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.
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.
2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR - 2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles) 2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer
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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.
Bill & Kate - Stone Harbor, NJ
w/ Sunny (parti poodle) & Molson (goldendoodle)
2005 Ford/Quigley 4x4 E-350 Chateau Super Duty Van with 6.0L PSD ("Moby")
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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.
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.