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Old 11-14-2011, 07:30 AM   #1
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First test towing

We were shifting the direction of our AS so the hitch would be pointing south for winterizing and decided to take a four mile test pull. The files are large but if you click on the 'blog' link you will see all the pictures.
The truck and AS seemed to be nice and level, save for the trucks rear end being pulled down somewhat. We installed coil over shocks in the rear. I think at some point we will take the whole package to a scale weigh area and see what we are pulling. Let me see if I can get one large file here, but DO check out the blog link. and tell me what you think.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:51 AM   #2
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Yes, the trailer looks pretty level, but in the long run you won't be happy, and perhaps won't be safe towing with just a ball, and no weight distribution hitch.

I'm sure this will develop into another of "those threads", but the weight distribution hitch does a lot more than reduce the drooping of the rear of the tow vehicle. The most significant thing it does, IMHO, is return the weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle, which happens to be the primary stopping, and only steering axle of the rig.

You mention goint to the scales, and if you do, I suggest you weigh the front axle only of the truck, both without and with the trailer to see how much weight is lost with the trailer attached.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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We have a reese straight hitch in the truck bed...but have never used it...is this what you mean? I had heard that they are rough on the hitch and can actually bend the hitch but are supposed to shift the weight towards the front end of the truck.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Airbuckled View Post
We have a reese straight hitch in the truck bed...but have never used it...is this what you mean? I had heard that they are rough on the hitch and can actually bend the hitch but are supposed to shift the weight towards the front end of the truck.
Yes, the Reese is one brand of hitch. And, yes it's possible to bend the tongue of the trailer with a WD hitch, but only if the hitch is the wrong weight rating and/or if the hitch is not adjusted correctly.

If you do use the WD hitch, which I believe most users on this forum will recommend, it would be better to not use the coil over shocks with the hitch because they tend to mask the objective in adjusting the hitch.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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AB,

What Steve said....

It should be much clearer after a trip to the CAT scales, you can see in yellow @ black just how much weight needs to be transferred to the trucks steering axle.

These two weight tickets show the difference, first ticket is with no weight distribution adjustment, second WD adjusted for towing.

Bob
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:44 AM   #6
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Your truck appears to be an older regular cab 8' bed F150, and the tongue weight on your trailer is likely 500 +/- lbs... in this case, a weight distributing can improve the handling. My guess is that you'll end up w/ a lot more stuff in the back of that F150 when you start making trips - I know we do w/ our 25' Tradewind. You may find those coil overs handy anyway :-). I used RideRite air bags on our F250 to tune the suspension; this has really improved the ride.

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Old 12-21-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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AB,

What Steve said....

It should be much clearer after a trip to the CAT scales, you can see in yellow @ black just how much weight needs to be transferred to the trucks steering axle.

These two weight tickets show the difference, first ticket is with no weight distribution adjustment, second WD adjusted for towing.

Bob
Bob, new to this whole trailer thing, but how does it work at the scales? Is there a charge for the service? Are they same scales that you see along the highway that trucks have to stop at? Thanks, Michael
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:38 AM   #8
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Yes you have to pay a fee. No they are not the highway scales. The scales being discussed are located at major truck stops. For locations do an Internet search for CAT SCALES.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:04 AM   #9
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Bob, new to this whole trailer thing, but how does it work at the scales? Is there a charge for the service? Are they same scales that you see along the highway that trucks have to stop at? Thanks, Michael

Chief,

As noted above the CAT scales are located at the truck service plaza's.
Your first weight will be the primary, usually around 8 bucks, subsequent weights 2-3 $.
It's important to get a TV weight w/o trlr as a baseline. I do it with full fuel and partially loaded to approximate towing weight.

On this ticket you can see the steering axle weight that I'm trying to match.
If you compare the fully loaded "dock'n" weights,(prev post), you will see that all but 100lbs has been transferred forward.

Proper weight transfer and a LEVEL rig is the goal, CAT's are your best friend in this pursuit.

Bob
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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Thanks, guys, I have already started making up check list of things to do when I find "my" Airstream. This will be one of the first things to get done.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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Bob, new to this whole trailer thing, but how does it work at the scales? Is there a charge for the service? Are they same scales that you see along the highway that trucks have to stop at? Thanks, Michael
In some states, including Idaho and Washington, the scalehouses run by the state are left on when closed, and you can just pull through and self weigh to your hearts content. The weights are posted on a digital readout for you to see and record yourself. I use this often, just to check the weights on my axels and total weights I am hauling, as well as the weight of the tow vehicle.

Now, when the scales are "open" you might be able to use them in the same way, but with permission only. I would not do it unless it is a very quiet time, they have to get the trucks through rapidly and no one wishes to be held up.

But if you see a "closed scale" in other states, you might just want to pull through and check, they may leave them on in a lot of areas, I just don't know. I think they leave them on for the truckers to use if they think they may have picked up an over weight load or need to adjust their axle spacing based on load.
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