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Old 03-10-2005, 03:55 PM   #15
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Putnam , Connecticut
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Question. Does the WD hitch move just the weight on the hitch or also the weight in the bed?
If the latter does this need to be considered in the size (lbs) bars one uses?
Since the WD hitch moves weight to the trailer axel as well, does it move some of the bed weight there as well.?

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Old 03-10-2005, 05:31 PM   #16
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A proper rated, properly installed load equalizing hitch, not only moves tongue weight, but it also moves trunk or bed weight.

Of the weight that is at the ball (tongue weight plus trunk weight), 60 percent goes to the tow vehicle and 40 percent goes to the trailer axle or axles.

That is why, as an example, when we used big cars as tow vehicles, we could have a very stable rig, when traveling, and a very unstable car, when not towing.

We I traveled the country with a 31 foot Airstream trailer, for Caravanner Insurance, I used a Buick Electra as a tow vehicle. The car was equipped with air shocks and air bags, with gauges for each on the dash.

The car by itself, with all the "stuff" I had to carry, was not very stable. Using both the air shocks and air bags allowed me to at least keep the car level.

When I attached the trailer, the air shocks went to the minimum 20 psi pressure and the air bags went to (if I remember correctly) 10 psi. The car also carried 65 gallons of fuel, plus tools etc.

Using a Reese 1000 pound full sway control hitch, allowed me to tow with two fingers on the steering wheel. I had absolute complete total control of the rig. When I had 65 gallons of fuel on board the car, I did have to use some air in the air shocks, but as I burned off the fuel, I would progressively drop that air pressure. Starting out, fully loaded, my torsion bars had a two inch bend in them. I had stability, big time.

But when I was using the car by itself, wow, another story. It was not very stable. Many times I had to travel to pick up one of our insureds trailer and take it to a dealer that could properly repair it. That's when the 65 gallons of fuel really paid off. I could go over 1000 miles, without the trailer, before I had to refuel.

Using a tow vehicle that has fixed overload springs may make the tow vehicle more stable, but it interferes with the load equalizing hitches ability, to do it's intended job.

Once again, opinions are opinions. But weight measurements made with specific criteria, are facts. These facts are also supported by the simple laws of physics.

It does not accomplish anything, by discussing these facts, "unless and until" someone had their five weights measured at a truck scale. Those weight readings will tell a person everything you want or need to know about load equaling hitches and how they work.

Those 5 weight readings are:

1. The tow vehicle front axle weight, without the trailer.
2. The tow vehilce rear axle weight, without the trailer.
3. The front axle weight of the tow vehicle, with the trailer attached.
4. The rear axle weight of the tow vehicle, with the trailer attached.
5. The trailer axle or axles weight while attached to the tow vehicle.

Additionally, if you really want to fine tune the rig, if you have a tandem axle trailer, while attached to the tow vehicle, weight just the trailer front axle weight, and then the trailers rear axle weight. Every truck scale may not be able to do the latter for you if the platform is very large.

With these weight readings, you can now change things around any which way you may choose, and see how quickly hundreds of pounds have been moved, perhaps properly, or improperly.

Once you get the weights out of the "envelope" you then greatly increase the likelyhood of a "loss of control accident".

Be safe, if not for you, but for your family and others.

Towing saftey, has no compromise. Anything short of the absolute maximum towing safety, is foolhardy, at best.

Yet people do it.

And so it is.


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Old 03-10-2005, 06:34 PM   #17
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Post GCWR for Ford F 150

Bruno, I'm kinda new to all of this but I have some information you might find interesting. I have a 1997 Ford F 150 and a '73 Overlander. So we have similar rigs. The Ford owner's manual lists the following for tow weights and gross vehicle weights:

Engine-Axle Ratio-Max GCWR (KG/Lbs)-Max Trailer weight (KG/LBS)

GCWR is Gross Combined Weight Rating

My truck weighs about 4800 lbs (I have a camper shell on the back). The dry weight of trailer is about 4500 lbs.

All of this information can be found at WWW.FORD.COM Do a search on "towing" and look for a section called "heritage" information (at least I think that is what it's called). Older model vehicles don't appear in the tables with newer trucks.

I don't guaranty that this information is acurate, that's just what it says in the book.

Maybe this will help. It does look like you are close to your maximum weight before the Harley is even loaded in the bed of the truck. (I have no idea what the Harley weighs)

At any rate, hope it helps. Bon Chanc!

Air No. 6427
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:15 PM   #18
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Off the top, it sounds rather unlikely that you could fit a softail into the bed of a F-150. But if you could, the softail weighs 720#, the tongue weight is probably 600#, so the load would be 1320#. That's within the 1600# to 1800# rated capacity of a F-150, so maybe it's not unreasonable?

Of course maybe there's something in the "basic Geometry" that escapes me.

I agree that weights would tell the truth, but let's not ridicule the idea without the facts.
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:23 AM   #19
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May be you haven't understand that here it's a discussion forum and the purpose is to expose what you thinks right; It's what i do and Andy replies me. May be I don't understand what he tries to explain me and i try to reply correctly, with all i know when towing. Certainly Andy is right, it's a proffessionnal and me not, I'm only an A/S owner.
SO i don't authorise you do do this kind of invidious remark; If Andy wasted his time in replying me, it's not your thread and don't waste your time, you, in reply; You bring nothing concrete in this discussion and you'rent welcome Or tell me what to do to correct the level situation without using timbren kit.

thank you by advance for your advices.

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Old 03-12-2005, 05:17 PM   #20
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Bruno, Andy is absolutely right, in my humble opinion. I am a mathematics graduate, and I have also been a passenger in a trailer wreck when an improperly set-up trailer took us backwards through the hedge at the side of the highway. These two facts influence my approach to these matters. You are dealing with very serious issues here. Issues that can cause death. As Andy said, to understand what is going on, you just have to do the five weighings. The mathematics of weight distribution hitches is complex, but I wish to make a few basic points:
1. When you attach the trailer, the back of the tow vehicle goes down, but, crucially, the rear axle acts as a fulcrum, and the front of the tow vehicle goes up. The weight on the front wheels becomes less, so the steering forces available become less, just when you want them to be greater, with a heavy trailer to control.
2. The weight distribution bars should reload the front wheels to at least their load before the trailer was attached. You can check this by measuring the height of a tow vehicle front wheel arch before the trailer is attached, after the trailer is attached, and then as the chains are increasingly loaded.
3. If you change the rear suspension so that it is "harder", the rig can be made to "look right", but it will not necessarily "be right". The front end could still feel, and be, light. As Andy pointed out, the proposed changes could just disguise a dangerous set-up.
4. I would not use a tow vehicle so close to it's designed limits. The weighbridge is your true friend. You need to do the five weighings with all the people, food, water, tools, toys etc that you might one day carry. These are the facts from which you may start. Bear in mind that the manufacturer's load figures may not be unbiased by the need to compete with other manufacturers. I prefer to be at no more than about 75% of maximum rating. My trailer load is similar to yours, and I chose to buy a 3/4 ton truck, not a 1/2 ton. I would not use a 1/2 ton truck with that load. Many would be comfortable with a 1/2 ton truck with your rig, but I am just giving you the perspective of one who has been in a trailer wreck, and does not wish to repeat the experience. The fact that someone may have driven such a rig for 100,000 miles without incident is not the issue for me. I am concerned with the relative probabilities of a lack of control occurring when a rare combination of adverse factors coincide. For example, last month I was on I75 southbound near Tampa. There were roadworks on a bridge, and the highway narrowed right down and snaked through an s-bend, lined with those nasty concrete barriers. I slowed down. To my right I saw that there was a shallow ditch dug out of the road surface. I needed to move away from this ditch for safety, and , at that point, an 18 wheeler truck decided to charge through at over 70 mph. If I moved the steering wheel at all to the right we would have gone in the ditch. If I had moved to the left we would have hit the truck. There wasn't an inch to spare, and I knew the right tires were on the edge of the ditch, at about 50 mph. I froze, and the rig stayed rock solid, with no sway or sideways movement as the 18 wheeler blasted by, and there was no accident. That's why I have a long wheel base heavy truck that is nowhere near it's designed maximum load, with load distribution bars sufficiently tight to re-load the front steering wheels.
Bonne chance! Nick.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:39 AM   #21
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You will be just fine with Timbrens or Hellewig helpers.
Don't be scared by all the fear mongers out there!


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