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Old 03-29-2021, 03:57 PM   #1
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Truck to trailer connection

Before I start getting wrench’s out to change the way my trailer hooks to the truck, thought I could get some good info here,
I’m using an Andersen WDH and the dealer set up the hitch last fall when we picked up our new trailer. I’m concerned that I don’t have enough weight on the tongue. Have been to the CAT scale and only about 10% of the trailer GRVW is on the tongue. The Andersen hitch suggests the ball be about 1 to 1 1/2” above the hitch ball when trailer is leveled. My setup currently has the trailer hitch setting about 3” above the truck ball when level. So question is there a connection between hitch height and tongue weight.
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:25 PM   #2
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Trucks and hitches are all over the place when it come to height. My Ram is really high so I need a 10" drop to tow a cargo trailer I have. However, with the same truck, I tow a 5th Wheel Camper. The extra height works perfect with it. Do what ever you need to maintain level.

Tongue weight: Can't stress enough how important tongue weight is. The Industry says 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight. Keep in mind that if you leave home at the minimum 10% with full LP gas, food, fresh water and so on then, empty on the way home, you could be way less than 10% tongue weight.

Too little tongue weight is a disaster waiting to happen. Once a trailer starts to sway, it's too late. The tail wags the dog.

What truck and trailer do you have?
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Old 04-04-2021, 10:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMyers17 View Post
Trucks and hitches are all over the place when it come to height. My Ram is really high so I need a 10" drop to tow a cargo trailer I have. However, with the same truck, I tow a 5th Wheel Camper. The extra height works perfect with it. Do what ever you need to maintain level.

Tongue weight: Can't stress enough how important tongue weight is. The Industry says 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight. Keep in mind that if you leave home at the minimum 10% with full LP gas, food, fresh water and so on then, empty on the way home, you could be way less than 10% tongue weight.

Too little tongue weight is a disaster waiting to happen. Once a trailer starts to sway, it's too late. The tail wags the dog.

What truck and trailer do you have?
I agree with tongue weight. It's important to have. I towed an empty 24' cargo trailer once. Hooked up and left. Was riding a little high on hitch but figured I didn't have far to go. Trouble was, it was on the freeway. Learned my lesson quick. I got lucky and noticed it right away and slowed right down. I've always been under the impression that if you encounter trailer sway that's getting out of control, you can activate your manual trailer brakes to create resistance on the trailer sway. It can hopefully bring it under control. The catch is to remember this when it happens!
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:17 PM   #4
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I agree with tongue weight. It's important to have. I towed an empty 24' cargo trailer once. Hooked up and left. Was riding a little high on hitch but figured I didn't have far to go. Trouble was, it was on the freeway. Learned my lesson quick. I got lucky and noticed it right away and slowed right down. I've always been under the impression that if you encounter trailer sway that's getting out of control, you can activate your manual trailer brakes to create resistance on the trailer sway. It can hopefully bring it under control. The catch is to remember this when it happens!
We had a cargo trailer that did the same. About the third time it happens you wont have to worry about crapping yourself anymore and the brain will kick in.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:03 PM   #5
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Call Andersen and ask them what they would recommend. I have found them to be very helpful with sorting this kind of thing out. I am very happy with our Andersen hitch.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert911 View Post
Before I start getting wrench’s out to change the way my trailer hooks to the truck, thought I could get some good info here,
I’m using an Andersen WDH and the dealer set up the hitch last fall when we picked up our new trailer. I’m concerned that I don’t have enough weight on the tongue. Have been to the CAT scale and only about 10% of the trailer GRVW is on the tongue. The Andersen hitch suggests the ball be about 1 to 1 1/2” above the hitch ball when trailer is leveled. My setup currently has the trailer hitch setting about 3” above the truck ball when level. So question is there a connection between hitch height and tongue weight.
I used an Andersen for 5 seasons with our previous Jayco and found it to be an excellent hitch when properly set up.

Given that you have been to the CAT scale and accurately determined your tongue weight to be only 10% my first recommendation would be to change your trailer loading to get that up to 12% or higher. Too little tongue weight will make the trailer more prone to sway. While the recommended range is 10-15% most travel trailers tow much better in the 12-15% range. On our previous Jayco I ran with about 12% - on the current ORV I'm running almost 15%. Given the design of the Andersen increasing the tongue weight will also improve the sway control by adding additional downward pressure on the friction cone the tapered ball sits in.

Second recommendation is to lower the ball down to the Andersen-recommended height of 1-1.5" above level coupler. 3" is almost certainly going to leave the trailer nose high which again will make the trailer more prone to sway. You want the trailer to be level or slightly nose down but not nose high.
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