Weight Distribution Hitch-What size to use ? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #57
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My WDH and bars weighs 68 lbs.

The vehicle and trailer ride much better. The two times I had to swerve to avoid a collision, the RAV and Toad tracked as one.

I wouldn't go to the trouble of hooking up with it, if it didn't make a significant difference.

baglo
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:26 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
I would caution getting too carried away with a WD hitch.
I agree... with any vehicle.

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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
A lot of the tow vehicles people are considering on this forum are FWD (or AWD version of FWD base vehicle). As such many are already setup roughly 70/30 weight distributed over the front axle.
I don't think anything on the road is that extreme, but I agree the FWD vehicles tend to be front heavy. So are most rear-wheel drive vehicles. Among passenger vehicles and light trucks, only sports cars are far off of a 60/40 distribution empty.

Multipurpose vehicles (SUVs, vans...) typically have a rear axle capacity similar to the front: their carrying capacity is mostly at the rear, which matches the location of the passenger and cargo space much closer to the rear axle. In pickup trucks, the rear axle typically has even higher capacity than the front... again, that's where most of the load is supposed to go. I agree that this reality logically leads to caution about trying to carry more load with the front axle.

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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
Trying to level a vehicle solely by pushing the weight back onto front axle risks making the rear axle (of the TUG) too light and compromises safe handling. Reducing the weight carried by the rear axle raises the possibility of jack knifing the whole rig.
I agree. I have never seen a plausible recommendation by a qualified source to use a WD system to change the front axle load with the trailer attached to a value any higher than it would be without the trailer.

Since most vehicles suitable for towing start with the rear higher than the front, to allow for substantial load to be added with a rear bias, shifting some load with a WD system may be all that is required to reach a suitable near-level attitude... not the same as without the trailer, but suitable.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #59
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Name: george
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It is true that every guideline I have read regarding setting up a WD hitch, whether from the hitch company or the vehicle manufacturer specifically states that you must never have the rear of the tow vehicle higher or lighter than it was when unloaded. From what I have seen you would have to really seriously tweak the WD system to get that to happen.

Regarding weight distribution of of an unloaded tow vehicle, just for fun, here are the numbers from the CAT scale for my '06 Nissan Frontier ( 4WD, crewcab, 4.0 V6, manual trans )
Steer 2660 lbs
Drive 2260 lbs
total 4920
55% front, 45% rear.

And again, for what it's worth, the purpose of the WD hitch is not "to level" the tow vehicle. It is to re-distribute load correctly to all axles.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:15 PM   #60
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It is true that every guideline I have read regarding setting up a WD hitch, whether from the hitch company or the vehicle manufacturer specifically states that you must never have the rear of the tow vehicle higher or lighter than it was when unloaded.
Oh, absolutely! I hope it's obvious to even those who don't understand the basic principles or purpose of WD that it would be bad to use the trailer to lift the back the tug, rather than having the tug carry the trailer tongue.

As WD action is adjusted up, long before the rear axle is underloaded the front axle hits this too-highly-loaded situation:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I have never seen a plausible recommendation by a qualified source to use a WD system to change the front axle load with the trailer attached to a value any higher than it would be without the trailer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
Regarding weight distribution of of an unloaded tow vehicle, just for fun, here are the numbers from the CAT scale for my '06 Nissan Frontier ( 4WD, crewcab, 4.0 V6, manual trans )
Steer 2660 lbs
Drive 2260 lbs
total 4920
55% front, 45% rear.
Good info - thanks!
That's not as front-heavy as I would have guessed; a standard cab would be a little front-heavier.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:20 AM   #61
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My sense is that given normal load/deflection spring characteristics, Reese seems to be going for negating the lightening of the load on the front due to tongue weight by adjusting the WDH to return the front height to “normal curb height” while letting the rear descend some due to tongue weight.

The tow would have a more nose up attitude than at curb weight. That would be “more nose up” not necessarily “nose up”. Many vehicles are slightly nose down at curb (particularly pick ups). Adding tongue weight would tend to level out these sort of vehicles but might not depress the rear enough to swing the vehicle all the way to “nose up”.

For those not familiar with the terms, “curb” weight is the weight of the empty vehicle. For the passive aggressive, “empty” implies standard features, fluids, spare tire, full tank of gas but no passenger/driver.

Returning to curb height for me implies returning to curb load, ignoring any static friction in the suspension.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:29 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post

Can anyone explain to me the logic behind adding almost a hundred pounds so as to "redistribute" 200 pounds or so of tongue weight???? Francesca
The best way to experience the value of the WDH is to try one and experience it. The benefits are "felt".
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
That may be the whole point, but it also puts weight back on the trailer -supposedly at the wheels but surely concentrated at the tongue rail.

And as long as we're on the subject:

Though perhaps not in this particular thread, I've seen posts from folks advocating w/d hitches for towing trailers as small or smaller than mine. (2,000 pounds loaded)

Can anyone explain to me the logic behind adding almost a hundred pounds so as to "redistribute" 200 pounds or so of tongue weight????

Francesca
A WD hitch re-distributes weight both to the steer axle and also back to the trailer axle(s). The percentage going forward to the steer axle vs what goes to the trailer axle depends on the distance to each. Example, on my Nissan and Funfinder combo, of the approx 500 pounds of tongue weight, I am moving approx 250-260 pounds forward to the steer axle and approx 120 pounds to the trailer axles. So we can see that all hitched up, I am also loading approx 120 pounds more onto the drive axle compared to the unloaded truck.

Regarding using WD hitch with a trailer of only 200 pounds of tongue weight, I would suggest to check with the manufacturer of the hitch before doing so. I have the 'old' version of the BlueOx swaypro. The instructions state the trailer must have a minimum of 350 pounds to use this hitch. The "new" version does not have that statement in the install instructions. I do not know what design change may have been made that might have effected that issue.

A guess would be that only 200 pounds of tongue weight on most vehicles that have enough rated tow capacity for the trailer weight, would not require a WD hitch. 200 pounds of tongue weight would be about right for a camper of approx 1500 pounds ready to roll (13%). A simple friction sway bar might be a good addition to a rig such as that. I could also imagine that on a setup such as that, airbags might be a good addition, especially if the rear suspension is rather soft, which is often the case for passenger type vehicles. Also, cars with independent rear suspension ( IRS ) can sometimes suffer geometry changes when they are squatting that likely would lead to rapid tire wear if run many miles in a squat attitude.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:20 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Well, we can continue this thread later after I install my new Andersen w/d hitch ordered today. No bars, but chains instead.
Jim,
Keep us posted how this works for you. That is an interesting hitch, with a huge amount of controversy surrounding it. The thread regarding it over on the airstream forum is now over 100 pages long. Some folks love it. Some have had coupler failures, they claim may be caused by it due to the deign of how it loads the locking mechanism.

It has also been fairly well established that on trailers with a fairly high tongue weight, it cannot restore front axle loads adequately, but that on lighter trailers, it does a fine job of doing so.

Like I said, there is a lot of discussion surrounding it, so I'd love to hear your take on it. I would also like to see you post the scale weights of before and after with it and your tow vehicle, to see what it is really doing. Are you planning on setting it up with the FJ or the truck ?

thanks, george
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