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Are bags the answer?

 
Old 04-02-2012, 03:49 PM
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Default Are bags the answer?

Just bought a 2012 FX2 EB a month ago. Took out the travel trailer this weekend to do a hitch set up. I have a 29' TT that is 6000# dry, and between 7000# and 7500# loaded.
I have a WD hitch for the trailer.
When I did the hitch set up, the best I can get is a 3.75" drop in the rear and a 1.5" raise in the front.
The trailer towed well behind the truck, but the hitch arrangement sets very low to the ground.
I also have a Nissan Armada and while there is a drop in the rear, it is not as extreme as the F150. Also, I think the Armada naturally sets higher than the FX2, so it is higher off the ground to begin with.
I've never used them before, but it seems that if I put bags on, it would help lift the rear end. If I can keep the rearend lifted (max 1" or so drop), I can set the hitch again to level the trailer when towing.
Is this the answer?
I've read lots of threads about leveling, towing, etc, didn't see anything that is exactly what I am trying to figure out here.
EDIT: Is a 3" - 4" drop normal or does this seem a little extreme?
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:04 PM
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There's a lot of miss-information on this forum about air bags, but what you're describing is exactly what airbags are designed for.

Air Lift Company

There are different types and manufacturers. I only gave you this link because this is the brand I have and can vouch for them.

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Old 04-02-2012, 06:16 PM
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Do not go the air bag route. Something is seriously wrong. We tow a 5,500 RV trailer and it drops maybe a inch. I'm guessing that a couple of things could be wrong. 1) Your trailer is poorly balanced and you have way too much tongue weight for the trailer weight. Tongue weight should be about 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight. Go to a truck scale and figure this out. 2) Your ball height is way too low. When your trailer is level (do it with the tongue jack), measure the height to the top of the coupler. The ball height on your truck should be about 1" higher than that when the truck is unloaded.

So, don't do the air bags. Something else is going on and you need to figure that out. Air bags will only serve to cover up a problem.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
. Air bags will only serve to cover up a problem.
And take the stress off your suspension.

And give you a more stable and safe ride.

Not arguing with your suggestions Bob, but to totally discount airbags is way to dramatic a statement to make.

Last edited by BlacKnBack; 04-02-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:42 PM
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Set up your WD hitch right before you consider bags. A properly matched and set up WD system should not require air bags, especially with a 6000 pound trailer. My 05 sits level with my 30 foot 5500 pounds dry travel trailer on it with the WD system hooked up. Bags should only be used to further compliment the WD system, not make up for what its lacking.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kozal01 View Post
Set up your WD hitch right before you consider bags. A properly matched and set up WD system should not require air bags, especially with a 6000 pound trailer. My 05 sits level with my 30 foot 5500 pounds dry travel trailer on it with the WD system hooked up. Bags should only be used to further compliment the WD system, not make up for what its lacking.
You said it so much better than I did.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kozal01 View Post
Set up your WD hitch right before you consider bags. A properly matched and set up WD system should not require air bags, especially with a 6000 pound trailer. My 05 sits level with my 30 foot 5500 pounds dry travel trailer on it with the WD system hooked up. Bags should only be used to further compliment the WD system, not make up for what its lacking.
Thanks for the feedback. I did follow the instructions for the set up. The only thing I can think of that may be a problem is what appeared to be a level surface, maybe wasn't so level. I didn't think to place a level on the pavement and see how level it actually was.
At the time I was thinking that with WD Hitch, it should not sag that much.
One thing I know is that the trailer is not loaded heavy in the front. I did an inventory and the total, including a tool box will not exceed 300#. It is probably closer to 200#.
Then inside, I have storage at the back with about 100# in it. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I have done a hitch set up a couple of times, but am not an old hand at it. If you had the 3"-4" sag that I experienced and you knew the equipment in the trailer was fairly even, what would you check first?

If all else fails and I need someone experienced to check the set up, who is the best for that? I doubt my Ford dealer is the answer. Do trailer (implement traliers) companies do these set ups? Lots of people have opinions. Just wondering who would be more likely to know what they are doing.
I wasn't sure, but common sense says that the bags probably shouldn't be what level a load. That is why I put it in a question.
Again, thanks for the input.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
Do not go the air bag route. Something is seriously wrong. We tow a 5,500 RV trailer and it drops maybe a inch. I'm guessing that a couple of things could be wrong. 1) Your trailer is poorly balanced and you have way too much tongue weight for the trailer weight. Tongue weight should be about 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight. Go to a truck scale and figure this out. 2) Your ball height is way too low. When your trailer is level (do it with the tongue jack), measure the height to the top of the coupler. The ball height on your truck should be about 1" higher than that when the truck is unloaded.

So, don't do the air bags. Something else is going on and you need to figure that out. Air bags will only serve to cover up a problem.
I replied to Kozal's reply below and will yours, also.
We towed the tralier with another vehicle and really had no problems. I am reasonably certain that the trailer is not poorly balanced.
You mentioned the ball height being way too low. I thought about that while we were doing the set up. I may have been on a level surface that was not as level as I thought. If the ball is too low, that would cause extra tongue weight, right? Sort of like it is leaning downhill. If it is too high, it reduces the tongue weight because the trailer would lean back?
You now have me thinking I need to go back and check the surface I was on and make sure it was level.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:45 PM
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Yeah I would suspect that the ball is too low. Is the trailer level when's it's hooked up to the truck with the bars in it?
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by kozal01 View Post
Yeah I would suspect that the ball is too low. Is the trailer level when's it's hooked up to the truck with the bars in it?
I did not check for level after hooking up, but a 3.5"-4" drop in the front (at the hitch) should tell me that it is not close to level when everything is hooked up.
I followed the instructions, I just did not continue to think about the sag after I finished.
I am doing a lot more thinking now.
There are two things that I will admit to doing (and risk being scoffed at by some) that I probably should not have.
First, I assumed the pavement where I was working was fairly level without verifying.
Second, I used a level on the floor inside the trailer to determine if it was level rather than measuring from the ground to the frame at the front and back of the trailer.
Looks like a new attempt at the set up is probably in order for me.
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