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Old 09-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Drop receiver question

This will be the first time we will be towing 4-down since we sold our dolly. The question I have is how critical is the towbar being really level? The measurement now to the bottom of my hitch receiver on the coach is 23-1/8". The coach is basically empty per say except it has almost a full tank of gas. What would you think I could expect the chassis to settle to when it's loaded. Possibly drop 1", 1-1/2", 2"??? This I guess is my biggest question not knowing how much it might settle. My toad hitch point is 14-1/4" making the difference almost 9". I don't mean to be paranoid here but I do like to be within tollerance so to not have any problems. How would you figure which drop reciever to purchase?
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Good luck with your set-up. Your question is VERY valid and has been explored here:
Drop Hitch problem

To summarize, there's no perfect answer...a drop hitch can have negatives when it becomes too long and a towbar can have negatives when it is too angled.

I have decided to split the difference with a small drop hitch and accept a small amount of angle in the towbar (in my case, a dolly tongue).

Best of luck!
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Not sure how to fix your problem IF your coach rear doesn't drop a big bunch....
there shoulc be no more than 4" height difference from the receiver to the toad baseplate...more than that stresses the towbar, hitch and baseplate
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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Roadmaster says the angle can be up to 3" above or below level.
BlueOx say Motorhome can be up to 4" high and NEVER lower than level.
Our DropHitch is 8" down to tow our Mini fairly level but it is only 10" above the ground and sometimes bottoms out. We are probably going to switch to a 6" so we don't hit bottom.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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Put the tow bar on car, prop it up level and measure. Then get the drop you will need to make it level. My Southwind doesn't drop much at all loaded and the receiver seems high on mh but 6" drop puts it right at level for my Accord. Like Norm says you got several inches to play with.
I was really worried about this too it came out fine.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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I have a Gas Southwind as well. The receiver is in the 24" category. The issue was easy for me because I have a lifted Wrangler, at one point I used a 4" drop, right now I think I have a 2" rise.

Don't need no jacks or jack stands to get under my Wrangler.

So the solution is; if you don't like using a drop receiver, then lift the toad.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:25 PM   #7
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I had to consider the brake system I employed in the program . My humble opinion goes with as near to level configuration as possible understanding the particulars of the tow system involved. Happy trails.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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At one time I remember seeing a chart with the angles and amount of stress the various drops added to the towbar. Trying to find it now.

We have the RoadMaster Sterling and the instructions say the warranty is void if it's more than 3" out either up or down. When I towed the '97 Jeep GC I had to raise the receiver, with the '05 Ody (when we towed it four down) I use it direct from the MH receiver.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:10 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone I appreciate all the informaion.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:39 AM   #10
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The 4" drop is specified on my Blue Ox and never higher than level on the toad. In your case optimal would be to split the difference avoiding additional pressure on your receiver from the drop and bottoming out.

But this raises a question I have considered ? If the tow bar is rigid and did not fold, would the drop be an issue? Within reason, of course?

The answer may help you resolve this or give you more options. Or confuse the heck out of you in which case I am sorry in advance for the question.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:32 AM   #11
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One option... If you have not yet purchased the tow bar they make an tow bar which is also a 'Drop" That is the motor home end is higher than the car end.

This addresses many of the drop hitch issues. However, I forget who makes the drop-tow bars.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:47 PM   #12
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Thanks again guys but yes I have purchased the towbar. I have a Demco Commander and it has a 1-1/2" either up or down position on the tongue that goes into the receiver. I will put it in the up position for sure. I might be reading more into this then maybe I should. I went back on to the Demco baseplate site and they give attachment points for the bar on various car models. It doesn't seem that mine is anywhere out of the realm being at 14-1/4". Heck there are cars on there with a 12" or less attachment point. I wouldn't suspect my hitch height either can be that far off as most gas chassis motorhomes have a high attachment point. I had a ball drop receiver when I towed the dolly and that measurement was at 16" to have the dolly tongue level and I never bottomed out so just maybe I'll be OK. I think I'll give Demco a call and see what they have to say on Monday. I know the literature said 2" either up or down from level. We'll see after I call them and then I'll also post what they might have to say.
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