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Old 05-15-2020, 03:58 PM   #1
KnP
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5th Wheel Hitch Location

Moving to a 5th Wheel and ready to sell the 2306 Mini Lite.

Here is a question/s that someone might know. On the 5th Wheel Hitch, the location should be straight above the Rear Axle of the towing vehicle. If my understanding is correct and you have the Cab to Trailer clearance, you can move the 5th Wheel Hitch forward to spread the load more evenly.

The towing vehicle is a 2020 Silverado Duramax 6.6L 2500HD Long Bed. It say on the weight placard, for a Gooseneck Tongue Weight 2,625 LBS. So, with the Companion 5th Wheel Hitch and associated hardware, weight about 347 Lbs that I subtracted from the Placard weight and leaves me with 2,278 Lbs that I can use as Trailer Pin Weight.

Here is the kicker, based on some models by different manufacturers, I have seen their listed pin weights are about 18 to 20 percent of the trailer weight (not including gas tanks and cargo). Towing, I got room to about 16,928 Lbs assuming the full 1,144 Truck Payload Weight and the combined 26,000 Lbs for the entire Truck/Trailer combo.


The question is...

Is there a Magic Number on the 5th Wheel forward movement position that will allow me to lets say, "remove/shift" a couple of hundred pounds from the trailer pin? Some like, for every Inch you can shift forward 1% of trailer pin weight. Kind of the same idea when using a Weight Distribution setup. On semi trailers, each notch is roughly 500 Lbs as rule of thumb as added weight on the front axles. I have 1,144 Lbs to play with, so shifting forward 500 Lbs, will help a lot.

The B&W 5th Wheel allows you to move the head a few inches forward passed the Axle. I did not bought the Slider type because of extra weight, cost more and for a Long Bed (8ft) is not really need it. If is possible, that will allow me to be a bit more flexible.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:23 PM   #2
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I believe all 5th wheel hitches center point is actually 2" or 4" (can't remember which) in front of the axle anyway. And as far as being able to "move it forward" after it is installed, I don't know about this. Maybe some hitches will do this, but it seems like it may not be the more common.

It also sounds like you might be trying to find ways to save as much weight as possible for a trailer that might be too big or too heavy for your truck. I'd be very careful about trying to adjust, or move or rearrange things to eek every ounce out for something you probably shouldn't be pulling. Maybe look for a smaller or lighter camper that is more easily within the limits of the truck.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:33 PM   #3
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The problem is not the camper weight per sť, the Powertrain is identical to the 3500 HD Dulie. The problem is the suspension rear axle. Is the weight on the pin. For some weird ass reason, these 5th wheels are way too nose heavy. Some like 20% of the camper weight. I can tow a fully loaded 16K camper, no issue on that. Is the doggone pin weight the issue. I am trying to manage the weight loads/placement. An option will be fill the rear tank as balast to take few pounds on the nose. Also, I can take a few hundred and shift to the front axle.

That is why I am asking if there is rule of thumb on moving the hitch forward to to off set the weight.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:40 PM   #4
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The Anderson hitch weighs #27. Not #200.

We like ours. Easy to operate.

Moving it around a few inches makes little difference.

Save more weight? Use a plastic tailgate. Put the truck spare on the trailer. Get lithium batteries.

Put little weight in the front compartment. That is where my sewer hoses and tote is.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:51 PM   #5
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The camper I am looking at is the new Artic Wolf 3770. This guy is a bit nose heavy 2260 Lbs, I can go about 2278 Lbs. Add some stuff on the master bedroom and we have a problem. Might have to play with the weights. The total weight is well bellow 16,000 lbs.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:07 PM   #6
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My Curt setup (self installed) isnít adjustable and located the pin about 2Ē in front of the axle - pretty typical.
My truck is similar to yours and Iíve got a similar pin weight with my SOB with no issues. I donít even need to air up the bags.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnP View Post
Moving to a 5th Wheel and ready to sell the 2306 Mini Lite.

Here is a question/s that someone might know. On the 5th Wheel Hitch, the location should be straight above the Rear Axle of the towing vehicle. If my understanding is correct and you have the Cab to Trailer clearance, you can move the 5th Wheel Hitch forward to spread the load more evenly.

The towing vehicle is a 2020 Silverado Duramax 6.6L 2500HD Long Bed. It say on the weight placard, for a Gooseneck Tongue Weight 2,625 LBS. So, with the Companion 5th Wheel Hitch and associated hardware, weight about 347 Lbs that I subtracted from the Placard weight and leaves me with 2,278 Lbs that I can use as Trailer Pin Weight.

Here is the kicker, based on some models by different manufacturers, I have seen their listed pin weights are about 18 to 20 percent of the trailer weight (not including gas tanks and cargo). Towing, I got room to about 16,928 Lbs assuming the full 1,144 Truck Payload Weight and the combined 26,000 Lbs for the entire Truck/Trailer combo.


The question is...

Is there a Magic Number on the 5th Wheel forward movement position that will allow me to lets say, "remove/shift" a couple of hundred pounds from the trailer pin? Some like, for every Inch you can shift forward 1% of trailer pin weight. Kind of the same idea when using a Weight Distribution setup. On semi trailers, each notch is roughly 500 Lbs as rule of thumb as added weight on the front axles. I have 1,144 Lbs to play with, so shifting forward 500 Lbs, will help a lot.

The B&W 5th Wheel allows you to move the head a few inches forward passed the Axle. I did not bought the Slider type because of extra weight, cost more and for a Long Bed (8ft) is not really need it. If is possible, that will allow me to be a bit more flexible.

Remember to subtract all other weights in the truck, passengers, any other cargo (coolers, tools etc.) If I remember right, 150 lb driver and full fuel is included in weight placard calculations.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:22 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, took that in consideration. If I ever bring some will be set on the rear of the camper. Is not my 1st rodeo on weight and balancing.

The original question was about moving the 5th wheel forward, there is a rule of thumb of how much in Percentage of weight is transfered to the front wheels. Want to see how far can I push the pin position to manage a nose heavy trailer.

Here is a good example, Jayco, the rated weight, fully loaded, is well within the Truck limitations, is the damn pin weight thay is way off, is too nose heavy by several hundred lbs. Feels like someone dumped the trailer in the bed, instead of pulling it. I say is a crappy design to be so off balance.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:24 PM   #9
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What you are asking is a question about beam calculations based on a fulcrum. The pin being the fulcrum, and the axles being the supports. Logically, if you could put the pin halfway between the front and rear axles, each axle would be supporting half the pin weight. Its a direct ratio and I think you will see if you draw yourself a diagram that if halfway cuts the pin weight in half, 1/4 of the distance would only reduce the pin weight by 25%. You see where this is going. You will not be able to move the hitch (fulcrum) far enough ahead to do you a lot of good and still be able to turn the truck. Dont forget, if you actually draw a picture, the overal distance will be from axle to axle, not the length of the bed. I just took a random silverado crewcab long bed with a spec of 172 inch wheelbase (center to center of support). If you moved the center point 10% or 17 inches, you would redistribute the weight by that amount. So roughly 10% less over the rear and 10% more over the front. 10% of 2500 lbs would be 250 ibs. Of course, you cant move it that far so your net gain is going to be less, a lot less.

After all that, I am real sure that you will get plenty more explanations and I will surely be called out. This is only an engineers opinion. I know thats not what you wanted to hear, its just the truth. Stay safe and stay out of trouble.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:32 PM   #10
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Sorry, I forgot one of the more important things. This will only redistribute the weight. The pin weight will be the same regardless of where you place the hitch. If you want to change the pin weight, you would have to move the weight in the trailer or move the axles. Otherwise, the weight the pin puts on the hitch will be the same.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:02 AM   #11
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Good answer, fair enough. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:45 AM   #12
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Rockinh is pretty much dno. I weighed my set up once and realized about 2 hours down the road that my Reese slider hitch was in the maneuver more so it was 10” back. I put it in tow mode and reweighed the my rig. The 10” offset only moved 80lbs off the drive axle. The drive axle changed by 60lbs and the trailer axle changed by 20lbs.

I know this is the opposite direction than you want to offset but it does illustrate 10” does not make a big difference. Not going to get to 500lbs offset.

That hitch you are using at 347lbs is a brute. Probably don’t need that with a long bed. I would get an Andersen Ultimate (40lbs). That saves you probably 250lbs (you still need rails) and install it with its offset forward which may move 50-60lbs to front axle. Pick you up about 300lbs off rear axle...
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:17 AM   #13
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Rockinh & Dalford thanks, that is exactly what I am looking for. Going to so some measurements. The other part that I need to consider is the tail end of the truck. Not a good idea to be too closed to the camper either.

The camper that we are looking at, is well below the towing weight, even if is full at its capacity. The pin weigh, that is another story.

Anyway, does anybody know why some of these 5th wheels are so nose heavy? The ones on the 2,200 lbs range are close or at 20% of the camper GVWR. Is because, when loaded, the weight is mostly on the rear?

Funny though, might end up with some sandbags on the rear to use them as ballast
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:21 AM   #14
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pin weight

I looked up the specs on that model unit. The 2260 lb pin weight is about 20% of the dry weight and 15% of the gross. That is more than adequate. You also would have a lot of storage both in the front and rear. If you bias the weight you load in the camper to the rear, you could reduce the pin weight some. And because the distance you put the weight from the center of the trailer axles would be greater than what you can move the hitch, it should make a greater difference in you pin weight. If the model I researched is the right one, its 42 ft long. Nice looking rig, and very long. I am a little prejudiced towards duallys for this big of a unit but a lot of people tow them with 3/4 ton srw successfully.

One of my favorite trainers always encouraged us with these words. "Whats the worst that could happen, you could die" Always made us think and do it anyway, with some caution.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:37 AM   #15
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why

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnP View Post
Rockinh & Dalford thanks, that is exactly what I am looking for. Going to so some measurements. The other part that I need to consider is the tail end of the truck. Not a good idea to be too closed to the camper either.

The camper that we are looking at, is well below the towing weight, even if is full at its capacity. The pin weigh, that is another story.

Anyway, does anybody know why some of these 5th wheels are so nose heavy? The ones on the 2,200 lbs range are close or at 20% of the camper GVWR. Is because, when loaded, the weight is mostly on the rear?

Funny though, might end up with some sandbags on the rear to use them as ballast
My 37rth is a front livingroom toy hauler with the garage under the bedroom. Its 41+ feet at 18000 gross. I am told that they make 5th wheels heavy so that when you put the toys in, it will still have some weight on the pin, in otherwords, the weight in the trailer will be biased towards the rear. By comparison, a bumper pull that size would have around 1000 lb tongue weight and be behind the rear axle, worst place it could be, which is why they have to use weight distributing hitchs to keep the tail from wagging the dog. That is a very unpleasant experience not usually happening with 5th wheels. You wouldnt have any problems with towing. Just make sure your brake controller gain is set well so the trailer doesnt push you down the road or kick your rearend out if you have to brake in a corner.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:43 AM   #16
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The hitch weight is based on Static’s 101. The ups equal the downs.

Has to do with the design. Axel location, arrangement of heavy stuff. Front bathroom models are always nose heavy. Also front kitchens. Toy haulers are really weird and heavy. Talk about all over the map.

We chose the lightest nose, luxury, sort of, fiver because I bought the wrong truck. 2500 diesel.

We are fine but! In general a one ton truck is necessary for a fancy fiver!
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:59 AM   #17
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Sorry for been so picky but my background is Retired Military and now in the Manufacturing side of the Aviation industry. So messing around with numbers and equipment capabilities is some that I do consider a lot. I say, "If you take care of the equipment, the equipment will take care of you"

We have now a Rockwood MiniLite, not a single issue since 2016 when bought new. Also, a 2016 Chevy Colorado that pulls it, not a problem either. Why, proper maintenance and planing with their capabilities and limitations.

On my case, based on the wheel base of 172 and pin 2260 weight each foot is roughly 157.7 Lbs. Rear Wheels, dead center is 2260 lbs, move forward substract 157.7 lbs for each foot.

Using the 1130 theorical weight (per axle), dead center on vehicle. 7.2 Ft from center rear axle to middle of truck. Divided 1130ų7.2 is about 157.7 loss / gain per foot depending on which direction you go.

So, if I move the 5th wheel mount 1 foot Fwd, 157.7 Lbs are distributed to the front axle.

I think, the Hitch is not capable of moving that far in the bed and if I go too far in will create tail end (truck rear bumper/tailgate) issues with the camper.

Today we are going to the RV dealer to check one out. Is the Artic Wolf 3660 Suite, that one is bellow the 2,000 Lbs on the pin weight. The one we were eyeballing was Artic Wolf 3770. Same lenght camper, different floor plans.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:13 AM   #18
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The hitch weight is based on Static’s 101. The ups equal the downs.

Has to do with the design. Axel location, arrangement of heavy stuff. Front bathroom models are always nose heavy. Also front kitchens. Toy haulers are really weird and heavy. Talk about all over the map.

We chose the lightest nose, luxury, sort of, fiver because I bought the wrong truck. 2500 diesel.

We are fine but! In general a one ton truck is necessary for a fancy fiver!
Thanks for sharing the experience. Yes, that is why I got a Duramax 6.6 too, to be able to pull a 5th wheel. Wanted the 3500 Single Rear Wheel (SRW) but the dealer will not budge to the price that I wanted and got the 2500HD which is not bad either. Still a very capable truck but the new 5th wheels are getting nose heavy and that raised my concern and narrowed choices.

On my camper, I know the feel of trailer sway, can get scarry at the times if you let the guard down. Originally, the idea of the Rockwood MiniLite was to be towed with my car that is a Pontiac G8. The vehicle is designed and capable of pulling 4680 Lbs if you use the designed GM Bumper Hitch. In reality, pulls better than my Truck (Colorado)

This time, we went bigger, the Colorado cannot pull a bigger camper and we wanted a 5th wheel for various reasons (safer, easier to pull and rig).
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:26 AM   #19
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Moving the hitch around will do you no good likely. Gas 2500ís are different than diesels. Might help a little. Pissing in the bath tub raises the level but, you are not going to drown.

I have a structural engineering degree.

I ran into this issue when we bought our truck a year before the fiver. Duh!

The payload, truck, manufacturing, dmv, police practice, dot, etc is all mixed up in this. And outhouse lawyers.

Takes forever to explain. Prefer not to. Pages. I am old and lazy.

My hitch weight is #1850 dry. 37í Hathaway. Model discontinued. I am likely #500 over the dmv limit. Otherwise legit. Tows swell.
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:48 PM   #20
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We pulled the trigger and got us a 2020 Artic Wolf 3660 Suite. The pin weight is 1600 lbs, perfect but was a huge and tough decisition, debated for hours over the 3770 and 3660. Same length, same size, different floor plan. Also came with the "Juice Pack" and Bumper Carrier from factory.

We looked at all campers, even bigger, taller within our tow limits and the Artic Wolf seems to be the best for our needs and fit. Even Aerodynamics was considered and the Artic Wolf has a lower front profile. Another consideration is that is a 4 seasons camper and we do camp in the winter.

Anyway, you guys have been extreamly helpful, thanks to all !!!
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