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Old 08-31-2008, 11:41 AM   #15
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if the handling is good don't mess with it. IF the steering is light, shift more mass forward.
this is the primary criterion for load leveling - good advice.

If you don't have the rear tires at max sidewall PSI, you might give them some more air but as long as the temperatures are generally below 150F you should have enough air in them.

Dallas had a good rundown on proper hitch adjustment (see Hitch Setup )

"Adjust the hitch ball height to 'level' the trailer
"Adjust the weight distributing bars to 'level' the tow vehicle
"Adjust the hitch head angle to 'level' the bars. "

The basic philosophy applies to all load leveling hitches.

Keep in mind, too, that with a F250 diesel pickup, putting 1000 pounds (tongue weight) or so in the rear is not that big a deal and the rear overhang isn't that much either. That means that load leveling tends more towards the 'nice' rather than the 'necessary' side of the considerations.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:11 AM   #16
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We have weighed four times in past 13 months (approx 17,000 miles). Our Silverado 2500HD weighs out at 8,000 pounds, the trailer at 6,000 pounds. and once had front and rear truck axles matched. Other times close but no match. But the variance in distances to ground of truck front and rear bumpers are within approx 1/2 inch of each other, so we are keeping truck near level. That's the primary criterion our Equal-i-zer manual instructed us to use.

The primary result of concern is how well (and safely) it tows. How about, seems perfect?
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:26 AM   #17
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I measure the top of the wheel well openings while hitched and after unhitching. The following was the results:

Hitched:

Front: 36-1/2"
Rear: 36-3/4"

Unhitched:

Front: 36-1/4"
Rear: 38-5/8"

Obviously, I was right and I need to adjust the hitch set-up. I called Progress Manufacturing and spoke with Daniel and he recommended that I try moving the L-bracket up two holes and if that shifts enough weight to the front axles I should add two washers to the hitch head.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:43 AM   #18
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Obviously, I was right and I need to adjust the hitch set-up.
not so obvious.

Pickup trucks are designed to settle in the rear with load. Their loading is always asymmetric with most of it taken up by the rear axle.

The key you should look for with an equalizing hitch is that you are not taking load away from the front axle.

Often a pickup will handle better with most of its load on the rear axle due to the way its suspension is set up. You have to get it down a couple of inches just to get the springs tensioned to ride comfortably. With diesels especially, the front end often doesn't need any more weight. This is why trying to get even fender depression for load leveling on a pickup can be misleading.

Even using axle weighings needs to be carefully interpreted. When you do that, you should look at the percent change relative to the GAWR so as to provide an even difference between GAWR and actual weight on all axles. Since the front end on pickups is often much closer to the GAWR when empty, that means most of the truck weight needs to be placed on the rear axle.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:21 PM   #19
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Just when I think it's obvious, it's ...

not so obvious.

Pickup trucks are designed to settle in the rear with load. Their loading is always asymmetric with most of it taken up by the rear axle.


Which, I guess, makes sense and seems, well, obvious. So, that means we shouldn't be trying to force the front and the rear to settle the same distance at all. Instead, we should be trying to end up with the front and rear being level. If that's the case, then based on MM's "hitched" numbers above, he's within a 1/4" of the perfect setup and can rest easy. It's obvious, right? Or not? Aaaargh!
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:28 PM   #20
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How 'bout that bunkhouse...

Tom,

Out of curiosity, did you have any liquids or personal effects in the trailer, that is was it ready to travel? I am curious as I have the same trailer as you and was wondering what really it weighed. The sticker in the pantry sez 6400lbs...?

I usually always have some fresh water with me and try to keep waste tanks empty.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #21
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... I am curious as I have the same trailer as you and was wondering what really it weighed...
well m'mate still doesn't know exactly what the trailer weighs...

without an actual tongue measurement or subtracting the truck weight.

BUT, richL has weighed HIS bunkhouse several times, and reported some of those weights here or IN HIS BLOG....

and it isn't obvious the axle loads are ideal yet either on the m'mate rig...

as b notes it is not unusual for the drive axle to compress (lower) more than the front.

many towing setup guides suggest that once the trailer is level and spring bars tensioned,

the tv stance may be lowered aft, which is OK, solongas the the headlights are NOT skyward....

first there are MORE questions...

-were the kids, wife and dog INSIDE the tv during the weigh in and wheel well measurements?

-was the fuel tank FULL?

-were the height measurements taken on BOTH SIDES of the tv?

-how close to the hitch up location were the UNhitched measurements recorded?

-were the tires JUICED UP as we've covered in other threads (70-75 psi front and rear)

my truck isn't exactly the same wheel well height on both sides, about .25-.5 inches of variation.

BUT if we ass-ume full tank n tires, all on board, truck b level side2side, and engine running during weigh in...

imo the REAR was dropped too much and since the front is SLIGHTLY higher, the front axle weight is NOT back2baseline...

m'mate hasn't posted tv axle weights UNhitched, my WAG is the diesel f250 has...

4300-4700 pounds on the FRONT AXLE, UN hitched

3200-3700 pounds on the REAR AXLE, UN hitched.

of course he does carry a GOLF CART in the truck bed sometimes, and that isn't included, i hope.

anyway, my guess is the front axle is light a few 100 lbs currently, but without the weights who knows how much?

ft/rr spring compression rates vary so using "drop" 2 suggest axle wt. is imprecise without MORE baseline measures.

but since the rear DROPPED 2+ inches and the front is UP (very slightly) more weight transfer is reasonable.

without weighing and relying on wheel well heights, i'd expect to see LOWERING at all corners,

but a max of 1/2-1 inch more at the rear, NOT 2+ inches, with the DIESEL drivetrain.

gotta weight the truck bro! and i'd be hesitant to fiddle with the ball tilt n washers UNTIL then.

again IF the steering is good and towing control good, messing with it based on incomplete data might turn good2bad...

which isn't obvious and as a learning moment might be good, but 4 towing and dry shorts might be bad.

cheers
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:45 PM   #22
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Wow, so many variables. OK. The engine was running during weigh-in. The fuel tank was probably 5/8's full. Water tank was about 3/4 full. Other tanks were 3-4 gallons each. We were loaded for a camping trip in trailer and in truck...except kids, dog, and wife were at home. We had driven to FDR State Park some 61 miles from home (full fuel tank before we left home) and found out when we arrived at 9:00 Friday night our reservation was for wrong weekend: my fault. So, we returned home. I weighed the next morning without unhitching or unpacking. This trip the golf cart was not in the truck bed this time...we only take it to Disney World. State parks don't allow them.

I measured the tire well openings on the passenger side only with the truck and trailer parked in our almost level concrete driveway and then unhitched, pulled forward about three feet and measured again.

When Ford redesigned the F-250 for '08, they redesigned the rear suspension so that it is softer until loaded so I'm not surprised that the rear would compress some before the stiffer springs take the load. This may account for the greater drop in the rear than the front. I admit that I am not that up on the mechanics of my own truck.

I have topped off the Airstream tire pressure, but haven't checked the truck tire pressure lately. It isn't the max, but should be equal in both front and both rear tires.

I will try to go back to the CAT scales at the truck stop this weekend and weigh the truck alone and see what the numbers are...that is depending on the honey do list.
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