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Old 10-17-2014, 07:13 AM   #1
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proper weight distribution hitch set up

I have a 2014 ST32RL. It has a dry tongue weight of 998 lbs. When I picked it up, it came with a Reess 12,000 lbs duel cam weight distribution hitch. That hitch failed as it was improperly installed and the dealer covered the cost of installing a new 12,000 lbs Equalizer hitch as it didnít leverage the same holes that were used for the Reess hitch. The holes for the Reess hitch were drilled in the wrong place and that is why it failed. But that's not my current issue or concern. When the local dealer installed the Equalizer hitch the trailer is level going down the road, but the back of the tow vehicle is down 3 inches from the front. The dealer said that the hitch canít be adjusted anymore and shouldnít be as the trailer is level, but they could put additional washers in the hitch which would cause it to "tilt forward". As I understand the Equalizer system this is the weight distribution process and would transfer the weight from the back of the TV to the front of the TV. The dealer said he would do that but it would make it much more difficult to hook up the bars. Should there be a 3 inch difference between the front and back tires?

I drove the trailer over the weekend about 200 miles and it towed fine, but we didnít have hardly anything in the TV. Once we load the TV up Iím afraid that the TV will sag even more.

Again as I understand how the Equalizer system works, it relies on ďtensionĒ to keep the trailer from swaying. So keeping weight on the rear instead of shifting it up front the dealer is telling me it will work better with regards to swaying.

Instead of shifting the weight to the front, would a better approach be to install a set of rear suspension air bags to raise the rear of the TV.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:42 AM   #2
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Based on my experience and recall of the equalizer manual, the tow vehicle should be within 1 inch of the unloaded vehicle height. You can change the weight transfer by adjusting the L bracket or adding more washers. Adjusting the L bracket is easier, but if it is already raised all the way then you would have to add more washers. I would fix it to provide more stability when towing.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #3
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I would hold off on bags until you can adjust the wdh and your TT loading...

When we had a propride 3P hitch and TT,
we were told keep it simple...
measure the tow vehicles rear wheel wells or bumper before hitching up,
hook up, and measure again,
then adjust to were it was close, but lower,
then the stock height...

and that 35 footer always did fine !

Now, you always want more weight on the front of your trailer then the rear, but that's a different measurement
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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x2,

Just blowing up the bags to level the TV can hide a safety issue IMHO. I have bags and inflate them a bit, but not to level the vehicle if the sag is more than an inch or two.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:28 AM   #5
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In the FWIW dept. When I pulled a BP I used an equalizing setup. I started with the trailer sitting on a level spot and adjusted the jack until the trailer was level. That was the target height for the hitch on the TV. I then set the hitch on the TV to the same height without the trailer hooked up. I then hooked up the trailer and adjusted the load leveling hitch so that the TV and trailer was 1" lower than unhitched height. My setup had chain hook-ups for the leveling bars so once set up all I had to do was hook up and set the bars to the same link next time. Hook up the anti-sway bar and drove off.

It worked for me.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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You need to read the Equizer manual. It explains what the measurements should be. But essentially it says to measure the distance from the ground to the midpoint of the front wheel well while unhooked from the trailer, then measure it hooked up but without the WD bars attached. Using these 2 measurements keep adding washers until the front measurement is at least halfway between the first 2 measurements when hooked up with the WD bars engaged. BTW you didn't mention what truck you have. This may explain the rear drop as well.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:56 PM   #7
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What truck are you pulling with? With my 350 I don't need the equalizer at all with my trailer but it actually makes the ride much nicer with it connected.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:26 PM   #8
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Ignore the dealership, most do not correctly know how or even care enough to set these hitches up properly. I think you need to better understand the hitch and what it does. Fixing it yourself will help you with this. I always recommend adjusting by weights and not measurements as weights are more accurate. I say this because many of the newer sturdier trucks won't squat as much yet the weight us actually off-loaded from the front axle. I used this method to set up 3 different tv to my old tt. Very helpful especially with the one that had load leveling suspension. What I do is load the tv and tt as I would for camping (I use am missing food and clothes unless I'm actually going somewhere). I then weigh the tv with a full tank of fuel and all family members/pets. Put the front axle on scale pad one, rear axle on scale pad 2. Then I hook up the tt without wdh and weigh the combo. Tv same as 1st weigh, all tt axles on third scale pad. Next weigh your tt/tv with wdh same position as second weigh. What is your loaded front axle compared to unloaded front axle? Ideally you want your front Axle as close to unloaded weight as possible without going heavier.

Some great resource threads are here:
how wdh works
proper wdh setup procedure

Understand that if you are too light or too heavy on the front end it can negatively affect the ability to properly control and steer your vehicle. Also too much squat will take your headlights and point them to the sky. It really sounds like you need to adjust this hitch not the dealership.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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there are some great youtube videos on properly installing a hitch. please watch them, they help big time.
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:51 AM   #10
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That's actually some great logic to get it just right anaro !

measurements quickly get you in the ballpark, but weights are the final fine tuning for sure...

and anyway,
everyone should know their weights and
carry their last weight ticket with them in case they get stopped or are in an accident ...
http://catscale.com/cat-scale-locator
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:50 AM   #11
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If you do go to a cat scale take the time to go inside and let them know it's your first time. The scale I went to told me the best time to come during the day when the trucks were mostly all gone. They had a guy come out and guide me on the scale and helped me with my re weight. They also gave me a card to use the fleet pumps when I need DEF fluid.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #12
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Thanks for the comments. My TV is a 2002 two wheel drive Excursion. It has the 7.3 diesel. How hard is it to add additional washers? I don’t have a torque wench. Is that needed?
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:40 PM   #13
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loosen the small bolt ion the bottom and take off the 2 big bolts. disaaemble unit from shank and add washers as needed . put unit back on shank and re bolt . put a pipe on your wrench after all put back and on truck and reef the heck out of it.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randelsclan View Post
Thanks for the comments. My TV is a 2002 two wheel drive Excursion. It has the 7.3 diesel. How hard is it to add additional washers? I donít have a torque wench. Is that needed?
Ah, compadre

Had three Excursions and my wife was STUNNED when I gave the last one up

2002 7.3 4x2 Limited
2003 6.0 4x4 Limited
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #15
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I recently purchased a Crossroads 2015 ST26RB using the Equalizer 1400 hitch and pulling it with my Nissan Titan Crew Cab. My Equalizer 1400 is overkill for the amount of dry tongue weight on the TT but it isn't hurting anything - according the manufacturer. When I spoke to a representative from the company that manufactures the Equalizer Hitch, he said to be careful with the use of air bags on the rear axle of the TV. The Equalizer hitch needs to have the proper amount of weight from the sway bars resting on the "L" brackets. This is what prevents sway and helps keep the TV as level as possible. His advice - airbags aren't really necessary with the Equalizer hitch. Inflating airbags lifts the back end of the TV and could take too much weight off of the "L" brackets - therefore compromising the anti-sway. Others that have replied to your post are saying exactly what the rep told me. Make sure your hitch is adjusted properly using the 'L" brackets and use the proper amount of washers. I have 5 washers on mine. The washers tilt the sway bars at a down angle which actually keeps the back end of the TV up when resting on the "L" brackets. Look at the videos on Youtube and on the equalizerhitch.com website.

BTW - my good friend just had the same experience as you with the Reese. Two months ago he purchased a new TT and the dealer installed the Reese. His was installed incorrectly too and I attributed it to the location where they mounted the cams. it was clear that the dealer did not know what they were doing when they finally admitted that this was only the 2nd one that they installed. I convinced him to use the Equalizer Hitch, which he had the dealer swap out at no cost. He is now very happy with the Equalizer.

Also, the Reese is a great hitch, especially with the additional cams. One of the best on the market. However, it MUST be installed properly by an authorized dealer that knows what they are doing. I wouldn't attempt to install one on my own. Since you have to drill a hole in the framework of the tongue on the TT with the Reese, you gotta get it right for it to work effectively.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:52 PM   #16
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I just installed the Reese Dual-Cam ,myself, on my RV last week before heading to the Outer Banks. It really wasn't that difficult. Attend a few classes at the University of YouTube, follow the included instructions, take your time with measurements and you'll have it setup in an afternoon.

After the 800 mile round trip, with 20+ mph crosswinds on the way home, I will never use any other hitch setup. I thought my previous WD setup was fairly solid in the sway department but the Dual-Cam WD setup is outstanding and worth every penny.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:39 AM   #17
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Ok, I just got my trailer back from the local dealer and this is how he set up my hitch.

1. He measured the height between the trailer tires to the bottom of the frame of the trailer. Said this height should be same at the front of the trailer when level and is easier then making sure the trailer is perfectly level.
2. Set the ball at this height
3. Backed up the TV to the trailer.
4. Trailer appears to be level based on mounted level on tongue, but ball is still 2 inches above the tongue of the trailer
5. Then put washers on the hitch to engage the weight distribution. (6 washers)
6. Raised the trailer and hooked it up.

When done, the trailer is level, but TV is still sagging. Rear wheels are 3 inches lower than the front. Dealer states that adding more washers would raise rear of TV but put too much tension on bars. Says there are maxed out and starting bend as is. Suggest adding air bags to raise rear of TV as this will help to reduce stress on tow bars.
My trailer (ST32RL) has a GVWR of 9798 and a tongue weigh of 998 lbs. but adding propane, battery, and items in the front storage area I’m pretty sure puts be well over 1000 lbs.
The hitch is rated at 12,000 lbs. with 1200 lbs. bars. That is plenty of hitch for the trailer, but due to the tongue weight is part of the problem not having a 14,000 lbs. hitch with a 1400lb bars?

I’m replacing the shocks today all around the TV as it has 135k on it and I know I’ve never replaced the shocks since I’ve had it so I’m sure they need to be replaced. I’ll hook up the trailer with the new shocks and see if that makes any different, but if not then what?
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #18
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Sorry. But shocks have nothing to do with high. Adjustments. They just cusion the bounce of the road. I would say the dealer needs to properly set your hitch still.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:18 AM   #19
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Air bags will help in hight and towing bounce. But might be pricy.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:52 AM   #20
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the rear of the tow vehicle will sag. mine also sagged about 3 inches. the important part is the front. did it raise? or did it stay the same. if the front raises up more than a 1/4 in loaded vs unloaded you need to adjust the hitch and put more pressure on the bars. an ideal setup is trailer level and tow vehicle level with front of tow vehicle at the same hight loaded or unloaded. this ensures proper traction at the front wheels. if your truck is like mine the rear of my truck sits 3in higher than the front unloaded, this is the built in factory rake. so the rear sagging three inches loaded just brings it back to level. timbrens or airbags will help restore your 3inch rake.

I hope this makes sense
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