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Old 09-02-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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Getting Mixed Messages About Needing Weight Distribution or Not

OK here's the story. Just finishing my 56 AS. Total new weight 3600 lbs loaded, hitch weight 610 lb with water, gas, Don't run with water very often, but always have that gas. No water can reduce tong weight by 250lb.
My TV is a 2001 chev crewcab long bed dually diesel. The truck has adjustable air bags. One dealer tells me that I need a 600lb WD Hitch, another dealer tells me I need nothing but a sway bar since the truck is so heavy duty. I do have 19.5 inch tires all the way around, and the truck has been lowered 6 inches in the rear and three in the front.
When I hook up the trailer it drops the rear end about a inch, maybe but I can air it right back up.
I do expect I will be carrying about another 1500lb in the bed every now and then, but until that time comes not sure what I need if anything. A really good setup is going to run $550.00 parts only, around $650.00 installed. Dont want to spend the money if I dont need the system. I know my truck is heavy duty and I cant really think that it would need anything but a sway bar. What do you all think?
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:17 AM   #2
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Hi, maybe a light WD with built in sway control; I think a swaying trailer of about half the weight of your truck could still cause problems.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
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You are going to get yes's and no's. so be prepared to sort through it all I'm guessing you have a one ton.

I would say you need something. Airbags don't distribute weight. They just make it look level. So if you want the weight distributed back to the front you will need a WD. For sure sway control. It pays to be safe.

Andersen makes a great WD with built in sway control for under $500. You can find them online for around $400. Lots of us here are starting to use them, myself included.

It is by far the fastest setup, the lightest, and very easy to install.


Go to their web site and check it out. It may be what you are looking for.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:40 AM   #4
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Yes, It is a 3500, sorry forgot to add that part.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:44 AM   #5
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Yes, It is a 3500, sorry forgot to add that part.
Yes, your tow vehicle indeed, is super heavy duty.

That in itself, will transfer way to much road shock to the trailer, which in turn, will cause a variety of damages.

Adding the lightest load equalizing hitch, won't help that very much.

BUT that hitch adds a great degree of safety when towing an Airstream, since the trailer does not offer much air resistance.

Safety, IS something that should never be kicked to the curb, ever.

Now if you wish to use a ten wheeler for a tow vehicle, then you can forget the need for a load equalizing hitch, but carry plenty of tools, as you will need them to repair damages, as you go.

Andy
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the response. I figured a system was needed,and have always had one on my other Airstream and other trailers that I have had, but when it came to having this one ton truck, just seemed that the only thing that would be needed was sway. Now the question is what do I need for bar weight. When on the avarage I will only have 380lb or so of tong weight and not really sure what I will have for additional weight in the bed behind the axle. Then once I get my boat rack built into the bed of my truck there will be an additional 1500 lb in the bed, with around 350lb of that weight behind the axle. But for now it will just be the trailer and the extra small stuff in the bed. If I buy to large of weight bars they wont work correctly, but the same can be said if I dont buy big enought?
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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You don't need a WD hitch but it will be safer if you use one. As purman said the Anderson hitch would be a good choice for your rig, you can add a small amount of WD to too much WD with the adjustments available and unlike other hitches you wont lose the sway control by not having much WD.

http://www.andersenhitches.com/Catal...ion-hitch.aspx
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Not to muddy the water. But an Airsafe hitch will greatly reduce the road shock to the trailer of a stiff tv. I have a Airsafe class V and am really gald I have it with my F250.
With the Airsafe Class V you can bolt on a WD hitch which I also have.. PS also have a sway bar.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:14 AM   #9
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IMO: if youve got a 1 ton dually, you dont need it. I would however, get the sway bar. The whole point of the weight distributing hitch is to... well... distribute the weight! And since youve got those fansy pantsy airbags, theyres no problem there. The only thing you will encounter is the sway when you get some cross wind.

I towed my 31 footer 7 hours with no WD hitch or sway control and didnt have a dually... A bit hairy but I made it. I plan on just getting the sway control bar since my truck only sags 1 1/4" when hooked up
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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IMO:
.................................
The whole point of the weight distributing hitch is to... well... distribute the weight! And since youve got those fansy pantsy airbags, theyres no problem there.
.................................................. .
I would like to make a comment on this one statement. It is not crucial in this situation, but it is best to clear up the concept.

Rear suspension air bags do not distribute weight. They merely raise the back of the truck, and give the appearance of everything is OK. No weight whatsoever is restored to the front axle. In order to distribute weight there must be some upward force acting on the truck behind the rear axle. This force, with the rear axle acting as the fulcrum, will try to force the front axle downward, in effect transferring apparent weight to the front axle.

Ken
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by w7ts

I would like to make a comment on this one statement. It is not crucial in this situation, but it is best to clear up the concept.

Rear suspension air bags do not distribute weight. They merely raise the back of the truck, and give the appearance of everything is OK. No weight whatsoever is restored to the front axle. In order to distribute weight there must be some upward force acting on the truck behind the rear axle. This force, with the rear axle acting as the fulcrum, will try to force the front axle downward, in effect transferring apparent weight to the front axle.

Ken
Your right Ken. I also stated this in the second post. There nice to keep the ride level but you need to take the air out when you set up a WD with them. If you want to put air in after that is fine. My sequoia rides better with them
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #12
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Yes but do you really need to distribute the weight on a truck that weighs close to 6000 lbs pulling a trailer that weighs 3600 lbs? If the truck only sags an inch when hooked up, then theres not much load to distribute to the front axle.

My scenario is my trailer weighs about 4600 empty. My truck weighs about 4800. Which means my truck and trailer weigh almost the same lol. His trailer weighs about half of his truck
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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I would think a swaying 3600# trailer would be a handful for this truck. Why take the chance. Put a weight distribution hitch with sway control on it.

Andersen makes a new weight distribution hitch that will give you sway control even without the weight distribution chains hooked up, easy to use and inexpensive.

doug k
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #14
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Yes but do you really need to distribute the weight on a truck that weighs close to 6000 lbs pulling a trailer that weighs 3600 lbs? If the truck only sags an inch when hooked up, then theres not much load to distribute to the front axle.

My scenario is my trailer weighs about 4600 empty. My truck weighs about 4800. Which means my truck and trailer weigh almost the same lol. His trailer weighs about half of his truck
We are really dealing with "what does need mean". Yes he can probably tow with just a hitch and ball forever and not have anything adverse happen, as long as he drives prudently and nothing beyond his control necessitates drastic response. However, in my opinion, he will be more comfortable and safe with sway contol and a small amount of weight distribution.

Ken
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