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Old 08-07-2012, 08:53 PM   #43
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Yeah john i noticed that the sway bar ball was mounted on the wrong side of the hitch. On my camper the small sway bar ball is welded to the tongue on the right side of the tongue like your old set up. My plan was to move the sway bar to the right side of the tongue. I will post photos. So if im correct the whole sway bar contraption will be on the passenger side of my car which is the door side of my trailer? I was wondering what weight the wd hitch bars were. I will ck to see if i can see marks. How about a nice paint job on the hitch? I hate to use spray enamel but i bet that might work,eh?
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:54 PM   #44
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I have to pick up some wd brackets to snap the chains up too. My hitch didnt come with them.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:21 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photokit View Post

On my camper the small sway bar ball is welded to the tongue on the right side of the tongue like your old set up. My plan was to move the sway bar to the right side of the tongue. I will post photos. So if im correct the whole sway bar contraption will be on the passenger side of my car which is the door side of my trailer?


Yes you are correct, the friction sway bar will be on the passenger side of the truck, aka right side. And yes that is the door side of the camper. I mixed up the door side in my last post. Will go fix.

If your mini ball is welded onto the camper on the right side, then you should be able to unbolt the min ball off the hitch head and move it over to the correct side. It may be rusted/setup a bit but should be able to move. Odds are very likely the hitch will need to be reset for hitch height and or head titlt to match your truck and camper. Those big bolts on the hitch head will need to be moved. Who ever will be helping you with those big bolts will have the wrenches etc to move the mini ball.

Yes spray paint is OK on the hitch. Rustoleum is good. They have a regular type that is good http://rustoleum.com/CBGBrand.asp?bid=2

And they have a Professional grade which is even better
http://rustoleum.com/CBGBrand.asp?bid=5

Lowes has the brand and so do many other outlets. The Pro grade is harder to come by however the regular is still very good.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #46
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Does anyone have a source for just buying the snap up brackets for a WD hitch? I got a great buy on the WD hitch but it didn't include the Snap up brackets. Here's a photo of a bracket I saw on another trailer (not mine).
http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/me...icture2400.jpg
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #47
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Did you try an RV dealer? More than likely they will have them for sale in a box of two. They might even have some used ones if you ask nice enough.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #48
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Reese/Drawtite Weight Distributing Hitch Parts

etrailer.com - Products snapup lift up bracket

Hitches & Hitch Bars - Camping World
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #49
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Kit,

The bracket in the pic you linked is a Reese brand and that is a good one. Here are 2 with the pipe packaged as a kit new to use for shopping comparison.

Replacement Lift Brackets with Handle for Reese Weight Distribution Systems Reese Accessories and Parts RP6637

I caution you on these older Drawtite ones in the middle of this link. PN 21501
Reese/Drawtite Weight Distributing Hitch Parts

While they do work and are strong enough, the little clip they use to hold the snap up in place is one royal pain in the foot. Other then the clip there is no problem with them. The 2 pack of Reese with the pipe is cheaper then 2 of the Drawtite with the pain in the neck clip.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #50
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Sorry Kit, this has nothing to do with your question...

John, I lol'd when you said the little clip is a royal pain. That style is awesome...my dad has them on his trailer. I have the later one with the slide in clip though, which is much nicer. But they didn't use to be this easy. At least the '06ish vintage is easier to use.

The '90s Draw Tite style was much different, and real PIA. I googled and couldn't find one, then looked through my trailer pics with no luck, so I went up to my bedroom, aka parts central. I have a couple sets of these, one of which is the original one from our first '97 Sunline. You know, so maybe I could put them back on it some day...

This little clip was really annoying. We often used needle nose pliers to pull it out/push it in. The string on this one held up, but the other one's string broke off and my dad replaced it with a piece of wire. After pulling the clip, you'd put the bar on it, grab the little latch, pick up, and then pull on the bar to release the tension. Not bad with 750 bars, but I imagine it would be tough to do the work with one hand on 1200# bars.






As I was thinking about it, there was another style in the late '90s. I don't know how long it lasted, but I don't think real long. My grandpa bought a WD hitch because he would take our car hauler to Florida some back then and after we realized how nice the WD hitch was for it from the Sunline, we couldn't give up the Sunline hitch when he was gone so long. He got his in '98 (vs. us in mid '96) and it was just a little different. The ball mount area on the round bar head had an extra plate welded on top where the ball mounted. Also, the 750 bars were much thinner out at the end, so they must have strengthened them. But the snap up brackets it came with were much different. The lift bar had flared ends on it, and the lock mechanism lacks the pin in lieu of the spring loaded lock bar. The flared end of the lift tube was intended to push the spring loaded lever down to release it as you pushed the tube on. It seemed to work alright, but the rivet on the lock bar loosened over time, so the lock can get to the point where it won't lock or where the tube won't release it. I've had to bend the bar a little to ensure that it still locks that the tube works correctly with it. I find I don't use the tube much though, because that trailer is so light that I can just jack it up enough to make it real easy. But the idea behind it is very creative.

Here are two old pics I have. If you'd like new close ups of this '98 style, I can get you some tomorrow since I'll be out there.



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Old 08-13-2012, 09:20 AM   #51
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Hey guys, what do you think about this bracket. Its for sale with a hitch but I bet I can pick it up separately from the craigslisting here in Durango.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #52
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Maybe this is a better photo of the bracket. I already have the lift bar to snap it on.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:31 AM   #53
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Ok, I got the Primus IQ Brake controller, to be installed this week, and once I get the brackets we'll install the WD hitch and anti sway bar. I am learning soooo much on this forum. I also installed my 50 watt solar panel and charged up the battery. John, did you send me specifics for installing and leveling the TT/TV with the WD hitch? I have so much information sometimes I get overwhelmed and can't find the info.

The mechanic/body guy who is doing the install for me has years of experience towing his horses and his trailer, but I'd like to give him John's specific info for WD installation. Thanks, Kit
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:15 PM   #54
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Quote:
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Maybe this is a better photo of the bracket. I already have the lift bar to snap it on.
Kit, the snap up brackets are good. If they will sell just 2 snap ups, your good. BUT do not get that hitch head. It looks like an older one that is "not" adjustable up and down the shank. And you really need that feature to adjust the head up and down to level out the TT.

Good luck

John
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:23 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan View Post

John, I lol'd when you said the little clip is a royal pain. That style is awesome...my dad has them on his trailer. I have the later one with the slide in clip though, which is much nicer. But they didn't use to be this easy. At least the '06ish vintage is easier to use.

The '90s Draw Tite style was much different, and real PIA. I googled and couldn't find one, then looked through my trailer pics with no luck, so I went up to my bedroom, aka parts central. I have a couple sets of these, one of which is the original one from our first '97 Sunline. You know, so maybe I could put them back on it some day...

This little clip was really annoying. We often used needle nose pliers to pull it out/push it in. The string on this one held up, but the other one's string broke off and my dad replaced it with a piece of wire. After pulling the clip, you'd put the bar on it, grab the little latch, pick up, and then pull on the bar to release the tension. Not bad with 750 bars, but I imagine it would be tough to do the work with one hand on 1200# bars.




That is the one I was refering too. Once it is installed next to the LP tanks the room is limited to get in there and you are fiddling, fighting and a few other choice words trying to get that pin in. The front of the TT hanging out does not help either. On an open frame utility trailer this may not be the same evil issue.

The rest of the hanger is not a problem.

You seem to have quite the supply of Drawtite parts from vintages before Cequent joined them with the Reese brands. They do last a good long time if taken care of and in some cases longer then the trailer.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photokit View Post
The mechanic/body guy who is doing the install for me has years of experience towing his horses and his trailer, but I'd like to give him John's specific info for WD installation. Thanks, Kit
Kit,

Here are the instructions for your hitch.
http://www.vtowing.com/ISHEETS/70230.pdf

He cannot go too far wrong following them except for item 1 on page 5. Which says this.

Quote:
CHECK VEHICLE HEIGHT AND ADJUST SPRING BARS IF NECESSARY
1. Vehicle should settle evenly, within 1/2". Re-measure the front and rear bumper reference points. If the front has settled much more than the rear, increase the number of chain links between the lift bracket and the spring bar. The spring bars should be nearly horizontal when correct height is achieved.

2. When even settling and correct spring bar position have been achieved, mark the spring bar chain at the hooked position, with paint, for future hook up reference.

NOTE: Illustration 7, shows the correct and incorrect hook-up position of the spring bars. To allow movement when turning, there should be at least 5 links between the lift bracket and the spring bar. The number of links should be the same on both bars. Adjust head tilt to accomplish correct chain length.
That item 1 part is really old thinking, the item 1 I highlighted in blue. Those words have lead to lots of confusion over the years.

This is the end result that is now more recognized.

- Measure the fender heights front and rear before hitching.
- Level the trailer on a level ground with the tongue jack, determine the ball height from the ground to the inside of the ball coupler with the TT level.
- Insert the hitch head in the truck and rough adjust the head up and down the shank so the tow ball is 1 to 1.5" above the ball coupler. This accounts for rear vehicle squat.
- You can have approx 4 washers on the head pin at this time as a starting place.

- Now hitch up. This is going to be a combination of hitch head tilt back towards the TT and the number of chain links under tension.
- The main goal is to return the front of the truck to unhitched height or slight above. Do not go below on the front end unhitched height as this creates an oversteer condition where the front will bite in so to speak and can jackknife the truck on slippery ground easier.

See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understeer

- When the front end WD is achieved, the rear of the truck will be down approx 1" to 1.5" It is OK to be slightly more but in your case 2" sounds like a lot of low and recheck the front.

When done with WD setting
1. The WD bars should be parallel with the TT A frame within reason
2. The front of the truck should be back at unhitched height or slight above
3. The rear of the truck 1 to 1.5" lower then unhitch.

You accomplish this by the no. of chain links and head tilt. 2 washers of tilt to towards the TT is approx 1 chain link of tension. Since the bars need to end up fairly parallel with the frame, the rest is done with head tilt. Notice I said "fairly" parallel. Very slight up or down tilt of the bar is OK. However an inch at the end of the bar back by the chain up or down, you can do better that this.

Never should the rear of the truck be at or higher than unhitched. You removed too much weight and the truck can break traction in slippery conditions.

Now you have set the WD on the truck.

Next the TT needs to be level when towing. Level is best, next is slight nose down over a lot of nose up. You adjust the hitch head up and down the shank to level out the TT. You can only go up or down by 1 hole. The holes are approx 1 1/4” apart. Each head can be a little different. It is OK to be 3/8” high and 7/8” low verses 7/8” high and 3/8” low as an example if you cannot get dead level.

If you did the squat compensation like I mentioned above from a level TT, this should not be that far off but may be. So you adjust the head up and down the shank to change the height.

NOTE: I did not say adjust the chains or head tilt to get the TT level. That is a common misconception. The chains and head tilt set the WD on the truck to be correct and that is their function. You adjust the hitch head up and down the shank to level out the TT “after” WD is set. There are times a head head vertical adjustment may change the WD on the truck. Recheck the truck fenders and again tweak the head tilt to compensate back to correct WD on the truck.


Also very important.

1. Load the truck and the camper as if you are going camping "before" you do all these adjustments. This includes full LP tanks. If you adjust on an empty TT, it will need to be redone after loading. This is weight distribution and changing the weights by significant amount changes the WD.

2. Air up the truck tires to max cold wall tire pressure in your case and then take fender heights and start the adjustment. This is to optimize the adjustment on your small truck for as close to actual towing conditions as possible.

3. Hard surface level ground is the better way to have this come out right the 1st time when setting WD.

Hope this helps

John
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