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Old 08-13-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
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Weight Distribution

These are the facts: My truck GVWR 9800 lbs
Front GAWR 5000
Rear GAWR 6100

Actual truck with full tank and 2 people Front 4620
Rear 3160


These were the weights on our last trip with full tank, gear loaded on truck and 3 people Front 4280
Rear 5280
Trailer 8120

The GWR on TT is 10,900. You probably aren't surprised that the rear of the truck was bouncing while driving. I have an Equalizer WDH and had it setup by a technician(?). With my setup the truck looks level and my trailer is tilted only slightly in the front. Do you think that the hitch should be able to shift more weight to the front truck axle or do I just have too much weight on the truck?

I would appreciate your suggestions.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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I am no expert and you certainly have a meatier truck than I do, but I am surprised that it still looks level in the loaded configuration. You pulled 360 pounds off of the front axle and added 2000 to the rear axle. Is your rear 4 inches high in the unloaded configuration?

Off of the cuff I would think you would want to transfer more weight to the front axle. My recommendation is to measure your truck fender to ground clearance for the unloaded truck, then measure the fender to ground clearance for the hitched (but unequalized) load. Then adjust the equalizer until you restore half of the unloaded tilt. In other words, if the unloaded/unhitched fender clearance is 3 inches higher on the rear axle than it is on the front axle, and the loaded/hitched/undistributed clearance is 1 inch higher on the front axle than on the rear axle, I would adjust the tension on the equalizer until the rear clearance was 1 inch higher than the front.

As for the trailer tilt, I would adjust what shank hole the WDH head unit is in to a higher position so that the trailer tongue is higher. Of course, this might have to be done iteratively with the earlier step.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #3
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IMO you are just fine.

Your truck loaded with WD in place is 9560 (well under your max)
Your truck empty is 7780

That means your transferred weight is 1780 pounds

Your trailer hooked up is 8120

So your transferred weight plus camper load is 1780 + 8120 = 9900 well under your camper max.

I also agree you should experiment with hitch head height to avoid that nose down attitude while towing. That should also improve mileage.

If you find you bottom out occasionally, air bags will help in your case and I would highly recommend them.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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Jorman, depending on what you mean by "bouncing while driving" it may just be that your shocks are getting a little weak & may be in need of replacement.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
That means your transferred weight is 1780 pounds

Your trailer hooked up is 8120

So your transferred weight plus camper load is 1780 + 8120 = 9900 well under your camper max.
As herk said, you are under your maximums already. I would quibble a little bit with herk's math as the trailer weight is still unknown. OP spoke to gear loaded in truck and herk added the weight of that gear to the trailer weight. It is at most 9900, but is probably less since you have the weight of an additional person and the gear complicating the comparison.

As I understood OP's point of the thread, it was more a question about how to improve ride quality and not targeted towards assessment of rig capacity. Not having weight data for an hitched but undistributed load makes it difficult to assess how much weight is shifted.

I am glad herk put in a good word for air bags. I just finished installing a set of firestone bags in my Tundra this morning. I won't get to see how they affect my rigging until Tuesday. I decided I wanted air bags after first long trip with trailer. US 101 has some sections with repetitive expansion joint type bumps that become a nuisance. It tends to make the truck bounce a bit. My hope is that the stiffer back end will combat that to some degree.

That is also the day that I will finally get to do an extensive set of weighings with my new trailer. It is good to get the trailer/truck completely loaded for a trip and then get a 4-5 weighings of truck with/without trailer, different amounts of weight distribution etc. It is very valuable information. I admit I am pretty anal about data. However, this approach allowed me to rig up previous WDH and trailer such that front axle only lost 60-160 lbs depending on which chain link I went with. I think you could adjust tension so that front end doesn't get lightened to the extent that it does.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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Yep, I screwed up.

The camper should have been weighed connected without the WD chains on. That would have given a true reading on the camper weight. I missed that. The WD shifts weight to the front of the truck and the camper's wheels.

The correct method is to weigh the truck without the camper; then the camper connected without WD hooked up and the subtract the two weights for an accurate camper weight. Then you can connect the bars and reweigh for axle loading.

I forgot that extra step since I went to a 5th wheel and that step is no longer required.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:41 PM   #7
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Thanks to you all. I'll try all of the above.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:43 AM   #8
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Jorman, I think Time Furnace is on the mark. If the weights you listed is post #1 are with the WDH hooked up, you need to get more weight on the front axle. Once you do that, I think your trailer will level out without having to mess with the hitch height.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:14 PM   #9
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The first goal of a WDH is to restore lost weight to the front axle, which was lost when TW was applied. The second goal is to facilitate a level trailer and/or reduce rear axle sagging.

4620 - 4280 = 340 lbs
That's 340 lbs that belongs on the front tires, but isn't. This means reduced stability. The problem is probably because the technician set up the WDH on an empty camper.

Measure the front and rear wheel well heights (unhitched). Adjust WDH (more transfer) until the front wheel well is at the same height it was before. With your big truck, you have enough front capacity that you could actually let the front be a bit lower than when unhitched. Just be sure that the front does not compress more than the rear. But I see no reason for you to have less weight on the front than when unhitch. That is simply an under-utilized WDH.

I suspect when you make this adjustment, the tongue will come up a bit. If it does not come up to within 1" of being level, move the WDH head up 1 notch (which is 1ľ" IIRC). Check the wheel well measurements again, and adjust if needed.
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