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Old 12-11-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Hitch Question

Let me start by telling you what I have,
07 Ram 1500 Quad Cab, 4x4, towing a 2013 XLR 27HFS toy hauler. I believe the truck is rated for 8500-9000 lbs towing, so that is not an issue, I know the truck can handle it.

My question,
The receiver is rated for 12000lbs/1200lbs tongue weight. My hitch is a Reese hitch, rated at 10000lbs/1000lbs lounge weight. The weight distribution bars are rated at 6000lbs/600lbs tongue weight, each. But what I need to know was if the weight distribution bars for the hitch are adequate? do the two 6000/600lb bars equal up to 12000/1200lbs, or do I need to buy some heavier duty bars, and if so do they sell them separately from the hitches?


The back story of why I ask,
When I towed my camper to the campground last summer, it was for the most part empty, except for groceries and a few clothes, and it towed like a dream. It sets there most of the time, since we are on a seasonal site. Once we got it to the campground I unloaded my old camper(totaled by a tree), and loaded everything into the new one, which added to the weight, but not that drastically. after the season I brought it home so I could take it to a dealer for some minor warranty repairs. So we loaded everything up, including the golf cart, and towed it home during the big storm that hit the east coast in Oct/Nov. I had a pretty good bit of sway coming home, about 100 miles, but expected it with the high winds. two days later I towed it to a storage lot until I could get it to the dealer, and still had some sway, but it was still pretty windy. About two weeks later I towed it to the dealer for the repairs, and still noticed some sway, even though it was not windy. I am thinking it was due to weight distribution inside the camper, since the golf cart, and some other things were still in the garage, but all of the stuff in the front living area was unloaded.

I know I need to put it on a scale once I get it loaded back up, to see exactly where I stand with the weights. But I was hoping for some insight from some of the more experienced camper folks. Don't get me wrong, I am a truck driver, and have been since 1984, so I know how to pull a trailer. But I have never really dealt with the weigh distribution hitches, since in a tractor trailer most of the weight issues are dealt with by moving the axles on the trailer.

I am attaching a pic of the type of hitch, it is the trunnion style.

Thanks in advance for you help!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:43 PM   #2
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Hi Don,

The bars are rated as a PAIR. Your 600# bars are for UP TO 600# of tongue weight. You will have more than 600# of tongue weight with that size trailer so you probably aren't getting the proper amount of weight distribution.

A heavier bar may not fit in the hitch head. You'll have to check that.

Sway is another issue. While some of it is due to the weight distribution from the bars, most of it is not.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Where was the golf cart loaded?
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:24 PM   #4
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If you put 12-15% of (Total) trailer weight on the (Tongue) your sway will probably go away,but you will need big bars to bring the rear end of the 1500 up! Cart in the back is making for Low tongue weight,allowing the little 600# bars to bring the 1500 up. Youroo!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Yea the cart is in the rear cargo area. Once I get it all on a scale i will be able to figure out where I need to adjust the cargo. And thanks for the info on the bars, I guess I need to be looking for some heavier bars, or another hitch if I cant find the bars.

Thanks again everybody!
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:13 PM   #6
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The listed stats on that trailer are a 577 lb. tongue weight, and a 5675 total empty weight. Realistically, when options are added the empty weight will be about 6000 lbs., and tongue weight will come up to around 600 lbs as battery and propane are added. So that would be right around a 10% tongue weight to total empty weight ratio......the minimum of what is recommended for proper trailer towing.

In a conventional trailer, as you load the trailer both the tongue weight and the total weight increase together, and hopefully at least 10% stays on the tongue.....12-15% is better. But, on a toy hauler, as you load the rear garage, the tongue weight will decrease. That is not good if you get the tongue weight under the 10% ratio. I suspect that is what is happening to your rig. A trip to some CAT scales would be good to see exactly what your weights are. I think you will need to load the toy hauler front heavy with camping gear to counter act the golf cart in back. Also, make sure the golf cart is as far forward as possible. If the back of the golf cart is heavier than the front, then back that puppy in.

The WDH in the attached picture does not have any type of sway control. You will need at least 1 friction sway control bar if you continue to use that WDH, and 2 would probably do better.

The GVWR of that trailer is 8197 lbs. I am not sure exactly how much the golf cart weighs, but they can be heavy beasts......especially electric cars with with a bank of batteries. If the trailer is approaching the GVWR, you would need at least a 800 lb. tongue weight to get the minimum 10% ratio.....and an even heavier tongue weight to get in the 12-15% ratio. 1000 lb. bars would not be out of the question with that trailer. As Sean posted earlier, that would the combination of bars, as they are sold in pairs. 2, 1000 rated bars do not equal 2000 lbs. Etrailer carries just the spring bars to many hitches. You may have to call the manufacturer to make sure heavier bars will work with your setup.

It is a surprising to me that that toy hauler has such a light tongue weight. Many toy haulers have a heavy tongue weight so once you add cargo to the garage, the tongue weight comes down to a realistic weight ratio.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quick test
Take the golf cart out and pull the trailer around for a while.
If sway goes away there's the problem.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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I see the dry tongue weight as 876 lbs at the first two links on Google.


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Old 12-13-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Woodruff View Post
I see the dry tongue weight as 876 lbs at the first two links on Google.
Sean, I stand corrected.....I was looking at the stats for the 24HSF. Thanks for noticing that.

That is a more realistic figure for a toy hauler.

Don would definitely need 1000 lb spring bars, and maybe even 1200 lb. bars would be a better fit, although loading up the golf cart would take some weight off of the tongue.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Ordered 1200lb spring bars from Etrailer Wednesday evening, along with a friction anti sway bar. My order came in today, less than 48 hours, I'm impressed! Pulling the trailer home tomorrow, from the storage, so I can do a few things to it before it goes to the campground in two weeks. Will know if these help once I get it loaded with the camping gear.

Edit to add; also upgraded my tow vehicle to a 2013 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, with a towing capacity of 9500 lbs. After a little research I found out that my Dodge wasn't rated at what the dealer told me when I bought it.
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