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Old 08-01-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
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Newbie - Weight distribution chains

Iím just curious. When hooking up to go, how tight should the chains on my distribution bars be? (Not the safety chains to the hitch) Tight as possible? A little slack?
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:33 AM   #2
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As tight as what's needed to distribute the weight.

I'd find out who the manufacturer was and look up the installation manual. That will give you clear direction on how to properly adjust your WD hitch.

Proper setup is critical to ensure your safety.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:45 AM   #3
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Definitely need to know what kind of hitch,
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:14 PM   #4
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Definitely need to know what kind of hitch,
That, and please tell us your "hook-up" procedure. With a properly set up WDH the bars should be parallel with the tongue frame with no more than a 10 degree variance.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:35 PM   #5
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In general, place the vehicle and trailer on a flat level surface and tighten the chains to the point (and only to the point) that the tow vehicle and trailer are both level..
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:35 PM   #6
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When hooking up to go, how tight should the chains on my distribution bars be? (Not the safety chains to the hitch) Tight as possible? A little slack?
Lots of variables here and I doubt anyone can tell you the perfect answer. THis could be a trial and error type thing.

EDIT: assuming you have the WDH setup correctly... see youtube videos for ideas on how to do that

Count links in the chain, then hook to say link 4. Drive for awhile. Next time go tighter or looser and compare the performance.

I often hook to link 4 ( on my setup, which is not yours) and sometimes if hauling a heavier loaded trailer I go to link 5 (tighter) or if I suspect a bumpier drive where proposing might be an issue.

YOu should be able to feel a slight difference in the ride in your TV as you adjust up or down.

You do use your electric jack to bring the hitched trailer rear of truck and tongue UP to help hook up the chains? and UP again when disengaging?

hope this helps
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:03 PM   #7
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Attachment 235322Attachment 1

This is the hitch and current setup
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:13 PM   #8
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You do use your electric jack to bring the hitched trailer rear of truck and tongue UP to help hook up the chains? and UP again when disengaging?
What rsdata stated above is very important. You have to let weight of the TT load the bars in order to achieve the weight transfer. Using the the tongue jack to raise the coupler while attached to the ball allows you to easily set the bars. At this point the chains will be snug without any slack. Once you lower the tongue jack the weight transfer will start. This will be a trial and error until you get the right weight transfer (by picking which chain links to use), to the front of your TV. If you're just hooking up with the coupler resting on the ball, then securing the chains, you're not transferring any weight.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Popzbaker View Post
Iím just curious. When hooking up to go, how tight should the chains on my distribution bars be? (Not the safety chains to the hitch) Tight as possible? A little slack?
It is possible that your W/D hitch May contain Sway Control as well,if so this is Very Important! The amount of Tension will dictate the Resistance for Sway Control! Low chain tension means NO Sway Control! The "Throw and Go Method" that Dealers use to install your Hitch is Never proper because your "Ready To Go Camping STUFF" will change everything! Youroo!!
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Popzbaker View Post
Iím just curious. When hooking up to go, how tight should the chains on my distribution bars be? (Not the safety chains to the hitch) Tight as possible? A little slack?

No slack. If there is any slack then you are not transferring weight back to the vehicle.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:25 PM   #11
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Attachment 235322Attachment 1

This is the hitch and current setup
Your hitch Pic will not show for me,what Name,MFG, and Model# is the hitch? Youroo!!
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:05 PM   #12
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What you are trying to do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Popzbaker View Post
Iím just curious. When hooking up to go, how tight should the chains on my distribution bars be? (Not the safety chains to the hitch) Tight as possible? A little slack?
You need an appreciation for what you are trying to accomplish. Here is a general overview. Read the manual that comes with your hitch for exact details.

When you place a heavy load on the tow vehicle's receiver, two effects happen.
  • The minor effect is that a heavier load is placed on the rear axle. The rear end sags. You might overload the rear axle.
  • THE MAJOR EFFECT is that the front end rises. Weight is taken off the front axle. This is a DANGEROUS CONDITION because the tow vehicle may not respond to quick steering changes in an emergency (Newton's Second Law).
You need to get weight off the rear axle and onto the front axle and trailer axle(s). The general instructions in your manual will go something like this:
  • With no trailer attached, measure the distance between the top of a front tire and the rim of the fender.
  • Attach the trailer with no hitch bars. Remeasure the front wheel-fender rim. The distance will be greater due to front-end rise.
  • Now you want to adjust the hitch so that the front end comes back down. Depending on your hitch, the desired distance will be somewhere between the original distance to halfway between the original and second distance. Keep shortening the chains until this measurement is reached.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:27 PM   #13
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This is the hitch and current setup
your attachment is not showing up

use the paper clip icon, top row (advanced, not Quick Reply) to upload the photo to your next post.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:40 PM   #14
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:43 PM   #15
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:47 PM   #16
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looking at your two pics posted they look good... but again you can play with the links one up or one down and see how it rides for you, and again if you load differently the truck or trailer that may effect the link that you use...

more loading on the weight bars ( one link more on the frame hookup) will reduce porpoising which is when the trailer and truck bounce too much when hitting freeway joints at regular intervals

I have the same style hitch and you will become used to which link to use if you experiment a little. I have stopped on my route to add a link when I feel it might help my travel.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:00 PM   #17
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adjust wd links

x2 rsdata we had to adjust tighter for different loads to keep from bouncing but typically ran on the third or fourth link.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:02 PM   #18
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Using Equalizer WDH

Well, that's nothing like our WDH. We have an Equalizer WDH and our weight distributing bars are kept in place by a Ĺ" L-shaped bar lock and pin on each side. (see photo) The ends of the WDH bars are torqued in place with a lever and we have no chains other than the safety chains. We both looked at your WDH and its chains and we would be concerned with using chains in tension to hold the WDH bars from falling off the hitch, assuming that's what they are for. On the other hand, if they are not in tension, what would keep the bars in place on the hitch? We've seen other WDHs and this is the first one we've seen with chains used in that way, but we're not veterans of hauling travel trailers, but we are curious about how this hitch.

The photo attached is a photo of the same hitch we have, but it's not our vehicle and trailer. It's an excerpt of a photo from the Equalizer web site. I can say that we are very happy with this WDH and it 'feels' like the tow vehicle and trailer are one unit. Notice the L-shaped locking bar that is visible in the lower right quadrant of the photo. I think it performs the function of your chains, i.e., keeping the WDH bars from slipping off the trailer, but as I said, your chains may be performing a different function. I would definitely like to hear from those with broader experience with towing devices.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:22 PM   #19
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I don't see a friction antisway bar. Pop, do you not have one because that type of WDH is the old school type that requires a separate antisway bar. Those weight bars will do nothing for sway.
That's why I love my 4pt Equal-i-zer with integrated sway control.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:25 PM   #20
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we would be concerned with using chains in tension to hold the WDH bars from falling off the hitch, assuming that's what they are for.
don't be concerned... this style of hitch has been around forever and CURT is a reputable manufacturer

Your Equalizer is just a different design that does the same job... just a different way of doing it. There are many different designs out there.
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