printed the instructions. When I pull up with the 3/2 hanging, I am perfectly level on a level piece of ground. I may still take the time and hitch and follow the steps you have suggested. When I first owned the trailer, I had them add length to the chain because a nice gentleman in a campground looked at it and suggested that they hadn't made them long enough.

Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness and for taking the time to write all the instructions. As I said, I will take them with me when I hitch up and get to a level spot.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:57 PM   #22
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Is it ok to leave a cargo trailer attached to your motor coach and deploy leveling jacks?
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:08 AM   #23
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Is it ok to leave a cargo trailer attached to your motor coach and deploy leveling jacks?
Yes, I have friends that rarely un-hook.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:00 PM   #24
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One of the big selling points of the TT we recently purchased was the fact that the trailer was very usable without deploying the slide. This makes it conducive for quick easy bathroom stops and overnight parking in places where deploying a slide is not permissible. The salesman kept telling us that we could just slide out the slide whenever we wanted, but it seems like too much trouble and wear and tear on the equipment. So quick and simple is good and gives greater flexibility.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:28 AM   #25
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The salesman kept telling us that we could just slide out the slide whenever we wanted, but it seems like too much trouble and wear and tear on the equipment. So quick and simple is good and gives greater flexibility.
I don't see where extending/closing a slideout is too much trouble or cause for concern of wear and tear. The slideouts are for that pupose. Our Minnie (prior to our recent removal of the dinette) has a layout where it is pretty tight to get past the dinette table when the slide is closed. But, in our travels, it was never a problem to extend the slideout as needed (often only 6-12") whenever we needed to to access the refrigerator or bathroom. We did this when stopped at rest areas or when parking in larger parking lots where I didn't have to be concerned with someone parking very close to me. But, I agree that it would be easier if the layout of the trailer didn't create this problem. But, in choosing a trailer, there are always trade-offs to get the majority of features you want.
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