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Old 09-21-2020, 05:15 PM   #1
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Light Front End

I have a 2004 F-150 towing an Alpha Wolf. Have 60 psi in air bags and a Fairway e2 towing hitch. The front end feels light and makes front end wander. Any suggestions on how to help out with this. Should I add more psi to the air bags or what?
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:19 PM   #2
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Not enough info. Sounds like your weight distribution hitch is not set up right. Tons of things can cause that.
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgunner2099 View Post
I have a 2004 F-150 towing an Alpha Wolf. Have 60 psi in air bags and a Fairway e2 towing hitch. The front end feels light and makes front end wander. Any suggestions on how to help out with this. Should I add more psi to the air bags or what?
what is the trailer weight in the advertised tongue weight? Have you actually hit scales to figure out what your truck rear actuate is? did you measure your front wheel well height without the trailer versus with the trailer to see if it's lifting? The question as you're asking it is kind of not able to be answered period you would need to supply all of the appropriate information.
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgunner2099 View Post
I have a 2004 F-150 towing an Alpha Wolf. Have 60 psi in air bags and a Fairway e2 towing hitch. The front end feels light and makes front end wander. Any suggestions on how to help out with this. Should I add more psi to the air bags or what?
It's not intuitive, but adding air to airbags on the rear suspension does not move weight to the front (steer) axle. It just makes the back bumper higher.

Any weight distribution should be accomplished by adjusting your hitch, with little to no air in the bags. Once you get weight back on the front with the hitch, you can use the bags to get the back up to where you want it.

All that said, if you have airbags *and* a weight distributing hitch and you are still that light in the front end, you are very likely (massively) overweight, and there is little that you can do to make the rig safe.
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:57 PM   #5
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Trailer weight weight with extras is 7300. Tongue weight 740. Towing capacity is 9800. Haven’t measured front wheel well.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:49 PM   #6
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Trailer weight weight with extras is 7300. Tongue weight 740. Towing capacity is 9800. Haven’t measured front wheel well.
Are those weights from a scale? Or a brochure?

Is your truck a long bed regular cab 2wd with the 5.4 engine and 3.73 axle ratio? Looking at Ford's published towing guide, that is the only model rated for 9800lbs.

If that's your truck, then you shouldn't need the bags. Just get your hitch adjusted correctly and you will be good to go.

But if it's a 4wd SuperCab with a 4.6 and a short bed and 3.55 gears, you are already 1900 lbs over your maximum trailer weight. And if it's a Lariat or King Ranch with all of the goodies and a sunroof, you will probably run out of payload capacity long before you get to that 9800 towing capacity anyway.

The 04 is a great truck. I'm not crapping on it. It's just important to be realistic about your capabilities, and to understand that when you have a dozen weight ratings to deal with (GVWR, GCRW, CCC, GAWR(front), GAWR(rear), Max tongue weight, tire load ratings, wheel load ratings, Max tow capacity, etc), that you are done when you hit the most restrictive one - not the biggest one. Also, that brochure numbers generally provide the best numbers within that vehicle line, and don't necessarily apply to specific trucks. The only way to get accurate numbers for your specific truck is by using the stickers on your specific truck in combination with a scale.

Newer trucks come with a sticker that tells you exactly what the cargo capacity for that specific truck was when it rolled out of the factory. That doesn't include the bedliner or tonneau cover that you added, or the cooler in the back seat. Fishing rods, dogs, whatever. Anything that wasn't in or on the truck when it was delivered to the dealer counts against your cargo capacity (payload). My truck is a year older than yours, and it didn't come with that information. Instead, it tells me what the maximum weight that the truck can bear on its four tires - the weight of the truck itself, plus anything that is in, on, or attached to it. That is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). When I take the truck across a scale at the truck stop, I can measure the actual weight as it sits. So, with me, a full tank of gas, and my spray-in bedliner, I get my Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). It doesn't matter to me that I am in the truck, because I am a constant and will always be part of the weight calculation. If I take my truck's GRWR and subtract the actual weight, I am left with my payload, or Cargo Carrying Capacity - which is the total maximum weight of "stuff" that I can load onto the truck. This "stuff" will include my weight distributing hitch, the tongue weight of my trailer, wife, dogs, generator in the bed, firewood, etc.

Odds are *extremely* good that a person will hit their payload limit LONG before they hit their axle limits, or tire limits, and especially the max tow limit. I have read, though I haven't been able to verify, that the max tow limit is actually rated for trailers that support their own weight - like a hay trailer at the farm - and not for "semi trailers" where the tow vehicle carries part of the weight, like a bumper pull or 5th wheel.

So, that's how you get be "right". You know all of your weight ratings and all of your weights, and you have verified that you are not exceeding anywhere.

Now, will an alarm be set off at some secret government organization if you are 100lbs over payload? No. (well, *probably* not). Is it going to go on your "permanent record"? Probably not that, either. Only you can decide what your risk tolerance is. But one thing is absolutely certain - the risk profile is linear. The more you exceed your limits by, the more risk. And as long as you share the roads with others, you share that risk with them - even though they didn't get to vote.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgunner2099 View Post
Trailer weight weight with extras is 7300. Tongue weight 740. Towing capacity is 9800. Haven’t measured front wheel well.
Take a picture of or scan those 3 sets of scale readings please do we can verify that you are set up correctly.

Also, open your driver's door and take a picture of the silver axle ratings sticker and then in the door frame take a picture of the bright yellow payload sticker. Post both of these along with that set of 3 scale readings showing the empty truck in one, the truck with trailer and no WDH in the second, and the truck and trailer with WDH in play on the third.

At that point, all of life's truth will be revealed plain as day.
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2019 Ram Bighorn, CC/SB 2500 4x4 6.4L/8 Speed, Max Tow 14,460 lb/2,940 lb payload.
2019 F-150 King Ranch 3.5 Eco, 12,800 lb/1,546 payload.
2020 Coachmen Apex UL 289TBSS
2019 Quality Trailers 16'x7' 7K GVWR Utility Trailer
2019 IronBull 22'x102" 14K GVWR Equipment Trailer
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