Weight Distribution Hitch-What size to use ? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #15
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It doesn't go anywhere. It's still there. You just don't see it because your butt doesn't appear to be sagging.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #16
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So, therefore what would a weight distribution hitch accomplish without any sag?
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
It doesn't go anywhere. It's still there. You just don't see it because your butt doesn't appear to be sagging.
I agree... I just couldn't say it as well
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:56 PM   #18
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Now if the nose of the vehicle even with airbags is still pointing to the stars a wdh would shift some weight to the front axle to even it out.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So, therefore what would a weight distribution hitch accomplish without any sag?
A weight distribution system shifts load from the tug's rear axle to the tug's front axle and to the trailer axle. In Jim's vehicle "A" (presumably the Ram 1500), if a weight distribution system were added and the rear ride height was unchanged, that would just mean that less air would be needed in the air bags, because they would be supporting less load.

Using the numbers from my earlier post about David's Freestar and Casita, and pretending for a moment that they apply directly to Jim's Ram and FJ, and his Escape 19'...
  • without WD, the rear of Vehicle A (which has air bags) doesn't sag because the air bags are pumped up to enough pressure to push up with the extra 420 pounds (so the coil springs continue to support the same weight as without a trailer) but the nose will rise a bit due to the 120 pound load reduction,
  • without WD, the rear of Vehicle B (no air bags) sags because the coil springs must compress to exert the extra 420 pounds, plus the nose will rise a bit due to the 120 pound load reduction, and
  • if a WD system were used with Vehicle A (with air bags), less air would be needed since the bags would only be supporting 225 pounds, plus the nose will not rise so it will be about as level as without the trailer.


I realize that the hitch weight of Jim's trailer is not likely the same 300 pounds as David's, the wheelbases of Jim truck and SUV are different, and neither is the same as David's Freestar (Ram longer, FJ shorter), and that the rear overhang (rear axle to ball) is likely different for each tug... but the logic is the same. The numbers can be worked out for any tug and trailer by the same method, using the appropriate dimensions.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So, therefore what would a weight distribution hitch accomplish without any sag?
The w/d gets rid of the sag by transferring the "extra" weight that's causing it. (Extra being the excess over the rig's suspension capacity)

The air bags just give support for the extra weight at the point of origin.

Francesca
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:05 PM   #21
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You managed to say so much with so few words.

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Old 03-26-2013, 09:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I'm confused? If I have vehicle (A) which has air bags and when I attach my trailer it remains level and I'm within the spec's, therefore I do not need nor want a w/d hitch? Vehicle (b), the same as vehicle (a) but does not have air bags, it squats 2-3 " when I hook up my trailer and I'm still within the spec's, I do want a w/d hitch to raise my rear and lower my front to make the tow vehicle level.
Am I shifting weight to the front with vehicle (a) as I would be with vehicle (b) and the w/d set up? If not, why not?
Jim,
The purpose of a weight distributing hitch is to restore weight back to the steer axle, and to also distribute a percentage of the tongue weight to the trailer axle(s). The WD hitch purpose is NOT to make the tow vehicle level. The tow vehicle will become somewhat "more level" with WD as a side benefit, but as stated, the primary purpose is to ensure the steer axle has the correct amount of weight on it for safe handling, especially on wet surfaces, but really, anytime there might be a need for an evasive maneuver. By restoring the correct weight range back to the steer axle, you also help the vehicle maintain the correct geometry for the front suspension.
Some of the truck manufacturers are now specifying the you do not have to restore "all" of the weight back to the steer axle. Several are saying 50%. Nissan specifies the front be restored to "it's original ride height or as much as 1/2 inch high". I found on my Frontier by doing the initial setup with a tape measure, followed by a trip to the scales, that, as you would expect, returning it to original ride height resulted in exactly the same weight on the steer axle as it was with no trailer. I further found from experimenting that I like the feel of the truck best with approx 75% of the weight restored to the steer axle.

george

EDIT. Also, I meant to mention that you should look at the numbers on your hitch receiver. Most receivers have a lower weight rating for "WC" ( weight carrying, just on the ball ) and a higher limit for "WD" (weight distributing ).
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #23
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The major point I should have made in my previous post...

Regardless of what happens to height, the point of a WD system is to move load from the tug's rear axle to the other axles, including the tug's front; if you don't need to move that load (it is not too much at the rear, or too little at the front), then you don't need WD.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So, therefore what would a weight distribution hitch accomplish without any sag?
It would accomplish re-distributing weight forward to the steer axle, and rearward to the trailer axle.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:19 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
You managed to say so much with so few words.
Yes, but Jim didn't ask what WD would do for a sagging suspension, he asked specifically for what it would do for a non-sagging suspension. It's still load transfer, but it isn't "gets rid of the sag".

Edit: took out inappropriate comment due to my misunderstanding.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:20 PM   #26
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It would accomplish re-distributing weight forward to the steer axle, and rearward to the trailer axle.
Hmm... maybe I should have highlighted this key part when I said it five posts earlier...
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
A weight distribution system shifts load from the tug's rear axle to the tug's front axle and to the trailer axle.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #27
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I'm now lost. I wasn't taking a shot at you Brian. It's just that I agreed with Francesca for once. That "The air bags just give support for the extra weight at the point of origin".
They don't transfer any weight to other axles ( supports ).
Do we agree, or am I still in the dark?
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:25 PM   #28
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Now if the nose of the vehicle even with airbags is still pointing to the stars a wdh would shift some weight to the front axle to even it out.
Sure, I agree. But take 120 pounds of the front of a Freestar and it rises what, maybe one inch? One inch over 120 inches of wheelbase is half of one degree of tilt. Is this a problem? I don't find it to be a problem for my van. Your Mileage May Vary
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