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Reese Dual Cam Setup

By forum member Brian (Nomadb1)

I'm going to attempt to help YOU setup YOUR own Reese Dual Cam hitch. In no way does this attempt to replace the original supplied instructions - only to supplement them with some of the troubles I ran into. Start by reading this and the provided manuals - then get your tools.

I found it helpful to change my mindset to setting up a standard WD hitch while basically disregarding the cam portion until the WD Portion was ready. I did have to have the CAMS C-clamped into the dimensioned position so I could use them to set the bar loads properly.

1) Level the trailer front to rear - Measure and record ball coupler top height.

2) Tighten ball onto hitch using proper Torque.

3) Set the height approx 3/4" higher then the Coupler. Don't forget to slide the shim between the shank and the head IF THIS applies to you.

4) Using the top, serrated nut portion of the head, tilt the head to achieve the appropriate bar tip height according to the chart. I went with 7.5" myself.

While tightening this nut be sure the serrations on the washer and the head engage with each other - look closely, I thought mine were, then upon closer examination found out I was tilted about 1/2 a groove off on 1 side.

5) At this point you should attach the Cam arms to the trailer frame using a c-clamp at the specified distance from your mark on the coupler. (In the Pic I had the cam set at 20" My final was at the 20.5 the manual calls out for a bottom coupler.)

5a) Also at this time you should set the chain hangers on the frame - bring the bolt up to the frame then back off 1/2 turn so you can easily adjust their position later. (While trying to use the safety pin in my chain hanger I couldn't get it all the way through - I found it was because my chain wasn't vertical enough and was twisting the lever portion sufficiently that the three holes would not line up. After re-aligning the chain closer to vertical the safety pin slips thru no-problem.)

6) Raise trailer tongue, Back truck under but DO NOT couple yet, measure and record the 4 corners of the truck to the ground (using a piece of painters tape as a mark on the truck.) NOW couple the truck to the trailer.

Note... Rough setting the Cam lengths. This is where it was helpful to change my thought train. Instead of trying to get the cams the right length, I just loosened the top and bottom nut to give me the necessary motion the get the cam seated in the tension bar so I could then set the loading tension on the bars. After getting the cam length close I took note of it's position, took all the tension off the cam and finger tightened the nuts to hold it in position. Then I proceeded to follow the WD instructions to set the bar tensions/truck height. I also rough positioned the chain hangers at this point.

7) Lift the truck and trailer using the tongue jack. Rough set the cam length so that the cam takes the slop out of the tension bar and lands on the bar just before the detent in the bar starts (Touching on the bottom of the flat part) Now move the chain hanger straight above the top of the detent rise on the tension bar. Tension the bar by hand (no cheater bar) using the chain hanger. Now do the other side.

note.... as you tension the bar the cam should slip into the detent, if it doesn't try lowering the jack to put more tension on the bars. If the cam still doesn't slip in try "Adjusting" with a rubber mallet. If it still doesn't then take all the tension off and lengthen the cam 1/4" and try again.

8) After the cams fall mostly into the detents (I've found perfection at this point wasn't needed.) follow these instructions for setting the tension (Chain length to use)

9) After dialing in what chain link to use - put a zip tie on it! Make sure that the chain hanger is straight up from the cam - now tighten the bolt you backed off 1/2 turn up to the frame and go another 1/2 turn (approx 1 turn total)

10) NOW we'll try to set the Cam length to the proper length. Double check the cam mount length to your marked point on the coupler. Make sure the back jacking screw is tightened against the frame rail. Look closely where the Cam Boss hits on the bar detent. It is likely a bit off center, make note of what way and how far it needs to go. Jack up the trailer (again) to remove all the tension. Adjust the cam length and re-tension. Repeat until the cams fall into the middle of the detents. (You'll have to repeat this step after pulling the trailer straight ahead for 100 yards)

At this point your WD hitch should be pretty well setup. Your truck and trailer should be setting level. The chain hangers should be straight up and down. the cam bosses should be landing right in the middle of the detents. The top adjusting nut on the cam yoke should be touching the yoke, the lock nut(Next to the lock washer) should be finger tight. The back jacking screws on the cam mounts and the chain hangers should be tight against the frame.

11) De-tension the whole system and dismount the tension bars.

12) Tighten up the lock nuts on the Cam yokes.

13)Match mark the bolt holes in the cam brackets and the chain hangers. (If you don't have a center punch like the pic you can use a drill the size of the mount hole to get a dot in the center before using your starter drill (~ 1/8-1/4))

Note.... when drilling steel this is when you might consider your drills low speed setting, if you spin a large drill too fast and can't provide the pressure to push it thru you'll just burn it up.

14) Predrill all the holes then drill to 7/16 dia.

15) Insert the self-threading 1/2" bolts into the chain hangers (If you look at the threaded portion of these bolts they look a bit like a lobed triangle, They are essentially a forming tap on the end blending into a standard 1/2-13 thread at the top) You will need to give these some inward pressure while starting them until they get a bite at which point they will self-feed.

16) IF YOUR FRAME IS A C_CHANNEL -ignore this step- simply put a nut on the inside of the frame, tighten, and move on....
Remove the cam mounts from the frame and drill out the 7/16 holes to 11/16 (Remember - slow speed drill!!) Try to get these holes right on size.

17) Pop inserts into frame with your rubber mallet. Place cam mounts back on frame. Loosely insert 1/2-13 bolts with lockwashers into inserts. Tighten up rear jacking bolts (touch frame - then 1/2 turn more). Torque inserts to 75 ft lbs. (this torque is important -Too much and you could spin the inserts, Too Little and you won't properly seat them.)

18)Re-load and tension the system. Check that everything is still level and nothing moved. Pull the trailer straight for 100 yards then recheck step 10 to make sure the bosses land properly in the Bar Detents.

19) Go for a tow....