Weight distribution hitch? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-08-2016, 10:34 PM   #29
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I do not believe that adding air to the rear suspension can shift weight to the tow vehicle's front tires. The same weight is still in the same place on the ball and on the rear suspension; the air merely stiffens that suspension and helps it carry the weight. If weight has been off-loaded from the front axle via leverage, that weight remains off-loaded even when air is added to the rear shocks.
I agree with this line of thinking, Mike.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:04 PM   #30
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With the stabilizer, I do not exceed the weight permitted for the vehicle, I make it safe just making sure that the four wheels of the tow vehicle to have the same grip with the road, before and after having attached the trailer.

To support this idea, when I have a chance, I will go to road scales, not far from me and I will take notes separately the weight applied to the front and rear of my vehicle without the trailer and accompanied the caravan weight stabiilsateurs.

This should indicate to me that the proportion of weight remained equal, there is only the extra weight that the trailer has been getting split between the front and rear of the vehicle.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:47 AM   #31
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Your truck should be well equipped to safely tow that trailer even without any form or anti sway or weight distribution. l[/URL]
The above is a bit misleading. A well equipped set up with safety in mind, will always include an anti sway device for those one off situations.
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:44 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I do not believe that adding air to the rear suspension can shift weight to the tow vehicle's front tires. The same weight is still in the same place on the ball and on the rear suspension; the air merely stiffens that suspension and helps it carry the weight. If weight has been off-loaded from the front axle via leverage, that weight remains off-loaded even when air is added to the rear shocks.

Whether a WDH is "needed" or not can sometimes be a matter of personal opinion. Some folks are more averse to rear end squat than others! And some vehicles are more susceptible to it than others; for example, when Can-Am RV outfits a Jetta for towing, they always include WD to redistribute some weight to both the front axle and the trailer axle. One factor is the tow vehicle's rear overhang length; the more of it you have, the more leverage is applied by the trailer and the more weight is shifted off the front axle (in the absence of WD).
Your statement is exactly correct.
This is why the VW Golf is rated better than the Wagen - more overhang!
In Europe many cars are equipped with HID lights and they are required (as in the US) to have self leveling features, either the suspension or the lights themselves.
I chose the air bags to level and get the light correct AND to keep the suspension alignment correct.
Another benefit of the air bags is the stiffening of the rear springs. This raises the resonant frequency of the back and helps prevent the oscillation inception.
When springs are loaded there is a frequency that the springs resonant, adding weight lowers that frequency. If this coincides with the frequency of the coupling of the trailer / car combination any deviation will tend to increase and not be damped. At this point the dreaded sway starts and increases.
The resonant frequency is increased with the square of the speed and at some point this frequency matches the resonant frequency of the tow vehicle.
The air bags let you selectively increase both the ride height and the resonant frequency of the rear end.
In other words the stiffer the better. (within reason).
The spring rate is measured in inches of deflection per lb of load.
Obviously if the spring has been raised 1 1/2" the rate has been increased. Also the bag adds damping with the friction between the bag and coils
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:19 PM   #33
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The above is a bit misleading. A well equipped set up with safety in mind, will always include an anti sway device for those one off situations.
This is why I welded the smaller anti sway balls permanently to my trailers frame, and to my draw bar. I just don't NEED to use them to feel safe towing. If the trailer and tow combo do not feel safe enough on an average non wind etc extremes without one, then it isn't safe with one.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:21 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I do not believe that adding air to the rear suspension can shift weight to the tow vehicle's front tires. The same weight is still in the same place on the ball and on the rear suspension; the air merely stiffens that suspension and helps it carry the weight. If weight has been off-loaded from the front axle via leverage, that weight remains off-loaded even when air is added to the rear shocks.
Half correct.
The leverage weight is still removed from the front tires, yes. As I said. The distance from the rear axle can be used to calculate that. However, the TILT of the vehicle itself is what removes most weight. Tilting back means the center of gravity is now further back. That's all.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:49 PM   #35
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Half correct.
The leverage weight is still removed from the front tires, yes. As I said. The distance from the rear axle can be used to calculate that. However, the TILT of the vehicle itself is what removes most weight. Tilting back means the center of gravity is now further back. That's all.
I don't believe that air bag leveling changes the weight distribution to any appreciable amount, but the sagging rear end does affect the suspension.
If the front is unloaded and the rear is lower then the geometry id off and handling could be easily degraded.
The rear of the VW gains a little camber with a little lower so I raise the rear to about 1/2 inch lower than unladen.
I can't speak for the anti-sway since I don't have the fittings for the addition to the Westfalia setup, but if I could get a UK setup I would use it.
It would shift the weight a little and serve as an anti-sway,
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:20 PM   #36
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Some of those light duty anti sway devices from other countries look like the EXACT kind that would be perfect for our trailers here. They could even be beneficial for the attachment points of the hitch system on lighter vehicles. The reason there being that they would take some stress off of the bolts closest to the ball on the hitch. Usually all of the weight is trying to twist the hitch off of the car, where with a really LIGHT WDH you get a more even downward force across all of the bolts. Too heavy though and the forces are just amplified so much there is no way to get a benefit.

Those ones look so light that I wouldn't see them as a problem for the lighter duty steel frames our trailers have. I don't want to mislead anyone in either direction.
The concept of weight distribution is sound, and in many cases works great. I just wanted to point out HOW it works, and what effect it has on many setups. This way people can make a more informed decision. I've heard a lot of people say that you should run a weight distribution hitch on EVERY trailer, no matter what. Even little dinky 200lb harbor freight utility trailers. I bought my Scamp from one such individual, and he broke my trailer clean in half at the tongue. Those super light systems look great though. As mentioned the steering and wheel angle geometry of the vehicle can change dramatically based on the squat caused by the trailer. Depending on the vehicle, this is where most of the handling issues come from. Most vehicles are heavy in the front where the engine usually is. (Does not apply to the Vanagon )
A few hundred pounds on the end of a few foot pole isn't going to remove a whole lot of weight from those front tires. The entire vehicle tilting backwards as without any air suspension however will do so very quickly.
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