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Old 05-07-2018, 04:25 PM   #1
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450lb Tongue weight need distribution hitch?

I'm towing my custom travel trailer with a 2002 3rd gen 2wd 4runner. The tongue weight is pretty at the limit around 450.

The rear drops a good inch and a half and so the front look higher...

I wonder if I need a weight distribution hitch? Surely 450 lbs on the back is not enough to pop the front wheels up so much they would be an issue?

I mean I've driven it a thousand miles probably with no problems. But you know... never in wet conditions.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:41 PM   #2
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Suggest you measure the front fender height from the ground, with a tape measure, before and after hitching. You will likely find that the front has been raised because of the leverage of the hitch weight being applied behind the rear axle. It won't just look higher because the rear is lower, it will actually be higher.

If you have 450 lbs of tongue weight, just to use example figures, that could result in 600 lbs load on the rear axle, and 150 lbs of lift on the front axle. You would be closer to your rear axle weight rating, and your steering and braking would be impacted on the front axle. Your alignment would be off.

Recommend you consider a WD hitch to restore front axle loading.
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:42 PM   #3
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The only way to be sure would be to run the rig across a CAT scale and see what axle weights are doing. If the front wheel wells are rising, it generally indicates that the front axle is experiencing some weight unloading.

However, I would be willing to bet that a Weight Distribution hitch setup install might be the result of that CAT scale exercise...
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
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You should check on what class of hitch is on your TV.
Does the TV have a tow package?
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You should check on what class of hitch is on your TV.
Does the TV have a tow package?
I have a class 3 hitch,
500lb tongue weight max,
There is no factory towing kit. I had a tranny cooler installed.

Trailer is probably 2800 lbs loaded.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:47 PM   #6
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Yes. I would guess that you would benefit from a WD hitch.
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:25 PM   #7
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My guess is the class 3 hitch is rated at 500 lbs of tongue weight without a WD hitch.
How many speeds does your tranny have? Which speeds are considered overdrive?
Your trailer is not all that heavy. You should be OK.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:06 PM   #8
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My guess is the class 3 hitch is rated at 500 lbs of tongue weight without a WD hitch.
How many speeds does your tranny have? Which speeds are considered overdrive?
Your trailer is not all that heavy. You should be OK.
I donít understand the connection between front axle loading, which was the OPís question, and things such as class of hitch, tow packages, which transmission, overdrive, etc.

How can one determine whether WD is advisable or not without knowing how high the front end is relative to the unloaded state, or alternatively what the axle weights are?
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
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Like asking what kind of tires or oil you should use. I think WD hitches are a good thing, trailer and TV handle better under a variety of conditions. It's sort of the you don't need it until you do thing.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:40 AM   #10
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Iím looking to tow with my Ď05 v6 4Runner & have read that my hitch is cross-member mounted & cannot be used with a wd hitch. The v8 4Runners have frame mounted hitches & can use wd hitches. Just what Iíve read...

-Steve
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:22 AM   #11
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Iím looking to tow with my Ď05 v6 4Runner & have read that my hitch is cross-member mounted & cannot be used with a wd hitch. The v8 4Runners have frame mounted hitches & can use wd hitches. Just what Iíve read...

-Steve
There are aftermarket hitches (frame mounted) available for your vehicle. The Draw-Tite is rated for WD equipment.

https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2005_Toyota_4Runner.htm
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:27 PM   #12
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The 4F isn’t a “good” TV. A WDH is more than a good idea. One with integrated antisway.

OP, the “tongue weight” is measured while still. It’s a placeholder. The forces exerted against the hitch ball can hit several thousand pounds. A WD spreads the force over three points versus one.

TW has to do with the trailer, not the TV. In the same way of delineation, an AS will stay upright at higher speeds than your TV. Tighter turn. Etc. In both, the trailer presents no problem. The TV does.

FWIW, my 2004 one ton Dodge requires WD when hitch weight hits 350-lbs. Take it for granted that from 350-500/lbs it’s a good idea.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:37 PM   #13
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There are several good towing videos out there, including the one by Equalizer.
http://www.fastwaytrailer.com/blog/w...ersus-air-bags

If your front end is raised higher once loaded by more than an inch, from putting a heavy load on your rear end or hitch weight, that's not good. Pure and simple...you don't want that..it can contribute to unsafe control/handling should something happen while driving at speed. Also, your insurance guys are not going to like it if you should get into an accident caused by being outside recommended loads posted on your door. Just saying...be safe and load properly...WDH with anti-sway is good advice, as Slowmover said..
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:55 PM   #14
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The questions about the transmission has to do with the gearing and how often it will shift back when towing.
Frequent shifting is one of the causes of transmission failures. Due to overheating.
Even the best coolers can't keep up with the temperature rise caused by frequent shifting.
My Tundra has a 6 speed transmission. The 2 top speeds are overdrive. I have the ability to limit how high the transmission will shift. Thus minimizing the frequent shifting problem.
My towing practice is to use the tow/haul mode and limit the shifting to no higher than 4th gear. There are times when on really flat ground I will raise the shifting level to 5th. But never 6th.
The question regarding hitch class has to do with whether or not the hitch is strong (heavy) enough to take the stress of a WD hitch. Some of the lighter weight hitches or the method of mounting even a higher class hitch are not suitable for WD use.
Thus the reason for the questions.
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