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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Drop Down Hitch

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Nathanbates114

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Posted: 09/06/21 11:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey everyone,
My wife and I are going to be buying our first travel trailer in a couple of days. We are obviously new to all of this but have done extensive research on tongue weight, towing capacity, WDH, etc. etc. One thing I'm wondering is if we're going to need an adjustable drop down hitch? We're driving about 3 hours away to purchase the travel trailer and don't want to come unprepared. Should we buy one just to be on the safe side and if we don't need it we can just return it? It's a 22' TT and we'll be towing it with a SUV. The weight distribution hitch and anti sway bars are included but I just want to make sure I show up prepared since we're driving 3 hours to pick it up. Thanks

Lynnmor

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Posted: 09/07/21 02:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most WDH systems will have a shank that is adjustable to some degree. WE cannot answer your question, you need to be able to get the ball height to where the trailer is level. I suggest that you watch some YouTube videos to learn the procedure.





NamMedevac 70

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Posted: 09/07/21 03:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor gave good answer. Just for your reference I towed a 28 foot TT for years with a Dodge Ram 2001 1500 with 16 inch wheels and the WDH hitch drop was about 2 inches. I towed same trailer with a ram 2002 2500 4x4 with 16 inch wheels and drop was about 4 inches. Different trailers will have different tongue heights for level towing. U-Haul trailers are around 18 inches high level and I use a 2 inch hitch drop on my Ram 1500 and the trailer is level. The hitch ball of an Equalizer WDH system is adjustable in height and angle to a large degree.

That is my non expert experience and enjoyed safe trouble free towing in the Rockies and west coast mountains for many years.

JRscooby

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Posted: 09/07/21 04:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trailer should tow level or nose down. You can get the level height of coupler from dealer or manufacturer. And they list a TW. Few people setting on back of SUV will show about how much it will drop. A tape measure, and the idea that any error should make tongue ride low should get you by.
Personally I prefer to have more ball mounts than a adjustable one.

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/07/21 08:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you have a pic of the included hitch? As said, alot of the WDHs are adjustable height.


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Nathanbates114

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Posted: 09/07/21 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all of the information everyone!

ronharmless

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Posted: 09/08/21 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The top of the coupler on the trailer is usually about 20" ±. Now you got to figure out how much your truck will sag after you set the trailer on the ball and hook up the Weight bars.

BenK

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Posted: 09/08/21 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Zero info to make a decent recommendation and just this opinion...

"SUV" covers a lot of ground and hoping you have a true SUV (derived from a pickup frame) and too many 'think' their CUV is a SUV. CUV's are derived from 'cars' and most all are monocoque (unibody).

So if you have Forester, it is a CUV derived from the Sienna minivan and if older Forester, they were derived from a Camry. Edit...sorry, Forester is a Subaru, meant Highlander. Other CUV's confused with SUV's are CRV (Civic), RAV (Corolla), etc

Then the types of SUV's from plain to fully loaded. Meaning, does it have auto ride height ?...that can make it harder for a newbie to setup.

Full time (AWD) or true 4x4? Some full time has a viscus 3rd member, which has some problems towing heavy and in the mountains or twistie's...working that 3rd member to overheat.

There are other things you will need, or should look into.

#1 is side mirrors if the trailer is full width.

#2 the tow package and if you don't have it...you might add an AUX ATF cooler as a min (assuming you have an automatic tranny), but there are more 'stuff' that comes with an OEM "tow package".

#3 DO NOT tow in OD or double OD, but best to check your glovebox manual on that

#4 Glove Box manual towing section. Read it several times and then again to familiarize yourself with your TV's towing metrics. Biggest point is how the TV should 'drop' after it is setup and on that, mainly the front TV axle/fender

#5 Get an IR heat gun to check everything before you leave home. Again when you get there (even during the drive). As HEAT is the biggest enemy of towing. Be sure to check all four tires and several places on each tire. Know those places and repeat those places each time you check temps

#6 TV's heat rejection system and if the radiator hasn't been flushed in over 5 years, do so BEFORE leaving. Check the serpentine belt & idler (assuming a used or older TV)

#7 Know your TV tires PSI range for driving empty to fully loaded & towing. On that, get a good tire pressure guage.

#8 JRscooby's recommendation is very good for trailer orientation on setup

Good luck ! Post back on how it went

* This post was edited 09/09/21 12:08pm by BenK *


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2012Coleman

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Posted: 09/09/21 06:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I were you, I'd check the manual of your "SUV" to make sure you are able to use a WDH with it. Vehicles with a unibody instead of a body-on-frame should never use a WDH hitch. They can't handle the torque and could break apart under the stresses. Only bringing it up since you don't say what you are towing with.


Experience without good judgment is worthless; good judgment without experience is still good judgment!

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stevemorris

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Posted: 09/10/21 06:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

certainly check the manual for you tow vehicle, pay particular attention to the payload capacity(driver's side door jamb)
most wd hitch manufacturers have videos on proper setup, find out what you're getting and find the video(utube)
keep in mind that dealerships dont give a **** about safe towing and will sell you more trailer than you can tow safely


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