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Old 07-09-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
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Suggestions to get weight off the rear axle

I just got back on my first weekend with the trailer and I would like some opinions for my setup. I have a 2012 screw eco max tow 4x4. The trailer is a 2010 north trail 31bdss( I know its not a forest river, but I like this forum), and I bought a reese strait line dual cam hitch with 1200 lb bars and I also have a friction bar from the previous hitch.
I set up the hitch using wheel well heights, it looked good but the truck and camper were not loaded. With everyone in and loaded it felt heavy on the back, so I weighed it. Here is the problem I face. I have about 900 lbs of cargo(family) which goes in the truck. I am about 700 lbs too heavy on the back axle.
My question is what are good ways to redistribute the weight. I can tilt the head of the hitch to spread weight to the front wheels a bit more, but will 1200 lb bars be sufficient. I can also load the trailer more to the back to take weight off the hitch at the risk of making more sway. As a side note, I was surprised how much weight we packed in the camper (probably 1500lbs or so)
Here are my weights at the scale with seven people, five bikes, and trailer full.
Front-3526
Rear-8248-3526=4722
Gross total=15149
The truck alone with full fuel is just shy of 6000 lbs. An assumption here is it looks like the cab cargo would place the load fairly evenly across the two axles of the truck.
Please give me suggestions, but none that say should have got 3/4 ton. I tow between zero and three times a year and this is the truck I have. I know I can make this work with a little tinkering. Thanks
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
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I think you got the idea of tilting the head just a little more and transferring a little more wt to the front axle of the truck. 1200# bars should be more than ample even tho' you didn't state the actual tongue wt.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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a couple of quick options that I can think of- without upgrading the truck:

1. increase weight distribution to spread the weight out more- not enough is going to the front axle.

2. move stuff stored in the bed into the camper if possible.

3. change packing of camper to place less weight in front of camper axle and more on top of the axle/behind the axle.

If you only tow 2-3 times a year is it possible to have two vehicles travel for the trip to help reduce passenger weight and maybe move the bikes to the second vehicle to save yourself the extra weight. From your numbers (8248) it appears you are over the GVWR of the truck by about 500-600 lbs or more depending on the specific set up you have.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Another suggestion to reduce weight: you have 36 gal tank, although it would require more fill ups- tow with a max of the tank 1/2 full. A gallon of gas weighs ~6lbs.... so you could save yourself 100lbs by running half full. Also, if you are not already, consider running with all of your tanks on the camper empty, water is ~8.33 lbs a gallon.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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7 people?? If you have 7 people, at least one of them should not be in the truck. If you have 2 bench seats, the most seat belts you have is 6. If you have the center console, then you have 5.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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Agree with the other suggestions - tinker with the WDH hitch; move as much stuff out of the truck bed and into the (rear) of the camper (watch your weights so you don't end up tongue light and induce sway); and how do you fit 7 people comfortably for any distance?
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Wish you had some more information on weights...front/rear axle weight of truck unhitched, front/rear axle weight of truck hitched up without W/D bars loaded. You need to determine the tongue weight of the camper...guessing that it's high and may be re-distributed and still have 12-13% tongue weight.

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Old 07-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChooChooMan74 View Post
7 people?? If you have 7 people, at least one of them should not be in the truck. If you have 2 bench seats, the most seat belts you have is 6. If you have the center console, then you have 5.
Understand and agree with your concern, but it's really not pertinent to his original question, it's his family and his situation and he has to deal with it the best he can.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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To the OP...I found some specs for your camper. Dry tongue weight of 780, dry weight of 6740 and GVWR of 8600. Are these the correct specs?

Using your combined weight, there's 7171 lb on the camper's axles. If tongue weight is 13%, the total camper weight would be 8242 lb with a tongue weight of 1071 lb with the W/D bars in place.

You mentioned that the truck's empty weight is around 6000 lb...was that with full fuel, passengers and any gear?

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #10
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Here is the truck wt full of fuel with me alone (190 lbs in front seat) I know this kind of messes things up a bit. Some assumptions need to be made or else I would need the whole family around for a day at the scales ( I already had the "stare" if you know what I mean).
Front-3373
rear-2767
gross-6140
If i'm out let's assume f-3233 r-2717. I assumed 75% of my wt on the front wheels
The trailer dry is about 6750. I don't know the tongue wt. I tried it using a scale i have here but it showed around 675 but i really don't think that was correct, especially with the wts in my above post.
Another assumption- if the truck is say 5950 plus 900 lbs cargo equally over two axles that would make f-3683 r3167=6850
the scale wt hooked up has the truck at 8248 with the bars leaving 6901 on trailer wheels.
I just measured the wheel wells of the truck. This is the load i had in trailer but no one in vehicle.
Truck not hooked to tt
f-38.75 inches
r-37.75
truck hooked with no bars
f-39 3/8
r-36.25
truck hooked up with bars
f-37.5
r-36.5
so i definitely got wt going to the front. I'll try one notch on the head and report.
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