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Old 01-23-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
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Weight Distribution Hitch Setup

Hello Everyone. My family recently bought a Solaris T-264SR along with the Ford F-350. I have towed little loads on my utility trailer and F-150. Weight Distrubution is a whole new setup for me along with the Brake controller. Today, I finally had the chance to get this all setup and out on the road. I have no instructions for seting up the hitch. My knowledge comes from youtube on this. haha. Does this setup look about right? The truck and trailer are pretty close to level. I used the 3rd chain on the link. How do I know which link is best for me? And is the tow bars meant to bend the way they are in the pictures? The GVWR of the trailer 8,600lbs. And the empty weight is 6,143lbs. I dont know what the actual weight of the trailer is. I had my brake controler set for a gain of 6.5.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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Everything you could ever possibly want to know, is contained in the FAQ section... Our resident expert/genius John Barca, has been kind enough to give us all very detailed information on several systems.



Click here for the WD setup thread...

Click here for the full list of DIY articles !


BTW: your rig looks good!
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:18 PM   #3
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Hi Desertsun,

Sorry so long getting back to you. Been traveling for work and life is well, busy right now. But I will help as I can and glad too.

A few questions:

Do you know the rating of the WD bars? Is there a sticker on them?

If there is no sticker, measure the square of the WD bar just behind the cast trunnion lug. Like this


What you have is an older Reese trunnion bar WD hitch.

Now to you setup, while the camper being level while towing is a really good thing, the truck may not end up being level as an indication of proper weight distribution (WD). The goal of a WD hitch is to return much of the weight lost from the truck front axle by a trailer hanging dead weight on the tow ball some 65" behind the rear axle. Basically when you put the trailer ball coupler on the ball, the back of the truck drops and the front rises. You may only be able to see this on your truck by weighing the axles or measuring fender heights.

The WD hitch then comes into play to help off load some of that weight added to the rear axle, transfer most of it back to the truck front axle that was lost and then transfer some of that rear axle weight to the TT axles in the process. Basically it distributes some of the rear axle weight gain to other axles that are touching the ground.

Your truck and mine are built very close to the same. The back of the truck is very high until a large qty of weight is added. It's a 1 ton truck and to be expected. To have the WD set up correct, you will need to load the camper as you go camping and the truck. While you can set up WD on an empty camper and empty truck, you will need to reset it once you add all the extra weight. You goal for weight distribution on your truck, will be to return the front axle "close" to the same weight as it was before you hitched up. When I say close, this is about ~ 100# less. Again the need to load the truck and camper to optimize the setup. With this the truck may not be level when WD is all set up. The rear may still be higher then the front and that is OK. As bed weight comes, then you may be more level and the WD will need to be reset.

Your camper will more than likley end up with a 1,100 to 1,200# loaded tongue weight (TW). I have measured other Sunline Club members T264SR's and that where in that area when loaded. Your truck once set up correct will not have any issues with that TW. We need to check the sizing of the WD bars to see if they need to be upgraded.

There is also a bed weight optimization which can help your truck be more stable. Does your truck have a rear stabilizer bar? Some do, some don't. I have 500# of camping stuff in the truck bed. That weight and the camper tongue weight will allow the rear axle helper springs (overload) springs to just kiss the rear frame pad. The front one is still way up off the frame pad. See here

The rear one


The front


I have found the truck is more stable when that rear helper spring just kisses the frame pad. It acts like a rear stabilizer bar and takes out left to right truck rock with the camper pushing the truck. This point also ends up with the front end a little lighter then unhitched. When I was at unhitched weight on the front end the truck was way up in the suspension and I could fell it in the truck. Yes 1 ton suspension way high up uncompressed is soggy. As I loaded the bed, the weight lowered the back and then WD could be adjusted to dial it in. It was a global shift in stability.

To do fender heights, I do it like this. With the truck unhitched, get front and rear fender well heights straight up through the axle. Do the same side of the truck or all 4 fenders as the truck is not the same as it is not built equal left to right


I predict with your camper and truck, you are aiming to get the front approx 1/8 to 3/16" less then then unhitched. The rear will drop and it needs to. It will be approx 1" to 1 1/2" lower then unhitched once all hitched up and the chains snaped up.

You need a minimum of 5 chain links under tension to not have the chain swing bind in the snap up.




Once you reach 5 links you need to tilt the head back towards the trailer to gain more WD if needed. That square washer is part of the head tilt system.


You take the bolt out, flip and rotate the square washer to allow more tilt towards the trailer and put it back in to gain more weight transfer. If you tilt more, then you can back off a chain link and go from 5 to 6 links under tension if you have too much.

Once the WD is set, then the camper needs to be level or slight nose down. You adjust to level out the camper by shifting the head up or down the shank. If you move the head from where WD was set, after moving the head, recheck the WD settings as it might have moved.

The post Gary linked you to has this explained in more detail.

This can get you started, but lets start with the sticker rating on the WD bars. Also is there any form of anti sway control with your hitch? Maybe a friction sway bar? It would look like this on the right side of the hitch


Hope this helps

John

This should get you started.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #4
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Hi Desertsun,

Now that the weather has become better for outdoor activities, just checking in how you made out with your hitch?

Happy camping this season

John
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Hi Desertsun,

Now that the weather has become better for outdoor activities, just checking in how you made out with your hitch?

Happy camping this season

John
I think we have it set right were we need it. Im on 4 links with the head already tilted back. truck and trailer are level together. I got my friction sway bar. So i will be installing that in soon. thanks
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun View Post
I think we have it set right were we need it. Im on 4 links with the head already tilted back. truck and trailer are level together. I got my friction sway bar. So i will be installing that in soon. thanks
Do you mean 4 links under tension or 4 links hanging free off the snap up hook?

I try and always state links under tension as not everyone has the same total chain links. Reese changed them over the years.

There is a binding issue with 4 links under tension where the chain can hit the snap up bracket in a tight turn. See here:


If this is the case, you are going to need to go to the 5 minimum under tension and tilt the head back to the trailer some more weight transfer. If not, when you make that tight turn the chain can get hung up in the snap up.

Basically, the chain needs to be long enough so the swing angle is small enough to not bind. Longer chain is less swing angle. For most situations this comes out to be 5 links under tension.

Glad to help more if needed. Life has been really busy here the last few months which has cut into my SOC habit...but in a mini lull right now. Soon to break back into lots going on again.

Happy camping.

John
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Do you mean 4 links under tension or 4 links hanging free off the snap up hook?

I try and always state links under tension as not everyone has the same total chain links. Reese changed them over the years.

There is a binding issue with 4 links under tension where the chain can hit the snap up bracket in a tight turn. See here:


If this is the case, you are going to need to go to the 5 minimum under tension and tilt the head back to the trailer some more weight transfer. If not, when you make that tight turn the chain can get hung up in the snap up.

Basically, the chain needs to be long enough so the swing angle is small enough to not bind. Longer chain is less swing angle. For most situations this comes out to be 5 links under tension.

Glad to help more if needed. Life has been really busy here the last few months which has cut into my SOC habit...but in a mini lull right now. Soon to break back into lots going on again.

Happy camping.

John
3 hanging. using the 4th link
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
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Went Outside Today. My Weight Distribution Bars are rated at 800lbs each.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:58 PM   #9
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800# bars on a T264SR not heavy enough. It is common for that camper to have a "loaded" 1,100 to 1,200# tongue weight. You can find that you cannot shift enough weight with the lighter bars. You can run out of adjustment and in some cases, the truck will bob up and down front to back as the bars is too soft to hold the load.

You can buy just the WD bars.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...e/RP66009.html

I linked you to the V end bars. You may find that the friction anti-sway bar is not enough for your size camper. You can add a dual cam to the hitch using that type of WD bar and that will handle your size trailer.

If the cost of new bars is a problem, check craigs list. Finding good used WD's is common.

Before you buy new bars, check the hitch head. I see you have an older style and Reese had 2 sizes of trunnion lugs.

That 1,200# WD bar fits in this size WD head socket




The 1,200# trunnion bar, has trunnions that are 1 1/8". Like this


The older ones are smaller and more like 7/8 in place of the 1 1/8.

The need is, what size hole does the hitch head have to be able to accept the 1 1/8" trunnion lug?

If you head will not accept the 1,200# bars, they do sell just the head OR start thinking about a new hitch.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
800# bars on a T264SR not heavy enough. It is common for that camper to have a "loaded" 1,100 to 1,200# tongue weight. You can find that you cannot shift enough weight with the lighter bars. You can run out of adjustment and in some cases, the truck will bob up and down front to back as the bars is too soft to hold the load.

You can buy just the WD bars.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...e/RP66009.html

I linked you to the V end bars. You may find that the friction anti-sway bar is not enough for your size camper. You can add a dual cam to the hitch using that type of WD bar and that will handle your size trailer.

If the cost of new bars is a problem, check craigs list. Finding good used WD's is common.

Before you buy new bars, check the hitch head. I see you have an older style and Reese had 2 sizes of trunnion lugs.

That 1,200# WD bar fits in this size WD head socket




The 1,200# trunnion bar, has trunnions that are 1 1/8". Like this


The older ones are smaller and more like 7/8 in place of the 1 1/8.

The need is, what size hole does the hitch head have to be able to accept the 1 1/8" trunnion lug?

If you head will not accept the 1,200# bars, they do sell just the head OR start thinking about a new hitch.

Hope this helps

John
I appricate the time your putting into to help me here. I noticed that these bars will replace a bar 600 to 1200 rating. It is possible that my bar is a minumim 800 with a max rating as well as my bars are a little scuffed on the name plate. So Tommrow i will pay a little more close attention. I also noticed when I was handling the head of the hitch. It was good for up to a 12,000lb load. I noticed that some times the tongue rating is divided by 10 from the total load to get your tongue rating. 12,000lb load will have a tongue of 1,200.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun View Post
I appricate the time your putting into to help me here. I noticed that these bars will replace a bar 600 to 1200 rating. It is possible that my bar is a minumim 800 with a max rating as well as my bars are a little scuffed on the name plate. So Tommrow i will pay a little more close attention. I also noticed when I was handling the head of the hitch. It was good for up to a 12,000lb load. I noticed that some times the tongue rating is divided by 10 from the total load to get your tongue rating. 12,000lb load will have a tongue of 1,200.
You are more than welcome. Any SOC member having a camper or truck problem, we are here to help and glad to. On hitch setup, this needs to be understood and takes some time. But, after you learn it, then is it not so bad and you know how your rig is setup and what affects what.

Quote:
It is possible that my bar is a minimum 800 with a max rating as well as my bars are a little scuffed on the name plate.
Reese and most any other hitch manufacture rates WD bars by the max load. See here. This is the sticker off my 1,200# bars. I have 800 and 1,700 too. (Several hitches and trailers)


The 800 # bars would be a "max" of 800# loaded tongue weight.

And yes, if your hitch head has a rating of 12,000# that lines up with the older Reese heads that match the one in your pics. That head can handle a 1,200# WD bar. In this case 10% like you said.

See the sticker on my newer style head. The newer ones can go higher in TW. But the WD bar rating x 10 does not line up all the time. It depends.



I do not have instructions for your older hitch head. This the the newer one and the setup is the same, just the head tilt uses a serrated washer and yours has the square eccentric washer. On the bottom of page 5 is the 1-800 number for Reese tech service. A free call to get free service on on all their products, regardless of age. If you want to verify the 1,200# TW rating, a quick call to them will confrim my thoughts on the ratings.
http://www.reeseprod.com/support/ins...ion/N66022.pdf

Back in the older days of when your hitch was new, 1,200# was the largest WD hitch Reese made. And most other companies. Now with heavier trailers, came the Reese 1,700# head. This heavier rated head came out around approx 2006 time frame. And they created the 2 1/2" WD shank to be able to use it.

Hope this helps and keep asking away at what ever you need. Sometimes the hitch setup posts are quick, others take longer (many pages worth). All, not a problem here on Sunline Club.

John
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #12
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Cant really read the bars. However, I have the V-5 model. now being they are 800lb bars. Would load be split between the 2 bars evenly. Giving me a 1,600lb capacity?
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:27 PM   #13
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Cant really read the bars. However, I have the V-5 model. now being they are 800lb bars. Would load be split between the 2 bars evenly. Giving me a 1,600lb capacity?
The V5 is a VESC specification for towing systems, not a rating. Meaning the hitch is built to meet VESC V5 specs. See here. Scroll down to V5 VESC Regulations It will down download the actual V5 requirements for hitching systems.

The 800# WD bar rating is for a "pair" of WD bars to support a tongue weight of 800# if the WD hitch is made for 2 WD bars and yours is. You don't double them to get 1,600#.

The WD hitch has to accommodate all types ups and downs of the TV when towing and the trailer which twists and turns following behind. If the truck rear axle is on a road grade at an angle to trailer axle, the hitch head changes angle and often times will unload 1 WD bar to having less load to no load at all on it. This means the other WD bar is taking all the load. This happens a lot, and is totally normal. The WD hitch manufactures know this, and they know that in certain turning situations the WD bars are not loaded equally. Then add to the turns the truck going up and over humps in the road and turning added in too, we call this compound angle turns.

Since this occurs all the time, each WD has to be able to handle the loaded TW. When the truck is straight ahead on flat ground with the trailer, both bars share the load equally and the spring tension in the bars is less then in the turning or ups and downs situation. So you can't use all the WD bars spring force for just going straight as when the compound angle turns come, they will greatly overload that one WD bar. To accomplish this, the hitch manufactures size the pair of WD bars accordingly.

Make more sense now?

John
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:00 PM   #14
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Ok, I do understand it a little better. Was able to read a little better the labels on the bars. It says 800lbs (2bars) max trailer weight, 10,000lbs
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