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How critical is it to have a perfectly level trailer?

neu
Explorer
Explorer
Hello everyone,

I bought an adjustable trailer hitch, but I miscalculated and the maximum height is not enough to level the trailer. This hitch raises the height by 5 1/4 inches, but based on my calculations, I need an additional 1-2 inches of height to level the trailer. Is this critical or can I still tow the trailer as is?




UPDATE: I've read a few articles that say that I should better level it properly...
I don't know how to remove this question from the forum
67 REPLIES 67

neu
Explorer
Explorer
K_and_I wrote:
These guys catch a lot of flack on the net, but it seems they have made conversions for quite a few different cars to tow trailers:

Can-Am


I've heard about them as well. Thank you!

neu
Explorer
Explorer
Grit dog wrote:
And once you establish that you can’t use a wdh and don’t have auto level/air ride, you’re probably not going to like how 450lbs on the hitch and a trunk full of “stuff” handles. And neither will your car.
And if I’m wrong you’ll never know until you spend a bunch more money and do some irreversible major mods to the car or trailer.
Combined again with your obvious anxiety over towing it in the first place.
And They don’t make simple suspension enhancements for your car, like a cheap set of airbags or helper springs ( no wdh allowed, remember). Closest thing I found was an airlift kit for Q5 for $3k (so $4k for you plus a couple grand mechanic bill).
You’re at the dealbreaker stage here. Period.

Before you take offense to any of this, I understand vehicles, trailers, mechanics, towing etc. Been doing it for 35 years as everything from a laborer to mechanic/fabricator to engineer to being responsible for 100s of people who tow “stuff.” I could plasma the old hitch off and weld a new one on and have the first coat of paint dry by this afternoon, but if I was in your shoes I’d not even consider it and step back and analyze which thing I wanted to keep and which one I wanted to switch out to make a compatible combination.


Hello, thank you for sharing your experience, I agree

I've already decided that I'm not going to make any upgrades to my car and trailer. I'll get confirmation from the dealer that the car can be used without a WDH and then most likely use a hitch without a lift. I'll measure the clearance, trailer angle, and tongue weight today and base my decision on that data. I'll definitely post it here. If it doesn't work out, I'll reluctantly sell the trailer.

Unfortunately, I can't find any other trailers with a low tongue height that would fit my car. Only very expensive, rare models, but for that price, I could buy another Audi as an addition.

K_and_I
Explorer
Explorer
These guys catch a lot of flack on the net, but it seems they have made conversions for quite a few different cars to tow trailers:

Can-Am
K_and_I
2011 Rockwood 2604
Nights Camped in 2019: 85
Do we have time for shortcuts?

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
And once you establish that you can’t use a wdh and don’t have auto level/air ride, you’re probably not going to like how 450lbs on the hitch and a trunk full of “stuff” handles. And neither will your car.
And if I’m wrong you’ll never know until you spend a bunch more money and do some irreversible major mods to the car or trailer.
Combined again with your obvious anxiety over towing it in the first place.
And They don’t make simple suspension enhancements for your car, like a cheap set of airbags or helper springs ( no wdh allowed, remember). Closest thing I found was an airlift kit for Q5 for $3k (so $4k for you plus a couple grand mechanic bill).
You’re at the dealbreaker stage here. Period.

Before you take offense to any of this, I understand vehicles, trailers, mechanics, towing etc. Been doing it for 35 years as everything from a laborer to mechanic/fabricator to engineer to being responsible for 100s of people who tow “stuff.” I could plasma the old hitch off and weld a new one on and have the first coat of paint dry by this afternoon, but if I was in your shoes I’d not even consider it and step back and analyze which thing I wanted to keep and which one I wanted to switch out to make a compatible combination.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Plus the resale on older higher mile Audis is horrible (reference my previous post) combined with the significant premium you pay for EVERYTHING maint and repair related.

Unless you’re hung up on the bougie image of driving an Audi (if so, at least get a car and something fast, because your Q5 is just an over priced midsize suv with lackluster performance), take this opportunity to upgrade on all fronts except the downtown metro bistro crowd image. Which by now would put you in a EV to get any street cred with the bistro/farmers market/wine bar crowd anyways…
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
^Not exactly how they were designed but yes with a competent weld it would be fine.
It will also make the trailer useless for anyone with a real tow vehicle, in the future, when you sell it.
Since this whole escapade has gone unanswered whether you’ve towed it, ok with towing it, even know how it tows, if you go the mod hitch route you have a 50/50 chance of shooting your self in the foot by continuing to try to jam this round peg into a square hole. Figuratively and literally.
Next bit may not be well received but in general you’ve exhibited that you’re not the kind of “mod it and make it work” type of person. Nevermind the whole issue of actually towing it which has gone unaddressed.
Lots of campers and lots of cars and trucks for sale.
Maybe consider the option of finding the right camper for your car or getting something that will tow the existing camper without any fanfare, modifications, counting cans of beans and logging where you place them for weight purposes and all the other rabbit hole stuff that has been mentioned the last half dozen pages.
And if you change vehicles you’ll probably thank (somebody) once that Audi starts being an Audi and getting into your wallet. Which will happen quicker if you’re doing any real deal high mile towing with it.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Durb
Explorer
Explorer
Could you please send me the link for what you mean?

Search "Curt 25210". Have your welder cut off the current ball mount leaving the A frame plate for your jack mount. Then, have him weld the top of the new A frame coupler plate to the bottom of the frame. This should be plenty strong for a trailer in your weight class.

neu
Explorer
Explorer
Here's what is written in my car user manual. You cannot install a weight distribution hitch. At the same time, the hitch itself only specifies towing specifications with weight distribution. Nonsense.
I gonna visit the dealership tomorrow to clarify this

neu
Explorer
Explorer
Durb wrote:
Reisender wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Durb wrote:
You could take your trailer to a welder and have him remove the coupler, then weld another coupler to the underside of the frame. It looks like you would pick up 5-6 inches.


I believe this is a unibody vehicle...ie: there is no frame to weld to.


He might be talking about the trailer side. Not sure.


Yes, that is why I wrote to take the trailer in. Many trailers (generally heavier) have the front "A" section welded to the underside of the trailer's main frame. There are couplers on Amazon perfectly suited to be welded to the underside of your frame moving the hitch ball height down a number of inches. Problem solved; trailer tows level. Much simpler than trying to work on the SUV side of the equation.


Could you please send me the link for what you mean?

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
Durb wrote:
Reisender wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Durb wrote:
You could take your trailer to a welder and have him remove the coupler, then weld another coupler to the underside of the frame. It looks like you would pick up 5-6 inches.


I believe this is a unibody vehicle...ie: there is no frame to weld to.


He might be talking about the trailer side. Not sure.
i

Yes, that is why I wrote to take the trailer in. Many trailers (generally heavier) have the front "A" section welded to the underside of the trailer's main frame. There are couplers on Amazon perfectly suited to be welded to the underside of your frame moving the hitch ball height down a number of inches. Problem solved; trailer tows level. Much simpler than trying to work on the SUV side of the equation.


Makes sense. Especially with these raised suspension “Boondock” packages you see nowadays with the big goofy off road tires. 🙂

Durb
Explorer
Explorer
Reisender wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Durb wrote:
You could take your trailer to a welder and have him remove the coupler, then weld another coupler to the underside of the frame. It looks like you would pick up 5-6 inches.


I believe this is a unibody vehicle...ie: there is no frame to weld to.


He might be talking about the trailer side. Not sure.


Yes, that is why I wrote to take the trailer in. Many trailers (generally heavier) have the front "A" section welded to the underside of the trailer's main frame. There are couplers on Amazon perfectly suited to be welded to the underside of your frame moving the hitch ball height down a number of inches. Problem solved; trailer tows level. Much simpler than trying to work on the SUV side of the equation.

neu
Explorer
Explorer
I will go to the dealer tomorrow and ask about the table. To be honest, I got the impression that they don't know anything at all. I had to explain to them what a brake controller is, and they were surprised that I was the first one to order this option.

I came across a post about about an Audi Q5 owner who upgraded their stock hitch. They also use a weight distribution hitch, and after the modifications, they were able to tow 6,000 lbs with a tongue weight of around 1,000 lbs. I will attach photos of their modification.
What are your thoughts, guys, on this matter?


Here's what they wrote:
"Our hitch receiver is the Audi OE receiver with the integrated Audi 7 pin wiring. We also added a Redarc Tow Pro brake controller and had the factory hitch receiver reinforced considerably. Due to European regulations, the hitch receiver is not likely rated for Weight Distribution applications BUT with the additional reinforcing I am more than comfortable using this hitch receiver to tow my 28 foot AS trailer.
I use an EAZ-Lift WD Hitch with 1000Lb bars and 2 Husky Sway Control bars. Properly set up this system works great."









JBarca
Nomad II
Nomad II
valhalla360 wrote:
JBarca wrote:
2. The top of the tow ball is to be no more than 6 1/4" above the centerline of the 5/8" ball mount locking pin.



Minor Correction: The center of the ball can't be more than 6 1/4" behind the pin hole...NOT ABOVE.


Thank You! for pointing this out. You are correct; I miss read the arrow point. I thought they might be thinking about a hi-rise tow ball. The centerline of the ball to the centerline of the pinhole is the rear overhang. The rear overhang limit fits better by limiting the torsion in the receiver.

I will now go and fix my response. Thanks again.
2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10 RA, 21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR, upgraded 2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver. Hitched with a 1,700# Reese HP WD, HP Dual Cam to a 2004 Sunline Solaris T310R travel trailer.

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
valhalla360 wrote:
Durb wrote:
You could take your trailer to a welder and have him remove the coupler, then weld another coupler to the underside of the frame. It looks like you would pick up 5-6 inches.


I believe this is a unibody vehicle...ie: there is no frame to weld to.


He might be talking about the trailer side. Not sure.