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Old 05-19-2018, 09:58 PM   #1
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Another "How Do These Numbers Look?" WD Hitch Thread

First time using a WD Hitch, so I'm looking for some opinions on the CAT scale numbers I got today.

Unfortunately it was raining today so I did not unhitch the trailer on the scale to get the actual gross or tongue weight. For now I'm assuming the Airstream specs are close enough until I have a chance to get over to the scales again.

TV is a Toyota Tacoma:
GVWR: 5600, Gross Weight of truck 4440
GCWR: 11360, Combined Gross weight with trailer 9000

TT is a Flying Cloud 20FB
GVWR: 5000, did not get actual weight, but 4271 according to specs

Hitch is a Reese 800 lb Round Bar WD Hitch with Dual-Cam Sway Control

CAT SCALE RESULTS:

FRONT:
GAWR: 2910
No Trailer: 2520
W/ Traile: 2560

REAR:
GAWR: 3280
No Trailer: 1920
W/ Trailer: 2360

TRAILER:
GAWR: 4080

Using the Airstream trailer specs, my understanding is that the distribution of the Tongue Weight is now: Front - 40 lbs, Rear - 440 lbs, Trailer - 150
Is this correct?

My first reaction seeing the results was not enough weight is being distributed to the front, but I'm not sure.

Toyota manual states "If using a weight distribution hitch when towing, return the front axle to the same weight as before the trailer connection." The Reese manual basically says the front and rear should settle equally. Within 1/2" of each other is OK as long as the rear settles more. This is exactly what my setup is doing. Rear settles 3/4", front settles a bit more than 1/4". The Airstream owner manual calls for 1/3 of the tongue weight to be evenly distributed between the three axles.

So, of the three guidelines the Airstream is the only one calling for that much tongue weight to go to the front. Reason I'm not sure about doing that is it seems like a pickup is designed to have the majority of any load it carries be added to the rear axle.

The load capacity (not sure if that's the right term) of rear axle is 1320 lbs, while the load capacity of the front axle is only 390 lbs.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:40 PM   #2
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Yet Another "How Does This Look?" WD Hitch Thread

Tiny load here on your TV given your gross axle weight ratings. You are + 40lbs on the front axle from unloaded weight. Your are more than 1000lbs under your rear gawr.

That’s nothing. You are good to go - don’t sweat it
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:02 PM   #3
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wulfraat is right. If anything you have too much weight to the front. The Airstream tongue weight is for an empty trailer and at that may be optimistic. In order to know how the tongue weight is distributed, you have to know what the tongue weight is. The only way to get that while weighing is to take three weights.
1 - Two numbers: TV only Front (Steer) axle and rear (drive) axle with WD hitch and bars on the TV
2 - Three numbers: TV+TT Front, rear, and trailer axles without weight distribution engaged
3 - Three numbers: TV+TT Front, rear, and trailer axles with weight distribution engaged

Now you can add TV front and rear from weighing 1 and subtract that from TV front and rear from weighing 2. That will tell you the tongue weight. Personally I go a step further and say that the "effective" tongue weight is the difference between the TV axle weights from weighing 3 and weighing 1.


The differences in the axle weights from weighing 2 and 3 will show you how the weight is being distributed. Weighing 2 is critical for heavier trailers but your trailer is so light that it isn't really necessary, at least in my opinion.


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Old 05-20-2018, 12:48 AM   #4
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Toyota has really big axle ratings relative to actual vehicle weight. Tough trucks--and a real emphasis on durability from the maker.

I just switched from Toyota to Ford. "By the numbers" for GVWR the ford is rated much higher for payload... but by the axle ratings the (older, smaller) Toyota had almost 500# more capacity. Toyota is all about QDR and they do it well.

Top Gear tried to kill a Toyota in a famous string of episodes. It's worth watching. Here's the first of three parts... and part III involves quite a lot of explosives and is unsuccessful in killing the Toyota!

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Old 05-20-2018, 07:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
wulfraat is right. If anything you have too much weight to the front. The Airstream tongue weight is for an empty trailer and at that may be optimistic.

Thanks to everyone for the info! When I bought the trailer it came with the Reese WD hitch and sway control. The round bars were for 600 lb. max tongue weight. I'm not very experienced at towing so I could be wrong, but to me those bars felt too light. Felt like there was too much rocking up and down. So I bought new bars rated 400-800 lbs figuring my 600 lb tongue weight sat right in the middle.


It does feel much more stable now, the springy up and down is gone but does not feel harsh. But, I think you are right and it is putting too much weight up front, so I will back it off one link on the WD chains and see how that feels.


All, once I get everything where it "feels" good I'll take another trip to the scales and get all the weights you described. Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:09 AM   #6
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Yet Another "How Does This Look?" WD Hitch Thread

See you are a pro now! Feel is very important. Try it out with slightly less WD applied and see how you like it. I would personally drive your setup as is if that is the best feel with regards to steering...., true you are 40 pounds more to your front axle but it’s only 40 pounds and you have good weight on the rear tires.

200lbs over on the front would be another story
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:09 AM   #7
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A simple way to look at it is:

A WDH restores the scaled weight value of the TV Steer Axle to the unhitched number.

That’s the starting point. It may be best, or more & less spring bar tension need also to be tested for best result.

Be sure to adjust TV tire pressure to the new condition.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:15 PM   #8
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Yet Another "How Does This Look?" WD Hitch Thread

Now you guys understand why I’m going to powered WD jacks so I can adjust on the road easily? I can easily feel front end instability when I don’t have enough WD cranked in...

And with a light truck instability anywhere is just waiting to bite you...

That why tire pressure in the AS and TV gets checked and adjusted before heading out every day.

The whole setup is a “complete system” and needs to be thought of as such.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
A simple way to look at it is:

A WDH restores the scaled weight value of the TV Steer Axle to the unhitched number.

That’s the starting point. It may be best, or more & less spring bar tension need also to be tested for best result.

Be sure to adjust TV tire pressure to the new condition.
That was the impression I was getting from two of the three sources of info I was using. The Toyota owners manual and the Reese hitch manual. Only one that caused confusion was the Airstream owners manual that said to transfer 33% of the tongue weight to the front axle.


Just got back from a weekend trip with the trailer. Towed from Southern RI to Ascutney Mt. in Vermont. Everything felt good. I like the new spring bars better.Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:23 PM   #10
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You are likely transferring WAY more than 40 lb of tongue weight with your WD hitch. If you'd taken the 3rd standard measurement (trailer on the hitch but no WD set) you'd likely have found your front axle was well below the weight you measure without the trailer. In my case, with the trailer on the hitch and no WD set, the steer axle is 400 lb lighter than the truck alone. Having the WD set brings me within 20 lb of the no-trailer value, but I wouldn't worry about being +40 on the front axle since you're adding a great deal of weight to the rear axle and your'e within about 1.5% of the initial weight on your steer axle. If the on-road manners are good, that's probably a decent setup.

People make more of a difference than that on their steer-axle weights on a pickup by hanging a brushguard or a bike rack on the front.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:43 PM   #11
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Noted the comment on “on-road manners” is a good way to point out the need to get enough WD to get the front axle back to unhitched weight or slightly more. If the front axle is significantly light, the steering will be sloppy or unsure felling, and the front end will feel like it is bouncing up and down excessively. I have referred to this as “porpoising”. My DW is the quickest indicator, as she gets carsick if we are not ‘planted and stable’ on the front end. The TV steering should feel just as positive as the unhitched condition. This is critical to maintaining control of the rig in emergency maneuvers, for one, and windy conditions as well.

I think it is the most important measurement that is being discussed...
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:44 AM   #12
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Confused....🙃

How does the GAWR change?

Bob
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Ours has stayed the same since 2006.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
How does the GAWR change?

Bob
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Ours has stayed the same since 2006.
I'm with you on this, Bob. I've never seen those numbers change themselves on any vehicle we've had.


As for the OP tweaking and adjusting, I think if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I can't count how many times somebody wanted to get something just a little better, and ended up creating more problems than he solved. And I include me in that group...
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:38 AM   #14
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I'm with you on this, Bob. I've never seen those numbers change themselves on any vehicle we've had.


As for the OP tweaking and adjusting, I think if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I can't count how many times somebody wanted to get something just a little better, and ended up creating more problems than he solved. And I include me in that group...
Or as the say on the ASF's...."if it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is"

Bob
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