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Old 04-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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new weigh numbers, trip at the scales. Looking for sweet spot

Went to the scales. Again

truck, loaded, dogs and spouse:
Steer axle: 3440
Drive axle: 2600
Gross weight: 6040


Truck and Trailer - no bars attached.

Steer axle: 3000
Drive axle: 3920
Trailer axle: 4880
Gross weight: 11800

Shasta dry tongue is 750 lbs
looks like it's 880 lbs true tongue weight

Truck and Trailer - 6 links of chains engaged - 800 lbs trunion bars
Steer axle: 3340
Drive axle: 3440
Trailer axle: 5060
Gross weight: 11840

Truck and Trailer - 5 links of chains engaged - 800 lbs trunion bars

Steer axle: 3500
Drive axle: 3180
Trailer axle: 5160
Gross weight: 11840

Question #1:
Can I keep the 800 lbs trunion bars?
they are distributing weight. The next size up is 1200 lbs

Question #2:
What number should I use to calculate the tongue weight? loaded trailer?
looks like 5800 lbs (11840-6040=5800 lbs) X .15 = 870 lbs?? is that correct? if so, is 15 % ok?

Question #3:
with 6 links of chains, I am short 100 lbs on the front wheels
with 5 links, I am over 60 lbs on the front wheels
which is better?
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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15% TW is fine. I would go with five links and the front 60lbs less in weight vs 100lbs more in weight. Five links also moved another 100lbs to the trailer axle which is not a bad thing. Five links will also put a little less stress on your bars. Can't really help with the 1200 bars vs. 800 bars. Maybe you can just lighten your TW a bit by loading some items in the rear of your trailer.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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Excellent weigh-ins, boubou !!!

The 800 lb. bars appear to be working OK in distributing the weight. As to whether using 5 or 6 links would be best.....I have mixed ideas on that. On my setup, I am 40 lbs. over my truck unloaded weight with the trailer attached. The idea 4 years ago when I set up my hitch is to distibute enough weight to the front axle to get it above the unloaded truck weight. Now the thinking seems to be to get weight to the front axle, but not exceed the unloaded weight. I have to setup a new head assembly on my truck, and don't know exactly how I am going to distribute the weight, but I am leaning towards leaving the front of the truck a little lite this go round......I might have to come back here and eat my words, though.

Several things to consider. Check out the axle weight ratings on the driver's door of your Ram. Make sure the front axle is rated for 3500 lbs.... probably should be. Be aware that as you go through a dip, the weight on the front axle will increase some.

Check out your owners manual and see what it says about loading the front axle.

I don't think you can go wrong with either of those settings. Maybe try out each on the road and see which feels the best ??

The 15% tongue weight good. But you may be able to load your camper back heavy, get the tongue weight down a little, and still be in the 13 to 14% tongue weight range. That might get your tongue closer to 800 lbs., making the spring bars more efficient, and then 6 links might be a better solution for your decision. I have found that loading 40 lbs in the back of my camper decreases the tongue weight 15 lbs. I have my heavy stuff in the back cabinets, and lighter stuff up front, and still have a 13.5% tongue weight percentage.

Again, excellent work.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
Five links will also put a little less stress on your bars.
I think using the 5 links vs. the 6 links will put more stress on the bars instead of less stress.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
Excellent weigh-ins, boubou !!!
Check out the axle weight ratings on the driver's door of your Ram. Make sure the front axle is rated for 3500 lbs.... probably should be. Be aware that as you go through a dip, the weight on the front axle will increase some.
Front and rear GAWR are both 3900 lbs

as for loading, all I've got loaded up front are towing stuff, blocks, hammer and 2 chairs.
Most stuff is stored in the middle of the TT and I've got hoses, power cords and stuff in the back bathroom. I think I'll load the groceries in the bathroom as well, lots of room back there lol
a little unusual loading after reading most people need to load up front.

Thanks for all your help, it's been a learning experience and it took me a long time to get it right with winter in the way and all
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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I'd like to add I measured before and after hitching up and get same measurements on front wheels before tt attached and after hooked up with wd on ))
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post

The 15% tongue weight good. But you may be able to load your camper back heavy, get the tongue weight down a little, and still be in the 13 to 14% tongue weight range. That might get your tongue closer to 800 lbs., making the spring bars more efficient, and then 6 links might be a better solution for your decision. I have found that loading 40 lbs in the back of my camper decreases the tongue weight 15 lbs. I have my heavy stuff in the back cabinets, and lighter stuff up front, and still have a 13.5% tongue weight percentage.
I am not quite clear on the TW calculation
I figured the total Weight of TT and TV loaded with spring bars off which is 11840 lbs minus the TV alone (loaded with people, dogs and fuel) was the TW
How is moving stuff in the back of TT going to change that ratio? the gross weight of TT and TV will still be 11840 lbs. ??

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Old 04-23-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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So now I'm wondering...
Given the loaded TT is 5800 lbs and the TV is 6040

if I want real TW I would calculate weights with no spring bars:
3000+3920=6920 substract TV which is 6040 = 880 lbs TW which is 15%

Now if I take 6 links
3340+3440=6780 - 6040 = 740 TW which is 13%

5 links
3500+3180=6680 - 6040 = 640 TW which is 11%

Does this make any sense or are am I brain dead?
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Even though it appears so, the tongue weight does not change by using different lengths of chain. The tongue weight is still gonna be 880 lbs. You are just redistributing that 880 lbs around a bit. Some goes to the trailer axles, some to the truck front axle, with some subtracted from the truck rear axle. So, regardless of which chain lengths you finally decide is best, you will still have 15% tongue weight vs. total trailer weight.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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I always thought the ideal setup would allow the TV to settle an equal amount (front and rear) from unhooked measurements. My TV settled 1" in the rear and 1/2" in front with bars on.
Should I bring the front back up to unhooked measurement?
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