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Old 09-28-2011, 02:23 PM   #1
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How much weight does a WD hitch actually distribute?

Let's assume a loaded tongue weight of 1,000 lbs and an Equalizer 1,000/10,000 WD hitch. I realize the way it's set up will determine how much of the 1,000 lbs will get transferred to the TV front axle and trailer rear axle, but does anyone know the range of what percentage of the tongue weight can be distributed? For example, can 50% (500 lbs) or 60% (600 lbs) or even more be moved off the tongue?
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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Short answer, I don't think you can distribute that much weight off of the tongue unless you put too much weight on the steering axle.

I have redistributed 17% of my 680 lb. tongue weight off of the tongue, and that is with 40 lbs added to my steering axle over a truck with no trailer.

I am adding 320 lbs to my steering axle (trailer with no WDH vs. with WDH), and adding 140 lbs. to my trailer axle. Geez, that should be 460 lbs., right ?? But.......I am taking that weight off of the rear truck axle (trailer with no WDH vs. with WDH).

You can see my weight shifts here: Weight Stats
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Figure 15-20% of the TW will be moved to the trailer axles and 0% to the front axle of the truck. Set up correctly the front axle of the truck should weigh the same (or close) hitched and unhitched.

Putting the trailer on the truck removes weight from the front axle and adds it to the rear axle. Then when you hook up the W/D hitch the same (removed) weight is transferred back to the front axle.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
Figure 15-20% of the TW will be moved to the trailer axles and 0% to the front axle of the truck. Set up correctly the front axle of the truck should weigh the same (or close) hitched and unhitched.

Putting the trailer on the truck removes weight from the front axle and adds it to the rear axle. Then when you hook up the W/D hitch the same (removed) weight is transferred back to the front axle.
I do not think that is entirely true given when you setup a WD hitch by the book and measure front and rear fender height prior to hitching up the trailer and then after, your goal is to have the same ratio after as you had at the start. IE if you had 6" tire to fender all around before and after the rear was at 5" the front should be close to 5" as well, allowing the rear to sit abit lower than the front. That being said the front axle has taken on additional weight as well just not as much as the rear axle or it wouldn't be sitting lower than when you started. This is required given most front axles are not rated as high as the rears case being our megacab has a front GAWR of 5200lbs and a rear GAWR of 6010lbs so the bias should always be slightly to the rear. There are many sites out there that have the proper methods of setting up a hitch and all would seem to indicate the front axle does indeed weigh more after a proper WD setup.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheSasks View Post
I do not think that is entirely true given when you setup a WD hitch by the book and measure front and rear fender height prior to hitching up the trailer and then after, your goal is to have the same ratio after as you had at the start. IE if you had 6" tire to fender all around before and after the rear was at 5" the front should be close to 5" as well, allowing the rear to sit abit lower than the front. That being said the front axle has taken on additional weight as well just not as much as the rear axle or it wouldn't be sitting lower than when you started. This is required given most front axles are not rated as high as the rears case being our megacab has a front GAWR of 5200lbs and a rear GAWR of 6010lbs so the bias should always be slightly to the rear. There are many sites out there that have the proper methods of setting up a hitch and all would seem to indicate the front axle does indeed weigh more after a proper WD setup.
I respectfully disagree. Look at the owners manual W/D hitch instructions from any of the big three current model trucks or a hitch manufacture like Equalizer. Things have changed in these set up instructions over the past several years. There is a ton of info on this over at rv.net. I agree that it used to be as you described, but not anymore.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:32 PM   #6
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As I understand it you are only limited by the strength of the tension bars. Shifting load from the rear axle results in approximately the same shift in the front (300 off the rear adds 300 lbs to the front versus no wd hitch). In addition theory would add about 600 to the trailer axle(s).

This is of course theory. In actuality it never happens so evenly, but ideally you'll get close to what the math would dictate.

The tongue weight does not change however. The redistribution of the weight happens due to the torsion forces applied to the shank of the wd hitch system, effectively creating up force at the receiver to cancel out some of the dead weight, thereby shifting weight off the rear axle of the tv allowing ,more weight to fall on the front axle of the tv. The spring bars create up force on the aframe of the trailer and part of the force transfers to the trailer axles.

A rather lengthy thread can be read here: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/14265335.cfm

There is a good summary of the thread in the first post along with diagrams and all the math if you are into statics.

Keep in mind however that if you tension your bars (or have bars too heavy for your trailer) and end up with less weight on your tv rear axle and more weight on you tv front axle that you will have poor and unsafe handling.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:02 AM   #7
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I have to say I am confused by the responses.

My limited understanding of the dynamics of the WD hitch is that the dead tongue weight (the weight you would weigh if you put a scale under the front caster) is distributed onto all four wheels of the TV and the camper's axles such that the truck will ride level.

With a load on the rear bumper lacking a WD hitch (just a ball); and the bumper is located say 2 feet from the rear axle; it will tend to lift the front of the truck and depress the rear. Like a teeter-totter with the rear axle as the fulcrum.

The WD bars take some of that dead load and "distribute it" forward to the front axle of the TV and the camper's axles. The amount of weight transferred to the front depends on the tension in the bars. The shorter the links the more tension and the more weight on the front axle. The longer the links, the less weight is transferred and it stays on the rear axle.

The goal is to have just enough tension for the front and rear axles to ride in the same level attitude it did before the trailer was attached. Chap said it best in his post that covered the whole thing including the weights of his actual truck! Great job BTW.

From the manual:

Weight Distribution:
Weight distribution is the ability of a hitch to transfer some of the tongue
weight of the trailer ahead to the tow vehicle axles, and backward to the
trailer axles. Without weight distribution the tow vehicle “teeter-totters” on the rear axle of the tow vehicle, and unweights the front axle. Proper weight distribution transfers weight back to the front steering axle, forcing it back to the ground.
Proper weight distribution also adds performance to the integrated sway
control feature of your Equal-i-zer® hitch. The Equal-i-zer hitch requires a
minimum tongue weight of at least 10% of gross trailer weight.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:02 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your replies and helpful links. Looks like I have some reading to do.

The issue behind the question is that I'm within a few weeks of taking delivery on a 2012 V-Lite 30WFKSS. I'm comfortable that I'll be under the GCWR of my 2009 Dodge 1500 4x4 w/3:92 (GCWR 15,500; confirmed via email from Dodge Body Builder). But I'm getting concerned that the tongue weight when loaded could be 1,000 lbs or greater ... and after allowing for driver, passenger, 32 gal of fuel and some cargo in the pick-up bed, I could end up approx 600 lbs over GVWR (6,800) and approx 100 lbs over the rear GAWR (3,900). Needless to say, I'm hoping there's a way to set up my Equalizer 1k/10k hitch to transfer as much weight as possible back to the trailer axles.

I noticed a few other members pull the same model trailer with 1/2 ton trucks. Any thoughts/suggestions/comments?
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:08 AM   #9
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David,

You are beginning to understand by observing first hand the limitations of the 1/2 ton series of tow vehicles. Since the motor, trans and rear determine "tow rating" and "Gross Combined weight" you can easily be talked into less truck than required (since most dealers order lots of those and have them on the lot). 3/4 ton series trucks (configured for towing) are a rare breed and most need to be special ordered.

So since you have plenty of engine and gears, you can easily pull your trailer with the truck you have. At issue is the weight your truck can "carry" on its back without hurting it.

Just like a human back, repetitive stress can throw out your back. Typically, it is never a "one and done" event. The day you throw out your back or blow a disc, you are most likely not maxing out your back. You are doing what you always did maybe even less. Just "today was the day" it all caught up to you.

Many folks overload their trucks routinely and never have a problem. They either trade trucks often or wreck them in traffic or a dozen other reasons for giving an over worked truck to someone else.

If they do happen to break a spring or axle or GFB crack a frame, you never hear about it on forums like this one. There are lots of over worked trucks on used car lots with frame issues of all series due to abuse. Spotting a cracked frame is difficult without a lift and most get sold to folks who will never have more than a few hundred pounds in them anyway.

If you are not planning on keeping the truck and only tow infrequently, you may very well be one of the "Happy Campers" who tow over their rating. If you plan on "Full Timing" or camp a lot you most likely should plan on an early trade up to a heavier vehicle IMO.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
I respectfully disagree. Look at the owners manual W/D hitch instructions from any of the big three current model trucks or a hitch manufacture like Equalizer. Things have changed in these set up instructions over the past several years. There is a ton of info on this over at rv.net. I agree that it used to be as you described, but not anymore.
From the Reese round bar installation guide "Lower jack. Re-measure front and rear wheel well reference points (vehicle should settle evenly, within about 1/2inch)." Isn't that saying that the weight added to the TV is evenly distributed over both axles. I could be confused, but I see that meaning if you add 1000 lbs tongue weight then approx. 500 lbs will be added to each axle, or adding enough weight to settle the TV evenly.

There might different instructions on setup somewhere, but I found that one on the Reese site. I'm going to be re-doing my setup soon and if there are better instructions please let me know.
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