Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-28-2004, 12:03 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
pinkflamingoes's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Alameda , California
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,569
Images: 38
Blog Entries: 3
Send a message via AIM to pinkflamingoes Send a message via Yahoo to pinkflamingoes
please explain Weight Distribution

The owner of our trailer (the Wisconsin one) suggests we tow with weight distribution and says "he has the chains for it". Sounds good to me, but...what does weight distribution mean and what do we need to have? Check out pictures of our trailer at my photo album if that helps. There's one with the front hitch thingy and the chains.

Soon I will have *smart* airstream questions to ask! Like, where's the beer?
__________________

__________________
"Let's look Death in the face and say, 'Whatever man.'"
~ Hurley

ingrid
1967 24' Tradewind #19104 ~ Forums #4449
pinkflamingoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 12:10 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Stefrobrts's Avatar

 
1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,906
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
Weight distribution bars attach between the tounge and the hitch on your truck, and transfer the load so it's not all weighing on the ball of your truck. Without WD the truck will sit lower in back. With WD it should lower the same amount front and back. Heavy rigs without WD can put too much weight on the back of the truck, and take weight off the front, decreasing your steering effectiveness. We use it on our Caravel because I felt it made for a smoother, more controlled ride as well.

You need to decide what kind of hitch you want to use, a Reese, Equalizer, EZLift, etc. Reese Dual Cam is supposed to be very good. Shopping for hitches will absolutly make your head spin! Start searching the forums, and good luck!
__________________

__________________
Stephanie




Stefrobrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 12:48 PM   #3
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
go to this site, click on the "info" tab, and select the section on "weight distribution". pretty good explanation there.

imagine a trailer hooked up to your tow vehicle. then attach a set of wheel-barrow handles to your truck's bumper, straddle the trailer's tounge, and lift up the wheel-barrow handles. (you have Superman's strenght in this scenario ) what happens? some weight is shifted to the front axle of the truck, and some to the trailer's axles.

what have you got for a tow vehicle now? it'll need a receiver hitch bolted to its frame, trailer wiring, a brake controller....then you'll need a ball mount that is specific to the type of weight distribution setup that you get for the trailer, and an adjustable draw bar so you can adjust the height of the ball mount.
__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 01:00 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
When you drop the trailer coupler on the hitch ball, the tongue weight is placed on the tow vehicle rear axle. However, being behind the rear axle, that tongue weight also leverages weight OFF the tow vehicle front axle onto the tow vehicle rear axle, which is now carrying even more than the tongue weight.

A weight distributing hitch has a special head into which you insert spring bars. These are like putting wheelbarrow handles on the rear of the tow vehicle. The ends of the spring bars are then connected to the trailer tongue by chains, etc, under tension, which lifts the rear of the tow vehicle, putting weight back on its front axle. The chains are like the arms of someone standing on the trailer tongue, pulling up on the spring bars/wheelbarrow handles.

Ideally, you want to put as much weight back on it as was taken off, and usually a little more, part of the tongue weight. In the process of doing this, a little of the tongue weight is actually transmitted back to the trailer axles.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 01:00 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
Ah... I see Chuck beat me to the wheelbarrow analogy!
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 08:38 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
pinkflamingoes's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Alameda , California
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,569
Images: 38
Blog Entries: 3
Send a message via AIM to pinkflamingoes Send a message via Yahoo to pinkflamingoes
OK, looks like it's time to ask hubby what kind of hitch we have...we got this one from U-Haul, that's all I know, and it's rated 6 or 8 something...does that tell you anything?

exasperated by knowing nothing,

ingrid
__________________
"Let's look Death in the face and say, 'Whatever man.'"
~ Hurley

ingrid
1967 24' Tradewind #19104 ~ Forums #4449
pinkflamingoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 09:50 PM   #7
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
1000 words....

ingrid

looks like the guys gave you a very good description of "how" it works.

here is a photo so you can "see" how it works....

on edit, the one arrow without a label is the drawbar.

john
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	hitch explained.jpg
Views:	321
Size:	63.6 KB
ID:	6891  
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2004, 10:23 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
Once you have the coupler on the ball and latched, use the tongue jack to lift the tongue and the rear of the tow vehicle high. Besides making sure the coupler is on the ball properly this puts the rig in an inverted v and moves the spring bars up close to the trailer tongue. You hook up the chain when the rig is like this, then lower the tongue and fully retract the tongue jack. The chains will be under tension at this time.

There's MUCH more to adjusting a weight distributing hitch, both the height and tilt of the head, as well as the weight tension. But it's getting late. If someone doesn't do it before tomorrow, I'll try to get back and explain it.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2004, 12:41 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
pinkflamingoes's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Alameda , California
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,569
Images: 38
Blog Entries: 3
Send a message via AIM to pinkflamingoes Send a message via Yahoo to pinkflamingoes
John HD, THANKS. Pictures help a lot, I don't know the terminology. "Trunnion" to me sounds like a genetically engineered onion. I pm'd you a thank you too.

RKM, any more explanations will help. That means we have to buy one of those fork-looking devices? Or did we get one with the thingy we have on the back of the truck. I should take pictures of what we have and get more info and post it here. Give me something else to do besides stare at a map of the US.
__________________
"Let's look Death in the face and say, 'Whatever man.'"
~ Hurley

ingrid
1967 24' Tradewind #19104 ~ Forums #4449
pinkflamingoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2004, 04:14 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
A picture of what you have would help.

Not all spring bars are trunnion types, which look like a T on the end. Round bars typically look like an L on the end.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2004, 06:54 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Ken J's Avatar
 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: 1975 25' Tradewind
Posts: 3,363
Images: 14
Got kindofa dumb question, if the trailer does not lower the rear end of the vehicle - in other words has a pretty lite tong, is there a need for equalizer bars? I've always thought yes and no - yes because the bars do tend to reduce sway, and no because the purpose of the bars is to bring up the rear. What do you all think?

Ken
__________________
1956 Flying Cloud
Founder :
Four Corners Unit
Albuquerque National Balloon Fiesta
Rally
Vintage Trailer Academy - Formerly the original
restoration rally
Ken J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2004, 09:35 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Over59's Avatar
 
1959 26' Overlander
Putnam , Connecticut
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,064
Images: 37
I use one on the 68 Caravel because it makes the whole system more stable. Distributes not just the static weight but the dynamic weight of starts, stops and bumps. At least that's my impression. Bringing the 59 back from NC the tongue was so light you could pick it up, no jack needed. Yet the hitch improved handling. It also put some load on the hitch ball that wasn't there. I think a large part of the handling improvement is the weight increase to the front wheels. I the case of the 59 taking it from the rear axel. Of course you run the risk of the rear end of the trunk wanting to pass the front if they lock up. I have ABS so not a major worry. Throwing some of the rear axel weight to the trailer wheels on a lighten trailer is likly a good thing as well. No??
__________________
Over59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2004, 02:06 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
pinkflamingoes's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Alameda , California
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,569
Images: 38
Blog Entries: 3
Send a message via AIM to pinkflamingoes Send a message via Yahoo to pinkflamingoes
Here's what we have on the truck

Pictures of what we have on our tow vehicle, 2001 Chevy Silverado 1500 4x4. Husband says it's basically a Z-71 except for the sticker on the side, with all the upgrades he got, whatever that means, if it helps...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	towlabel.jpg
Views:	254
Size:	33.1 KB
ID:	6914   Click image for larger version

Name:	towback.jpg
Views:	263
Size:	50.0 KB
ID:	6915  

Click image for larger version

Name:	towleft.jpg
Views:	233
Size:	64.6 KB
ID:	6916   Click image for larger version

Name:	towright.jpg
Views:	242
Size:	55.1 KB
ID:	6917  

__________________
"Let's look Death in the face and say, 'Whatever man.'"
~ Hurley

ingrid
1967 24' Tradewind #19104 ~ Forums #4449
pinkflamingoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2004, 02:55 PM   #14
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
you need the rest...

ingrid

looks like your reciever is in good order. except for brake wiring.

you will need everything that i posted in the previous photo.

they include:

drawbar

trunnion

bars w/chains

brackets

bolts

ball, email rick. i believe it has a 2" coupler. double check to be sure.

brake controller for truck and jumper harness.


don't panic if you don't have all of it before you arrive, all of it can be had locally. but be aware it might add half a day to your return trip if you need to get these items here in wisc.

john

ps, be aware we haven't even looked a sway control yet!
__________________

__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
how works a weight distribution hitch remcolent Hitches, Couplers & Balls 5 11-10-2003 07:24 PM
Weight Distribution, side to side JimC Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 8 08-13-2003 04:19 PM
Weight Distribution Question Randy Johnson Hitches, Couplers & Balls 63 07-21-2003 11:57 AM
Weight Distribution newae On The Road... 9 07-18-2003 11:08 PM
Education on Sway & Weight Distribution John Our Community 7 01-28-2003 03:48 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.