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Old 09-24-2014, 12:09 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by southsaglejim View Post
I recently went over the scales to weigh all three axles on my F250 6 liter diesel pulling the 32 ft Excella. With a weight bearing hitch setup and not an equalizer setup my front axle was 4450, rear axle was 4750 and the trailer axle was 6350 with luggage and some camp gear. My total wt of 15,550 was well under my max capacity of 21,000 and the truck axle wts were also within maximums. After that weighing I have now put on the equalizer hitch so I am interested in how the distribution might be different.
I went over the CAT scales on our way to Oregon three weeks ago. The 2013 Dodge RAM 1500 Hemi 5.7 had 7/8 tank of fuel and a light load under the bed cap. The 2014 23D was reasonably packed for 2 weeks and 1/8 tank of water.

The RAM was 3340 in front, 3560 rear and 5120 over the trailer axles. That's 28%, 30% and 42%. I'm using a Huskey WD System with 800 pound bars. The tongue weight before we left was 780.

I noticed that southsaglejim weight distribution was 28.5%, 30.5% and 41%. That is very similar to mine.

Rod Dixon's were closer to 22%, 30% and 48%.

The Airstream owner's manual suggests that the proper installation should be 33%, 33% and 34%......maybe with a Bambi.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:13 AM   #142
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I have not got the official report from RVSF, they mail it to me. This report was given to me as a print out while being weighted. This was the first trip with this truck, hitch and trailer combo. Will have to work with adjustment.
Trailer is within bubble on a 2' level placed on the floor inside door of trailer
when hooked up. I am going to do more measuring when on level ground with truck and trailer. Where I park trailer, the trailer is level but when I back up to hitch the truck nose is slightly down hill. Would like input from others with more knowledge about this hitch and set up.
Thanks Rod Dixon
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
The RAM was 3340 in front, 3560 rear and 5120 over the trailer axles. That's 28%, 30% and 42%. I'm using a Huskey WD System with 800 pound bars. The tongue weight before we left was 780.

I noticed that southsaglejim weight distribution was 28.5%, 30.5% and 41%. That is very similar to mine.

Rod Dixon's were closer to 22%, 30% and 48%.

The Airstream owner's manual suggests that the proper installation should be 33%, 33% and 34%......maybe with a Bambi.
Your percentages -- 28%, 30%, 42% -- are for your distribution of gross combination weight.

I believe the numbers which you found in the Airstream's owner's manual are for the distribution of tongue weight.

There is no reason to expect the distribution based on GCW will be similar to Airstream's distribution based on TW.
And, there's no reason to expect the distribution based on GCW will be similar for different TV/TT combinations.
For many combinations, the load on the TT's axles will be more than 50% of the GCW.

Ron
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:17 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Dixon View Post
I have not got the official report from RVSF, they mail it to me. This report was given to me as a print out while being weighted. This was the first trip with this truck, hitch and trailer combo. Will have to work with adjustment.
Trailer is within bubble on a 2' level placed on the floor inside door of trailer
when hooked up. I am going to do more measuring when on level ground with truck and trailer. Where I park trailer, the trailer is level but when I back up to hitch the truck nose is slightly down hill. Would like input from others with more knowledge about this hitch and set up.
Rod, the scales numbers in your previous post indicate there was little or no load distribution.
Using assumed dimensions for your TV/TT, the axle loads indicated a tongue weight of 846# with 21# being transferred to the TT's axles.
It appears the TT was "nose down" when weighed because the front axle load was 3900# and the rear was 3050#. This would cause the indicated TW to be less than actual.

For your 2004 2500HD, Chevrolet specifies that the front end height, when hitched with WD applied, should be the same as when unhitched.
That implies that the front axle loads should be about the same before and after.

Please note that Chevrolet's WDH-adjustment specification would give a distribution of tongue weight of approximately 0% on the front axle, 80% on the rear axle, and 20% on the TT axles -- significantly different from the values of 33%/33%/34% attributed to an Airstream Owners's Manual.

Ron
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:24 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Gratz View Post
Your percentages -- 28%, 30%, 42% -- are for your distribution of gross combination weight.

I believe the numbers which you found in the Airstream's owner's manual are for the distribution of tongue weight.

There is no reason to expect the distribution based on GCW will be similar to Airstream's distribution based on TW.
And, there's no reason to expect the distribution based on GCW will be similar for different TV/TT combinations.
For many combinations, the load on the TT's axles will be more than 50% of the GCW.

Ron
Ron
Thanks for pointing that out. I'm not sure how Airstream expects new owners to determine tongue weight distribution. Most will probably do what I did, have a loaded-for-camping CAT scale one-time weighing done and stare at it for a while. For us, everything looked to be within RAM and Airstream specs The results showed the TV's front and rear axles to be very close, 220 more on the rear.

My method for creating a satisfying towing experience with my 2013 RAM 1500 and 2014 23D was to:

1. Ditch the 1200 pound WD bars installed by the A/S dealer.
2. Install the 800 pound bars left over from my 19' Bambi.
3. Replace the 14 inch wheels with 15s. Beside opening up an opportunity for
better tires, the resulting higher ground clearance made the setup more
"tunable"
4. Buy a Sherline tongue scale and load to achieve a weight close to AS
specs (720).
5. install Airlift 1000 coil spring air bags in TV and run at 20psi (of 35psi
max).
6. Adjust the WD system until the trailer (loaded) was level, TV (loaded)
front and rear were level, and the steering "PUSH" was eliminated.

At some point I'll probably make the 100 mile round trip to the CAT scale for a more in depth weighing session.

I certainly appreciate all of the help given in the AirForums.

A/S dealers and A/S factory tech support in setup matters is frighteningly inadequate.

Most new owners hook up and hope for the best. Many of them bought into Airstream's contention that an Airstream trailer should be towable by a 1/2 ton truck or suv......a TV segment that needs a lot more setup attention than a heavier 3/4 ton in most instances.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:40 PM   #146
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I ordered and received the Sherline shortly after my prior post, but my A/S was down in Gulfport for some warranty work (cracked FW tank), so I didn't get to try it out. Results of today's weigh in showed 900# tongue weight, with the TT dead level front to back (per the stick-on bubble levels, anyway). All tanks are empty, one propane tank full, the other at 1/2. The manufacture weight sticker says it weighed 6509 at the factory, and the literature for a 2014 27FB Classic Limited says the base weight (w/ LP, w/o water or cargo) should be 6672 and "hitch weight" (also w/ LP and w/o water or cargo) should be 792.

At 900# "dry weight" I guess I need to watch what/where we pack. We don't bring all that much, as a two-week vacation is the extent of all trips, and I don't see us exceeding the 2491 lbs of allowable cargo/fluids per weight sticker (9000#GVW).

We're heading out for a trip next month, and I will weigh her again when she is loaded with clothes, food, gear and around 25% filled FW tank. I also want to hit some CAT scales on our trip to get some axle weights for both TV and TT. Anything else I should be watching or aware of?

PS - dumb newbie off-subject question: I'd like to check the torque on A/S lug nuts, but they have aluminum snap caps over them. Is there a trick to popping them off so I can put a socket on them without breaking/bending them?
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:37 PM   #147
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adiredneck, just put the socket right on those capped lug nuts, no way to snap the covers off. The caps will probably get a little loose on the lug nuts so it looks like the whole thing is loose. Crappy product.

Many of us replaced them with chrome plated lug nuts, an inexpensive upgrade.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:45 AM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Gratz View Post
Rod, the scales numbers in your previous post indicate there was little or no load distribution.
Using assumed dimensions for your TV/TT, the axle loads indicated a tongue weight of 846# with 21# being transferred to the TT's axles.
It appears the TT was "nose down" when weighed because the front axle load was 3900# and the rear was 3050#. This would cause the indicated TW to be less than actual.

For your 2004 2500HD, Chevrolet specifies that the front end height, when hitched with WD applied, should be the same as when unhitched.
That implies that the front axle loads should be about the same before and after.

Please note that Chevrolet's WDH-adjustment specification would give a distribution of tongue weight of approximately 0% on the front axle, 80% on the rear axle, and 20% on the TT axles -- significantly different from the values of 33%/33%/34% attributed to an Airstream Owners's Manual.

Ron
Ron,

I have 3/4 fuel in truck, propane full and almost half full fresh water.
Dealer installed a 10,000lb hitch with 1000lb spring bars. Had to install on
my Sportchassis Freightliner to hall trailer home as I traded in a 5th. wheel. This was first time I had used the Chevy. What adjustment do I need to do to the hitch for use on the Chevy. Should I add more washers,
raise ball, ect. Have never adjusted a W/D hitch before. Help. Would like to
get it right when adjustments are made. Please make suggestions on form
or send me a PM.
Thanks Rod
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:05 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Dixon View Post
---What adjustment do I need to do to the hitch for use on the Chevy. Should I add more washers,
raise ball, ect. Have never adjusted a W/D hitch before. Help. Would like to
get it right when adjustments are made. Please make suggestions on form
or send me a PM.
Rod, since Chevrolet specifies 100% restoration of front-axle load for your 2004 Silverado -- that would be my recommendation as well.

What type of WDH are you using. In general, to achieve more load restoration, you can increase the rearward tilt of the hitch head and/or decrease the number of lift-chain links under tension or raise the L-brackets (if using an Equal-i-zer brand WDH).
We can provide more suggestions if the type/brand of WDH is known.

You should move the hitch head up or down to keep the trailer parallel with the pavement.

Measuring the height of the front wheelwell opening relative to the pavement and keeping the height the same before hitching and after hitching with WD applied can speed up the process of WDH adjustment.
When you think you have it right, a trip to the scales will tell you if you've met your load transfer objective and also tell you how your loaded weights compare with ratings.

Ron
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:26 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Gratz View Post
Rod, since Chevrolet specifies 100% restoration of front-axle load for your 2004 Silverado -- that would be my recommendation as well.

What type of WDH are you using. In general, to achieve more load restoration, you can increase the rearward tilt of the hitch head and/or decrease the number of lift-chain links under tension or raise the L-brackets (if using an Equal-i-zer brand WDH).
We can provide more suggestions if the type/brand of WDH is known.

You should move the hitch head up or down to keep the trailer parallel with the pavement.

Measuring the height of the front wheelwell opening relative to the pavement and keeping the height the same before hitching and after hitching with WD applied can speed up the process of WDH adjustment.
When you think you have it right, a trip to the scales will tell you if you've met your load transfer objective and also tell you how your loaded weights compare with ratings.

Ron
Ron, I am using the Equai-l-zer with L brackets. Will work on adjustments and then post results. Have to go about 30 miles to get to scales. Thanks for the input.
Rod
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:56 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Dixon View Post
Ron, I am using the Equai-l-zer with L brackets. Will work on adjustments and then post results. Have to go about 30 miles to get to scales. Thanks for the input.
Rod, if you don't have the setup instructions for the Equal-i-zer, you can find the current version here.
Please note they specify that you should eliminate between 50% and 100% of the front-end rise.

Since Chevrolet says to eliminate 100% of the rise for your TV, I would shoot for that -- just ensure the front end is not heavier when hitched with WD applied versus when unhitched.

If your front suspension has the rubber "bumpers" which limit downward suspension travel, it is important that the front end is not dropped below the unhitched height.

Ron
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:48 AM   #152
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I ordered these replacement lug nuts directly from McGard along with a locking nut for each wheel.

McGard 24138 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks and McGard 64010 Chrome Bulge Cone Seat Style Lug Nuts (1/2" - 20 Thread Size)

phone 800-444-5847
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #153
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I ordered these replacement lug nuts directly from McGard along with a locking nut for each wheel.

McGard 24138 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks and McGard 64010 Chrome Bulge Cone Seat Style Lug Nuts (1/2" - 20 Thread Size)

phone 800-444-5847
Thanks switz. I noticed my fake caps are cracking. Would just rather replace them with something solid.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:27 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
I ordered these replacement lug nuts directly from McGard along with a locking nut for each wheel.

McGard 24138 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks and McGard 64010 Chrome Bulge Cone Seat Style Lug Nuts (1/2" - 20 Thread Size)

phone 800-444-5847

Thanks, Switz. It felt like the caps were starting to strip and spin on the lug when I put the socket and torque wrench on them - impossible to get a true reading. I'll get a set of these to replace them.

Tim
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