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Old 04-03-2014, 10:15 PM   #1
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Towing with a level trailer

I noticed that my Dodge Ram has tail sag when hooked up to my 19ft Escape and they are not level. Should I reconfigure my rise or drop on my truck hitch or look at an equalizing hitch to distribute weight better? Has anyone used an equalizer on this size trailer?
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:01 PM   #2
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I use a WDH when towing my 19'. Levels the tow vehicle so there is no sag and provides a nice stable tow.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:40 PM   #3
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Because the Escape 19' has tandem Torflex axles, it is important that it is towed level. If the nose is lower the leading axle will take more than it's share of the load, making the trailer less stable, as if you moved the axles forward and reduced the tongue weight. Even a couple of inches lower than level - measured at the coupler - makes a difference.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:42 AM   #4
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If you are talking about a real Equalizer WDH, changing the head height on hitch shank will raise or lower the front of the trailer. Here's the manual if you don't have it. See steps 6 and 7 for adjusting the weight distribution. I found it to be a mix of the "L" bracket height and the head to shank angle. Keep in mind you may have to readjust the trailer for level once you level out the trucks weight distribution. Takes some fiddling around with.
On my old Ford Ranger, I could not get the truck to level by adjustments, had to resort to Air-Lifts. I believe my stick trailer hitch weight is a lot heavier then an Escape 19, 600 lbs loaded.

http://www.equalizerhitch.com/pdf/EQOwnersManual.pdf

If you don't have an Equalizer, skip this post.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:28 AM   #5
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We use the Anderson WDH on our 19' hooked to a 06 Tundra and it works great.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:56 AM   #6
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I just got the 21 and Anderson WDH, but I'm thinking about replacing the bump stops on the Trailblazer with a Timbren SES kit to help the rear coil springs.
http://timbren.com/
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulw View Post
I just got the 21 and Anderson WDH, but I'm thinking about replacing the bump stops on the Trailblazer with a Timbren SES kit to help the rear coil springs.
Home - Timbren Industries Inc. Suspension Products
Paul,

If your hitch is adjusted properly you should not need the kit. On my old Trailblazer EXT with my Reese cranked up properly the Casita felt just fine. Had equal drops of 1-1/2" front and rear. Without the spring bars the back dropped at least 3" or more. Hitch weight would have been very similar to 21'. Just my thoughts. (Only reason I did not keep my TB was because of the high mileage and reliability. I believe it would have been fine with the 21' I have on order.)
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulw View Post
I just got the 21 and Anderson WDH, but I'm thinking about replacing the bump stops on the Trailblazer with a Timbren SES kit to help the rear coil springs.
Home - Timbren Industries Inc. Suspension Products
I had the Timbren's installed on my Sienna several years ago. Before that I had airbags which were a constant problem with losing pressure. The Timbrens have been great for hauling my pop-up trailer and any other time I have a heavier load.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by skiman View Post
On my old Trailblazer EXT with my Reese cranked up properly the Casita felt just fine. Had equal drops of 1-1/2" front and rear.
Was that drop at the front compared to the unloaded (no trailer) height, or compared to the height with trailer but no WD?

If the ride height at the front dropped - especially as much as 1.5" - from the unloaded position when the trailer was attached and WD applied, the WD hitch was not adjusted properly. It was adjusted to apply far too much load transfer, according to the instructions from Reese and other WD manufacturers: the WD system should just bring the front back down to the unloaded position, not further down.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by skiman View Post
Paul,

If your hitch is adjusted properly you should not need the kit. On my old Trailblazer EXT with my Reese cranked up properly the Casita felt just fine. Had equal drops of 1-1/2" front and rear. Without the spring bars the back dropped at least 3" or more. Hitch weight would have been very similar to 21'. Just my thoughts. (Only reason I did not keep my TB was because of the high mileage and reliability. I believe it would have been fine with the 21' I have on order.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nealmccarter View Post
I had the Timbren's installed on my Sienna several years ago. Before that I had airbags which were a constant problem with losing pressure. The Timbrens have been great for hauling my pop-up trailer and any other time I have a heavier load.
Neal/Carl,
Thanks for sharing your experiences. The TB probably doesn't need them, the hitch weight so far is just below where GM says WD is necessary, but they shouldn't hurt either. I'll get the Anderson dialed in between this weekend and the NOG in a few weeks.
Those Jeep GCs are sure nice, but I'm going to run the TB for another season or so.... it's been very reliable so far, it's not worth anything in trade and paid for tugs seem to run better .
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Was that drop at the front compared to the unloaded (no trailer) height, or compared to the height with trailer but no WD?

If the ride height at the front dropped - especially as much as 1.5" - from the unloaded position when the trailer was attached and WD applied, the WD hitch was not adjusted properly. It was adjusted to apply far too much load transfer, according to the instructions from Reese and other WD manufacturers: the WD system should just bring the front back down to the unloaded position, not further down.
Compared to heights of wheel wells on Trailblazer without trailer. Per the instructions from my Reese 66151 -

"Re-measure the front wheel well reference point. Front wheel well height
MUST be equal to or less than the original measurement. If the front wheel well height is higher
than previously measured, the head tilt angle must be increased (tilted downward). If the front
wheel well height is substantially lower than originally measured (1 Ĺ inches or more) the head tilt wheel well height is substantially lower than originally measured (1 Ĺ inches or more), the head tilt
angle must be reduced (tilted upward), or for coarse adjustment the pad hanger bolts can be lowered
one hole. Spring bars must be unloaded and removed from the pad hangers prior to adjusting head
tilt angle or removal of shoulder bolts. If head angle or shoulder bolt location adjustments are made
repeat hook up steps until the front wheel well height is equal to or less than originally measured.
It’s preferred that the rear of the vehicle settle the same amount or more than the front.
Optional: The ideal setup would allow the vehicle to settle an equal amount (front and rear) from the original measurements."

The mechanics of the Anderson are of course different, but the end measurements should be similar. (I did make sure the rear drop was slightly more than the front.)
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by skiman View Post
"If the front wheel well height is substantially lower than originally measured (1 Ĺ inches or more) the head tilt angle must be reduced (tilted upward), or for coarse adjustment the pad hanger bolts can be lowered one hole."
So this setup is all the way out at the most extreme they allow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiman View Post
" Optional: The ideal setup would allow the vehicle to settle an equal amount (front and rear) from the original measurements."
I guess physics has changed Reese did not previously say this, and it does not make sense. The trailer load is behind the rear axle - forcing the front axle to take this much load is fundamentally wrong for vehicle stability, and I believe that the risk of this sort of setup is one reason that some manufacturers advise the WD system not be used.

The two statements are also contradictory. One says to that the front should not come down significantly, and other says that the front and rear would ideally come down the same amount. I guess the "ideal" is to get a lighter trailer if that "equal" settling is "substantial".

Did you ever check the axle loads, with and without trailer?
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kountrykamper View Post
We use the Anderson WDH on our 19' hooked to a 06 Tundra and it works great.
We have the same setup only ours is an '04 Tundra and it tows fine. ETI hooked everything up so we're confident it's okay; however, I'm the one that seems to notice an ever so slight drop in the back of our Tundra.
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