Can you identify this hitch?

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
I have purchased a travel trailer to tow behind my 02 Envoy and it did not come with any hitch set up instructions. Can anyone help me identify it? There are no names or numbers anywhere, that I can see. The trailer is an 87 Prowler!

Thanks,
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
Sorry cant help you with the hitch. Just wanted to mention we're having a meet tomorrow in Midland/Barrie/Wasaga Beach. Not sure what part of Muskoka your at? Drop by if you have some time...
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Did you get the WD spring bars with it, or is your question so you can identify the mfr so you can buy the required bars? Sorry, I don't recognize the brand.

The two small balls to either side are for anti-sway friction devices. Most of the ones I've seen from this century have only one small ball, if any, on the side to install the optional device.

Good thread: RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Travel Trailer Hitch Set-up Procedure

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navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
I've never paid close attention before but it looks like a weight distribution hitch.
If you need some items for your new trailer you might be able go to a local RV dealer and take the hitch with you and have them give you some info.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
navigator said:
... it looks like a weight distribution hitch....
:thumbsup: I guarantee it's the trunnion from an old WD hitch. Needs spring bars and a proper setup to be safe. And the spring bars have chains onthe end to fit into fittings that should already be on the trailer.

A picture of the trailer hitch end could be illuminating.
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
I have all the parts in the photos, I do not know the correct set up procedure! Everything I read, including this forum, tells me to consult the "owners manual" for the proper set up procedure. I do not have the manual!! I would assume I hook up the trailer, have both vehicle level, have the vertical plane of the hitch plumb, as it has serrated washers to achieve this. Connect the WD bars, do I load the chain or hook it on the first link that it fits? The sway bars seem to have friction pads. How tight should these be set at?

Thanks,
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
the roadie said:
:thumbsup: I guarantee it's the trunnion from an old WD hitch. Needs spring bars and a proper setup to be safe. And the spring bars have chains onthe end to fit into fittings that should already be on the trailer.

A picture of the trailer hitch end could be illuminating.
thanks Roadie, I think you responded seconds before I did.
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
the roadie said:
:thumbsup: I guarantee it's the trunnion from an old WD hitch. Needs spring bars and a proper setup to be safe. And the spring bars have chains onthe end to fit into fittings that should already be on the trailer.

A picture of the trailer hitch end could be illuminating.

I posted 5 pictures, are they not visible???
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
the roadie said:
Did you get the WD spring bars with it, or is your question so you can identify the mfr so you can buy the required bars? Sorry, I don't recognize the brand.

The two small balls to either side are for anti-sway friction devices. Most of the ones I've seen from this century have only one small ball, if any, on the side to install the optional device.

Good thread: RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Travel Trailer Hitch Set-up Procedure

View attachment 9531

Thanks Roadie, this link is a great help!
 

muddy tires

Member
Dec 5, 2011
63
Gordo said:
Thanks Roadie, this link is a great help!

I have a similar set up. Feel free to ask if anything in the link is still unclear. Don't forget your brake controller and extended mirrors.
 

anthonyl79

Member
Jul 15, 2012
127
Colorado
I use to sell and install these things all day long. You can PM me if you would like and I can talk you through how to set this guy up.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
It looks like your hitch is missing the upper "locks" for the torsion bars. I had a similar set up with my TT before I bought a new hitch to use with the TB. I can take a picture of what should be there when I get home. It won't hurt anything when the bars are under tension, but it may make for interesting times getting it set up until you hook the chain up and when you let the chain down when you are unhooking.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
jonbo2002 said:
you should have two arms like the one I am selling

Looks like he has both spring arms - as well as 2 friction bars!
 

jonbo2002

Member
Sep 27, 2012
213
C-ya said:
Looks like he has both spring arms - as well as 2 friction bars!

lol oh ok sorry I thought it was just a different view of the same spring arm. nevermind what I said
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
I have all the parts. I am looking for the installation / set updetails. Looks like the link The Roadie sent me is quite thorough. I'll check it out tomorrow!

Gordo
 

de3jr88

Member
Dec 8, 2011
45
Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
This appears to be a rather old Reese WD set-up with trunnion bars. The dual friction style sway control is total overkill, but if used properly will all but completely eliminate extra motion. Just make sure you disable BOTH when backing up. There are certainly not many of these left on the road, but as long as nothing is bent or broken it will work as good as most others. Which brings me to this: I hope it is just the illusion of the picture but the top of the head where the 2 sway ball mounts are, looks bent. That is to say the right side of the picture looks lower than the left side. Again, it is probably just the picture.

On the other hand, there seems to be no retainer clips to hold the trunnion bar in place at the top on the head. I would say that these 2 very small parts are critical in keeping the bars seated properly at all times even when under load. Again if it is just the angle of the picture and they are there, you should be good to go. Make sure you lubicate all your moving parts including the pivot brackets which are mounted on the frame of the trailer.

How heavy is the trailer that you are towing. If there are no tags or stenciled numbers on the hitch head or the bars, you may want to still consider having a HITCH dealer look at your stuff. Some RV dealers know a fair amount about hitches but a Hitch dealer will be more of an expert, plus they can also help you set up your trailer so that it rides properly.
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
de3jr88 said:
This appears to be a rather old Reese WD set-up with trunnion bars. The dual friction style sway control is total overkill, but if used properly will all but completely eliminate extra motion. Just make sure you disable BOTH when backing up. There are certainly not many of these left on the road, but as long as nothing is bent or broken it will work as good as most others. Which brings me to this: I hope it is just the illusion of the picture but the top of the head where the 2 sway ball mounts are, looks bent. That is to say the right side of the picture looks lower than the left side. Again, it is probably just the picture.

On the other hand, there seems to be no retainer clips to hold the trunnion bar in place at the top on the head. I would say that these 2 very small parts are critical in keeping the bars seated properly at all times even when under load. Again if it is just the angle of the picture and they are there, you should be good to go. Make sure you lubicate all your moving parts including the pivot brackets which are mounted on the frame of the trailer.

How heavy is the trailer that you are towing. If there are no tags or stenciled numbers on the hitch head or the bars, you may want to still consider having a HITCH dealer look at your stuff. Some RV dealers know a fair amount about hitches but a Hitch dealer will be more of an expert, plus they can also help you set up your trailer so that it rides properly.

On closer inspection (I chipped the paint off of where the trunion bars attach to the trailer) I found the name Reese. I googled Reese WD hitch and found a pic of a set up very like mine. It only uses one friction bar though. Looking at the receiver I have, it appears that someone may have added a second friction bar as the welded ball does not look like I would expect from a factory set up. Weld splatter on the hitch.

I am not sure of the trailer weight however the GVWR on the spec sheet is 2220KG. I understand that should be the total weight and cargo?

Now I need to learn about tranny coolers and brake controllers!!

I think I have enough info now from everone who replied to let me set this up with reasonable confidence. Thanks to all!!

Gordo
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
I have a Prodigy that I bought from etrailer.com - Tekonsha PRODIGY Brake Controller - Proportional Tekonsha Brake Controller 90185. Love it! Easy set up and it has a boost feature where it automatically applies a preset amount of brake as soon as it activates, then applies the brake as the stopping force through the brake pedal dictates.

As far as your WD hitch, mine is also a Reese. Here are a few pics to show how the bars go in. I also show the "lock tabs" that yours seems to be missing.

This picture shows the orientation of the bar into the WD hitch. It will be easy to figure out as the chain will be on top of the bar.

IMAG0594.jpg


Put the bar into the bottom pocket first...

IMAG0595.jpg


then rock it into the upper pocket...

IMAG0596.jpg


I then flip the tab back, but it seems as tho yours are missing...

IMAG0597.jpg


Once you have this done, lower the hooks mounted on the frame of the TT so you can put the chain on them and use a bar to rotate it up and lock it. There should be 2 C or D shaped pieces of metal (like a wire pin) that goes into the chain lock. If you can't find them, get some from a hardware store - you don't won't that coming loose while driving or when you are standing next to it and aren't ready for it. You can use a wired hitch safety pin - http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Accessories/Husky/80235.html - or something like that. Then you can measure and make sure you are level and have correct links of chain between the bar and trailer as per most WD install instructions.

Hope this helps.
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
C-ya said:
I have a Prodigy that I bought from etrailer.com - Tekonsha PRODIGY Brake Controller - Proportional Tekonsha Brake Controller 90185. Love it! Easy set up and it has a boost feature where it automatically applies a preset amount of brake as soon as it activates, then applies the brake as the stopping force through the brake pedal dictates.

As far as your WD hitch, mine is also a Reese. Here are a few pics to show how the bars go in. I also show the "lock tabs" that yours seems to be missing.

This picture shows the orientation of the bar into the WD hitch. It will be easy to figure out as the chain will be on top of the bar.

IMAG0594.jpg


Put the bar into the bottom pocket first...

IMAG0595.jpg


then rock it into the upper pocket...

IMAG0596.jpg


I then flip the tab back, but it seems as tho yours are missing...

IMAG0597.jpg


Once you have this done, lower the hooks mounted on the frame of the TT so you can put the chain on them and use a bar to rotate it up and lock it. There should be 2 C or D shaped pieces of metal (like a wire pin) that goes into the chain lock. If you can't find them, get some from a hardware store - you don't won't that coming loose while driving or when you are standing next to it and aren't ready for it. You can use a wired hitch safety pin - Trailer Coupler Safety Lock Pin - 5/16" Husky Hitch Accessories 80235 - or something like that. Then you can measure and make sure you are level and have correct links of chain between the bar and trailer as per most WD install instructions.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, this helps a lot! Which link should be used? When I picked up the trailer, the seller hooked the chain in the first one he could make without using a leverage bar. Seemed to me there should be some preload.

Gordo
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
Gordo said:
Thanks, this helps a lot! Which link should be used? When I picked up the trailer, the seller hooked the chain in the first one he could make without using a leverage bar. Seemed to me there should be some preload.

Gordo

Yes, there should be some preload or else it isn't distributing much weight to the front of the tow vehicle. I would lower the hooks, count 5 up from the bar and put it on and rotate it up. See how that does. Sometimes with WD hitches, you can't get where you need to (finally) be at due to uneven terrain or something like that. You may have to start with more links, cinch one side up, cinch the other side up with maybe one less link, then cinch the first side and so on until you end up where you need to be. The trailer jack supporting some of the trailer weight will also help get the chains where they need to be. Hook up and secure the ball, then jack the trailer back up a bit to lift the truck then set the chains.
 

Gordo

Original poster
Member
Mar 26, 2012
81
C-ya said:
Yes, there should be some preload or else it isn't distributing much weight to the front of the tow vehicle. I would lower the hooks, count 5 up from the bar and put it on and rotate it up. See how that does. Sometimes with WD hitches, you can't get where you need to (finally) be at due to uneven terrain or something like that. You may have to start with more links, cinch one side up, cinch the other side up with maybe one less link, then cinch the first side and so on until you end up where you need to be. The trailer jack supporting some of the trailer weight will also help get the chains where they need to be. Hook up and secure the ball, then jack the trailer back up a bit to lift the truck then set the chains.

Great! Found the "empty" weight on another website. 3320#

Gordo
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
With no preload, it's not a WD hitch. The normal number of chain links between the bar and the tensioner hook is 4-5. If you do the setup properly, and get the proper amount of weight transferred to the front wheels (as measured by the settling distance), you may have to adjust the angle of the hitch (using those washers) to also dial in the number of chain links. It may take 2-3 times to get it setup, but then it's fixed for the life of the trailer/TV combination.

You can use a long lever pipe to lift the tensioner hook bracket, or do what I do. I replaced the hand-cranked trailer jack with an electric one. I lower the hitch onto the ball using the jack, secure the hitch latch, then install the bars. THEN I raise the trailer tongue using the jack to where it's ABOVE the final resting height. My fifth chain link then engages the tensioner hook with no load. Raise the tensioner hook and latch it up. Then lower the electric jack and the tension comes onto the bars and their chains and it's ready to go.

The electric jack also makes it a 5 minute job to level the rig at a campsite. Get a set of Lynx leveling blocks or a bunch of cut-up wooden planks. Drive the trailer up onto a ramp built up on the low side of the site. With experience and one of those huge bubble levels mounted to the trailer where you can see it while backing up, it's easy. Once the trailer is level side to side, take it off the tow vehicle. Drive forward a few feet, then use the electric jack to level it front to back. Lower the leveling feet at the corners of the trailer and pop open your first beer.

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muddy tires

Member
Dec 5, 2011
63
the roadie said:
You can use a long lever pipe to lift the tensioner hook bracket, or do what I do. I replaced the hand-cranked trailer jack with an electric one.

That's why I have teenagers. I do the snapping up of the brackets but they do the cranking!
 

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