Black Series HQ Tips, Tricks, and Learning.....

kevin_j

Member
#12K Trailer Hitch (Edited from 10K hitch to 12K hitch)

When I bought my HQ15 I wasn't running the right hitch. The Black Series hitch needs to have the correct width tongue on the truck side to insure it doesn't sway side-to-side. We found a 12K rated hitch at U-Haul and added the correct bolt spacers (also important) to eliminate the sway. It made a HUGE difference. The trailer is a lot more stable on the highway now. I also added air bags to get the truck butt up to a place where the trailer wasn't nose diving. Those two things have made towing these beasts pretty easy.

Edit: RoA also turned me on to adding a sway bar (not a load distribution hitch). Maybe we can gt @RoA-offroadtrailer to give us the exact model he's using.
 
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kevin_j

Member
#Upgrade the Solar Charger

One of the first upgrades I made was to install a Victron Energy 100/30 Solar Charger. Looking at the power display doesn't give you a great idea of how much solar you're bringing in and can't be used to tune external panels at all. Make sure you check the type of battery your have installed as early BLK HQ's had true AGM batteries and the new ones are coming with a GEL VRLA Gel battery that I think is the exact same as this one: Renogy 100AH Gel

It's super important to configure the solar charger to use the right battery profile so you don't kill your batteries.
 
#10K Trailer Hitch

When I bought my HQ15 I wasn't running the right hitch. The Black Series hitch needs to have the correct width tongue on the truck side to insure it doesn't sway side-to-side. We found a 10K rated hitch at U-Haul and added the correct bolt spaces (also important) to eliminate the sway. It made a HUGE difference. The trailer is a lot more stable on the highway now. I also added air bags to get the truck butt up to place where the trailer wasn't nose diving. Those two things have made towing these beasts pretty easy.
Are you referring to hitch height? I am not sure what you mean by "bolt spaces".
 
No. So if you look it the Black Series hitch were it bolts to the Truck side, it has "wings" that wrap the customer supplied hitch (in the horizontal plane). The width of these wings requires a 10K or 12K rated hitch versus a 7 or 5K.
I went to their website to see if there was some good pics of the hitch. The only pic I found is what they call a polyblock hitch and they only show camper side. It appears very similar to the Hitchmaster DO35.
Hitchmaster does not require anything special on the truck side.
 
#10K Trailer Hitch

When I bought my HQ15 I wasn't running the right hitch. The Black Series hitch needs to have the correct width tongue on the truck side to insure it doesn't sway side-to-side. We found a 10K rated hitch at U-Haul and added the correct bolt spaces (also important) to eliminate the sway. It made a HUGE difference. The trailer is a lot more stable on the highway now. I also added air bags to get the truck butt up to place where the trailer wasn't nose diving. Those two things have made towing these beasts pretty easy.
We have been using the 12k hitch and that seems to fit very nice.
 
I went to their website to see if there was some good pics of the hitch. The only pic I found is what they call a polyblock hitch and they only show camper side. It appears very similar to the Hitchmaster DO35.
Hitchmaster does not require anything special on the truck side.
 

adventr

Adventurer
Mine is using a 12k receiver hitch (which is STOUT) and the wings seem to fit pretty well on it.
Really like the info on the solar controller! Have thought about changing the factory controller (PWM) to a MPPT. Did you get a pretty good improvement from that?

Haven't had any issues with the solar setup keeping up, so wasn't sure if it would be worth it or not.
 

kevin_j

Member
Mine is using a 12k receiver hitch (which is STOUT) and the wings seem to fit pretty well on it.
Really like the info on the solar controller! Have thought about changing the factory controller (PWM) to a MPPT. Did you get a pretty good improvement from that?

Haven't had any issues with the solar setup keeping up, so wasn't sure if it would be worth it or not.
I just looked at my new hitch and it is a 12K! So you all have me there :) Yes on the MPPT. For one it was kinda hard to tell what state the batteries where in just based on the volt meter our trailers comes with. With the Victron you can see your total collection stats accurately in addition to what stages the battery hit through the daily charge cycle. Because it's using a three stage charge cycle it's also supposed to increase battery life.

Another great upgrade was one of these mattress toppers : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UYGA49M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Still the best thing we've done so far!

RoA also shared a cool tip with me a few weeks ago in Moab. They added removable pins to the steps so that it's easy to remove them before hitting the trails. I know personally there's been a few times where I almost smoked those guys :)

Ok one more tip... I got this from another customer Dave... Zip tie the bolts of your suspension limiting shackles. I lost both of mine in the first month of use and ended replacing them with pinned link type shackles.
 

HQ15fan

Member
Hi All, great thread! Just ordered our HQ15 from RoA (those guys are awesome!).

As for the question about PWM vs MPPT solar controllers., A MPPT controller will be able to get more energy out of the same solar panels, up to maybe 40% over a PWM (depends on the panel temperature). It also has the advantage that you can wire panels in series, doubling the voltage, and therefore reducing the current by half, so you have less loss in the electrical wires from the panel. The HQ15 has a (cheap) PWM controller. If you find yourself on the edge of your battery capacity, upgrading to a MPPT controller is the first thing to consider IMHO. If you don't run out of battery capacity, leave the PWM and enjoy the trailer! If you ever consider upgrading to LifePo4 Lithium batteries, then definitely invest in a good quality MPPT controller.

From the pictures I have seen, I am pretty sure the PWM controller in the HQ trailers is this one: http://www.pantecsolar.com/pdf/CM30D.pdf

Does anyone have a link to a 10K or 12K hitch that works well?

Thanks!
Barthold
 

Scoot555

New member
I just looked at my new hitch and it is a 12K! So you all have me there :) Yes on the MPPT. For one it was kinda hard to tell what state the batteries where in just based on the volt meter our trailers comes with. With the Victron you can see your total collection stats accurately in addition to what stages the battery hit through the daily charge cycle. Because it's using a three stage charge cycle it's also supposed to increase battery life.

Another great upgrade was one of these mattress toppers : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UYGA49M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Still the best thing we've done so far!

RoA also shared a cool tip with me a few weeks ago in Moab. They added removable pins to the steps so that it's easy to remove them before hitting the trails. I know personally there's been a few times where I almost smoked those guys :)

Ok one more tip... I got this from another customer Dave... Zip tie the bolts of your suspension limiting shackles. I lost both of mine in the first month of use and ended replacing them with pinned link type shackles.
Can you explain what the suspension limiting shackles are? I have an HQ15 on the way and am interested in these tips and tricks.

Thanks.
 

kevin_j

Member
Can you explain what the suspension limiting shackles are? I have an HQ15 on the way and am interested in these tips and tricks.

Thanks.
Sure! If you take a look at the trailing A-Arms that make up the suspension, you'll notice a piece of chain that connects from the frame to the A-Arm. The lower section of that chain is attached to the A-Arm using a small shackle. Those little shackles have a tendency to come apart when vibrated.

The chain acts to prevent the suspension from extending to far which damages the shocks and I believe can also add to instability if the trailer is off-camber. I'm not near mine right now, but if some has a moment can you post a pic of your suspension?
 

geanes

Member
Sure! If you take a look at the trailing A-Arms that make up the suspension, you'll notice a piece of chain that connects from the frame to the A-Arm. The lower section of that chain is attached to the A-Arm using a small shackle. Those little shackles have a tendency to come apart when vibrated.

The chain acts to prevent the suspension from extending to far which damages the shocks and I believe can also add to instability if the trailer is off-camber. I'm not near mine right now, but if some has a moment can you post a pic of your suspension?
Yup! Definitely don't want to overextend any shock (top-out). Worse negative impact than a bottom-out as few shocks have beefy top-out bumpers. Another reason is that the coils are statically captive. If the suspension extends too far, the coils could pop out. The shock travel would typically mitigate that, but it's a possibility however remote.
 
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