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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Lack of clearance on Reese Dual Cam

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ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 02/13/12 02:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll strongly second Jbarca's comments. thanks to his help I solved my DC problems, and the OP's setup mirrored my original setup. I started with the round bar setup and found there is limited tilt range problem 1. And, with a trailer with the coupler on the top, not enough clearance. Problem 2. I did get a 1"riser ball. That solved problem 2 and helps on problem 1 since the taller ball for the same angle give more tilt at the end of the bars. However, it never really solved the real problem. My bars weren't stiff enough and the older style dual cam which the OP has, ends up with not enough clearance. My solution finally was to go to the trunnion setup. (Can't get bars heavier than 1200lbs with a round bar setup) I really needed more than 1200lb bars, but more importantly the trunnion give WAY WAY more tilt angle to partially solve the clearance issue. the final solution for me was to bite the bullet and get the new style dual cam arms which are offset and give way more clearance.


2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison


JBarca

Dublin, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 02/14/12 07:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi kpratte,

See answers in blue

kpratte wrote:

JBarca wrote:

You have the Reese standard round bar head, the pre 2010 HP DC and what appears to be a 6" wide A frame with the ball coupler on top. That combination is going to have some setup problems with the round bar head.
That be the one.

Quote:

While you have a hex washer to adjust the ball tilt, there are only 2 positions that allow any rear tilt.
So, should I change it to the last available one that gives me a little more tilt?

I'm assuming you already bought the 1,200# round WD bars. If you are going for a change, then the hitch head and the WD bars need to change to a trunnion style. Can reuse the shank, the DC and the snap ups. Reese still makes the same standard round bar head today with the hex washer.

Not all setups have issue with that hex washer round bar head and the DC. However many do.

If your WD bars are say 1,200# and your loaded tongue weight is say 900# that difference helps as the stronger bar does not need to flex as much and thus you do not have to tilt the head back as much. If you have a 1,100 or 1,200# TW with 1,200# WD bars, the ball coupler on top and a 6" wide A frame it gets really hard to get the right WD on the truck and keep the WD bars somewhat parallel to the frame which is part of the round bar setup guide.

Every time I have setup one of these on a buddies rig or helped someone on line, they have run out of head tilt before they can get the rest of the setup to come out right. I'm not saying it cannot happen, it is just harder and many times does not come out.

These are the so call tricks or adjustments to help the cause.

1. If the fit between the hitch shank and the receiver pin box has much more then 1/64" (0.015") you can shim this excess play out. Some have it as bad as almost 3/32". And that much play can eat up 4 degrees of rear head tilt. What some have done is to get a thin sheet metal strip the full length & width of the truck pin box tube. You need to put equal thickness on top and bottom and it must be the full length of the pin box and then hang out about 2". Then use 2 stainless steel hose clamps around the deal to hole them in place. This takes out the excess play and gives you the best shot of using what little head tilt you have.

2. The next is for your 6" A frame ball coupler on top. You buy a hi rise tow ball. 1" or 2"rise. Mine was 1" and I added a 1/4" heavy flat washer to get a full 1" drop. The ball must be stamped rated the full GVWR of your camper or higher. They cost about $24. Heads up, they sell a lot of light duty ones. Check the stamp.

This will lower the hitch head down and in your case it may help the DC mounting setup as you will have to adjust out the DC arm after doing the hi rise ball. Out meaning towards the TT.

Also by lowering the head it creates a better relationship between the WD bars and the DC yoke in a turn. And it helps the lack of rear head pivot.

Those are the normal 2 tricks to help the cause. The WD chains are adjusted as needed with max heat tilt back to make them semi parallel to the frame. I say semi parallel as you can not get exact but you do not want to be on 3 chain links under tension as that is way too high. Odds are high on your frame 5 links will put it in the right place.

So after the shims on the shank and the hi rise ball, the head tilt back all the way, the right chain clearance, and the WD bars semi parallel to the frame, well then you need to see if the WD is correct. I do not know of any other tricks to help get you out of this if you already have 1,200# WD bars and you are close to a 1,200# loaded tongue.

It could be worth a try with the hi rise tow ball first regardless of what Reese hitch you use that will be needed and help with that ball coupler on top of a 6" A frame. If the adjustments I mentioned above do not get you there, then a hitch head and trunnion WD bars will get it to work. Etrailer is one place to get these if you are going new. Other places carry them too.

They have 1,200 and 1,500# bars. The 1500# you need a receiver rated that high and make sure the shank is stamped that high.

http://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Accessor........-Weight_Distribution-pc-Spring_Bars.aspx

The hitch head, http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Reese/RP58167.html Gee, the price is down. It use to be way up.

You can move the hi rise ball to the new head.

Some folks have bought used WD bars or an entire Reese trunnion WD hitch on Craig's list used something cheaper. And if you do upgrade, you may be able to sell your old head and WD bars on Craigs list.



Quote:

I can see they drilled the DC brackets on in the wrong place. They needed to actually go back further as you are just about out of DC adjustment.
Ok, so when you say "back" are you saying they should be closer or further away from the hitch head?

My bad, sorry. The DC frame plate would be moved towards the tow ball. However before you go drilling try the hi rise tow ball as it will require you to adjust back the DC towards the TT. You might luck out. And if you go to the trunnion bar hitch that may change the WD bar length as well.

Quote:

Odds are high you are going to need one of these, hi rise tow ball to lower your hitch head down to start creating the right relationship between the tow ball and the DC lobe.
Interesting, so if I understand what this does correctly, it will give me the ability to add more tension to the WD bars while staying at the same # of links under tension?

Yes, that is correct as I explained above.

Quote:

I don't have any pictures of it all setup because it's like 20F here.. Granted it's been a basically snowless Winter in New England, except for that October snowstorm, so I should be able to play with it next weekend.

- Ken


I can relate to the cold... it was 17 here the other day...

Armed with this info and understanding what you need to end up with, you can see if you just lucked out with the hitch you have or you need to upgrade. Also remember when you load the truck try and keep heavy items behind the cab, this will take some of the need for the WD hitch to work more. High weight aft of the rear axle makes the hitch work harder.

And when you load the camper, does you tongue weight go up from where you are now? Again the need for more WD bar tension which head tilt is the way to get it.

Good luck and hope this helps

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


Bob/Olallawa

Kitsap Co, WA

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Posted: 02/14/12 08:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As usual, nice job John. Having those photos at the ready sure helps explain how to set things up....


Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.

kpratte

Southern NH

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Posted: 02/15/12 05:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBarca wrote:

And when you load the camper, does you tongue weight go up from where you are now? Again the need for more WD bar tension which head tilt is the way to get it.
It would.. My 47 gallon fresh water tank is in the front and we load up the front cargo hold with another 100lbs of stuff and then I'm going from one 12V to two 6V batteries this season. So, adding nearly 500lbs in the front.

I already have the 1200lb round bars and was hoping to not spend much on fixing this.

The raised balls aren't even that expensive.. http://www.etrailer.com/Balls/Curt/C40035.html $17 plus shipping.

Quote:

Good luck and hope this helps
Thanks a bunch!

- Ken


2010 Toyota Tundra 5.7 CrewMax Limited, TRD Swaybar, Timbrens, Bilstein HD shocks
2012 Keystone Sprinter 272BHS
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