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Old 07-24-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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2013 30' International
lubbock , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
1,200 lb bars or 600 lb ???

I've read here that since my tow vehicle is a 3/4 ton, that my spring bars should be 600 lb so as not to beat up the trailer.

When I ordered my hitch, the folks at etrailer said that the 1200 lb bars are what is needed and that they will do the job for 600 lb tongue weight to 1200 lb tongue weight. that is what I ordered.

So then reading on the forum here, Andy says that about the 600 lb bars.

So then I call Reese - Cequent and they tell me that I have the correct bars at the 1200 lb level.

I'm so confused.

2013 International Signature
2006 Ram 2500 Mega Cab 2x4

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Old 07-24-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
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Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,784
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Sorry for that. There is some science behind how to set up a WD hitch, but not all of what applies is straightforward.

1] How do you know your actual TW? This is with full fresh water, full propane and a normal load aboard the TT. It will be different (likely higher) than the A/S figure.

2] That number, once acquired, is best closely matched in general.

Andy makes the argument about light bars quire well. And as you have read, there are quite a few who follow that.

The "requirement" is that a pickup have the same Steer Axle weight when towing with WD forces applied as when solo (same day, same truck load) when derived from scale weighings. Three passes across the scale will reveal how much the TT is "removing" from the Steer Axle (Both vehicles, first with, then second without the WD applied. Third is truck solo).

The bars can flex up to 4" and move weight around adequately when tested. It may be that 800-lb bars are better than 600, and better than the 1200 recommended.

You will want to know how to weigh your tongue, so see for that tech info on a DIY at-home scale test.

Get that info, and get back to us with the number.

Or, run down to my old favorite truck stop in your burg, Rip Griffins, and do the three scale passes.

IMO, you certainly have the right trailer type, but especially the right truck.


1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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2004 25' Classic
Prescott , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 614
The Airstream needs a soft ride. Andy is correct. I have an suv and my tongue weight is right around 1,100 lbs., loaded. I started with the 1,200 lbs. bars that gave an uncomfortable ride. Went to the 800 lbs. bars. These work good for my suspension. For what you have, the 600 lbs. would be better. JMHO
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
Rivet Master
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,017
I've read that the lighter bars are more important with the stiffer square bars like Equalizer uses then the more flexible round bars that Reese uses.(If I remembered that right)

One thing to keep in mind is, how much weight do you have in the truck when you tow? Heavy duty trucks normally ride smoother with more weight.

Another thing is new heavy duty trucks ride smoother then 1/2 ton trucks did 20 years ago.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Andy has set up far more and I would trust him.

There are many factors to consider in bar design and chosen application.

Spring rate is one area I have not seen mentioned. A heavier bar is better IMHO than toooooo light. With heavy bar, poor balanced TT load is not as noticeable as if loaded improperly with a light bar. Also, when braking, more downward pressure can be applied to tongue, thereby lifting front of TV and reducing front wheel load and steering.

So, if you ALWAYS load and travel with exact load, no need for extra bar strength.

On our 99 Excella, 34', we have 1000 pound bars. If I load as usual, then hook WD bars with 2 links of chain hanging, I get a LOT of "porposing" or bounce of tongue and rear of 2012 Chebby Silverado 2500 Dmax 4/4 with tow package. When loading with 3 chain loops hanging I get no noticeable bounce, but a bit stiffer ride.

The stiffer ride is transferred to the TT, but suce we have 3 axles, it seems to be a good working setup.

The truck and TT sit level...

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