How to balance the camper from front to back whilst hitched to my ridgeline - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2017, 05:37 PM   #1
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Name: Patti
Trailer: 2014 Parkliner
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How to balance the camper from front to back whilst hitched to my ridgeline

Hello all,
This has probably been covered before but here goes. We are doing pretty well as first timers but when trying to level our Parkliner whilst still hitched to our Ridgeline it is leanig down towards the Ridgeline. Front to back seems a challenge for us but we can get it perfectly balanced side to side. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
PJ
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:51 PM   #2
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It doesn't have to be perfectly level front-to-back for stable towing, and slightly nose down is better than nose up. If it seems excessive, look for a different drawbar with less drop or more rise.

Mine changes a little depending on what I'm carrying in the car and trailer for a particular trip. I have two different draw bars for my Pilot and I swap back and forth as needed.

How about a picture showing how it sits when hitched?
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:04 PM   #3
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If you are just trying to avoid unhitching for an overnighter, you can just use the tongue jack, within reason. Don't forget to let it back down before taking off in the AM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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yes that is what we have been doing

It just is not quite enough to make it perfectly level.
Thanks,
PJ
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:44 PM   #5
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Then you need a different draw bar
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:07 PM   #6
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Does it need to be perfectly level? I'm happy with at least half a bubble within the lines. You just don't want to roll out of bed. Was a recent thread here or on the Escape Forum on the issue of leveling the fridge. The new fridges are much more forgiving than years past.

Found a thread on Escape Forum:
"In the manual it warns you that more than 6 degrees fore and aft or 3 degrees side to side can cause cooling issues".

Six degrees is an uncomfortable slope.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:50 PM   #7
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Slightly nose down is perfect for towing. When parked to camp, any time I could get the trailer comfortably leveled with the tongue jack, that is what I did... but I unhooked if it raised the truck's rear to ridiculous heights.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:02 PM   #8
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You can get different draw bars in different heights and tall and standard heigth trailer balls to dial it in. Take the loaded down trailer to a trailer hitch shop and have them set you up properly so you don't have to buy a bunch of draw bars and a couple different trailer balls and keep swapping them around until you get it just right.

Or you can do it my way and go to swapmeets and yard sales and buy a whole bunch of these things to keep your garage from blowing away. Owning them so in case someday you will need them. Most trailer owners have a few of them gathering dust.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:26 PM   #9
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Or You can just figure out which draw bar you need with a tape measure in about 30 seconds.

Unhook, have your Ridgeline loaded and have your Parkliner level, and then do this:

https://youtu.be/Dgmo5w7ddVw
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:03 AM   #10
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Yeah if you're not talking about towing, but about staying overnight while still hitched, and even with the tongue jack you can't get level, then either you're parked on uneven ground or you've got the nose angled down too much with your current tow setup.

Like everybody has said, a little "nose down" is actually desirable. But if it's so far down that you can't level it using the tongue jack without lifting the back of your Ridgeline off the ground, your nose is down too much.

You fix this by getting a ball mount with less drop. I didn't have a trailer yet when I was getting my truck set up for towing, so I bought a kit from etrailer with two different ball mounts. Each had a different offset up/down from center, rather than sticking straight out. And you can obviously flip them, so that "drop" becomes "rise". This gave me four different options, depending on how the trailer sat.

It took a few different tries, but I ended up finding the right setup so that my trailer sits just very slightly nose-down. So if I for some reason don't unhook overnight, it takes just a few turns of the tongue jack to level things out.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:15 AM   #11
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I carry two Camco tri-levelers and use them either under the trailer or tv wheels to level front front to back when needed in overnights where I don't want to unhitch.

Walt
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:55 PM   #12
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I found our two inch drop worked great on our old Casita but not on our newer 19 foot Escape. So I bought a new draw bar with a 2 inch ball attached with no drop at Harbor Freight. Cost less than $20. I also installed a draw bar tightened off Amazon to eliminate the play between the receiver hitch and the draw bar.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:40 AM   #13
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Two Anderson or Camco curved type levelers could be used. Place one in front of each rear tires of tv and drive up to raise front of camper or under camper tires to raise rear. Leveling side to side normally close enough in most camsites. We used this method with VW Vanagon campers to level front to back and ignored any side to side in unlevel condition.
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