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Old 06-29-2014, 11:41 PM   #11
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Help me reduce tongue weight

Ok, I have a Tundra and pretty heavy with tongue weight and cargo. Yes a WDH will help transfer some weight to the front. With the camper shell, wood, cooler, drinking water and dogs- my butt sags too about 2 inches. I suggest getting airbags to level it out as I am planning on. But a lot of us here do tow with their tundras with little issuesClick image for larger version

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When we had a high wall pop up, I had a friend reinforce the rear bumper and add a receiver for me. I used a basket to carry the fire wood. It did reduce frontal weight so I would put the genny and cooler inside the trailer to add more back to the front- without it, the death wobbles would occur.

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Old 06-30-2014, 12:44 AM   #12
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Steamboatscott- the wdh does transfer weight to the front axle but in the dynamics of doing so it also transfers a percentage of weight back onto the trailer (I forget the percentage). You asked the question and mentioned the sag so people responded appropriately. You have made your mind up about exactly what you want to do and don't seem to want to hear the suggestions of others, so why ask the question in the first place?
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by anaro View Post
Steamboatscott- the wdh does transfer weight to the front axle but in the dynamics of doing so it also transfers a percentage of weight back onto the trailer (I forget the percentage). You asked the question and mentioned the sag so people responded appropriately. You have made your mind up about exactly what you want to do and don't seem to want to hear the suggestions of others, so why ask the question in the first place?
That is 1 of the benefits of a WDH.....it transfers some of the weight back to the trailer axles..........in my case 140 lbs on a trailer with a 700 lb. tongue weight.

Not saying the OP should use a WDH. But just because Toyota says you don't need a WDH with tongue weights under 500 lbs., doesn't mean you can't use a WDH.

It is good that the OP recognizes the limits of a 1/2 ton truck, even with pulling a pop-up. Passengers, cargo, and the tongue weight all add up in the payload category.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
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Remember that a WD hitch "redistributes" tongue weight and does not change it. The receiver and frame still sees the entire load.

The WD hitch redistributes a portion of the tongue load about equally between the front axle and the camper's axle(s). That portion is dependent on the amount of tension placed on the WD bars.

You must weigh the unit carefully when setting the WD hitch up initially to avoid overloading your front axle and possibly camper's axles. Also too much redistribution can reduce traction on your rear tires and result in loss of control on wet roads (especially with cruise control on - never recommended anyway).
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:35 AM   #15
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Dude, you have nothing to worry about
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:02 AM   #16
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Also depends on terrain and speeds. If you are in hills/mountains then you need to be more diligent with weights. Flat terrain is more forgiving. The WDH with a light axle on a pup may not be the best option. If you are currently underweight leave well enough alone as safety factors are already calculated into the numbers.
What type of camping do you plan on doing. If sites have full hookups leave spare battery and if not using a lot of propane drop a cylinder as well. Do you need bikes or is hiking not an option for exercise? Walks in woods allow for more experience than all whizzing by on a bike. If you want to load more weight to the tv front axle load heavy stuff at the front of the box and lighter stuff to the rear. If there is h2o at site haul dry and there is an anode rod with a built in drain valve. As fam gets older tv changes and trailer changes are likely so I would focus on current rig and situation.
Great you are so diligent on weights when so many aren't. People seen to think any truck can pull any trailer and it's scary. I've seen first hand what can happen when trailers take tv's off the road and roll. Don't want that! But sounds like you are good to go for now so enjoy and be safe.


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Old 06-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #17
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I'd pull that all day with the tundra. More concerned about weight on TT than TV.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:59 PM   #18
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@Anaro - I'm not ignoring other's advice, but all the "official" sources (distributors and manufacturers) I've talked to on a WDH confirm that it is designed to distribute weight evenly to the front and rear axle of the tow vehicle and will distribute very little (if any) to the camper axle since the camper already rides even. This doesn't help me, as my payload weight is the same. My thread title is about decreasing tongue weight, not redistributing it to the front axle, which a WDH would be very good at. Sorry if you misinterpreted my intentions. I'm on a fact finding mission

Here's what I've done recently...

I measured the distance between axle and tongue for each of my assets: LP tank, battery, hot water storage, and even a Prorac bike carrier (where both front and rear tires would sit). This gave me an estimated tongue weight for each asset, and amazingly it is almost identical to my actual tongue measurements - so I'm confident in using this to estimate what adding or taking away something will do to my tongue weight.

Here are the ideas I'm investigating in case it helps others:

The prorac system doesn't help me much on tongue weight. Adding in the weight of the rack itself, 2 bikes goes from weighing 68 lbs in my truck bed to 57 lbs of tongue weight on the Prorac. Not much of a savings. Even 4 bikes goes from 136 lbs of weight in my truck bed to 97.7 lbs of tongue weight on the Prorac. For me, this isn't worth the effort - so I'm instead looking at a permenant rack on the roof of the popup to place the bike weight mostly on the camper axle. This could get ~140 lbs out of my truck payload and onto the camper axles - a huge difference. Sam @ Flagstaff was very helpful in identifying exactly where the framing is. Contrary to what most dealers do, he does NOT advise mounting the rack to the very edge. Instead, the best part of the roof frame is just inside that corner edging. May be different for your pup, but wanted to pass along to check with him before doing anything.

I'm reconfiguring my LP rack to allow me to only take 1 tank for weekend trips. Immediate 31.5 lb tongue weight savings on a 20 lb propane tank (38.7 lbs for base tank weight plus propane, 81.8% of which is transfered to tongue weight). 1 tank is sufficient for 90% of my trips, even running the furnace fairly liberarly at 10,000 feet in the Rockies and using it to run my fridge.

I might go with only one battery for shorter trips and bring along a second for longer ones. If I do the 2nd, I probably won't go in parallel, as one battery might be "older" (have more charge/discharges) than the other. Instead, I'll switch from 1 battery to the 2nd halfway through my trip. My batteries are right in front of the box, which means 72.7% of their weight is transfered to tongue weight.

For me, maximizing the amount of water I take along is key since I'm boondocking 100% of the time. So, I'd rather give up the 2nd LP than hot water weight, which for me is 6 gallons or 50 lbs, of which only 24.25 is transfered to tongue weight. So, I'm going to try and keep the hot water tank full.

In short, once I understood the exact weight that each asset placed on the tongue, I could make proper decisions on what to keep and what to forego. For now, while my kids are younger, I can technically roll up to Yellowstone fully loaded with 2 LPs, 2 batteries, etc. But when I don't need all that stuff, I'll leave it at home and simply pack a few items like the cooler or a few heavy bags in the popup to give me ~100 lbs fudge factor on my truck's payload capacity.

When my kids grow older and add weight in both themselves and heavier bikes, I'll look at the Prorac permenant install bike rack to put all that on the camper axle rather than the truck's.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboatscott View Post
I'm not ignoring other's advice, but all the "official" sources (distributors and manufacturers) I've talked to on a WDH confirm that it is designed to distribute weight evenly to the front and rear axle of the tow vehicle and will distribute very little (if any) to the camper axle since the camper already rides even.
Here's what I've done recently...
Don't know who you have talked to, but using a WDH will throw some of the distributed weight back to the trailer axles. Yes, a WDH is designed to put lost weight back on the TV front axle, but in doing that it takes weight off of the rear TV axle, and some of the distributed weight goes back to the trailer axles.

You can check my spreadsheet here: Weight Stats

The weight on my trailer axles went from 4620 without a WDH, to 4760 using a WDH.

I suspect that only about 100 lbs. would be redistributed to your trailer since you have a tongue weight that is lighter than mine.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:51 PM   #20
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A disadvantage of putting bikes on the PUP roof - you HAVE to remove them each and every setup of the PUP. Been there, done that.

A 1/2 ton truck often has less payload ability than a minivan or V6 SUV, strange as it may seem. But a truck is a whole lot easier to upgrade the specs for specific situations - the weak points are known and not buried in unibody construction. And trucks are more completely spec'd out for towing than the minivans and cross-over SUVs.

For example, my Hyundai minivan has a tow rating of 3500 lbs (nothing else, no qualifiers). There is no CGVW. The payload has to be calculated (guessed at) from the tire placard and the book curb weight.

When I hooked up my A122 (similar weights to your PUP), I didn't like the "bounce" of either the A122 or the van during a test drive. Put on a WDH/anti-sway (Equalizer), and handling was restored to normal. That alone justified the WDH/anti-sway for me.

In the end, I'm far more concerned with the feel of the vehicle while towing (and not towing) than what the numbers police say. And with the WDH, the Entourage/A122 combo is a far better and stable rig than my old Explorer/Coleman Westlake PUP without WDH.

just my thoughts and experiences
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