My hitch is too low. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Zephrant, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Zephrant

    Zephrant New Member

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    Jun 17, 2012
    My tow vehicle is a 2006 Subaru Legacy GT (5.9" ground clearance, AWD, 250 HP, auto, oversized brakes, rated to tow 3300 pounds, class 3 hitch, MaxBrake controller ). My POP is an 16' older Viking (I added electric drum brakes).

    My problem is that the rear of my car is lower than desired when towing. With four of us in the car, I have to be very light in my trunk, and light on the tongue or I'll drag going in/out of gas stations and all.

    So I bought a load leveling hitch setup, but I don't think I can get it to fit.
    #1 The hitch is too thick, meaning that when I have the ball at about the right height, the bottom of the load leveling stinger is over an inch lower than the lowest point of the hitch on the car.
    #2 I can't mount the frame clamps without moving the welded on battery holder.
    #3 The trailer is riding high in front. While I could adjust that down lower, I'd have even less clearance.

    Below are some pictures of the hitch and trailer. I figure I can cut off the excess stinger hanging below the load leveling portion, but even then, I think I'm too low.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking that I'm going to have to use the regular hitch, that there is no way that I could use this load leveling package, but I wanted to ask to see if there are any other ideas.

    Thanks for any suggestions-

    (edit: The high is a Draw-tite Weight Distribution Hitch (600 lb) with Trunnion Bars Part No: 7901)
     
  2. KJcachers

    KJcachers New Member

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    Nov 30, 2010
    You couldn't find a ball mount that rises enough to get your tongue up?
    Any way to install rear air shocks or other suspension option to raise the rear under load?

    Sent from my iPhone4
     
  3. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    Apr 19, 2012
    Are you absolutely sure your car is rated to tow 3300 lbs? What's the tongue weight limit?

    My 2006 Subaru Baja Sport with a manual transmission is rated for 2400 / 200 lbs.

    Regardless of the hitch, I think you'll be happier with the trailer level than with the current attitude. I can tell a big difference in the amount and severity of trailer bobbing with the tongue too high. You could start a lengthy odyssey of suspension upgrades to the car and trailer, with no guarantee of success. Other than the occasional scuff, if it towed ok with your old setup, I'd return to that configuration.
     
  4. chipperone1

    chipperone1 Member

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    Aug 27, 2011
    Here is a pic of a REESE MINI 350

    [​IMG]

    Notice how the shank is reversed to yours - pointing up, and is closer to the hitch - I redrilled the hole, the ends of the bars sit on top of the frame and also provide sway control.

    I have "flipped" the pup axle and upgraded the shocks/suspension and tires on the Explorer.

    You are better suited to a MINI 350 than what you have now.
     
  5. rawlus

    rawlus New Member

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    Jul 24, 2011
    I cannot imagine 4 in the car plus gear plus trailer falls within spec for that sedan.

    Online research says Subaru does not recommend towing with the legacys and if done, max is 2700lbs.

    It's either too much trailer for the car you have or too little car for the trailer you have.

    I think you'd be much happier and pull easier with a vehicle higher, with better tow capacity, more room for the 4 and flexibility to tow comfortably.
     
  6. BigDan

    BigDan A bad day camping beats a good day at work

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    Mar 30, 2012
    i am sorry but i would have to agree with the others, the problem is not the hitch that is on the car, its the car. most sedans are not rated to tow much over 1500 pounds. i see that you have taken every precaution you can as far as stopping power and that is great but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it, the car is just to small for it. the only alternative i can see with still using the car as the TV is to do as mentioned above and purchase a set of load leveling shocks or a set of air bags. but on top of getting the car to ride level there are other concerns to think of like axle weight limits, bearing limits and all the other moving and non moving parts that are taking a beating. This reminds me af something my dad used to say to me. i am a pretty big guy (hence the name) and i can lift and carry alot of weight. and my dad used to always tell me "just because you can do it does not meen you should because you are gonna regret it later" and boy was the old man right. so i am sorry to say it but i think that your biggest issue is that your car is just not big enought.
     
  7. Zephrant

    Zephrant New Member

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    Jun 17, 2012
    Two of the "4" are small kids, not adults. You are correct on the towing capacity- My mistake, I was remembering the number from another car.

    Still it's 2700 pounds with a trailer that is rated at 1300 pounds dry, 2098 pounds GVWR. It was the smallest, lightest pop-up I could find locally last year (used).

    And yep, another tow vehicle would be a better plan, but that's not in the cards in the near future.

    We took several trips last year, including one at about 1000 miles total (Oregon coast). It tows very well when loaded properly, I just don't like the low ground clearance and the saggy back-end, so was was trying to fix that.

    I'll look in to the Reese mini 350- I tried to buy the smallest leveling kit I could find, but obviously missed that one. Thanks!

    Here is what it looks like with the old hitch setup.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your concern and thoughts- please don't think I'm ignoring or making light of them. I'm just trying to make the best of what I have available to me.
     
  8. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    Apr 19, 2012
    The "before" photos look better, but only you know how it tows. How much does the car's rear end drop? In addition to the WDH, have you tried moving some weight aft in the trailer? I'd give that a try before exploring suspension upgrades.
     
  9. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Mt. Washington, NH
    I also agree the BEFORE pics look like a better towing setup...
     
  10. Zephrant

    Zephrant New Member

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    Jun 17, 2012
    chipperone1- Would you happen to know what stinger you are using with the 350? I'm looking at trying to try to trade in what I've got for what you've got.
    I'll need to move my swing-arm jack, but it's full of gravel anyway and I've wanted to replace it with a center-mount one for a while anyway.

    I'm also looking in to air-bags/shocks for the car, but that's not an easy project. Thanks for that suggestion KJcachers and BigDan, I had not considered it.
     
  11. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    Jun 26, 2011
    ok, what you're calling the stinger, is what i've always called the ball mount. can that be turned over? it looks upside down to me. mine doesn't look like that on my WDH, it's turned the other way. yes the tension bars are going to be lower than the hitch, it's how they're designed, well most of the time. i'd take that thing completely apart and see if i could flip it, it looks like it's put together upside down to me

    i'm with the others, the before pics look much better than the after. remember nosing the pup UP like that will make it more prone to sway problems. but, with a single axle trailer it's not as important to keep it level as with a double axle trailer.
     
  12. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    Jan 13, 2011
    The old setup with airbags sounds like the best way to go. Does your TV owners manual say anything about using a WDH? That drawbar looks too long to me. Seems like its putting extra strain on a car frame that probably shouldn't have a WDH to begin with. Just my [2C].

    Greg
     
  13. Andromedarl

    Andromedarl New Member

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    May 14, 2012
    I feel your pain.. I think mine is really low and when I hook it up this weekend I'm going to take pics so I can ask questions on here.

    I also think that the original setup is better. From someone who doesn't know much, it just looks safer to me. I've also read in my manual(I think thats where, or on here) the tongue of the trailer should point down slightly towards the tv. But I'm definitely no expert on this and as I said, i'll be seeking out advice too.
     
  14. Blkvoodoo

    Blkvoodoo Member

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Edit


    I didn't see the pics of your first setup. which looks a lot safer, even without the WDH.

    the Reese 350 may be the better option.
     
  15. BajaPup

    BajaPup New Member

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    Apr 19, 2012
    You may want to stick with a swing jack since ground clearance is already an issue. Buy a side winding, marine grade bolt-on and you'll be able to move it around as needed for whatever WDH you end up with. etrailer has an excellent selection of tongue jacks, btw.
     
  16. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    Jun 26, 2011
    baja has an excellant point. you can also get a swing away tongue jack at walmart, home depot, or any of the chain auto parts stores and not have to wait for it to arrive or pay the extra shipping...
     
  17. Andromedarl

    Andromedarl New Member

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    May 14, 2012
    Totally hijacking, but thanks' I think the swivel jack might be what I end up needing too for more clearance
     
  18. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    Jun 26, 2011
    ok i've been studying the pics some more. that ball mount has to be upside down. a WDH should be angled toward the ground. this gives the tension arms more 'spring' to them to help raise the rear of the vehicle. take those two big bolts out, turn the ball mount over, and then put it back together.

    go to etrailer.com and find some instructions on how to set up a WDH, you'll even find out the degree the angle down is supposed to be, and how high to set the top of the ball itself.

    when i got my TT, i noticed one day getting read to hook up to go camping, that the ball mount wasn't level. it has spacers which are basically just washers put on a stud that goes between the ball and the frame of the mount to angle it down. so i took it apart, took out enough washers to level it, and put it back together. that trip the camper didn't pull the same at all. i had to hook the chain on the end of the spring bars up 2 more links to get the truck rear end to come back up where it needed to be. after looking at the installation instructions on etrailer for the WDH, i realized i had to put those washers back in. i think the angle is 13 degrees, but don't quote me on that. and maybe that was for my WDH, and yours would be different. someone has put this thing together upside down, you need to pull it apart and put it back together correctly.
     
  19. chipperone1

    chipperone1 Member

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    Aug 27, 2011
    The "stinger" is the one that comes with the WDH, with a side mounted swing up jack you will need the Coleman/Fleetwood version of the MINI 350

    http://www.reeseprod.com/content/products.aspx?lvl=3&parentid=1600&catID=1605&part=66041

    This kit has "outrigger" brackets that allow the arms to clear the jack. It is the same kit I have BUT with a center mount jack the outriggers are not required.

    Be sure to read the installation manual to ensure the WDH will fit, relocating a battery or propane tank is no big deal.
     
  20. Camp-N-Nuts

    Camp-N-Nuts KrustyKamper

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    Aug 9, 2011
    Central WI
    My TV is a Buick LeS 3.8L with load-leveling and I tow an 8' box short distances. Many would say I'm not that safe either! (I would worry more if I was you!)
     

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