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Old 04-06-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
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Andersen Ultimate Pin Coupler

Looking for owner with Andersen hitch and short bed ... mine is a Tundra. Was planning to have Trademasters install hitch when picking up trailer then having ETI install coupler on trailer. Trailer is finished but sitting. Not sure about getting into Canada so have cancelled install with Trademasters and had gooseneck installed here and Andersen shipped in via Amazon. The kind folks at ETI have a couple brand new couplers in stock so they will install for me before towing across the border and I will trade them my new one.

Here's the question ... coupler forward or backward. I've seen both and I guess it depends on center of hitch to side of truck. It seems like forward gives you more room to back of cab. What did you do?
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Old 04-07-2020, 02:25 AM   #2
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I have a 5.0 TA and a 2012 Tundra with a 6 1/2 box, and an Andersen goose ball hitch. When I picked up my trailer, ETI mounted the ball mount to the rear. It worked fine. The only issue was that with the tailgate down there is very little clearance between the trailer frame and the tailgate. When I got home to Spokane, I turned the ball mount forward. This improved the tailgate clearance but created a bigger problem. It decreased the clearance between the pinbox and the truck bed sidewalls. My driveway has a slight down slope and I couldn’t turn out of my driveway without the pinbox hitting the top of the sidewalls. I had to turn the ball mount back to the rear position. Even the Andersen instructions say that the sidewall clearance is greater in this position. The tailgate clearance is easily dealt with. What I don’t know about a short box is how tight a turn you can make before the truck cab hits the front of the trailer. But there are owners out there with short box pickups with Andersen hitch’s.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mark&Elaine View Post
I have a 5.0 TA and a 2012 Tundra with a 6 1/2 box, and an Andersen goose ball hitch. When I picked up my trailer, ETI mounted the ball mount to the rear. It worked fine. The only issue was that with the tailgate down there is very little clearance between the trailer frame and the tailgate. When I got home to Spokane, I turned the ball mount forward. This improved the tailgate clearance but created a bigger problem. It decreased the clearance between the pinbox and the truck bed sidewalls. My driveway has a slight down slope and I couldn’t turn out of my driveway without the pinbox hitting the top of the sidewalls. I had to turn the ball mount back to the rear position. Even the Andersen instructions say that the sidewall clearance is greater in this position. The tailgate clearance is easily dealt with. What I don’t know about a short box is how tight a turn you can make before the truck cab hits the front of the trailer. But there are owners out there with short box pickups with Andersen hitch’s.
The ultimate solution to tailgate/trailer clearance and to eliminate the in-and-out dropping/raising of the tailgate during unassisted 5.0TA hookup users to replace the OEM tailgate with a 5th Wheel tailgate like the ones made by Stromberg Carlson. Although you may loose the tailgate mounted backup camera on your tow vehicle, you can get a functional “license plate frame” backup camera online from a company called Camera Source. You just have to determine if the much improved convenience is worth the additional cost for you. I replaced my tailgate in 2015 and would, as long as I have a 5th Wheel, would never go back to the OEM tailgate because I like it so much. It also makes stepping over the tailgate from the rear bumper much easier when the trailer is not attached.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:29 AM   #4
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i have a 5.0 TA with an F150 5.5 bed and Andersen Ultimate. ETI installed the pin coupling to the back. At a challenging camp site, we touched the trailer to the cab backing up. I reversed the coupling to provide more clearance, but that distributed weight differently on the rear axle. This is my first experience with fifth wheel towing. While I am a fan of Andersen towing equipment (I also love the Andersen weight distribution hitch), I'm not sure I recommend the Andersen system for a 5.5 bed. Others report a 6.5' bed provides enough clearance to the cab.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ritacasita View Post
Looking for owner with Andersen hitch and short bed ... mine is a Tundra. Was planning to have Trademasters install hitch when picking up trailer then having ETI install coupler on trailer. Trailer is finished but sitting. Not sure about getting into Canada so have cancelled install with Trademasters and had gooseneck installed here and Andersen shipped in via Amazon. The kind folks at ETI have a couple brand new couplers in stock so they will install for me before towing across the border and I will trade them my new one.

Here's the question ... coupler forward or backward. I've seen both and I guess it depends on center of hitch to side of truck. It seems like forward gives you more room to back of cab. What did you do?
I have a 2017 Tundra Crewmax shortbed with the Andersen hitch. The coupler is to the rear. I have no issues of clearance between the cab and the nose of the trailer.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mark&Elaine View Post
I have a 5.0 TA and a 2012 Tundra with a 6 1/2 box, and an Andersen goose ball hitch. When I picked up my trailer, ETI mounted the ball mount to the rear. It worked fine. The only issue was that with the tailgate down there is very little clearance between the trailer frame and the tailgate. When I got home to Spokane, I turned the ball mount forward. This improved the tailgate clearance but created a bigger problem. It decreased the clearance between the pinbox and the truck bed sidewalls. My driveway has a slight down slope and I couldn’t turn out of my driveway without the pinbox hitting the top of the sidewalls. I had to turn the ball mount back to the rear position. Even the Andersen instructions say that the sidewall clearance is greater in this position. The tailgate clearance is easily dealt with. What I don’t know about a short box is how tight a turn you can make before the truck cab hits the front of the trailer. But there are owners out there with short box pickups with Andersen hitch’s.
I did the same thing. If on level ground and the truck straight with the trailer, I had a little more than 1" of clearance. I tried turning the ball mount around, and though it towed nice and gave me a lot more clearance to the tailgate open, I too found the pin box WAY close to the box and tailgate and turned it around.

All I do when reversing to connect is get out a foot short of hitch alignment and close the tailgate. The reverse is done disconnecting, in that I pull a bit ahead before dropping the tailgate. If lined up correctly when disconnecting only, I will lower the tailgate before pulling away. A very minor inconvenience for a great hitch setup.
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:56 AM   #7
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I did the same thing. If on level ground and the truck straight with the trailer, I had a little more than 1" of clearance. I tried turning the ball mount around, and though it towed nice and gave me a lot more clearance to the tailgate open, I too found the pin box WAY close to the box and tailgate and turned it around.

All I do when reversing to connect is get out a foot short of hitch alignment and close the tailgate. The reverse is done disconnecting, in that I pull a bit ahead before dropping the tailgate. If lined up correctly when disconnecting only, I will lower the tailgate before pulling away. A very minor inconvenience for a great hitch setup.
I follow the same process hooking up and disconnecting. One additional step in my case when arriving home. My driveway has a steep approach and then flattens out at the top. My Andersen ball is normally in the lowest position as that is a level tow for my setup. But because of my drive, I lower the landing gear enough to clear the pin, adjust the ball to its highest setting, hook everything back up and continue up my driveway. This gives me a little more clearance between my truck rails and the loft frame for the tricky maneuver at the top of my drive.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:21 PM   #8
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i don't have to close my tail gait when hitching but its very close so sometimes i do. no big deal for me. we sometimes get in very tight places backing and doing very tight turns i have a very small dent on my truck where we took it too far and lightly hit but we do some crazy backing stuff .......luck it doesn't hit the back window or it would have shattered i did that once with my old truck and horse trailer. my truck is a short bed F150 with Anderson hitch.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:48 PM   #9
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I follow the same process hooking up and disconnecting. One additional step in my case when arriving home. My driveway has a steep approach and then flattens out at the top. My Andersen ball is normally in the lowest position as that is a level tow for my setup. But because of my drive, I lower the landing gear enough to clear the pin, adjust the ball to its highest setting, hook everything back up and continue up my driveway. This gives me a little more clearance between my truck rails and the loft frame for the tricky maneuver at the top of my drive.
Good idea for and easy adjustment for those times needed.
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:44 PM   #10
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i have a 5.0 TA with an F150 5.5 bed and Andersen Ultimate. ETI installed the pin coupling to the back. At a challenging camp site, we touched the trailer to the cab backing up. I reversed the coupling to provide more clearance, but that distributed weight differently on the rear axle.
Spinning the coupler block around makes no difference to the position of the ball relative to the truck, so the load is carried in the same place on the truck. There is no change to how the pin weight is distributed to the truck's rear axle.

The same coupler block change makes an eight-inch difference in the position of the socket (for the ball) on the trailer, so the pin weight is slightly less with the coupler forward than with it rearward. An 8" difference in the roughly 12 feet from the hitch to the trailer's centre of mass will make a roughly 5% difference in the pin weight - that's 40 pounds if the pin weight is about 800 pounds... it would be difficult to even measure that with a scale, let alone detect any difference to the truck. The slightly longer effective trailer length will make it more stable, and slower to respond to steering actions (which could be noticeable when backing up).

Turning the Andersen hitch frame around does move the load point in the truck, which is quite different, but my understanding is that EJ (LoonCall) is talking about the coupler block clamped to the king pin.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:36 AM   #11
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Spinning the coupler block around makes no difference to the position of the ball relative to the truck, so the load is carried in the same place on the truck. There is no change to how the pin weight is distributed to the truck's rear axle.
Brian, please comment on my experience and conclusions. Am I correct or not so correct?

When I had a Scamp 19, my first trailer that hitched in the bed of the truck, do to its required clearances, I had the people at Scamp (Eveland’s) install their proprietary hitch on the day of orientation/pickup in May of 2012 (or as FDR would say, “a day of infamy”). Their magnificent installation was to drill four holes in the bed of the truck and using 4-inch squares of steel as make shift washers underneath, attach the rails to the floor bed of the bed of truck, with no connection to the frame whatsoever. IMO, both irresponsible and unsafe. I quickly went to a metal fabricator to reinforce it properly, to ease my mind.

Furthermore, the position of the ball was four-inches BEHIND the axle. That didn’t concern me as much because I concluded, perhaps falsely, that the pin weight of the Scamp was well under 600 pounds and that amount of weight would not act as a lever to elevate the front wheels enough to result in control issues in a 1/2 ton pickup, as would happen if a larger and heavier 5th wheel were connected at a point behind the axle.

After concluding that Scamp was (IMO) an acronym for Shoddily Constructed And Maintenance Plagued, I divested myself of it and ordered my 5.0TA the same day. I purchase a true 5th wheel hitch and towed the 5.0TA from Chilliwack to Florida with that same truck, pin weight behind the rear axle, with no problems. When I bought a 2015 F-150, the rails were installed with proper brackets attached to the frame.
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Old 04-08-2020, 04:03 PM   #12
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When I had a Scamp 19, my first trailer that hitched in the bed of the truck, do to its required clearances, I had the people at Scamp (Eveland’s) install their proprietary hitch on the day of orientation/pickup in May of 2012 (or as FDR would say, “a day of infamy”). Their magnificent installation was to drill four holes in the bed of the truck and using 4-inch squares of steel as make shift washers underneath, attach the rails to the floor bed of the bed of truck, with no connection to the frame whatsoever. IMO, both irresponsible and unsafe.
While this old-stye installation by Scamp may have been reasonable for the low pin weight of a bare-bones and lightly-loaded Scamp 19', I agree that it is shoddy. They apparently eventually conceded that it was bad, because they now offer a hitch which is functionally the same as an Andersen Ultimate rail-mount instead.

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Furthermore, the position of the ball was four-inches BEHIND the axle. That didn’t concern me as much because I concluded, perhaps falsely, that the pin weight of the Scamp was well under 600 pounds and that amount of weight would not act as a lever to elevate the front wheels enough to result in control issues in a 1/2 ton pickup, as would happen if a larger and heavier 5th wheel were connected at a point behind the axle.
I agree that the position is not a problem, assuming that the truck's rear axle load in the loaded and towing condition was still safely within GAWR. Unloading the front axle is not likely an issue for two reasons:
  1. as Carl mentioned, the effect of pin weight 4 inches behind the axle is relatively small - much smaller than any travel trailer hitched behind the bumper, 4 feet behind the axle; and
  2. most people carry passengers in the cab and cargo in the front of the box which towing, so the front axle load is probably higher than the empty condition anyway, despite the hitch behind the axle.

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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
After concluding that Scamp was (IMO) an acronym for Shoddily Constructed And Maintenance Plagued, I divested myself of it and ordered my 5.0TA the same day. I purchase a true 5th wheel hitch and towed the 5.0TA from Chilliwack to Florida with that same truck, pin weight behind the rear axle, with no problems. When I bought a 2015 F-150, the rails were installed with proper brackets attached to the frame.
Carl, you don't mention any actual problem towing the Scamp (regardless of other issues with it), so perhaps both trailers towed fine with the pin/ball behind the axle. If the 5.0TA towed better, with the same hitch position, the difference would likely be due to the greater length (hitch to axles) of the 5.0TA, as well as perhaps the tandem axles, rather than due to the hitch difference.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:34 PM   #13
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I agree that the position is not a problem, assuming that the truck's rear axle load in the loaded and towing condition was still safely within GAWR. Unloading the front axle is not likely an issue for two reasons:
  1. as Carl mentioned, the effect of pin weight 4 inches behind the axle is relatively small - much smaller than any travel trailer hitched behind the bumper, 4 feet behind the axle; and
  2. most people carry passengers in the cab and cargo in the front of the box which towing, so the front axle load is probably higher than the empty condition anyway, despite the hitch behind the axle.
My numbers bear this out. We mounted my Andersen 2" behind the axle, the steer axle empty is 2760 lbs and loaded 2780 (front axle is actually 20 lbs heavier loaded).

I have a 2015 F150 5.5' box. If I remember correctly we mounted the Andersen 2' behind the axle, this gives us 4 more inches of room than those who mount it the recommended 2" in front of the axle.

As a side note for those interested,
1) When deciding to set up the hitch I took the belief that having 800 lb hitch weight 2" behind the axle would be less detrimental than those rigs running 600 lbs or more behind the rear bumper.

2a ) that 4" allows us to hook up without having to back the pin box partly into the bed and then raising the tailgate and then finish backing the rest of the way.

2b) We do not worry about jackknifing.

2c) When we setup we can access the items in the truck bed (chocks etc) by lowering the tailgate and then being able to squeeze between the tailgate and the trailer to retrieve those items.

3) On both of our last trips we did experience some porpoising. It was only on some stretches of freeway, I think it was the highway verses our setup. We never encountered this on our previous trips but they involved very little freeway driving. I am planning to add the Roadmaster Active Suspension this spring, hopeful that will eliminate that problem.
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Old 04-08-2020, 08:49 PM   #14
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On both of our last trips we did experience some porpoising. It was only on some stretches of freeway, I think it was the highway verses our setup. We never encountered this on our previous trips but they involved very little freeway driving. I am planning to add the Roadmaster Active Suspension this spring, hopeful that will eliminate that problem.
HI Ron,

This is not really a like for like comparison, but when I had a 2013 19" escape towed behind a Tacoma with a WDH and Sumo springs, I still experienced some proposing on some roads if I did not have the trailer perfectly loaded front to rear.

Now this is a completely different setup, but my Tundra 5.5 bed Crew max towing a 2019 5.0 with the Anderson Hitch and Roadmaster Active Suspension, I have never experienced porpoising in over 13,000 miles of towing. I have had to slow down on really bad roads a few times, but that was more so I could steer around the potholes than ride quality. Note: My Anderson hitch is the gooseneck ball mount which is centered over the rear axle. (Where is connects to the truck) I'm not sure how your setup 2" behind the axle would affect things.
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Old 04-08-2020, 11:05 PM   #15
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HI Ron,

This is not really a like for like comparison, but when I had a 2013 19" escape towed behind a Tacoma with a WDH and Sumo springs, I still experienced some proposing on some roads if I did not have the trailer perfectly loaded front to rear.

Now this is a completely different setup, but my Tundra 5.5 bed Crew max towing a 2019 5.0 with the Anderson Hitch and Roadmaster Active Suspension, I have never experienced porpoising in over 13,000 miles of towing. I have had to slow down on really bad roads a few times, but that was more so I could steer around the potholes than ride quality. Note: My Anderson hitch is the gooseneck ball mount which is centered over the rear axle. (Where is connects to the truck) I'm not sure how your setup 2" behind the axle would affect things.
We've had it porpoise maybe 4 times, once it was very strong. Changing the vehicle speed doesn't seem to affect it. Usually it's continuous for a stretch of maybe 10 - 15 miles then it's done. One it seemed come and go for a stretch. It's more annoying than anything, the trailer tracks fine, isn't affected by the wind etc.

My hitch weight is 800 lbs and as evidenced by the extra weight on the front axle it shouldn't be too light on the hitch. My truck drops almost 2" when loaded. Also I am likely a hundred lbs heavier in the truck bed than in earlier trips. Besides the 800 lb hitch weight I have under 500 lbs in the truck bed. My payload is 1733 lb payload, so I am not overloaded.

I am thinking the 2" drop might be just enough to have me touching the overload spring and some roads cause the engaging and disengaging of the overload spring enough to create the porpoising. The Roadmaster would add enough lift to keep the overload spring out of play on that type of road. I think you said you went with the heavier Roadmaster adjustment, I plan to go with the lighter adjustment at least to begin with. I am anxious to be able to out to see if the extra initial support of the Roadmaster cures it.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:06 AM   #16
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We've had it porpoise maybe 4 times, once it was very strong. Changing the vehicle speed doesn't seem to affect it. Usually it's continuous for a stretch of maybe 10 - 15 miles then it's done. One it seemed come and go for a stretch. It's more annoying than anything, the trailer tracks fine, isn't affected by the wind etc.

My hitch weight is 800 lbs and as evidenced by the extra weight on the front axle it shouldn't be too light on the hitch. My truck drops almost 2" when loaded. Also I am likely a hundred lbs heavier in the truck bed than in earlier trips. Besides the 800 lb hitch weight I have under 500 lbs in the truck bed. My payload is 1733 lb payload, so I am not overloaded.

I am thinking the 2" drop might be just enough to have me touching the overload spring and some roads cause the engaging and disengaging of the overload spring enough to create the porpoising. The Roadmaster would add enough lift to keep the overload spring out of play on that type of road. I think you said you went with the heavier Roadmaster adjustment, I plan to go with the lighter adjustment at least to begin with. I am anxious to be able to out to see if the extra initial support of the Roadmaster cures it.
We now have over 23,000 miles on our 5.0 that we picked up late October, 2019. It's never porpoised.

Our first F150 was a 2015 XLT, extended cab, with max tow package, and a payload of nearly 2,000 #'s. It dropped by 1 3/8" with the 5.0 attached. We now pull with a 2019 F150 Lariat, quad cab, with max tow package and spring option, with a payload of 1,700+ pounds. The 2019 drops about 1 1/8".

I've had pickups all my life and they are designed to carry loads, unless you buy a urban pickup. I've also had air bags that give a false sense of security. I'll take springs over air bags any day. One to two inches of drop is nothing. Try putting 1,700 #'s in the back of your pickup and see what happens. So 7-900 #'s is trivial. OTOH, if you were to own a base model with only 1,100 #'s payload then you might think differently.

We don't carry as much as we first carried, since after each trip we decide what's never been used that we really don't need and leave it home. I'm guessing we easily carry 4-500#'s less than we first did and now have extra space in the pickup bed and now Terry has a folding Tern electric bike that sits behind the driver's seat, eliminating the trike hitch on the back of the camper (my trike now sits in the pickup bed when traveling).

Ron, you ever camp in SE Minnesota?

For what it's worth,

Perry
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Old 04-09-2020, 11:47 AM   #17
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We don't carry as much as we first carried, since after each trip we decide what's never been used that we really don't need and leave it home. I'm guessing we easily carry 4-500#'s less than we first did and now have extra space in the pickup bed and now Terry has a folding Tern electric bike that sits behind the driver's seat, eliminating the trike hitch on the back of the camper (my trike now sits in the pickup bed when traveling).
We do carry a lot in the bed of the truck, we started out with a lot, but we are continually adding rather than removing. I would guess your electric bike takes up a fair amount of room without adding the weight we have in that same amount of space.

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Ron, you ever camp in SE Minnesota?
No, we haven't, we did a lot of tent camping when our kids were young, mainly northern Minnesota, but we haven't done any in years. We bought the Escape in 2019 with the intend of doing more traveling versus camping. We picked up in June of last year and put on about 10,000 miles. This year we were gone for the month of February and put on about 4000 miles. We've attended and enjoy some rallies and we were hoping to do a few rallies this year. Hopefully that number does not continue to decline.

I am very familiar with the SE Minnesota area, I grew up in Waukon Ia and we lived in La Crosse for 25 years. I love that part of the country.

Hope to meet you one day hopefully in the "near future".
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:38 PM   #18
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We now have over 23,000 miles on our 5.0 that we picked up late October, 2019.
Oops!

23,000 miles in just six months would probably set a record here. Instead of 2019 it should say 2018!

Enjoy,

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Old 04-09-2020, 04:47 PM   #19
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Carl, you don't mention any actual problem towing the Scamp (regardless of other issues with it), so perhaps both trailers towed fine with the pin/ball behind the axle. If the 5.0TA towed better, with the same hitch position, the difference would likely be due to the greater length (hitch to axles) of the 5.0TA, as well as perhaps the tandem axles, rather than due to the hitch difference.
No, I didn’t have any problems towing either the Scamp or the 5.0TA, Nor did I perceive any subtle differences towing between the Scamp or the Escape. After picking up the TA the day before the Osoyoos Rally in May, sometime around October I ordered a new 2015 F-150 and had the hitch rails installed properly.

Interestingly enough, the lever effect of a bumper pull with connection point even further behind the axle never occurred to me. I’m glad you mentioned that. I was fixating on the standard location where 5th wheel hitches are normally installed.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:38 AM   #20
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 78748, Texas
Trailer: 5.0 TA 2017 Taj MaSmall
Posts: 103
Agree with Ronn moving the center of the rail mount toward the tailgate. Trademasters installed my rails so that the ball is 29" from the front of the bed on a 5' bed GMC Canyon (diesel). These trucks are 6' wide and there's no contact while turning issue, plenty of walk behind room, 2" squat, and nearly level tow (1/4 bubble) with the ball pin raised for 3" hitch clearance over the tailgate.
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