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Old 01-06-2014, 08:30 AM   #183
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Bottom line this multipager for me...can I tow a 4500lb Airstream with a 6 cylinder chrysler 300?
If so that would be a great option for me..and affordable used.
It'd be a lot better choice than that Excursion. The 8-speed auto trans makes the case rather final for the V6 over the V8 for many possible combined rigs (TT & TV of varyng year model/spec, loads, etc).

Take your time.

.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:38 PM   #184
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Thanks...still looking and thinking. I like the Jetta concept, just not 100% sure on it yet
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:29 AM   #185
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With WD some of the TW is moved to the trailer axle, so it is not all subtracted from the payload. Only the part not moved to the TT is considered payload. For example: 1000# tongue weight with WD will move 250# to the trailer axles. This means that 750# is considered payload.
In this example, has the 1000# TW been reduced to 750# TW with the WD?
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:45 AM   #186
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The term tongue "weight" creates the incorrect idea.

One needs to think in terms of downward force vectors. When the trailer and vehicle are initially connected there is a large downward pointing arrow at the hitch of the truck that combines the force vectors of the weight of the WD hitch, the trailer tongue and the rear end of the truck. That mass of steel does not suddenly get lighter.

By the use of leverage with the arms of the weight distribution hitch, we transfer some of the downward force vector away from that junction point to the front and rear tow vehicle axles and the rest to the axles of the trailer. The mechanical connection is still supporting all the actual weight, so if the trailer has a thousand pound pound tongue weight and the tow vehicle hitch is rated 500 pounds, there could very likely be a failure in the hitch due to overloading.

You do not gain any weight or payload carrying capacity with a weight distribution hitch. So if the door label says the vehicle has a 1,200 pound payload and the trailer has a 1,200 pound tongue weight, by the use of leverage between 25% and 33% (in theory) of that weight will be transferred to the trailer axle and there could be the 300 to 400 pounds of people in the tow vehicle.

Hope this helps visualize what is going on.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:12 AM   #187
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I believe if you have 1000 lb trailer tongue weight added to the truck's weight (payload), then 200 lb are transferred to the trailer axles with the weight distribution hitch, you have added 800 lb to the truck's weight (payload) not 1000 lb.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:07 AM   #188
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The structural point is that at the junction where the two vehicles are connected, and saying there is a 1,000 pound tongue weight, one had better have more than a 1,000 pound rated hitch on the truck. The weight let alone plus the rotational forces created by the weight distribution system levers moving the force vectors around have the ability to cause a hitch system on the tow vehicle to fail if the ratings are exceeded.

In effect, one is trying to rotate the entire truck frame downwards at the front and that is a loth of stress on all the components.

Thus the reason for me to drive to CanAm to have the hitch reinforced with a arm welded to just above the rear differential on my Mercedes as there was not enough strength in the sheet metal at the back end to handle both the weight and the rotational forces associated within a weight distribution hitch.

The conversation about payload also needs to consider the strength of the receiver on the tow vehicle and it's ratings.

The loaded tongue weight of my 25FB International Serenity was around 1,175 pounds. That is one reason why I removed the factory rated 1,200 pound receiver on my truck and replaced it with one rated 2,550,pounds with multiple mounting locations bolted to the frame.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:36 AM   #189
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Finally convinced that a smaller tow vehicle will work. My one ton cummins is more than I need now and my wife and I could get by with only one vehicle. We ride Vespas as much as we can. However, money wise we cannot change so the cummins will stay as well as the Eclypse. My choice would be a 4door wrangler or a FJ cruiser, either of which could tow my 3500 pound Avion. Thanks for all who posted pictures of the smaller rigs and the comments. Jim
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:51 AM   #190
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Last post should have been on the small tow vehicle thread, sorry. Jim
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:28 AM   #191
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I have some questions about this. Has anyone purposely altered their tongue weight? Do double axle trailers need more or less percentage than singles?
This is a great question and one I always think about and smile when I see so so many people obsessing here about tongue weight , tow vehicles, WD, antisway etc.

I worked for 10 years or so for a marina in Florida. For 99% of rigs sold customers had a choice of trailers for their boat. For those that did not already have a hitch, we gave them the rig's weight and hitch/ball size so they could get the proper hitch put on. We then set up the trailer to fit the boat before delivery.

The boat trailers have many many adjustments including adjustable axle carriers. Meaning, you slide the axles fore and aft on the trailer frame to adjust tonque weight.

When the customer came for delivery, we checked the tongue weight limit on their hitch and then slid the axle back to put as much possible weight onto the hitch as we safely could.

The limit was rarely the hitch rating itself but how much their tow vehicle squatted. We would just slide the axle forward until the vehicle sorta leveled out.

I set up many hundreds of rigs from 1000 to 10,000 lbs on every manner of vehicle. We never installed weight distribution or anti sway. Tongue weight was our only variable. I recall a dozen or so times the customer complained about fishtailing. Unless their vehicle was grossly undersized, heavier springs and more tongue weight fixed it.

(PS the owner of one marina pulled a 25' SeaRay with twin I/Os. The rig had to be 10,000 pounds. He insisted we set up his Jeep CJ to pull it. We did and it was always a sight to watch and listen to that Jeep in 4WD low range pulling that SeaRay up the wet boat ramp. )
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:59 AM   #192
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Boat tongue weights are usually around 5-7%. Adjusting the bunks to get that is SOP. As is adding WD with surge-brake compatible hitches.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:28 AM   #193
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Hi Wayward

Boats have a couple of towing advantages that make a weight distribution less necessary. Generally they do not have a tall profile to catch cross winds and the centre of gravity tends to be low. However the main factor is that most of the boats mass is right at the back so the wheels are much further from the ball than they are on a similar weight travel trailer.

Another way to look at it is if you were to extend the A frame on a travel trailer by 6-10' you would reduce the hitch weight and make it more stable. There are other problems with an extended tounge, maneuverability, chassis flex etc.

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Old 01-25-2014, 07:58 AM   #194
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I haven't read through all the posts yet but as a comment I would add that on my truck, the manufacturer already compensates for weight distributing hitches as seen on the receiver direction guide. It has a lower tongue weight rating without a WD hitch- not because the truck payload cannot take it but because of hitch/receiver. My tongue weight is CAT scale 980 lbs. on my 25' Safari listed as 860 in the book. My trailer weighs 5040 unloaded but with LP full. (CAT).

A concern I have albeit "other people's business" is trying to tow something heavy, ignoring established safety ratings, with something less than called for by those ratings. The question isn't can it be pulled but should it be pulled with said vehicle. Several posts many RV forums are about trying to get a "not designed to tow heavy weights" vehicle to tow something heavy. While there are many factors for towing on a REGULAR basis in different environments, the ratings are important. It isn't just tongue weight and making it over hills or just being able to move the weight, but the entire drivetrain, cooling, axles/bearings and unibody design of vehicles today. People can pay to have the vehicle "weight propped" but that is only one part of the issue. Be safe.

Me? When I bought the Airstream I sold a year-old loaded and beautiful Jetta Sportwagen Tdi with 8500 miles and got a used F-150 with tow package that has become my tow and everyday vehicle. It was a choice but all about towing and finances. The truck is nice- never owned one before. I get half the mpg in city/hwy mileage of the sportwagen but I can tow and enjoy looking over the roofs of cars when I drive!
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