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Old 11-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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Distributing hitch

Will a distributing hitch take away some tonge weight or does it just level everything?
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:18 PM   #2
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A weight distributing hitch system does not change the trailer's tongue weight; it transfers some of that weight to the tow vehicle's front axle.

Brian
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 1963tradewin View Post
Will a distributing hitch take away some tonge weight or does it just level everything?
A proper rated load equalizing hitch, properly installed, and properly adjusted, will transfer 1/3 of the tongue weight back to the trailer axle/axles, and 2/3 to the tow vehicle.

If everything is correct, 1/4 of the 2/3 will be transfered to each tow vehicle wheel.

Assuming a 900 pound tongue weight, 300 pounds goes back the the axle/axles, and 600 pounds goes to the tow vehicle, of which 150 pounds goes to each wheel.

Andy
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Very good thanks for the insight Andy.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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Andy's statements are correct, for some tow vehicles.

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If everything is correct, 1/4 of the 2/3 will be transfered to each tow vehicle wheel.
However for a truck, most manufacturers specify that the rear axle carry all of the tongue weight (it's in the vehicle owner's manual). So, that given and the WD hitch adjusted correctly, there would be no added weight on the front axle of a truck when the trailer is attached and the WD hitch adjusted correctly, but there would also be no weight reducton on the front axle either.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:47 AM   #6
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I guess the manufacturer of that particular truck thinks the weight should be on the back wheels. I do not know where they got that opinion. W/D systems can not accomplish what they are saying. It is a engineering fact. If you follow Reese and other manufacturers suggestions the portion of the tongue weight that will be redistribute will fall approximately equally between the front and rear wheels of the truck. This gives a little more downward force on the front wheels which help you steer the truck better and decreases the downward force on the rear wheel that would have occurred if you did not use a W/d hitch. To more easily understand it:take the example to the extreme to recognize the ill effects. If a very heavy trailer were put on the hitch ball and the lever arm between the wheels and the overhung hitch ball thereby lifted the front wheels off the ground. Would that be bad?
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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From my '07 GMC owner's manual

Weight-Distributing Hitches and Weight Carrying Hitches:

"When using a weight-distributing hitch, the hitch must be adjusted so the distance (front wheel fender opening to ground) remains the same both before and after coupling the trailer to the tow vehicle."

This clearly indicates the manufacturer does not want added tongue weight to be applied to the front axle of the truck, and coincides with instructions illustrated elsewhere in the owners manual about the loading of the truck needing to be directly above the rear axle.

This has been discussed several times before, and trucks are built to carry loads differently than passenger vehicles.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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. . . To more easily understand it:take the example to the extreme to recognize the ill effects. If a very heavy trailer were put on the hitch ball and the lever arm between the wheels and the overhung hitch ball thereby lifted the front wheels off the ground. Would that be bad?

When I read Steve's post, I understood it to mean that the lever arm would reduce the weight on the front axle, and the WD hitch should be set to restore that weight to it's previous load. I don't see anything wrong with that.

If the tongue weight is 800 lbs, it will show up as about 1100 lbs on the rear axle and -300 lbs on the front. Using the WD bars to adjust it to 650 lbs on the rear and netzero on the front just make good sense. For a truck.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
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diesel trucks are well loaded on the front axle, sometimes very close to the limits and they are often heavily sprung.

steveh, i'd like to know what your front axle weighs and what it is rated for.

thanks
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
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steveh, i'd like to know what your front axle weighs and what it is rated for.

thanks
richinny,

I only have weights from when we were towing our 23' on a trip to Alaska, summer '08, and my front axle weight on that trip was 3330 pounds loaded, trailer in tow, with my wife, the dog, and I in the truck. Rear axle was 3570, and trailer axles was 4475.

The rating for the front axle is 3600 pounds, and rear axle rating is 3900 pounds.

Our current trailer, an '01 25' Excella, and new hitch, a ProPride, I calculate has added about 410 pounds to the tongue weight. This, compared to the 570 tongue weight of the '75 23'.

I am very close, if not at, the load limit of the tow vehicle. My next tow vehicle will be a 3/4 ton truck, and maybe a Diesel.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Weight-Distributing Hitches and Weight Carrying Hitches:

"When using a weight-distributing hitch, the hitch must be adjusted so the distance (front wheel fender opening to ground) remains the same both before and after coupling the trailer to the tow vehicle."
Am I rong?

I read that statement as.....

Adjust your bars. If you don't, you won't have enough steering weight.

palin & smilpe
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Am I rong?

I read that statement as.....

Adjust your bars. If you don't, you won't have enough steering weight.

palin & smilpe
Amen, big time.

Or is it, Aemn bg tme?

Andy
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Am I rong?

I read that statement as.....

Adjust your bars. If you don't, you won't have enough steering weight.

palin & smilpe
What it means is, adjust the bars so you have the same weight on the front axle after hitching the trailer, as you had before hitching the trailer. Or, you could say, the vehicle manufacturer wants all the tongue weight to be carried by the rear axle, and none by the front axle, the same as they specify for all loads in the truck. i.e., the weight should be carried by the rear axle.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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What it means is, adjust the bars so you have the same weight on the front axle after hitching the trailer, as you had before hitching the trailer. Or, you could say, the vehicle manufacturer wants all the tongue weight to be carried by the rear axle, and none by the front axle, the same as they specify for all loads in the truck. i.e., the weight should be carried by the rear axle.
Wrong.

If what you say is the case, what good are the torsion bars?

Trucks are not immune from Physics.

Andy
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