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Old 05-19-2019, 10:56 PM   #101
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Why "payload" from the sticker is a better number than the number obtained from the math (gross weight - curb weight)? In my car the yellow sticker mentions a generic number for payload (1,100 lbs). The same sticker is used in 6 and 8 cylinder versions, gas or diesel, regardless of what options are chosen. IMO the math gives the real payload, at least in the case of my car.

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Not to push the question the wrong direction here, but what does the sticker on your drivers door say for "max payload"; (not what you get when you start doing the math for GVWR, etc.) Reason for the question is I would be impressed at a Durango if the payload sticker is even close to the 1,967lbs looks like you have from calculations... The sticker payload number is the important number you don't want to exceed, and of course, get your scale weights as was suggested. If you have 1,967lbs on your payload sticker, that is quite a bit more then most all the RAM 1/2T's have and is impressive! I am sure anyone looking for an SUV would be attracted to a vehicle with that high payload.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:48 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
Why "payload" from the sticker is a better number than the number obtained from the math (gross weight - curb weight)? In my car the yellow sticker mentions a generic number for payload (1,100 lbs). The same sticker is used in 6 and 8 cylinder versions, gas or diesel, regardless of what options are chosen. IMO the math gives the real payload, at least in the case of my car.
It isn't a 'generic' number... the vehicle is weighed and the payload printed out on the sticker. Now if you go to the RAM website, those numbers are incorrect... even if you input your VIN it spits out the payload for the lowest trim level with the least options.

My 2019 1500 RAM Limited has a payload of 1310#, I've seen others with as high as almost 1500# and a low of 1200#.

All of these stickers, and vehicle configurations, are posted on the 5thGENRAM Forum.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:10 AM   #103
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Maybe I was not clear enough. Payload number is a generic number on BMW x5 yellow stickers. It is always 1,100 lbs which does not make sense given the same platform used with different engines and different options installed.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:56 AM   #104
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WD hitch might take 100 lbs of tongue weight off but it sure does not “cut it in half”. Regardless of logic, payload is what the payload sticker says it is. And yes, I would be happy to be under the limits of each axle and not so worried about payload. It is would be interesting to see the actual weights on the Durango and the BMW. I do not recall seeing anyone post that.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:56 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
Why "payload" from the sticker is a better number than the number obtained from the math (gross weight - curb weight)? In my car the yellow sticker mentions a generic number for payload (1,100 lbs). The same sticker is used in 6 and 8 cylinder versions, gas or diesel, regardless of what options are chosen. IMO the math gives the real payload, at least in the case of my car.
The Sticker number is the correct max payload for "that" vehicle; don't go by the spec or GVW math, if you want to be accurate. It is typically different for just about every vehicle due to "options" on a particular vehicle. The maximum payload, includes your tongue weight, cargo, and all passengers as a "not to exceed" number for safety reasons for that particular vehicle. Should you get into an accident, that is the weight they likely will use to see if you were overloaded...insurance adjuster, accident investigators,or whom ever is interested. That's also why it's recommended to weigh your AS and TV loaded both together and independently to get accurate numbers. You can go by what ever method you want for your vehicle...but the sticker is the key number.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:00 AM   #106
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It isn't a 'generic' number... the vehicle is weighed and the payload printed out on the sticker. Now if you go to the RAM website, those numbers are incorrect... even if you input your VIN it spits out the payload for the lowest trim level with the least options.

My 2019 1500 RAM Limited has a payload of 1310#, I've seen others with as high as almost 1500# and a low of 1200#.

All of these stickers, and vehicle configurations, are posted on the 5thGENRAM Forum.
That's right; each vehicle is different...I drove around my F150 Platinum for 2+ years, towing my 25' AS, not knowing about payload. My payload sticker was only 1039lbs! I was always overloaded and did not know it, but I know now...for me, staying within Mfg. specs on loading, payload, tire pressure is just how I roll...your mileage may vary! (and for many folks here, it likely does vary!)
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:35 AM   #107
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Here we go again... .insurance adjuster, accident investigators...

Some people believe in everything they see. Sticker say X, this needs to make sense. If BMW take the shortcut and puts THE SAME payload # on each vehicle, it means that it does not make any sense to rely on this generic number. 6 cylinder vehicle weights 300 lbs less than V8. The platform is the same. Why V8 would have 300 lbs "higher"payload allowed?

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The Sticker number is the correct max payload for "that" vehicle; don't go by the spec or GVW math, if you want to be accurate. It is typically different for just about every vehicle due to "options" on a particular vehicle. The maximum payload, includes your tongue weight, cargo, and all passengers as a "not to exceed" number for safety reasons for that particular vehicle. Should you get into an accident, that is the weight they likely will use to see if you were overloaded...insurance adjuster, accident investigators,or whom ever is interested. That's also why it's recommended to weigh your AS and TV loaded both together and independently to get accurate numbers. You can go by what ever method you want for your vehicle...but the sticker is the key number.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:55 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
Here we go again... .insurance adjuster, accident investigators...

Some people believe in everything they see. Sticker say X, this needs to make sense. If BMW take the shortcut and puts THE SAME payload # on each vehicle, it means that it does not make any sense to rely on this generic number. 6 cylinder vehicle weights 300 lbs less than V8. The platform is the same. Why V8 would have 300 lbs "higher"payload allowed?
Hey Bono- as I said, you can believe what you want and follow your own advise...many here seem to always challenge facts...I am not familiar with a BMW and since they are not designed to tow an Airstream anyway, not clear what their payload is. I know for most SUV's and pickups, if they modify a vehicle by adding significant options after delivery from Mfg., a dealer is supposed to replace the door sticker with an updated max payload. What can I tell ya?
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:27 AM   #109
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Hey Bono- as I said, you can believe what you want and follow your own advise...many here seem to always challenge facts...I am not familiar with a BMW and since they are not designed to tow an Airstream anyway, not clear what their payload is. I know for most SUV's and pickups, if they modify a vehicle by adding significant options after delivery from Mfg., a dealer is supposed to replace the door sticker with an updated max payload. What can I tell ya?
You are basing your claim on your experience with your vehicle. Not all vehicles follow the same approach.

We know from previous posts with info from a RAM factory engineer that their labels are not specific to the vehicle, or weren’t at that time. He explained that the label printer on the assembly line wasn’t connected to the build consist computer, and so used an estimated option package weight. It was within a few hundred pounds. They likely would be amused at the focus on published payload figures on forums such as these.

I knew my BMW payload from the spec sheet, and it matched the door sticker. That vehicle has almost all the options. I didn’t think much more about it but kept hearing here about how my real payload was less than the brochure. Once, when a keyboard expert kept challenging me, I went to the garage and took a picture of the label on the door jamb and compared it to the brochure. It was the same. When I replaced the rear springs (plastic cover on the coils cracked and fell off) I found that I had to order springs by ViN. They were all different depending on options installed. The confirmation was to check the GVWR, which the manufacturer varied by vehicle. It is simply a number for tax and registration purposes in most cases, so the manufacturer picked a standard payload number, put it on all the labels and in the brochure, added it to the base weight, and called that GVWR. They obviously designed for a range of GVWR figures. Nothing wrong with this approach. The important numbers are tire and axle loads, not GVWR figures.

And yes, these vehicles are designed to tow. Trailer stability control was standard, starting with 1999 models. How many years later before North American pickups included that? In 1999, when the vehicle debuted, it met the TUV towing test for a 12% grade. That BMW had a factory designed receiver. The rear view camera changed views when a trailer was connected. The rear park sensors turned themselves off when a trailer was connected. And so on.

If I was really concerned about payload figures, I would look up the GVWR, weigh the vehicle, and calculate the difference. But I am not really concerned about payload figures, since they aren’t strictly tied to either design limits, or legal risk issues, unless one is a commercial carrier. I pay much more attention to axle ratings, since those are based on engineering design limits, and are regulated, which shows up in regulations and thus potential liability issues for overloading.

If one believes that the GVWR (and thus the “payload”) is somehow a number strictly capped by engineering limits, then one has to explain why multiple vehicles offer alternate GVWR figures. Including HD pickups, many of which offer lower GVWRs to avoid taxes. Or BMW which offered a higher GVWR as a no cost option on my last tow vehicle. Since it was just a number on a label, it didn’t cost them anything to offer a higher one, up to the axle design limits.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:49 AM   #110
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I got in the habit of looking at all the trailers on the road, and what hitch they use.
Boat trailers, horse trailers, flat beds with bulldozers, enclosed cargo trailers, and tow dollys. Guess what? Not a single one uses a WD hitch, just RV trailers.
I'm trying to wrap my head around why they're not all upside down in the ditch?
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:16 PM   #111
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The posted GVWR of our 2017 Durango is 7,100 lbs. Curb weight is is 5,133, leaving us a payload 1,967 lb. Tow capacity is 7,400 lbs, max hitch weight is 740 lbs.
Our Airstream 27FB has a "base weight" of 5,868 lb, I figure about 6,250 lb as we load it - we strive to keep it light. Tongue weight is 790 lb, but we use a weight-distributing hitch so this cuts it down about 50%. Assuming the tongue load adds 400 lbs to our TV weight, this leaves us about 1,500 lbs useful load.
So although I realize we are pushing the limits, I believe we are still (just barely) OK. As an engineer I understand that the manufacturer's ratings have a built-in safety factor. However, in case of any type of legal action or law suite, the rating numbers would be considered absolute. So to me, this is probably the more important consideration!
Our goal is to have fun - within legal limits.
This is incorrect. Using WD does not take any weight off of the tow ball it just redistributes it. So, if your tongue actually weighs 790lbs then that 790 contributes to the cargo weight you are adding. If your tongue weighs 790lbs, it is the lightest of any 27 FB I have come across. And don't forget to add the weight of the WD hitch as well. Many weigh upwards of 75-80 lbs, some even more than that, ie., Pro Pride, Hensley.
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:28 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
You are basing your claim on your experience with your vehicle. Not all vehicles follow the same approach.

We know from previous posts with info from a RAM factory engineer that their labels are not specific to the vehicle, or weren’t at that time. He explained that the label printer on the assembly line wasn’t connected to the build consist computer, and so used an estimated option package weight. It was within a few hundred pounds. They likely would be amused at the focus on published payload figures on forums such as these.

I knew my BMW payload from the spec sheet, and it matched the door sticker. That vehicle has almost all the options. I didn’t think much more about it but kept hearing here about how my real payload was less than the brochure. Once, when a keyboard expert kept challenging me, I went to the garage and took a picture of the label on the door jamb and compared it to the brochure. It was the same. When I replaced the rear springs (plastic cover on the coils cracked and fell off) I found that I had to order springs by ViN. They were all different depending on options installed. The confirmation was to check the GVWR, which the manufacturer varied by vehicle. It is simply a number for tax and registration purposes in most cases, so the manufacturer picked a standard payload number, put it on all the labels and in the brochure, added it to the base weight, and called that GVWR. They obviously designed for a range of GVWR figures. Nothing wrong with this approach. The important numbers are tire and axle loads, not GVWR figures.

And yes, these vehicles are designed to tow. Trailer stability control was standard, starting with 1999 models. How many years later before North American pickups included that? In 1999, when the vehicle debuted, it met the TUV towing test for a 12% grade. That BMW had a factory designed receiver. The rear view camera changed views when a trailer was connected. The rear park sensors turned themselves off when a trailer was connected. And so on.

If I was really concerned about payload figures, I would look up the GVWR, weigh the vehicle, and calculate the difference. But I am not really concerned about payload figures, since they aren’t strictly tied to either design limits, or legal risk issues, unless one is a commercial carrier. I pay much more attention to axle ratings, since those are based on engineering design limits, and are regulated, which shows up in regulations and thus potential liability issues for overloading.

If one believes that the GVWR (and thus the “payload”) is somehow a number strictly capped by engineering limits, then one has to explain why multiple vehicles offer alternate GVWR figures. Including HD pickups, many of which offer lower GVWRs to avoid taxes. Or BMW which offered a higher GVWR as a no cost option on my last tow vehicle. Since it was just a number on a label, it didn’t cost them anything to offer a higher one, up to the axle design limits.
Note a couple of your comments above I highlighted. Yes, all vehicles, here in the US at least, must follow the same legal requirements. To be clear, the weight numbers are specified as legal limits by the Mfgr.as specified in SAE J2807. And as mentioned, apply to the GVWR I really don't know a lot about the BMW's all having the same payload number on a lot, except that the trim levels dictate the max payload on their door stickers for sure. Uncommon to see 10 BMW's on a lot with same weight? Of course not; they sell with the same loaded options . (I still don't know they were/are truly designed to tow an AS or other large travel trailer...

I have also had this discussion with engineers in the automotive field also recently; payload stickers are there to provide a Max Payload number based on the "equipment" on that particular vehicle; not what the owner thinks it should be. The numbers don't lie and are part of the GVWR for said vehicle. Adding different wheels/tires, bed liner, cap, other dealer installed options can change the payload number sometimes significantly taking away from overall payload capacity and overall GVWR; and can affect the safety/handling of said vehicle....and the sticker should be changed. (Not sure anyone checks for that anywhere, except perhaps in an accident.)

To be clear, the max payload numbers are there for safety concerns by the Mfgr. to avoid extra stress on the vehicles equipment, like brakes, steering, suspension, etc.. can you go over by a few hundred pounds; it's your decision...I prefer to stay within the recommended limits. There are many articles warning of exceeding the Mfgr. weight limits due to the factors I mention. There are others on the road also...I can only control what I do.

A good analogy I read in an article recently; would you fly in a plane knowing your missing a few rivets in a flight surface? How often would you do that?

To be safe, load up your TV, go to the scales and see if you exceed your overall numbers...if you do, better loose some weight....somewhere.
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:49 PM   #113
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Airstream 25RB with 1300 Pounds of Payload on TV?

It’s not so much the missing rivets but where they are. However, improper loading is usually fatal in the airplane business. I have witnessed, in person, a very bad crash due to a load shift. Weight distribution can also bite you with a trailer. The incident caused 15 fatalities (all aboard) and loss of aircraft at sea. No fun. This is the stuff of nightmares
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:42 PM   #114
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It’s not so much the missing rivets but where they are. However, improper loading is usually fatal in the airplane business. I have witnessed, in person, a very bad crash due to a load shift. Weight distribution can also bite you with a trailer. The incident caused 15 fatalities (all aboard) and loss of aircraft at sea. No fun. This is the stuff of nightmares
Depends on how much overloaded. An extra 150lb in the baggage compartment of a 172 won’t lead to a crash. A 1500 lb skid loose in a cargo plane will. A few hundred over a pickup’s payload probably won’t do much either.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:46 PM   #115
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Airstream 25RB with 1300 Pounds of Payload on TV?

In the case I mentioned, the cargo that got loose weighed a lot more than 1500 pounds. It was a shipboard generator and it broke loose on the catapult shot. No fun to watch, broad daylight, and the aircraft sank like a stone after nosing up and then stalling nose down.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:12 PM   #116
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Note a couple of your comments above I highlighted. Yes, all vehicles, here in the US at least, must follow the same legal requirements. To be clear, the weight numbers are specified as legal limits by the Mfgr.as specified in SAE J2807. And as mentioned, apply to the GVWR I really don't know a lot about the BMW's all having the same payload number on a lot, except that the trim levels dictate the max payload on their door stickers for sure. Uncommon to see 10 BMW's on a lot with same weight? Of course not; they sell with the same loaded options . (I still don't know they were/are truly designed to tow an AS or other large travel trailer...

I have also had this discussion with engineers in the automotive field also recently; payload stickers are there to provide a Max Payload number based on the "equipment" on that particular vehicle; not what the owner thinks it should be. The numbers don't lie and are part of the GVWR for said vehicle. Adding different wheels/tires, bed liner, cap, other dealer installed options can change the payload number sometimes significantly taking away from overall payload capacity and overall GVWR; and can affect the safety/handling of said vehicle....and the sticker should be changed. (Not sure anyone checks for that anywhere, except perhaps in an accident.)

To be clear, the max payload numbers are there for safety concerns by the Mfgr. to avoid extra stress on the vehicles equipment, like brakes, steering, suspension, etc.. can you go over by a few hundred pounds; it's your decision...I prefer to stay within the recommended limits. There are many articles warning of exceeding the Mfgr. weight limits due to the factors I mention. There are others on the road also...I can only control what I do.

A good analogy I read in an article recently; would you fly in a plane knowing your missing a few rivets in a flight surface? How often would you do that?

To be safe, load up your TV, go to the scales and see if you exceed your overall numbers...if you do, better loose some weight....somewhere.
The US and Canada have harmonized regulations, so that vehicles built for one jurisdiction can be sold in either. That said, the BMW I referenced (and the one listed above by Bono) were both built in the US.

SAE J2807 isn't a legal requirement. It is not legislated. It is a testing procedure designed by a professional association, not the government.

If you want to see the legal requirements for weights, check out the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, that is where they are defined, for the US. When you do that, check out what they say about tow ratings.

I never referenced all BMWs on a lot having the same number. I referenced all the ones of a specific model/platform built that year having the same number, regardless of their installed optional equipment (let's leave out dealer installed items for a while, as that just confuses the discussion) It didn't matter whether these vehicles were equipped with a larger engine, a smaller engine, or any combination of options. This breaks the paradigm that you described. It is an alternate approach that manufacturers can take. They can make the GVWR the variable number, instead of the payload, as long as they are prepared to sell the vehicle with a higher GVWR on one vehicle vs another. It makes listing payload easier for them. It also makes a mockery of the claim that the GVWR is somehow specifically tied to safety. It isn't. Your experience with these calculations on a specific pickup is not applicable to all registered vehicles. That was the point.

Of course these SUVs were designed to tow a heavy trailer, I pointed out why above. Tow ratings up to 3500 kg substantiate that. Note that all model variations had the same tow rating, they didn't derate some and uprate others based on optional equipment. That is a North American pickup approach, and is probably indicative of the pickup manufacturer pushing the published ratings much closer to the design spec, so that they effectively have to derate some variants because they don't have a large enough transmission cooler or radiator, or the appropriate axle ratio, etc. The SUVs I described come equipped to tow the maximum ratings, for all variants. Doesn't that tell you something about that manufacturer's approach vs the North American pickup truck manufacturer?
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:18 PM   #117
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It isn't a 'generic' number... the vehicle is weighed and the payload printed out on the sticker. Now if you go to the RAM website, those numbers are incorrect... even if you input your VIN it spits out the payload for the lowest trim level with the least options.

My 2019 1500 RAM Limited has a payload of 1310#, I've seen others with as high as almost 1500# and a low of 1200#.

All of these stickers, and vehicle configurations, are posted on the 5thGENRAM Forum.
It was a RAM customer posting here a while back who wondered why the label on his door jamb didn't match the VIN specific info from RAM. His question was bounced back to RAM technical support, who eventually advised that the door sticker wasn't model number specific, it used a typical option list to arrive at the printed number. It was a manufacturing limitation, and he was advised to go by the printout from the factory specific to his VIN, not his door label.

Or, he could have simply weighed his vehicle and compared it to the GVWR, which was the same for all those variations of his model truck.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:54 AM   #118
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This is incorrect. Using WD does not take any weight off of the tow ball it just redistributes it. So, if your tongue actually weighs 790lbs then that 790 contributes to the cargo weight you are adding. If your tongue weighs 790lbs, it is the lightest of any 27 FB I have come across. And don't forget to add the weight of the WD hitch as well. Many weigh upwards of 75-80 lbs, some even more than that, ie., Pro Pride, Hensley.
Actually this is not correct. With WD used, there’s a force-couple applied at the hitch. The end result is taking some load off the rear axle and transferring some of the load to the tv front axle and some to the trailer axles(s). Not all of your tongue weight contributes to the load on the tv.
Think of the “couple” as a rotational force (bending moment) in the direction of the tv front axle.

How much is transferred depends on the WD adjustment. It’s not 50% (or shouldn’t be). It’s possible to “overhitch” the setup (too much load taken off tv rear axle), resulting in an unstable setup.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:07 AM   #119
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Actually this is not correct. With WD used, there’s a force-couple applied at the hitch. The end result is taking some load off the rear axle and transferring some of the load to the tv front axle and some to the trailer axles(s). Not all of your tongue weight contributes to the load on the tv.
Think of the “couple” as a rotational force (bending moment) in the direction of the tv front axle.

How much is transferred depends on the WD adjustment. It’s not 50% (or shouldn’t be). It’s possible to “overhitch” the setup (too much load taken off tv rear axle), resulting in an unstable setup.
You guys might be talking about different things? The weight on the hitch vs. the weight added to the TV. I've seen people think that since a WD hitch takes overall weight off the TV axles it also takes weight off the hitch receiver. But the hitch receiver still gets the full tongue weight. It's only how the weight is distributed between the TV and trailer axles that changes.

For example, I've seen people say "my hitch is rated to 800 lbs. max tongue weight, and my trailer's tongue weight is 1000 lbs., but that's ok because when I use the WD hitch only 700 lbs. is added to the TV. so that's below my max tongue weight", which is incorrect.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:10 AM   #120
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The WD bars attach to the hitch head. The bars reduce the weight transferred to the TV via the hitch. So the attachment of the hitch to the TV sees less force from weight. Just the ball and the hitch head see the full tongue weight.
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