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Old 06-06-2015, 10:23 PM   #1
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newbie with tongue weight question

I'm new to towing a travel trailer. Just recently bought a

Forest River Rockwood Ultra Lite. It came with a Equalizer WD/Sway control hitch. It seems to tow pretty good most of the time if I stay about at 50-55 mph. However, any gust of wind immediately gives me some sway and for a few seconds I feel like the front end might be floating and anything could happen. That might just be my imagination and I've gotten a little accustomed to it.

TV: 2010 Expedition EL (131" wheelbase) with heavy duty tow package. Front GAWR 3700, Rear GAWR 4250, GVWR 7540. Max tow weight 8900, max tongue weight 890.



TT: 2015 Forest River Rockwood 2702SS. Total length 31'11", UVW 5246, GVW 6629, CCC 1345.


Recent weights at CAT Scale:
TV without TT: Front 2920, Rear 3160
TV + TT: Front 2720, Rear 4080, TT Axles 5580.

So if tongue weight = TV with TT attached minus TV alone I get 720.
If tongue weight = the difference in the TV rear axle with and without TT attached I get 920. Which, if either, is correct?

Also, these numbers are with weight distribution. I've since purchased a tongue scale which of course gives higher values than when the WD hitch is in play. I have very little in the front storage compartment and very little in the front part of the TT interior, yet can't get the tongue scale to read below 900 except when I filled the gray tank to offset the tongue weight.

I'm thinking about getting a ProPride hitch to fix my sway, but it is going to add another 100 pounds or so to the tongue, and I don't know if that's a good idea or not.

Any tips on how to interpret these numbers and if the new hitch will work out would be appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:35 PM   #2
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I am no expert, but it appears you need to put more tension on your spring bars. When properly set up the WD hitch should add some weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle. Yours is taking weight off the front axle, contributing to sway. I would try this before springing for a new hitch.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:39 PM   #3
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newbie with tongue weight question

Your TW is probably about 900 since usually about 20% of that gets transferred to the trailer axles when the WDH is applied. You should probably try to restore more weight to your front axle since it is shy by 200 lbs. The front axle should not weigh more than without the trailer attached.


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Old 06-06-2015, 10:49 PM   #4
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To start with, I would adjust the WD to get your front axle down to at least where it was to begin with. You've lost 200 lb from the front axle. This is not good for handling.


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Old 06-06-2015, 10:58 PM   #5
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I did notice the front axle was 200 lbs lighter and I will make an adjustment on the WDH. Any ideas on how to lower my tongue weight? Is the added weight of the Pro Pride hitch just a bad idea?
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:01 PM   #6
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Truck gvwr (7540) - actual truck scaled weight (6080)= 1640 lbs available payload
Truck weight with tt is 6800 so you are under your gvwr which is good news.
The wdh transfers some of the tongue weight back to the tt. I usually try to get a weight without wdh. The difference from unhitched tv weight to hitched tv weight without wdh would be your tongue weight.

You need to adjust your wdh to put more weight on your front axle. You want the front axle as close to unloaded weight as possible without going heavier. That said, you have a listed hitch weight of 890 which you are likely over. I had this same issue on my old armada. I never could get it to handle well and finally traded out for a bigger pickup.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano50 View Post
I did notice the front axle was 200 lbs lighter and I will make an adjustment on the WDH. Any ideas on how to lower my tongue weight? Is the added weight of the Pro Pride hitch just a bad idea?

Don't lower your tongue weight. Too light in the front and heavy in the rear can induce a sway condition. Ideal tongue weight is 13-15% of loaded tt weight.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:08 PM   #8
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There is a long list of things you need to check. First thing is TV tires, are they P rated tires? Are they properly inflated for the weight of load? Most P rated rated tires need max pressure usually 44 PSI. LT tires will handle better. Helper springs or better yet airbags should be considered. Cat scales website shows you how to weight to get tongue weights which includes weighing with and without WD engaged. Is camper level when hitched? This is important.
The fact is, it is 32 ft long it's going to wiggle now and again. I am in battle with this very same issue. I started with the Andersen no sway from previous TT it did great with that one but new TT not so much. Controlled sway mostly but could not not distribute weight well enough. So I got the Blue Ox still wiggles but it alot better than before. I don't like it as much as I did when I first got it. I was hurt by it disengaging bars. Probably my own fault but still. I am extremely luck to have given to me a Hensley arrow missing a piece or two. I get to hook up with it next weekend for the first time. I have to cut up hitch bar to shorten the drop and weld back together. Which is much better than spending over $200 for a shorter one. Look for an update with the Hensley its is about the same as the P3. Sorry got off track a little but do more homework. Try different things.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:11 PM   #9
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Go to the Equalizer hitch website and download the manual. Pay particular attention to the directions for setting the height of the front fender.
Installation Instructions & Parts Breakdown
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:33 PM   #10
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I have downloaded the Equalizer hitch manual. A few weeks ago I moved the sway bracket setup to the optimum 32" from where the dealer had installed it. That made a noticeable difference.

Since posting here, I went out and raised the L bracket one notch. That should move the needed weight to the front axle.

The Expedition has air suspension. I do still have P rated tires which are inflated to the maximum 44lbs. I will be changing them out for LT tires if EVERYTHING else works out. I don't want to replace good tires if I find that what I really need is a different tow vehicle.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I am still wondering if my tongue weight is a problem or I am unnecessarily concerned.
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