Weight Distribution Bar Issues

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ryancousins

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Apr 19, 2019
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I recently bought a 18' 2007 Forest River Surveyor 160t, and hope to pull it with a 2017 Chevy Equinox with a V6. I know I'll be close to the tow limit but I should be able to be a little under. I've watched every video on YouTube showing how to set up weight distribution bars, but I'm not having much luck. I've linked to a picture of my setup. As you can see, the bars angle upwards quite a bit. In all the videos I've watched, the bars are parallel to the tongue. I know you're supposed to lift the tongue up higher than level to install the bars, but when I do that, they're angled up so far that the end of the bars where the chains are is higher than the bottom of the tongue. The only thing I can think to do is angle the ball down, but I feel like I'd have to angle it WAY down to make enough difference.

In addition, the bars keep falling out of the receiver holes near the ball. There are pins that are supposed to be spring-loaded but the metal tabs that spring the pins into the holes are sloppy. I have used tape and bungees to force the pins down, but if I go over a little dip or bump in the road, it flexes the tongue up and down enough to wrestle the bars right out of the holes.


Here is a link to the pic: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1--ni5gU2r6rwp-Rh48uM0dDSWGSsv1yU/view?usp=sharing

Any suggestions?!
 

Rene T

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You can't go by what the bars look like. Can you give is a picture of the truck and trailer together.
The way I use to do it  is disconnect the trailer from the truck but leave the hitch right over the ball. Then take a measurement of the height of the front and rear wheel well down to the ground and write is down. Only on one side of the truck. Then lower the hitch on the ball and connect the bars.
As an example, let's say the front measurement was 1" higher than the rear fender well.  With the bars hooked up, take another set of measurements. You need to end up with the same 1" difference from the front relative to the back wheel well. Keep adjusting the bars until you end up with that 1" difference.  NOTE: This 1" is only as a example. Yours will probably be another dimension.

You better take hard look as to why the bars are falling out of the sockets. That should not be happening and could be very dangerous.
 

Rene T

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Arch Hoagland said:
Can't help you on the bars but I noticed a wire loom coming out of your van trunk. 

Is that your brakes and lights wire loom?

Also, where is your breakaway switch steel cable?
 

ryancousins

Member
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Apr 19, 2019
Posts
21
I need to do the wheel well measurements for sure.

Ya, that is the 7-pin connector wiring. We had it done at a reputable hitch place. I guess it?s common for it to be done that way aftermarket on suvs.

I have a breakaway cable, it just want hooked up in the photo. I replaced the old broken one and tested it and it works properly.
 

SpencerPJ

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Nov 1, 2017
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I think if you raise your setup on the shank 1 bolt hole, then you will be able to angle the bars down, and I have only 1 picture you provided to make this recommendation.

I am much more concerned that you have too much trailer for that vehicle. 
What is the carry capacity on the little yellow sticker in the drivers door say?  This is VERY Important to know.
How many will be in Equinox?
Specs on the web say your Equinox can pull 3000 lbs max, that is going downhill rest assured.
Specs on the Trailer say Dry, it is 2500 lbs, you will be over 3000 easily
and non of this accounts for the wind resistance pulling a trailer.
I hope I'm missing something RV Friend, but you are in very dangerous territory.





 

Rene T

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I took another look at your picture.  Are the bars all the way up into the socket. On some brands,  you have to swing the bar so that it's parallel to the bumper, then insert into the socket. Once you rotate it towards the trailer, there's a tab inside the socket which holds the bar up into the socket. Check that out.

Another tip is with your safety chains. The way you have them right now, if you hit a big bump, the hook could pop out of the hole. What you should do is install the hook in from the bottom then it will have a much lesser chance of popping out of the hole.
 

ryancousins

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Posts
21
The tow capacity of the equinox is 3500lbs. I just weighed at a CAT scale and were at 3080 with all cargo loaded. We?re pretty close to the limit on tongue weight. We?re also under the GCWR by a couple hundred pounds. I?d like to have a bigger margin for sure but nothing is over at least.

As far as the bars, I know some have to swing out and then click in but these aren?t like that. I think I have found a solution to those dropping now, though.
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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11,781
What kind of hitch do you have?  Most have a way to set the angle of the head backwards so the bars start at more of a downward angle, giving more room to tension them before you run out of room.
 

SpencerPJ

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Nov 1, 2017
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Thanks for the weights update.  Be careful, hope you got the bars better.  Enjoy the weekend  :))
 

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