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Old 05-05-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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Help With Hitch Set-Up

We have a 2010 31 Classic towed by a 2011 F250 6.7 Powerstroke CC FX4 using an Equal-i-zer hitch with 1,000 lb. bars. We have been using this set-up for nearly 2 years and about 20,000 miles with no problems. One minor thing I have noticed is that it is quite bouncy on some roads, but nothing harsh at all.

Anyway, I finally took the opportunity today to weigh our rig at our local truck stop.

Here are the numbers:
Front Axle 4,740
Rear Axle 4,340
Trailer 7,340
Total 16,420

Looks to me I need to make an adjustment with the hitch, but I'm not sure which way to go.

I would think that putting more tension on the bars would help. But wouldn't that lessen the weight on the rear axle of the truck?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
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In order to make adjustments to you rig you will need to have unloaded weight also. Unless you know those weight you don't have a base line to work from.

Most will comment that 1,000 lbs bars are too heavy for that set up.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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That's why I got rid of my Equal-I-Zer hitch, they is very, very little flex in the w.d. bars because of their shape. I ended up with a Propride hitch with 1400# bars but they are tapered and flex nicely with a smooth ride. I do have a half-ton Dodge Ram truck with coil spring suspension as well.

Some concrete section roads will cause bounce. I tried an Andersen hitch, which because of its unique design, was smoother on these roads, but had enough other issues that I got rid of it.

doug k
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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But wouldn't that lessen the weight on the rear axle of the truck?

Yes, that is not a desirable condition. The TW is best spread across three axle sets: TV FF, RR and to the TT. Going down the road the force of the tongue can act like a giant lever on the back of the TV, and far exceeds static tongue weight.

Ideally one has the weight of the truck, solo, as we need the Steer Axle weight. Then, with truck & trailer hitched, but WD not applied. And, finally, hitched, but with WD applied. (A solo weight of the trailer with axles on one scale pad and tongue on another is optional, yet useful).

The load in each vehicle should be the same in all cases. Same day is best.

We want the Steer Axle weight from the first and third scale tickets to be the same when WD is properly set. This is known as FALR, Front Axle Load Restoration. It is the basic function of a WD hitch.

The drivers door sticker information of FAWR and RAWR is also good reference to provide.

With all this it is easy to see if the basics are being met.

.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:55 PM   #5
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My understanding is the total weight should be distributed 33% front axle, 33% rear axle, and 34% trailer. I am familiar with the debate over the ratings for the bars. But my opinion has been that it would only have an effect on the ride and not the distribution of the weight.

Can an Equal-i-zer hitch not be set-up to properly distribute the weight?

If I do increase the tension on the bars what will happen with regards to the weight distribution?
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirHedz View Post
My understanding is the total weight should be distributed 33% front axle, 33% rear axle, and 34% trailer.
Well, I just thought about that point a little more, and it really doesn't make sense. If it were true then each truck axle would be approximately 5,500 lbs.. And that would mean the truck is overloaded since the GVWR is 10,000 lbs..

Also, is it really neccessary to weigh everything separately? Aren't we just trying to distribute the total weight appropriately?
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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It won't be that type of separation with a long-wheelbase pickup as you have. The "1/3 Rule" was one we all used for decades, more as an ideal in terms of description of how to do it.

FALR means, with the TW dropped onto the hitch, that the FA will lighten up by a percentage, a few hundred pounds from the unhitched weight value. We apply leverage with the bars to bring those missing pounds back to the FA. Consequently, we add some weight (less) to the TT axles.

The weights seem inconsequential in some aspects, but the potential "giant lever" will lighten the FA even more. Bringing it back to "stock" (so to speak) is seen as beneficial in all aspects of steering, braking and avoidance of yaw.

This recent thread also discusses TT & TV tire pressures/loads with WD applied. One would be wise to download the worksheet offered by Tireman9 and get those additional scale weights.

If any adjustments to the hitch are needed, make them, and then get the wheell weights. Make any changes necessary.

All of this establshes the best mechanical baseline for your combined rig, and allow you (and others) to help diagnose your questions on performance. The experience will be telling.

.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
It won't be that type of separation with a long-wheelbase pickup as you have. The "1/3 Rule" was one we all used for decades, more as an ideal in terms of description of how to do it.

FALR means, with the TW dropped onto the hitch, that the FA will lighten up by a percentage, a few hundred pounds from the unhitched weight value. We apply leverage with the bars to bring those missing pounds back to the FA. Consequently, we add some weight (less) to the TT axles.

The weights seem inconsequential in some aspects, but the potential "giant lever" will lighten the FA even more. Bringing it back to "stock" (so to speak) is seen as beneficial in all aspects of steering, braking and avoidance of yaw.

.
Ok. I see what you are saying.

I will weigh the truck and trailer separately next weekend and see what we come up with.

I don't drive the truck during the week, so the weights should be useful.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirHedz View Post
We have a 2010 31 Classic towed by a 2011 F250 6.7 Powerstroke CC FX4 using an Equal-i-zer hitch with 1,000 lb. bars. We have been using this set-up for nearly 2 years and about 20,000 miles with no problems. One minor thing I have noticed is that it is quite bouncy on some roads, but nothing harsh at all.

Anyway, I finally took the opportunity today to weigh our rig at our local truck stop.

Here are the numbers:
Front Axle 4,740
Rear Axle 4,340
Trailer 7,340
Total 16,420

Looks to me I need to make an adjustment with the hitch, but I'm not sure which way to go.

I would think that putting more tension on the bars would help. But wouldn't that lessen the weight on the rear axle of the truck?

Thanks for any suggestions.
I am surprised at your weights. My rig is slightly different (Chevy 3/4 ton Duramax and 2007 31 Classic with an Equal-i-zer) but my rig, ready to pull into a five day rally, is hugely heavier than yours.. Here are my numbers:

Truck front axle. 4,250
Truck rear axle. 4,800
Trailer. 9,460
Total. 18,510

My tanks, closets and frig were packed when we weighed because we were loaded for an extended stay at the Florida Rally. Still, one-ton difference from your weight is shocking. Were you completely empty at your weigh-in? And shouldn't you set up your hitch as you are loaded to travel rather than empty? My rig is rock solid without sway, bounce or steering issues. But my tongue weight at my loaded weight is 1,370 pounds. Your tongue weight when empty might be much less and result in some bounce. Basically I'm saying to try your ride after you fill all the tanks, closets, drawers and are ready to head out. Best wishes, John
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirHedz View Post
Ok. I see what you are saying.

I will weigh the truck and trailer separately next weekend and see what we come up with.

I don't drive the truck during the week, so the weights should be useful.
I amended my post. The individual wheel weights are -- in the end -- your gold standard for "seeing" the rig.

As to scale tickets, I have a stack of them. And will add plenty more. The most basic differentiation is in payload of each vehicle. Make some notes as what the load is for each (short trip, long vacation, extra people, etc). After only a short time with some different trips one has the likely payload range to be experienced by the rig. So, if the hitch needs an adjustment, in the future one will know what it is. And it will be small. As Robert Cross writes -- and with that same stack -- a check at the beginning of each season confirms all is good to go.

.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBinKC View Post

I am surprised at your weights. My rig is slightly different (Chevy 3/4 ton Duramax and 2007 31 Classic with an Equal-i-zer) but my rig, ready to pull into a five day rally, is hugely heavier than yours.. Here are my numbers:

Truck front axle. 4,250
Truck rear axle. 4,800
Trailer. 9,460
Total. 18,510

My tanks, closets and frig were packed when we weighed because we were loaded for an extended stay at the Florida Rally. Still, one-ton difference from your weight is shocking. Were you completely empty at your weigh-in? And shouldn't you set up your hitch as you are loaded to travel rather than empty? My rig is rock solid without sway, bounce or steering issues. But my tongue weight at my loaded weight is 1,370 pounds. Your tongue weight when empty might be much less and result in some bounce. Basically I'm saying to try your ride after you fill all the tanks, closets, drawers and are ready to head out. Best wishes, John
I agree. That difference is very surprising. However, we were coming home from a short weekend trip and were not heavily loaded. The gray and black tanks were empty, and the freshwater was at 3/8. The fridge was fairly empty as well as the closets and all other storage. The truck fuel tank was full.

This was our first trip since winter.

But, still, I wouldn't think there would be a 2,000 lb. difference.

How do you feel about your front truck axle being 550 lbs lighter than the rear? I think I feel better about my front being somewhat heavier.

The more I think about my weights the more I think they are probably close to right. But I'm still gonna weigh everything separately just to be sure.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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Thumbs up What I do....simply.

Weigh the truck alone, loaded for camping.
Load the Airstream for Camping.

Weigh the rig with no WD.

Weigh again with max WD

Note the difference in front axle weights.

Adjust WD until you have returned front axle load to the weight of the truck alone.

You may not be able to ace it...in our case the front axle is 100lbs light, with trailer LEVEL.

Toes great!!

Bob
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