Reworking Hitch for Casita/Borrego Combo - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2016, 11:26 PM   #1
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Reworking Hitch for Casita/Borrego Combo

Hi All,

I have spent the last several weekends working, tinkering, studying, and/or researching any and all issues related to camping in our new-to-us Casita that we purchased in November.

I need some opinions from the experts. The previous owner gave us a Husky Knuckle Trunnion Bar WDH that he had been using with the Casita. He towed it with a 2011 Ford F-150. I will be towing it with an '09 Kia Borrego V8 2WD rated to tow 7,500 lbs with up to 750 lbs on the hitch.

Based on my research, I want my hitch ball 1" higher than my trailer coupler assuming both tug and trailer are level. This meant that I needed to dissemble the hitch and invert the shank. It is my understanding that if you can't get it to be 1" then better a little over than a little under. OK after inverting the shank. . .

Coupler is between 21 3/4" and 22"
Hitch Ball is 23 1/8"

This means at the most, my hitch ball is 1 3/8" above the coupler. I assume close enough. Thoughts?

Also, on a flat surface I measured the front and rear fender wells of the tug before and after hitching. I also measured the Casita frame front and rear before and after hitching.

It is my understanding that the Borrego, when using the WDH, should not vary more than 1/2" after hitching using the before hitching measurements at the front and rear fender wheels. Here are the results:

Before hitching front fender well: 32"
Before hitching rear fender well: 32 1/2"

After hitching front fender well: 32 1/8"
Aftern hitching rear fender well: 31 5/8"

So my goal was to stay within .5" front and rear.

Front, I was within 1/8" Nice!

Rear, I was 7/8" lower rather than the desired 4/8".

In other words, I have 3/8 of an inch more squat on the rear than I should based on my research. Thoughts?

FYI, I have never RVed, never towed, etc. Last weekend, after inverting the hitch shank, I did hitch up and take the Casita around the neighborhood subdivision at 25 mph. No problem. Also, gave me a chance to practice backing up into my driveway.

My plans are to take it out this weekend up the parkway at speed to see how it handles.

I was wondering what you thought about my measurement outcomes. I seem to be in the ballpark, but not exactly. How important is exactly? Or, at this point, is it just about getting it on the road and testing it?

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:16 AM   #2
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Sounds to me like you're good to go. The very little difference you're seeing is negligible.
The main thing as I understand it is to have your trailer as level as possible when hitched up. With your tow vehicle specs. I wouldn't think you even need a WDH. A sway bar would be adequate. My weight limits are less then yours with my Toyota Tundra and I tow without any problems. You'll get differing opinions on the WDH. If the tow vehicle manufacture recommends using one then you should.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:41 AM   #3
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Dean, you're over thinking it again. With the rating your tug has you don't even need the WDH. Why add the extra weight of it? I have no clue why you are trying to keep the tug perfectly level. Is the drop you list, after hitching up w/o the WDH? If not, that drop is negligible/moot to the tug. Level or tongue a bit down on the trailer is all you need....really. My Ranger drops about 2" (w/o WDH) with my SD17. Tows great and your tow specs are higher than mine by quite a bit. Hitch it up and tow it around for a while on all types of roads and freeways to get a feel for how it handles. I think you'll discover that you can toss the WDH idea out the window.
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:42 PM   #4
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Hi Craven and Dave,

Thanks for the feedback. Laura and I just officially towed the Casita for the first time. No camping. After adjusting the new Prodigy P3 brake controller, we just took it up Natcher Pkwy for a 53 mile round trip. It is an isolated pkwy, so I tested slowing down to 35 mph and accelerating back up to speed. I tried it at variety of speeds: 55, 60, & 65.

Given I have no point of reference, I was very impressed with the tow experience. I know some say, "I don't even know it is back there!" Ummm, I never forgot it was back there, but it was very comfortable and smooth towing. Nice!

Dave, have you ever known of me not to over think something??? To be honest, I am using a WDH and anti-sway because the previous owner gave it to me when he delivered the trailer to me in November. I really have no idea if I need the WDH and/or anti-sway bar. I am using them because that is what I have.

OK, I have a couple of brake and brake controller questions, but I will post those questions under a different thread.

Thx,

Dean
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Hi Craven and Dave,
Dave, have you ever known of me not to over think something??? To be honest, I am using a WDH and anti-sway because the previous owner gave it to me when he delivered the trailer to me in November. I really have no idea if I need the WDH and/or anti-sway bar. I am using them because that is what I have. Dean
Nope, can't say that I have . Now that you've towed it with the WDH do the same run without it for comparison. I think you'll find it the same because of the tow rates of the tug and save pounds off the tongue. Bottom line is if using it gives you ease of mind it's worth the weight.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:32 PM   #6
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Hi Dave,

I have really appreciated your comments, knowledge, and guidance over the last several months. You do a nice job of making the point of "Just Do It!!!"

Hey, I just posted a new thread on about braking and my brake controller. Looking forward to your response!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:25 PM   #7
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I suggest keeping the sway bar. I find it helps the trailer track better behind the tow vehicle. I think that may help with tire wear also. Will also help if you ever have to make a quick swerve to avoid something in the road. A must in my opinion if you're doing any curvy mountain roads.
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Craven View Post
I suggest keeping the sway bar. I find it helps the trailer track better behind the tow vehicle. I think that may help with tire wear also. Will also help if you ever have to make a quick swerve to avoid something in the road. A must in my opinion if you're doing any curvy mountain roads.

A sway bar does nothing for tracking or tire wear. It's only purpose is to help a bit for something out of the ordinary but not a fix all. I really can't see a sway bar keeping a 3000# trailer under control in emergency swerve condition but I may be wrong, maybe. I run mountain roads all the time with 30+ mph cross winds with no problems w/o a sway bar. Not saying not to add if it makes you more comfortable towing though.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
A sway bar does nothing for tracking or tire wear. It's only purpose is to help a bit for something out of the ordinary but not a fix all. I really can't see a sway bar keeping a 3000# trailer under control in emergency swerve condition but I may be wrong, maybe. I run mountain roads all the time with 30+ mph cross winds with no problems w/o a sway bar. Not saying not to add if it makes you more comfortable towing though.
I've read several stories on forums that said the sway bar saved there trailer. I do know it helps with my trailer tracking behind the TV. There's an obvious difference between with it and without it. As I implied in my post I'm not sure about tire wear. I have noticed that this topic can be controversial, with many opinions. Like you said, if nothing else do what you're comfortable with.
Here's an interesting article. It explains the importance of sway bars and other important factors in preventing and controlling sway. http://www.timberman.com/rig/sway.htm
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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Sway bars are a band-aid approach, and can be worse than no sway control at all if used improperly. When you need sway control the most is in conditions of reduced traction, and sway-bar instructions are to loosen it completely under those conditions, effectively making it useless. While a friction sway bar will, in fact resist side-to-side movement of the trailer, if it gets 'out there' in a reduced traction situation, it will also hold it 'out there.' I have tried sway bars, and will never use another.

If your trailer is properly hitched and weight evenly distributed, then you should be fine, and a WDH will evenly distribute the hitch weight onto all three axles. If it offers sway control as well, that's a bonus.

So, Dean, yes, you're over-thinking this... get the trailer and TV as level as you can. If you need to have it off, have it off tongue-low, and then use the WDH that came with the Casita to level it. Using the WDH/sway control hitch certainly won't hurt anything, and may help you maintain control during an emergency braking situation.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:37 PM   #11
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Hey Craven, Dave, & Roger,

Thanks. After yesterday's 53 mile trial run, I was very impressed with the ease in towing. I used the WDH and anti-sway bar. Given I have them, I will use them. As I get more accustomed to towing, I will experiment some with and without them. I have an isolated parkway 2 miles from my house that I can use to experiment a bit.

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:45 PM   #12
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Hooking up using the WDH is a PIA.
But, I wouldn't tow without it. It levels my ride and makes tow and trailer feel as one.
I have had to make a couple emergency lane changes and experienced no sway even though I don't have a sway bar.
Pic One is without WDH.
Pic Two is with WDH.
Attached Thumbnails
NO WDH1.jpg   With WDH1.jpg  

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Old 03-07-2016, 12:59 PM   #13
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Hi Glenn,

Interesting! With regard to our tug/TT combo, I can eyeball the difference in the "levelness" before and after the WDH. It is more level with the WDH. I don't know that the difference affects the towability since I just started towing yesterday, but I can see the difference.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Hooking up using the WDH is a PIA.
But, I wouldn't tow without it. It levels my ride and makes tow and trailer feel as one.
I have had to make a couple emergency lane changes and experienced no sway even though I don't have a sway bar.
Pic One is without WDH.
Pic Two is with WDH.
If I had that TV I would use a WDH too.
The OP's TV has a much higher tow capacity than yours.
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