Originally Posted by Bilcin
Hi, I just hooked up my new Wildwood 26tbss to my 2005 F150. Prior to hooking up the trailer using a Reese weight distributing hitch I took a measurement from the front bumper to the ground (16 1/4 inches) and the receiver to the ground( 17 1/2 inches). I then hooked up the trailer and measured again. Front bumper to ground (18 inches) and receiver to ground (13 7/8 inches). The front of my truck went up 1/2 inch and the rear lowered almost 4 inches. Does this sound right? I was hoping to have the front and rear near equal measurements. Is this close enough? I had no gear in truck or trailer and my F150 is able to handle 9,900 lb trailer and tounge weight of 990 with a weight distributing hitch. Trailer tounge weight is 600 lbs.
1st of all, you need to measure at the fenders, not the bumper or receiver. I made that mistake initially, then realized that you will get exaggerated measurements at those spots. Your front axle could actauly be going down some, but the effect of the rear axle going down more would give you a higher measurement at the front bumper.....if that makes sense.
Also, you probably don't want the front and rear axles to settle the same......a truck rear axle is meant to carry some weight, so that should settle more. You want your truck front axle to regain the lost weight of the trailer hanging behind the bumper, and maybe a little extra weight added. You have be careful not to overload the front axle, though.
You need to measure the same spot on each fender each time. My method for getting exactly the same spot on the fenders is this: I get out my 4" level, center it in the hub, get the level perpendicular with the ground (via the bubble), and put a piece of tap on the pavement so you will get this exact same spot every time. While the level is in place, I get my 2' level out, and use this under the fender....when that is level, I take a reading on my 4' level (which has a ruler built it) at that spot and record it. I do the same thing for the the forward or back fender. I use the same side of the truck for convenience.
Next, add the trailer and WDH, without moving the truck. That is easy if you have already had the trailer hooked up, and simply unhook the trailer and raised it off of the ball....be sure to block the wheels. Again take the measurements using the same method as above.....I betcha the figures will be much more in line with what they should be.
Be sure the truck and trailer are on reasonable level ground when doing this. Also, it would be good to have your camping gear in the truck and trailer for the measurements.
On my truck, I have the front settled 1/16th at the front fender, and 1 1/16th at the back fender. With that, I am at 89% of my front GAWR (gross axle weight rating, and 88% or my rear GAWR. The setup drives sweet with those settings.