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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Need weight distributing hitch help for new purchase

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Seabornman

Central New York

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Posted: 03/19/12 05:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, I just purchased an older 22 ft. travel trailer with a weight distributing hitch. As you can see from the photo, it's not working. The Suburban's receiver is much higher than the previous owner's (he had a Silverado). I did manage to drive it 30 miles home like this without the electric brakes working, and it actually handled fine. So, after some research, the trailer has a 5000# GVWR, though it seems it's more like 3600# unloaded. The Suburban is rated for a 5000# trailer (the 3.08 rear end doesn't help), and allowable tongue weight is 600# weight carrying, 1100# weight distributing. I don't know what tongue weight of the trailer is. It's a Reese hitch. We didn't dial any preload into the bars as we were already too high. The shank is welded into the head.
So where do I go? Will I have to buy a modern Reese head and shank? Will it fit? Should I start all over? It seems the trailer is right at the edge of requiring a WD hitch at all. Once I get a brake controller, will it matter? I don't know what my plans are with this as it was sort of an impulse buy, but I know I won't be climbing any tall mountains with the 5.3 engine and the 3.08 differential. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 03/19/12 05:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like all you need is a drop shank to lower the connection a few inches. Probably can find a standard drop that would put you pretty close to level. From the photo you'd only need a couple of inches.


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MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 03/19/12 06:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check out some local RV dealers and see if they have any used adjustable shanks and a hitch head for trunion style bars.. Depending on price, you should be able to get something for $100 or less??

Or get a whole new setup? That'll run a bit more, but you'd want to do a WD setup no matter what IMO...

Good luck!

Mitch


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2003 Prowler Lynx 722F #5000 GVWR and weighs every bit of it! Happy Camping!


Bill & Kate

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Posted: 03/19/12 06:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you will much happier with a proper set up. THe trailer really needs to be close to level to handle properly and to avoid tire wear problems. You may be able to get a different head arrangement from Reese that uses the same trunnion bar set up, or you might get away with just getting a a new drop bar and having a local welder cut off the old, and weld it onto the new at the proper height.
If worst comes to worst, a entirely new Reese Pro SC or Equalizer
will not be that expensive, and you will have the piece of mind that it is set up properly.




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Ron3rd

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Posted: 03/19/12 06:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The trailer's sitting way to high in the front, which is not good as it could cause a lot of uncontrollable sway. Get the trailer dropped down to level and at a minimum add a single friction sway control setup. Then get a brake controller and get the brakes working. Then go have fun, you'll be fine.


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chevor

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Posted: 03/19/12 06:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks good to me. I think you should concentrate on getting the brake controller in place. If it rides fine why change anything. Its more important to have the weight on each trailer axel close then it is have the setup look level.


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fla-gypsy

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Posted: 03/19/12 07:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Simple fix, buy a drop shank for it.

* This post was edited 03/19/12 07:25pm by fla-gypsy *


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jerem0621

Tennessee

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Posted: 03/19/12 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to dump this hitch, with the welded head, no good for your set up.. to get it proper for your truck it would require cutting, and rewelding the hitch head.

I seriously recommend This hitch package for your trailer. Best deal under $300.00


I also recommend this Brake Controller

Along with this Hardwire kit for Primus

Or I would see about adding a Factory brake controller for your rig.

Good luck and please be safe. Towing a trailer without brakes is no fun.

Thank!


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APT

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Posted: 03/20/12 05:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the same problem with my Suburban compared to my prior TV. My Reese WD system came with this shank and just ordered this one last week.

Your half ton Suburban may be able to use my former one. By the time you spend $250 on a hitch head and shank, you might as well just get a new setup with add some friction sway control.


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Seabornman

Central New York

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Posted: 03/21/12 06:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the help. I ordered a brake controller and am still sorting out the drop situation for the WD hitch.

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