Neighborly acts and under pressure – weight distribution setup

My goodness. The pandemic swept in and like a lot of people I stopped doing – stopped going out, stopped going “to” work, and stopped camping. There is no bathroom in the Vagabond, so until I felt ok with public washrooms I did not want to take a chance. In March 2021, after being vaccinated I was able to take a trip with the Sisters on the Fly. It was great fun but oh man it was HOT in the trailer! At one point it was 88 degrees and I can’t even tell you what the humidity was but it was BAD and like a genius I did not even bring a fan tho a kind sister did loan me one. I resolved not to camp again unless the weather was cooler, or I had installed HVAC. My next post will hopefully be about that HVAC installation as it is about 80% complete. In true ADHD fashion, I have planned a camping trip to give me the push I needed to finish up.

In the meantime, I will show some pics of the work my GENIUS neighbor did to help me fit my Andersen weight distribution to my trailer. The standard brackets assume that your frame measurements are even numbers – ie 4″, 5″ etc.

My frame is 4-1/2″, causing the brackets to sit incorrectly. I contacted Andersen in hopes of getting custom brackets and was told it would be 2022 before they could do it. So, the only solution was to fashion a pad to thicken that portion of the frame to 4-1/2″ so the brackets would fit. I don’t weld, don’t have the ability to cut steel either so I was at a loss. When I asked my neighbor to check my torqued bolt on my hitch I mentioned the issue. Turns out he does weld and does machining/etc. He sent me a link to a steel bar that I picked up at Lowes. Today he came over and made it happen! Double stacked the bar was just a little too snug. To make it fit, he cut a little channel so it would fit and also not shift or fall apart if it were to loosen for any reason. Then he welded the two pieces together. When he tried to check the fit, he realized there is a welding bead along the bottom of the frame, so he cut another channel to accommodate that.

When I took that trip last March, my tow experience was not as great as I remember it was the first time. As soon as I got home, I checked my setup and my tongue was a little up, not level as it had been.

I had bought new tires just before the trip. I think the tires had a slightly higher profile, making the car a little taller and causing the tongue to go up. When I first set it up it was on the very edge of acceptable before you move to the next notch so to speak. The new tires threw it over the edge. Anyway, I dropped the hitch a notch to lower the tongue and meet Andersen’s installation measuring guidelines. One day soon I’ll pull the trailer up to the driveway and hook up the wd chains.

Bracket fit before – clearly not going to work!

Longitudinal groove to accommodate welding along bottom of frame
Cross groove for bolt
Weight distribution bracket in place with pad

I’ll include some pics from the camping trip in March. It was at the Point South KOA in Yemassee SC. There was a bar and a pizza restaurant in the office! We had a wine tasting and a bonfire. It was awesome!

It was such a pleasure to finally go camping!
A bar! In a campground!
We had a lovely wine tasting

Cats, wine and pizza! Life is good.

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