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Old 03-01-2015, 08:53 AM   #1
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How much weight?

I've been working with the idea that the truck needs to take the tongue weight, which is usually 10-15% of the trailer's weight. Just now a thought came through the fog, and I wondered if I'm miscalculating. Doesn't an equalizing (weight distributing) hitch send part of the tongue weight back to the trailer? Somewhere I thought I read that it puts 1/3 of the tongue weight on the front axle, 1/3 on the rear axle, and 1/3 back to the trailer's axles. True? I also seem to remember an Oldsmobile advertisement that featured a Toronado hooked up to an Airstream with an equalizing hitch and the rear tires of the car removed to show the front wheel drive. That must have been "interesting" to drive.

Back to my original question. If I have a coach with a GW of 10,000 pounds, I could have a hitch weight of 1500 pounds. If my numbers above are correct, that means that the truck will get 1000 pounds (plus the weight of the hitch?) and the trailer will get back 500 pounds.

What am I missing?
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:01 AM   #2
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The 10% to 15% is a measurement of dead weight. The mass balance doesn't change by adding WD. Your calculation of TW should be prior to WD and you'll be fine.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:17 AM   #3
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Thanks, Rich. Guess I was starting to overthink things.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:30 AM   #4
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You are right in the sense that tongue weight is payload weight on the tow vehicle. WD moves it around the truck, ie depending on bars etc to the front axle and not all on the rear axle.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
Back to my original question. If I have a coach with a GW of 10,000 pounds, I could have a hitch weight of 1500 pounds. If my numbers above are correct, that means that the truck will get 1000 pounds (plus the weight of the hitch?) and the trailer will get back 500 pounds
It is correct that a WDH will transfer load to the TT's axles.
However, the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 "ideal distribution" is a towing myth.

A properly-sized and properly-adjusted WDH is more likely to cause a load equal to about 25% of tongue weight to be transferred to the TT's axles.

A fairly typical distribution of tongue weight is around: zero % added to TV front axle, 75 % added to TV rear axle, and 25% added to TT axle(s).
This is a typical result of adjusting the WDH to restore the TV's front axle to its unhitched load.

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