Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Towing: Help needed with CAT scale numbers
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 > Help needed with CAT scale numbers

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keymastr

S.E. Washington

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Posted: 12/09/17 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would add one thing here, the Equalizer manual and Ford both agree on the front fender height restoration being between 50% and 100%. Ignore the axle WEIGHTS other than not going over the gross axle weight ratings. The manual only talks about fender HEIGHT since most people don't have access to scales when doing initial setup.. All of JBarca's info is spot on otherwise and his ball height suggestion is spot on.

You may have to go through the whole procedure a couple times before you get the whole setup correct. When you are done the trailer will be level, the bars will be parallel to the trailer frame and your fender height will be within that 50% - 100% range. Then you can go for a drive and confirm your axle weights are not exceeded at the scales.

Mine took 5 washers to get the correct fender height and it is a pain in the butt to have to take the shank apart to add or subtract washers but that is what changes the ball angle and the ball angle changes how much weight is transferred. I think that your trailer being so nose down was affecting how the hitch was transferring weight so that should improve also. I will guess that your brackets will need to be raised once the trailer is level in order to keep the bars parallel to the trailer frame.

I also noticed when my hitch was new that the sway control worked much better after a couple hundred miles when the paint wore off of the bars and brackets. I guess the raw steel has more friction than the painted steel. Good luck, you are on the right path now and will have it dialed in in a couple hours. [emoticon]

Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/12/17 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great advice, thank you.

I just installed my new Curt 15410 hitch....what a beast of a hitch! Talk about HEAVY DUTY!!!!

Made one small mistake during install.....I used my impact gun to tighten new hitch bolts (why?....I used it to loosen factory hitch bolts and figured I would tighten new hitch bolts with it too). After thinking about it, I looked up specs of my impact and it is rated at 700 ft/lbs!!!!

So I called Curt and they told me that was WAY too much and that bolts were probably compromised (stretched). They recommended I install new bolts and nuts and torque to 150 ft.lbs as stated in install manual.

So, changing bolts is not too bad of a job, just a hassle and cost of new bolts. I've done all this work and spent much $$$$, so I am not going to cut any corners at this point, especially on something related to safety.

So, in the next week I'll get it all buttoned down and adjusted properly. I'll keep you all posted with pics.

Thanks!!!

* This post was edited 12/13/17 06:24am by Baja Man *


2003 Ford F-350 XLT Super Duty, Crew Cab, V10 (6.8L); 4X2; Standard Bed; SRW; 4R100 trans
2016 Outdoors RV - Timber Ridge 280RKS, Equal-i-zer Hitch 4pt. 14K
2014 Gregor Eagle 17 Center Console (Mercury 60hp 4 stroke)

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/14/17 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good deal. Yes, getting that old receiver off can be a challenge. I had to use my 3/4" drive set (breaker bar and ratchet with pipe) and it fought me all the way, every bolt to the last thread. My 1/2" impact would not touch them and I did not have my 1" one then.

I went the Reese Tow Beast route. Back then they were one of the few who had a 2 1/2" receiver rated that high to fit the truck. Now there are a lot more companies providing and yes, the new Curt one is a beast. I put the 2" one on a 2500HD last fall for a camper friend.
F350 Receiver Upgrade - (Pic's)

Good luck with the hitch setup.

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!)


Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/20/17 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

12-19-17: Installed NEW Curt bolts, washers, and nuts. Torqued to 150 ft/lb.

Now I can begin the hitch set up process....following all of the great advice shared on this thread.

keymastr

S.E. Washington

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Posted: 12/26/17 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good deal, hope it goes smooth. No working on the trailer here, would have to shovel the snow out of the way. Be a few years yet before we can move south in the winter. Curious to see how it works out.

Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/26/17 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm back with a new hitch installed!

NEW Hitch has been set up following the Equal-i-zer directions.
Hitch is a 1400/14000 model with a 13" rise shank.

Trailer is now LEVEL!!!!

5 washers were used and the L bracket mounted on trailer (where bars attach) is set leaving two visible holes on top (see pic).

Drove it approx. 25 miles to CAT scale. Drove great!

Here are NEW weights:

Weight #1 (Truck and trailer WITH WD engaged):

Front axle: 3400#
Rear axle: 4680#
Trailer axle: 8140#
Total: 16220#

Weight #2 (Truck and trailer WD NOT engaged):

Front axle: 3220#
Rear axle: 4980#
Trailer axle: 8040
Total: 16240#

Weight #3 (truck only with new camper shell and 40# in bed):

Front axle: 3700#
Rear axle: 3280#
Total: 6980#

So.....is this better than where I was the first weigh in and previous hitch?
Are further fine tuning adjustments needed? If so, what exactly?

Thanks!!

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/28/17 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Baja Man wrote:


Drove it approx. 25 miles to CAT scale. Drove great!

Here are NEW weights:

Weight #1 (Truck and trailer WITH WD engaged):

Front axle: 3400#
Rear axle: 4680#
Trailer axle: 8140#
Total: 16220#

Weight #2 (Truck and trailer WD NOT engaged):

Front axle: 3220#
Rear axle: 4980#
Trailer axle: 8040
Total: 16240#

Weight #3 (truck only with new camper shell and 40# in bed):

Front axle: 3700#
Rear axle: 3280#
Total: 6980#

So.....is this better than where I was the first weigh in and previous hitch?
Are further fine tuning adjustments needed? If so, what exactly?


You are in a much better place now. But one point for a heads up.

You added the new truck cap but only have 40# of gear in the truck bed. Is this the way you plan on camping? only 40# in the bed?

From your numbers, the dead weight of the tongue with no WD removes 480# from the front axle. (3700 - 3,220 = 480) When you add the WD bars, you move weight up front but the front axle is still 300# from unhitched (light.) (3700 - 3,400 = 300) You moved 180# up front from the rear axle. That is not yet even 50% restored from unhitched. 50% would be 240# moved up front. Between 50% and no more than 100% back to original is better. If you want a target, shoot for 75%. (120# light on the front or moved 360# to the front axle in place of the current 180# moved)

The truck is riding good now. This is a good first step. From my experience, you are on the edge of being optimized. If more weight is added to the back of the truck behind the rear axle, this will affect the WD to making it somewhat worse then it is now which is already not optimized.

I would recommend you load the truck bed like you go camping. Check the WD settings on the truck by the fender heights. Reset the WD hitch again and while doing it, shift some more weight towards the front axle. Odds are high 1 more washer of ball tilt back towards the camper will put you right about where you need to be. Then check the L brackets that the WD bars are close to parallel with the frame and brackets, check for level camper and figure out if you need to move the shank (again) and try a test drive.

Once you get the WD optimized, then some level of truck bed weight and or camper TW will not affect the settings enough to be noticed. In your case, with a 1,220# loaded TW, 1 ton truck, a bed weight change of +/- 100# will not really be felt, "once" you are optimized. Your not quite there yet. But a lot closer. If you add 100 to 200# to the truck bed now, since you are not optimized, it can make the front axle even worse.

It normally takes "at least" 3 times to dial in a WD hitch. And it is common that folks new to setting a WD hitch often end up being light on the front end. It's OK, it is all adjustable and your getting better at it every time you go back at it. And you will enjoy the good times when you are dialed in to be optimized. And even better, understand why and how you made it to this point.

We commend you for taking this seriously and trying to get the setup the best it can be. Good for you!

Hope this helps

John

PS, are you having any issues swinging the WD bars onto the L brackets by hand? Meaning not pulling up hard with the lift handle? If you are not able do this without the lift handle pulling up, let us know. There is a technique by jacking up the truck and camper high enough to allow this and not get yourself hurt with the WD bar handle.

Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/28/17 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks John--

I started another post on my NEW hitch set up. Thought I would get more responses seeing as this thread was already several weeks old and most people tend to view/respond to threads that are near the top of the list. Thank you for sticking with this thread!!

NOTE: I have been using my electric tongue jack to raise/lower the trailer and swing bars onto L brackets. I a y have to add 1-2 additional wood blocks under jack foot to raise it high enough to install bars on L brackets....as it's close to toping out now

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/28/17 10:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Baja Man wrote:

Thanks John--

I started another post on my NEW hitch set up. Thought I would get more responses seeing as this thread was already several weeks old and most people tend to view/respond to threads that are near the top of the list. Thank you for sticking with this thread!!

NOTE: I have been using my electric tongue jack to raise/lower the trailer and swing bars onto L brackets. I a y have to add 1-2 additional wood blocks under jack foot to raise it high enough to install bars on L brackets....as it's close to toping out now


OK, you have the right jacking concept. I carry a 6" wood block to put under the electric jack foot to gain enough height. On 1,700# WD bars there is no safe way to pull them up without jacking the camper and truck coupled up sky high. Then I can put the bars on by hand. Let the jack down and all the weight loads up.

I'll go look for your other post

keymastr

S.E. Washington

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks pretty good to me. You could transfer a little more weight but when mine gets closer to 75% of the front axle restored it feels like the rear end gets pushed around by passing trucks easier.

Your trailer weight is 9260 with 1220 tongue weight, about 13.5% which is great. Try another washer and if it feels like you are getting pushed around more then take it back out. My guess is one more will be perfect.

Glad it rides good now and thanks for the update.

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