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Old 11-22-2006, 07:41 AM   #1
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If you've weighed your TV and trailer...

...and your TV separately (and you use a WD hitch) I'd like to know how you've distributed your load. In other words, after using the WD hitch to level your rig what change did you find in the weight of your front axle, rear axle and trailer axle(s)?

thanks,
leo
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:01 AM   #2
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Didn't weigh after getting the weight distribution hitch with the sway bar, but I did notice the trailer pulled with more stability and less sway. Someone on here with more technical knowledge can probably give you a better answer. I just took the trailer to a truck scale and weighed it to find the proper tow vehicle to pair it with.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:00 AM   #3
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hi leo

lots of info already posted on this topic, that's the beauty of the search feature....

also note waaaaaay down at the bottom of the page other threads linked to your topic...

but i find searching key terms more useful...4 some reason television threads are showing up...lol

my numbers are here...you can read what happend to each axle...

and i have updated data to add soon....

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ght=cat+scales

and many others have posted their data too...

i don't agree that 'leveling the rig' is ideal...

yes IF not weighing it gets ya close....i know the hitch manual uses this approach...

but as nick has already noted spring rates are different front/rear and especially us diesel drivers...

the goal really is to restore mass to the steering axle, while not reducing the drive axle below proper traction...

you are driving a fwd thing, which makes this even more important as the steering and drive both originate there

some even front load their setups, since many vehicles are front bias originally...

also we want a level trailer, especially if multi axle.

a greater drop at the rear of the tv isn't wrong IF the weights are right...

but some will argue this point, and have.

many who get the tv 'perfectly level' would be surprised to learn they have reduced drive axle mass too much...

going to a scale allows more precise analysis of the distribution....

some don't think the precision matters, and close is good enough, while others (me) are more compulsive on this issue...

another benefit to scales is that 4 a dollar or so one can repeat the measurements with a variety of combos,

as in each chain link or moving stuff in tv or trailer or even different spring bars...

this info can be used at any time in the future to adjust your set up as needed.

plus one can unhitch and get a real tongue weight and trailer weight...priceless.

another useful thread that has scale values is toasty's dad report here...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ii-21000.html?

i'm really happy you are going to scale the set up and report back...

you might consider keeping all the info on your setup and the process in one thread...

so we can follow along better...it would be great IF this data was in your first hihy thread for others who may try that vehicle for towing

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
lots of info already posted on this topic, that's the beauty of the search feature....
D'oh! Only if you're smart enough to come up with 'scale' as a search term....weigh, weight, and tow all came up with WAY too much chaff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
my numbers are here...you can read what happend to each axle...and i have updated data to add soon....
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i don't agree that 'leveling the rig' is ideal...
Very interesting...it never occurred to me that there could be so many answers to the question of 'How do you maximize safety and drivability?'

Level the frame? Level the TV load? Distribute the load as close to 33/33/33 as you can? Set the TV's non-drive axle load to 0 and let the rest sit on the drive axle? And now I'm sure there must be other opinions out there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i'm really happy you are going to scale the set up and report back...it would be great IF this data was in your first hihy thread for others who may try that vehicle for towing
Sounds good...and thanks again,
leo
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
Very interesting...it never occurred to me that there could be so many answers to the question of 'How do you maximize safety and drivability?'
Level the frame? Level the TV load? Distribute the load as close to 33/33/33 as you can? Set the TV's non-drive axle load to 0 and let the rest sit on the drive axle? And now I'm sure there must be other opinions out there.,
leo

hi leo

i don't understand the "set..to 0 and let the rest...." comment.

is that humor, sarcasm, a question or a recommendation? please elaborate...

proving what provides 'safety' isn't easy, and 'drivability' is subjective.

if you read inland andy's notes in the 'cat scale' thread he suggests my load distribution with nearly identical values for steering and drive axle is ideal and backed by years of insurance safety data...

so lets call that a really 'safe' set up, ok?

my truck was still 1/2- 3/4 inch lower in the rear relative to the front....

so for many trucks getting back to level isn't practical or involves further unloading the drive axle and stiffening the a/s ride...

and the weight data indicate i transferred zero to the trailer axles...

while the trailer was infact level...

so a level trailer often comes from proper drop bar selection...

some tune for level looking and others for even loading and

still others opt for tweaks that improve comfort or steering and are unique to a specific vehicle...

i was only using 1000lb w/d bars and many others with the exact same rig use 1400lb bars....

porky pig here likes to increase his steering axle load above the drive axle....as the truck springs are metered for that distribution...

perhaps he has less understeer than my set up...and may/may not be safer...

certainly no less safe...

you've yet to comment on tire pressures f/r, axle capacities, load transfers during braking or

the dozen other factors that impact safety and driveability...

so yes there is more than one approach to load distribution and w/d adjustments...

the scales provide data only...but useful data...

toasty's dad has much the same trailer mass as you...

but way more margin on his towing set up...

we will get to that with the hihy

read his thread, the numbers are useful.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i don't understand the "set..to 0 and let the rest...." comment. is that humor, sarcasm, a question or a recommendation? please elaborate...
Just an observation/postulate

you had mentioned that the goal really is to restore mass to the steering axle...some even front load their setups, since many vehicles are front bias originally...and a greater drop at the rear of the tv isn't wrong IF the weights are right...

nickcrowhurst (in another thread) wrote that "it was essential to bring the front end back down to its original position, or lower" but that "I do not believe the height of the rear axle is important in this case. Put simply, rear ends of cars are designed to cope with going down under load."

And I asked the 'If you've weighed your TV and trailer...' question on rv.net and one of the replies showed their weight distribution set to bring the front axle back to its unloaded weight and most of the weight still on the rear axle. They are using a Haha hitch...I don't know if it's non-sway properties affect the issue.

I don't think you (or nickcrowhurst or I) think it is the best solution, but it definately seems to be within the towing safety zone....and at least one person thinks it is the solution for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
toasty's dad has much the same trailer mass as you...
I replied back in the HiHy thread as per your previous suggestion
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:05 PM   #7
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Max. weight

If there is only one thing that all can agree upon, it is never advisable to take any mechanical device to its limits! With that said, you can throw all the numbers, equations, divisions and additions around that you want but only experience is the true denominator! Moving weight off the tongue is not a solution but an accident to happen plus the damaging effect to your trailer that WILL occur over time. I am happy along with all the other forum readers that you had a great trip. NY to PA is fairly flat compared to what you will encounter out west and in the upper reaches of New England. Moving your load forward is one thing, stopping it is altogether another issue that I have not seen mentioned. You are way under braked with your Highlander for the load you are towing. In addition, you mention loading up your TV. Anything, I repeat, ANYTHING loaded into your TV must be added to the total of the towing weight, including the driver, all passengers and other contents.

I wish you all the happiness with your travels and I wish you a safe trip at all times, but your numbers don't add up.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
Set the TV's non-drive axle load to 0 and let the rest sit on the drive axle?
I started a similar thread on rv.net that asked for experiences with WD load distribution...and somewhat surprisingly, I found that this IS the answer for some people.

It turns out that some GM pickups and SUVs have yellow rubber bumper stops on their front suspension to prevent the front of the frame from dropping...and you don't want to compress the stops. So if you use WD with one of these vehicles you end up playing 'The Price is Right' with your WD tension - how close can you get to the trailer load on your front end without going over.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:04 AM   #9
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I don't follow your "advice".....

it would be near impossible to put so much load on the front suspension to compress it to the bumperstops.... I'm not sure who told you this, but I'd stop to think about that..... I know there was a W/D add from the 70's that shows an old 70's FWD car with the rear wheels off, the TV level, connected to a trailer (maybe a Tornino - can't remember it). That's not what you want!

I think what you are saying by "weight set to zero" is that the orginal amount of weight (not connectted to the trailer) on the steering wheels is put back on to them with the trailer connected, is this correct?

I think you'd be better off figuring out your unloaded weight distribution front/rear of your Highlander in PERCENTAGE, and then shoot for a distribution of towed weight in percentage from there.

I know Inland Andy has "weighed in" on this subject, and I think he mentioned a 10-15% difference in distribution in weight front to rear before.

I know I weighed my van/trailer combo before, but I don't have the exact numbers in front of me.

from the top of my head (1 ton Dodge Van, 26ft Argosy roughly 5300 pounds)
Van by itself 5500 pounds, assuming a 600 pound tongue weight...
Van axle front with trailer 2700 pounds Van rear 3300 pounds rear, trailer wheels 4800 pounds. As I said, I don't have the numbers memorized, but this is what I think I remember. All I know is it works for me!

HOWEVER - if your trailer tracks true now with your setup without much sway.... why worry about it? I'd weigh it to figure out where you are, and you could tweak it a bit, but the acid test is if it's a comfortable setup.
Take care!
Marc
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:30 AM   #10
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THe instructions that came with my Reece hitch says to measure the front and rear wheel well to ground heights.

Load the trailer pull up the WD chains and see if the wheel well heights decreased the same say the front drops 1/2" and the rear drops 1" try and get those drops as close to same as you can.

In this example perhaps 3/4" front and rear.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:51 AM   #11
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It turns out that some GM pickups and SUVs have yellow rubber bumper stops on their front suspension to prevent the front of the frame from dropping...and you don't want to compress the stops. So if you use WD with one of these vehicles you end up playing 'The Price is Right' with your WD tension - how close can you get to the trailer load on your front end without going over.[/quote]

Just for clarification , That yellow rubber thing is called a jounce by GM . Even in the unloaded condition it is constantly in contact with the A frame , it is part of the suspension system . It is not your typical rubber bumper stop that will limit the downward compression of the front end. GM has torsion bars instead of springs and they are what will be affected by redistributing the load with a WD hitch .
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
If you've weighed your TV and trailer separately (and you use a WD hitch) I'd like to know how you've distributed your load.
Today I finally made it out to a scale. My answers were:

FA....RA....TV....TA...trailer total
2520 2140 4660 3080 3480 8140 separate
2560 2380 4940 3200................hooked up w/WD
...40...240..........120

I was surprised. The 'level' answer for the HiHy is indeed to distribute most of the tongue weight to the rear axles - only 40lbs on the front axle with 240lbs on the rear axle (and 120 lbs on the trailer axle).
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:04 PM   #13
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Not sure what you are towing with but in all cases you want about a 60/40 ratio between the increase weight on the rear axle and front axle of the tow vehicle. Try and pull up another link on your chains or tilting the head back a bit to put a little more weight on the front axle to reduce the sway effect while towing.

If a scale is not close by, while hooked up and on a flat surface, measure the wheel well heights of the tow vehicle and then adjust the chains or head and recheck. Again for field purposes if the rear comes down 1/2 in the front should come down about 3/8.

Once you have the ratio you are happy, and again straight and level, go back and make sure the WD arms are setting centere in the saddles. If not, while hooked up, loosen the U bolts that hold the WD bars and with a hammer tap the U bolt plates until the bars are centered in the saddles. The U bolts should be tightened to 75 ft. lbs.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:28 PM   #14
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Weights

I just returned from the scales. I was a bit rushed and may not have received enough data but here is what I have

Avalanche 1500 6240 W/3/4 tank of gas and almost ho load
31' 1977 Sovereign full water tank empty holding tanks and mostly unloaded not more than100lb of misc.

Trailer gross as weighed. 6520
Tongue 610
5700 Trailer axles while connected
to the tow vehicle I think with the tow bars on? The trailer was not level (about 2" high in the front) I think because the truck did not have any load and made the truck higher which makes the tongue weight greater. This accounts for the difference if you do the math from the #s above. The rig was fairly level when we where loaded and the hitch was installed.
Truck only with the trailer connected 6220

I have a Reese strait-line Dual cam hitch with 600# bars

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