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Hitch Measurements Please?


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#1 Bobinyelm

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 10:59 AM

When I was at the hatchery in Rice the other day I forgot to measure:

1) the distance from the ground to the center of the hitch ball on the 17 with the Standard and High Lift axles, and

2) also between the ground and the top of the "A" frame just behind the high-rise that the coupling is welded to for both axles.

I wonder if someone could do this for me with the trailer on level ground and a level on the "A" frame of the frame simulating the perfect towing geometry.

I have to know exactly what height to place my 2" receiver on my TV and what hitch bar drop to buy. The frame measurement is in case I decide to reweld a new coupling directly to the frame (rather than have the frame lower than the coupling). My WDH uses ONLY a 2 5/16" ball, so in any case I will need to replace the 2" Casita ball coupling.

Thanks!
Bob

Edited by Bobinyelm, 03 September 2006 - 10:59 AM.


#2 Bill & Karen

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 12:25 PM

Bobinyelm, dry.gif any measurement we give you may not work, the proper measurement is when your trailer is hooked up and ready to go and each towvehicle drop varies depending on the suspension. cool.gif

Bill & Karen Sarasota, Fl. Love being Inneggsile

 


#3 Denis K

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 03:11 PM

B&K,

Even though the suspension will react to the trailer tonge weight, Bob could easily pre-stress the hitch ball to get a good estimate of the final ball height and with the WDH he probably plans to bring the suspension back to its stock unloaded height.

Bob, I don't have a trailer now to measure but do think what you are asking for is do'able. I did see somewhere that the usual "standard" for measuring hitch ball height was to use the top of the ball as the reference point. Usually they have a small flat surface on top that would be a good measuring point.

Too bad Casita does not offer a choice of hitch ball diameters; perhaps even supporting a pintle hook as an option. Welding after the fact always seems like such a scary proposition, as it is hard to tell what the resulting heat will do to the strength of the metal beams. Make sure to get a competent welder to do the work in case welding is not your usual schtick.

Denis K

#4 samot

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 03:26 PM

Bob,

When we ordered our 17' we were given a piece of paper that told us to have a ball height of 20.5 inches, that's to the top of the ball. This instruction was not TV specific.

john
Robyn and John (2768)
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#5 cdsmith

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 07:25 PM

Yes, 20.5 is the ball height for level Casita. You may have to select a different ball platform/draw bar dependent on how much your tow vehicle settles when Casita is hitched.

On the Escalade we use a ball platform/draw bar with a two inch drop. The escalade suspension returns the Casita/Escalade to level with the standard air adjustable shocks. The hitch weight of 450 lbs. was distributed 500 lbs. on rear suspension and -50 lbs. on the front suspension.

The hitch is rated for 500 lbs. without WDH and 1500 lbs. with WDH. I started using a WDH to lighten the load on the air adjustable shocks and transfer more of the hitch weight to the front suspension and Casita axle. I haven't had our rig weighed to see how much the weight distribution has improved. I will do this at the next available opportunity.
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#6 Bobinyelm

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 07:09 AM

I am confised. I don't see how the tow vehicle could affect the ball height measurement with the frame of the trailer level (horizontal with the ground). Are you refering to the different height of the entire trailer due to the different amout of gear loaded into the Casita?

I am just trying to determine what I need to do to get my TV ball height in the vicinity of correct (i.e., an inch or so higher than the Casita-level coupler height w/ no weight on it) so when the trailer is hooked up and the TV suspension settles a bit, the trailer will be fairly level.


Thanks,
Bob

QUOTE (Bill & Karen @ Sep 3 2006, 02:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bobinyelm, dry.gif any measurement we give you may not work, the proper measurement is when your trailer is hooked up and ready to go and each towvehicle drop varies depending on the suspension. cool.gif



Great, that is what I need.

Is that with the standard or High Lift Axle? I imagine the high lift raises the ball height by an inch or two over the standard?

Just curious, did you weigh each axle to determine how the weight got distributed?

Bob


QUOTE (cdsmith @ Sep 3 2006, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, 20.5 is the ball height for level Casita. You may have to select a different ball platform/draw bar dependent on how much your tow vehicle settles when Casita is hitched.

On the Escalade we use a ball platform/draw bar with a two inch drop. The escalade suspension returns the Casita/Escalade to level with the standard air adjustable shocks. The hitch weight of 450 lbs. was distributed 500 lbs. on rear suspension and -50 lbs. on the front suspension.

The hitch is rated for 500 lbs. without WDH and 1500 lbs. with WDH. I started using a WDH to lighten the load on the air adjustable shocks and transfer more of the hitch weight to the front suspension and Casita axle. I haven't had our rig weighed to see how much the weight distribution has improved. I will do this at the next available opportunity.


#7 Denis K

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 07:28 AM

QUOTE (Bobinyelm @ Sep 5 2006, 11:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am confised. I don't see how the tow vehicle could affect the ball height measurement with the frame of the trailer level (horizontal with the ground).

... snip

Thanks,
Bob


If you use a WDH it will transfer some of the hitch weight from the hitch to the trailer axel and lower the trailer frame by that amount. This distance, although not trivial, could be estimated and taken into account in advance. I guess there are a number of schools of thought on how much hitch weight to transfer and where. The three I can think of are:

- 33% of hitch weight to each of the three axels.

- 50% to trailer axel and 50% to TV rear axel (TV front axel indemnified)

- Level trailer and TV

Each of these would affect the trailer height a bit differently.

Denis K

#8 Bill & Karen

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:58 AM

dry.gif I think some of the confusion here is between those who tow with a WDH and folks like me that don't. The top of the ball on a Casita trailer with standard axle should be about 19 inches from the ground. When I hook up my tow vehicle sinks a bit and is not going to be pulled back up level with a WDH so I had to figure just how much drop or lift I needed on the stinger once the trailer was hooked up to get me to the 19 inches and thats why I say our measurements may not work for Bob. The factory gives their measurement out of experience of putting them on an is based on the average vehicle, with or w/o WDH etc. We bought ours used and I first did ours by parking on a level spot hooked up measured and then and using the trailers level cranked it till level and measured again the difference was what the adjustment had to be. I used a borrowed stinger to do this with then bought what I needed blink.gif sorry for the confusion

Bill & Karen Sarasota, Fl. Love being Inneggsile

 


#9 Luckyman

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 11:42 AM

Bobinyelm,

I will now quote from the Casita advance handout sheet for setting up your tow vehicle which was mailed to me after I ordered my trailer............

"HITCH HEIGHTS:

13' & 16' Casitas - with approximately 250# on the hitch - 17" from ground to top of 2" ball.

17' Casitas - Deluxe - with approximately 365# on the hitch - 19" from ground to top of 2" ball.

17' Casitas - with high rise axle - should measure 20 1/2" from ground to top of 2" ball."


I hope this helps.
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#10 LJB

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 01:45 PM

Factory_5.jpg



Bob,

I took a couple hitch receiver bars, with different drops, for our Toyota 4Runner V8. Neither worked even though Casita gave us the measurement for our 17' SD with high-lift axle. In fact, the guys at Casita had to try different ball heights and receiver bar heights before they got it right; that is, both tow vehicle and trailer were level when hitched. They placed a bar level on the trailer in a couple different locations
during the process. The final step was to weld on the sway bar connections to both hitch and trailer.

Suspension systems are different with every vehicle. You really need to have both tow vehicle and trailer to determine the final setup.

Frankly, I'm glad we had Casita set up our rig.

Larry

Edited by LJB, 05 September 2006 - 01:49 PM.

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#11 Don in OKC

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 03:33 PM

Bob:

Using a WDH that is designed for a heavier trailer (i.e. using a 2-5/16" ball) could result in transferring a heavier load (under certain circumstances) than the Casita frame/running gear is able to withstand.

I've seen a photo of such a thing that happened on a stick built bumper pull trailer. The 'A' section of the frame was bent upward severely where the box section of the frame began.

Did you check with the Casita factory about this application?
Don in OKC - (Useta have a) 2000 16' LD, 98 Chrysler T&C

#12 Bobinyelm

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 05:14 PM

Interesting point.

Using a 2 5/16" ball in itself is no problem, but the bars may be too stiff (pounds per inch of deflection), so that even when they are set right for a level road, when the trailer or TV changes height (driveways, dips, speed bumps, etc), the bars are strong enough to bend the Trailer "A" frame rather than just flex themselves.

Thanks; that makes sense.

I have a call into the hitch manufacturer, and after that will talk w/ Casita. I mentioned the hitch to them at the factory, but the saleman didn't know of anyone using one on a Casita.

Bob


QUOTE (Don in OKC @ Sep 5 2006, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bob:

Using a WDH that is designed for a heavier trailer (i.e. using a 2-5/16" ball) could result in transferring a heavier load (under certain circumstances) than the Casita frame/running gear is able to withstand.

I've seen a photo of such a thing that happened on a stick built bumper pull trailer. The 'A' section of the frame was bent upward severely where the box section of the frame began.

Did you check with the Casita factory about this application?