Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: How does a longer shank affect backing?
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 > How does a longer shank affect backing?

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JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 08/07/21 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The longer shank will give you more clearance, let you jack tighter. Will also pull more weight off front axle of TV. Lots of other issues, if going to tow that way.

Whangler wrote:

Super_Dave wrote:

What do you think about putting a front hitch on?

Haven't even thought of it, but would certainly entertain that possibility. Tell me more?


Many think a idiot hitch is the way to go. And for many people and a boat trailer, I would agree. But while you are thinking about it, pull center of TV nose up to the tongue of the TT. What can you see? I would think it might be better to mount the hitch to the end of right frame rail, so could at least see 1 side of trailer.

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 08/11/21 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The longer shank will make the trailer slightly more responsive in backing, and the trailer will more closely follow in the wheel tracks of the truck on turns.

If you think your rear squats with the weight of the trailer, it's nothing compared to the front end. Think about it. The front end is sprung softer than the rear AND it already has a heavy engine on it. A large travel trailer will shove it right down to the ground.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 08/20/21 11:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've towed two 30 foot trailers with two different Ram trucks--using extended shank hitches.
No problems at all. The trailer will track slightly closer to the truck track. When backing, the trailer can be turned sharper than when using a short shank.
As far as the hitch causing huge weight changes to the front axle, I haven't had any issues at all. I have an Equilizer brand hitch and towed about 25,000 miles with this type set up.
Your results may vary.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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

JRscooby wrote:

The longer shank will give you more clearance, let you jack tighter. Will also pull more weight off front axle of TV. Lots of other issues, if going to tow that way.

Whangler wrote:

Super_Dave wrote:

What do you think about putting a front hitch on?

Haven't even thought of it, but would certainly entertain that possibility. Tell me more?


Many think a idiot hitch is the way to go. And for many people and a boat trailer, I would agree. But while you are thinking about it, pull center of TV nose up to the tongue of the TT. What can you see? I would think it might be better to mount the hitch to the end of right frame rail, so could at least see 1 side of trailer.


That said, if one is truly at the physical limits of being able to back a trailer into a tight spot, a front hitch will get it into a tighter spot. Whether it’s based on room for the tow vehicle to pivot, or the angle of jack knife required to get it there.
No question, not debatable. Having the steer axle near the trailer tongue acts more like a dolly than having to pivot the whole tow vehicle to make the trailer go in the right spot.
Whether one has been a professional cab jockey their whole life or a weekend warrior with their first trailer.

Using a front hitch as a crutch for lack of backing skills is an option, but not one that I find to be less difficult conceptually. You still have to stick the trailer where it needs to go without hitting something!


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

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