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Old 07-17-2017, 12:56 PM   #15
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2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
I am running a 2017 30' international and had my equalizer with 1000 pound WD bars "dialed in" for my 1/2 ton SUV. With my 1/2 ton suv (independent suspension) I was able to restore 100% of the front axle load with my equalizer hitch so that steering feel was restored and rear axle remained within GAWR specs.

Well I've since upgraded my TV to a 2017 GMC 2500 (3/4 ton) with a duramax diesel. I'm looking to "dial in" my equalizer hitch for the new TV and I'm looking for advice. The duramax diesel engine adds a ton of weight to the front axle (about 700-800lbs more than the 6 liter gas version of the truck), and specifically I'm looking for advice on "how much" weight I should try to restore to the front axle with weight distribution, given there is such a slant towards front axle weight when the truck is unloaded in the first place.

I've been over the CAT scales, here is where we stand:

No trailer, full fuel, no passengers, no cargo, no trailer (truck only, so this is actual curb weight measured at the CAT scale):
  • FA: 4,740lbs (FAWR is 5,200)
  • RA: 3,240lbs (RAWR is 6,200)
  • Total TV weight: 7,980lbs (GVWR is 10,000)

I calibrated my equalizer hitch this morning. Adjusted ball height, put "moderate" pressure on the WD bars using 4 washers, and Trailer sits level with WD bars attached. Was seeing about 1/2 inch of front fender "rise" W/O WD attached and with four washers I am bringing that down to about 1/4" - so 50% restoration (thereabouts - not scientific) but we are not talking about a lot of movement up front. Rear sagged 1 3/4" without WD and sags 1 1/2" with WD applied with 4 washers.

So I moved the front axle down 1/4" and lifted the rear axle up 1/4" with a moderate amount of WD applied.

With the equalizer calibrated per the above I ran back through the CAT scale and here is the after measurements:
  • FA: 4,420lbs (-320 lbs - not sure I like that.... FAWR is 5,200)
  • RA: 4,540lbs (+1,300lbs - not sure I like that even though RAWR is 6,200)
  • Total TV weight: 8,960lbs (added 980lbs of tongue weight with WD attached, GVWR is 10,000)
  • Total trailer axle weight: 6,740lbs (so the trailer is sitting at 7,720lbs with a full tank of water. Axles are rated to 8,800lbs).

(NOTE: I did not do a 3rd pass with TV+trailer but no WD bars - but I may go back to do that at a later time)

So here is my question: the "heavy-front-end-diesel" TV is actually quite nicely balanced (albeit without any passengers or cargo) at 4,420lbs front axle and 4,540lbs on the rear axle.

But I am thinking that maybe I should get more aggressive with WD and try to restore more weight to the front axle as I am accustomed to shooting for 100% restoration with an independent suspension 1/2 ton SUV.... but this new truck is a different animal in that it is seriously biased / heavy in the front end with a heavy Diesel engine without any payload / trailer attached.

I'd certainly appreciate the advice and wisdom from others who have a 3/4 ton with a heavy (~1,000 lbs) tongue weight and have been through the CAT scales. Interested in how you have calibrated your setups and thoughts on pushing more weight back to the front axle.

Thanks Airforums!
My experience with going from a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 with diesel was that using the same setting as previously made the rear axle too light. I dialed it back and all works just fine.You shouldn't need to "Restore " weight to the front axle especially with a diesel.
BTW am also pulling a 30' AS.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
My experience with going from a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 with diesel was that using the same setting as previously made the rear axle too light. I dialed it back and all works just fine.You shouldn't need to "Restore " weight to the front axle especially with a diesel.
BTW am also pulling a 30' AS.
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience Frank, much appreciated.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:48 AM   #17
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Fort Worth , Texas
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The point to having a one-ton is the cargo capacity. Not carrying sufficient weight in the bed is prima facie evidence it's the wrong TV. Wrong tool for the job.

Drive Axle needs always be heaviest. So buy every piece of Lodge cast iron cookware, load a part cord of firewood (there are those who do this, funny as it sounds to me) and "correct" the bed load.

How much heavier it should be, is only contention.

Back when Andy R was the accident investigator for Caravanner (AS insurance Co) the decision was in favor of 10% (after using the general "1/3 Rule").

"What" engine is in truck is irrelevant. Relevant is reduction of weight. 5ers and GN hitches are set in truck bed to LEAST affect Steer Axle solo weight. Slightest increase is preferred over decrease.

Latest guidelines on WD from some manufacturers goes against this. I think it's an end run to help sell more incredibly-profitable pickups (as cars are hobbled by this so-called finding). Grain of salt time.

Level trailer is basic. Proper TT and TV tire pressures are next (must test).

The rest is open to experiment, IMO. There is a range of adjustments. Find the high and low. This is the result, the goal.

EQ brand isn't favored --is shunned -- by two of the most experienced individuals at dealers of AS trailers with nearly fifty years in business. That should be cause for investigation, IMO.

Besides, a VPP hitch makes these others completely obsolete. Anti-sway is perfected and not dependent on bar tension, etc, as with many. Dirt cheap for what it does.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:39 PM   #18
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Just closing the loop for those who are interested. In the towing guide GMC states that WD is "optional" for the 2500/3500. That being said I am of course going to continue using my equalizer hitch as proper WD / tension on the spring bars is necessary for sway prevention / control.

I ended up using 5 washers to generate tilt on the hitch head which did restore about 50% of the front fender "lift" per the gold 'ol fashion tape measure method.

Although I have not been through the scales with this final? configuration I am going to go ahead and tow for a few hundred miles and see how everything feels.

Thanks all for your input.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:21 PM   #19
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Too much TV tire pressure isn't a friend. Thus, according to door sticker range, get TV tires close to load of heaviest wheel per Axle. Test by running an easy 1.5-hrs steady state and glide to a light stop where pressures may be checked. 5-7% pressure rise is fine. 10% needs more air.

.
First I have heard of this. I did a little Googling and found a bit more info on it. There was an Austrailian guide that says basically the same but they state 4 PSI instead of percentages. Percentages make more sense given the wide variety of tires and pressures. I would be interested in learning more as I am still not clear on how to optimize tire pressure. I have looked at the weight charts but haven't experimented with that yet. What about the chaulk method?
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:14 AM   #20
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First I have heard of this. I did a little Googling and found a bit more info on it. There was an Austrailian guide that says basically the same but they state 4 PSI instead of percentages. Percentages make more sense given the wide variety of tires and pressures. I would be interested in learning more as I am still not clear on how to optimize tire pressure. I have looked at the weight charts but haven't experimented with that yet. What about the chaulk method?
CapriRacer has posted on this both here, his website, and on other sites.

We're looking for a "good" minimum. Always works even on hottest days with heaviest load with our rig. It may not always be the minimum necessary, so think of it as default in lieu of further testing.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:10 PM   #21
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3/4 ton truck, equalizer WD hitch - calibration

OK last update. Went through CAT scales fully loaded. Full LP, water, camping gear in the trailer.

TV was full fuel with Driver and all of our gear - in-bed storage system with full fishing gear, hiking gear, tennis gear, cycling gear, bike rack, 4 bikes, and a generator

Trailer is stilling dead level. Truck is level. Equalizer hitch has 5 washers.

Here are the weights with WD applied:

Steer axle: 4,640 (only -100 lbs now - max is 5,200)
Drive axle: 4,960 (max is 6,200)
Trailer axle: 6,860 (max is 8,800)
TV GVW: 9,600 (max is 10,000)
Combined weight: 16,460 (max is over 25,000lbs for the duramax 2500)

I didn't measure tonque weight via the 3-pass method but based on other passes through the cat scales it's adding about 900-950lbs to the truck payload.

I am a happy camper. Still have 400lbs before GVWR for wife, kids and the dog.

Btw - the DECKED in-bed storage system kicks butt! Super convenient for what I use it for.

Only a short tow of ~25 miles fully loaded but am heading out tomorrow to tour through the Colorado Rockies.

Thanks all for the advice. I'm super happy with the move up to a 2500 diesel and the current calibration of the WD hitch.
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