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 > Shank Size Selection

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TECMike

Texas

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Posted: 04/15/10 11:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In ordering a shank size length for an equalizer hitch, is it better to have a shorter or 6" longer shank length if an optional length is available?

What are the advantages and disavantages?

Mike

LarryJM

NoVa

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Posted: 04/15/10 12:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TECMike wrote:

In ordering a shank size length for an equalizer hitch, is it better to have a shorter or 6" longer shank length if an optional length is available?

What are the advantages and disavantages?

Mike


On a properly matched TT and TV the length IMHO should not be an issue, but technically a longer shank will have some additional leverage on the TV since the point of the WDH force is a little more away from the rear axle. But you can't get a shank much longer than 18" so the delta between 12" and 18" is small. For me it makes opening my rear doors on the van easier and could help on a P/U with dropping the tail gate when needed.

Larry


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skipnchar

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Posted: 04/15/10 12:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a longer stinger your trucks RECEIVER will be derated. Check the ratings on your receiver to be sure you can afford to loose the capacity with your trailer. Good luck / Skip


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LarryJM

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Posted: 04/15/10 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

skipnchar wrote:

With a longer stinger your trucks RECEIVER will be derated. Check the ratings on your receiver to be sure you can afford to loose the capacity with your trailer. Good luck / Skip


IMO that is the proverbial "Internet Myth" that I mentioned in THIS THREAD and I think Ron in his post on 4/9/10 debunked this myth, but I can't follow his engineering analysis since I'm just not that smart mechanically wise and this was for a receiver tube extension and not for just a shank length increase. If you notice I never got any reply to my request for a manufacturer that derates the receiver for any longer shank. Now the manufacturer's of the receiver extensions might derate what they sell, but IMO that has nothing to do with the actual receiver, but is because of that tube extension.

Larry

roughing_it

Ann Arbor, MI

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Posted: 04/15/10 04:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would go with the shorter shank. The leverage the TT has on your vehicle is proportional to the distance from the back axle to the ball squared, so you really want to keep it small. Here are the advantages of short:
1. For a given tongue weight the load on the rear axle will be less with a shorter shank. This will help you not exceed RGAWR and the ride will be better if you are further away from the jounce bumpers. You will also have fewer ground clearance issues at the hitch. Also, the TV will be more level.
2. The trailer will have less of a tendency to sway with a shorter shank since the tow vehicle will be stiffer laterally.
3. The trailer will have less leverage to push the TV around such as in cross winds.

When I towed my pop up and with my current TT I modified the shanks so that they are shorter (by drilling a new hole for the pin). On my van, the limiting factor was the hatch hitting the jack on the tongue. On my current TV, I had to buy a solid shank (instead of the cast i-beam type) that was solid so that I had plenty of steel to drill into.

In both cases I was able to shorten the shank by about 3 inches. With the van and pop up I definitely had better handing, sway stability, and ground clearance with the shorter shank. With my current TV and TT, I never drove the car with the older (longer) shank since I knew the advantages of getting the ball as close as possible to the rear axle of the TV.

Now if you are towing a popup with a dually pickup, it is going to pull great no matter what, but if you are closer to maxing out your vehicles capability, go with the shorter shank. I also like the shanks with the square cross section that goes into the receiver so that you can shorten them. The cast i-beam shanks have more material around the hole so you cannot really put the hole in a different place without losing some integrity.

There are some shanks that have two holes, and if you read the specs carefully, you will see that the shank has a higher weight rating when using the hole that puts the ball closer to the TV.


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LarryJM

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Posted: 04/15/10 04:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

roughing_it wrote:

I would go with the shorter shank. The leverage the TT has on your vehicle is proportional to the distance from the back axle to the ball squared, so you really want to keep it small. Here are the advantages of short:

1. For a given tongue weight the load on the rear axle will be less with a shorter shank. This will help you not exceed RGAWR and the ride will be better if you are further away from the jounce bumpers. You will also have fewer ground clearance issues at the hitch. Also, the TV will be more level.

I disagree with with all aspects of that point.


2. The trailer will have less of a tendency to sway with a shorter shank since the tow vehicle will be stiffer laterally.


Again I would have to disagree with all that.

3. The trailer will have less leverage to push the TV around such as in cross winds.
When I towed my pop up and with my current TT I modified the shanks so that they are shorter (by drilling a new hole for the pin). On my van, the limiting factor was the hatch hitting the jack on the tongue. On my current TV, I had to buy a solid shank (instead of the cast i-beam type) that was solid so that I had plenty of steel to drill into.

In both cases I was able to shorten the shank by about 3 inches. With the van and pop up I definitely had better handing, sway stability, and ground clearance with the shorter shank. With my current TV and TT, I never drove the car with the older (longer) shank since I knew the advantages of getting the ball as close as possible to the rear axle of the TV.

Now if you are towing a popup with a dually pickup, it is going to pull great no matter what, but if you are closer to maxing out your vehicles capability, go with the shorter shank. I also like the shanks with the square cross section that goes into the receiver so that you can shorten them. The cast i-beam shanks have more material around the hole so you cannot really put the hole in a different place without losing some integrity.

There are some shanks that have two holes, and if you read the specs carefully, you will see that the shank has a higher weight rating when using the hole that puts the ball closer to the TV.



Point me to a reliable source like a receiver manufacturer that has those specs and I won't be holding my breath on shanks having different wt. rating since that to my knowledge is the "Internet Myth" I have already mentioned and asked for a link that as of yet is still not provided..


Larry

* This post was edited 04/15/10 04:58pm by LarryJM *

LarryJM

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Posted: 04/15/10 04:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry double post

Larry

taborekle

Clements, Md

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Posted: 04/15/10 06:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Larry I'm going to go with roughing_it on this one. The shank forms a lever arm to the load (the ball) from the rear wheels. The longer the shank the longer the lever arm.

Lever arms multiply loads. Archimedes said it, and I have to believe it.

Larry (different Larry)

BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 04/15/10 06:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryJM wrote:

Point me to a reliable source like a receiver manufacturer that has those specs and I won't be holding my breath on shanks having different wt. rating since that to my knowledge is the "Internet Myth" I have already mentioned and asked for a link that as of yet is still not provided..

Sorry Larry but you lose on this one. I personally have seen shanks with two holes. One is marked 1200lbs (hole that puts ball farther back from bumper) and the other 1000lbs (hole that puts ball closer to bumper).

In addition, here is a quote from a hitch manufacturer on using their extension. Note especially the last point. If you were to use this extension loaded to its' maximum (rated for 700lbs in WD mode) and your receiver was rated for 1000lbs in WD mode, you would be 200lbs over your receivers de-rated limit of 500lbs.

"Brophy Hitch Accessories - HE06

7" Trailer Hitch Extender

Features:

* Prevents hitting trailer or propane tanks when making sharp turns while towing.
* Has powder coated black finish resists rust and corrosion.

Specs:

* Designed for 2" x 2" trailer hitches
* Measures 7" from center to center of hitch pin holes
* Measures 11-5/8" long (overall)
o Measures 2-1/2" from end of shank (that slides into hitch on vehicle) to center of hitch pin hole
o Measures 2-1/8" from center of hitch pin hole to the 2" x 2" opening (for accessory)
* Has weight capacity that is the lowest of the following
o 50% of the hitch's overall weight capacity
o Load rating GTW 3,500 lbs; Tongue 350 lbs
o Load rating with weight distribution equipment GTW 7000 lbs; Tongue 700 lbs

Please Note: Using a hitch extender will reduce your hitch's overall capacity by 50%."

Note: Red color is MY emphasis.

Here is where the above quote came from.

Here Is a Reese shank with two holes. It does not say in the specs given in the link but if you look closely at the top picture you can see the two hole in the shank and right above/below each one you can see the stamping in the shank that states what tongue weight that hole is limited to.
Edit: On enlarging the picture in that link, the rearmost hole (left) is marked 1000lbs and the one closest to the drop bar(right) is marked 1400lbs.
[image]

That "Internet Myth", as you so fondly call it, is not a myth at all but TRUE!
Barney

* This post was edited 04/15/10 07:10pm by BarneyS *


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Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 04/15/10 06:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From time to time people on this forum talk about the need to derate a reciever when using a longer shank.

Just how is one to do that? I have NEVER seen that from those who should know..... The reciver hitch manufacturers.

So unless someone can come up with the FACTS I will believe that the manufacterers have already taken the different shank lengths into consideration when rating their products.


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